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Philipp Figueroa
Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 1:52:21 pm

HI there,

I recently set up a Final Cut based editing suite in my production company in London. We mainly produce 5-10 minutes corporate films. However we are starting to make films in the US which will be edited here in the UK.

Questions:
1. Will I be able to work with NTSC footage on my system? I probably will be handling Digi Beta tapes (snow leopard, Final cut 7), Will I have to convert the footage to PAL before I edit? Can I master to NTSC without converting to PAL in the first place?

2. If we decide to use tape-less media (P2 card) would we still have a NTSC/PAL issue?

I am not sure what to do. Please advise me on how to edit American footage in the UK.
Many thanks- Philipp


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 5:35:15 pm

My vote: eliminate the necessity for frame rate conversion: specify that all footage is to be shot at 25fps, using NO fluorescent lighting. In the States, fluorescent lights operate at the NTSC-like 60 Hz and not PAL's 50Hz, and easily can cause problems.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Philipp Figueroa
Re: Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Dec 1, 2009 at 10:11:22 am

Thank you very much.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 6:22:01 pm

1. Yes.
2. Since you're delivering for the US, shoot as if you were there.. i.e NTSC for SD and 60i or 24p for consumption on US TV sets. PAL won't work for sure.. Here we have few if any multi-standard displays.
3. Caveats: you'll need a multistandard display to see thing externally there...

Jerry

Apple Certified Trainer, Producer, Writer, Director Editor, Gun for Hire and other things.

8-Core 3.0 Intel Mac Pro, Dual 2 gig G5, AJA Kona SD, AJA Kona 2, Huge Systems Array UL3D, AJA Io HD, 17" MBP, Matrox MXO2 with MAX Cinema Displays


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Michael Gissing
Re: Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 11:17:28 pm


FCP can work at PAL, NSTC and HD frame rates and pixel aspects. Your monitors and I/O cards (no specific hardware mentioned but I will assume you have something), need to be PAL/ NTSC auto switchable.

If ingesting from digi beta and playing out to digi beta, you will need to hire in an NSTC deck. Sony decks can playback NTSC depending on the model and the options but dual record in digi beta is not possible as far as I know. The humble J3 playback deck can be switched to NSTC or PAL playback.

The other catch is reference video needs to be switched to NTSC if you have a proper referenced edit setup which I would expect with a facility that captures and plays out to digi beta. Do you have a switchable reference video generator?


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Colin McQuillan
Re: Europe vs USA- Can my FCP system deal with NTSC footage ?
on Nov 30, 2009 at 11:21:25 pm

I've worked on a few projects in the opposite direction (Shot/edited here in North America and sent to PAL markets for broadcast) We used all PAL equipment and had no issues at all. (like Dave says stay clear of fluorescent lighting in or around your framing.)

Your computer/software will have no trouble working with NTSC footage, Your computer displays will also work fine. As Mentioned above you will need a multi-format display capable of NTCS if you want to externally monitor what you are working on.

Most new HD cameras can be switched between PAL and NTSC, but older digibeta Cameras will either be PAL or NTSC. Be sure your local rental house carries NTCS cameras and decks if you choose to work with tape.

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


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