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HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output

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Dean Longfield
HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output
on Dec 14, 2010 at 10:33:15 pm

Hi All,

i shot a job on a Sony PMW-320K XDCAM camera, but in the HDV format. After bringing the footage in through XDCAM EX Clip Browser and then transferring the clips to XDCAM Transfer so that they are
FCP ready QT clips - I dragged them into FCP 7, where I want to print to DVCAM tape an archival SD widescreen project, (because I don't have an HDV or other HD recorder).

Thing is that no matter what settings I try in the Audio/Video Settings, (Sequence Preset, Capture Preset etc) the image gets letterboxed on both my 4:3 and 16:9 monitors. I want to archive this footage to SD
in actual widescreen. So my 16:9 monitor should be filled with the picture but it's getting letterboxed within the 16:9 screen: matte on top and bottom - and it's getting letterboxed on the 4:3 screen when it should be stretched out on that screen. BTW: I'm running the image through firewire out and into a Sony DSR-11 deck and then out to my monitors.

Also when I Exported to Comprsessor everything came out fine. It's just when I'm trying to archive the footage on tape (print to tape), or play the image in the timeline, that I run into this issue.

Can anyone suggest the proper settings, or offer another solution to this problem?

Thanks very much.

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Astrid Karlsson
Re: HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output
on Dec 15, 2010 at 1:32:50 pm


Not sure I know why you are seeing letterboxing, but I have had success making an PAL SD anamorphic sequence from an HDV sequence.

I assume you've a nice native HDV sequence, with no letterboxing showing in the Canvas?

From there, I would create a new sequence with 'DV PAL 48khz Anamprphic' (from 'Load sequence preset' options) and I nested the HDV sequence inside it.

It takes a lifetime to render before playing out to video, but it looked good once rendered.

BTW, I first tried Compressor to downres the HDV but didn't like the quality of the file from the Compressor preset.

Does that help?


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Dean Longfield
Re: HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output
on Dec 16, 2010 at 12:29:12 am

Thanks Astrid. I'm in New York and am working with NTSC footage.

Yes I do have a nice native HDV sequence, with no letterboxing showing in the Canvas

OK I tried the DV NTSC 48khz Anamorphic in Sequence Settings (Command + 0 [zero] ).
This letterboxed the Canvas, and the monitors both remained letterboxed.

Sequence Settings are:
Frame Size: HD 1440 X 1080 16:9
Pixel Aspect Ratio: HD 1440 X 1080

Audio/Video Settings are:
Sequence Preset: HDV 1080i60
Capture Prest: HDV
Device Control Preset Firewire NTSC (720x480)

I should note here that when I bring an SD widescreen project into the timeline, everything works as it should: (16:9 monitor has a full 16:9 image and 4:3 monitor is stretched), with DV NTSC 48khz settings.

Any further suggestions are appreciated.


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Astrid Karlsson
Re: HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output
on Dec 16, 2010 at 2:29:30 pm

Hiya Dean in New York,

Yowser, not sure how that is happening. Worked for me, as they say. :)

Another approach is - if you've the disk space for a big file export...

- Export your lovely HDV sequence as HDV (if you haven't already)
- Open Compressor, and add your HDV file
- Use the preset 'SD 8-bit Uncompressed NTSC'
- Pull this new file into FCP
- Where it is listed in the Browser window, put a tick in the 'anamorphic' column
- Make a new empty sequence
- Drag the new file into it, letting FCP set the sequence settings

.... and hopefully a ta-da widescreen SD sequence shows in the canvas?

If so you can print to video, nicely.


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Dean Longfield
Re: HDV Settings for Wide Screen Output
on Dec 18, 2010 at 2:28:03 pm

Thanks for your response Astrid.

I should clarify a bit. In the Canvas I have a wide screen project, formatted correctly.
So what's the problem? My Mac is firewire out to a Sony DSR-11 (DVCAM) VTR. From
the DSR-11, I output the signal to monitors as follows: S-Video out to a widescreen monitor and
Composite out to a 4:3 monitor. It should be noted that anytime I have an SD widescreen project in FCP, the widescreen monitor reads the signal as widescreen and the image fills the external widescreen monitor as it should. The external 4:3 monitor reads the signal as widescreen and the image is stretched as it should be, because it's a widescreen project, (in a 4:3 monitor).

However, with the HDV footage, I again get the FCP Canvas window formatted correctly (16:9 image - not letterboxed), but the external monitors getting the signal from the Sony DSR-11 are outputting a letterboxed image.

My question is where in the signal's path is this image getting letterboxed and how can I correct it?

I assumed the problem may have originated in my settings..... which settings I'm not sure.
Have tried changing the audio / video settings and the sequence settings but continually get the same result. I checked the Distort settings and that's not it either. Also regardless of whether I check anamorphic, or not check anamorphic, in the Sequence Settings, I get the same result.

So to give you a visual to clarify the problem: my external widescreen monitor is getting a letterboxed signal, (from the Sony DSR-11), and thus letterboxing the image in a widescreen monitor so that the picture looks more like a 70mm film . - The 4:3 monitor is also receiving a letterboxed image from the
Sony DSR-11 and is letterboxing it.

What I'm trying to do is record a pure widescreen image (not a letterboxed one) out to tape via an SD
signal, (that originated as an HDV signal in FCP).

FCP: 7.03
Mac: 10.6.4 Snow Leapord

Thanks very much for your kind assistance, knowledge and time !!

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