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Calibrating a PAL Video Monitor

Unlike NTSC, which requires frequent monitor calibration, PAL color is pretty stable. However, for those situations where you need to make sure your PAL monitor is showing colors accurately, this article will tell you what you need to know.

Hardware Review: CalDigit 500GB S2VR Duo SATA RAID

I am not a testing organization, but, recently, Jon Schilling over at CalDigit ( sent me a 500 GB SATA RAID to examine (Model #S2VR Duo).

Cable Limit for FireWire 800

A brief, but important, reminder on the subject of FireWire cable limits.

Thoughts on Blu-ray Discs Versus Digital Downloads

What is the future for distributing HD video? Is it Blu-ray or is it digital downloads? In this thoughtful opinion piece, Jason Chong, Kit Laughlin, and Lorin David Schultz share their thoughts on where the future is headed. Even though recent events have made Blu-ray Discs easier to create on a Mac, that doesn’t mean they’ve won the war. The battle rages and you get to choose.

AVCHD and Blu-ray Discs – a Testimony

In spite of the hype, optical media is not dead. The two variations for HD media – AVCHD and Blu-ray Discs – are still valuable tools in an editor’s toolkit. In this article, David Scott writes about his success in using Blu-ray Discs to meet the needs of his project.

Notes on Blu-Ray DVD Costs and Competition

With Blu-ray winning the DVD format war, attention has now turned to the costs of creating a Blu-ray DVD. This article explains that the cost of replicating one of these new format discs isn’t cheap.

Why Blu-Ray May Not Be All That Great

In a recent conversation with Bruce Nazarian, president of the DVD Association, during The BuZZ podcast, we were discussing the sudden shift toward Blu-Ray DVDs.

Black Bars on the Edges of DV Video

Ever wonder about those black bars on the edges of DV? They are about 9 pixels wide and they are always there. How can you get rid of them? SHOULD you get rid of them? This article explains what you need to know and when you need to worry about it.

Setting Proper Video Black Levels

Folks that have worked with video for a long time are often confused about where to set the black level for digital video. This article explains what you need to know — and, relax, it isn’t that hard.

Understanding Video Bit-Depth

We toss around terms like 8-bit depth, or 10-bit depth, even 12-bit depth. But what do those terms actually mean? Does it make a difference what bit depth we work in? The answer is yes. Bit-depth determines how accurately we can digitally represent an image, compared to reality. This article provides more detail without going into too much tech.

Determining Proper Settings in Compressor

In this article I want to give you some suggestions on proper selection of compression bit-rates; as well as how to improve the compatibility of the CDs and DVDs that you burn.

FCP 7: Using Bezier Controls for Smoother Motion Paths

Keyframes and motion paths are used in Final Cut to move images around the screen. However, every keyframe contains additional Bezier controls if you know where to look. This article shows you where they are and how they work.

Musing: On Buying the Best Hardware

There are two questions I get asked a lot: what’s the best camera, and what’s the best hardware. This article explains why answering the hardware question is so difficult. It isn’t that there’s no answer, its that the answer is TOTALLY dependent on what YOU need. Take a look here at why.

Musing: On Buying the Best Camera

One of the easiest questions to ask, and one of the hardest to answer, is “What’s the Best Camera?” The problem is that tricky word “best.” In this short article, I provide some general guidance, along with a list of a dozen questions you need to answer before you can find the camera that’s best… for you!

Exporting Batch Lists from FCP for Excel

I have a client who’s beginning to edit to documentary that has over 100 hours of material to be edited into a 30-minute documentary. What he wants to do is log each clip, then copy that logging information out of Final Cut so he can load it into Excel. The advantage of exporting all this data is that he can think about his clips, and share this information between producers, without running Final Cut.

Batch-Clearing Durations

Faster is always better, when you can maintain control and quality. Here’s a VERY fast way to reset clip durations in the Browser that can save you tons of time, when compared to doing it one clip at a time.

When Final Cut Won't Open

Here’s something to try when Final Cut won’t open after an upgrade. Most likely, it’s due to bad plug-ins. This article describes what to do to fix it.

Explaining AVCHD Discs

AVCHD Discs are a nice compromise between full-HD Blu-ray Discs, and the standard def DVDs we’ve all been using for the last 20 years. While, currently, Final Cut Studio can not create Blu-ray Discs, it can create a version of Blu-ray called “AVCHD.” This article explains what AVCHD Discs are, why you would use them, and how you create them.

Working with Auxiliary TimeCode

Every clip in Final Cut supports up to three timecode tracks — a primary and two auxilliary tracks. This article describes how to access them, change the timecode they contain, and idea on what to use them for.

Using Auto-Select

With FCP version 4.1, Apple changed the rules on how copy and paste work. You now need to know about “auto-select.” This article explains it.