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Chapter 1. Before You Begin

Chapter 1. Before You Begin

This chapter walks you through the process of assembling the necessary hardware, hooking everything up, and installing Final Cut Pro. Topics include Final Cut Prosystem requirements, as well as the hardware components and configurations for both a basic setup and a more full-featured system.

Note that hardware selection, configuration, and installation can involve a wide range of input and output devices and several manufacturers' hardware protocols. This chapter covers Apple's recommended configurations and suggests some sources for getting up-to-the-minute information and advice on hardware.

This chapter also introduces you to Apple's FireWire protocol, the high-speed data transfer protocol underlying the powerful digital video handling in this program.

At the end of this chapter are suggestions for optimizing performance, including recommendations for running Final Cut Pro on a minimal “base-case” system, and tips for troubleshooting Final Cut Pro.

As each successive release of FCP increases the range of hardware options and software plug-ins, it's never been more important to get current information before you commit to a particular system. FCP Web sites, FCP user group meetings, and reputable vendors are my favorite sources. Appendix A contains a list of some useful sites.


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