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Lesson 8. Hardware and Interfaces > Timecode and Control

Timecode and Control

In the early days of video editing, timecode signals and deck control were carried on separate connections. Timecode was conveyed on a BNC cable as an LTC signal, or was embedded in the video as VITC. Deck control was performed using manufacturer-specific interfaces, and there was a thriving market for translator boxes to make decks from Ampex, JVC, Panasonic, and Sony speak a common language.

Fortunately, those days are (mostly) gone. Modern decks interface using serial control protocols that carry commands, status, and timecode together. Final Cut Pro expects to talk to decks using either RS-422 or FireWire; if you can’t find a deck to play back a tape that speaks one of those languages, or for which there is not a protocol converter, you’ll probably be best off dubbing the tape to a more modern format on a VTR that allows modern control, or just use Capture Now to grab the video.


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