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Chapter 5. Capturing Video > Capturing HDV Video

Capturing HDV Video

The HDV capture scheme in Final Cut Express HD is Apple’s first pass at devising a simple capture process for HDV. HDV uses MPEG-2—that’s the same compression used in iDVD—to squeeze the extra-large HD datastream down to a size that can be handled without an additional video card. MPEG-2 compression reduces the size of the HDV datastream by reducing the number of frames that contain complete picture information. One of these complete frames (called I-frames) is followed by a sequence of reduced-image-data frames (called B-frames and P-frames).

As you capture, FCE converts the HDV footage to Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) format. AIC generates complete image and audio information for each frame. FCE attempts to perform this format conversion in real time, but unless you are running a top-of-the-line G5, the conversion will probably lag behind capture. The HDV capture process is similar to Capture Now—you must manually cue up the footage you want to capture using your HDV camcorder’s controls. For more information, see Apple’s New Features in Final Cut Express HD PDF.


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