ProTools/Quicktime DV FAQ

(in progress) 5/29/2002, updated 9/12/2002
Jeremiah Moore -

This FAQ is incomplete and perhaps imperfect. Links may be out of date. It may or may not be Gospel. Use at your own risk. Enjoy. If you have comments or thoughts to add, please email me, I'd be glad to hear from you.

Software - Digitizing Video

Final Cut Pro - works well.

Apple iMovie - works fine, but limits video files to 2GB in size, equating to 8 or 9 minutes of video. The fix is to use Quicktime Player Pro to edit together the separate clips using copy and paste, combining them into a single movie. (use the "go to end" button in the player to ensure you're pasting the 2nd clip at the very end of the first clip) Then resize the pasted-together movie to thumbnail size, and do a "Save As," choosing to reference the original media.

Software - Quicktime DV Drivers

Adaptec DVsoft
A driver Adaptec released for some old (now discontinued?) firewire hardware. A slew of extensions which redirect any DV-Stream format Quicktime movie to the firewire port for external decoding.

Go to and search for Hotconnect Ultra. I've had success with version 2.5.

Synthetic Aperture Echofire
A commercial product costing $255 as of Sept. 2002, apparently it works quite well. It has lots of features geared toward video production, like previewing After Effects output on NTSC monitors. ProTools users will only use a small subset of the features.

Hardware - Firewire DV Codecs

Canopus ADVC-100
Purports to genlock its audio samplerate to the video framerate. no direct experience with this device, though apparently (and not officially at this time) Digidesign leans toward approving it.

I belive this device to be the best on the market as of Sept. 2002

Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge

Supports PAL and NTSC.
Offset for ProTools is 10 quarter frames

Problem: Somtimes the DV Bridge forgets which video format it's working with, switching to PAL if you're working in NTSC, or vice-versa. It tries to decode the NTSC stream as if it were a PAL one.

Symptoms: video output becomes corrupted, displaying chunky pixellated garbage.

Fix: Power down, and feed the proper format video into the DV Bridge's analog video input. Boot up while still feeding it the video signal. It causes the DV Bridge to clock properly.

From the Dazzle Support site: "Most often this is seen in Macintosh operating systems and an older version of firmware on the Hollywood. If the missdetection occurs, shut down the computer. Once the computer is off, begin playing an NTSC signal through the Hollywood. Restart the computer while the signal is playing. After the system is running the operating system will recognize NTSC as the video standard." (Dazzle support, answer #385)

If you use PAL video, as we sometimes do, this might come in handy: "Out of the box, the unit should default to NTSC mode. However, if the toggle button is held down before power is engaged to Bridge, the default will change. Press the toggle button, plug adapter back to the Bridge and continue holding the toggle button for 7-10 seconds. All 3 LED lights will light up until you let your finger off.

The color of the lights indicate which mode the default has been changed to:

Green = PAL
(Dazzle support, answer #469)

Sony DVMC-DA2 (no longer available)
NTSC only
Works well - I've used this one extensively. NTSC only. Very simple, never had a problem with it.
offset for use w/ ProTools is 10 quarter frames

Miglia Director's Cut Take 2
Looks like a nice box, no direct experience with it.

Data Video DAC-2 (component and YUV video) and DAC-100
no direct experience with these devices

FAQ compiled by Jeremiah Moore