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The firewired way of DV editing  uses the Firewire I/O present in many DV camcorders and DVCRs (notably Sony's), connected to new Firewire I/O boards that  finally arrived on scene. You will edit DV and you will stay in DV end-to-end. Benefits: No generation loss, pristine quality. Drawbacks: None, except that you may have to buy a new Firewire board. The good news: Some first-generation Firewire boards are cheaper than MJPEG boards and can be had for significantly less than $1000.

The 10 most important features of DV:

1. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
2. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
3. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
4. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
5. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
6. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
7. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
8. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
9. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
10. The codec sits in the camcorder or VCR. 
Why is this important? 
Three reasons: Quality, performance, cost

Editing DV the firewired way. 

DV Editing: Finally, real digital video all the way. With analog video, video had to enter  and exit the computer in analog. But the computer is digital. Actually, to the computer, working with analog video is an act against nature. 

For a long time, the computer resisted against processing analog video. The computer sabotaged capturing video by dropping frames at undue times. After capture was solved with heavy hardware, the computer resorted to random work stoppages during playback. Some people actually claim that analog capture boards employ sophisticated pressure sensors which interrupt playback when a tight deadline is sensed. We've learned to live with that. But we don't need to anymore. Because with DV, video editing finally is digital end-to-end. The computer likes that.  

Things you'll need. 

(You probably already have most of them.)

You need a DV camcorder or DVCR equipped with Firewire (IEEE 1394). All DV machines sold by Sony have the Firewire connector, many DV machines sold by other vendors don't  (although many are entering the market as we write.).  In Europe, DV camcorders don't record via Firewire. If you are in Europe, you need a DVCR like the Sony DHR-1000

You need a Firewire interface board. Ever since Sony released their first DV machines in late 1995, people have clamored for these boards. Now, they are finally here. Adaptec/DPS, Fast, miro, Matrox, Radius have announced or are already shipping boards which allow your DV camcorder or DVCR to connect to your computer via Firewire. (One of the first Firewire boards was the Sony DVBK-1000 capture board. But it's an odd duck: It captures stills only. Would be a better product for Kodak ...)  

You need a non-linear editing application such as Adobe Premiere. Many boards, such as the Spark, come with a version of Premiere. Some boards come with a light or "LE" version (which you can later upgrade), some like the Spark come with a full version. 

You need a suitably powered computer with  lots of hard drive space. Keep in mind: DV creates 3.6 to 3.7  Megabytes of data per second. One minute,  222 Megabytes.  10 Minutes: 2.2 Gigabytes.  A 90 minute, feature-length movie would fill 20 Gigabytes of hard drive space in final edited form.  Also keep in mind that currently shipping Firewire solutions (or rather the drivers that come with them) don't allow to "Print to DV" from the Premiere timeline. Allow sufficient space for a target file for the "Make Movie" process. This is likely to change with future drivers, changes to the operating system or the editing application. 

Your drive needs to be fast enough to cope with the steady stream of 3.7 Megabytes per second. DPS keeps a list of "approved" drives. This list is very conservative. You should be fine with a good SCSI drive that spins at 7200 rpm. Stay away from IDE drives. They put a heavy load on the CPU. With DV, the CPU must be able to do some processing during data transfers. 

Lastly,  you need a bunch of tapes and some creativity. That's all. Now, let's go over the editing process, step by step. 


See The Titling And Overlay Tests.

There has ben a (sometimes) heated discussion on DV-L about the effects of effects and  transitions on DV.  Some claimed that your image would immediately disintegrate once you add effects. Some said it wouldn't work at all. Some said: "Hey, no problem!" To settle the  issue, I wanted to offer some kind of proof. Until there's real streaming video on the net (and we all have T3 lines), all I can offer are some stills. 

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Written mostly by Bertel Schmitt.  Maintained by Alexei Gerulaitis.

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