About FireWire

FireWire (also called IEEE 1394a or i.LINK) is the consumer and professional standard for DV-format digital video. DV devices typically use FireWire 400 connectors. There are two kinds of FireWire 400 connectors: a 4-pin connector (typically used to connect to video equipment such as camcorders or decks) and a 6-pin connector (used to connect to computer equipment). However, some newer video equipment uses the 6-pin connector and some video cards use the 4-pin connector. See your equipment’s documentation for more information.

Final Cut Pro and a DV device can communicate remote control information using FireWire. Typically, you use FireWire for device control when you are using a DV format such as DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO 50, or DVCPRO HD.

For more information about FireWire technology, go to the Apple FireWire website at http://www.apple.com/firewire.

The Differences Between Apple FireWire and FireWire Basic

Video devices vary greatly in their functionality and adherence to FireWire specifications for device control (the technology that allows Final Cut Pro to control your DV camcorder or deck via FireWire). For this reason, there are two versions of the FireWire protocol you can use for device control and capture in Final Cut Pro:

  • Apple FireWire: This is the default.
  • Apple FireWire Basic: This is a simplified device control protocol for camcorders and decks that aren’t fully compatible with Apple FireWire. Using this protocol doesn’t affect the quality of captured video or audio.

It may not be obvious which camcorders support the complete FireWire device control protocol and which only understand FireWire Basic. If you’re unsure, try an Easy Setup that uses the standard FireWire protocol first (NTSC or PAL FireWire). If you’re not able to remotely control your camcorder or VTR using Final Cut Pro, choose an Easy Setup that uses the FireWire Basic version of device control.