Adding a Video Monitor
With Firewire-based DV editing systems hooking up an external program monitor is really simple and a necessity.
The solution lies in your camcorder or video deck.
A FireWire-based editing system is configured a little differently than other nonlinear editing systems: the video signal must pass from the CPU through the video deck and then out to the video monitor to get full-size, full-frame-rate playback.
By connecting your computer to your DV video deck (or camcorder) with a simple Firewire cable, you send the digital media to the video deck, where the hardware-based DV codec decompress the media in real time to achieve perfect playback. To see the results or to view the video from your timeline, you need a video monitor connected to that video deck.
In theory any television that takes a composite or S-Video signal will do, but true preview monitors are high-resolution, reliable tubes that display the full size of the video image. Many can display video from four different sources, has the option for wide-screen display, and can be switched between NTSC and PAL signal standards
Most consumer televisions cut off an area around the image known as overscan. Sony's 13-inch PVM14L1 is a good entry-level preview monitor.
Make sure you select your ?firewire connection? under the ?view menu? dropdown so you can also view video from your timeline in full screen.
Here?s a little tip: If you are watching your video via FireWire on an external monitor, then be sure you are listening to your audio via FireWire DV.
If you watch your video via FireWire and listen to your audio on your built-in computer speakers, your audio and video will be 3-9 frames out of sync. This is due to the delays caused by converting to and from DV. This delay will drive you nuts, so, remember to always watch and listen to your audio and video from the same point: both on an external monitor or both on the computer, never mixed.
Monitors and TVs
If your camcorder doesn?t have firewire out ? not a problem- you can also connect analog cables using your camcorder or a breakout box. Take the analog output of your camera (using either the S-Video plug or the simple composite analog video/audio plug) and just jack those into any regular TV.
To be fair, a television is not really the same thing as a video monitor, although I tend to use the terms interchangeably here. And while we're on the topic, a video monitor is not interchangeable with a computer monitor. The most important difference for us concerns the available plugs on the back (or maybe front) of the display. Monitors designed to display video have an array of input/output plugs (analog, S-Video, and so forth); televisions do not, and sometimes sport only a single RF (coaxial) knobby for connecting up the cable. When you're just starting out, I wouldn't bother purchasing a dedicated monitor; you can get by with an old TV set, which can often be found for cheap or even free.
This Is How I Hook Up a TV
Method 1: Analog Cables Since I usually have my camera hooked up to my computer with the FireWire cable, all I do to see my video on a TV is take the analog output of my camera (using either the S-Video plug or the simple composite analog video/audio plug) and just jack those into any regular TV.
Here's how I plug in the analog cables. This gives me both video (the yellow plug) and stereo audio (the red and white plugs for left and right):
1. Plug the special RCA-mini plug (a.k.a. the 1.4-inch plug) into the audio/video jack on your camera. It probably doesn't say "analog input or output" but this is what it is.
2. Plug the three RCA plugs into your video monitor. They likely will be labeled Video and Audio.
Some TVs only have a mono input for audio?one plug?and so you must either (1) plug in only one of the two stereo inputs (the red or the white); or (2) get a stereo-to-mono adapter (sometimes called a Y-cord) that will let you push the red and white plugs into one side and then connect the single plug on the other side to your TV.
Method 2: S-Video If you want to use the (higher quality) S-Video signal for the picture, plug an S-Video cable into the camera and into the S-Video input on your monitor (Note: Not all monitors have an S-Video input). Remember that the S-Video cable carries only video and doesn't carry audio, so you'll still need the audio signal (using the connection I described above). Simply unplug the (yellow) video plug, but leave the (red and white) audio cables connected. It looks weird, but it's OK to have the video cable hanging there. If you're particularly fastidious, you could use a different cable that has no yellow audio component, but I don't think it's worth buying a separate cable.
Plug the S-Video cable into the camera.
Plug the other end into the monitor (both ends are the same, so it doesn't matter which way this goes).
Remove the video plug from the analog set-up, and leave it dangling!
Method 3: With a VCR
There are a few reasons you might want to insert a regular old VCR (probably VHS) in the middle of all this TV cabling.
First, your TV may not have the S-Video or analog RCA plugs we've been talking about. But even the cheapest old television has a plug for cable service. (This type of plug is known as an RF type, and the cable is called coaxial cable.) The easiest way to get from the camera to the TV with only an RF connector is to put a VCR in the middle:
Plug your camera into the VCR as if it were the TV in methods 1 and 2.
Run a coaxial cable from the VCR output to the TV.
The second reason you might want to do this?even if your TV can be connected to the camera?is so you can make VHS dubs of material on your DV camera. Getting the VCR into the pathway facilitates this.
Last update: 09:31 PM Sunday, November 13, 2005