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Why WXYZ News In Detroit Switched To FCPX

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WXYZ TV is Detroit’s largest news outlet and was the first in the state to broadcast in HD. One of 14 other TV news stations from San Diego to Tampa Bay owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, the station has had an Apple-based editorial and graphics workflow since 2002, when it first transitioned from a more traditional broadcast edit environment to Final Cut Pro. According to Scripps vice president of engineering, Ray Thurber, There were a lot of us back then that thought no one was going to keep up with emerging codecs and new technology as fast as Apple would. We set up a test with some of the key players in our newsroom.

Thurber says the primary consideration at the time was ease of use. But more importantly, when you’re editing in a news environment and you have to be able to access all of the production elements available, the emphasis quickly shifts to speed. The editorial and engineering team set up a series of races between Final Cut and other editing platforms. We basically clocked how long it took our key editors to assemble a story, he says. In 2002, Apple by far outpaced the others and had the quickest workflow.

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Thurber says the newsroom has never looked back. From 2002 up until this moment, we’ve been developing a native workflow. Our workflow started out as HDV and throughout it stayed HDV. That’s a big reason we’ve become so fast, he says. We never had to worry about different file types on the timeline. And that’s exactly what we liked so much about FCPX: we didn’t have to worry about all the different emerging file formats like GoPro and iPhones. Now we can take a mix of content – from users covering a storm or from our own experiments with new cameras – and drop different formats right on the timeline. FCPX handles that mix of H.264 and HDV, which we typically import as MPEG-2 QuickTime files and render as ProRes, exceptionally well. And Thunderbolt is just such a wonderful IO that opens up so many more ways for us to ingest content.

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This blog was tagged: 4K, iMac, iPad, Mac Pro

Jasper Thayer is the developer of FinalCutProX.net

He has over 15 Apple Pro Certifications for video editing and special effects including Apple Certified Trainer for Final Cut Pro X and Apple Certified Trainer for Motion 5. Jasper is also an AWS Certified Developer and AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

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