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Blackmagic's Final Cut Pro X 'Gotcha' Got Me Again!

It struck once more! The Blackmagic/FCPX 'gotcha' that I swore I'd never be caught by again. Why doesn't the selected output work with Final Cut Pro X?

Yes I did swear, because I had the idea for writing the article the last time that it happened- and then it has happened again! So hopefully this article is a way of me getting this gotcha into my brain so I don't waste time wondering why my monitoring isn't looking the way it should.

What am I talking about? The broadcast output format selector when you configure the Blackmagic Desktop Video app to work with Final Cut Pro X.

If you only use the monitoring of your computer or headphones, then you might not come across this problem. However, if you need a broadcast output from your Mac via a Blackmagic I/O box or card, then this might seem very familiar.

To get a signal through the broadcast output of Final Cut Pro X, you have to have the A/V Output toggled on.

blackmagic fcpx 01

If you look in the FCPX Playback preferences, it will tell you the signal format that FCPX will send out of the I/O box. This normally feeds a broadcast monitor for example or connects you into a larger  system via an HD-SDI matrix.

blackmagic fcpx 02

Here you can see in FCPX that it's set to the default 720x486 setting from the Blackmagic Desktop Video app. 

No problem, open up the Blackmagic Desktop Video app settings in System Preferences and toggle to the required format. Here we have gone for 1080p at 25 frames a second.

blackmagic fcpx 03

Once saved, we get graphic confirmation that the Blackmagic box should be outputting 1080p.

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All good so far... Actually no. You can restart FCPX and your Mac as much as you like, it will carry on outputting 720x486.

This is the gotcha! To change the format of the output, there is a further dedicated Final Cut Pro X output setting in the Blackmagic Desktop video app.

Just scroll down until you find it.

blackmagic fcpx 03

Once you have that set, restart FCPX and the correct format should be available in the Preferences. Toggle the AV Output on and away you go.

Until the next time you forget that extra preference is there! 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

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I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

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