Exporting to videotape

You can record your edited sequence onto videotape directly from your computer, for example, to create a master tape. When you start a new sequence, you specify the format and quality for the videotape in the Editing Mode area of the New Sequence dialog box.

You can record a sequence directly to videotape on the following devices (decks or camcorders) as specified:

DV devices

On either Windows or Mac OS with a FireWire connection between the device and the computer.

HDV devices

On Windows only with a FireWire connection between the device and the computer.

HD devices

On either Windows or Mac OS, provided your computer has a supported HD capture card, with SDI or HD component connections. Capture and export of HD video also requires serial device control; check the third-party solution provider's manual for details.

Analog devices

On either Windows or Mac OS, provided your computer has a capture card, converter, camcorder, or deck that can convert your sequence to an analog format recordable by the device. Most DV, HDV, and HD cameras; all DV, HDV, and HD videotape recorders; and some capture cards and converters are capable of this conversion. Some digital camcorders require that you first record the sequence to their digital tape, and then playback the tape in the digital camcorder to make the dub to the analog video recorder.

For device control while exporting to analog devices, you must have a device controller installed also.

Many video capture cards include compatible plug-in software that provides a menu command for recording to videotape. If the options you see differ from those described here, refer to your capture card or plug-in documentation for the most efficient way to export to tape.


Before you export a sequence, make sure that all the clips it contains are online.

Prepare for exporting to DV videotape

Before you begin, make sure the recording device (camcorder or deck) is connected to your computer using a FireWire connection.


To give your recording deck additional time before your video sequence starts and after it ends, add black before and after the sequence in the Timeline window. If you plan to have a postproduction facility duplicate your videotapes, add a minimum of 30 seconds of color bars and tone at the beginning of the program to aid in video and audio calibration. (See Create color bars and a 1-kHz tone.)

  1. Connect the device to the computer, turn it on, and set it to VTR, VCR, or Play.
  2. Start Premiere Pro, and open the project.
  3. Choose Sequence > Sequence Settings, and click Playback Settings.
  4. In the Export area of the Playback Settings dialog box, specify the appropriate format in the External Device menu. Choose one of the following settings, and click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.

    DV 29.97i (720 x 480)

    Specifies NTSC DV, which uses a timebase of 29.97 fps and interlaced fields.

    DV 25i (720 x 576)

    Specifies PAL DV, which uses a timebase of 25 fps and interlaced fields.

    DV 23.976i

    Specifies DV 24p (24 progressive) or 24pA (24 progressive advanced), which uses a timebase of 23.976 and interlaced fields (that become progressively scanned frames using a pulldown scheme).

  5. Select a 24p conversion method.
  6. Close other programs that might be running on your computer.

Your computer is now ready to export your sequence directly to tape.

Export a sequence to tape with device control

Before you export to videotape using device control, make sure that both the computer and the camera or deck are set up properly, as you would when capturing video with device control (see Set up device control).

If you’re using equipment that comes with its own software plug-in for use with Premiere Pro, it may provide device control options different from those described here, and in different locations. (For information, see the documentation for the device.)

Before you can export a sequence to an HDV device, you must first transcode it to HDV format. Premiere Pro does this transcoding automatically just before exporting the sequence to an HDV device.


You can export to tape on an HDV device in Windows only, and only with device control over FireWire.

  1. Make sure that your video recording device is on and that the correct tape is in the device. If necessary, locate and note the timecode for the location at which you want to begin recording. (This requires a tape recorded with timecode. See Stripe tape or replace timecode.)
  2. Activate the sequence you want to export, and position the work area bar over the section of the sequence you want to export.

    To place the work area bar over the whole section of the sequence that is visible in the Timeline panel double-click in the space just under the time ruler. To first view the whole sequence, press the backslash (\) key.

  3. Choose File > Export > Export To Tape.
  4. To let Premiere Pro control your deck, select Activate Recording Device and do any of the following:
    • To specify a particular frame on the tape to start recording, select Assemble At Timecode and type the In point. If you don’t select this option, recording begins at the current tape location.

    • To synchronize a device’s timecode with the recording start time, select Delay Movie Start and type the numbers of frames that you want to delay the movie. Some devices need a delay between the time they receive the record command and the time the movie starts playing from the computer.

    • To have Premiere Pro roll the tape before the specified start time so that the deck can attain a constant speed, select Preroll and type the number of frames you want the tape to play before recording begins. For many decks, 150 frames is sufficient.

  5. In the Options section, select any of the following options:

    Abort After Dropped Frames

    Ends export automatically if a specified number of frames is not exported successfully. Specify the number in the box.

    Report Dropped Frames

    Generates a text report alerting you to dropped frames.

    Render Audio Before Export

    Prevents sequences containing complex audio from causing dropped frames during export.

  6. Click Record, or, for HDV devices click Render And Record.

    If exporting to an HDV device, a rendering dialog box will open with a progress bar showing the progress of the transcode to HDV. Typically, export to tape will begin when transcoding is about 50% done.

  7. If you don’t need to perform any more recordings after the Recording Successful message appears in the Status option, click Cancel to close the Export To Tape dialog box.

    If you want to use device control but it’s unavailable, click Cancel. Choose Edit > Preferences, click Device Control, make sure that your device is set up properly in the Device Control options, and click OK. Then try recording to tape again.

Export a sequence to tape without device control

You can export to videotape without device control by operating the playback controls in Premiere Pro and the recording controls on the device itself.


You can export to tape on an HDV device in Windows only, and only with device control.

  1. Activate the sequence you want to export.
  2. Make sure that the sequence plays back on your deck or camera. If it does not, review the steps for preparing for exporting to tape (See Prepare for exporting to DV videotape), or see the documentation for your analog device.

  3. Make sure that the video recording device is in Record-Pause mode, and that the tape is cued to the point where you want to start recording.
  4. Position the current-time indicator at the beginning of the sequence (or work area, as needed).
  5. Press the Record or Pause button on the device, as needed to put the device into Record mode.
  6. Press the Play button in the Program Monitor.
  7. When the program finishes, press the Stop button in the Program Monitor, and then press Stop on the device.


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