Is there a reason timecode in Final Cut 7 and timecode in Pro Tools starts at the 1 hour mark? eg. 01:00:00:00? As opposed to all zeros? Some old broadcast standard that I don't know about?

  • 1
    You can change it to all zeros by going to Sequence>Settings>Timeline Options>Starting Timecode and change the 1 to a 0.
    – Murphy
    Jan 10, 2017 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


It's to leave room before first picture, for slates, countdowns, test signals etc, while still preserving an easy count of running time for the video. Yes, it traces historically to broadcast and in particular videotape.

Many tape-based editing systems couldn't deal with 24-hour wraparound, so the next even hour became traditional 'time zero'. I suspect that most non-linear systems are the same.

  • This is correct, because typically a leader starts at 00:59:50:00 and your two pop is at 00:59:58:00 Apr 1, 2013 at 18:41
  • Starting at 10:00:00:00 is also widely used.
    – mivk
    Nov 22, 2015 at 13:52
  • Useful answer thank you, but the phrase "next even hour" is rather confusing. Do you not mean "next whole hour"?
    – Ray
    Jul 4, 2020 at 12:11
  • 1
    @Ray - 'next even hour' wasn't meant as 'next even-numbered' hour, just next non-ragged time slot, next hour-aligned time, etc. But I agree that it might be better to say 'next whole hour', 'first non-zero hour' or similar..
    – Jim Mack
    Jul 4, 2020 at 14:07

Some projects use the hours field as a reel/tape/memory card indicator. Many cameras permit setting the TC hours number arbitrarily to support this usage. You could set the hours number in Pro Tools or FCP to conform to such a system if required.

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