View playback on an external video monitor

Final Cut Pro includes an A/V Output option to send video and audio from your computer to an external video monitor. The A/V Output feature shows you how video and audio look and sound on an NTSC/PAL, HD, or 4K monitor. In addition, this feature allows you to test output with sophisticated external devices such as vectorscopes and waveform monitors.

NTSC or PAL output requires compatible third-party video interface hardware and software. 4K output requires a third-party video interface or a 4K-capable Mac with an HDMI output. FireWire DV devices are not supported. For more information about third-party devices and software, contact the device manufacturer or go to the Final Cut Pro X Resources webpage.

View playback on an external monitor using a third-party video interface

  1. Install the video interface hardware and software according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. Connect an external video monitor to the video interface, and make sure the monitor and all other external devices are connected to power and turned on.

  3. To select an A/V output device, choose Final Cut Pro > Preferences (or press Command-Comma), click Playback, and choose the external monitor from the A/V Output pop-up menu.

  4. In Final Cut Pro, choose Window > A/V Output.

    The Viewer contents appear on the broadcast monitor. Viewer features (such as onscreen controls and the title-safe and action-safe overlays) can be viewed only in Final Cut Pro.

    Note: Video and audio are synced at the video frame (not audio sample) level.

    Viewer contents appearing on external monitor connected via third-party interface

    To turn off A/V output, choose Window > A/V Output.

View playback on an external monitor using HDMI

If you’re using Final Cut Pro 10.1 or later on a 4K-capable Mac with an HDMI port, you can play 4K or HD 1080 video on an external video monitor connected to the HDMI port.

For a list of compatible Mac computers, see Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Mac Computers Capable of Monitoring 4K Video via HDMI.

  1. Use an HDMI cable to connect the external (HDMI) video monitor to the HDMI port on your Mac, and make sure the monitor is connected to power and turned on.

  2. To configure the HDMI monitor, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and click Displays.

  3. In Displays preferences, set the HDMI monitor to be a secondary display.

  4. Select Scaled, and in the list that appears, select 4096 x 2160, 3840 x 2160, 1080i, or 1080p.

    Note: You may need to press the Option key while you click Scaled to see additional resolutions for the HDMI monitor.

  5. To select the monitor in Final Cut Pro, choose Final Cut Pro > Preferences (or press Command-Comma), click Playback, and choose the HDMI monitor from the A/V Output pop-up menu.

  6. In Final Cut Pro, choose Window > A/V Output.

    The Viewer contents appear on the HDMI monitor. Viewer features (such as onscreen controls and the title-safe and action-safe overlays) can be viewed only in Final Cut Pro.

    Note: Video and audio are synced at the video frame (not audio sample) level.

    Viewer contents appearing on external HDMI monitor

    To turn off A/V output, choose Window > A/V Output.