Project settings become a bit less intuitive if you're capturing analog video or using video files from some other source, such as a CD-ROM.
When you capture analog video, Premiere will need to not only convert it to a digital format but "compress" it as well. Your choice of codecs is limited to QuickTime (usually used on Macs) and Video for Windows. Again, select a project setting that matches your source video, with the caveat that the codec should match your project's planned video output device. Here are some points to keep in mind:
If you're working with D1 or other high-end professional analog video, select 720x480.
If you plan to record your edited project back to an analog tape?VHS, Hi-8, Beta SP?either 720x480 or 640x480 should work fine.
If you're going to play back your video from a CD-ROM, 640x480 works well.
Your choice between Video for Windows and QuickTime may not be all that critical, but as a rule of thumb Mac users should stick to QuickTime.
One workaround to dealing with analog video and all its associated unpredictability is to convert your legacy analog tapes to DV. Most DV camcorders have analog Video In inputs. You simply can dub your analog tape to DV by connecting the two camcorders and recording from the analog camcorder to the digital video camcorder. If your analog camcorder offers S-Video Out, use that instead of composite. Composite video uses an RCA jack (the same as the audio jacks), and S-Video uses a four-pin plug. In either case, don't forget to record audio as well as use the left and right (white and red) outlets/inputs.
You can tweak the heck out of the project settings by clicking the Custom button to open an interface with a drop-down list that lets you adjust general, video, audio, keyframe and rendering, or capture settings. See Figure 2.5 for an example. This is for projects with very specific source clips or output requirements.