This isn't really a user setting. Capture brings in the data from tape exactly as is, whatever it is.
so it wouldnt matter on the graphics processor on the laptop im using..it will capture however it was recorded...
The tapes could have HDV on them and not DV, something to consider. Strange that your cameraman refuses to tell you what he recorded.
Have you tried playing back the tapes in your camera or deck? There's the possibility of non-compatibility, as some cameras record funky versions of 24p that another brand of camera can't play. Or trying to play 720p HDV in a camera that does 1080i, etc.