What are your project settings?
If you're using DV project settings, the video will be captured at 720x480 and should look identical to the original footage. (I'm not sure what you mean by your captured footage looking "half the resolution of what I just captured."
What is your original footage coming from.
Right-click the monitor window and check that Playback Quality is set to Highest and Magnification to 100%. Also, if using an LCD monitor, make sure that windows is using its 'native resolution'. e.g. if your monitor is 1280x800 make sure that your screen resolution is also 1280x800.
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That was helpful, thanks. I was not aware of the right-click on the monitor window (It was set to 200%). That cleared the monitor window right up. I was also not aware of the Safe Area function which saves cropping or clipping later.
I experimented with different export formats. Seems the MObile\Iphone even when choosing the high quality is a killer. If I export to DV STD or WideScreen I get the results I am looking for although file size is roughtly twice that of the Mobile settings but of course the resolution is higher and size is greater. But this will do what I need.
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The two "Safe Areas," Title Safe (inner rectangle) and Action Safe (outer rectangle), are just a bit of a "holdover" from the days of CRT TV's, that had quite a bit of overscan. Consumer TV's showed far less of the full Raster, than did Broadcast Monitors, that showed 100%, or very nearly, the full Raster. With HD TV's, which are much closer to full Raster, they are a bit less important, so long as one's output will be played only on computer monitors, or one HD TV's, with almost full Raster display. However, and even with current HD TV's, there can still be some overscan, so it is good practice to keep all important action, and Titles, within those ranges. This is especially true, if any viewers still have CRT TV's. Even then, they are but guides, and do not appear in the final output. They are there to tell the editor to keep things within those guides, for the viewer's best experiences. One never wants important action, or especially Titles, to appear beyond what the viewer's monitor/TV is capable of reproducing. Some editors adjust those guides from their default of about 10% (Action Safe) and 20% (Title Safe) of the full Video Frame.
Hope that explains those guides, and how they are used.