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HVR-V1U and FCP digitizing problems

I have a Sony HVR-V1U camcorder.
I'm using FCP 7.03 software.
Ever since I can remember, I've had trouble digitizing HDV footage.
Using the camera as a source deck, the video constantly creates several clips out of a single take without rhyme nor reason. A two minute clip will end up being 3 pieces of video with short gaps of missing video. It's as if there was a "time code break" within the clip causing it to be broken up into 3 separate pieces. But there is no time code break. I have to go back and capture the missing 5-6 second gaps and I never receive an error from those sections. FCP just seems to constantly "hiccup" during an HDV capture.
Someone mentioned to me that FCP has a hard time digesting the HDV signal. I've tried capturing using the Apple Intermediate Codec and while I get a bigger file, I still have broken video for no reason. So, my question is:
1. anyone else having this problem?
2. is there another software solution that will capture HDV properly?
3. Is there a cheap piece of hardware that will help translate/capture the HDV out or the HDMI out of the camera?
4. I'm considering purchasing the Sony HVR-MRC1K external memory recording unit. I assume that by transferring these files I'll avoid the tape digitizing problem. Does anyone have experience with this external unit and has it improved the "digitizing" process?
Thanks in advance,
Chris M.

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