Unsure about a frame rate issue. I’m working in Europe using PAL. I get a lot of quicktime video files (inc guide track) that have a frame rate of 29.97. This is not NTSC. I don’t use an external monitor. I set the frame rate to 29.97 in the setup page in Protools. It will show red if I don’t match to the same rate. I have a few questions. If I don’t use an external firewire monitor does it matter whether I change this frame rate rate or not. When I send the bounced master track back to the video editor does he not have to play the final video for broadcast at 25fps. Would this not cause a mis match. I’m confused as my audio matches the omf that the video editor sent but she says that it is out of sync with their picture. Anyone have any ideas?
If you're working with an NTSC reference video for a program that's supposed to be in PAL, you're going to run into problem...i.e. that sync issue you mentioned. The first thing you should do is check with the editor to confirm what the program's final format is supposed to be. If it's truly PAL, and they sent you an NTSC file (which 29.97 is), then they need to send you a video, AND OMF, with the correct frame rate. If, as Ian suggested, their timeline is set to the incorrect frame-rate, there are potentially larger problems waiting to happen on the back end of the project. Get that workflow sorted out before a ton of confusion hits!
As to the frame-rate setting...yes, it matters. Depending on the audio format you output, there may be a frame-rate stamp in the metadata of the file. The video editing software will notice this, and it will affect the playback rate of the file. Unfortunately, 1 second real-time does not always equal one-second in video time...especially in NTSC. Get everyone on the same frame-rate: editing software timeline, reference video and OMF, and DAW session. This will prevent sync drift (non-matching start and end points) and slippy internal sync (timing differences between audio and video elements, even though start and end points match).
Note: If the editor is using Final Cut, there are some other potential problem points that I can explain. It may be unnecessary though. Start with the frame-rate problem and see if that takes care of things.