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Old August 24th, 2002, 01:15 PM   #1
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Ready to order Avid XDV

I'm ready to order my editing system. I've decided on Avid Express DV. Since I'm a bit challenged when it comes to the requirements I will order a pre-configured system. I'm not sure if I need the Powerpack bundle or not. ???? It looks like I'm going to spend $7,000 (ouch!) or so by the time I'm finished with edit deck and monitors and whatever else. The only place I've looked is DVline, any recommendations for other venders? (that guy never seems to be in and I'm hard to catch for a return call.) Help! I'm lost in the sea of technical jargon. Any help at all would be much appreciated, you guys were so much help when I was putting together field gear!!!

Becky
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Old August 24th, 2002, 03:07 PM   #2
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I've heard good things about DVLine and DVora.

BTW, you mentioned you're not sure if you need the Power Pack bundle...

If you plan to edit film at all you will need Filmscribe. The Power Pack also comes with full version Boris FX and Graffiti, if you don't already have third party FX software like Boris, it would be wise to pick it up. Xpress is fairly bare bones when it comes to effects functionality. Also included w/the Power Pack is Illusion FX, but in my opinion it's useless. All it consists of is 30 or so Fisher Price like video filters.

If you have money left over, buy After Effects.
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Old August 25th, 2002, 08:31 AM   #3
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Thanks, I needed that...

I just needed a little push to go with the Power Pack. I don't know if I'll be editing for film or not. So far everything I've done has been for video or broadcast. I've used Boris FX and love it, although it doesn't agree with the system that I use currently. I've been editing with Speed Razor. It could be a config problem, or a bad board. That's where I'm a bit shaky. That and hardware requirements. I'm jumping in w/o a lifesaver here. I'll figure it out as time goes on. I'm going freelance soon, it's scary but exciting.

Any suggestions for memory and hard drive? Is 5400 rpm enough?

Becky
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Old August 25th, 2002, 09:29 AM   #4
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Becky,

54's will do the job, but it's a good idea to go with 72's to ensure all the realtime features will work.
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Old August 25th, 2002, 11:45 AM   #5
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What is a break-out box?

Ok, 72 it is. Can anyone tell me what a break-out box is for? I will be adding a deck (minidv/svhs) to the budget and also hope for a decent video monitor (NTSC). Is there anything else I need to consider? Please bear with my technical inexpertise. Any suggestions for an affordable deck? I'm looking at the JVC SR-VS20U. Thanks!!!

Becky
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Old August 25th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #6
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Break out boxes (BOB) are how video and audio get into the computer. It will have traditional video and audio inputs (XLR, BNC, RCA) and computer outputs on the backside. It allows the cables to run more efficiantly and be closer to decks etc. The JVC is a 20 inch monitor and in my opinion too large for the average editing studio. I prefer 13 or 14 inch monitors most of the time. I even use 8 inch monitors in small studios when I'm right on top of them. Sony and Panasonic both have nice entry level decks. Check with the computer vendor, some systems do better with one model or brand over another. You might give Brian at Zotz http://www.zotzdigital.com/ They are a sponsor here and could do a turn key sytem that is completely tested before you even get it. give him a call and let him see what he can do for you with your budget.

Jeff
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Old August 25th, 2002, 03:55 PM   #7
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Re: What is a break-out box?

<<<-- Originally posted by Becky1313 : Ok, 72 it is. Can anyone tell me what a break-out box is for? I will be adding a deck (minidv/svhs) to the budget and also hope for a decent video monitor (NTSC). Is there anything else I need to consider? Please bear with my technical inexpertise. Any suggestions for an affordable deck? I'm looking at the JVC SR-VS20U. Thanks!!!

Becky -->>>

If you're going to get a mini-dv deck you won't need a break out box/transcoder. You will be able to use the inputs/outputs on the back of the deck to run your NTSC client monitor, though you will get NO realtime functionality going firewire out. You can however get realtime functionality in your client monitor if you use the "Mcfly" method, though the resolution is extremely poor. To achieve the Mcfly method you need a video card like the Matrox G550, simply attach your monitor to the S composite cable adapter (from video card), configure and *VIOLA* you have realtime client monitor straight from your video card.

Remember, get lots of RAM. Avid likes RAM, so will your 3rd party effects programs. 7200RPM Western Digital harddrives are a good value. You will need one harddrive for your OS and one drive for video storage. RAID isn't recommended with Xpress, so don't worry about striping your drives. The most important thing to remember is...Xpress is about the pickiest...most hardware intensive pieces of software I have ever seen. Make sure all of you're components are supported by Avid. I built a dual AMD system, and Avid tech support refuses to help me 'cause I am using non-supported hardware. BTW, my AMD processors were not the problem, they actually work great with Xpress.

Oh and stay away from mobos with the PCI and MPX chipset!
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Old August 28th, 2002, 04:50 PM   #8
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<<<-- Oh and stay away from mobos with the PCI and MPX chipset! -->>>

What makes you say that? Is there official word from Avid or any of it's users that AMD's MPX is no good for it?

Would like to know as MPX is at the moment the only viable option for Dual Athlon Mobos.
Many thanks,

Kai.
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Old August 28th, 2002, 05:20 PM   #9
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AMD isn't supported by Avid whatsoever.

The MPX chipsets have a PCI bus timing issue. If you are doing alot of data transferring like you would encounter while editing audio and video these mobos are not so good.

This is a well documented problem, just ask around.

Some people are reporting stable systems using this chipset, but most people with bus intensive boxes are not so lucky.
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Old August 29th, 2002, 02:36 PM   #10
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Ok, you lost me...

I guess it's a good thng I'm getting a preconfigured system since I don't understand the jargon. Anything I need to watch out for with a pre-built system? I'm working with ZotzDigital on a quote for a system. Thanks for the tip. Brian sounded great! I needed someone who can steer me right. I will ask him about real-time viewing, the matrox card you mentioned. Is a mobo a motherboard? Is there any reason I should consider Apple instead of PC?

Becky
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Old August 29th, 2002, 05:09 PM   #11
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Re: Ok, you lost me...

<<<-- Originally posted by Becky1313 : Is there any reason I should consider Apple instead of PC? Becky -->>>

Well, some people swear by Apple. To be fair to them, Final Cut Pro is very good software, and now with OS X they have a decent OS too.
But; for the same money you get a lot more performance in the Wintel world. Don't let a few Photoshop benchmarks dazzle your perception; the G4 (Apple's current chip) is very good at one or two things that completely throw off Photoshop benchmarks, especially when comparing with P4's. Against a well configured Athlon no P4 stands a chance. This is btw talking about raw processing power I talk about, but the same holds true for graphics also.
This is still true btw now that all new Mac come with Dual Processors.
But generally, for just doing some editing and minor effects, anything you buy now will make you happy in terms of performance. So if you are more comfortable working with a Mac - get one, and don't let anyone talk you out of it. If you don't really make much of the different interfaces etc by all means go get something that has Windows XP on it, because when you start to do more intense stuff like fancy 3D effects or FilmFX etc you will want the most processing power you can get.
I personally left Macs a long time ago (early 90's) and haven't looked back.
Hope this helps.

Kai.

PS: http://www.digitalvideoediting.com/2002/07_jul/features/cw_macvspc2.htm has some interesting reading on the subject.
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Old August 29th, 2002, 05:10 PM   #12
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Bugger! Meant to say against a well configured Athlon no _Mac_ stands a chance of course!!!


Kailee.
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Old August 29th, 2002, 06:42 PM   #13
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There are many reasons to consider a Mac. Post the question in the Mac forum and you'll get many opinions on that subject. I personally use a Mac for my own projects. I freelance as an editor (certified Avid editor and instructor) and use many different types of computers at clients locations. I use them in a work enviorment and do not personally maintain them. Almost universally the computers that were part of a turn key package perform more reliably than end user assembled computers. If you are comfortable with Brian and his organization that means a great deal. Trust is what its all about. I have edited on Macs since the early '90s (PCs couldn't even run Avid software, too slow). I just purchased Avid Xpress DV 3.5 for Mac to see how it compares to FCP and its too early for me to comment. I will say, however, that I find editing on a Mac faster and more intuitive.

Jeff
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Old August 30th, 2002, 03:14 AM   #14
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Just so you know the MPX chipset isn't the only dual AMD based chipset available. Although its newer in terms of release, it originally had USB problems - now fixed with newer shipping boards - and many users have reported incompatibility problems with the MPX chipsets and Canopus cards. This is in addition to the PCI bus problems. Avoid it. But there is another chipset available if you seriously want to go dual AMD.

The first dual AMD chipset (a chipset is responsible for a motherboard's features, and determines what kind of processor, memory, etc the motherboard will support) is the MP chipset. These are what powers many pre-built dual AMD editing systems like those at DVLine. They use the Tyan Tiger MP board (not the Tyan Tiger MPX) which is based on the MP chipset and has been out for quite some time now. Its considered more mature than the MPX chipset and is probably the reason why its used for editing as opposed to the MPX one. The only motherboard manufacturer that uses the MP chipset is Tyan.

If you decide to go with a pre-built system, and it is a dual AMD setup, then this is most likely the chipset and motherboard you will get.
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Old September 3rd, 2002, 03:35 PM   #15
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<<<-- Almost universally the computers that were part of a turn key package perform more reliably than end user assembled computers. -->>>

I can't agree with this statement. I have been succesfully building my own NLE's for the past 3 years, and they have all performed well. And I am no computer expert. I would agree though that knowing your way around a computer is a prerequisite. I have an XDV 3.5 system that I recently built, and it is performing flawlessly. The money I saved over a Mac system enabled me to purchase other needs.
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