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Old November 30th, 2007, 02:05 PM   #1
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Mid-Range system for Prospect HD / Premiere Pro

Hi

I am looking to upgrade my HDV editing system at a moderate cost - say equivalent to US1500 aprox. At the same time I want to solve some of the problems I never really overcame with my previous system - in particular effective monitoring out of Premiere.

My camera is a Sony HVR Z1P however I may in the next couple of years upgrade to the new EX1.

I have been using Aspect but I will probably upgrade to Prospect HD to allow better headroom for color correction.

I really do not know much about hardware configuration so I want a simple solution.

On the monitoring front I would like to be able to run a single widescreen LCD for my main PC display plus a single HD TV monitor able to run HD video from the timeline out of Premiere. Would something like the NVidia 8800GT be a suitable choice? Am I still going to have problems with the paused video displaying differently from the played video which I gather was a fault in my existing NVidia graphics card?

On the HD video monitoring front I have read suggestions that a 1900 x 1200 PC LCD will do. Perhaps this is a relict of now outdated experience from the past but surely TV colorspace is quite different from PC colorspace, in particular TV having much more extreme contrast, so that color balancing within a PC colorspace will blow all the highlights and dark areas when displayed on a TV. Cost constraints mean that I will still have to color balance using an ordinary HDTV monitor but is that not still a better choice rather than running an ordinary second LCD monitor.

Any suggestions on processor and motherboard?

Any help much appreciated. I live in New Zealand so solutions will have to be not too recent and not too exotic.

Andrew Hall
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Old November 30th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #2
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The Intel Core2 Q6600 2.4 Ghz Quad core is a good mid range solution. I can't recommend a Geforce8 Card if you want fullscreen video overlay for monitoring, but the color shift problem has been solved. You need a Geforce7 card, or a Quadro Card, or and ATI card in order to utilize Prospect's accelerated fullscreen output to a secondary display.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:03 PM   #3
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Hi Mike

I rather hoped you would respond, I have been reading your articles on your website which are very interesting and informative.

Can you explain to me about monitoring - when does an external monitor display in PC colorspace and when does it display in TV colorspace or is this a non issue?

Also what would be your preference amongst the cards you mention?

Thanks a lot

Andrew
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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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The color space issue can be tricky, but it is a calibration issue. PC monitors can closely approximate REC.709 HD color space when properly calibrated, assuming you have a decent LCD display. (No discount 6bit panels)

For the cards, that depends on a number of things. Do you need HDCP compatibility for HDDVD and BluRay playback. Do you need a powerful card for any 3D work? Any limits based on how you plan to color correct? (Magic Bullet is said to work better on certain cards) ATI doesn't allow spanning like Nvidia, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for you. If you use Prospect or Aspect, the no Geforce8 limit is pretty significant.

Getting a 7600GT should be fine if you have no other requirements or limitations.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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Thanks again Mike. So with a second monitor I can choose a color profile to match REC.709 and it will show video in TV colors? If so great.

But as an alternative, can I output to a good LCD TV anyway - might be useful in my cramped workspace.

"Do you need HDCP compatibility for HDDVD and BluRay playback. "

Sounds like this would be useful, although my main thought has simply been I need to be able write to one of HDDVD or BluRay (which of these do you feel is the better choice), and once done then I am set as far as PC based work.

3D - no.

I plan to correct color within Premiere Pro using the Aspect / Prosepct real-time filters. Nothing fancy at all.

On the CPU front I have found:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Processor 2.660Ghz LGA775 8M Cache NZ$700

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Processor 2.40Ghz G0 Stepping $NZ400

Cost-wise either of these looks ok.

Andrew
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Old November 30th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #6
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Cineform's CCR is limited but very fast. Not limit there besides no GF8. I am not sure if there are HDCP compatible Geforce7 Cards. The 7950GT is the only one I can find right now that does. ATI should work fine for you if you can't get a 7950GT. The x1#00 series or above should be fine. If you get one with HDMI out, you can even hook it directly to a consumer HDTV. And you should be able to use that to watch HighDef discs if you get a burner for your system. No comment on the HD vs BR thing besides that I have a BluRay writer for EncoreCS3, but have had no successful discs yet.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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"I have a BluRay writer for EncoreCS3, but have had no successful discs yet."

Hmm, that is interesting. Have there been problems?
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Old November 30th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #8
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I have been having issues, but haven't had time to narrow it down. Not sure if it is the burner or the player or Encore or what. I uploaded new firmware to the burner. Just one more thing on the 2Do list.
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Old November 30th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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As a matter of interest why is the 8800GT not suitable?

I have been looking at the 7950GT and it seems that while some have a passive cooling system, the ones I have found available in NZ so far all have big fans on them. I have a strong preference for quiet systems.

Other than that the 7950GT looks good. Does it matter much which make is chosen?

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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:10 AM   #10
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Ahhh, I just read a thread in the Premiere forum - so Prospect appears not to like the 8800GT, but apparently Aspect + Premiere is OK. Is this correct?

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Old December 1st, 2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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No, my understanding is that Cineform in general does not play well with the card. The card disabled hardware overlay for external monitoring, if you are using another card, such as an Aja, for preview purposes, or not using external monitoring, it shouldn't matter to you.

But the card's disabled hardware overlay means that in Vista (you can do a workaround to get it kind-of working in XP) you will not be able to preview to an external monitor.

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Old December 1st, 2007, 12:26 PM   #12
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Yes the GeForce8 series has issues with fullscreen hardware overlay. This is what Cineform uses to give you a fullscreen preview on your second monitor. So I would avoid the Geforce8 series, and yes, they are the most powerful cords on the market by a long shot. You don't need the power, you need the features. (RGB and YUV overlay, HDCP, Dual DVI, maybe HDMI, etc.)
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Old December 1st, 2007, 03:22 PM   #13
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Sorry to keep harping on. Last time I built my system I didn't keep asking the questions and I ended up with something that did not do what I wanted. I am trying to avoid that this time.

I am using XP so is the 7950 still the right choice.

Mike, where you say "you need the features. (RGB and YUV overlay, HDCP, Dual DVI, maybe HDMI, etc.)" is that in relation to the 8800 or the 7950.

Incidentally how are you approaching this issue for yourself Mike, do you use full screen external monitoring?

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:18 AM   #14
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The ATI HD 2000 pro series of cards will support hardware overlay via both DVI ports (I have the HD2600 Pro AGP 512MB). The latest catalyst software (ATI's control panel software), supports extended, clone and spanning desktops. Including a "theater" mode which is the same as Nvidia's full screen video overlay on second monitor feature.

The HD cards also have dedicated audio hardware, and with an adaptor, you can convert a DVI port to an HDMI with the audio stream included. These cards are primarily targeted for HD home theater enthusiast.

It's put new life into an old workstation otherwise destined for the dump. Not to mention that my game play now allows me to crank up Call of duty 4 to the maximum settings, including all the eye candy such as DOF, glow, etc.

I do get decent video overlay for editing with prospect HD projects, but this is an old 3GHz Dual Xeon workstation, and with a 7505 chipset with a lowely 533MHz FSB. That is, my editing preview is limited by the chipset and not the GPU. Otherwise, it's comparable to an old QuadroFX 1000 it replaced.

The ATI supports directX 10, shader model 4, and plays well with Lightwave 3d v9.3 Not too bad an upgrade for only $99.

It's unfortunate that Nvidia limits (via drivers) upper end features in their game cards that your adverage ATI will support right out of the box.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 01:20 PM   #15
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I currently have an 8800GTX, and I get no fullscreen overlay. I have a 30" LCD though, so I can get Pixel for pixel within a GUI window if desired. I have a Quadro3400 I can swap back in if needed, that should support the overlay.
At work, I use AJA Xena cards for fullscreen output, with SDI->DVI convertors.
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