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Old March 26th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #1
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What Laptop To Edit HDV

I have Sony FX1. I was looking at different laptops. You can buy Sony and Dell laptops with 1920 pixel wide screen but the processor only 2 Gbits. Dell has 7200 prm 60 GB HD. The processors are Pentium M.

Is it enough for editing and viewing footage full speed? How many streams can you have for editing at real speed?

Is Premiere or Vegas better? What is the difference?

Radek
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Old March 26th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: What Laptop To Edit HDV

<<<-- Originally posted by Radek Svoboda : I have Sony FX1. I was looking at different laptops. You can buy Sony and Dell laptops with 1920 pixel wide screen but the processor only 2 Gbits. Dell has 7200 prm 60 GB HD. The processors are Pentium M.

Is it enough for editing and viewing footage full speed? How many streams can you have for editing at real speed?

Is Premiere or Vegas better? What is the difference?

Radek -->>>

I have a Toshiba P-20 3.2Ghz P-IV laptop with 17" WS LCD and 80Gb HD.
I use it for live monitoring and on-site capturing and pre-processing of HDV from the FX-1e and HD-10u, so it obviously does the job.
The usual base limit for being able to view HD is 2.4Ghz P-IV, but I feel the FX-1's 25Mbit data stream needs just a bit more grunt. Remember that any P-IV based laptop will chew through battery life like it's going out of style, so you need to research your needs thoroughly before deciding on the machine that best suits your requirements...and don't forget it's got to have Firewire!!!

As for the choice of NLE.... I prefer Vegas to Premiere. Why? Because Vegas offered better HD processing and rendering options prior to Premiere doing so, and to my mind, the Vegas interface is easier to come to grips with. I'd been using Premiere for about 4-5yrs and still found some of the interface analogies inconsistent, but I picked up Vegas very quickly because of the logic behind the interface and workflow.

I'd suggest you get the Demo versions of both if you haven't already and see which fits your personal preferences.... Don't just take my word for it!!!
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Old March 27th, 2005, 01:22 AM   #3
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At this time the obvious software choice for editing HDV footage on a laptop is Premiere Pro with the Cineform Aspect HD plugin, which offers more real-time functionality than Vegas.

Regarding hardware, get the fastest laptop you can find for working with HDV, but take heed of Steve's comments about battery life. My 2.8 GHz Sony Vaio can crank out DV projects no problem as long as it's plugged in via AC, but switch to battery power and the darn thing shuts down in about 20-30 minutes. I haven't tried it yet for HDV editing but have been told it should support real-time editing using Cineform.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 06:46 AM   #4
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Thank you. So you need 2.4 GHz Pentium 4. Is the M version that goes to notebooks OK? Does Vegas or Premiere need 2.4 GHz? Is 5400 rpm HD enough? How much RAM do you need? How do you field monitor with laptop? How do you hook it up? Is it high definition?

Radek
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Old March 27th, 2005, 09:49 AM   #5
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A fast Pentium-M should work much like a fast Pentium-4 in a laptop using Aspect HD. Go with the 2.13Ghz Pentium-M with the fastest memory (1GB or more) for a good compromise between battery life and speed. Laptop drives are the weakest element so do choose a 7200RPM drive.
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Old March 27th, 2005, 11:57 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Radek Svoboda :

How do you field monitor with laptop? How do you hook it up? Is it high definition?

Radek -->>>

I use VLC (Video Lan Client - a free app that's a must have if you're a serious HDV proponent) to view exactly what the cam is 'seeing' via firewire connection.

If the laptop you get has an LCD with high enough resolution (preferably WXGA) then you will be seeing HD quality images, though they may actually be scaled down in the FX-1's case.

My Toshiba has a WXGA LCD of 1440 X 900 resolution, so the FX-1's HD image/clips are scaled, but still look more than impressive!!
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Old March 28th, 2005, 06:37 AM   #7
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I use a Sager laptop for my HDV editing..it is a P IV 3.6 Ghz with 2 GB RAM and a 60 GB (7200rpm) hard drive and another G-RAID connected to a FW800 port.The LCD is WSXGA.
I think Cineform Aspect HD with Premiere is the best for laptops at the moment...
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Old March 28th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #8
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Thank you. Now, if I get a laptop with 5400 rpm HD, can I put in 7200 rpm 60 GB drive; would it always fit? Also is USB or firewire drive as fast as a built in drive?
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Old March 28th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #9
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Radek,

Laptop drives should all the the same form-factor, so replacing the 5400 with a 7200rpm drive is a good option. External Firewire is not recommended if you are sharing the same Firewire bus as the camera (this can cause bandwidth/stability issues.) You can add a PCCard Firewire port to add a second bus, or you can add SATA drives the same way (adding a SATA PCCard for very high performance.) USB2.0 may work -- however this is a "polled" bus, can cause issues if the CPU is very busy (which it will be.)
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Old March 29th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #10
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Thank you David. Is 1440x900 pixel notebook screen good enough for online editing or you need notebook with 1920x1200? pixels?

Radek

P.S.

Camera is FX1.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #11
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The bigger the display area the better, remember Premiere will take up most of the display area (video window is always smaller.)
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:51 AM   #12
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This means 1920 should be minimum resolution?

Can you make video fill whole screen, just to check quality? What's difference between Vegas and Premiere in this respect?

If you have 1600x1200 screen, can video play accross and have lower or the upper area devoted to other stuff?

If video plays accross, what size of strip do you need on bottom/top to dispaly rest of the information. Some monitors have 16:10 aspect ratio. Is that enough?

How do colors compare to good CRT based HD monitor? Is notebook LCD, or LCD overall, good enough to do color correction?
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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #13
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No, your can work with any monitor (1280x1024 is a good minimum.) Neither Vegas or Premiere are set up for easy full screen testing on a single display (you need dual head graphic cards for that -- some laptops do have these.)

Vegas and Premiere are both good applications with followers for both products. For CineForm acceleration Aspect HD makes Premiere several times faster than Connect HD makes Vegas faster.

Most LCDs are not considered particularly good for color correction, but if you can calibrate them (somehow) they can be used. It is best to use a external S-Video or DVI output to a calibrated CRT display (full screen.)
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Old April 16th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #14
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I'm looking at a laptop for my next computer too (an Asus Z71V).. I'm seriously considering a Pentium M ~1.7ghz, 1-2gb ram, 80gb (5400 rpm) hd. I might eventually upgrade the hd to an SATA hd when they become available for laptops (the laptop I'm looking at does support SATA hd's).

I havn't used HDV yet, but I know that I will eventually. I'm sure the laptop will be fine for SD video, but will it be ok for HDV? I'm mainly worried about the CPU and HD being able to keep up.

I am trying to keep this under $2000 which is why I'm not going with a faster CPU. That or if the AMD Turion systems start showing up soon and aren't too much more expensive, I may opt for one of those.

There is also a P4 DTR laptop that is around the same price.. it sounds like that would be a better choice for HDV editing, but I would like more than 1 hour of battery life since I won't be editing HDV ALL the time..
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Old April 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #15
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<<<- I use VLC (Video Lan Client - a free app that's a must have if you're a serious HDV proponent) to view exactly what the cam is 'seeing' via firewire connection.
-->>>

Steve - the setup for VLC to use it for live streaming over firewire not very clear. Any easy guides?

David
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