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Old January 29th, 2010, 03:26 AM   #1
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Capture/Hardware Question


1.) I'm going to be building a system soon and I had a question. Is it worth it to buy a card/box like the matrox mxo2 that would allow me to capture via component/hdmi?? Currently I'm capturing via firewire. Is there a big difference visually? Btw I am using Premiere CS3/prospectHD and shooting on a JVChd200.

2.) In building this new system, I am going to take advice i got from this board and purchase the best graphics card I can afford, which would be the nvidia4800 w/ the elemental accelerator. My question is, on an i7 machine with 12g of ram, would this setup be fast enough to use without installing prospecthd? The reason im wondering this is because of some of the issues ive been reading with prospect/cs4.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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Old January 29th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #2
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I think your best option would be a Mac with Nehalem Processors, save the money on the Quadro 4800 and get a Decklink card, so you can capture analog and HDMI.

The 4800 card offers no real advantage when editing, the Geforce 275 has the same cuda processors and will give you a very similar performance for a fraction of the price.

Final Cut is a much better option for editors, Adobe has a lot of limitations that makes your work a real pain in the ass. And you can benefit from using both plattforms and Apple and Adobe packages on the same system.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, Marc.

There is no advantage to capturing HDV-acquired footage via component or HDMI. I'd save the money and stick with firewire transcoded to Cineform.

Sergio is obviously a Mac man. That's cool. I edit on FCP at work. At home I'm a PC/Adobe guy. I don't want to turn this thread into a "my NLE can beat up your NLE" debate, but I do have to say that each software has limitation and once you know the work-arounds to each, you can do anything. One isn't better than the other. They are simply different. He is spot on about the advantage of having both softwares available for the Mac. That might be worth it in some situations especially if you're a FCP editor who wants to do some Bluray!

That said, let's move on. As far as the i7 not needing Cineform, remember that Cineform isn't just a codec that lets you edit easier. It's a full-on digital intermediate that manipulates the color space for easier and better compositing and a wavelet compression to boot which stands up better when rendering multiple generations of FX work and color grading. I'd still use Cineform.

As for the CS4 thing, if you haven't already spent the money and feel you have to justify the cost by using it, just stick with CS3. I did. Works great.
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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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Hi Marc,
Unless you're capturing live, you're better off capturing via firewire. Also, the Matrox solution won't let you capture directly to CineForm anyhow.

Another option is a Blackmagic Intensity Pro which allows live HDMI and component capture. Again, it's no advantage unless it's a live capture. The other benefit to you would be First Light monitoring over HDMI or component.

An AJA card would give you all those benefits, plus timeline monitoring in your Prospect projects under CS3.

As for that hardware, that will run CS3 + Prospect beautifully. If you haven't yet purchased CS4, don't. That machine is also fast enough to handle CineForm under CS4, even given its limitations, but that's unnecessary. CineForm + CS3 works brilliantly. If you're sticking with CS3, then there's no need for a fancy graphics card. If you're aiming at CS5, I'd follow Sergio's advice in regards to the 275.

If you want to switch to a Mac, that's up to you. If you can run Parallels or Fusion and have a Windows install running along with Mac OS X, then you can still use your CS3 + Prospect solution whenever you'd like.
Tim Bucklin
CineForm Software Engineer
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Old January 29th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the insightful responses. I am still a novice when it comes to the more technical/computer side of production, so all of this new info I am just eating up.

I already purchased the CS4 Production premium just because it was a great price with my Student ID, however, I still can use PPCS3 on my machine.

Anyway, one of the reasons I was getting the 4800 was because some of the advice I got that it would work well with the CS5 version and of course to get the best card I could afford, however, if what your saying about the 275 is right, I would gladly love to save the $1000 or so difference.. if it will give me similar performances...

Also, which version of Windows 7 would you guys suggest for the CS4 Prospect duo?
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #6
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Im not a Mac man, in fact Ive been doing all my work in Win PCs all my life, the last version of FCP Ive used was version 2 and I didnt love it and there was no real difference between Premiere and FCP... But after the problems I had the last six months and all the money Im loosing, Ill have to switch to Mac for my next projects... And If you want to laugh for a while, I am sponsored by Adobe, so Im supposed to lie and tell you its great. But Im not a liar.
Now I have to swallow my pride and tell all those Mac lovers Ive fight over the years, that they were right and I were wrong, I learned the hard way...

Mark, if you go for the Quadro Card, Win 7 64bit would be the best option because there are some problems with the drivers on other versions of windows. I used Win 7 Ultimate 64bit for a couple of weeks and I had issues with Quadro and mobile quadro drivers. So I had to switch to Pro version for stability.

If you for the Geforce 275, the Win 7 Ultimate will give you no trouble in any applications,
Adobe has said that youll get an advantage in performance with Quadro cards, since CS3, then again in CS4 and you dont see any difference, between a quadro and a geforce.

For CS5 they are using CUDA processing... Both Quadro 4800 and Geforce 275 use 240 parallel processors so you can expect the same performance. There will be a couple of features (no one I know of will use for the Quadro CX), so save the money, get more memory, a bigger monitor or a nice AJA card

If you plan to edit, do as Tim says, and for your health avoid PPro CS4, if you paid little money for it, thats great sell it in Ebay, and keep using CS3
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Old January 30th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #7
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I would get Windows 7 64Bit Professional.The next release of Premiere CS5 I believe requires a 64Bit system. I would also hold off investing into a high end Video card until I have to - the prices will fall before CS5 comes out. You can certainly buy a Mac and run Windows on it (I did this for awhile until the I7 chip came out), but keep in mind the cost of Mac Systems. The Imacs do not allow you to run anything faster than FW800, and the Mac Pros will cost you. I built an I7 system when the I7 chip came out for about 1200.00 with 12GB Ram. Great performance! I tried to use FCP7 on the Mac Pro, but every bit of footage has to be transcoded. It cannot play M2t or AVCHD files (they have to be transcoded first), but it is a great editor. It seems to me that FCP is for high end Video Production, but then you still need Adobe products such as After Effects and Photoshop. I really believe that Adobe will get CS5 right.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 07:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice again. I guess, i'm sold, i'll probably stick with the 975 then in lieu of the 4800. And stick with PPCS3 as well.

Since I never considered adding an AJA card any models you guys would recommend, if im sticking with the combos of PPCS3, ProspectHD, win7 64 on an I7?

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Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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The LHi would be the best card for you, as it has 3G SDI and HDMI support, or you could get an ioExpress, which could also be used with a laptop in the future, if desired.
For more information on these topics, check out my tech website at
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