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Old January 23rd, 2009, 07:39 PM   #1
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Recommendations on Hardware To Edit HDV

Well, its time to purchase a new Mac turnkey system that will allow me to edit HDV....I have just about had it with the limitations I am running into with the PPC G5...It served me well when it came to editing DV...I have a $4200-$4500 budget..

1. Please recommend a MacPro configuration

2. Should I Get A Blackmagic Intensity Card or Should I get the HDLink monitoring device that turns my LCD for quality color monitoring?...I would need this for monitoring only since I bypass the step to capture footage since I have a Direct To Edit Hard drive

3. A good blu-ray burner....maybe for the future when Apple decides to have blu-ray support....God knows when that will be?

I think thats all I need.....Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 08:25 PM   #2
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To be perfectly honest (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) FCP does not support the use of multiple cpu cores. For your money you could definitely get an 8-core mac pro, but unless you're working in compositing or 3d programs you should be able to keep your configuration slim.

If I were getting a Mac Pro JUST for editing HDV:

Mac Pro w/single 3.2gHz Intel Xeon 4-core
4GB RAM
1x320gb SATA hdd
GeForce 8800GT
Applecare package

total: $3198

I cannot make a recommendation between the intensity and the decklink, since I have never worked with dte disks and don't know all it entails. You'll probably want to upgrade to the intel version of FCS, which will put you around $3900 or so. you could probably pick up 3 or 4 SATA drives for $300, depending on capacity and speed. I would also recommend a hardware SATA RAID controller, but I don't know how Apple's card stacks up against some others. I also know some others are cheaper (I think Apple's is $800 or so). RAID isn't a necessity, but it sure is peace of mind for an editor. I'm assuming you already have a monitor, otherwise you're stretching your budget just for the tower, a 20" screen and FCS.

I say add blu-ray down the road when there's market saturation to support it. I think the only half-decent workaround for mastering to blu-ray from a Mac right now is with Encore CS4. Between the burner and the Adobe suite you're looking at another $800-$1200.

It ain't the best, but this will give you plenty for editing HDV and you can always add to it later.

Chris
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 08:50 PM   #3
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Which G5 do you have? A dual processor G5 should work fine with HDV in most circumstances.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser View Post
A dual processor G5 should work fine with HDV in most circumstances.
I concur. I use three dual-processor G5s at work, and I am working with uncompressed HD. There are times that it chokes up (playing 8- or 10-bit 1080p at full size will choke it) but those instances are not the kinds of things you run into while working in FCP (where your Viewer and Canvas are at %50 or less).
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 10:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
I concur. I use three dual-processor G5s at work, and I am working with uncompressed HD. There are times that it chokes up (playing 8- or 10-bit 1080p at full size will choke it) but those instances are not the kinds of things you run into while working in FCP (where your Viewer and Canvas are at %50 or less).
I have to agree...I see it first hand...but then on the other hand, I am running final cut 5 on a 2 x 2.0Ghz processor with 2GB Ram...its about 3-4 years old...Works flawlessly with SD.....I figured I am definitely gonna go with purchasing a capture card instead of the monitoring device primarily because I can have dual functionality with it...monitor color and then if i ever need it capture footage from tape....

Once I get the new hardware, any recommendations on If I should edit HDV Natively or should I convert the Quicktime Files from the Direct To Edit device into something like ProRes or Uncompressed 10Bit
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 10:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
any recommendations on If I should edit HDV Natively or should I convert the Quicktime Files from the Direct To Edit device into something like ProRes or Uncompressed 10Bit
Certainly not uncompressed 10-bit -- you're just asking for a world of needless headache with giant filesizes. Even 8bit uncompressed HD is more than practical. For working with HDV source, if not staying native then what seems to be the tested workflow that many here are using is (again, when not staying native) to transcode or capture to either ProRes or DVCPRO HD. There is a good discussion on the very subject of pros and cons on this in the http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...-workflow.html thread.

I notice you said you were running FCP 5. I do not know if you can you use the ProRes codec with a version less than 6 or not, so that point may be moot.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #7
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That's a great link for workflow! I just checked it out.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 02:37 AM   #8
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FCP _does_ use multiple CPU's. I won't say it uses them as well as it could / should, but it does work.

I had a dual 2.5G G5 and it worked fine with HDV, but the 2.0g is really a lot less of a machine for HDV. there is a significant different in what FCP will do between the two.

bare minimum is 8G of ram in a machine these days. get 3rd party ram as apple is again a real rip off.

skip the nvidia card and get either the stock ATI 2600, or look at the ATI 3780 as a upgrade. the ATI cards work better, and the 2600 is respectable if you need to save a few $.

2.8ghz 8core is the best bang for the buck.

skip applecare, you're not buying a laptop.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
skip applecare, you're not buying a laptop.
I could have been very unlucky, but of all my Macs I've owned (MBP for 1.5 years, Mac Pro for almost a year), the Mac Pro was the one needing service. It was still within the 1-year so I didn't need AppleCare, but my 1-year is coming up soon and I'll be sure to get AppleCare, just to be safe...
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Old January 25th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Oakley View Post
skip applecare, you're not buying a laptop.
I'm with Steve all the way except for the AppleCare. When spending a few thousand bucks on a machine, the cost of AppleCare is worth being safe than sorry, IMHO.
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