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Old August 21st, 2005, 10:49 PM   #1
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I need a new Mac editing suite and some help.

After landing 3 short (10-15 minute) promotional DVD projects in the last couple of days my partner and I are considering purchasing a new editing suite. If you were to go out today and buy a new Mac suite, what would you include?

I don't need terabytes of hard drive just yet but would like to be able to expand down the road.

We shoot with Canon XL1s/GL2 plus support equipment.

Where is the best deals on Mac equipment?
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Old August 21st, 2005, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hey Tyge,

I would say that any of the dual processor Power Macs would fit the bill. Gives you lots of room for expandability later.

BTW, still want to do that lens swap?

-gb-
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Old August 21st, 2005, 11:19 PM   #3
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Greg,
Yes, just have been covered up as of late. I've been meaning to call you. Could you shoot me your number to my email listed in profile? I'd like to pick your brain a bit about this system.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 04:22 PM   #4
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You'll get your best service and a great deal at Zotz digital (no tax) and the best deals are usually B & H Photo.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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We like it when people use our DVinfo sponsors :-) However I'd suggest that everyone who thinks there's "no tax" on out of state purchases do a little research in their own state. It's very likely that your state still expects you to pay tax on any out of state purchases. If you're claiming business use for your equipment you may be creating a trail that will eventually end up with penalties and interest as states start mining data on this sort of thing to help with their budget woes. Check your state's tax website for details. In my state the policy is pretty clear:

Whenever you purchase taxable items or services for use in New Jersey and the seller does not collect the appropriate sales tax, you are required to pay use tax to New Jersey. For example, if you purchase taxable merchandise from a mail order house and they donít charge New Jersey sales tax, it does not mean that tax is not due; it means that the mail order house is not authorized to collect New Jersey sales tax. You, the purchaser, must pay 6% use tax directly to the Division of Taxation.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 06:47 PM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up on the tax issue, Boyd. There is no doubt after doing some research on prices today that a DVinfo.net sponsor will get the business. The Apple prices must have some sort of price protection, as they all seem to be about the same.

Here's what I'm leaning toward in a system:
Mac Dual 2.7 (We plan on running 4 gigs of RAM.)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Dual 20" monitors
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

JVC 15" production monitor
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=319818&is=REG

Sony DSR-11 deck
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=212935&is=REG

Final Cut Studio software package
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 07:10 PM   #7
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Obviously Apple doesn't give much room for competition in pricing on their hardware and software. But if you shop around you may find other incentives to buy from a specific vendor, like rebates on other products, free RAM (which is never really "free" because they will charge a nominal installation charge). Of course you will generally pay full price for these "gifts" up front, and then have to fill in rebate forms to be reimbursed. When I got an iBook for my daughter I was showered with goodies like a carrying case, RAM, free printer, even a free DVD player! But there were literally 6 different rebates to apply for which took a couple hours of my time...

Good luck with the purchase, that sounds like a great system! My only question would be the dual 20" monitors. They are probably the best bang for the buck no doubt. But for my kinds of work I like at least one screen to be as large as possible. I have a variety of LCD's around, but my G5 now runs with a single 23" Cinema display. When I do things like CAD and 3d modeling it's much better to have a bigger window on one screen. I have a 22" widescreen Samsung 1280x720 monitor which I also hook up via DVI sometimes, but right now I send DV over firewire to a DVD recorder which feeds that screen via component video.

Also be aware that using dual screens splits the video card's RAM in half. This could be a possible slowdown if you're using Apple Motion, maybe some other applications that rely on the video card.

I guess this is just a personal taste thing, I know a lot of people love dual monitors. I try them for awhile every few months, but have always gone back to a single screen. For one thing, it can be a pain mousing back and forth between the second screen and the one with the menus. Having two identical screens is probably better though, because if one is higher res than the other then it's a pain to figure out exactly where they overlap when mousing around.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 07:34 PM   #8
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I was unaware of the video card memory being cut in half with dual screens. That's why I'm posting this for comment, to get some input from those with more knowledge and experience. Thanks again, Boyd.

As for the dual screens. I've been working with them for the last couple of months and can't do without them. I work with two now (a 17" and a 15").
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:00 PM   #9
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The machine you've spec'ed indicates 256MB VRAM, so that's good - I only have 128MB on the graphics card in my dual G5/2.5ghz. For the type of projects I've done in Motion it worked fine. But if you visit Apple's tech forum you'll see that when others are really pushing its capabilities they feel having the max amount of VRAM is good. I'm still running Motion 1, but I can't imagine that Motion 2 needs any LESS VRAM ;-)

To see where your VRAM is going, choose "About this Mac" under the apple menu, click on "more info," then click on PCI/AGP Cards. Mine is shown below. I'm not aware of a way that you can allocate memory between your screens, it seems to just split it, but maybe there's some utility program for that?...

Quote:
ATY,RV360:

Type: display
Bus: AGP
Display Type: CRT
Slot: SLOT-1
VRAM (Total): 128 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x4152
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-A13602-121

Display:

Type: display
Display Type: LCD
VRAM (In Use): 64 MB
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Depth: 32-bit Color
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes

Display:

Type: display
Display Type: CRT
VRAM (In Use): 64 MB
Resolution: 1280 x 720 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-bit Color
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:25 PM   #10
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hey-
not to direct anyone away from the site sponsors or anything, but i thought i'd give a bit of anecdotal info.

when i bought my dual 1.8 g5 (i'm totally jealous of you guys, btw,) i was finishing up my mfa, so i got educational pricing, which is fairly substantial (you save a couple hundred off of apple's regular retail.)

now, this buddy of mine just go himself a dual 2.3. he's in school at the same place. anyhow, he did this thing, i'm not entirely sure what it's called. basically it's some sort of developer status where you pay around $100 for apple to consider you a "developer." now, this guy couldn't develop a polaroid picture, let alone write code. but once he got into apple's little developer club, he got a substantial discount on his mac, which was considerably better than the educ pricing, even considering the $100 membership thing.

sorry i'm fuzzy on the details. but as far as i know, this arrangement is totally above board, and it will get you a discount which no apple reseller can match.

anyhow, you might want to look into that. i'll reiterate- i'm not trying to diss the sponsors. they're good people and i'd certainly recommend them for almost all video-related purchases. but apple has their pricing on lock in a way which essentially forbids competition (monopoly, anyone?) and as far as i can tell, the best pricing you can find is through them. so that's just something to think about. but definitely get your monitors, cabling, hard drives, batteries, etc, from dvinfonet sponsors.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:53 PM   #11
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Hmm, the developer stuff is very complicated, but from a quick read it appears you need a $500 membership to be able to purchase a system at discount: http://developer.apple.com/faq/membership.html

And according to this page you wouldn't really be living up to the spirit of the program
Quote:
Systems purchased through the ADC Hardware Purchase Program must be used for development or testing purposes. Please read the Terms and Conditions of the Developer Hardware Purchase Program (PDF) prior to making your selection.
http://developer.apple.com/membership/hardware.html

Quote:
"apple has their pricing on lock in a way which essentially forbids competition (monopoly, anyone?) and as far as i can tell, the best pricing you can find is through them"
I don't think this has anything to do with being a "monopoly." Instead it reflects just how competitive the PC industry is these days. There is very little profit margin built into these prices, so nobody is going to sell for less. By your logic, Dell would certainly be a "monopoly" since you have to order everything directly from them.
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