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High Definition Video Editing Solutions
For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


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Old April 15th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #1
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Suggestion for HD editing software needed.

I've finalized the build list for my PC, now on to the software. For OS I'll go with Windows XP MCE. Where I need help is in choosing a NLE. I'm a novice, so consider that when you make any recommendations. I don't want any pro level software, due to the cost and complexity. I'll be editing mini DV tapes, and outputting to SD DVD and would like to be able to output to Blu Ray discs in the very near future.
I'd like something that's reasonably simple to learn and use, budget is around $200.

Thanks!
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Old April 15th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #2
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I learnt on Ulead Videostudio (8, 9 then 10 Plus) before I went "upmarket" to Vegas 7e (which is superb in my mind but out of your budget.) I found it VERY easy to use and a good training ground for what came next. Pinnacle have a similar package to Uleads.

Everyone has their favourites so you won't get a definitive answer as to which is "best" in this $200 max area. I'd suggest it's best you download a trial version of something that looks suitable from the latest offerings from Ulead or Pinnacle and see how you get on with it. Not sure if they will have Blue-Ray support yet but I bet it'll come soon if not....mind you we're only now hearing we'll get this for Vegas with it's DVD authoring software.

Why do you need Blue-Ray output for SD videos????
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Old April 15th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
I learnt on Ulead Videostudio (8, 9 then 10 Plus) before I went "upmarket" to Vegas 7e (which is superb in my mind but out of your budget.) I found it VERY easy to use and a good training ground for what came next. Pinnacle have a similar package to Uleads.

Everyone has their favourites so you won't get a definitive answer as to which is "best" in this $200 max area. I'd suggest it's best you download a trial version of something that looks suitable from the latest offerings from Ulead or Pinnacle and see how you get on with it. Not sure if they will have Blue-Ray support yet but I bet it'll come soon if not....mind you we're only now hearing we'll get this for Vegas with it's DVD authoring software.

Why do you need Blue-Ray output for SD videos????
Initially, I'll leave the finished products on the hard drive. The source is HD, that's why I would like BD authoring capability from the NLE program. However, since I don't yet have a BD burner and am still learning, for now I'll just output to SD DVD so the family can watch on the TV.

Thanks,
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Old April 21st, 2008, 07:09 AM   #4
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Hello Norris, I had to make this decision last year. Choosing an NLE software that will edit HDV is very difficult, even if there are just a handful of candidates. I started with Premiere Pro since I was already comfortable with many other Adobe projects. That proved to be a disaster and I hated Premiere from day 1. It can't even keep HDV audio and video in sync. I ultimately gave up and downloaded the demos for Avid Liquid and Sony Vegas 8 Pro. Vegas just seemed rediculously easy to get started with, didn't tax my e6600 2gb Ram system at all with HDV and never crashed. And as I got deeper into editing I found that it actually is a very powerful program that allows me to do a lot of what I would normally go into After Effects for.

My point is, Vegas may not have the industry image of Premiere or Avid, or Final Cut Pro, but it certainly is just as capable and costs a small fraction of the others. In fact, there is an unreal deal from BHPhoto in which you can get Vegas 8 Pro for $129. This is just the editing application and does not include DVD Architect. There are other DVD authoring softwares that may suit your needs better than DVDA anyway. But Vegas 8 Pro can burn Blu Ray right from the timeline to make a simple autoplay DVD with no menus.

As everyone recommends, its important to try the demos, and its definitely worth your time to try Vegas 8 Pro at that price.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:43 PM   #5
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Thanks Ken,

I will definitely download the trial version of a few NLEs out there and see what I feel comfortable with. I'll look into Vegas 8 Pro, the word "Pro" scares me, as it usually implies complexity that novice like me can't handle.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:46 PM   #6
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Here is a thread showing vegas 8 pro for $129.99
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=119148
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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Norris,

Vegas 8 Pro sells for $500 but if you can find a full version of Vegas 6 or Seven at a good price you can upgrade that to Vegas 8 Pro for about $150.

I bought Vegas 6 from an Amazon Marketplace vendor for $99 then upgraded for $149 at an online store that included for free the $60 VASST Vegas 8 Update DVD.

My total investment was $250. You do have to actually install Vegas 6 or 7 on your computer before installing 8. It is not just a matter of having the serial number. However that was very easy as was installing the Vegas 8 upgrade afterwards.

This is totally legit, just taking advantge of inventory clearances on the previous versions of Vegas.

Don't be intimidated by the "Pro" designation. It can be as simple or complicated as you need. As you grow in your editing skills Vegas Pro will offer an incredible tool set for the money.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norris Combs View Post
I'll look into Vegas 8 Pro, the word "Pro" scares me, as it usually implies complexity that novice like me can't handle.
Vegas 8 Pro is essentially the same as the popular and easy to use Vegas Movie Studio but adds a few pro features like MultiCam, unlimited tracks, deeper audio editing, etc. See here

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/compare

For basic editing the two products are pretty much the same AFAIK. I would have recommended that except for the same price you can pretty much get the pro version now.

I am a marketing guy and the word "Pro" means almost nothing anymore. Most Pros could edit just fine with Vegas Movie Studio. Unfortunately there is too much emphasis on image instead of benefits and results when it comes to NLEs and just about everything else.

Now I'll digress and share my experiences of the last half year or so. It should be known that I am a musician and am used to timeline editing in a non-linear fashion, so this wasn't completely new to me. Anyway, I became interested in building Promo DVDs for local bands using multiple cameras and got into video for that. As for software tools, eack one does things differently, but a cut or a dissolve is the same technique irrespective of the software used to accomplish it. Knowing what to cut, where to cut, when to cut, how to cut and why to cut is the real task to learn. In other words, the real difficulty is not learning the editing software but gaining the knowledge to be a good editor. Once a person is a good editor, the software he/she uses doesn't matter near as much. I am sure a good editor could do more with Windows Movie Maker than I could with Avid Media Composer.

That being said, it would be wise to start with a program that makes basic capture, editing, and output as easy as possible to first learn the more difficult task of editing footage. For me, Vegas was a breeze to get cutting on right away. As I progress into deeper editing I am finding that Vegas is quite powerful as well and is actually letting me do some stuff I would normally go into After Effects for.

Oh, I learned a lot of the technical stuff of Vegas by watching YouTube videos and I subscribed to Lynda.com for a month to follow the Vegas 6 training they had.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 07:14 PM   #9
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If you really don't want or need all the versatility of Vegas or Vegas Pro, Power Director from CyberLink is an excellent budget editor with a lot of features that handles DV and HD video very well. I have found it to be very stable (especially compared to Pinnacle or Ulead products), and very capable. Although I do use Vegas for the paying projects, I don't hesitate to use PD for my home videos, web stuff or when I'm just in a plain hurry.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Rick Diaz;865598]If you really don't want or need all the versatility of Vegas or Vegas Pro, Power Director from CyberLink is an excellent budget editor with a lot of features that handles DV and HD video very well. I have found it to be very stable (especially compared to Pinnacle or Ulead products), and very capable. QUOTE]

What type of stability issues did you have with Ulead and Pinnacle? I just d/l the trial version of Cyberlink Power Director 6. Should I even bother with Ulead, if it's "unstable"? Pinnacle Studio does NOT have a trial version (I called them to verify that).

Thanks,
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Old April 28th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #11
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For me, this would be a no-brainer. Get Sony Vegas Movie Studio 8 Platinum Edition. It will cost you anywhere between $50 and $130, depending on the availability of rebates. Download the free trial here: http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/...egasfamily.asp
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Old April 30th, 2008, 06:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Diaz View Post
If you really don't want or need all the versatility of Vegas or Vegas Pro, Power Director from CyberLink is an excellent budget editor with a lot of features that handles DV and HD video very well. I have found it to be very stable (especially compared to Pinnacle or Ulead products), and very capable. Although I do use Vegas for the paying projects, I don't hesitate to use PD for my home videos, web stuff or when I'm just in a plain hurry.
Rick, do you have the latest Version 6 of Power Director? Have your experiences with it been entirely smooth? There's a lot of mixed remarks about the earlier versions online. I found a special offer, that seemed to be from their website, offering Power Director 6 and six other programs in a bundle for $80. None of their webpages would open for me tonight, so I guess they're temporaily offline. I need a good and simple HDV editing program, for when I don't want to bother with much complexity.
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