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Old December 28th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Cheapest PC laptop for HD editing

Kicking around the idea of buyinng a new laptop and wondering if it is possible to buy a pc based machine that is capable of HD editing.
I see several models with Intel duocore 1.6Ghz 250 gig hard drives but most drives are 4200 rpm.
I would just be editing 5-10 minute long short video clips .

Is it possible to spend 600-700 dollars and use it for editing?

Im looking for a laptop to use my helicopter simulator and GPS mapping programs while on the road and was hoping it might run CS3 or Vegas.
i dont mind using external drives but am I dreaming?
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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:38 AM   #2
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The short answer is, realistically no. If you look at the system requirements that Adobe post for HDV editing you'll find that your proposed systems falls below the minimums. I have a two year old laptop with a 5400RPM internal drive that falls right on the minimum requirements for CS3 that I can use to edit HDV, but it's very painful to do when compared to my Quad Core 6600 editing machine.

I've learned that I need to think in terms of how I can get my system to go faster to make HDV editing anything approaching a happy experience.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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What would be the most inexpensive laptop in the market then that can handle HDV? I plan on using Adobe Premiere Elements 7 with new blue fx.

1. Capture 5 hours footage
2. Edit into 1.5- 2 hours video.
3. Dump to DVD/Blue Ray DVD



Thanks in advance.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #4
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perhaps not the cheapest, but i use a ACER aspire 8920G.

it comes with a 1920 x 1080 screen, 18.4 inch, a t8300 processor , 4 GB ram, 5.1 sound , Nvidia 9500M vid card and raft of other stuff .... like HDMI out

Its heavy 4.1 KG and big as laptops go, the only bag i found that would fit it is the Crumpler 17 inch laptop bag.

Its chassis allows for two hard drives, so you have a READ and WRITE set.

But for on the GO HDV its great .....

You would have to upgrade the standard BLUray reader to a writer combo ....

Of course, for heavy work or time critical stuff, i would use my desktop Video render box
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Old December 30th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Justin Hewitt View Post
perhaps not the cheapest, but i use a ACER aspire 8920G.
An impressive machine, to be sure. The issue however is that the processor lags behind desktop machines costing much less, and a fast processor is one of the keys to a good HDV editing system. Unlike DV, HDV is a very processor intensive activity. While the Acer would probably do fine with cuts-only editing, it would quickly run out of steam once you start pushing the footage around with color grading, effects, etc.

Unless you really need the portability of a laptop, your money would go farther with a desktop solution.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #6
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You have two scenarios to consider:

1. Killer hardware to edit HDV natively with so-so software, or
2. Let the software help you out working on an average laptop.

Cost-wise you will come out about the same. Editing HDV natively is difficult because your editor has not only to 'edit' but in the background has to put the native long-GOP MPEG back together. So you're better off transcoding on ingestion to an all I-frame format and edit that. Look for either Cineform + Premiere or Vegas, or, better yet, Edius, the king of fast editors.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #7
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Thats true ..., I use Cineform, so i do not know how it would go with pure HDV editing ....
and I only do cuts only editing on it ..... with CS3
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Old December 31st, 2008, 08:30 AM   #8
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Having your Laptop with you, at the hotel or onsite, can make up the speed loss from having no desktop PC with you to edit with.

I have no problem editing HDV natively, or even XDCAM with a mid level 2.5 year old HP laptop, 2 gigs ram, 5400 rpm hard drives.
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Old December 31st, 2008, 10:07 PM   #9
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I have no problem editing HDV natively, or even XDCAM with a mid level 2.5 year old HP laptop, 2 gigs ram, 5400 rpm hard drives.
I did a native HDV edit of a short piece when I was stuck in a hotel room in California. I used a two year old, reasonably beefy Sony laptop and an external 7,200RPM drive. It worked, but the rendering times were painful. Tom's point is valid for editing. Moving on to color grading and effects and it all can go pear shaped quite quickly.

Large products with several hours of source footage in the project will get all ropey. You'll crash and hate being you. The right gear depends upon what you want to do with it.
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