Important Business decision at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > High Definition Video Editing Solutions

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 18th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 331
Important Business decision

Having been looking and reading the incredible posts of the informed people here in the DVinfo.net, I believe now its the time to ask my fellow dv creatives on a matter of real big concern to me:

I'm on the market looking for equipment for my small new
production house.

I'm looking for a Steadicam (wich I posted already in the Stabilizer forum), but am also (that's my reason posting here) looking for a Notebook capable of HDV/ DVCPROHD editing with near realtime (if realtime, the better) capabilities. I've been looking in the net for quite some time now, and my question ends up with this:

Should I get a Mac Powerbook (17 inch top of the line maxed out 2g ram) or a Sager Notebook with a P4 3.6 processor with 2g ram? (If you can suggest me a better notebook- better price/performance ration, I would be forever thankfull!)

The Mac option seems inferior in comparison to the Sager:

Slower processor: slower Hard disks (5400 rpm in Mac vs 7200 rpm in PC), and very expensive software and limited upgrade flexibility.

Bottom line is- I want results. While all this seems pretty obvious on paper, what should be the better option? The notebook is absolutely vitalnot only because I plan to do some location editing, but because the notebook will be used for client presentations (powerpoint, etc.) Help?
__________________
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
Sergio Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 01:43 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indy
Posts: 160
Sergio,
I think it's too early to answer your question.
With NAB a month out, we'll hopefully get some more options.
If you HAD to do it today I'd do the PC.
Sean M Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 01:59 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 331
Well, I would wait, but the thing is, I need this now... Business oportunities are knocking at my door, and I really need something to place myself competitively here. More so, I need cash to finance my own short films and creative work, so, impressing clients with the best notebook is a most! LOOKS do matter! And 'm moving around China for clients, and doing some shooting- sometimes a rough edit as an example is more than enoug to impress investors and clients!

And here's something else: This computer seems incredible, but is
more than 6000 USD!!

www.1beyond.com/products/3617.asp?search=laptops
__________________
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
Sergio Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 382
Your data is going to be important to your livelihood. It sounds like you're going to be a 1 man shop, or at least a smaller org - w/o a tech department. Are you willing to risk it under Windows and all of it's vulnerabilities? Do you know one platform better than another?

Initial costs are one thing, but operating costs are forever.

Go with what you know, it'll get you started faster. If you're more proficient on PC + PC soft, there's your answer. If you're originally a Mac type, ditto.

If you are concerned about the bling appeal to clients, you can't do better than a Powerbook.
Patrick Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 382
<<<-- Originally posted by Sean M Lee : Sergio,
I think it's too early to answer your question.
With NAB a month out, we'll hopefully get some more options.
If you HAD to do it today I'd do the PC. -->>>

If you had to do it today I'd say do the Mac.


;-)
Patrick Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 02:09 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Sergio: as a former Mac user and avid follower of the development of the HDV format, I'd say you'd be much better off with the Sager notebook for now. With a Sony FX1 and the Sager you can be doing effective real-time HDV production in the field today, but with Apple you're either stuck with half-hearted HDV solutions or waiting for the rumored DVCProHD cameras to ship a few months from now. And with all due respect to Apple, there's no way even the fastest Powerbook can hope to compete with similarly priced PC notebooks for purposes of HDV editing. You don't have to spend $6000 to buy a PC notebook which can easily outperform the Powerbooks, and for $6000 you'll get features and performance Apple simply doesn't offer. If you really like Macs and Final Cut Pro and are willing to compromise on performance then it's a different story, but if you want to get effective results with HDV then get a PC.

If you do decide to get a PC notebook, go to the Cineform web site and order their Adobe Premiere Pro + Aspect HD production bundle for $799. On a fast notebook this will probably outperform a G5 desktop for purposes of HDV work.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 02:13 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Indy
Posts: 160
Patrick, I'm sorry, I have both...but at this exact point in time, the PC has better solutions for HDV.

I want to use my mac for HDV, but til Avid is HDV or FCP has a real HDV solution....Premiere Pro it is.
Sean M Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 18th, 2005, 09:21 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
P.S. You might want to take a look at this latest PC notebook announcement...

http://www.weva.com/cgi-bin/newsreader.pl?op=render&type=i&storyid=2279
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2005, 03:56 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 382
<<<-- Originally posted by Sean M Lee : Patrick, I'm sorry, I have both...but at this exact point in time, the PC has better solutions for HDV.

I want to use my mac for HDV, but til Avid is HDV or FCP has a real HDV solution....Premiere Pro it is. -->>>

I work with HDV on Macs daily just fine w/o problems (DVHSCap + Mpegstreamclip is really all you need to be able to edit; I've been using HDV in FCP fault free for some time now). My opinion of PC hdv editing is actually just the opposite, the solutions aren't as good (in my opinion) or flexible as what you've got with Mac.

Regardless, my point was to go with what you know. If the topic poster knows Apple products, is it worth the time investment learning new software? Likewise with a PC user wanting to switch to Apple and doesn't know the software, how much time/$ are you willing to invest?

$.02
Patrick Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
<<<My opinion of PC hdv editing is actually just the opposite, the solutions aren't as good (in my opinion) or flexible as what you've got with Mac.>>>

In what specific ways would you say Macs have any advantage over PCs for dealing with HDV? For PCs there are currently at least five major editing applications which support HDV more directly and completely than FCP-HD, with a variety of technical approaches and features which are mostly unavailable for Macs.

At the top of the heap is the Canopus NX/SP products, which provide complete hardware-supported, real time multi-layer HDV editing with live external HD monitoring as out-of-the-box features. I haven't seen any hint of anything even remotely similar to this being proposed for Macs, with the nearest equivalent being to capture and edit in uncompressed HD...which isn't nearly as practical or affordable as the Canopus approach.

Next on the list is Adobe Premiere Pro with the Cineform Aspect HD plugin, which offers real-time HDV editing on single-processor PCs, including high-end laptops. The only attempt I've seen described to do HDV editing on Apple Powerbooks involved a complex and time-consuming set of workarounds which appeared to require some interaction with a G5 desktop system to make the whole thing work. Maybe that's changed now with the introduction of iMovie and FCP-E support for HDV, but then you have to deal with the fact that Apple Powerbooks are underpowered compared to similarly priced PC notebooks.

In terms of production quality, it appears that neither DVCProHD or the new AIC codec are comparable to the best PC HDV codecs, esepcially Canopus HQ and Cineform. Cineform has an excellent discussion of this on their web site for those who care to read it.

I keep looking for any sign that the Mac platform has something to compare to PC HDV solutions, and I can't find it. Maybe with the next round of OS and software upgrades it'll happen, but it's not here yet.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Macau
Posts: 331
Thanks guys:

I've actually placed mty oder- I went for the mac, which I preordered BEFORE I saw this discussion.( I waited for your replyes but it took a while, and I tought I wouldn't be getting any help...)

I'm actually a PC guy and I work daily with premiere pro. I went for the mac simply because looks matter, and the looks seriously influece on the "client presentation"front. Add to that a fact that I'm getting all major editing and graphic applications for free, and it seemed like a good deal- but it looks like its hardly enough for HDV editing. I think I'm in serious trouble here, and seems like I'll have to stick to my PC for this purpose... I believe I can still edit hdv, but a hell of a lot slower...

But, ok, Now I'll have to live with it- Let's hope my business pays of for me to invest on the Pc Notebook from Kevin Shaw's link!
__________________
If you don't believe in your film, no one else will.
Sergio Perez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 382
<<<-- Originally posted by Kevin Shaw : <<<My opinion of PC hdv editing is actually just the opposite, the solutions aren't as good (in my opinion) or flexible as what you've got with Mac.>>>

In what specific ways would you say Macs have any advantage over PCs for dealing with HDV? For PCs there are currently at least five major editing applications which support HDV more directly and completely than FCP-HD, with a variety of technical approaches and features which are mostly unavailable for Macs. [/quote]

1. Cost. DVHSCap and Mpegstreamclip are both free.
2. With the addition of those two pieces of free software, that's all you need to edit HDV. Not to say that FCP/E is a poor investment, but basically once you've got the camera and the computer you're set. How many different pieces of hardware and/or software do you need to edit HDV on a PC? See the list below...
3. All of the add on solutions for HDV are all non-open and proprietary. I don't mean this in a linux/open source way, I mean that there's no way for me to work with the content on other systems or cross platform, or even archive easily. There are a whole lot of 'what-ifs' about HDV still, I try to reduce as many of these as possible.

Quote:
At the top of the heap is the Canopus NX/SP products, which provide complete hardware-supported, real time multi-layer HDV editing with live external HD monitoring as out-of-the-box features. I haven't seen any hint of anything even remotely similar to this being proposed for Macs, with the nearest equivalent being to capture and edit in uncompressed HD...which isn't nearly as practical or affordable as the Canopus approach.

Next on the list is Adobe Premiere Pro with the Cineform Aspect HD plugin, which offers real-time HDV editing on single-processor PCs, including high-end laptops. The only attempt I've seen described to do HDV editing on Apple Powerbooks involved a complex and time-consuming set of workarounds which appeared to require some interaction with a G5 desktop system to make the whole thing work. Maybe that's changed now with the introduction of iMovie and FCP-E support for HDV, but then you have to deal with the fact that Apple Powerbooks are underpowered compared to similarly priced PC notebooks.
Actually, I've been using HDV daily professionally since about June 03 (iirc) (and I started with it on a Powerbook 17). I have read the articles about having to use any number of workarounds on iBooks to get it working, but that's just not the case. Before there was Cineform and the other native approaches, PC users had to do the same thing.

My main beef with Premiere/Vegas/Cineform is that it's 1) an additional expense - which is fine, it's a great product by all accouts... but when you've got tight budgets, every little additional expense is a factor.

My workflow is pretty dead simple. When I started out, this took a bit longer, but now I've got a few G5s to work with so I can offload the capturing and conversion steps to other CPUs.

I capture in DVHSCap (included with Apple SDKs), I convert to Component video or mjpeg (depends on the size of the project) with streamclip and then I edit. Works flawlessly. When I export, I export into component QT and deal with it there. I've got HD previewing, I've got realtime (mostly) editing and viewing and it's all lossless.

Quote:
In terms of production quality, it appears that neither DVCProHD or the new AIC codec are comparable to the best PC HDV codecs, esepcially Canopus HQ and Cineform. Cineform has an excellent discussion of this on their web site for those who care to read it.

I keep looking for any sign that the Mac platform has something to compare to PC HDV solutions, and I can't find it. Maybe with the next round of OS and software upgrades it'll happen, but it's not here yet. -->>>
I've not used the new FCEHD or Imovie HD (or even have them) so I can't comment on AIC.

I never bought Lumiere HD because I had a hard time justifying purchasing a piece of software (esp. when it goes through a purchase order) that basically automates the process of doing what I had done manually. That's just my slant though... Cineform does a whole lot more and I know this, but it comes back to the crux.. budget, how to justify expenses when there are other ways of doing it, etc.

Anyway, just my $.02.

HDV on Mac has worked great for me for a while now. If it doesn't work great for others, chances are it's you and not HDV ;-) (I kid I kid)

Sergio: I'm a PC guy too. I use Macs at work. I started with HDV on a Powerbook (I bought it for the job - it was mid budget period and I had no $$ to buy the gear to do my job). Now I use G5s. I bought a PC for home HDV editing this past November (3.4ghz, 2gb ram, ~ 1TB of disk, sweet setup) and quite honestly I've contemplated ebaying the whole thing more than once.

FCP and PPro are a lot a like. You'll have no problem using it.

Anyway, all my opinions. I've got a process that works for me, it's not the best, not the worst, it's just mine.
Patrick Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
"My main beef with Premiere/Vegas/Cineform is that it's 1) an additional expense - which is fine, it's a great product by all accouts... but when you've got tight budgets, every little additional expense is a factor."

Extra expense compared to what? Before Cineform dropped their prices recently the entire Premiere Pro/Cineform/Audition/Encore bundle only cost $1199, and now it's down to $799. That's not bad compared to $999 just for FCP-HD, which can't even edit HDV footage without a lengthy transcoding process to the lower-resolution DVCProHD format. I don't see a cost-saving advantage here, especially considering that you have to pay more for Apple computer hardware before even buying the software.

"My workflow is pretty dead simple. When I started out, this took a bit longer, but now I've got a few G5s to work with so I can offload the capturing and conversion steps to other CPUs."

Wow, that's interesting to describe a time-consuming conversion process involving additional expensive G5 Macs as "simple." How long does it take you to capture and convert an hour of source footage to DVCProHD? If the answer is anything significantly more than an hour, that right there is a big reason why more efficient PC HDV solutions are preferable. In fact it's the main reason I haven't been able to take Macs seriously for purposes of HDV editing, since I like to work with large amounts of raw footage.

"When I export, I export into component QT and deal with it there. I've got HD previewing, I've got realtime (mostly) editing and viewing and it's all lossless."

So what have you been doing with your finished HDV projects? Seeing as how Windows Media HD is currently one of the most popular distribution options for HDV samples, and that wasn't even a supported output option for Macs until a few weeks ago, how do you share HDV output with end users? Or do you just downsample to SD for your final output? Bummer.

I'd be interested to hear what sort of real-time performance you get with FCP-HD on a good dual-processor Mac. Can you play at least 3-4 layers of HD footage simultaneously (e.g. using PIP) without dropping frames? That's what we're talking about for current PC HDV solutions, using a codec which preserves the full native resolution of HDV instead of reducing it down for DVCProHD.

I'm suitably impressed that Mac users have managed to work with HDV footage at all considering all the hoops they've had to jump through and the high cost of building an HDV-capable Mac setup. Fascinating to see someone describe all this as being preferable to more affordable and efficient PC solutions.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 21st, 2005, 12:49 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,241
Do look at a Shuttle PC and a flat panel. Shuttle makes cases for the PC that looks like a camera bag. They also have a bag for their 17" monitor. The advantage is HDD space. On of the Shuttles will hold 3 250-300GB hard drives while a laptop tops out at 80GB or slightly more, 160GB with 2 drives. Add an external. You can go full power with full power components. The P8100 is 13x9x9 roughly. It has 3 internal 3.5" bays, an external 5.25, Firewire/USB front and back, 6in1 card reader, PCI slot, 16x PCI-e slot, more. The boxes support the 775 Intel chips on 915/925 chipset motherboards, so it can support the 3.6/3.8GHz processors.

http://sys.us.shuttle.com/ModelsP_3.aspx
George Ellis is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > High Definition Video Editing Solutions

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:10 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network