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Old October 5th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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PC or MAC for small production editing system

i reluctantly bought a mac pro to edit high end weddings on and commercials (have not taken it out of the box and might return it based on advice here). i want my final product to be able to author dvd menus and HD dvds.

what should i do?
i also want to work with the most popular editing systems in the industry to be able to qualify for most job postings (and they usually say must edit with final cut pro and know adobe cs4) so thats why i got a mac... worried i didnt make the right choice. its not too late.... -STEELE
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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Jason,

Sounds like your suffering a bit of 'buyers remorse' - take a breath, you're alright.

The Mac will run Final Cut, Adobe OR Avid Media Composer. All good programs... so you didn't 'screw up'.

"Most Popular" is a relative term. Probably in terms of small boutique and add agencies - Final Cut Pro is most popular right now. AVID is still the main system in Film Studios and many newsrooms - and Adobe is very popular with Event and Weddings as is VEGAS. I'm typing on a computer in a studio now, while one computer is rendering a project on Final Cut - another is rendering a newscast on Vegas - and I've got a project on my AVID at home that will be airing in a week. I've had to learn at least the basics of virtually every program out there.

In terms of authoring BLU RAY - well, that's a different topic. You mght wind up getting a second machine specifically for authoring - but find out how much demand there is for the product first.

Focus on what your MAIN needs are - and work backwards from there.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #3
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Great advise. The nice part of your dilemma is that you can do great work on either platform. Another factor that you may want to consider is if there are other tasks that you may want to perform on the same computer. Available software applications for these tasks may help your decision.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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thank you guys

thats VERY good info.
i suppose its inevitable to know a bit about every popular system out there.
REALLY just wanted a one stop shop video production system.

i DO need to make sure there is a market for the HD. i was just kinda assuming thats where we are all headed very quickly. -STEELE
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Old October 6th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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"Very Quickly" - ? Hmmmmmmm not sure how to define that. I work in a television broadcast environment - everything is delivered in SD and 4:3. But that's just one aspect of 'the biz'. I do a lot of shooting with an HD camera - but I shoot in SD with it. Funny huh?

I've been hearing 'everyone will be delivering HD' for a while.(Almost as long as FILM IS DEAD!... which will come as a shock to the majority of studios still shooting in 35.) Seems like three or four years at least. Not everyone can VIEW HD. The HD 'platform wars' had Blu-Ray the winner - much to many people;s dismay. The damned economy is keeping people away from more expensive sets. Yes, yes... it's coming... but "Very quickly"... Depends on your definition of quick I suppose.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #6
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All of the advice given here is good. Let me add a couple of points.

There really are no significant capability differences between PCs ad Macs anymore. Differences in the interfaces and perceived ease of use (personal perception is all that matters in this context)? Sure. If you're a Mac guy, go Mac. If not, get a beefy PC. Buy what you like and you are familiar with. Shortens the learning curve.

Apple appears to be behind the curve on BD but it won't be that way forever so this may only be an important consideration when you figure out when you'll need to deliver on BD.

From a delivery perspective, it seems that your local cable company is the last bastion of HD for their local access shows and spot inserts. When everything else, including the shopping networks are in HD, SD is effectively dead on the producer and transmitter side. The consumer side is still way behind as others have said.

You can be HD ready without being able to produce BD disks. The distribution model for content is evolving with the Web kicking in strongly, so there's still a bit of uncertainty for the future.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #7
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excellent

i feel MUCH better.
yes, "fast" is certainly a relative term.
it just struck me odd that all the cameras are HD and people seem to view everything in SD still.
i suppose the world is really headed for tape-less media. -STEELE
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Old October 6th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Steele View Post
i suppose the world is really headed for tape-less media. -STEELE
That's the fact, Jack. (Sorry for the old Bill Murray flashback.)

Truth is that I'm shooting an important interview tomorrow morning with my XH A1 and I'm using an HF 100 for the locked off B camera which is an HD flashcam. It will also capture my backup audio to cover the always feared HDV tape dropout.

My guess is that wide acceptance of hd flashcams is about a year away, depending upon the cost of BD disks. As long as HDV tapes are cheaper than BD disks, tape will be preferred for long-term archiving of footage. But what do I know. I'm just an old pikey.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
My guess is that wide acceptance of hd flashcams is about a year away, depending upon the cost of BD disks. As long as HDV tapes are cheaper than BD disks, tape will be preferred for long-term archiving of footage.
They aren't. BD have been cheaper than HDV tape for months. My last purchase of BD 25GB disks last month was $2.67 each in a pack of 15. And that was for TDK. Not some no-name brand.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #10
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I prefer working on a Mac over a PC, but my recommendation is always to get which platform you are comfortable working on.

As far as High Definition goes... I don't shoot weddings, so I'm not up on the current trends.
But I'd say that about 90% of my workload is broadcast television commercials, which I generally acquire in HD, but post in SD.
In my market there is only one TV station that accepts HD commercials, and only via ftp file transfer, not via HD tape or Blu-Ray disc.

One downside of High Definition Video...
Letting your client preview in HD when the final product will be SD.

You get that call first thing in the morning... Hey Dave, I saw our commercial last night during the 10p news sponsorship and it looked like S&%$!
Well after a Q&A session, come to find that, "it looked as good or better than the other commercials in the stop-set", but now the client was viewing his commercial being played back in a re-compressed format from a file server in Standard Definition at home on his 52" HD LCD,
and comparing that to the full High Definition version he saw on my HD production monitor during the edit the day before.

Good Luck!
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Similar problem here. Spot cut in HD. The TV station production engineer said he could handle the conversion but I said I could deliver an uncompressed SD copy on disk but he wanted the HD version.

The client was very happy with the way the spot looked on the station, but I was not. The gamma was messed up and I think the deinterlacing went pear shaped too. If a million people saw the spot, only about three would have noticed it but I'm the one it torked off the most. Never again.
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Old October 8th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
Similar problem here. Spot cut in HD. The TV station production engineer said he could handle the conversion but I said I could deliver an uncompressed SD copy on disk but he wanted the HD version.

The client was very happy with the way the spot looked on the station, but I was not. The gamma was messed up and I think the deinterlacing went pear shaped too. If a million people saw the spot, only about three would have noticed it but I'm the one it torked off the most. Never again.
I see this happen all the time... Big gamma shifts / interlacing problems / aspect ratio problems. Most of the TV stations here had huge layoffs, and are now under staffed with employees trying to cover job duties they are not familiar with. So the product suffers.
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