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High Definition Video Editing Solutions
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Old February 1st, 2010, 08:01 PM   #1
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RAID for editing HD on iMac

I am trying to equip myself with all the gear I need to start making documentaries and, even after a lot of research, the part that I am still totally lost on is memory/space. I apologize since I know this is not a new questions, but I am beginner and have not been able to figure this out from previous posts.

Basically, I have an iMac (Firewire 800), a Canon XH-A1 and am trying to figure out the RAID system I need. I want to go for something that is going to last me long term, since this is something I plan to be doing throughout many upcoming years.

I thought Drobo might be what I need, but the sales guy at B&H told it was not good for editing off of (which is what I will be doing). Then he kind of went on to tell me there was not anything that was going to be too suitable for me because iMacs don't do eSata, so I could just buy a 2TB drive, maybe I should build my own server.

I got a bit lost at this point. So what would you recommend? What do you use?

A friend forwarded me this: Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC

Is that good?

Sorry in advance for my ignorance on all things technical.
Anya Vaverko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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The B&H guy is right... the Drobo is a very cool archival device, but not necessarily speedy enough for HD(HDV) editing. I think there are ways to improve this but it's almost no worth the effort. (I have a Drobo at home connected via USB 2.0 and a DroboPro connected via iSCSI at work. Great and secure backup ONLY!)

My suggestion is to look at ready built offerings by G-Tech like their GRaid devices. They connect via FW400/800, eSata, USB and others and come in various storage capacities. One of those might fit your budget for now.
Bob Krieger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 3rd, 2010, 12:16 AM   #3
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You need to specifiy what sort of HD editing you are doing.

HDV has a 25 mb/s bit rate, just like DV. You don't need a raid to edit HDV, you don't need a raid to edit DVCPRO-HD, you don't need a raid to edit Pro Res. An attached Raid 1 or 5 running over firewire will be fine if you need redundancy.

If you need uncompressed playout, or multiple streams of Pro Res or Pro Res HQ or any other less compressed format, hard drive speed does become a factor in HD, but for the compressed formats the bottleneck is mixed in with processor.

Now, it will take a grunty machine to make editing HD as quick and as painless as editing SD may be on your current machine, but chances are you aren't editing uncompressed SD on your current machine either, more likely DV or DVCPRO or IMX50.

An iMac can totally do the job for HD offlining and even finishing for particular workflows.
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