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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old January 16th, 2008, 05:10 AM   #1
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Non-Linear Edit App - Please Recommend!

Hello There,

I am a professional video editor working exclusively with Avid products although I have experience of Premiere Pro and Final Cut.

I have been asked on behalf of a work colleague to spec up a laptop and a suitable editing application for various education based projects.

Colleague is a university academic who does alot of video work in schools but has virtually no experience with post-production.

My initial recommendation was premiere and we have specced a high end laptop which should run the program ok.

I am wondering however that this may all be overkill and whether or not other lower end apps like Vegas or Pinnacle would be better suited to her needs - however I have no experience of either of these so am at a bit of a loss.

My main reason for recommending Premiere, apart from the fact that I can show her how to use it, is because we can get an academic version of Adobe Creative Suite Premium for under £300, which is a lot of software for very little dough. Also I thought that having Premiere would enable her to perform simple tasks with the ability to expand her workflow and perform more complex tasks as she becomes more confident. Another reason would be that many students (who may end up using the machine) are more likely to be familiar with Premiere than Pinnacle or Vegas.

I am concerned about the laptops performance and need it to run the app smoothly and efficiently. I should note that she will be working with SD video and no plans to use HD.

Laptop specs are as follows with the exception that I am considering two seperate HDdrives (one for programs, one for media) rather than a RAID 0 Stripe

Dell XPS M1730
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7500 (2.20 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 4 MB L2-cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium - English
Base Warranty - 1 Year XPS Premium Hardware Support (incl. Gaming and On-Site Support)
Crimson Red with White LED Backlights
17.0" UltraSharp™ WUXGA (1920x1200) TFT with TrueLife™ with Integrated 2.0MP web cam
2048MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x1024]
320GB (7200rpm) SATA RAID 0 Stripe (2x160GB)
Dual 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 8700M GT graphics with NVIDIA SLI Technology
Fixed 8x DVD+/-RW Slim Slot Load drive, including SW
Primary 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (85 WHr)

If anyone has any thoughts on this I would be very grateful for them.

Thanks.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #2
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If your colleague is to become a professional editor, which I assume she will since you say that you're colleagues at work, I wouldn't recommend anything less than Avid Xpress Pro or Media Composer. It doesn't have to do with anything, other than the fact that the majority of production studios use Avid, so it would be better if she started her "virgin" post production tour with this certain workflow.

If professional editing is not the case, then it depends on what kind of work she intends to do. If it's mainly simple cut-to-cut work to encode on DVD, even Windows Media Player is enough. If she intends to go a little deeper Premiere is a good software but, to be honest, I hate its interface and how "heavy" it is for the OS. A very good, easily-learned on its basic stuff, choice for both simple and professional work is Grass Valley's Edius Pro, a very underestimated, thus extremely fast and flexible software. Working with Avid, you especially, Chris, would realize how close it is to what you work with. Also, it's very light for the system and, most important... it works!

The laptop specs are pretty OK. True, you should use a separate hard disc as your media drive. 10,000 rpm would be better but it depends on the material you're editing, 7.200 rpm is good for DV, it's HDV that requires additional RAM, faster discs with more space and a double Dual Core processor.

Finally, if I were you I'd go for Windows XP Pro with SP1, 2 and 3 installed and certainly NOT Vista. They cause numberless troubles (I can't believe Microsoft is still the king of mess after so many years! Simply unbelievable...)
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I work in a university an my colleague certainly has no desire to be a pro editor.

To start with she will be cutting simple sequences which she will no doubt then want to author for DVD.

However, in my experience if people take an interest then they will certainly begin to delve deeper as her skills evolve and I see no point in providing her with software that may ultimately prove restrictive.

The difficulty in this case is platform - laptop, not desktop - which is a necessity as much of the work she will be performing will be on the go so to speak.

You are right about premiere being OS heavy and that is my main concern here.

I have never used Edius Pro, or know anybody who has but I'll see what I can find on the web to read about.

Thanks for your thoughts
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Brooke View Post
The difficulty in this case is platform - laptop, not desktop - which is a necessity as much of the work she will be performing will be on the go so to speak.
No difficulty at all if you decide not to use Premiere, especially CS3. The laptop specs are good enough for basic or even more complex editing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Brooke View Post
I have never used Edius Pro, or know anybody who has but I'll see what I can find on the web to read about.
You have just met one, now! :-) I've been a professional editor for many years (taking a long-awaiting work break these last few days from an exhausting six-month work on a movie, which is why I can provide you with answers... ha... :-) working with Media Composer. My absolute favorite software, though, that I use a lot for other freelance work, is Grass Valley Edius Pro.

Check the following link:

http://www.canopus.com/products/EDIU...cast/index.php
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Old January 16th, 2008, 11:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Themis Gyparis View Post
Finally, if I were you I'd go for Windows XP Pro with SP1, 2 and 3 installed and certainly NOT Vista.
SP1? No point because of...

SP2? Yes - absolutely.

SP3? Absolutely not. It's still only a release candidate (a late stage beta). Never install a release candidate on a service pack on a computer that has even the remotetest bit of importance to you. Once the proper SP3 is released, wait a month or two to see how the early adopters fare with it.

Vista - mileage will vary. Many reports of excellent stability and compatibility. Many reports of neverending frustration and regret.

XP Pro SP2 is the sweet spot in the 32-bit world. XP Pro x64 is even sweeter as long as you have the hardware drivers.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #6
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SP3? Absolutely not. It's still only a release candidate (a late stage beta).
Right! What I was really referring to is all Windows Hotfixes and updates. As for Vista, I still haven't heard one that will claim he doesn't have problems, especially when it comes to editing software compatibility... Too soon for a software with as many versions as Rocky...
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