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Old November 8th, 2003, 09:53 AM   #1
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Questions on Video Capture/Premiere Pro Suite vs. Vegas+DVD/PAL vs. NTSC

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but just getting into video editing. However, I've done a fair amount of research already, including quite a bit of browsing of the archives here, so hopefully these questions won't appear TOO basic.

My three questions are:

1. Selection of Post-Production Software
2. Selection of Analog Video Capture hardware
3. Question(s) on PAL vs. NTSC support


I'm prepared to spend up to $1000 (if I have to), and need the usual combination of Video Capture, Non-linear editing, Titling and Effects, Output (primarily to DVD). I do need PAL support as well, at least on output but preferably on capture too.

For much less than the $1000, it appears that I can get Pinnacle Studio 8, which appears to have everything I need. However, EVERYWHERE I look, reviews from real users (unlike magazine reviews) universally say that while the concept was great, the execution was poor, and it is extremely bug-ridden and crash-prone, with no real end in sight. That, unfortunately, would appear to rule it out. (Also, it seems that Studio 8 does not support PAL and NTSC in the same version.)

Since there appears to be nothing else comparable in the low-cost category (<$200) (counter-opinions, anyone?), going up the food chain, I've come across: Vegas+DVD ($550), and Adobe Video Collection Standard Suite (Premier Pro + Encore DVD + After Effects + Audition) ($800). (My application is really for making nice-looking home movies and some instructional videos, so this may be overkill for me, but I like to have creative and technical control and I can't stand buggy products.)

I actually did an extensive search in the archives and it seemed that Vegas 4 got positive press over Premiere 6.x about 3:1. Interestingly, no one HATED Vegas, but a few did hate Premiere. There were some stability complaints with Premiere but none for Vegas. HOWEVER, this was with Premiere 6.x, and claims that "Premiere Pro is a complete re-write of the code, from the ground up." And not much that I've seen on Premiere PRO vs. Vegas 4.

- Is there anything that Studio 8 does that either of these more expensive products don't do?
- From someone who has used both Vegas+DVD and the NEW Adobe Suite (based on Premiere Pro), what are the pros and cons? Recommendations? Particularly interested in the stability question of Premiere Pro and how much it has truly improved over Premiere 6.x.


I already have a FireWire port on my laptop, so I imagine that I don't need anything else for capture from my mini-DV recorder. However, for analog capture from videotapes, I need an external capture box (not a card since I use a laptop), with S-video, composite video and audio inputs, and FireWire output. I'm not looking for the lowest-cost product that might compromise on fidelity or noise, but a somewhat higher-end product where transparency, good audio and video fidelity, low noise, etc., have been considered and engineered in.

Any obvious choices or recommendations here?


(a) Do DVDs come just in one flavour that inherently supports PAL and NTSC, and it's the decoder in the player that converts to the specific format? Or is there actually some difference in the way it is recorded? (I'm not talking about region coding here.)

(b) Do Vegas+DVD and the Adobe Suite support PAL and NTSC (in one product)? And for both capture AND output (if this question is even meaningful depending on the answer to (a))?

(c) For the video capture hardware (Question 2 above), are there products that support both formats?

(d) Once it's on my PC for editing, is there a difference in whether the source was PAL or NTSC, or is it really getting it into and out of the PC where the difference comes in? And if it is captured on the PC at the native resolution and frame rate of PAL and NTSC (which are different), it would seem relatively easy for the software to do the conversion.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. Unrelated observation: Adobe's "Digital Video Primer" at provides a lot of good background information (obviously peppered with plugs for Adobe products) and is very well written. Didn't answer the questions above, though.
Shahrukh Merchant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2003, 10:48 AM   #2
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Just to add another option for you instead of the adobe video collection. ADS Tech ( has the PYRO Professional Package for $500.

It has full versions of Premiere Pro, Encore & Audition along with the 90 min tutorial on dvd.

It doesn't have after effects.
Jed Williamson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 8th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #3
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Shahrukh, does your camera/deck do analog-to-digital passthrough? (convert from Analog<-->Digital in VCR mode)

You wouldn't really need a converter box then.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 9th, 2003, 12:58 AM   #4
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Thanks, Jed, for the PYRO suggestion. I'll look at that if I end up going the Adobe route.

Good question on the built-in A/D conversion, Glenn. I checked the camera and it has FireWire in/out but analog out only. (I don't have a DV player other than the camera.) But for this function, I am looking at the Canopus ADVC-100 ($300), which seems to have got good reviews, and does support PAL and NTSC. Any first-hand comments on this, positive or negative, or better alternatives? How does it compare, for example, with the $200 Pyro A/V Link or the $200 DataVideo DAC-100? When is the Audio Sync feature in the Canopus (and not in the Pyro or Datavideo) really needed?
Shahrukh Merchant is offline   Reply

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