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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.


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Old May 13th, 2002, 02:52 AM   #1
patro_sg
 
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PC requirements for editing

I'm wondering what kind of requirements are needed for editing.

I have Premiere 6.0 on a computer with an AMD Athlon 850 processor, 20Gb @ 7200, and 256RAM.

Sure, I know I'll need much more HD space (I intend on getting 80 Gb) but will my work suffer due to the processor and low RAM?

Also, I don't have any capture card (or firewire input). What would be good? I don't have tons of cash, but want something that will perform well.

Thanks.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 04:36 AM   #2
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Your processor and ram are fine for editing. No problems there. I
would indeed go with more harddisk space though. Firewire
cards all depends on what you want the card to do.

You have cheap OHCI compliant cards that work fine most of
the time. And then you have the more expensive Canopus
cards that also offer analog in/out and real-time rendering
of some effects. Avoid Pinnacle stuff if you don't want to have
driver issues.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 08:36 AM   #3
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Rob, although you are quite correct I feel there is something to be added.

It is true that Pinnacle cards can cause driver issues. I've had a DV500 since it was released and yes the drivers have been up and down.

Add a Pinnacle card to a pre-exsisting system and there's a good chance you'll run into problems. I had my original system built by guys who did just that. They built a system that had good specs, fast processor, SCSI drives, lots of RAM, good graphics card the whole bit and then they threw in the DV500. They didn't do any research, I guess because no-one knew anything about this card as it had just been released.

Since then I have rebuilt the system paying careful attention to the components and matching them to the DV500. The system is now running well. It's currently running Prem 5.1c/DV500 V2.0 due to a damaged and unreadable Prem 6.0 Disk. Under Win2000/SP2 it is quite stable and reliable.

So, to sum it all up, Pinnacle cards are not for people who don't know much about the nuts and bolts of computer systems. They are great cards and the DV500 offers some great RT functionality. But if you plann on using a Pinnicle card have someone build the system for you and build it around the card. If you want to know more you can see the Pinnacle site at www.pinnaclesys.com

Happy editing.
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Old May 13th, 2002, 10:18 PM   #4
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What does "OHCI compliant" mean?

And would I need analog in/out if I were mainly using firewire? The fact is, the XM-1 (GL-1) I'm about to buy doesn't have analog inputs, so I guess I'd have to get a card with such, in order to bring VHS footage into my computer.

Just what is the price difference between a card with firewire only and one with firewire and analog inputs? Is it a lot? It seems that to put analog inputs on a card would be simple and low-tech/cost.

So is rendering speed more a function of the card or the PC?

Also, would WIN 98 pose any problems?

Thanks in advance,

PATRO
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Old May 14th, 2002, 03:56 AM   #5
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Patro,

I have explained most of this already in another thread, please
see that one: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1912

You only need analog input/output if you want to digitize
a VHS or TV source, or if you want to OUTPUT to VHS for
example. Firewire is the connection you use between your
DV camera and your system.

The price difference can vary greatly. The heaviest differences
are in the cards that do a lot of things real-time. Check out
the Canopus site and some online retailers to get a price
idea.

Rendering speed is a function of both. The faster the CPU
(or CPU's if you have more than one) the less need for a
real-time card. It might be that with a dual 2 Ghz system you
don't need a card at all. Perhaps you do, I don't own one
myself so I can't comment on that too much.

I would definitely NOT go with a Windows 9x (95, 98, ME)
system, why?

- Reliability and stability of the system
- No support for AVI files over 4 GB
- Lousy file system that does not support file protection
against corruption when crashes occur

My personal advise would be to go with Windows 2000
Professional (latest service pack) and make sure your
drives are NTFS (a file system). This allows you to go
beyond the 4 GB AVI limit and also protects your files
if the system should crash (mine never has during editing,
capturing etc.). You might also go with Windows XP
Professional but this OS has not yet truly been proven
to work well with such applications as ours.

Let me know if you need to know more.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 10:58 AM   #6
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I have been plugging away at low buck editing configurations on the pc platform all the way back to when a 133 was a big deal. Today I have a 750/256, an ohci Pyro card, fast ( and cheap ) ide drives and Premier 6.0 on win 2000. Very reliable and easy to configure and of course, cheap.

I am waiting for Premier for Linux.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 09:02 AM   #7
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Thank you, Doug, for the encouraging response.

Do you use your PC for other things, like the internet, regular work, and everything else? That's ok to do? Someone suggested I use my PC just for editing (in other words, buy a new one)...

So could you tell me about the Pyro card a bit? Does it have alalog inputs? And what do you mean by 'fast'? The rendering?

What other cards would be comprable to the Pyro? (competitors)

And what does 'idle drives' mean?

Also, I've heard talk about 'partitioning drives'. Can anyone explain this?

I really appreciate it.

-PATRO
Singapore
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Old May 16th, 2002, 09:47 AM   #8
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Well... you can use it for more than one thing ofcourse. The
thing is, do you want to tempt the evil one? I mean, I use my
machine for a lot of things, but if I can't edit that is really not
a problem. But if your editing is a top priority than I suggest
to not use the system for anything else (you can install
something like Photoshop ofcourse to draw things you need),
but do not use it to install anything not related to your work.
It all depends on how seriously you are about all of this and
the machine.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 09:53 AM   #9
 
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Time for my weekly diatribe. My personal recommendation is to avoid Premier like the plague. This is old, read my lips, O~L~D technology. There's MUCH better available.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 03:07 AM   #10
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Bill... if you say A say B as well... What in your opinion are the
editing packages that are much better? Old has one advantage
(usually), and that is PROVEN. I've had little trouble with
Premiere over the years, a lot of people can use it so I know
everyone can use my station. I Also use After Effects quite a bit
and this allows me to load Premiere projects (I'm talking
PROJECTS here, not OUTPUT files) native, very handy! Another
advantage is that those special DV cards (like Canopus or
Pinnacle) always work with Premiere and not always with other
products...

It all boils down to preferences and money ofcourse. I suggest
to everyone who needs to find an NLE to download the demo
of each NLE (even if your on dialup take the time because you
will infest money into a product that you will work with, hopefully,
for a long time to come!) and try it out before you buy. There is
nothing as good as trying out! Believe me!
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Old May 17th, 2002, 07:14 AM   #11
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Doug,

You'll have an extremely long wait for Premiere, or any mainstream editing app to support linux. I spoke to Macromedia about linux support and they said they'd support linux when people start paying for it. Adobe have the same feeling.

There used to be a good app called Broadway, but due to legal reasons it's not available anymore.

It's a shame as linux is a perfect OS for high load tasks such as NLE because you can configure it to make the most of the systems resourses. Unlike Windows that has a lots of processes running in the background eating up resourses.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 08:31 AM   #12
 
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Good Morning Rob...

yes, of course, if I complain, I should also offer a solution. Well, I've come to realize that a lot of my dislike for premier is not shared by others. There are a lot of reasons for this, some of which you mentioned, like compatibility with AE. No doubt, the popularity of Premier is related to the number of plug-ins and add ons available for Adobe products. No doubt, also, that AE is a pretty useful program. Nevertheless, Premier was never a native DV editor, and even tho' from v6 Adobe has supported DV, they've done it in a crude and unreliable way. I don't work in analog, so, admittedly my comments are pertinent to DV only. Adobe has done an excellent job of marketting their product by bundling it with so many hardware choices. I've been using Premier since v4.0, on many different platforms, and have never gotten it to work reliably. My first intro to Premier was with a DPS SPARK card...remember that? It's come a lng ways since then but Premier always seems to drop frames, have a rendering glitch or just plain freeze up in the middle of a BIG project. Believe me, chronically losing several hours worth of work is NO laughing matter. At best, Premier is balky. Premier is NOT user friendly, with all it's hidden menus and deeply embedded and nebulous switches. It forces you to use the Micro$oft DV codec...YUCKKKKKK!!! I just don't trust it. Yes, personal opinion, all of this.

I've always wondered why the cost of a standalone premier is so expensive, and yet, they practically give it away when it comes bundled with hardware. This is pure marketting strategy, pure and simple. It gets their product distributed, people get familiar with it, then think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Now, what have I had success with? In order of preference, I would say 1-Vegas Video 6(I truly love this program), 2-Ulead Media Studio Pro v6, 3- Pinnacle Studio 7, formerly Studio DV. MSP-6 has frozen on me a couple of times and S7 is quite a fundamental NLE with no fancy bells and whistles. I hesitate to sing the praises of VV3, because I'll sound like a salesman. BUT, with the compositing and track effects modules and the outstanding audio editting software, this application is fast and RELIABLE. I have'nt experienced a dropped frame, freezeup, or unrecoverable glitch in the few months I've been using it. It's well layed out, work and buttons follow intuitive paths, and I can control the program with a Contour Shuttle Pro, making frame by frame selections and edits. I have real time previewing of rendered video, gotta wait some for a write to tape...but, that's not a drawback for me. For a full up production house, it may be. This program rivals the multi-1000 dollar AVID and Storm products for less than half the price. If you need analog input, I can capture composite thru my Radeon video card. Well, enuff said.

Again, sorry for the rant about Premier, I just think it's one of the biggest scams to hit anyone trying to do serious work.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; May 17th, 2002 at 10:56 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2002, 01:41 PM   #13
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Hi Bill,

not everyone does "serious work".

Never ever had a crash with premiere, it works great for me, then again my requirements are hardly demanding.

Horses for courses

Cheers

Andrew
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