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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 03:23 PM   #1
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PC or MAC?/ which software/ if PC- which one?

I really do not know under what section to post this, so I'll this one.

Planning on buying a comp with the latest configurations for editing. I have worked on a MAC and a PC beofre. I don't know which one to choose.

If I take the Mac, I pick up Final Cut Pro. Its simple.

If I take a PC, I have too many options to decide amongst.

-If I take a PC, then which one do I take...branded, assembled?

- The goal is to be able to edit my Mini-DV feature...

- The only remote editing experience I have is on a PC and was on Pinnacle Studio 8 which I presume is quite basic. Anyhow what ever I take, I'll have to learn which I'm fast at.

Please help!!! I haven't a clue. After hours and hours of going through options I can't come to a conclusion.
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 04:44 PM   #2
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If you pick Mac, you have TWO choices, Final Cut Pro and Avid XpressDV Pro. If you edit on Avid ExpressDV Pro, then you can take your tapes and project to a professional post house, and have it "Finished" (Professionally Color corrected, audio sweetening, highend special effects, etc.) On a high end Avid system anywhere.

Avid ships with versions for Both Mac and PC.
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 06:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Richard.
- I have a lot of people out here in Mumbai pushing me wityh both hands and feet towards the Mac.

I've been looking Vegas 5 and liked it but that means PC.

What if you had to choose between Final Cut Pro and Vegas 5. Are there any comparisions I can find
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 06:43 PM   #4
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Just from reading the boads, lots of people are happy with Vegas. It has a very strong audio suite, so if you are needing that it's definately worth a look see. The shortcommings that Vegas users will admit to are rendering time, and file management. (Apparently, its very awkward when dealing with large projects. I understand they are moving towards a more "avid" like format in the future)

Final Cut Pro is solid too. Lots of indy shops in the states use it.

Perhaps you should be asking what sort of support is available where you are. When (not IF) your system crashes on a weekend, will it make a difference how quickly you can get service/repairs on PC or Mac?
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 07:13 PM   #5
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With FCP you can use Automatic Duck to make your project Avid compatible and have it professionally finished.

I have no Avid XpressDV Pro experience so I can't say how good it is.

2- Final Cut is fairly easy to use and there's a good community for it over at lafcpug.org. For a feature, it should work very well for you. I find it easy to use, pretty intuitive, and it doesn't take a lot of button pushing to edit big projects. It has good media management capabilities.

My favorite NLE is Vegas (PC), but if you don't need all the extra features it has (i.e. it has really strong audio tools) then it doesn't help you much. For a feature I would probably prefer Final Cut.

Premiere Pro is kinda like Final Cut on the PC. I'd get Final Cut/Mac unless you go for one of the premiere bundles. The bundle for audition + after effects + photoshop is nice if you need those programs. However, you can those similar programs seperately for the other NLEs. With Premiere you may have to watch out for configuration issues with hardware acceleration cards. I believe you need one to put Premiere on the same performance level as a dual processor G5. You probably don't need one though.

3- General Mac VS PC advantages:
Mac:
easy to use
don't have to worry about viruses or spyware/adware
no configuration issues- all your hardware will play together, and your software will work with the hardware.

PC:
better price/performance ratio if you buy preassembled.

As far as stability goes, it's debatable. If you're going PC, try to do your research and find working recipes for stable systems (i.e. ask users what hardware configs they are using successfully).

4- PC: Branded or preassembled:
Go find a working 'recipe' for the NLE you wish to use and go with a vendor like monarchcomputers.com. Monarch charges street prices for parts + $50 build fee. [EDIT: applies to US only... the poster lives in India]

With branded computers, you run about equal in price to several hundred dollars more expensive. Branded computers tend to have outsourced tech support, which can be frustrating (i.e. Dell's resellerratings is 4.1 out of 10 mainly because of their Indian techs). Preassembled computers use standard parts, which means you can easily find replacements for broken parts and you can upgrade easily.

If you really want to save money then hot deals can be had on branded computers. Then install missing parts yourself (i.e. DVD burner, more hard drives).

5- I'd recommend getting a refurb or academic-pricing machine and get a tower of some sort. Dual processor G5s are the fastest, following by single processor G5 and duallie G4s, and then G4s and then G3s. If you don't really need all that speed then a single processor G4/G5 would actually be fine.

Save money on RAM and hard drives by buying 3rd party. These things are easy to install and the apple website has great instructions. Same thing goes for monitors.

Get a 2-button mouse with scroll wheel if buying a Mac.

6- Things to have for any editing setup:
Lots of hard drive space. It does not hurt to have too much. Running out of hard drive space is really bad, and any extra space you can use for temporary archival.

Dual monitors are nice (dual monitor video card required). They give you a lot more screen real estate. 2 19" midrange flat screen CRTs would be a good setup.

Fast processor(s) if you need the speed.

minimum 512MB RAM. For many NLEs the sweet spot is 1GB, past which you may not see any performance increase at all. Final Cut should probably get 1GB.

deck or cheap camcorder to save wear and tear on your camera.

TV or industrial grade monitor or NTSC monitor.
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 07:14 PM   #6
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hmm.....
I agree with you Richard..... Support is important especially for someone like me who does no know anything about fixing these machines.

Could you expand on the File Management issues with Vegas.
Thanks a ton ya.
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 07:21 PM   #7
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Another thing to consider is support. If you have techie friends then they may be able to help you with Final Cut or PC issues. Usually you will get downtime from software issues:
bugs with your video editing program
other software issues (OS, bad drivers, spyware, viruses, anti-virus programs)

Having techie friends is better if they're good with computers (this is different than them claiming to be good with computers).
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 10:09 PM   #8
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If you could tell us more about your project and your equipment budget that would make it easier to offer more specific advice. For DV editing on PCs your choices include several major editing/DVD production suites, including at least the following:

Adobe Premiere Pro
Avid Xpress DV
Pinnacle Liquid Edition
Sony Vegas
Ulead Media Studio Pro
Canopus Edius

Most of these have demos you can download to try for yourself if you have access to a PC where you can install the demos.

A lot depends on what kind of computer the people around you are using, and whether you can get technical support when you need it. Both Macs and PCs have excellent options for video work, so you can't really go wrong with either platform. You can definitely save money by using PCs if you know what you want and shop around for it, but whether that matters depends on your budget and other criteria.

Can you give us more details about what you're doing?
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Old October 8th, 2004, 05:51 PM   #9
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Glen, Kevin thanks a lot for the advice. I have a lot to learn.

I'm shooting this feature on the XL2. Recording straight to disk. with a tape for backup.
Wanted to pick up a good Lap-top. The Mac is a safe option I guess. I do tend to lean towards PC though. Would you reccommend going in for an HP, Dell or Sony. How about a Toshiba. I really have no clue about branded peices. Toshiba has excellent after service out here in India. Mac does not.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #10
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If youre not computer savvy, prone to open and tweak it just for the fun of it, than best to buy with easy support in mind. Sounds like Mac support is less accesable for you...?? If so, then your default choice is a PC platform.

Go to the various websites for each the programs listed, and check out their various reccomendations for systems. Most tend to list the "minimum" ram requirements, best to get more.
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Old October 8th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Would you reccommend going in for an HP, Dell or Sony. How about a Toshiba. I really have no clue about branded peices.
Most OEMs price their systems so that the are close to breaking even on the base models and overcharge for upgrades so they can make a profit. Dell is more extreme in this way- their base systems are sometimes very cheap, and their upgrades are generally very overpriced.

All three install 3rd party software onto your computer, which you may like to remove. With Sony, make sure to uninstall their DV codec. Never use Norton antivirus trial, it is very slow and AVG Antivirus free is better.

Another option is to get a computer from a local computer shop. You should be able to always get a reasonably priced computer this way. You would have to research the components you want- I suggest you decide on your NLE and then ask users on forums like these for working recipes.

Support would only be hardware support. I don't know how it would compare to Dell (talk with Indian techs on the phone, some of whom may be very new to the job since turnover rate is very high).
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Old October 12th, 2004, 12:21 AM   #12
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laptop

For a PC laptop I would look at the Alienware (alienware.com) line. I have one that is a real smoker that I run PPro on. I will probably never buy any PC other than Alienware ever again. The comps are super fast and the company is small enough to give you individual attention if you need service. It's going to be Alienware or Mac for me from now on...

I'm done with Dell, Gateway and those other clowns.
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