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Old December 22nd, 2002, 12:31 AM   #1
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I need advice on a real time NLE system

Can anyone offer any advice on a good NLE system? I will use it mostly for home video but use a Sony DCR VX2000 and want to maintain the best image quality I can for eventual DVD authoring.

I have read a lot about Matrox RTX100 and Canopus DVStorm and was considering one of these devices but it seems that many people are very happy with Vegas Video 3, which not only is much cheaper, but also probably easier to install (the other devices being hardware based). The other issue is I may have to upgrade my computer (P4, 1.8 GHz, 1G RAM) to use the Matrox or Canopus effectively. I want to be able to have a couple layers of video and audio with 3-4 texts if I want, as well as color correction and some cool 3D transitions. Since I am a hobbyist I don't need lightening fast rendering, but would at least like some real time previewing of effects and not painfully long rendering when it is needed.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 22nd, 2002, 12:43 AM   #2
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With your setup, and what you require, vv3 will be more than enough.

Also, not that i 'recommend' doing this, but if your p4 1.8ghz is a northwood, they overclock like hell and back on standard cooling, and could speeze that bugger to at least 2.4ghz with one simple bios change. Just make sure you find a friend who knows what he is doing.

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Old December 22nd, 2002, 12:44 AM   #3
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The Canopus DV Storm 2 will do everything you want -- it is a true real-time system (with real-time output over Firewire, and scalable features which grow as your system increases power). Your current config should be fine unless the motherboard and video card aren't compatible (see Canopus website under Support). All you need is another 5400rpm hard drive for video storage. I'm a Canopus user and couldn't be happier with it. Much greater stability, customer support and feature set over any of its competitors. Hope this helps,
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Old December 26th, 2002, 10:18 PM   #4
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I second Chris' view of Canopus products.

You did overlook the Raptor which is an older but quite good product. They go for around $100 or so used. They rarely break so they are fairly safe to buy.

For more capability, DVRex sells used for around $350-$500. These are as good as the Raptor but they also include analog in and out.

In both cases, if you register the hardware, you can download Rex or Raptor Edit for free. Those editing packages are simple but quite fast and very high quality. I use the RT version of the software as my main editing tool. Canopus' CODEC is considered to be one of the best if not the best CODEC for DV. And the non-realtime versions will run nicely on a PII-400.

VV3 still requires a firewire card so you will have to install one of those if you select that path.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 05:57 AM   #5
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RaptorRT is still a supported product, right?

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Old December 28th, 2002, 10:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input everyone. It is very helpful and I really appreciate it.

I'm somewhat of a computer novice and installing the Canopus card intimidates me a little (which is why Vegas Video caught my eye). I've changed my video PCI card (with firewire port) before without a problem. Is the Canopus DVStorm2 (probably the Canopus product I would choose) very difficult to install?

Also, this will probably sound stupid, but will I need to buy Adobe Premiere also in order to edit if I go with Canopus or does it have its own editing software?

Thanks again.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 12:24 AM   #7
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canopus comes with it's own software as well as adobe premiere. so you wouldn't have to buy it seperately, just have to make sure you buy the right storm package.

it almost feels like canopus is weeding out the "middle of the road" packages. i do not know how the storm is, so i cannot speak on the behalf of that. but as far as the raptor/RT with it cryptic sequence of installing the thing, switching of OS HALs and bios settings seems like a little more trouble then it's worth.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 12:30 AM   #8
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The DV Storm and RTX100 products will include Adobe Premiere. You won't have to buy it seperatly.

However...
Why do you need a real time editing system? Most people think they do, but actually don't. I did at first, and then realized a software app was more than enough for my editing needs. The $800 difference between DV Storm and Vegas Video can pay for a perfectly capable editing computer entirely, although the one you have is a fine starting point and just needs more HD space.
Also, you won't have any hardware problems like you might installing a real time card.
Not to say that the DV Storm and RTX100 aren't excellent products, just that you might be better off putting that money in other aspects of your production, or in your savings account if you don't need real time goodness.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 01:32 AM   #9
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Dylan gives good advice about VV3, but failed to mention that Premiere 6.5 has at least as much realtime capability as Vegas. Avid Xpress DV 3.5 also is in the same boat.

You'll need hardware help for the "couple layers of video and audio with 3-4 texts if I want, as well as color correction and some cool 3D transitions". If you think you can get by with less, a software solution is a good place to start.

Vegas works well. It's a solid tool with a deep feature set, easy to get started with, but goes about things differently than other NLE's. I own a copy, but much prefer Premiere. I still keep Vegas around because it's useful for a number of auxilliary tasks.

Premiere is pretty much the standard on PCs. I think not so much because it's better than any other, but simply because it's a very open system. If you can buy something aftermarket, it almost invariably supports Premiere.

Avid Xpress is somewhat of a stepchild unless you have a real need to interact with its larger brethren. As a piece of software, it stands heads and shoulders above Premiere and Vegas in everything that counts: capability, stability, usability; you name it. Its one failing for me is that it only works with OMF files. The rest of the PC world works with AVI. This is perhaps ideal if you, again, need to interchange media files with other Avid systems. What it means for me is that none of my other tools work. Tools to capture from DV or analog; post process sound; encode for DVD; or even to simply view things without starting the editor. You need to also know that as of 3.5, Xpress still uses QuickTime to import DV AVI into OMF. QT has a 2 GB file size limit, which also means the import will fail (several minutes later) if you try to import a larger file. None of this matters if you have no intention of operating outside the application. If so, nothing else even comes close.

You will do well with any of these three. Premiere has the added advantage of supporting RT hardware. The DVStorm2 can be purchased without Premiere, making that a viable upgrade path.

Last, when looking at RT hardware, the real question that needs to be answered isn't so much about the number of simultaneous layers it can handle, but rather how well that card's set of RT effects and transitions fits your needs. MPEG encoding time is also something to consider, but may be less important because this can be done batch fashion, while you sleep. All this assumes that you've already decided that Premiere is what you want to use. This is far from a given.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 10:28 AM   #10
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Dont want to get into a flame war here but MIke's statement is absolutely bizzare: (referring to Avid)

As a piece of software, it stands heads and shoulders above Premiere and Vegas in everything that counts: capability, stability, usability; you name it.

1. Capability----Look at Vegas's feature set versus Avids---its no a brainer--audio, titling, transitions, rt previews that ALL WORK!

2. STability---come on, you have to be kidding-----Vegas is known to be among the most stable NLE's in the marketplace---Maybe you dont have your system configured correctly.

3. Usability---now that's the biggest joke of your post----if anything, Avid is known to have a huge learning curb whereas Vegas has among the simpliest.


I would appreciate you supporting your statements when you make them. I am getting tired of all these so called experts giving bad advice to novices.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 11:47 AM   #11
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David,
That's a little harsh on Mike, since he is mostly correct.

However you make some good points for Vegas. It's hard to compare stability, I've had Vegas freeze on me several times, it's not perfect (yet). But as for ease of use and compatibility with hardware? Definitely Vegas.
If you are a beginner, Vegas is definitely simpler than Avid, and probably a better choice than Premiere and Ulead as well. If you are a more computer freindly or experienced editor, then you just look at the feature sets of every option and decide which is best for you.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 11:48 AM   #12
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I am really curious as to the real differences between Premiere, Vegas Video, and Avid XPress DV, and it looks like we might get somewhere with some objective comparison of different features. What would be really interesting is if someone familiar with the systems could put together a tutorial showing how to perform the same editing tasks--a few common ones and a few complex ones--on all three different systems, and what the upsides and downsides of each system is for each particular task.

I'm still not sure what justifies the considerably higher pricing of the Avid software. So far the only reasoning anyone on these boards has been able to come up with is "Because it's Avid," which I find to be something of an unsatisfactory non-answer.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 12:05 PM   #13
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Robert, I think Videoguys.com has a comparison of Premiere vs Avid (I could be wrong).

As far as pricing goes, Avid could be more expensive because of higher developping costs, or it could be priced that way to keep it at a higher level than Premiere so professionals will take it more seriously. (If Rolls Royces were $25,000 no one would buy one.)Or maybe neither.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 12:17 PM   #14
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"Maybe you don't have your system configured correctly."

Yup, that's the main reason for nle crashes.. regardless of the system! Just cruise the forums, people log on saying, "This suck's I never had this problem with my old system!" This is usually followed with posts of the nature..."Strange, I never had that happen to me..." Followed by flames saying "It ALWAYS happens to me!" (Yes, even on Macs.)

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Old December 29th, 2002, 03:22 PM   #15
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For all of its technical achievements, the Canopus DVStorm2 is about as user-unfriendly as it gets. Documentation is recycled material from earlier Canopus boards -- for $1200+ the company couldn't be bothered to issue anything more than addenda to Raptor and DVRex operating manuals: valuable information buried all over the place, on this piece of paper -- and that one.

And don't count on much in the way of quality support. The Canopus support forum is, with a few exceptions, users-only who often spew bad advice and misinformation. It's sad, really. Here's a company with some good ideas that fails to carry them through to end-user land. I tried the platform and am glad to be off of it.
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