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Old January 7th, 2002, 06:40 AM   #1
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DV editing workstation

In trying to decide what equipment I should recommend to the company I work for, I was hoping I could get some advice from some people who know about this stuff. The system will be built on a windows 2000 or xp platform.

The first thing that I am unclear about is real time editing. What advantage to do you get from purchasing a more expensive real time card such as the Canopus DV Storm RT? I have heard that you are able to view your edited material before rendering. Without a lot of experience in editing digital video, I don't immediately see this. I am able to make small changes in Vegas Video 3.0 and play it back and preview it without a real time card. If the real time setup saves time, how much time?

What is the advantage of using a professional NTSC monitor?

Has anyone bought a complete system from www.saferseas.com?

Dual monitors or one large monitor?

Does anyone use RAID? Which mode? Do you need RAID to be able to do real time editing or will a 7200 rpm IDE do the trick?

DVD Burner? Does anyone actually create DVD's that can be played on a consumer DVD player?

Software? I have used premier and Vegas Video 3.0. Right now I really like Vegas Video and have some heartburn about premier. What do you use and how does it work for you?

Thanks for any help.
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Old January 7th, 2002, 08:22 AM   #2
 
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What is the advantage of using a professional NTSC monitor?

an NTSC mon can be calibrated so that what you see on the screen(color mapping) is what you get on other calibrated monitors

Dual monitors or one large monitor?

dual monitors are nice for editting footage. You put the control panels on one monitor and the footage on the other. Unfortunately, you limit your choices if you're wanting either a single card that supports multiple monitors or a dual monitor video software that supports multiple cards.

Does anyone use RAID? Which mode? Do you need RAID to be able to do real time editing or will a 7200 rpm IDE do the trick?

RAID can be tempermental.In order to really make RAID faster than a single drive, you've got to fiddle with the block sizes. The optimized block size depends on the file size. I run a single 100Mb ATA 100 Western Digital 7200 RPM drive which works great for DV. I'm afraid it's too slow for uncompressed playback, tho'.

DVD Burner? Does anyone actually create DVD's that can be played on a consumer DVD player?

of course....altho' some DVD players will play SVCD, and, I've found that to be much cheaper than DVD.

Software? I have used premier and Vegas Video 3.0. Right now I really like Vegas Video and have some heartburn about premier. What do you use and how does it work for you?

I'm using a combination of Ulead mediaStudio Pro 6.5, Premier 6 and Pinnacle Studio 7. Lately, I've found MSP 6.5 has been satisfying all my requirments. It works flawlessly, no hiccups, freezes or confusing menu's.

Hope this has helped.
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Old January 8th, 2002, 01:05 AM   #3
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To help you design a good system a bit more infomation is required.

1.What is the primary task of the system - television/commercials, film, web, DVD?
2.What will be the majority of your comtent - video, motion graphics, bit of both?
3.What kind of budget do you have?
4.Do you already have a basic machine or are we starting from scratch?

If you can answer these questions we can go from there?
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Old January 8th, 2002, 05:02 AM   #4
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The primary task will be for presentations that will be displayed on a projector or monitor. Another task is to provide DVD's for clients which they might show potential customers.

I think there will be video and motion graphics, probably more video than anything else.

The budget is going to be around 5500.

We do not have a basic machine right now.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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Old January 8th, 2002, 12:03 PM   #5
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Paul,

One matter that you should consider is whether or not this new station will be dedicated to video editing and kindred tasks. If it's used for a variety of other general office chores you may find that it quickly becomes unstable for video work as other drivers and software begin to junk-up the environment.

I'm curious why you're not considering using a good Mac G4 with Final Cut Pro 3 for this task. I'm quite certain that you could set up a very nice station for your budget (excluding camera and other production equipment, of course).

Whichever way you choose to go you might be interested in looking at ProMax at least for reference. They specialize in providing video editing stations for both the PC and Mac platform. I cannot personally endorse them since I've never purchsed from them. But many others have sung their praises on other forums.

Their system packages can be found at: http://www2.promax.com/Systems/

Have fun!
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Old January 9th, 2002, 05:51 PM   #6
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I'm sold on the Mac G4 with Final Cut Pro...it is simple and stable, no Firewire cards to add on or worry about compatibility. The machine comes with a 7200RPM drive, have seen no need for RAID, and if I need another media drive it will be simple to just plug in an external Firewire harddrive...which I will do soon just so I can carry jobs from my machine at work to the one (identical) at home and back.

Have burned exactly one DVD on the supplied internal burner, and it worked fine on the two consumer DVD home players I tried it on. Probably will not burn too many more until the media prices beign to get a little more realistic...especially the way people here ask me for dupes of my jobs. I usually just firewire the finished project back into the camera to create a digital master, then feed it into a stack of VHS decks (thru a D/A) for distribution...or save it as a .MOV file and burn it to CD's for people to play back on their laptops.
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Old January 9th, 2002, 06:07 PM   #7
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Exactomunde, Mike. I've worked with the PC and Windows platform for nearly 20 years (aw, geez, why did I remind myself of that?). There's no question that PC/Windows technology and performance is far beyond the Mac for many tasks.

But when it comes to video and graphics the Mac is absolutely -THE- platform to use. I began using the G4 500DP with FCP just about a year ago and you'd better believe I've no intentions of going back to Windows/Premiere. I certainly like my Dell workstations and Inspirion notebook (kicks butt) but I -love- my G4 desktop and TiBook!
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Old January 9th, 2002, 07:23 PM   #8
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I've been drooling over a G4, (still) awaiting a price drop on the dual 800s. I've been using EditDV on a B&W 300MHz MAC for quite a while-- I'm about ready to make the jump to FCP. Maybe after I get the spiffy new G4......

Vic
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Old January 9th, 2002, 08:23 PM   #9
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Actually Ken, I am writing this on an IBM PC...I have been dual platform for many years, and I am not aware of what tasks PC/Windows is superior to the Mac for. I just need to keep a PC here in my office to assure the compatibility of documents I create or edit for others to use on their machines.

Since I have Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, MS Office etc. on both platforms it shouldn't matter which machine I use, but I find the Mac decidedly smoother running for my taste. Besides the aforementioned pluses in terms of Final Cut Pro etc.

Having said that, I am nw awaiting the arrival of a new 1.8GHz Windows 2000 PC, with some fashion of Firewire card and Adobe Premiere...why? Because I still need to save out some video jobs to an old Microsoft codec so I can post streaming video on our Intranet, and Cleaner 5 EZ which came with FCP on the Mac side is slower than crap and still doesn't always convert it right. After some nights of waiting and waiting only to find it crash and then I still have to send the file to a guy in another office (actually post it on a server for him to pick up) so he could convert it on a Wintel box, it's time for me to bite the bullet...this old creaking PC is well overdue for replacement anyway, I'm surprised it still works at all!

cheers
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Old January 9th, 2002, 08:50 PM   #10
 
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Well, guys, I can't argue with you when it comes to "turn key" purchases. I owned a Mac once and couldn't stand the lack of control over the OS. I'm really a tinkerer at heart. I just love getting into the nuts and bolts of my TYAN duallie PC, which I built from the ground up. There's nothing like the lump I get in my throat the first time I power up a new build...LOL....pretty twisted, huh? Just can't DO that with a Mac. But then, again, I once owned a Chevy Vega....there goes my credibility, I guess.
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Old January 14th, 2002, 08:40 PM   #11
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Chevy Vega! LOL! Then you must *really* be experienced in the art of auto repair! :-) Don't feel too lonely, I have had my share of "mechanic's specials" too! Got the scars on my hands to prove it. Still got a front axle for a 1951 Chevy pickup under my shed too!
These days I have little to no time for fussing with anything that doesn't start making me money the minute it comes out of the box.
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Old January 16th, 2002, 08:01 PM   #12
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I'f your using a windows system I'd look into getting AVID Xpress DV. I just built my win 2000 system for 3300 dollars that includes software and the machine. I just took my time and selected all the parts I needed. I run 1.4 AMD abit KG7 motherboard with onboard RAID. 2 IBM 40 gig 7200 rpm drives, 40 gig firewire drive, tower and power supply, Soundblaster Audigy Platinum, CD-R, ZIP, scanner, printer, 19 inch Mitsubishi diamond pro monitor, ATI Radeon VE (dual monitors), firewire card, and Xpress DV for 3300 delivered to my door. With the extra money you save you could get a client monitor or a mini dv deck like the sony DSR-11. You can find those new on ebay for under 2000.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 12:08 AM   #13
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Is there anyone here who can venture a comparison between an AVID (pick a model - Media Composer 1000, Xpress, Xpress DV) and Final Cut Pro v3?

We have 3 Avid systems - two on lease and one we own (MC1000, Xpress - both NT based, and an MC8000 Mac based - an antique) Lately there are more and more people switching over to FCP3. Today one of our crack editors, a wiz on the Avid, called to tell me he had landed a job working with FCP3. To my surprize, he wasn't crying. On the contrary he was pleased but couldn't give me a comparison because he's still getting up to speed. Last week we lost a job because the client HAD to edit on FCP. It seemed a little ridiculous to me to have this fully equipped MC1000 we were practically giving away and still this young producer for MSNBC HAD to have FCP.

So, can anyone in the know, give me a little somethng to go on? We're kind of stuck with the leased Avids but I'd get rid of them in a second if I felt we could do the same caliber of work and at the same speed with FCP3.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 01:05 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ozzie Alfonso : Is there anyone here who can venture a comparison between an AVID (pick a model - Media Composer 1000, Xpress, Xpress DV) and Final Cut Pro v3?

We have 3 Avid systems - two on lease and one we own (MC1000, Xpress - both NT based, and an MC8000 Mac based - an antique) Lately there are more and more people switching over to FCP3. Today one of our crack editors, a wiz on the Avid, called to tell me he had landed a job working with FCP3. To my surprize, he wasn't crying. On the contrary he was pleased but couldn't give me a comparison because he's still getting up to speed. Last week we lost a job because the client HAD to edit on FCP. It seemed a little ridiculous to me to have this fully equipped MC1000 we were practically giving away and still this young producer for MSNBC HAD to have FCP.

So, can anyone in the know, give me a little somethng to go on? We're kind of stuck with the leased Avids but I'd get rid of them in a second if I felt we could do the same caliber of work and at the same speed with FCP3. -->>>


Well I cant give you a comparison with FCP3 but here @ school we have (2) FCP2 systems and a Media Composer 1000 and here @ home I have my Xpress DV. I find that the Xpress DV and FCP2 are very close. I prefer Xpress DV because I was working with Media Composer before I got a chance to learn FCP. The Xpress DV system is the same basic layout as the Media Composer. FCP2 doesnt even come close to the Media Composer though. Neither Xpress DV or FCP2 have realtime effects or 3D effects, like the Media Composer, which makes a huge difference. The render times are also night and day, you cant compare them. The Media Composer blows the other 2 out of the water when It has to render something.

I guess you should look into getting a FCP system though if that much of your client base HAS to have it.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 01:09 AM   #15
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Ozzie,

I've worked quite a bit (daily, actually) during the past 13 months on FCP but have not had Avid experience. I'd recommend that you also post your inquiry over at 2-pop.com (on the FCP General forum) if you've not already done so. 2-pop is centered largely around the FCP user community and I think you'll find quite a few Avid refugees over there who may be able to give you the comparison you're looking for. There are also a number of in-depth reviews and articles on the site.
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