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Old February 15th, 2007, 12:17 AM   #16
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ouch, goes to show nothing is bug free

i agree with kit that you gotta have a well built, powerful computer if your gonna use a program like VT4. we had a PC that exceeded the minimum requirements but you should really, really exceed it. you can't overkill on insurance for live events as long as you can afford it. but if you can afford it, may as well go for the switching hardware. spending alot on a PC thats only gonna be used for one thing kind of defeats the purpose of going the PC route. but hey sometimes your budget dictates your choice.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Morikawa
ouch, goes to show nothing is bug free

i agree with kit that you gotta have a well built, powerful computer if your gonna use a program like VT4. we had a PC that exceeded the minimum requirements but you should really, really exceed it. you can't overkill on insurance for live events as long as you can afford it. but if you can afford it, may as well go for the switching hardware. spending alot on a PC thats only gonna be used for one thing kind of defeats the purpose of going the PC route. but hey sometimes your budget dictates your choice.
Thanks, Mark, but we're not comparing apples to apples here. A MX-4 mixer or similar mixer with 4 inputs doesn't even scratch the surface of what the VT[4] can do. 24 versus 4 inputs is a huge difference. Also having firewire is a huge added bonus. Like what Kyle was saying, All consoles freeze at some point. I once was involved with a television sports broadcast and the $300,000 HD switcher froze 5 times on network tv. Yes, a dedicated computer is very much needed and I don't believe that is a waste at all. You can get a complete VT[4] setup, realistically, in the $8,000 range including a fantastic computer. Price out any switcher that will take 24 composite or 8 component, firewire, vtr's, ME's, recorders, blackburst & sync generators, processing, scalers, etc. and you'll be at least 5 times that with used 15 year old gear. So the PC only being used for the VT[4] is really not a waste of money at all. And it's a single man operation, saving you money over the long haul as well. An equiped production truck or flypack that has the same capabilities will take minimum 3-5 people to run.

I see where you're coming from, Mark, and I think that your view seems to be the general consensus out there. But just remember that your "switcher" is really a computer too. It can and will freeze at times when abused or mis-used, just like anything. It's just another one of those things that come down to preference.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #18
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you have a point... you can't compare a 24 input switcher with VT4. i wasnt really thinking about that level of capability. if you are dealing with that many inputs, VT4 is the way to go for small businesses but yeah $8000 sounds about right. i havent seen how it performs with that many inputs but i would hope it doesnt make a difference. but if you are only dealing with say 4 cameras, you have more options if youre on a budget.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #19
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Agreed, Mark.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Morikawa
^thank you!

Kit, where do you get such great faith in pc's?!

I was using a turnkey VT-4 PC system created for nothing but the VT4. VT-4 is a really good program that can do everything; editing, switching, graphics... all in an interface that I enjoyed. So I did like it. But for live events, there was no way we were going to stick with it when our current video switching hardware almost never fails. Even if Sony Vegas froze, it's an editing program and not made for live switching so it's okay to have hiccups during post-production... it's not LIVE. But I would never recommend a system like VT-4 for live switching if it freezes more than rarely.

So calm down Kit. Maybe you enjoy living on the edge but I and most other people need assurance my live switching hardware doesn't fail.
I've used it live quite a few times and never had it freeze up or even look like it would freeze up at all. I can highly recommend the VT4 solution.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 10:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Self
From personal experience of people I know using it freezes are rare. I can remember when working live broadcast having the big old Ampex 3 me switcher and having it lose its mind in the middle of a couple of live events and needing to be rebooted. I can also remember being in the truck for a football game and having a Grass Valley 300 do the same thing.

K
I use VT4 quite a bit, and I've had it lock-up for about 3 seconds ONCE, I was using a dual 2.8Ghz Xeon PC with 2.5GB of RAM though and a 150GB SCSI array, which may be a little more powerful than the turnkey system Mark used. Now if you were talking about Video Toaster 3....that thing froze up CONSTANTLY, you pretty much had to reboot if you messed around with the CG at all or you were asking for it to freeze up on you on a live switch.
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