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Old January 31st, 2005, 07:33 PM   #1
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About Those Turnkey Systems....

I know it's a familiar term I should know more about already, but can anyone give me a concise explanation of the advantages of a turnkey system for editing purposes? I use Vegas 5 with a nicely loaded computer (though I wish I had a 1000GB hard drive); what justifies the higher cost of these systems? Are they like an ultra-industrial editing station?
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Old January 31st, 2005, 08:59 PM   #2
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The argument for a turnkey system would be compatibility. You take it out of the box and you know all the parts are supposedly compatible and there's no hardware/software conflicts.

They may also be faster in the sense that they aren't incorrectly configured in some way that hurts performance (i.e. your RAM is not running single channel).
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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:58 PM   #3
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Go and buy Sony Vaio at PC retail shop - it will be bloated with all kind of software you don't actually need. You woldn't know the exact hardware set up (is it 7200rpm, 8 MB chache hard drive inside or cheap 5400, 2MB one?)
Turnkey system should do exactly what it's supposed to do by requiring you just to turn the key I guess ;) , not leave you wonderring to add hardware or to get rid of crap software.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:47 AM   #4
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1. Ready to go, just plug it in.
2. Warranty
3. Warranty
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:53 AM   #5
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Keith pretty much summed it up for me. I'm an "older guy" who learned his chops long ago on film and linnear systems. I don't build computers, I don't enjoy opening them up and working on them, I don't drool at the thought of upgrading to the latest drivers or cards... In short, I am practically a ludite. When I decided to buy an NLE, I picked the program, (For me it was Avid) and then the best turnkey manufacturer I could find. (For me, it was DVLine).

Three years parts warranty, lifetime tech support... for me, worth every penny.

But I was never one of those guys who LOVED rebuilding his car either.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:54 AM   #6
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I don't think the warranty's a big deal, as most parts fail very rarely and if they do they don't cost much to replace. With a custom-built / white box computer (i.e. from a local non-chain computer store), they use standard parts which you can easily get by running out to a store. You don't have to call up the manufacturer and struggle with their support (who may try to get you to re-install your system multiple times) and then wait for your replacement part to arrive.

In some cases though your computer may be old enough that replacement parts are hard to locate. Your warranty probably ran out by then though.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 01:37 PM   #7
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Think of it as if you had 3 cars in front of you : ferrari,corvette and mustang.

You like the front of one and the taillight of the other and the engine of the third.... well with computers you CAN have your dream machine.

I am a certified computer tech as well as a rookie director/editor and I'm beginning to see and get the best of both worlds. Really nice to know that you have EXACTLY what you want in the box and not some 3rd party hardware/software that you don't really need but are there because the manufacturer have a deal with them. You get exactly what you paid for.

Of course to take fully advantage of the situation one must have a deep knowledge of computer but if you happen not to have it I am sure there is a computer tech in your family/friends/neighbors that will gladly help. We're not to hard to find these days.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:08 PM   #8
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Thanks; I'm always looking towards another plateau of learning where editing stations are concerned. By the way, does anyone here recommend any make of external hard drives?

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Old February 1st, 2005, 05:35 PM   #9
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i built my opwn "turnkey" system by researching the components required to give me an optimal performance vs price at the time (2 and a half yrs ago)

it was cheaper, i learnt ALOT about building and maintaining my machine, i also learnt alot about windows and its quirks. Since this "educational process" ive saved ALOT of money and time by dealing with any issues myself, without the need to rely on someone else.

"I don't think the warranty's a big deal, as most parts fail very rarely"

i have to disagree..
my unit is carrying 5HDD's and one system drive, ive had 2 120gb Western Digitals fail on me, not to mention another 1 200gb
Without warranty, id be forking out cash for goods which should be replaced due to manufacturing defects...

As Vegas is VERY tough on the HDD's i found that extra cooling is definately a requirement. Build a smart machine and you wont have problems, even changing the cabling which u use (i use tubed cabling, not ribbon) makes a hell of a difference due to surface area and airflow. Thats just one example.. i havent even gone into the software tweaks and streamlining, which you can do yourself and will give u better performance too..
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Old February 1st, 2005, 06:40 PM   #10
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Um, Peter, I think you are missing the definition of a "turnkey" system. You don't build a turnkey system. That is a home built system.
Most "turnkey" systems do not use the latest and greatest components but rather, the proven reliable components.
It's really neat to build your own system and learn first hand all the tweaks and tricks but anymore, I would rather use that energy doing something else, like making money or traveling.
That being said, I also have experience with "turnkey" systems from Media100. I made the mistake of getting a top of the line Windows based system from them. Since it arrived it crashed every 4 hours like clockwork, corrupting everything on the system. You had to start over from scratch and trash all your work. No-one could solve the problem, not even Media100 (we sent it back to them twice)! So much for that extra money spent on Platinum support! Well we gave up on the PC and bought 3 Dual processor Macs with Cinema Displays running FCP for less than this ONE computer and then Media100 wanted to SELL us the drivers to move the cards over to the Mac (same hardware, different software). Needless to say, I would never do business with them again.
Companies like B&H sell computers with editing packages already installed. In most cases these are going to be much more reliable than anything you would build yourself.
Unless you plan on spending the better part of your free time learning everything you can about your chosen OS and hardware platform, I would buy something pre-built. I especially like the units from Canopus, they really make some nice stuff. And extended warranties are nice, but not always viable. (I would get one for a laptop or monitor but probably not a desktop)
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Old February 3rd, 2005, 08:49 AM   #11
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interesting comments, however i still have to disagree with the thought that learning about your tool isnt as important as travelling or making money.. in my eyes, without the tool youre not making money...

turnkey... well its a strange term in all honesty, most believe it is a specifically built unit designed to do one job, while others believe its a prebuilt unit with all the thinking done for you.

with regard to your issues you were having, im sorry to hear that. I persoanlly have never had any issues with any system i have built or supplied to my customers, however i have had numerous issues with certain hardware which has been rated as compatible, however it isnt..

without this learning i woudnt know the tweaks invovled in gettin these systems up and running.

I also save copious amounts of money on my 3 studio systems, as well as my audio rig, so i guess it all comes down to time, money and teh choice in knowing exactly what your system can anc cannot do.

theres no right or wrong, so long as the machine can pay for itself after a couple of jobs, and retain a project without killing itself.. thats all that matters
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Old February 6th, 2005, 04:34 AM   #12
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One of the big advantages of buying a Turnkey system from an NLE integrator is the optimization. These guys really do know how to maximize the performance of their machines for video editing. The best ones have specific tweaks based on the NLE being integrated.

We have a list of several very good integrators on our website: http://www.videoguys.com/turnkey.html

That said, we've also got a ton of information on Videoguys.com that will help and guide you to build your own:

Videoguys' Top 10 tech Support Tips 2004
The first place to go if you are having trouble. Following these tips could save you hours of tech support headaches and frustration!!! These tech tips assume you have a current computer: P4 (or Athlon eqiv.) 1.8 Ghz or faster, running WinXP (Home or Pro)
Today's computers are faster and more powerful then ever. As a result of all this pure computing power, video editing software and hardware are easier to install then ever. Unfortunately, things can and still do sometimes go wrong. Unlike the days of old (1999-2002) IRQ problems are no longer an issue. If you have an older computer from that era you should check out our Old Top 10 Tech Tips.

Windows XP Tips, tricks & TWEAKS!
XP is here and it is going to be very beneficial for digital video. Before you migrate to XP we urge you to check out our WinXP info. Once again Dave Laborde has come through with some excellent WinXP TWEAKS to optimize your system for digital video editing.

System recommendations for DTV
We get asked all the time, "What computer system should I use for DTV?" This page was created to give you some basic guidelines. We discuss the latest and greatest technologies and let you know if we recommend them or not. We also outline what kind of computer you need for the different levels of DTV. This page includes a list of known potential compatibility issues and hardware/software to stay away from. If you are getting a new computer for your NLE system, this page will save you time and money!!!

Videoguys Do-It-Yourself NLE Computer Guides
Back in Febuary of 2004 we posted our first DIY article as a guidebook for digital videographers who wanted to build their own NLE computer on a tight budget. Since then we have updated our first article, and published a second. Or third DIY article is scheduled for the end of Febuary '05

1. DIY1 - Videoguys Challenge Build your own NLE computer for under $1,000
2. DIY2 - Big Blue - Build an NLE Hot Rod for $2,000

Go to our main tech support page for links to all of the article above http://www.videoguys.com/techsupp.htm

Check out http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 We are the video editing and live video production experts! DV InfoNet members save 5%! Use Coupon Code DVINFO5OFF
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