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-   -   Editing question (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/high-definition-video-editing-solutions/14012-editing-question.html)

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 01:54 PM

5400 RPM drives can be a pain in the neck even with compressed DV, in my experience.


Penfold Plum September 3rd, 2003 04:17 PM

I agree with S.L.Minor, unless portability is critical you will get much more for your money with a desktop. Laptops make quite a few compromises in order to become small and portable. Either a desktop mac with FCP or a Dell would be my choice.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 04:22 PM

I've had great luck with my TiBook 400 mhz, but a G5 desktop is the way I'm going in a couple of months.


Betsy Moore September 3rd, 2003 05:06 PM

Heath, I have to admit, I hate Macs--sorry! I always found them bizarrely over-priced and buggier than a suite at the Moscow Hilton. I know, I know, I'm a heretic.

So if laptops aren't really a viable option, it sounds like the best non-Mac solution for uncompressed editing is a desktop with...

Ken Hodson September 3rd, 2003 05:11 PM

Heath, faster is always better. I was just illustrating that the 3ghz P4 wasn't the main factor in the equation. I used to edit uncompressed HuffYUV on my old 100bus Cleron 550. Uncompressed video is one of the easier forms of video for your computer to work with as long as your HD/PCI bus can handle it. When you start to get into high quality super compressed video thats when you need super cpu power to be able to decode/encode with any speed.
Like I said, as long as she gets a 7200 rpm drive in it, and has a knowledgeable person set it up right, as well as keeping the editing simple (no compositing), and not use the firewire drives as your active editing drives, she should be fine.
But like I suggested get a RAID desktop with Aspect HD and a nice light LCD(for portability)for the same money.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 05:54 PM


Having used both PC and Mac NLEs, I've decided to go with Macs for my editing solutions. A friend of mine edited with a fairly new Avid (at the time) once, and had to use his Apple Laptop to finish the project.

As a matter of fact, we got rid of our $2 million PC-based (Windows NT) NLE in favor of a cheaper FCP/Apple-based NLE set up. About 1/3 of the price, if I'm not mistaken. (Note, I had no bearing on that decision.)


Stephen L. Minor September 3rd, 2003 08:04 PM

Editing Solution
The choice of PC versus MAC is just a matter of preference. Both have Flaws and advantages. Macs are based on PC technology they use the same IDE/SATA HDD and there processors crunch numbers just like PC's. Based on that, they won't be faster or "better". But on the flip side they can be easier to use (for some). I have heard (from MAC people) the G5 won't be up to spec for some time, and your paying a premuim for it. Why not just get a Dell 650 WS w/ Raid and get the job done, it's even compared to the G5 on apple's web site. I find Dell's tech Support to be one of the best period (I've called just about all of them).

Here's one possible solution Betsy, get a Semi-portable PC. These are very small form factor case's (usually for gamers) go here for an idea http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/handhelds/5fd7/
Of course, you need an LCD screen to be reasonable. But you could probably fit everything you need in a small suitcase and be much more realistic (hardware wise). Dell also makes a prescision mobile workstation that might handle the job but the price is a doosey. Good luck!

Brad Hawkins September 3rd, 2003 08:21 PM

Audio Sync
Perhaps I'm just stating the obvious, but you could always do it the old fashion way and simply use a clapper board. True it can take some time to sync everything up, but after a couple of scenes you'll get pretty good at it and fast too.

And on the topic of editing. Has anyone heard any more information on the new Pixlet codec that will be released with OS X 10.3? Do we know if this codec will work with the HD10?


Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 08:27 PM

Yeah, saving a lot of money with a non-timecode DAT (that's what I'll probably buy--I occasionally can get my hands on a TC DAT) and a clapper is a great idea!

Dell's tech support isn't that great; a simple freeze up had the guy telling me to wipe the computer.

Of course, Apple's is only, I think 6 am - 6 PM PST, M-F only...It did, however, receive a top rating.


Ken Hodson September 3rd, 2003 11:05 PM

Whats a clapper board?

"It did, however, receive a top rating."
It better had when they over charge as much as they do.

Heath McKnight September 3rd, 2003 11:14 PM

Maybe they meant to say a slate.


Ken Hodson September 4th, 2003 03:18 AM

Oh, slate board. And here I was envisioning something high-tech. Ha. But that is a great idea. Good call Brad.

David Kennett September 4th, 2003 09:09 AM


Just some expanded thoughts on HD1 editing. I understand the reasons for the uncompressed AVI editing, but it sure seems like there are some significant advantages to native M2T editing (specifically the HD1 format). (Smaller files, lower data rate, NO additional loss). Audio can be done externally with the included software. What we need is a utility to convert AVIs from other editors to HD1-M2T. We could then do the bulk of our editing natively, then add more sophisticated stuff from other sources.

Concerning hard drive speed - sometime ago I downloaded a little program from the Canopus site that checks hard drive continuous throughput. Not surprisingly, my laptop drive will do only about 5 MBYTES per sec. - barely adequate. My desktop drives (3) (7200RPM) run about 20 MBYTES per sec. Surprisingly, both firewire drives (7200 RPM) run about 30 MBYTES per sec - on either computer - go figure.

I agree with the other posts - a desktop is better - but a laptop is workable. Check out the dual monitor thing - whichever type you get.

Fernando Vossa September 4th, 2003 07:04 PM

Audio editing w/ HD cam
text from:


by Scott Thomas
Director of Engineering
the Victory Studios

There is a lot of questions regarding how to record audio separate from a HDCam camera and be able to sync it up later. Here are some thought that I have put together that may help clear up some of the confusion.

First, match the rates of the camera and audio device. If the camera is 24P, the audio device should be 30 frame Non-drop timecode. If the camera is 23.98P, the audio device should be in 29.97 Non-drop frame.

Second of all it is a wise idea to record audio on the HD tape as well as the external device. Ideally this would be the same audio that is feeding the external audio recording device (DAT, DA88, Nagra, DEVA, etc). Think of it as a great backup device. At the very least, turn on the camera mic. This gives a locked sync reference for checking the sync in post.

Third, remember that the biggest issue that we are dealing with is the difference between 24 frame and 30 frame timecode. The camera records 24 frame timecode and most audio houses that I have talked to want the audio to have 30 frame timecode for mixing. The other issue is that for downconversion and offlining to be guaranteed frame accurate, the timecode on the camera must be continuous (ie Record Run). This means that you can't just 'Jam' the timecodes together and let the devices free run.

So what should you do? Here are some options that have worked:

Option 1
Do nothing and let the post/sound house spend a lot of time (make a lot of money) syncing your sound up manually.

Pros: easy to do in the field

Cons: the bill

Option 2
Have a timecode slate that is displaying the timecode of the external audio recording device. At the beginning of every take, show this slate in the frame so that the time reference can be manually read off and used to lock audio in post.

Pros: Non-Obtrusive to camera operations
Audio sync points can be entered when logging tapes

Cons: Somewhat labor intensive in post

Option 3 (ideally combined with option 2)
Record the 30 frame timecode out of the external audio device onto one of the audio tracks of the HD tape while recording sound for sync checking (see above) on the other(s). In post, the audio device can chase this 30 frame timecode signal and sync up automatically.

Pros: Minimally-Obtrusive to camera operation (timecode can be sent wirelessly to camera)
If using a disk based recorder (i.e. DEVA), there is almost no time syncing up in Post


Option 4
Take the timecode (and in some cases the video out) of the camera and run it into a downconverter or timecode translator (i.e. Afterburner, Synch Box, Lockit). The converted timecode is then fed into and recorded on the audio device. What this does is convert the 24 frame timecode from the camera to 30 frame timecode on the audio device. This has been the most trouble-free in post.

Pros: Downconverted video available in the field (with downconverter)
Most trouble-free in post

Cons: More Obtrusive to camera operation (more wires)
More wires and gear to hook up in the field

Stephen L. Minor September 11th, 2003 04:25 PM

editing question
The Dell number I have is for only workstations and the military ONLY, it's not the PC user's number. Every time I talk to someone they are AMERICAN and real tech people who know computers.

Has anyone been able to edit the m2t files or an avi file with smooth playback? Even in the mpeg edit software that came with the camera, I get choppy playback. My workstation is a dual 2gig Xeon, 1gig ram, and U320 scsi. no smooth playback. Even my laptop is no slouch. 2.2gig P4, 512ram, 7200rpm firewire drives. I don't see the processors working too hard during play, and the files are pretty small (smaller than DV). So why can't I see this correctly? Who else is editing this m2t footage and whats your process?


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