Please give me advice on the best editing solution for this project at
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Old July 19th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #1
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Please give me advice on the best editing solution for this project


Currently I am in the pre-production stages for the making of a television serial, 30 episodes in length - 45 minutes per episode. Now 30 episdoes times 45 minutes equals 1,350 minutes worth of video, that's 22.5 hours. What do you suggest I should do? Buy a massive storage system just for this project? Or hock up my Digital Betacam Recorder DVW-A500 to a J3 Digital Betacam player and edit on a linear system? And is it possible to edit that way?

Putting in mind that I would rather edit the serial on our computer editing suite, because I basically got used to it and it can also help us in adding effects. So, what would be the most cost effective and the best solution to this problem and is buying a 30 hour storage unit afordable?

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Old July 19th, 2005, 02:31 AM   #2
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It all depends on your work flow as well. If you will also edit, you may want to get all the tapes you need to cover the shooting time (you need those anyway) and then import the footage for one episode/cut/print to tape/next. You may not need more than one HDD. That's what I would do in your shoes anyway.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 03:04 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot Dan for the reply, thing is is that we have to edit the serial as we are still filming it, because of the tight schedule, so we don't have the luxury of waiting for four months until all the filming is over and then start to edit it one episode at a time.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 07:36 AM   #4
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Dv is stored at roughly 13 gigs per hour. 30 hours or so, will take up 400 gigs. Dont know what's available where you are, but a single four hundred gig seagate external drive here in America can be had for less than four hundred dollars.

Just saying, it shouldn't be too hard to pick up a couple of extra 250 gig external hard drives that will store all of your project.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #5
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Hamad, here's a workflow that could work for you:

Edit each episode, and then print the completed project back to digibeta. This is copy 1.

Copy 2:
Copy the project file and music files onto a hard drive (or tape backup), which you store at a seperate location than the master tape (this is so if you lose one, you still have the other copy). Most editing programs are able to re-create your project with the project file by re-capturing off your tapes.
To prepare for this beforehand, you need to capture with proper timecode.

An alternative to this method is to archive your whole project onto hard drive or tape backup (instead of hard drive + tape combination). This is more convenient if you will need to go back and make changes to your program. This is also more expensive and I don't think is necessary for you.

By archiving your projects that way, you only need to store the 1 or 2 projects you are editing.

Suppose your shooting ratio is 20:1 (you shoot 20 minutes of footage for each completed minute). *You will need to figure this out for yourself.
**If you don't capture all that footage (by log and capture), you'll need less hard drive space. I find it more productive to capture everything, but I work with DV which needs less storage.
***Another alternative is to edit online/offline by capturing with compression. At DV resolution, it takes 13GB/hour.

Assume uncompressed video is 65GB/s (this figure is definitely off).
Assume you want to be able to store 2 projects at once.
Add 10% for headroom against fragmentation, and to compensate for the fact that hard drives give less GB than advertised.

You'll need 1287GB of storage.*

If you shoot more than a 20:1 shooting ratio, then you'll need extra hard drive space, so you want a little more just in case.
You may also want your storage to be in a RAID5 array, which will save your butt if you have a hard drive failure. That will take more storage, be a little more expensive, and you'll want a spare drive in case one fails.

To be safe, you'd be looking at a 7X400GB array (2.4TB storage). An Apple XSERV RAID is $8.5kUSD (without a hot spare?). Other RAID solutions are cheaper.

The cheaper solution is to capture at DV quality and then recapture at uncompressed quality when you've finished your cut. A RAID 0 array of 2 400GB drives will store about 10 hours of uncompressed footage (and can be done through software RAID, which means you do not need to pay for a hardware RAID).

The cheapest solution (that takes a little more time) would be to edit at DVCPRO50 quality. You don't even need a RAID for that. A 400GB hard drive will do. With Final Cut, the Aja IO or Kona2 can capture uncompressed to DVCPRO50 (sorry, not sure about the details on this).

You could even capture and master at DV resolution, but that would defeat the point of shooting digibeta.

The figures above probably does not apply to you, as you need to figure out how much material you want to capture each episode.
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Old July 19th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #6
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By all means use a RAID protected storage system. A single 400GB drive is cheap but 2 in a redundant array is cheap insurance.

You can buy or build inexpensive dual drive SATA arrays that should be fast enough to handle a stream or two of uncompressed. You may need a 4 drive system to get more throughput for editing more than a single stream or two at a time.

Try Huge Systems, or any of the SATA RAID makers or Medea even. Huge has SCSI so they will not be inexpensive. I hear good things about them. If it was me, I would build my own RAID server with 4 to 8 SATA drives. Smaller removable drives in a well ventilated case with a Gigabit network connection and DVD burner.

Sean McHenry
ĎI donít know what Iím doing, and Iím shooting on D.V.í
- my hero - David Lynch
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Old July 20th, 2005, 06:19 AM   #7
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Thanks Glenn and Sean for your help, your input certainley helped me a lot.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 08:10 PM   #8
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A friend of mine uses DVC-Pro 25 and Final Cut Pro with a terrabite of storage . He edits a weekly 22min lifestyle programme. I'm not 100% sure but I think he keeps a good number of programmes and all of the edited 3 minute (roughly) inserts stored so that if he needs to make changes or use and inserts from previous shows they are readilly available. He makes good use of folders and dumps completed shows to tape when finished.
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