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Thread: Affordable / Expandable / Comprehensive

  1. #1
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    Default Affordable / Expandable / Comprehensive

    Hi,

    I'm another pesky newbie, desperately hoping that someone will shove me in the right direction. No doubt the "Please help me!" mantra wears on the nerves of some video veterans, but you are truly our only hope! Thank you in advance for your patience and graciousness.

    I recently purchased a new Dell system. Haven't set it up yet. Want to start out on the right foot. I've worked with WMM a bit, but hope to move into "deeper water".

    First, I hope to transfer our 'historical burden' of VHS home video footage to digital format. After that, I'd like to edit and create more polished versions of these 'video gems'. I also want to get creative with our photos and audio files. Ultimately, I hope to capture, edit, and combine photos, audio, and video files into creative personal masterpieces. (I'm sure you get the picture.) Once I've honed my techniques, using the raw material my family has provided, I want to move into the professional realm. (No lack of ambition here!) I'm not naive. I imagine this will take a few weeks... or, even a month or two.

    After reading through some of the massive quantity of useful posts, I'm thinking that I should purchase software that will integrate well, and allow for my growth as a multimedia maven. Unfortunately, I can't afford to buy everything at once. To the grossly untrained eye, it seems that Adobe products may be well suited to my wildly unrealistic aspirations, but I'd greatly appreciate your input.



    Basics regarding my system...
    • Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 (2.66 GHz : 12 MB cache) processor
    • 4 GB DDR2 SDRAM at 800 MHz-4X1GB
    • 500 GB SATA HD (7200 RPM) Hard Drive
    • 512 MB NVIDIA 8800 GT video card
    • Blu-Ray Optical Drive
    • Vista Home Premium
    Preliminary questions...
    • Is this system adequate for beginning my multimedia journey?
    • Are there components that I need to change, or add?
    • The system has a firewire port. Do I need to add a firewire card?
    • Will I need a peripheral to connect my VHS player to the computer?
    • Would it be good to establish a seperate forum for newbie stuff?
    "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    • Is this system adequate for beginning my multimedia journey?
    • Are there components that I need to change, or add?
    • The system has a firewire port. Do I need to add a firewire card?
    • Will I need a peripheral to connect my VHS player to the computer?
    • Would it be good to establish a seperate forum for newbie stuff?
    1 - You have a pretty nice system set up which looks like it would be up to the task of what you are talking about. Bear in mind I currently use the Adobe CS3 Master Suite on a Vista Laptop running on 2GB RAM with a 2.88GHz duo core processor

    2 - Again, in my opinion your new system is very nice for what you are talking about and quite a bit into the future.

    3 - If the PC came with a firewire port then you do not need to add another firewire card unless you want more firewire ports, e.g. adding external hard drives etc.

    4 - I connect my VHS player to my desktop via an S-video socket, although you can get a multitude of different cables from many websites which do the same job.

    5 - Good idea! A kind of newbie FAQ :P

    Hope this helps!
    www.nothingissound.co.uk // http://www.youtube.com/user/truebassist

    Sony DSR-PDX10 // Sony Wide Angle Conversion Lens 0.7x // Sony ECM-NV1 // RØDE NTG-1 // Dolly [coming soon]

    Adobe CS4 Master Suite // MacBook Pro Alu 2.4Ghz

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    Hope this helps!
    TB,

    Thank you very much for the quick response! It confirmed that my system should meet my basic needs. I have some follow-up questions, if you don't mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    4 - I connect my VHS player to my desktop via an S-video socket, although you can get a multitude of different cables from many websites which do the same job.

    1. Do I need to add a video capture device? If so, any recommendations?

    2. Can I take advantage of the firewire port? If so, how is this accomplished?

    3. Will my system allow me to capture VHS video without losing quality?

    My uneducated impression is that Adobe products are 'state of the art' for my areas of interest. Therefore, I'm thinking that it may be wise to purchase 'entry level' Adobe product(s), then upgrade, as my needs and skill-level develop.

    4. Is this sound reasoning? If so, what product(s) might you recommend, for starters. (If I'm off-base, please set me straight.)

    May your tactile transducers always be true!
    Jess
    "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    TB,

    Thank you very much for the quick response! It confirmed that my system should meet my basic needs. I have some follow-up questions, if you don't mind.
    No problem - pleased to have helped...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post

    1. Do I need to add a video capture device? If so, any recommendations?

    2. Can I take advantage of the firewire port? If so, how is this accomplished?

    3. Will my system allow me to capture VHS video without losing quality?

    My uneducated impression is that Adobe products are 'state of the art' for my areas of interest. Therefore, I'm thinking that it may be wise to purchase 'entry level' Adobe product(s), then upgrade, as my needs and skill-level develop.

    4. Is this sound reasoning? If so, what product(s) might you recommend, for starters. (If I'm off-base, please set me straight.)

    May your tactile transducers always be true!
    Jess
    1. Do you mean as in software to capture the video from the VHS? If so then I'm pretty sure that Final Cut Pro and most likely even iMovie will be capable of capturing from the source when you plug it into your iMac. It should just turn up as another capture option.

    2 - Buy a firewire lead (on your camera it will probably be the smaller 4pin socket *clicky* and on your iMac I would guess the larger 6pin socket *clicky* but double check them!!) so you can capture from your camera using that isntead of a USB 2 wire. Firewire has a faster capture rate and I believe produces a better quality file. You can also plug in any external drives you have via firewire (they'll probably need 6pin to 6pin leads) as the transfer rate is a lot quicker. This is vital if you plan to capture / stream video to / from these drives but do make sure they have frewire sockets on them as well!!

    3 - The quality of VHS in our digital age is never going to be great and will probably be in the wrong scale (possibly 4:3 not 16:9) but if capturing in Final Cut Pro etc you will capture exactly the same as if doing so from a camera and therefore can capture in the same format e.g. .avi.

    4 - This seems a pretty good webpage to explain capturing in Final Cut Pro *clicky*

    Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
    www.nothingissound.co.uk // http://www.youtube.com/user/truebassist

    Sony DSR-PDX10 // Sony Wide Angle Conversion Lens 0.7x // Sony ECM-NV1 // RØDE NTG-1 // Dolly [coming soon]

    Adobe CS4 Master Suite // MacBook Pro Alu 2.4Ghz

  5. #5
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    TrueBassist wrote: Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

    JW: I'm afraid that my initial questions will continue for a while. I appreciate your assistance very much!

    I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I own an iMac. Unfortunately, I don't. I have a Dell. I'm assuming that iMac has built-in media management capabilities that the Dell doesn't.

    TrueBassist wrote: 1. Do you mean as in software to capture the video from the VHS? If so then I'm pretty sure that Final Cut Pro and most likely even iMovie will be capable of capturing from the source when you plug it into your iMac. It should just turn up as another capture option.

    JW: Actually, I was wondering if I will need to add something like a card, as well as the software, to enable video capture.

    TrueBassist wrote: 2 - Buy a firewire lead (on your camera it will probably be the smaller 4pin socket *clicky* and on your iMac I would guess the larger 6pin socket *clicky* but double check them!!) so you can capture from your camera using that isntead of a USB 2 wire. Firewire has a faster capture rate and I believe produces a better quality file. You can also plug in any external drives you have via firewire (they'll probably need 6pin to 6pin leads) as the transfer rate is a lot quicker. This is vital if you plan to capture / stream video to / from these drives but do make sure they have frewire sockets on them as well!!

    JW: My VHS player output only has coaxial and RCA jacks. Can I configure the connection, so as to take advantage of my computer's firewire input?

    TrueBassist wrote: 3 - The quality of VHS in our digital age is never going to be great and will probably be in the wrong scale (possibly 4:3 not 16:9) but if capturing in Final Cut Pro etc you will capture exactly the same as if doing so from a camera and therefore can capture in the same format e.g. .avi.
    4 - This seems a pretty good webpage to explain capturing in Final Cut Pro *clicky*

    JW: Is "Final Cut Pro" a standard feature of the iMac? Are you suggesting that I may need it for capturing video with the Dell?

    Thanks again,
    Jess

    ps: Happy Independence Day to all! (Patriots and Tories included!)
    "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    JW: Actually, I was wondering if I will need to add something like a card, as well as the software, to enable video capture.

    JW: My VHS player output only has coaxial and RCA jacks. Can I configure the connection, so as to take advantage of my computer's firewire input?

    JW: Is "Final Cut Pro" a standard feature of the iMac? Are you suggesting that I may need it for capturing video with the Dell?

    Thanks again,
    Jess

    ps: Happy Independence Day to all! (Patriots and Tories included!)
    Sorry about the confusion =] and Happy 4th July!!

    1 - You would probably need to buy an extra card so that you can capture from your VHS player. I know some desktops come with s-video sockets etc. but not all. The card you buy will all depend on what cable you buy which will eventually connect your VHS player to your PC. Look around for the card and cable for the best deal. I found this on another forum:

    "Requirements:
    Hardware: Video Card with Composite Video In or S-Video In
    alternatively a TV Capture Card.
    SoundCard with LineIn for sound recording
    Software: VirtualDub or similar program
    Compression Codecs: DivX, Intel Indeo 5.10; Most MS OS's have some installed. DivX can be downloaded.

    40 Mins with DivX require about 1GB of space at 720x576 @25 fps and a bitrate setting of 4500Kb/s. Experiment with BitRate to reduce space requirement."

    I'll put a picture up of one of my desktops which has a TV capture card on it soon so you can see what is standard.

    2 - Unfortunately I don't know of any cables which go RCA jack (phono right?) to firewire. I think you'll have to go RCA to S-Video and then then audio phonos to minijack or something (composite?) Why not try finding a SCART socket that goes to something PC friendly!

    3 - Final Cut Pro is the Premiere Pro of the Mac world so unfortunately it doesn't come standard with a Mac =[[[ You'll have to do with iMovie when you get yours but that's still a bit better than Windows Movie Maker. Any good editing programme will capture from anything you plug into your PC. I know Premiere Pro CS3 does it but I have never tried with WMM. I have vista and could try with that version of WMM but if you have XP you should check.

    Here and ready for any more you got!!

    =]
    Last edited by TrueBassist; 07-04-2008 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Forgot Something!!
    www.nothingissound.co.uk // http://www.youtube.com/user/truebassist

    Sony DSR-PDX10 // Sony Wide Angle Conversion Lens 0.7x // Sony ECM-NV1 // RØDE NTG-1 // Dolly [coming soon]

    Adobe CS4 Master Suite // MacBook Pro Alu 2.4Ghz

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    1 - You would probably need to buy an extra card so that you can capture from your VHS player. I know some desktops come with s-video sockets etc. but not all. The card you buy will all depend on what cable you buy which will eventually connect your VHS player to your PC. Look around for the card and cable for the best deal...
    TB,

    The Dell appears to have 7 pin S-video, as well as Firewire, and e SATA connectors. (I admit to total ignorance about this.) As I said, the VCR has only coaxial and RCA (phono) connector outputs. Is the solution merely a matter of obtaining a cable that has phono (audio/video) on one end, and the other connector type on the other? If so, which input (to the PC) is preferable? (i.e. S-video, e SATA, or Firewire) If the PC has a given connector, should I assume that video capture is available, via that connector? If a given connector is present on the PC, does it mean I already have a "capture card" for that specific connector?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    2 - Unfortunately I don't know of any cables which go RCA jack (phono right?) to firewire. I think you'll have to go RCA to S-Video and then then audio phonos to minijack or something (composite?)...
    I think I understand. I need to find a cable that will connect video output from the the VCR (phono) to the 7 pin S-video connector on the PC. I also need a cable that will connect audio output from the VCR (phono) to the 1/8" minijack on the PC. Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    Why not try finding a SCART socket that goes to something PC friendly!
    Sorry, I don't know from SCART! (sounds French) Please elaborate.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBassist View Post
    3 - Final Cut Pro is the Premiere Pro of the Mac world so unfortunately it doesn't come standard with a Mac =[[[ You'll have to do with iMovie when you get yours but that's still a bit better than Windows Movie Maker. Any good editing programme will capture from anything you plug into your PC. I know Premiere Pro CS3 does it but I have never tried with WMM. I have vista and could try with that version of WMM but if you have XP you should check.
    I have Vista Home Premium, which includes WMM. (I don't know about iMovie.) As I said, I'm ready to move up from WMM, but am uncertain as to my next 'software step'. In my fantasy world, I'm using using Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection, but I can't afford it, nor am I skilled enough to take advantage of it, at present. Can you recommend some "entry level" software that I'd be wise to start with, in order to edit and integrate still photos, audio, and video files... something which may later be upgraded to Adobe CS3 MC?

    Gratefully,
    Jess

    ps: Does "True Bassist" mean... accoustic double-bass, or chest-thumping electronic low frequency output, or something else entirely? (just curious)
    "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    The Dell appears to have 7 pin S-video, as well as Firewire, and e SATA connectors. (I admit to total ignorance about this.) As I said, the VCR has only coaxial and RCA (phono) connector outputs. Is the solution merely a matter of obtaining a cable that has phono (audio/video) on one end, and the other connector type on the other? If so, which input (to the PC) is preferable? (i.e. S-video, e SATA, or Firewire) If the PC has a given connector, should I assume that video capture is available, via that connector? If a given connector is present on the PC, does it mean I already have a "capture card" for that specific connector?
    Yes - you need to find a cable which goes RCA to S-Video. Obviously with the audio you need a separate cable which goes 2 RCA to Mini-Jack so you can plug that into your microphone socket on the desktop. If you have ports on your computer (and the PC shipped with them) then they will work and should have the appropriate drivers, firmwire etc installed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    I think I understand. I need to find a cable that will connect video output from the the VCR (phono) to the 7 pin S-video connector on the PC. I also need a cable that will connect audio output from the VCR (phono) to the 1/8" minijack on the PC. Correct?
    Fantastical!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    Sorry, I don't know from SCART! (sounds French) Please elaborate.
    A SCART socket is a type of connector we have in the UK but I'm not sure if you have it accross the pond. It's basically just standard video / audio connector much like RCA (phono to me) except a lilttle bit more fragile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    I have Vista Home Premium, which includes WMM. (I don't know about iMovie.) As I said, I'm ready to move up from WMM, but am uncertain as to my next 'software step'. In my fantasy world, I'm using using Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection, but I can't afford it, nor am I skilled enough to take advantage of it, at present. Can you recommend some "entry level" software that I'd be wise to start with, in order to edit and integrate still photos, audio, and video files... something which may later be upgraded to Adobe CS3 MC?

    Gratefully,
    Jess
    Well - WMM in Vista is a nice step up from what was being offered in XP (iMovie is on the macs) however it still is quite limited. Unfortunately I went pretty much straight from WMM to Premiere Pro CS3 (Adobe Master Suite) but I did experiment with a few programmes along the way. In my mind you have 3 distinct catergories of Non-Linear Editing software (an NLE). Amateur (WMM, iMovie), Pro-Amateur (Ulead Videostudio, Pinnacle Studio) and Semi-Professional (Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas). Of Course you then go into the "proper" stuff that is used in films but we'll leave that well alone!
    I suggest you find yourself a copy of Ulead Videostudio. I *think* the latest version out is 11 Plus but have a look around. It will be easier to use than jumping straight into Premiere Pro or Vegas but still offers a very good amount of tools.
    Unfortunately, Premiere Pro & Vegas are completely different pieces of software compared to Ulead and Pinnacle. You won't recognise the work areas and it will all look a bit "old fashioned" as their are very few user presets. But you can find a wealth of information via online blogs, video tutorials and books (probably the best) on how to use the software and become a pro in no time at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    ps: Does "True Bassist" mean... accoustic double-bass, or chest-thumping electronic low frequency output, or something else entirely? (just curious)
    Erm...well no-one has ever asked me that before. I'm a bassist and I'm a Christian so I guess the name True Bassist came from being true to myself at all times combined with one of my favourite past times!!!

    Hopes this helps!
    www.nothingissound.co.uk // http://www.youtube.com/user/truebassist

    Sony DSR-PDX10 // Sony Wide Angle Conversion Lens 0.7x // Sony ECM-NV1 // RØDE NTG-1 // Dolly [coming soon]

    Adobe CS4 Master Suite // MacBook Pro Alu 2.4Ghz

  9. #9
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    TB,

    Okay! The "fog" seems to be clearing a bit. To summarize my thoughts (based on your assistance)...

    I'm concluding that I'll need to use the S-video connector to receive input from my analog VCR. I suppose the Firewire connection will be reserved for receiving digital input (eg. digital camera). Also, if the PC has an operable port, it should also have what's required to receive input from that port. I'll definitely check-out the Ulead Videostudio. Will it allow me to edit still photos and audio files, as well as video? (I currently have no software for any of these functions.) Based on your input, it sounds like there are no Adobe "entry level" products that will transition me from WMM to Premiere Pro CS3 (Adobe Master Suite).

    Thanks for sharing the origin of your username. What exactly is your favourite pastime?

    Jess
    "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jess Wunman View Post
    TB,

    Okay! The "fog" seems to be clearing a bit. To summarize my thoughts (based on your assistance)...

    I'm concluding that I'll need to use the S-video connector to receive input from my analog VCR. I suppose the Firewire connection will be reserved for receiving digital input (eg. digital camera). Also, if the PC has an operable port, it should also have what's required to receive input from that port. I'll definitely check-out the Ulead Videostudio. Will it allow me to edit still photos and audio files, as well as video? (I currently have no software for any of these functions.) Based on your input, it sounds like there are no Adobe "entry level" products that will transition me from WMM to Premiere Pro CS3 (Adobe Master Suite).

    Thanks for sharing the origin of your username. What exactly is your favourite pastime?

    Jess
    VideoStudio allows you to edit audio, video and stills as well. It is a pretty comprehensive programme and in my opinion is very good.
    In terms of entry level Adobe stuff - you could look at Premiere Elements which is a scaled down version of Premiere Pro. Again, it is still a steep learning curve and I think you will be better off with VideoStudio. Apart from that everything else you have got nailed on the head so good luck with the capturing!!!

    My favourite pastime..hmm...Probably a mixture of bass playing, video editing, graphic design, seeing my girlfriend and listening to my favourite band delirious?
    !!!!!!
    Good Luck
    www.nothingissound.co.uk // http://www.youtube.com/user/truebassist

    Sony DSR-PDX10 // Sony Wide Angle Conversion Lens 0.7x // Sony ECM-NV1 // RØDE NTG-1 // Dolly [coming soon]

    Adobe CS4 Master Suite // MacBook Pro Alu 2.4Ghz

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