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Thread: What to buy?

  1. #1

    Default What to buy?

    We're a non-profit outfit gearing up for the opening of a youth camp.
    Putting together some video... Educational Seminars and Promotional Material for viewing on DVD, Streaming Media, and Audio CD.
    We want to produce our own masters and either duplicate the media in-house or send out for duplication.

    We recently purchased the Adobe Video Collection, but Adobe customer service and sales do not seem helpful beyond the use of their porducts. Need some guidance on what hardware and 3rd party HD plug-ins to look at... What plug-ins are avaiable for captuing and editing Hi-Definition Video.

    We've also purchased a Sony HDV Camera, the HDR-FX1, and portable lighting.

    Because of our need for Portablilty and on-locaiton shooting and editing, We're looking at the purchase of a portable PC, specifically a poratble workstation encased in an aluminum alloy shell for rugged portability, the http://www.bsicomputer.com/portable/l9/l9_intro.htm:

    Dual 3.4 Ghz Xeon with RADI SCSI and 2-4GB RAM.

    The questions:

    What Video Card to purchase? We want the best for the money, with as much memory as available.
    We understand that video processor cards or accelorators speed up the process of Transcoding for saving to DVD and for Rendering; which one is the best to purchase?

    Our objective is to get to the place where we can reduce video to DVD in as short a time as possible?

    Next we'll be cutting audio classes as well. I assume this is as easy as it looks with Audtiion? Any thoughts?

    Lastly, Dual Layer DVD Burners and Duplicators, Printers, any suggestions on what to purchase and things to watch out for?

    Thanks,

    Basil

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Well, Adobe have promised a HDV plugin to be deleivered in early 2005 but we're still waiting at the moment. IF you feel you cannot wait to see what their plugin (hopefully a freebie as it's touted as Premiere 1.5.1) has to offer you might be interested in the folliwing

    http://www.mainconcept.com/mpeg_pro.shtml

    which is a plugin to capture and edit from the FX1 in Premiere.

    As to the quickest route from capture to DVD production you might want to look into gettgign a realtime MPEG2 converter card. Not sure how these will sit on a laptop though.

    And graphics cards... well for straight forward editting you do not actually need a fancy graphics card. It will all depend on what you need of it and maybe whether you will be doing any post-production (special effects?) work that might benefit from it.

  3. #3

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    Well, it's not a laptop, here's the link, its a portable full sized computer with Dual 3.4 Ghz Xeon Processors: here's the link what do you think? This should more than suffice?

    http://www.bsicomputer.com/portable/l9/l9_intro.htm

    Knowing this, that it takes full sized PCI Cards and the like...

    What would you recommend for a Video Card, Matrox, ATI, NVidia?\
    What about the realtime MPEG 2 converter, do you recommend a brand, model? Matrox, Pinnacle? Who makes the best?

    I've got about $2-5,000 US $'s to spend, and would like the best thing I can purchase for those $'s.

    And lastly, how does this converter work, when installed does the PC just offload the video conversion processes through this card, or is there something else that has to be plugged/run through the card.

    Thanks agian for any additional info.

  4. #4
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    The capture card I have is the Matrox RTX100. It's marketed as a real time render card for Premiere Pro and works a damn treat

    In truth I haven't attempted to capture from a miniDV camera and convert on-the-fly to MPEG2 as I always want to edit and MPEG2 does not lend itself to actual editing as well as DVAVI. However, I have used it for analogues capture to transfer VHS tapes to DVD. This allows me to cut out Premiere completely from that process.

    Unless you wanted to bypass Premiere in your work, which isn't very likely to be honest as you're bound to have some editing to do you'll capture to DV AVI and gain from therealtime rendering during the editing process. Where you will gain from teh realtime MPEG2 encoder is during the export of your movie. That will be in realtime

    The trick with Matrix card though is to make sure you aboslutley have compatible hardware so check the matrox site.

    Also, a big seller for the card is the s/w that comes with it which may not help your decision because you already have at least some of it. Bundled withteh card is Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, Audition 1.5 and Encore 1.5 - which together cost more than the card with the s/w bundled. This certainly helped my decision.

    As for an actual graphics card, well editing, strictly speaking doesn't need anything special. However, you might want a dual head (two monitors) so be mindful of that feature and video out so you can preview your work on a video display (TV?). But havign said that, I do have one post-production package that certianly benefits from the 3d features of my graphics card - Particle Illusion so a decent graphics card can only help oin the long run.

    So there you are. As you can see I love my Matrox card but have no experience of the other makes you mentioned so can't comment on them.

  5. #5
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    I agree the matrox card has issues with hardware, so I would onlt go for authorised boards. it may be worth going with the Matrox and trying it, if it isnt stable then you still have the software, and with a Dual Xeon system, the mpeg encoding should be pretty quick.

    Premiere doesnt have a HDV plugin yet, but virtually all software will in the next few months. As far as i am aware, Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 and Canopus Edius 3 are the only platforms that accept HDV. However you can always down convert the HDV to DV, as the quality is still much higher than standard DV, whilst the HDV plugins are being developed.

    As far as graphics cards go then it wont really help unless you are doing much 3D work, or you go down the Pinnacle Liquid route as you can specify GPU effects, but generally anything half decent should be fine.

    Hope this helps.
    Intel P4 2.6GHz
    1Gb RAM
    Pioneer DVD-R107
    80Gb(System) + 2 x 200GB(Media)
    Avid Xpress DV, Encore, Audition

    Plus - P4 2.8GHx, 1GB RAM, DVR 108, Geforce FX 5900XT

    [Plus]

  6. #6
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    As a recent SD buyer, I feel obliged to say that the quality better not be much higher.

    Right, I'm off to burn a bundle of 50 notes...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    apparently it is close to digi-beta quality! I am lucky enough to have used one as we have one here at work, and the picture quality is stunning...

    I also have an SD but HDV is a bit outta my price range at the momment.
    Intel P4 2.6GHz
    1Gb RAM
    Pioneer DVD-R107
    80Gb(System) + 2 x 200GB(Media)
    Avid Xpress DV, Encore, Audition

    Plus - P4 2.8GHx, 1GB RAM, DVR 108, Geforce FX 5900XT

    [Plus]

  8. #8

    Default

    Well this is what I have ended up with after all my investigation of your suggestions.

    We went with Canopus EdiusNX for the editing solution for HDV editing. While we can still use it with Premiere and the Canopus plugin, I'm going to try their software to see what it's capabilities are since it takes advantage of the EdiusNX hardware. I understand they are superior, but not sure yet. Canopus did however suggest we stay with the Adobe Encore DVD for creation of the final DVD menu screens.

    We purchased portable system (aluminum case with handle & 1600x1200 bright LCD monitor). It has Dual Xeon 3.4 Ghz processors, 4GB RAM and 4 300 GB SCSI drives. Not too portable though as is weighs about 50 Lbs. But the case is nice and has came with a zip up water resistant nylon cover and retractable roller stand. The video card we chose is a PCIexpress ATI 256MB X800 Pro with SVID, VGA, and DVI outputs.

    The system looks really sweet. I hope it works as nicely as it's $12K price tag . We plan on firing it up next week. I'll let you know how it pans out...

    Thanks for all your input...

    Basil

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