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Thread: New user seeks advice

  1. #1

    Default New user seeks advice

    Yes guys aother newbie needs help- Am about to buy DVD editing software but am not sure which one to buy. Computer specs are Intel 4 @ 2 gig, 160 Gig Hard, 1 meg RAM. Have edited VHS tapes in the past using analouge mixing and S/FX equipment but now need to upgrade to all digital. Source material will be either VHS tapes or if easier I can burn the tapes to DVD + or - .

    Do I need to upgrade my hardware? (add ons, firewire?)

    Software will need to be able to overlay audio, fade in/out and on the visual side I need to fade in/out, swipe, dissolve, pic in pic, chroma F/X , title overlay, animations etc.

    Thx Rich

  2. #2
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    Hello Rich.
    The specs you posted are pretty good (but I do hope you meant 1 gig of RAM instead of 1 meg ). Here's what you need to know:
    For viditing you need 2 separate hard-drives. One as your system drive and the other one, as large and fast as you can afford, for video work (capturing and rendering). Also, some people add a third hard drive, usually external, to archive their projects (that's not really necessary for you right now).
    Firewire ports (iLink, IEEE1394 etc.) are a must. Having one on the front panel of the case would be nice, too. If you don't have firewire ports on your mobo, you must get a firewire card (from $ 15). But that's only gonna help you with digital transfer. For analog capture you need a dedicated capture card (from $ 150). That's why I recommend you an integrated solution, such as the Pinnacle Studio AV/DV 9 Deluxe (analog and firewire inputs and outputs, and break-out box) which costs less than $ 200 and comes with Pinnacle Studio 9 Plus, a NLE which meets your requirements (including PIP and chroma). There are lots of options, but I think this would suit you best.

  3. #3

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    Thx for the advice. This looks like i'm going to need a heap of research here. My system is running on 1024k RAM and i'm no hardware anorak which makes me nervous. From your comments I will need to insert a second HD and a firewire port.

    As I said, I can use DVD R's as my source material which i assume can be loaded into the DVD drive. Would this get round the need to install a firewire for the transfer?

  4. #4
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    Default Post subject: New user seeks advice

    Hi rpwall

    I would recommend Adobe Premiere Elements 1.0 or if you have megabucks to spend then go for Adobe Premiere Pro which will integrate much more easily with Photoshop, AfterEffects etc. If you want to capture VHS then yes you will need a capture card/breakout box with composite and S-video connections. On this side of the pond they've had a mixed reception and you'll need to upgrade your processor to at least a 3ghz, 1024 mb ram (Win Xp uses between 128 and 150 mb just to run it smoothly), a 256mb graphics card, a 800mhz front side bus (ask the assistant in the computer store to explain what that is and he'll probably pass out and fall over). Two fast hard disks and use DVD-RW or +RW to stop you ending up in a mental hospital as one error can stop the recording on -R and +R disks and thats it, the disk is useless after that.

  5. #5
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    Nikosony, you're just being pesimistic here. E.g. why would the man need a graphics card with 256 megs of RAM??
    rpwall, if your source are DVD's, then surely you don't need video inputs of any kind (analog or digital) since basically what you'll be doing will be ripping those DVD's into an editable format (although MPEG is a nightmare for editing because of interleaved frames, whatever).

  6. #6

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    Bear in mind i'm no expert here- I said I can use DVD's as the source material because I have a recordable DVD. The stuff I need to work with is VHS tape which I can transfer onto DVD + or - via the recordable. What compatability issues arise from doing that I don't know, it just seems easier once the medium is in in DVD format. I assume I will lose some quality going that route but I can live with that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpwall
    said I can use DVD's as the source material because I have a recordable DVD. The stuff I need to work with is VHS tape which I can transfer onto DVD + or - via the recordable..
    bad idea. not only it's a time waster, but transferring from vhs to dvd, then ripping onto the pc etc. will significantly alter an already poor quality material, too. so get that capture card after all, forget about that copy to dvd first.

  8. #8
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    Default New user seeks advice

    Hi

    The reason I said to get a graphics card with 256mb ram is to spare you from pulling your hair out in large clumps as it jumps and starts and stops. It also allows the previews and renders to be redraw onscreen a lot faster unless you want to spend all day waiting on them. It's a case of if you can afford a piece of hardware with a bit more zip in it then go for it. The same way I'd recommend at least 1GB of ram and as svhs says two hard disks. On the otherhand I wouldn't use Pinnacle as it has been known to crash during capture or editing or making the DVD... like spitting it out 5 minutes before you reach the end (from personal experience).

  9. #9
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    The graphics card will only have a bearing on rendering previews where software is specifically written to take advantage of it, e.g Liquid Edition or 3D edit.

  10. #10
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    rpwall declared himself a novice so i thought he wouldn't wanna fool around with pinnacle liquid edition and/or 3d compositing right now, at the beginning so i wanted to help him save some money. imo it's very important not to blast a load of money on eqpt while you're a beginner, as it would be obsolete by the time you learn how to play with it efficiently and realise your budget has become zero. so i was talking the very minimum, thinking of what would suffice him for now. the more the better, of course.

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