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Old 02-21-2005, 12:42 PM
TheBriceShow TheBriceShow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1
Default Dual Monitor / hardware playback with NTSC monitor

The production company I work for wants to acquire a Pro Tools LE workstation and have me (a production sound mixer) start doing stereo mixing for some of our more straightforward projects in-house. The idea seems logical enough. I've worked with Pro Tools for years, but I've never had to put together a workstation before.

The video editors are working with Final Cut Pro HD, and we all think working around a Macintosh is a good starting place. I’ve always recorded and mixed on Mac, but I must admit, I’m not nearly as familiar with Mac hardware as I am with that of PCs. Would some of you who have built small or home studios recently answer a couple of equipment compatibility questions?

Like a lot of smaller outfits, we're working with a tight budget, but I think for the scale of what we will be mixing on this machine, an LE system will be sufficient. I had even thought about a Digi002 with an iMac, but now that I’ve had time to consider that the Mac’s CPU will handle all of the DSP on an LE system, I think a dual G5 is called for.

My biggest question concerns video playback while mixing. I know I can just move the movie window around the screen, and as I understand it, I can use dual monitor setup with a low-res 320x240 movie and have it fill the secondary monitor. Will the on-screen playback suffer because Pro Tools is using much of the CPU’s resources?

All of the Pro Tools HD systems I’ve worked with in the past had hardware video decoders that fed an NTSC monitor. I realize the performance would be greatly improved in a system like this. Are there any relatively inexpensive hardware playback systems?
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:10 PM
h1ntOn h1ntOn is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: West Hollywood
Posts: 68
Default Re: Dual Monitor / hardware playback with NTSC monitor

Yes playing back video will tax your system and decrease your plug in count. A great solution to this problem is to get the canopus advc-100 and the PT DV Toolkit add-on. This way you can play a 720x480 DV NTSC quicktime file straight out of your firewire port with virtually no loss in system performance. The canopus box then converts the digital signal to analog and you can view your video on an NTSC monitor or TV. Expect this solution to cost you around $1400

Good luck!!

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Old 02-21-2005, 05:58 PM
Freeheel Freeheel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 322
Default Re: Dual Monitor / hardware playback with NTSC mon

I've done full 32 track mixes to a quicktime movie on a 733 G4 using protools LE. They were edit sessions so plugin use was at a bare minumum but they were fairly dense sessions. I would try your G5's onboard capabilities before rushing out and buying more gear.
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