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  #1  
Old 05-07-2004, 06:07 AM
Aussie169 Aussie169 is offline
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Default OT - Best computer for video editing?

Folks
What is currently the best type of computer (PC) for video editing. AMD or Pentium? How much RAM? Is there a certain type of firewire card that works better? etc. etc.
A friend's girlfriend does wedding videos and up till now has gone the old VHS dubbing route. Now she has a digital video camera and would like to start learning to edit on computer. So she has asked my advice..... and now I'm asking yours LOL.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2004, 08:09 AM
K.B. K.B. is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

What kind of camera has she got (DV out?)?

What is the intended delivery format?

What software does she plan to edit on?

What's - ahem - her budget?


If it's just wedding videos, she could use AvidDV Free, downloadable from this very site (though it won't let ME download it ). And Avid's site has a list of recommended PCs. They're not cheap, but reliable, and you can bet they'll run other video software. I haven't looked too closely at them.

This is so 'how long is a piece of string?' Think of the debates we have here, and that's for just PTLE on XP, which only runs sound, and still has a nagging video issue yet to be resolved.


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  #3  
Old 05-07-2004, 04:45 PM
Aussie169 Aussie169 is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

Not sure what the camera is, but it does have DV out.

She hoping to deliver on DVD where possible, but there'll still be some VHS

Software is still to be decided on. Avid Free would probably be a good start.

I didn't mention a budget because you get a hell of a lot more for $2500 in The States than I get here in OZ.

It will just be wedding videos at first, But you know what these things are like.... The more you learn, the farther you take it. Basically need a system that will alow her to grow to a certain extent.

I can't find a link to download Avid Free... only one to order the CD. Do you have a download link?

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2004, 04:52 PM
Aussie169 Aussie169 is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

Probably what I should have asked is......

I am building a system for simple to mid level video editing.
Should I go AMD or Pentium?
Is onboard firewire ok or do I need a good PCI card?
What sort of video card should I get? Is lots of video memory a big advantage?
Are there any dos and don't for building a PC video system.

Note: This computer will NOT be running ProTools.

Thanks again
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2004, 06:30 PM
K.B. K.B. is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

link to AvidDVfree.

Should I go AMD or Pentium? Can't see what difference it would make, apart from possible compability issues with the hardware you're using.

Is onboard firewire ok or do I need a good PCI card? Why are you thinking about firewire? A good video editing card will take DV in direct. That'll be the most expensive item.

What sort of video card should I get? Is lots of video memory a big advantage? yes. LOTS of video memory. An excellent one is the Matrox RTX100. You can buy this bundled with Premiere. The package this link goes to inludes Adobe Encore DVD (so it's more expensive than a Premiere only package). Couldn't find one with just Premiere. Avoid Encore - it's v buggy. Apparently Adobe rushed Encore into production to coincide with the launch of premiere Pro. Good at DVD authoring, bad for the burning itself. Some folk get round this by doing the actual burning with something else.

You'll also need a video display card (yes! 2 video cards in one machine) I've got the Matrox P750 which is triple monitor. This allows you to edit across two monitors (two 17" Relysis CRTs is a very cheap way to go, cheaper than one 21") and also output video to a TV monitor (or old TV). It's very important to be able to see what you're doing on a real monitor or TV, particularly for titles that can become illegible at a lower resolution. Reds are notoriously difficult to predict.

DVDs are a big subject and there are little annoying details that are worth knowing about. So

1. You need to convert your DV footage to MPEG2 format with a suitable encoding system. This can range from export options built-in to editing systems like Premiere and Avid Xpress DV to stand alone software like Cleaner and ProCoder which will convert AVI and QuickTime video files. Some DVD authoring systems include encoding engines. The best quality is achieved with hardware, real-time systems of course at a high price like the card above. You'll also need a lot of disc space going spare.

Filling a single sided DVD takes around 4.3 Gb of information which will be close to what you'll need for an hour's worth of high quality footage.

Add to this the space you'll need for creating any graphics/audio files and your final DVD "disc image" file (so you can repeatedly burn-off new discs) and we're talking at least 11Gb of free disc space per project.

2. You need to make sure your MPEG2 footage is converted at a reasonable bit rate (well below the theoretical rate) and in the right format so that compatibility with PCs/Macs and DVD players is as high as it can be. For a disc to send all around the world creating an NTSC, region free disc is the best option. Most PAL DVD players (and computers in general) will play NTSC encoded DVD discs, but few NTSC discs will play PAL DVDs. However, the results from creating an NTSC disc from PAL material is not always great unless you're using really good encoding systems. Apparently Procoder which will do the NTSC/MPEG2 conversion in one very great foul swoop.

Bit rate wise, there are two main options - Constant Bit Rate encoding (CBR) and Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR). VBR is the best quality but the extra time it will take you to encode your material to MPEG2 versus the extra quality you will achieve isprobably not worth it. If you go for CBR, something around 6500 kbps i.e. nowhere near DVD's highest potential quality of 9800 kbps is a reasonable point to pick.

Many DVDs will not play such high bit rates and many computers will end up dropping frames/exhibit choppy audio when trying to play back such material. You need to check that your one hour (or thereabouts) movie will actually fit on a DVD disc using the bit rate chosen. 6500 kbps should be fine and is supposed to include a basic Stereo PCM audio track. Encoding systems also have quality settings from something like "Fast" through to "Mastering". The higher the quality wanted, the slower the encode. Often the setting one step BELOW the best is the one to choose.

3. You'll need a DVD authoring system which can burn a DVD compliant disc with requisite menus and navigation. There are many DVD authoring systems from the popular DVDit! to professional systems like Scenarist . For your project DVDit! or if you can get your hands on it Sonic ReelDVD would be adequate.

The authoring system will also need, at the very least, a splash screen with a choice to "play film" as an option.

4. You'll need a good quality DVD burner to burn your discs. DVD burners are now fairly common. use the latest ones you can as reliability and reduced write errors are what you are after. Although you can now burn at speeds of up to 8 times, for compatibility-sake, ONLY burn your discs at the maximum of 2x speed. This means around 15-20 minutes for a single disc to be burnt from a DVD "disc image" (what your authoring system will create as its end product.)

5. You should use good quality DVD media to improve the best chance of the disc playing in as many people's players as possible.

Most people plum for Verbatim DVD discs, but as always, reports are varied. There are several DVD formats around - DVD-RAM, DVD+R, DVD-R, and rewritable versions of the plus and minus formats. DVD-R is supposed to be best format for general compatibility (although most modern computer drives will now read and write all of the formats except DVD-RAM) so burn your DVDs onto 2 speed DVD-R discs.

6. Don't use labels for your DVDs, although it's tempting for that pro look. They can cause errors and make discs unplayable in some people's players/computers. If you want the pro look choose printable DVDs with inkjet friendly faces, then print directly onto the DVDs with a suitable printer - the latest Epson and Canon printers will actually do this at not too much expense.

For even more info go here.

Are you sure you want to get into this? Though if it fits into your long-term career plans, it's probably worth the effort.

Are there any dos and don't for building a PC video system. take your time. Buy the magazines. But bear in mind that some of them are pitched at amateurs where a pro result based on their advice is not guaranteed.

Good luck.



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  #6  
Old 05-10-2004, 05:13 AM
john joe daly john joe daly is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

This Has Got to near the top of the list for 'The Best Reply ever'!
*All Hail Karel Bata.*

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  #7  
Old 05-10-2004, 05:32 AM
K.B. K.B. is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

Thank you.

I did it for myself mainly. There's a lot of copy / paste / edit in there from other sources. I hope it's useful.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2004, 01:25 AM
Cuahtemoc Cuahtemoc is offline
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Default Re: OT - Best computer for video editing?

One of the most important aspects of any DV system is the speed of your storage drives - I'd suggest 10k SATA Raptors, a raid 0+1 setup (requires 3 drives, gives you the storage capacity of two at much greater speed than a single drive), or SCSI.
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