Need to build HDV video editor - PC or MAC ???

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Bill Blackmore, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. I edit DV and will be starting to do HDV with occasional requests for
    other formats.

    I'm not a Chevy vs Ford kind of guy but I'm trying to decide between FCP
    and Avid Xpress Pro / Mojo. I have been using Canopus and could just
    switch to Edius NX. I am familiar with FCP and Canopus and AVID
    interfaces. Also I use MAC and PC systems now.

    Real time viewing on a video monitor while editing and color correcting
    is important to me.

    Help!!! What thoughts do you experienced editors have to offer?

    Bill Blackmore, Mar 26, 2006
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  2. Bill Blackmore

    Smarty Guest

    At risk of contributing to another computer "religious war", I'd like to
    offer a brief opinion here. I have been doing HDV editing on both Mac and PC
    platforms for quite a while now, and have a dual processor 2.5 G5 Powermac
    with FCP HD along with several editors on a few single processor Intel
    (Dell) P4 like Sony Vegas 6 as well. I have not used Avid or Canopus

    Final Cut Pro HD on my system is relatively speaking very slow in many ways,
    especially in rendering, and I personally find it cumbersome to use in some
    areas as well. It is very rich with features, but the on-screen controls are
    small, the contrast is low (black labels on gray backgrounds in tiny fonts)
    and I have never been able to really feel entirely at home with it. I
    started using FCP when it was originally released years ago, and it has
    never been my favorite from a user interface perspective. Real time viewing
    of color corrections / etc will add substantial additional cost.

    Therefore, I would opt for Vegas or another PC solution first. I personally
    prefer Vegas 6, but I'm certain the Canopus and Avid make excellent
    solutions as well. Others on this NG with direct experience can offer you
    better insight on these.

    Smarty, Mar 26, 2006
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  3. Bill Blackmore

    nappy Guest

    I own both and I agree with this.

    We use Premiere Pro for HDv editing. We have a HDV music vid now getting
    high weekly airplay on Fuse, MTVu, etc. Cut on PPro with no problems. Far
    fewer than we ever had with FCP and much faster interface. no waiting for
    "Preparing Video for Display" dialogs like on the Mac. And we can be more
    confident that we will make deadlines. I recall many nightmares trying to
    finish with FCP due to OS upgrades causing major problems and other plagues.

    Not only is Premiere smoother but FCP on the mac was very poor at handling
    rendered material and especially audio.
    nappy, Mar 26, 2006
  4. Which interface makes you most comfortable? Which OS do you like the most?
    In any case, go with the manufacturer's recommeneded specifications - and
    then add as much more to it as you can afford in the respect of processor
    speed, RAM and hard drive space. The recommended system, not the minimum,
    specifications will vary according to whether you choose hardware of
    software only. If you want the AJA boards for HD then follow the
    recommendations for that board set. If you want the dpsVelocity HD follow
    what Leitch has to say, etc., etc.

    I don't think which OS you use has anything to do with it whatsoever. And my
    jab at Mac in another post was meant all in good fun - some are just sort of
    thin skinned. It sounds like you are in a unique position to have the best
    of whatever is out there, since you have experience with so many NLE
    packages. Get the most bang for your buck regardless of OS. After all, once
    the editing is done it is you that has to take credit for it - not your

    Larry Johnson
    Digital Video Solutions
    877-227-6281 Toll Free Sales Assistance
    386-672-1941 Customer Service
    386-672-1907 Technical Support
    386-676-1515 Fax
    Larry Johnson, Mar 26, 2006
  5. Bill Blackmore

    khobar Guest


    Can you tell me if there is some inherent reason Windows 2000 can't do HDV,
    or if it can is there some inexpensive means of at least capturing the video
    to disk?

    I've got an Athlon64 x2 running Windows 2K. I've got Premiere 6.5 and
    Pinnacle Studio 9. After talking with various people it was recommended I
    upgrade to Studio 10.5 or Liquid, and run XP Home, not Pro due to some
    missing drivers which are needed to recognize my HDV cam. Yesterday I bought
    Studio 10 which requires XP and today I bought XP Home upgrade only to find
    that XP Home upgrade can't be used on a Win2K system. Instead I have to
    either buy XP Home full or XP Pro upgrade, both @ $200. I'm now uncertain
    about the whole XP Home thing as it appears not to support NTFS which is why
    it can't be used to upgrade a Win2K system.

    I downloaded a trial version of Ulead Media Studio Pro 8 which is supposed
    to do HDV, but it doesn't see my cam unless it is set to DV mode.

    Can you or anyone who might read this give me some hope that I don't have to
    reinvent the wheel to get this going?


    Paul Nixon
    khobar, Mar 26, 2006
  6. Hi Larry. I edited with Avid Media Composer and its predecessors because
    that's what the job required. I never did really like Avid but it worked
    and was the defacto standard. I always used Canopus products for my own
    personal (DVCAM) stuff - because it was cheap and worked great in real
    "real time". The downside to Canopus was that the firewire in was not
    official IEEE 1394. Some plugins worked and some didn't. This was/is a
    pain in the kafuzala. If Canopus NX was standard 1394 protocol I would
    probably use it for HDV. It works great but is just limited in extras. I
    can do a workaround on another system when I need special processing and
    just output the processed file as an avi and transfer to the Canopus
    hard drive.

    My only experience with FCP is on a laptop in the field. I can do it but
    am not really fast in turning out a finished product. I transfer the
    hack edits (without color matching) to Avid or Canopus to finish and refine.

    I now have a long term personally financed HDV project that requires a
    new editor. I will buy a hot (as in fast - not stolen) PC or MAC and go
    from there. PCs offer more bang per buck so I tend toward Avid Xpress
    Pro with Mojo but Canopus NX is still a functional (comfortable but
    limited) solution.

    The FCP Studio package is very impressive. The cost of FCP+ and a new
    MAC is about the same as PC plus Avid/Mojo because FCP costs about a
    third of the Avid/Mojo combo. The stuff I've done on FCP required little
    rendering and never crashed, so this might work. My experience with FCP
    is positive but limited. One downside - MAC converting to Intel -
    possible bumps in the path. I may not have time to wait and I'm not
    going to buy the last G5 - like being the last guy to die in a war.

    No offense to anyone but I've always had trouble with Adobe Premier
    (crash crash freeze) but have not tried Premier Pro. I've heard good
    things but my experience has been bad in the past.

    I'm really just looking for recent experience with FCP5 or Avid Xpress
    Pro / Mojo or for that natter Canopus NX. Which suite is most
    productive? Are there pitfalls to any of these?

    I hear things about Vegas but is it really real time pro stuff? I
    thought it was a home package.

    Still looking for experienced advice.

    Bill Finch
    Bill Blackmore, Mar 27, 2006
  7. I take it you were working with either a Canopus DVRexRT or Storm when you
    mention their 1394 interface. Actually the interface is standard 1394, the
    difference being that it is/was an isolated input/output mounted within the
    cards themselves, and could not be used outside those cards proper. But,
    whether it was considered standard 1394 or not has nothing to do with
    plug-ins for their editing systems. Standard products like BorisFX 8 plug-in
    just fine to the Rex Edit, Storm Edit, Premiere and most other NLE

    At this point in time there are few plug-ins that support the HD or HDV
    standard. Canopus claims that Xplode Pro and most of their other products
    will work seamlessly with Edius NX or SP cards. I haven't really
    experimented with all of them as yet to see how seamless they may be. I do
    know that unitl the advent of Edius 4 they have finally added alpha, which
    at this point can be worked around using Quicktime files output in animation
    standard. Also, Edius 4 will offer up to 8 multicam interface with a simple
    1 to 8 key stroke to select scenes from each in realtime.

    My personal choice would be the Edius SP for HDV rather than the NX.
    Avid Xpress with Mojo will not automatically provide HDV input and output.
    Mojo does nothing in the respect of HDV and all IO is 1394, or with the use
    of one of the VGA cards like the PNY FX4000 with SDI output. Either of the
    Canopus HDV cards will work the best if you get the 64 bit versions as they
    provide more bang than their PCI counterparts. And then there is the Matrox
    Axio LE. I was very impressed with this card when I saw it in action. It
    performs all the types of realtime effects the Matrox RT.X100 would do in
    SP. You are definitely tied to Adobe Premiere Pro 2 on that one. Personally
    I have come to love the Edius software. It is now only in its' version 3 and
    I believe there is a lot more to come. Remember when Premiere was only at
    versions 3 or 4? Now look where they are. Edius is definitely the one to
    watch, IMHO.

    In all the NLE's that offer realtime preview, they offer "high quality"
    settings. Now, I have always had trouble believing that a software could
    render a full resolution full frame per second preview for you, but still
    make you render for final output to tape! If it was truly doing its' job,
    why would you need to render? The full resolution full frames per second
    preview should suffice for final output, wouldn't you think?? Others will
    argue that it is full resolution, but how do they explain that not being
    available upon final output? Vegas is the same.

    Our greatest savior is faster and faster computers, and well written
    software packages. Over the years I have not experienced the Premiere hangs
    others have talked about, although I do slam hard when editing. Just for
    grins I just did a whole project for someone using Premiere 6.5 and my old
    RexRT card. It was all a test to see how the card would operate in a new
    LGA775 3.8GHz machine with Serial ATA RAID. Actually it performs more
    realtime than it ever has in the past. What once was only 3 seconds of
    realtime from Xplode Pro is now up to about 20 seconds, and I mean cube
    spins with realtime video as a backdrop!!
    Larry Johnson, Mar 27, 2006
  8. Bill Blackmore

    Mr. Tapeguy Guest

    We all know Nappy wouldn't touch a Mac with a 10 foot pole but let's
    look at this somewhat objectively. Let's not talk about Premiere on
    the Mac which hasn't been supported for years or old versions of Final
    Cut. In fairness, the only guys I hear using Premiere are guys in a
    city south of us who are typically 3-5 years behind the current
    technology and excess rendering time is NEVER something I hear about
    FCS, particularly when it is being regularly sold or taught by our lead
    instructor who has been teaching since v1 and does Masters Classes
    including at Stanford's Digital Media Academy.

    Now granted, everyone has a personal preference but the latest G5's and
    FCS have become the defacto industry standard. Vegas is a nice program
    with lots of features and will do a good job for you but it really
    depends on what you're looking for. One huge advantage to Mac is the
    OS, superior hardware and stability. Crashing is simply not a common
    complaint. The latest package has a module dedicated to advanced sound
    editing and you get much more for the money, on top of which, the
    installed user base is enormous so resources and support are very easy
    to find. Canopus has typically also made some nice products at
    affordable prices but their user base is shrinking and the way
    technology moves forward now I'm not sure how long they'll be in the
    mix. You can of course get Avid for PC or Mac but for the money, it is
    not as good a deal, even on a PC.

    The LATEST version of FCS running on OS X Tiger is going to be your
    best bet overall and will do just about anything you need to do, along
    with providing stability, a large community of endusers, lots of
    training and support and a modest price for what's included. No PC
    viruses, spyware or other fun Windows issues either.
    Mr. Tapeguy, Mar 27, 2006
  9. Bill Blackmore

    nappy Guest

    In fairness, the only guys I hear using Premiere are guys in a
    oh... Master Classes eh? <g>

    This is a salesman talking and can be ignored. The idea that Premiere users
    are behind some sort of standard is rediculous. I see them as editors who
    aren't lemmings and don't buy gear because of hype.
    If ANYONE tells you they never hear about macs and FCP crashing you need
    only go to the mac / fcp forums to find out how much bullshit that is.
    Watch while the new Intel macs cause a complete ruckus in the FCP world.
    BTW.,. EVERY major OS release has caused problems for FCP users. Another
    fact that is easily supported with a little googling.

    3-5 years behind what? Premiere did HDV before FCP did. I know plenty of
    people using Premiere Pro for docs, films, music vids etc. They're plenty

    There is a common misconception that FCP is some sort of 'standard' well..
    there is no standard. People use every tool there is to create media. Don't
    buy the hype.

    Neither of those statements is true. Though you are welcome to try and tell
    us what is 'superior' about the OS. IN the two years that I used my mac I
    found the OS clumsy and rife with problems. Features I was used to in
    Windows, like being able to do ANYTHING in a File Open dialog.. are simply
    not there.

    As to the statement about Hardware superiority.. If it actually was
    superior.. they wouldn't have had to go to Intel chips.As for the main
    boards on the Mac.. there is absolutely nothing special about them. They're
    made from the cheapest parts Apple can get .. just like any other

    Neither is this. The mac community just went through a series of attacks.
    FCP is the only game on the mac.. for all practical purposes.

    Since the Mac could not keep up with PCs they went to Intel chips. Of course
    the G5 was touted as the fastest desktop computer in the world.. for about a
    nanosecond. Apple sells iPods. They probably should not be in the business
    of OSs/ Hardware AND applications. Seems too much for them to handle.
    nappy, Mar 27, 2006
  10. Bill Blackmore

    RS Guest

    No, I don't think thats right. XP Home upgrade should be able to upgrade

    XP Pro is a more robust in the networking area, but really, other than
    that, its not a whole lot different.
    RS, Mar 27, 2006
  11. Bill Blackmore

    Frank Vuotto Guest

    PremierPro is an altogether different animal. You would be doing
    yourself a favor if you spent some time with the demo. It's fast and
    stable, I can't remember the last time it crashed on me.

    Frank /~
    Frank Vuotto, Mar 27, 2006
  12. Bill Blackmore

    Scubajam Guest

    Seeing the credentials and the fact that many on this forum are editing
    full time, as a hobbyist I'm a bit intimidated, but will jump in
    anyway. I have very limted experience with NLE, but have 5 years with
    Media Studio Pro, from 5 to now version 8. I do HD with a Sony HVR
    A1U. My system details are at the end.

    1) I have had no problems with crashes with Ulead's Media Studio Pro 8
    in HD, and that was even before I went to a X2 processor. Before the
    X2 I would Run msconfig/setup and Disable all TSR's, reboot, and edit.

    2) MSP8 uses a proxy system for real time HD. It works great. There
    is a slight delay the first time you put a HD clip on the timeline as
    it creates a smaller res proxy file. You can set the parameters for
    the proxy. I just learned that going to mpg instead of avi saves a lot
    of disk space for the proxy, but that's not an issue for me with more
    than a Tbyte of disk space. The real time factor works very well in
    HD. Now I leave all TSR's running and once in a while have to wait 15
    seconds for it to catch up if I scrub the timeline at 4X or 8X, but
    it's not often. Rendering is very fast if minimal filters and just
    cuts/crossfades are used. I'm saying faster than real time. On the
    other hand, changing format, like going to render for a DVD file from
    HD input, took 5 hours for a 30 minute program. I just let it render
    overnight, and only do it once at the end of the entire process.
    3) For one post about MSP8 not seeing the camera. A) Make sure the
    camera isn't outputting DV on the Firewire, common error. B) Shut
    everything down, including camera, then turn it on with HD output, then
    MSP8 and it'll find and automatically set HD capture. Not shutting
    down, including the camera and editor, will not reset the capture.
    4) For the one looking for XP OS. Go to They're
    a small but large volume importer selling OEM parts to small computer
    stores, but they sell to anyone. XP Home is under $100 and Pro about
    $30 more. Since they sell OEM only, including the OS, they must sell
    at least one internal part so they don't get in trouble with Microsoft
    for selling OEM versions. Buy a memory stick, HD, cpu, etc. Call them
    and they'll help. These are Full Version operating systems at less than
    half retail prices!

    Again, I've had good luck with MSP8 for HD. It's intuitive and has few
    crashes. There's still bugs, like their Smart Compositor is a great
    feature, but seems to be only in 4:3, which is terrible for those of us
    doing 16:9 HD. Download the trial version and try it for 30 days. My
    system isn't state of the art as you can see below, but it now edits HD
    with all TSR's and email client running with no hiccups.

    Jim McGauhey
    Washington State
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 3800+
    Gigabyte K8 Triton nForce 3 motherboard
    GeForce FX 5700 VE 256 MB video
    2 Gig RAM DDR400
    Windows XP Pro SP2
    120 Gig IDE HD C
    160 Gig IDE HD for video
    300 Gig ATA HD for video
    300 Gig ATA HD for video, swap, & backup
    Ulead Media Studio Pro 8 (HD)
    VideoStudio 8.0
    Toshiba 16X Dbl Layer
    Hammer 16X Dbl Layer

    Sony HVR A1U Hi Def
    Sony DVR TRV740 Digital8

    See sample clips at
    Yahoo Group "uwvideoclips"
    Specialize in underwater video
    Scubajam, Mar 27, 2006
  13. Bill Blackmore

    Frank Vuotto Guest

    Frank Vuotto, Mar 27, 2006
  14. Bill Blackmore

    Smarty Guest

    I've been extolling the virtues of Ulead's HDV editing on this and other
    newsgroups since the HDV software was released, and personally prefer it to
    everything else on the market when it comes to simplicity and speed.. It has
    provoked a lot a replies and controversy, mostly accusing me of "gushing"
    with hyperbole and over-hype about how good it is. I want to repeat one more
    time that anybody who wants to do HDV editing on a single processor PC
    including cheap 300 or 400 buck P4 and AMD systems should definitely check
    out the trial versions of either Video Studio 9 or Media Studio Pro before
    committing to a more expensive (and generally slower) solution. Alternately,
    if you are looking for a "cuts only" editor, then VideoReDoPlus is the
    fastest solution in existence for a mere $49 or so.

    To my knowledge, these products should also run absolutely fine under
    Windows 2000, and do not demand XP. I may be wrong.

    And as far as Final Cut Pro Studio HD, Tiger, and Mac
    stability..................I would personally call it no better than XP with
    other video editing software, and generally slower in most areas. My Dual G5
    with all of its fans (and noise) and huge cabinet and very expensive
    hardware ($nearly $3000 versus about $700 for my Dell) just can't seem to
    get out of first gear. And Compressor, the heart of the rendering engine for
    FCP Studio HD, really needs bypass surgery, a defibrillator, or some other
    major repair.

    I anxiously await the port of Final Cut Pro Studio HD to Intel native code.
    In the meantime, the Powermac and FCP HD collect dust. I use it to video
    chat with my kids, and it makes a superb video phone with iChat............

    Smarty, Mar 27, 2006
  15. Bill Blackmore

    khobar Guest

    Well that's what I thought which is why I opted for the Home version.
    However, in reading the side panel on the box it states it can only be used
    to upgrade 98/98SE/ME. Puzzled, I went to the Microsoft homepage and checked and see that,
    according to Microsoft, Win2K is not "eligible" for in-place upgrade. I'm
    guessing that either Home lacks NTFS
    ( shows that
    XP Home does not support "Encrypting File System - protects sensitive data
    in files that are stored on disk using the NTFS file system") or the blasted
    thing will do a simple check, see I have Win2K and pop up a message "Hey,
    you just wasted $100 - how do you feel?" I have not opened the box so I can
    return it no problem, but I'm reluctant to plop down $200 more just to get
    HDV working on what is otherwise a very stable machine.

    Hence my frustration.

    FWIW, Ulead Media Studio 8 Pro won't do HDV in Win2K either.

    BTW, thanks for the reply.

    Paul Nixon
    khobar, Mar 27, 2006
  16. Also, XP Home has no problem with NTFS.

    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 27, 2006
  17. Bill Blackmore

    nappy Guest

    well put Smarty.
    Same goes for My mac here. Been trying to sell it for a long time.
    nappy, Mar 28, 2006
  18. Bill Blackmore

    khobar Guest

    So any idea why it can't be used as an upgrade for an NTFS OS such as NT or
    2000? I am truly baffled.

    Paul Nixon
    khobar, Mar 28, 2006
  19. Perhaps an arbitrary decision by Microsoft to forbid it. They have
    their own ideas about positioning different versions of the OS in the

    Of course I have no real idea, I'm just is obvious -)

    Gene E. Bloch, Mar 28, 2006
  20. Bill Blackmore

    nappy Guest

    NTFS is available on all platforms.

    MS wants you to migrate to Xp. Not 2k. XP is 2k+
    nappy, Mar 28, 2006
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