PC hardware requirements for HD video editing?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Beowulf, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    What computer PC system requirements are needed for easy, smooth video
    editing of high definition video files (or is this an elusive imaginary
    quest?). My friend and me want to get into indie filmmaking, soon will
    buy Canon XH-A1 HD camcorders. But as we are experimenting with a 4 minute
    130MB HD video clip off canon's website (about 2000x1000 resolution), we
    are finding it very difficult to impossible to play back with or without
    audio in various video editors (Adobe Premiere Pro, etc). WTF is needed
    in order to edit HD video?

    Current system is dual core Athlon 64 x2 4000+ cpu, 4GB RAM, SATA-2 400GB
    hard drive (3Gb/sec), SLI motherboard with two nvidia GeForce 7900 GT
    256MB graphics cards. I mean shit, what more is needed, do we need to
    build a quad core system, set up RAID 0 (striped array)? Willing to do so,
    just want to know what it takes to know what we are in for. Should we move
    to Mac OS? Final Cut Pro? What?!? Any help appreciated, very frustrating.
    Beowulf, Feb 8, 2007
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  2. Beowulf

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    Your system should be powerful enough for HDV.
    Download the trail of Vegas 7 and see if it works for you.
    Details at http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/download/step2.asp?

    Mike Kujbida, Feb 8, 2007
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  3. Beowulf

    mmaker Guest

    3GHz Pentium-4, 1GB RAM, 7800GS, SATA/ATA100 drives. Works for me,
    though it can't handle much in the way of real-time effects.

    Four minutes of HD in 320MB sounds like it's using some high-
    compression and complicated codec: maybe that's the problem.

    mmaker, Feb 8, 2007
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    Exactly what I did yesterday, and guess what-- Vegas works perfect, does
    exactly what I expected a video editing should do with my system. I love
    vegas! I copy pasted a clip to create a two hour "movie", added additional
    background music, etc. and it all works great! Turns out it was the
    software, not my PC, that was the problem. Imagine, Vegas Movie Studio
    softare, $89, works perfect, renders fast, etc. and Adobe Premiere Pro at
    many times that cost works like crap at least on my system. More expensive
    is not always "better".
    Beowulf, Feb 9, 2007
  5. Beowulf

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    Glad to hear that it worked for you. Welcome to the Vegas community.
    If and when you're ready, you can upgrade to the full version of Vegas+DVD
    Architect as there's an upgrade path for this.

    Mike Kujbida, Feb 9, 2007
  6. Beowulf

    Smarty Guest


    I owned Premiere since its' inception, and have lived with many versions of
    it on the Mac and then the PC. I had tons of problems with it, pretty crappy
    support from Adobe, and generally lackluster performance as well.

    I have found several vastly better ways to handle HDV, and have never looked
    back to Adobe or Premiere. Even though they now are re-entering the Mac
    market once again with a Premiere designed to run on Intel Macs, all I can
    say is....."who cares".....

    Smarty, Feb 9, 2007
  7. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    I had only one problem with Vegas yesterday (again this is the demo trial
    version of Platinum). I tried a render of a two hour movie to .mov and I
    told Vegas to render with highest quality (advanced options); I *might*
    have tweaked a couple of other options, can not recall; anyhow, 8 hours
    into an estimated 10 hour render (which seemed very slow-- the previous
    render to mpeg2 took about 4 hrs) it stopped and said it could not write
    to the drive (odd, since it is an almost empty 400GB SATA-2 drive. I hope
    that was a fluke, or caused by my tweaks. I am trying the render again
    this morning, this time just going with Vegas' defaults for the .mov
    render. But other than that I am loving Vegas.

    Just a question now to buy version 7 (current), or should I wait for a
    version 8 (if a new version, i.e. version 8, just around the corner?)?
    Beowulf, Feb 12, 2007
  8. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    Such as (can you list what ways you are doing-- I am looking to any
    alternatives to Adobe Premiere-- I have not purchased any video editor
    software yet).
    Beowulf, Feb 12, 2007
  9. Beowulf

    Frank Guest

    I wouldn't be surprised to see Vegas version 8 announced in two months
    at NAB in April. If so, I would expect that it would include AVCHD
    support, for those who care.

    If you were to purchase version 7 now and version 8 is announced in a
    couple of months, I'm sure that a low-cost upgrade path would be
    Frank, Feb 12, 2007
  10. Beowulf

    Smarty Guest


    Vegas 7 and the lite version 'Vegas Movie Studio' are great alternatives, as
    are Ulead's Video Studio 10 Plus which goes directly from HDV input to
    edited and then authored HD-DVD disks for $89. The latter 2 suggestions are
    really capable, much less expensive than Premiere, and very smooth HDV

    For simple I-frame editing, by far the fastest and simplest HDV editor I
    have ever used is VideoReDo. It handles the long GOP structure of HDV video
    effortlessly, sells for about $50, and trims footage faster than anything
    else out there.

    I think Vegas 7.0d is just about the right balance of performance, features,
    ease of use, and price, and consider this to be a really strong contender
    for general purpose use by a more advanced user. If I could keep only one
    HDV editor, this would be it.

    Smarty, Feb 13, 2007
  11. Beowulf

    T Guest

    Check out Edius 4
    T, Feb 13, 2007
  12. Beowulf

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    My suggestion is to buy a copy of Vegas 6 for $99 from B&H and use this to
    upgrade to Vegas 7+DVD Architect for $235 (download version). Total price
    is $334. Buying Vegas &+DVDA outright will set you back at least $500 or
    more (unless you're a student) so there is a savings to be had.

    Since Vegas 7 wasn't released until last September, I'm not expecting
    anything at NAB.


    Sony has already said "In the Spring of 2007, AVCHD will be supported in a
    free update to Vegas 7 software."

    When a new version is released, you can upgrade (almost) any version for a
    very reasonable price for 60 or 90 days.
    As I recall, upgrading to 6 to 7 was $250 (which was more than normal) but
    that's because DVD Architect is now bundled with it.

    Mike Kujbida, Feb 13, 2007
  13. Beowulf

    Frank Guest

    You're right, and I apologize for the error. I was thinking of
    something else. I just looked at the Vegas 7 / DVD Architect 4 press
    release dated August 4, 2006 from IBC. Can't imagine what I was
    thinking of.
    Frank, Feb 13, 2007
  14. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    Please excuse my ignorance (someday I will repay by helping others once I
    learn), but what is GOP/GOP_structure? Also I am not clear on the
    difference between DV/mini-DV, HV, and HDV? (especially HD versus HDV, I
    thought they were the same but I guess not?). Are any of those "raw DV"?

    And yes I liking Sony Vegas as I play with the trial version; I am
    thinking of buying the VEGAS+DVD version that is more expensive but that
    includes more features. Vegas just fricken *works*, plays previews and
    such smooth, not jerky with stutter or even no audio like Premiere Pro
    does, and Avid just looked unappealing and very NON-intuitive to use and
    showed no waveform, I could not get a preview to play, etc. For my level
    of incompetence I think Vegas is the way to go, but I will play with some
    other trial version software until I buy my Canon XH-A1 in May.
    Beowulf, Feb 14, 2007
  15. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    I can get the Vegas+DVD package (retail $700?) for about $299 since I am
    an educator / college teacher. That will help a bit. I am thinking I
    should wait though until May, people are hinting at a version 8 coming out
    soon if I am reading the tea leaves correctly? And I will by buying my
    camera, Canon XH-A1 in May.
    Beowulf, Feb 14, 2007
  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf Guest

    Opps. Now that I read your thread I see maybe I should just go ahead and
    get Sony Vegas+DVD for educator price of $300. Looks like a version 8 is
    not just around the corner.
    Beowulf, Feb 14, 2007
  17. Beowulf

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    I work at a community college and I LOVE the academic pricing too :)
    I also like the fact that I can have it installed on a computer at work as
    well as my home computer. The thinking is that you'll only be using one
    computer at a time so it's OK to do this.
    Sonic Foundry (the original company) had this policy and fortunately Sony
    kept it.
    BTW, in case you were wondering, there's NO academic (i.e. dumbed down)
    version of Vegas. What you see is what you get.
    Upgrade prices have always been very reasonable too, especially if you buy
    it during the first month of the new release. For example, $135 last fall
    to upgrade from Vegas 6+DVD to Vegas 7+DVD.

    Mike Kujbida, Feb 14, 2007
  18. Beowulf

    Smarty Guest

    Regarding GOP, this is an acronym for "Group of Pictures" and is the data
    structure used in MPEG2 to efficiently store compressed video content. As
    you might imagine, relatively little changes from one frame to the next in
    video or movies, and the strategy thus used to compress this content is to
    identify changes from frame to frame and only store the differences rather
    than the entire redundant image entirely. This imposes an additional burden
    on the editing software, since the editor views the content as a linear and
    equally spaced sequence of frames despite the fact that the content is not
    inherently stored in this manner for HDV material. For HDV material in
    particular, the GOPs are longer and the frames themselves are larger than
    standard def video, and thus HDV editing programs require more computer
    power, better processing algorithms / programming, or both to work smoothly
    compared to standard def.

    Professional DV was released in 1994 and was soon followed by a consumer
    version, mini-DV. miniDV tape-based camcorders were introduced about a
    decade ago, and were the first consumer camcorders to record digitally. In
    the ensuing 10 years, the very same tape format has been adopted to encode
    high definition digital video primarily for consumer / prosumer use. The
    recording of standard resolution digital video is commonly referred to as
    "DV" format, whereas the newer recording of high definition video in formats
    (720/1080) suited for prosumer use is referred to as HDV. Other high
    definition formats already exist, and also will be introduced as time goes
    on, and they are collectively referred to as "high definition" or "HD", a
    somewhat generic term.

    You might find these links a good starting point for more info:



    Your approach to using the trial versions of these editors is very
    beneficial, both to see how well the products run on your hardware and also
    to see how suitable the feature set and user interface is for your needs.
    There are considerable strengths and weaknesses to be compared, and price is
    not necessarily a good indicator of quality / value to you . More than most
    types of software, I would say that "You mileage may vary" considerably
    based on how you intend to use the software and how your hardware performs.

    Vegas 7 and a new Canon XH-A1 is an excellent way to come onboard, and this
    newsgroup and others can offer further insights along the way as you need to
    make your final decisions.

    Smarty, Feb 14, 2007
  19. Beowulf


    Apr 25, 2010
    Likes Received:
    XHA1 -> PC problem

    I have been having this problem ever since I bought these two XHA1 camcorders. I even bought a new Dell PC hoping to solve this problem, but it doesn't seem to have an effect.


    When I "capture video" to my PC, whether using Adobe Premier or Sony Vegas, the videos frequently have missing frames. I bought a new Dell PC, 3 GHz dual core with 2 GB of RAM. That problem still exists. I switched different tapes (JVC, TDK, Panasonic, etc.) and still have the same problem.

    When I re-capture the video, the missing frame part appears to be moving most of the time. Which indicate the missing problem is not on the tape.
    skeptic, Apr 25, 2010
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