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For those who are still Fishing.....

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Darren Kelly
For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 12:21:49 am

I have tested up to 10 layers of HD, with FX, animation, and basic 3D.

The system cost me $1197.00 CDN, before the software update (Which I would have done anyway.

I'm please with my decision. i hope you will all be happy with your choice.

Cheers

DBK


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Tom Wolsky
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 1:58:36 am

What system are you talking about?

All the best,

Tom

Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"
Coming in 2011 "Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:53:05 am

There was another thread where Darren talked about building his own AMD 6 core system with a very good GPU for the aforementioned price.

I think the contention may be that not only is something like that not possible on the Mac but that one may even get the equivalent power of an HP Z series workstation without paying that price.

If what he built is truly performance competitive with an HP Z then I can certainly see HP leaving the workstation market. Sure there's value in a workstation but the value proposition would have to be diminishing when a "commodity" PC, a market we know HP is leaving, can actually cannibalize workstation level sales.



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Gary Huff
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 6:14:24 am

Who said anything about HP leaving the workstation market?


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 6:50:44 am

[Gary Huff] "Who said anything about HP leaving the workstation market?"

We don't know what they'll do. If commodity computers can compete against workstations then there sales may decline as people decide to build/buy less expensive but equally powerful computers. Not everyone would go that route but it could be one more thing to bring about that decline.

If a growing number of people believe they can built $1200 computers that rival $3000 computers, what impact do you think that will have an computer manufacturers and even VARs.

One argument was that HP was only going to get out of commodity PCs and keep workstations which have higher margins. Then we saw a thread which included how fewer people need workstations. If workstations are a declining market, what do you think will happen?



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John Joyce
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 8:12:06 am

HP leaving the workstation market?

I don't wish to lower the tone, but my worry is that Adobe will leave the Mac market.

It has happened before, twice in my personal experience. And I was burned twice.

First, Premiere would not run (as I remember on OS X), and Apple to its credit provided a free copy of FCE. Second, Adobe discontinued the Mac version of FrameMaker, which was a great pity since it ran very nicely on a Mac, used AppleScript and so on.

Now in both cases I can understand that Adobe could no longer make a dollar out of the Mac versions. My fear is that switchers and declining sales of serious Macs will undermine the economic case for continuing Mac versions of serious software, especially Adobe's.

A nasty spiral could quickly get underway. Who needs a Mac Pro, or what will replace it? Universities running Mathematica? High-end still photographers? And then only through tradition. Old habits could die very easily, unless I suppose you develop iPhone apps.

I hope there is something profoundly wrong with my argument.


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:39:13 pm

[John Joyce] " my worry is that Adobe will leave the Mac market.
It has happened before, twice in my personal experience. And I was burned twice. "


I can easily see scenarios where that might happen. Darren is a good example. BTW let's not forget that Avid nearly did the same.

I suspect most FCPX switchers are simply moving software at the moment, hence the increase sales of Mac versions. Over time those Macs will age and, if Darren were to represent the majority, most will move to Windows since, as several have already argues, one can either get similar power for less money or more power for similar money (particularly when it comes to GPU options). If that's truly the market than both Adobe and Avid may leave the Mac as a market driven decision.

The question is, does Apple have a motive to sell Macs or not. Right now there's Thunderbolt and, I suspect eventually, a more affordable modular MacPro replacement. Certainly IBC is showing that Thunderbolt is attractive to the video and storage developers and, given the price of these boxes, these are geared towards "pros."

From what I've read, Apple's computer market share is growing. They never breakout numbers though. I speculate that the MacPro is the weakest link though. Apple has overcome one of its more serious problems. The boxes they'd been selling had limited expandability. With MacBookAir, MacBookPro, MacMini, iMac all sporting Thunderbolt ports, that's been a big change. Given the growing Thunderbolt support, this points to fewer reasons for someone to get a MacPro.

One thing the MacPro has, it CPU/GPU capabilities the others don't. That's why I think Apple will make a more affordable Thunderbolt based box with greater CPU/GPU capabilities to replace the MacPro.

It's also why I think FCPX will be designed to sell those boxes. Apple's goal, I think, will be to create a value proposition that'll be tough to beat.



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Dennis Radeke
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:17:13 pm

[John Joyce] "I don't wish to lower the tone, but my worry is that Adobe will leave the Mac market."

Nothing is forever, but I can't see that happening when the news on Adobe has been 45% growth on the Mac market.

[John Joyce] "First, Premiere would not run (as I remember on OS X)"

Let me make an attempt at an analogy: Like Steve Jobs did with OS9 to OS X, we did with Premiere to Premiere Pro. Back in the day Steve said that OS9 was getting old and that OS X was the future. He admitted there would be some transition problems, but overall it went smoothly. For Adobe, Premiere came to version 6.5 and we needed a new architecture. We knew it would have some transition problems. At that time, with limited resources and more of our market on the PC, we made the choice to do Windows only initially to get the massive re-write and new architecture done. We added more features in Premiere Pro 1.5 and 2.0 and then beginning in CS3, we went back to the Mac which is about 5 years ago (or more).

I can't comment on Framemaker as I simply know nothing about it.

Everyone who is considering a switch to something other than FCP will have to weigh the pros and cons of their choices. I wish I could say I have everything that ANYONE could need, but I don't. Adobe and others have good products - one should definitely work for you.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:08:27 pm

You may not have been part of the original s=discussion - "So Long and Thanks for all the Fish"

The System is an HP purchased from a local bestBuy store

HP Pavilion Elite AMD Phenom II Six Core 1045T Computer (HPE-500F (2.8Ghz

8GB of RAM
Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 - 1.280GB RAM
A SATA III card
2 X 3TB Segate 7200rpm with 64GB of buffer. Raided together with the SATA 3 card-Raid 0
1.5TB System drive (Green one unfortunately)
ESATA card to connect a 4TB G-Raid 4TB raid system
DVD burner
Blu-ray burner.

I was taking hits because it was a consumer level machine, albeit upgraded to the nines. The system cost less that $1200.00, and was cheaper and had more performance than sticking with my Mac, and upgrading.

DBK


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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:25:32 pm

THe point I was trying to make with all of this, was to say I was leaving Apple, because they are not competitive in the professional editing market - haven't been since CS5 in my opinion. Additionally, they are far out of competitiveness in the PC, or workstation market. As stated earlier I built this PC

HP Pavilion Elite AMD Phenom II Six Core 1045T Computer (HPE-500F (2.8Ghz

8GB of RAM
Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 - 1.280GB RAM
A SATA III card
2 X 3TB Segate 7200rpm with 64GB of buffer. Raided together with the SATA 3 card-Raid 0
1.5TB System drive (Green one unfortunately)
ESATA card to connect a 4TB G-Raid 4TB raid system
DVD burner
Blu-ray burner.

cost $1200.00

To do it with a Mac:

This is the 2nd MacPro as it had atlease the same number of cores or better,

Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (8 cores)
8GB (4X2GB)
Mac Pro RAID Card
2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
One 18x SuperDrive
Magic Mouse
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) & User's Guide

$5399.00

Then we need an nvidia card. The one Apple sells is the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac for $1299.00

So the total is $6698.00

$1200 vs $6700. or 5.58 times the cost of doing this on a Mac.

As someone who has used a Mac since 1988, and have all the iOS devices, and love em all, even I couldn't justify the price. I could have opened a 5 bay editing facility if I threw in some furniture, monitors, etc. I do plan to add an intensity card for RT output.

My opinion is Apple is a consumer electronics company now, and the computer is just an aside. iMacs and mini's and even their macbook pros as now within reach of many consumers. Why would they build Mac Pro's. There are no applications that need it that they personally make. Maybe Hackintoshes will be more the way to go.

Anyway, I couldn't be happier.

DBK


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 2:49:44 pm

Just curious. How long do you think that machine will last you?


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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:28:37 pm

I don't know. Until I want to upgrade it I suppose. It has a 650 watt Power Supply, it runs cooler than the 27inch iMac I was using - quieter too frankly.

If Adobe/Nvidia or AMD come up with something that will do even more, then I'll look at that, but I've used AE and the timeline of my edit software to composite my work for ever. This, for me is the holy Grail!

Why do you believe it will suddenly die or something?

DBK


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 4:03:12 pm

[Darren Kelly] "Why do you believe it will suddenly die or something?"

No, not at all.

Just curious, like I said.


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Gary Huff
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:34:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow]Just curious. How long do you think that machine will last you?

I've had one motherboard go out on my current desktop PC and I replaced it in 2007. Replaced the CPU (for a Quad core) a couple of years ago. I routinely upgrade, but there are a lot of original components all the same. All still going strong.

That Macs last longer than Windows boxes is a complete myth.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 4:07:49 pm

[Gary Huff] "That Macs last longer than Windows boxes is a complete myth."

Who said that? In today's market, I'd imagine they are even.

I hope so, we now have a windows box for our server. It's mostly pci splits though, no fancy GPU/CPU required.


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:14:52 pm

[Darren Kelly] "My opinion is Apple is a consumer electronics company now, and the computer is just an aside. iMacs and mini's and even their macbook pros as now within reach of many consumers. Why would they build Mac Pro's. "

And HP is now a software and service company with very low margins (despite high volume sales) and the very PC you bought. Why would thy make workstations when your PC replaces a workstation on either platform?

My point is your argument applies just as well to PC workstations and HP itself, the maker of your bargain PC, is going to spin off or sell that division. Regardless of who is eventually selling those PCs, their workstations still have to compete against them and you've already pointed the way of the market.



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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:39:28 pm

Look at the economy we're in. I know if I had taken your suggestion to buy a Z class machine, I would have spent more money. Would it have been the same $6700 I would have spent on the MacPro solution? Don't know.


Are you getting paid the same amount as you were for video production in the late 90's and early part of this century? I'm not. I have a friend who keeps saying he's never worked so hard for little money.

I use to shoot with a Broadcast grade Betacam camera. Now I shoot with a camera used for broadcast, but hardly has the reach and abilities of my previous cameras.

If I ran a network, I'd be outfitting hundreds of edit suites. ThenI'd buy the HP Workstation.

DBK


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 3:51:12 pm

[Darren Kelly] "If I ran a network, I'd be outfitting hundreds of edit suites. ThenI'd buy the HP Workstation."

Why? Do you think they aren't feeling the economy as well? Keep in mind one factors more than the initial hardware purchase though. There's the cost of maintenance and downtime . . . but that's the same for a one person shop if not more so.

[Darren Kelly] "Look at the economy we're in. I know if I had taken your suggestion to buy a Z class machine, I would have spent more money."

You've made a good argument for the decline of the workstation regardless of platform. Either you are the exception or HP is acutely aware of commodity PCs beating workstations.


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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 4:39:24 pm

"There's the cost of maintenance and downtime . . . but that's the same for a one person shop if not more so."

That's the reason the work station exists. I some VP of production, and I want to know what every station has, where the spares are kept - all these large installs have spares on hand, or in a central place - . Everything must be the same, so someone can advise exactly how to repair something.

As an independent, if smoke suddenly comes from my box, I can rush out to the electronics store, and buy what ever I need to get back up and running.

That NBC affiliate, or what ever has to call the boss, who has to call maintenance, who has to grab the same part...... you get the picture.

We still need high end machines, I'm just not sure I need to spend 5.5X the cost of a windows machine on a Mac to achieve the same, or lesser results.

It's reality check time - not for Apple, but for users. Applle have made their decisions. Now it's time to make ours


DBK


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 5:04:43 pm

[Darren Kelly] "I some VP of production, and I want to know what every station has, where the spares are kept - all these large installs have spares on hand, or in a central place - . Everything must be the same, so someone can advise exactly how to repair something."

A systems builder can do that without having to purchase a workstation.

[Darren Kelly] "As an independent, if smoke suddenly comes from my box, I can rush out to the electronics store, and buy what ever I need to get back up and running."

As can be done in a facility.

[Darren Kelly] "We still need high end machines, I'm just not sure I need to spend 5.5X the cost of a windows machine on a Mac to achieve the same, or lesser results."

Budgets are declining. If one can build a "high end" machine for less with easy to replace "off the shelf" components then that's where the market will move. The argument about "high end" machines is the same whether Mac or PC. Only PCs allow more customization.

Personally it's the individual who may more likely need the "high end" machine. A facility can centralize, ingest, storage, media management. The independent needs one box to do it all. A facility needs high speed throughput to the brain (server, san) whereas the independent must have it all in one box. The "workstation" will become just that, a "station" feeding a larger transit system for the facility. One might even say this is where Avid has been heading. It's where I think Apple will head but very different approach.



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Bill Davis
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:30:31 pm

Is this small thinking?

What if the box no longer even matters. What if everything does eventually end up stored in the cloud?

What if "editing" is something you do merely by manipulating the metadata via the cloud?

Shoot wherever. Upload everything. The "edit" is something you do on a desktop, a laptop, or yes, even a smart phone or pad. The user interface scales to whatever manipulation device you need to use at the moment. The "software" scales functions in response to required speed of access, not whatever the "moment in time" package was that you bought on the plastic disc.

What exactly are all those servers Apple installed in North Carolina capable of? We know it's cloud sourced music and software in the initial iteration. But what will it be in the third or fourth?

In that game, it's no longer "features" that rule the day. It's data processing efficiency. Period. Features become purely a function of code in a mainframe somewhere.

We are told that part of the FCP-X re-structure was to clean out the code and make it more efficient.

Something that seems to have worked really well as evidenced to me by this snap from an Apple Insider post (link at: files.me.com/davisbill/ftt6c9) that shows the processor efficiency of a series of running Mac apps - indicating that Flash, just like Steve Jobs always alleged is a substantial resource hog - while FCP-X sips processing power very efficiently.

48 threads running via FCP-X using only 4% of the CPU power. Flash is running twice that many threads but requiring nearly half the machine's CPU cycles to do so.

Others more computer savvy than I can interpret this better (I'm always leery of applying meaning to statistics I don't fully understand) but this look pretty compelling to my semi-educated brain.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 7:49:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "What if the box no longer even matters. What if everything does eventually end up stored in the cloud?

What if "editing" is something you do merely by manipulating the metadata via the cloud?"


I've already seen such editing system under development at a trade show earlier this year. It's still fairly primitive but it can be done.

Keep in mind though ingesting to the cloud can be major time consuming given file size vs upload speed.
Once uploaded though, the ability to do long distance collaboration would be of value to some.



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David Lawrence
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 8:23:58 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Keep in mind though ingesting to the cloud can be major time consuming given file size vs upload speed.
Once uploaded though, the ability to do long distance collaboration would be of value to some."


Can be? LOL, My partners and I FedEx bare hard drives back and forth between SF and LA on a regular basis to share the terabytes of footage. We both have the fastest upstream bandwidth possible in our areas and it would take weeks to ingest to the cloud. Add to that the fact that every major US ISP is capping data and this cloud scenario becomes a total pipe dream for any kind of serious work. Sorry, not gonna happen anytime soon.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Gerald Baria
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 10:49:16 pm

Maybe Apple will open up its own internet service then, at much cheaper prices. They have more cash than the US, thats not too far off with their all-in ecosystem.:)

Quobetah
New=Better


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Chris Harlan
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:22:53 am

[David Lawrence] "Add to that the fact that every major US ISP is capping data and this cloud scenario becomes a total pipe dream for any kind of serious work. Sorry, not gonna happen anytime soon."

Add to that the major Net Neutrality war over "last-mile" that will dominate the next decade. It blows my mind the degree to which people are not aware of this issue, or think the "Net Neutrality" is a porn or free speech issue. The telcoms and the cable companies have done a really good job of confusing the issue, and the recent Supreme Court rulings against the FCC have pretty much guaranteed that no existing regulation can protect last mile rights. I think it inevitable that Apple, Netflix, Google, et. al, will be in a major legislative battle with the telcoms and the cable companies for much of the next decade.


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David Lawrence
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 1:48:26 am

[Chris Harlan] "Add to that the major Net Neutrality war over "last-mile" that will dominate the next decade. "

Outstanding point, Chris. Net Neutrality is a huge issue that isn't going away. Nor will the political influence of the telecom and cable industry. The US lags far behind other countries in bandwidth and isn't even in the top ten for downstream speed, let alone upstream speed. The idea that the cloud will be viable asset storage for billable productions anytime soon is laughable.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Chris Harlan
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 4:47:33 pm

I don't know. I read Gibson's statement, and then watched the relevant portion of video, and felt that what he was saying was inconsistent gobbledygook.


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Bill Davis
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 13, 2011 at 5:40:46 am

David,

If you're wedded to the idea of local storage of full-rez HD master files, I agree. But I got totally schooled last year on a series of HD uploads for network spots. Via modern H264 encoding I was able to achieve more than a 10 to 1 data reduction with no visible degradation of the signal for HD broadcast uploads.

What's wrong with ingesting field tapes via laptop into proxy files that can be uploaded to the cloud for use by distributed teams - those should be good enough to do most of the edit process directly to and from the cloud. Then when you get back to the base with your field cards, files, HDs or whatever, you could just plug them in and the background rendering starts (just like now) automatically replacing your comp files with full rez versions.

In FCP-X, the big change is the ability to work instantly with lower rez files, even making complex layering and titling decisions and getting a very workable look at what the results look like - the files do the "catch up" processing in the background at a later time.

Why not make that the core of a new workflow?

Heavily compressed H-264 via web transfer for starting the work - then footage that catches up when the originals can be locally attached to the net file pointers sounds like something that could work to me.

We'll see.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Tim Wilson
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:46:19 pm

[Bill Davis] "Heavily compressed H-264 via web transfer for starting the work - then footage that catches up when the originals can be locally attached to the net file pointers sounds like something that could work to me."

This is very much what's going on with Quantel's QTube, which is tied directly into their broadcast news workflows. Avid has demonstrated something like this as well. I could just as easily see this working in some film workflows.

[Bill Davis] "Why not make that the core of a new workflow?"

In some ways a very old workflow: offline and online. There has been this idea that because you CAN carry massive amounts of mastering quality video that you SHOULD...and maybe you should, but it's at the sacrifice of enormous flexibility.

Offline/online workflows work, and work fast. Edit on local ingest with proxies that backfill full res works, and has been working for a very long time. The only thing that has changed is that it's over the network.

For now, this is going to work best when you can tunnel into a fat pipe via VPN, but poke around the web for "HD over mobile," and you'll be amazed at what people are pulling off with the nastiest, flimsiest networks available.

Of course, I'm not talking about iPhone on AT&T. That's not a network. That's a NOTwork.

That aside, this isn't some future thing. It's going to get better, like everything else, but it's happening now, and it's working.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 13, 2011 at 3:12:38 pm

[Bill Davis] "Heavily compressed H-264 via web transfer for starting the work - then footage that catches up when the originals can be locally attached to the net file pointers sounds like something that could work to me."

I have a story to add to this.

My bosses kid started his latest football season in the 12 year old division.

The coach signed up the whole team for something called hudl.com.

The dad's video tape the games/scrimmages and then upload all the footage hudl's central server (it transcodes at the local computer on the way up). Once up there, anyone can annotate and edit the footage, complete with telestrator, text, some preset graphic nodes which allow highlighting and football type illustrations. It works from any computer/OS on the internet and is driven by Silverlight.

You may laugh, but you could easily extract this out to a pro setting. As has been mentioned, FCPX does this already, just only on a local level. It's not a pipe dream and I laugh because the capability is pretty crazy, not the impossibility.


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David Lawrence
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 6:19:06 am

[Bill Davis] "If you're wedded to the idea of local storage of full-rez HD master files, I agree. But I got totally schooled last year on a series of HD uploads for network spots. Via modern H264 encoding I was able to achieve more than a 10 to 1 data reduction with no visible degradation of the signal for HD broadcast uploads."

Bill,

H264 is an outstanding delivery codec. I use it for client deliverables all the time and have learned to get encodes that are virtually indistinguishable from the ProRes masters. One of the tools I use is the x246 codec. If you're not using x264, stop reading this post, download the codec and make some compressor settings. Not only is it faster than regular h264, the quality is amazing.

[Bill Davis] "What's wrong with ingesting field tapes via laptop into proxy files that can be uploaded to the cloud for use by distributed teams - those should be good enough to do most of the edit process directly to and from the cloud. Then when you get back to the base with your field cards, files, HDs or whatever, you could just plug them in and the background rendering starts (just like now) automatically replacing your comp files with full rez versions."

Nothing. If you're talking about a networked, proxy-based workflow, as @Tim Wilson points out, that's already here. I was responding to this:

[Bill Davis] "What if the box no longer even matters. What if everything does eventually end up stored in the cloud?

What if "editing" is something you do merely by manipulating the metadata via the cloud?

Shoot wherever. Upload everything. "


At some point, you'll need to re-link your proxies to your masters for finishing. Where will the masters live? On the cloud? I don't think so. For high quality footage, this scenario is not gonna happen for a very very very long time, if ever. Local storage is simply faster, cheaper, more reliable and more accessible. And if anything, masters are only getting bigger. Wait till 2K and 4K gets more affordable.

On the other hand, bandwidth trends - especially in the US - are bleak. Take a look at this 2009 study on US data caps. Forget about media production, if you care about the viability of the cloud as a media consumption platform, you might want to keep net neutrality and data caps on your radar and let your elected officials know how you feel. This is a huge and defining battle and things are not getting better.

I can imagine field scenarios where FCPX - even in its current state - would be a fantastic organizing and assembly tool. But the benefits will come from being able to work quickly on a laptop in the field. The need for the cloud scenario seems like an edge case that for the most part is better solved in other ways.

Actually, one of the best distributed production collaboration tools I've ever used is unique to both Apple and FCP7 -- iChat Theater Preview. I use it with clients and they are blown away at seeing their changes in real time. My LA partners and I collaborate with it on a regular basis. It's relatively light on bandwidth and makes a lot of sense for field collaboration. Shoot in the field, edit in the hotel room, get feedback on the cut via iChat preview, iterate, rinse and repeat. iChat preview is probably one of the things I'll miss the most when I finally leave FCP7. Now that Apple seems obsessed with full-screen layouts, I wonder when we'll see something like this again.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 1:41:42 pm

David -

Thanks for the tip on X264. Beyond that I couldn't agree with you more on all counts.

As for Ichat, I use it all the time. I have editors working on my shows from NY to CA and we collaborate and review with Ichat. I have also used Skype for this purpose and while not as good, can get the job done. I figure that will be my method when I migrate.

AS for the Cloud - bandwidth is outside the realm of Moore's law. I expect local storage for HD will last for at least another 5 years, if not more; long enough to plan on increasing my raid capacity for my next business cycle. Beyond that B. Davis can speculate all he wants.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Tim Wilson
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 3:23:16 pm

Herb and David, note that there are already companies selling VPN access to insanely fat pipes with acres of storage at the other end. One of those is Prime Focus, reselling a broadcast news-oriented service that they created for their VFX and spots clients. They posted a press release about it in the COW yesterday.

Not at all intended to replace local storage, but services like this are a way to get around the throttling too common in the US that shows no signs of going away. Even if Moore's Law applied to bandwidth, Moore probably wasn't using DSL or a cable modem from his local telco.

Prime Focus's pricing is more for corporate customers (BIG corporate customers), but I would expect to see solutions that scale down in the very near future.

In the meantime, many solutions are already available that are working fine.

My thanks also for the x264 tip, David!


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Chris Harlan
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 4:24:59 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Not at all intended to replace local storage, but services like this are a way to get around the throttling too common in the US that shows no signs of going away. Even if Moore's Law applied to bandwidth, Moore probably wasn't using DSL or a cable modem from his local telco.

Prime Focus's pricing is more for corporate customers (BIG corporate customers), but I would expect to see solutions that scale down in the very near future."



Ah, fasp transport! I use it all the time through Aspera, which I believe Prime Focus uses as well. Definitely faster.

Last year's SMPTE conference focused a lot on the virtues as well as the limitations of the cloud. In fact, cloud and 3d were the buzzwords, and the lion's share of the technical presentations were on these two subjects.

Anyone truly interested, in mass storage cloud issues can find a wealth of relevant papers in SMPTE's on line library.


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 4:44:01 pm

David -

Do you use the standard settings or presets with x264 or do you have your own tunings, and if so would you care to share?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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David Lawrence
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 5:00:50 pm

Herb -

Happy to share. Will post all settings and workflow when I get a minute later this afternoon.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 5:01:55 pm

Great. Appreciate it.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Bill Davis
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 8:34:05 pm

David,

First and foremost, thank you very much for helping elevate this forum from the "piss and moan" state of the past few months - back toward useful, practical knowledge. For a while I literally had to just keep away because the environment here was so emotionally toxic. Hopefully, we're returning to civility - and I appreciate your thoughts that appear to move us even more in that direction.

Plus, your link to X-264 is precisely the practical help that make time spent contributing here valuable.

I just wish the search for better tools could move even more rapidly.

I spent the early part of this week in another fancy hotel ballroom shooting conference coverage for a massive, global accounting firm - and I had to blow the dust off my SD gear because their live webcasts required SD Flash feeds.

It was so interesting to walk into the same kind of environment where I've been shooting for decades and see all the expected fly packs and recording tools replaced by 3 cheap PC laptops doing flash encoding and live feed via IP.

Yes, the delivered quality was abysmal - but the convenience of allowing 100,000 employees world wide to access the content in real-time trumps everything.

Those are the kind of forces shaping our world today. "Now" trumps "good." Information relevance and freshness trumps the presentation quality of it's delivery. Hopefully, those of us who care about quality can bring some of it back to the stream - and knowing about each incremental improvement - such as X-264 will help us accomplish that.

I do worry about compatibility, tho. Does the compression in the X-264 variant allow for good transportability? Will my large company corporate clients be able to parse and view it without VLC like tools? (Something I seldom can get by their IT departments since it represents something they not only don't understand - but see as a "threat" since it represents data streams coming into their i-nets from an outside source.)

I'm definitely going to play with it - because I love anything that can maintain higher quality at reduced bandwidth. But so much of the world is so backwards (like those awful FLASH requirments for my corporate clients this past weekend) that I'm concerned that what I want - isn't the same as what they need.

(sound familiar?)

Anyway, again, my personal thanks for both your tone and contribution.

Bill.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 8:44:43 pm

Bill -

I'm jumping in here but x264 files act just like h.264 files in terms of playback. Nothing new is needed.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 9:15:04 pm

[Bill Davis] "I spent the early part of this week in another fancy hotel ballroom shooting conference coverage for a massive, global accounting firm - and I had to blow the dust off my SD gear because their live webcasts required SD Flash feeds.

It was so interesting to walk into the same kind of environment where I've been shooting for decades and see all the expected fly packs and recording tools replaced by 3 cheap PC laptops doing flash encoding and live feed via IP.

Yes, the delivered quality was abysmal - but the convenience of allowing 100,000 employees world wide to access the content in real-time trumps everything."


I have much to say about the above as I am deeply involved with live streaming.

HD streaming (above SD frame sizes) is still not common given the upstream bandwidth, the downstream viewer bandwidth, the amount of data that needs to be pushed.

But sources certainly don't have to be SD. Certainly DV firewire is fine though.

A good video card can downrez HD to SD so the Computer CPU load is kept reasonable.

Given a certain frame size and data rate restrictions, stream quality can be very good when you keep "bits per pixel" in mind.

Recording quality can be well beyond stream quality. When I stream Flash I'm often recording Apple ProRes LT (on Macs of course).

One thing Macs now have going for them is Thunderbolt. Blackmagic, Matrox, AJA are all coming out with live input boxes that can handle HDMI as well as HD-SDI, Blackmagic Intensity Extreme being the least expensive at $299. Imagine that can even work with 13" MacBookPro and one might even find MacBookAir adequate if one doesn't stress the CPU.

As someone who does streaming, the biggest obstacles have been camera input given the decline of firewire and the advent of inexpensive HDMI cameras. As noted the above boxes allow for amazing portability now.

The problem I see so far is that none of the Thunderbolt Video I/O boxes have Thudnerbolt pass through. They all seem to be end of chain devices. Once pass through boxes appear on the market it may be possible to do live, software switched and streamed, multicamera shoots with a laptop and Thunderbolt passthrough for a high quality recording.

BTW with devices like Teradek Cube, one can even send the camera wirelessly back to the laptop to use in a live stream. Multiple wireless cameras is possible depending on the conditions.

One crinkle in the post workflow on live streams is that the recording might have a slightly variable frame rate. While the file would playback fine in a player, FCP7 would force it to a video frame rate, throwing the audio out of sync.

So far, in my tests, this doesn't happen in FCPX. It seems to handle the slight variation in frame rate without issue.

Another thing is sometimes the only recording you have might be an H.264 .mp4 file. I recently had just such job. The on location camera recording failed so the only viable recording was the server based file archive of the stream. I imported that into FCPX, didn't even do any background encoding to ProRes. I was able to edit the H.264 .mp4 (with its variable frame rate) in real time with no background rendering (cuts only). When I finished I exported the 35 minute piece in ProRes in just a few minutes. I used the MXO2 with MAX to do a faster than real time encode and FTP that back to the client.

In short, FCPX really shines in this kind of worfklow.


[Bill Davis] "Does the compression in the X-264 variant allow for good transportability? Will my large company corporate clients be able to parse and view it without VLC like tools?"

Depending on the settings, I've seen some x264 compatibility settings. Using the presets help minimize this but there are some issues. It's best to test first. x264 quality can be very good. It works in Compressor as a Quicktime Component and is leagues better than Apple's H.264 which is one of the "weakest" I've seen (quality issue when you need to use aggressively low data rates and limited control over settings that can improve quality).



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 9:33:26 pm

[Craig Seeman] "The problem I see so far is that none of the Thunderbolt Video I/O boxes have Thudnerbolt pass through. "

Hey Craig, AJA ioXT passes through: http://www.aja.com/products/io/io-xt.php

To me, web streaming is in it's composite video days. Bandwidth is the major limit, otherwise the technology is pretty much there, wouldn't you agree?

And what's that you say? FCPX does something better than FCP7? Blaspheme.


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 9:40:13 pm

The question isn't whether it can do something FCP7 can't, the question is whether it can do something that PPro can't. Does anyone know?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 10:14:52 pm

Rig Motion Effects.

Scrub all of your clips in your entire project (or as FCPX calls it, Event). Basically, you have access to all of your media all the time, if you want. Or not if you don't.

Autosync audio.

Sort, tag, and rate your clips quickly and easily.

WYSIWYG titles.

Ken Burns!

Star Wipes.

I'm sure I am missing a few things.


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 10:59:48 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Hey Craig, AJA ioXT passes through: http://www.aja.com/products/io/io-xt.php"

Good to know. Although it is the most expensive of the Thunderbolt video I/O devices.

[Jeremy Garchow] "To me, web streaming is in it's composite video days. Bandwidth is the major limit, otherwise the technology is pretty much there, wouldn't you agree?"

Right now the top mass available streams tend to be in the 1000kbps to 1500kbps range. Even that limits a lot of viewers without a lower bandwidth option. You can almost get away with larger than SD sizes if it's talking head video.

[Jeremy Garchow] "And what's that you say? FCPX does something better than FCP7? Blaspheme."

Getting out my kevlar vest just in case.



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David Lawrence
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 14, 2011 at 9:29:28 pm

Bill,

My pleasure, and thank you for the acknowledgment. I think the recent name change for this forum was a smart way to re-frame and provide a platform for healthy debate. It would be pretty boring if we agreed on everything all the time! I enjoy the push back from the smart people here because even when I disagree, it forces me to research, reexamine, and sharpen my own arguments. And hopefully we all learn in the process. I certainly am. Like this morning with @Tim Wilson's post on Prime Focus - interesting stuff, Tim!

Re: x264 compatibility - Like Herb said, not a problem, it's simply an open-source variant of h264 with all tuning parameters fully exposed. 100% compatible as long as you don't tweak the wrong things if you don't know what you're doing. There's a large community of enthusiasts that get deep into the innards and share results. I keep it simple and don't go there. Just a couple internal settings to be aware of and the right general settings will seriously up your encoding game.

I actually use a multi-step process that includes a mastering stage with another tool before I encode. It'll take a bit longer, but I'll write up my entire delivery workflow with some screen grabs so everyone can check it out.

_______________________
David Lawrence
art~media~design~research
propaganda.com
publicmattersgroup.com
facebook.com/dlawrence
twitter.com/dhl


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Bill Davis
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 15, 2011 at 7:26:53 pm

Thanks David,

I'm looking forward to your futrure post.

Glad to hear that I can use X264 without too much fear.

I was kind hoping that Telestream was going to solve the encoding/transcoding complexity by publishing a set of "click and stream" encoding standards inside Episode that might catch on - at least in broadcast - so that some standards emerged that let everyone have a level playing field - but I suspect that's not going to happen. There's just too much competition in that space and too many engineers in too many companies who want to try to become the "defacto standard" and therefore get the long range licensing prize.

I actually also still have hopes for the TS Wirecast virual switch model - but it's too soon to tell. It's interesting to see that their "backpack" web transmission rig is now down to the size of a hardback book. Be great if that redundant multi-signal agile wifi signal distribution stuff gets simpler, cheaper, and ubiquitous. That could be the real game changer we're all looking for - particularly if we get some form of "direct to laptop" switchable video feeds. Even if those were barely SD, that would make a lot of bread and butter conference coverage video possible at greatly reduced cost and hassle and potentially change the entire "information video" industry for the better.

Imagine being able to do an expert panel gig by just sitting iPod Touches on small stands - one in front of each person on stage on a panel — and having a tool to capture those streams, switch them live - and send the result out over a Static IP line.

I could travel with a briefcase instead of schlepping road cases around! THAT would be bliss of the first order!

Take care.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 15, 2011 at 7:39:27 pm

[Bill Davis] "Be great if that redundant multi-signal agile wifi signal distribution stuff gets simpler, cheaper, and ubiquitous."

Teradek Cube? Attach to cameras with HDMI (or HD-SDI) and wirelessly transmit to Wirecast.
HDMI version is around $1700 each and you can send multiple cameras to Wirecast. Than and a MacBook Pro and you're all set assuming local high speed connection is available. Otherwise there's LiveU which works as either in to or out from Wirecast.

[Bill Davis] "I was kind hoping that Telestream was going to solve the encoding/transcoding complexity by publishing a set of "click and stream" encoding standards inside Episode that might catch on - at least in broadcast "

Do you have "ultimate" settings in mind?



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Bill Davis
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 15, 2011 at 8:19:28 pm

Craig,

You must have had the same experiences I have.

You go into a market and ask the top 4 broadcast stations for their HD web delivery standards and you get a page of needless complexity from each hat bear no relation to any other stations (and seldom to the settings you can see on your encoding software!)

These were driven by engineers telling marketing what their servers and playout systems could handle - each driven by individual manufactuer standards without ANY coordination.

It's a functional nightmare.

If the broadcast industry doesn't get their act together - it's going to get worse. Particularly since they're in an environment of losing market share to the web so rapidly.

In streaming it's WORST not better. Particularly since streaming is often served to a GLOBAL market where there's not telling what kind of distribution system or end user equipment is in play.

So it becomes a "least common denominator" game.

Which, not to put too fine a point on it... sucks.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 15, 2011 at 8:52:54 pm

[Bill Davis] "You go into a market and ask the top 4 broadcast stations for their HD web delivery standards and you get a page of needless complexity from each hat bear no relation to any other stations (and seldom to the settings you can see on your encoding software!) "

Alas that's where DGFastchannel and ExtremeReach come in to play. They'll even handle ProRes now and I believe DNXHD as well.

[Bill Davis] "These were driven by engineers telling marketing what their servers and playout systems could handle - each driven by individual manufactuer standards without ANY coordination.

It's a functional nightmare. "


I agree. Actually the biggest problem I see is at some of the broadcast stations themselves where they get in a bunch of stuff and have to make it work with there ingest/playout system. They just want to throw in the pile 'o files and get a GXF out or whatever.


[Bill Davis] "In streaming it's WORST not better. Particularly since streaming is often served to a GLOBAL market where there's not telling what kind of distribution system or end user equipment is in play."

Hmm but delivery these days is pretty much Flash H.264 and HTTP H.264 (segmented, etc). Flash or Wowza does both. Things are moving towards Dynamic methods to account for variable bandwidth delivery although that's still fairly early. The technology is already there to eventually move from multiple in to multiple out to single high data rate in deriving multiple out.

Support for streaming appliances themselves is still on the weak side. Blackmagic and Matrox Thunderbolt devices don't have passthrough to allow for multiple camera input. Bonded G3/G4 devices are still expensive for pedestrians but they are cheaper than satellite trucks.

Actually I think streaming might be moving much faster to standardize than broadcast, which is truly one nightmare compounded on another. I mean we're still dealing with horribly compressed MPEG2 Transport Streams. Heck if this keeps up I'll be getting a better 1080p stream from H.264 on my computer than what I see on my HDTV provided by Cable company.



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Gary Huff
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 8:02:56 pm

[Bill Davis]What if the box no longer even matters. What if everything does eventually end up stored in the cloud?

Eventually, but not in the immediate future, not by a long shot. I shot a three-person interview on an HDSLR for a production company in LA and we tried to have the footage sent to them by way of FTP.

30GB of data was going to take 4 days to transfer.


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 8:35:35 pm

[Gary Huff] "30GB of data was going to take 4 days to transfer."

Yes, it depends on what your speed it. At my full bandwidth it would take about one hour and a half to download that and about 8 and a half hours to upload. That's likely still slower than local ingest and use.



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Daniel Frome
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 9:12:59 pm

The hardware argument seems to come up every few years. While it's true that a comparable system can be self-built for much cheaper, the fact remains that a custom system rarely represents the same build-quality, performance, and engineering of a real workstation.

Build a real Xeon workstation with top-of-the-line motherboard and chasis, ECC RAM, etc, and you will start racking up $$ that is comparable to any 'workstation' class machine of multiple brands (apple included). I think the real point of saying "I built a system myself for cheaper" is the fact that Intel puts high margins on their Xeon processor line, and the same goes for ECC RAM vs non-ECC RAM. It's not simply related to Apple or HP or any other company that builds workstations.

Want to compare to do a proper comparison? Try a real HP workstation against a mac pro. The Canadian HP store sells a 6-core 2.53ghz, 6GB RAM Z800 workstation for $3773. An 8-core 2.4ghz mac pro with 6GB RAM sells for $3599. If you look at further specs I'd say the raw hardware on the HP station is a little more bang for your buck due to the Quadro videocard, but the mac pro is easily a better engineered, quieter, and more stable machine.

Anyways -- the point is not to start a price war on mac pro machines, just to generally point out that the mac pro hardware line isn't all that overpriced for what you get.


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Craig Seeman
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 11, 2011 at 9:58:38 pm

[Daniel Frome] "Build a real Xeon workstation with top-of-the-line motherboard and chasis, ECC RAM, etc, and you will start racking up $$ that is comparable to any 'workstation' class machine of multiple brands (apple included)"

I agree but there are people who insist they can build something similar for a lot less. That's why I bring up downtime and maintenance. Those costs are there whether one is a facility or a sole proprietor. In fact, assuming you're a professional making money from the computer, the cost of just a few days downtime over the life of a system can equal or even surpass the cost of the system itself.



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Chris Harlan
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 6:15:48 pm

What also routinely gets left out of the argument is heat distribution and noise. After years of corner cutting, I will gladly pay extra for a machine that deals with heat as efficiently and as quietly as possible.


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Herb Sevush
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 2:02:46 pm

"I'd say the raw hardware on the HP station is a little more bang for your buck due to the Quadro videocard"

If your running PPro this is quite the understatement. The HP is an order of magnitude faster because of the Quadro. The 2 systems are not equivalent.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions


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Gary Huff
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 12, 2011 at 2:54:50 pm

[Daniel Frome][B]ut the mac pro is easily a better engineered, quieter, and more stable machine.

Purely in your own opinion.

But for $3500 I can purchase my own parts to get me a DUAL i7 Xeon (12 cores total) with 16GB of RAM, GTX 590 (arguably as good as the Quadro in Premiere) and a 256GB Samsung SSD (currently rated as one of the speediest). Can't even get that combination with a current Mac Pro desktop. And that may never even be available in a Mac depending on what Apple ends up deciding to do about the line.


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Darren Kelly
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 13, 2011 at 12:57:16 am

How about you send me the $3500, and I'll send you back a kick ass system, and pocket the other $1700.

What I built is more than enough for today's CS5.5, and way better than FCP7 or FCPX

DBK


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Gary Huff
Re: For those who are still Fishing.....
on Sep 13, 2011 at 2:15:01 am

That makes no sense, Darren. The whole point is to have a ridiculously overblown system that makes it difficult to get the red render bar in Premiere. The system I have now is pretty close to what you just built.


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