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Anyone Remember Video Machine?

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Darren Kelly
Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 4:50:38 pm

I go back in NLE to the Fast Video Machine. Bought one in 1994, and was forced out of it in 1998 I think.

At NAB in 1996, Fast introduced a new product called Blue. They ended development of video machine and said they would provide an anything in - anything out solution. The cost would have been in the $25-$40K zone, or over 5 times the price of their original product. It was designed to be "Hi-End" and while they were sorry their user base wasn't able to continue with them, they had made their decision. I headed off to other products including Adobe Premiere 5, Matrox Digisuite, tried Avid, Velocity - everything. I hated working with the PC, and all the conflicts that were around with the operating system, incompatibility with other cards in the computer - the whole nightmare.

In 2001, I switched to Apple and FCP 1.25. My logic was that the editing software was made by the same company who made the computer, and the OS, and it would save me lots of time in maintenance and computer headaches. It did. I gave up realtime (The PC had it, while FCP had limitations) for the simplicity, and the ease of use.

I have been unhappy with Apple's attitude towards it's pro software (FCPS3) and it's computers as it switches from a computer company into a consumer electronics company. Now, I love my iphone, my ipad (It died in a horrible car accident I was involved in last week) and ipods. But they have stopped being a company interested in producing leading edge computers and leading edge Pro Software for the mass sales to the public.

That's fine. It's their choice. I waited an additional 12 months - 24 months maybe while they promised a feature set for FCP that would be mind blowing. Adobe has beaten them for realtime, Avid has beaten them for realtime, media management and more.

I guess it's time. I start 2 major projects this month, and given Apple's track record of ceasing to support older generations of software, and I suppose FCP7 users are stranded on the current OS. It's time to move on. Nothing more to see here.

DBK


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 5:10:15 pm

I had a Video Machine, and made a *lot* of good shows and money with it. Blue ended up turning into into Liquid and was a great piece of software. Made a *lot* of gs & money off the Silver version of it. Avid bought it, eventually, evidently to kill it off as competition, so I switched to FCP. Frankly, I switched to FCP after years of trying to explain to FCP users why background rendering, excellent compression, built-in effects, including 3d, and a bunch of other stuff was great.

So it's interesting to me that in some senses FCP X is actually very much like the far ahead of it's time Liquid, of course with HD and 64 bit and all. Maybe that's why I'm warming to it, that and not having the tape delivery issues that some people have.

Best,
John


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Jay Ryde
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 5:46:21 pm

I used to have VM Full DP/R with the YUV option plus the D-A convertor so I could use AG4700 VTR alongside my DSR60 & DS60 SONY DV Player recorders.. All in a 30U rack.. Had the the whole lot in my home office. Looked more like post production office in The Mill!! However VM had a slight problem with one of the frame stores either in V1 or 2 where frames would become stuck and show themselves when using DVE's in the timeline. Moreover there were some serious issues with using external drives too whereupon they wouldnt mount properly. I'd worked on a workaround which meant every so often one would have to manually mount the drives via a DOS command!

Wow things have Changed!!


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:32:14 pm

Yep to all that. But with VM you could control AB&C machines and a DPR at the same time, whereas with Avid and FCP and all you could digitize and then reconform but no machine control. Sometimes a project would have 8 hours of tape from each of 3 cameras, say, and you could cut a fancy open and close using the DPR and then edit the body of the show without digitizing a single tape. Saved days of digitizing.

Best,
John


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mark pigott
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Mar 4, 2013 at 6:20:42 pm

I remember the Hybrid editor, where you could insert edit on SVHS masters.

Those where the days!



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Tim Wilson
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:10:58 pm

[John Godwin] "Avid bought it, eventually, evidently to kill it off as competition"

Not at all. The purpose of acquiring Pinnacle was filling in holes across the board, from playout servers and broadcast CG to consumer software sold at Circuit City. Liquid was seen very specifically as filling in a gap that Avid otherwise didn't see a way for themselves to fill -- people outside Hollywood who wanted fast, powerful, standalone stations with integrated feature sets. You looked at Xpress Pro when Avid bought Pinnacle. Did it look like competition to you? Of course not. Liquid was seen as a key strategic, complementary product.

Less than a year later, Avid acquired Medea storage for the very same reason - a strategic complement in the area of standalone storage, where Avid's focus has been shared storage.

Note too that Avid EOL'd Xpress Pro in 2008, Liquid not until 2010. Guessing now, but perhaps a growing market for a lower-cost, software-only Media Composer did them both in. Since Liquid was never meant to be a "feeder" for Media Composer -- it was considered its own "pinnacle" if you will -- folks like you quite reasonably went elsewhere.

FCPX makes perfect sense. Liquid's timeline was indeed far ahead of its time, and its integrated toolset (one application, many tasks) has not yet been equaled. It's clear that FCPX is making a run at this, and I think that many former Liquid people might be very happy with FCPX in the long run.

After all, the long run is what's going to make this most interesting, eh?


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Jamie Franklin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:17:10 pm

[Tim Wilson] "FCPX makes perfect sense."

I cried a little on the inside I have to admit reading that. One of the stages of grief I suppose, acceptance... ;)


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:53:44 pm

I don't disagree, and you may have inside info I don't, but when Avid bought Pinnacle they quickly cut the high end products, the ones with dedicated hardware and real pro I/O and acceleration, and kept the software only version with a small RCA/FireWire breakout box. Then eventually what was the software, I think, ended up migrating into what had been Pinnacle Studio and is now Avid Studio. At least at the time there was some deal about the underlying code being put into Studio.

In any case, you're surely right about the long run. The saying "adapt or die" has always applied to this business. Some adapt by moving to a different platform, some by accepting the new, some by a combination, and some by suffering a massive snit. I expect to adapt with a combination of FCP X and whatever platform(s) my clients want.

Best,
John


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Tim Wilson
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 8:05:05 pm

[John Godwin] " when Avid bought Pinnacle they quickly cut the high end products"

Not immediately, though. At the first Avid+Pinnacle NAB, there was a whole set of Blue demos running multiple streams of uncompressed HD - the ONLY product in the entire booth doing that! There were Blue roadshows, and a whole new sales channel.

In the meantime, "classic" Avid editors were wondering - rather rudely in some cases :-) - when THEIR support for 1:1 HD was coming.

To be honest, I don't remember the timeline for what happened next, but in the beginning, it was a love match, not a takeover.

But yes, the moral of the story is that very few favorites remain intact over time.

Worst example ever: I read in the Wall St. Journal that there are rumors that Kellogg's Corn Pops could be dead by 2012!! I still haven't gotten over losing the original flavor of Alpha Bits. Don't get me started on Quisp and Kaboom!


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Chris Harlan
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Mar 5, 2013 at 9:43:55 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Alpha Bits."

Alpha Bits, man. Alpha Bits. Weren't nothin' like 'em before. Won't ever be nothin' like 'em again.


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Bret Williams
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:14:19 pm

After this post, I know that's the John Godwin I know lurking around in here. I remember you showing off that FAST video machine to at in your house/office when I PA'd for you that one time you never can remember. It looked cool, but I was fresh out of college and didn't know what to make of it. Until I started using the VideoCube a few months later. Must've been 1993. Then I remember you having Liquid back in 2002? On a shoot for Kim.


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:40:31 pm

Well, at this age, I have a LOT to remember. I hope I'm doing more contributing than lurking, at this point. I never posted much on COW because I didn't feel I had the FCP knowledge to add too much.

It's been an interesting trip. I have to admit to taking some comfort with FCP X that I'm still able and willing to adapt and learn something new. In a few months I expect my various clients will have decided what direction they'll take, and I'll adjust as necessary. In the meantime I have another toolset to add to the kit.

Hope to see you guys in person soon.

Best,
John


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Bret Williams
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:47:02 pm

I think you said it. I can always use the matrox mxo2 for Avid, which I used to use, or Premiere which I already have. In either case, it seems it's time to update the old Mac Pro because I can't even buy FCP X. Need a new graphics card. So, Apple, let's get those new Mac Pros out, or let me know if you've decided that internal drives are a silly concept or what. I need to get something in the next month or so.


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 6:55:34 pm

It's running on my 3 year old MacBook Pro. If you want to come over and play with it a bit that'd be great.

Best,
John


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Darren Kelly
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 8:21:16 pm

When I started this thread, I was thinking about how Fast eventually ended their company because of turning their backs on their loyal customer base.

Now, I know even if every video producer left Apple, as long as we continued to use the iphone, ipod, ipad and iwhat'snext, they will not be hurt.

They no longer need to create software that will entice customers to their computer platforms as the consumer electronics side of their business will do that for them.

I do wish though I had taken the Avid offer to switch to 5.5 for $1,000. Seems like that deal is dead now.

Oh well. Looks like Premiere. I'll build a machine that will give me mucho RT. Plus I never did make friends with Motion as I did with AE

DBK


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Don Walker
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 8:55:13 pm

Long live the VideoCube! I wish I had a VideoCube control panel for my FCP 7

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Tim Wilson
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 25, 2011 at 9:01:47 pm

The Cube RAWKED!!!



Darren, Videoguys.com still has the crossgrade in stock.


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Jun 26, 2011 at 2:13:25 pm

FAST ended Video Machine, or so they said the the time, because they felt they needed to redesign everything from the ground up, and did, with what became Liquid. The big sticking point for me, at the time, was no machine control, other than one machine for in and out. No ABC control. And the cost of hard drives at that point was horrendous - I remember paying over a thousand dollars for a 9 gb SCSI.

But I continued to run my VM for a couple of years, making money off of it, and added a Liguid Silver setup and everything worked out fine for some years.

At this point I have made full clones of my two systems - 3, if you count the MacBook Pro - on both internal and external drives for each, essentially freezing them in a working state for FCP 7. I've installed FCP X on the systems and so far had no conflicts. So I can continue to plug along with FCP 7 for a while regardless and also explore FCP X. I am seriously considering getting CS while the special is on to have that as a ready option.

Point being, none of this was cheap and easy when VM was cancelled. Today there are a lot of options, and they don't necessarily involve having to switch OS and buy new machines and hardware. And they are relatively cheap and easy.

Like almost everyone from what I've read, I think Apple should keep selling FCP CS 3 with some support to make this easier for everyone for a while. Maybe they have pulled the rug out from under us to some extent, but the replacement rugs are readily available, and relatively cheap.

Best,
John


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Jerry Simpson
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Feb 6, 2012 at 6:30:11 am

I know this thread appears to be old from back in June 2011, but just recently found it. I too aquired the Fast Video Machine and its add on boxes. Really enjoyed using it with the way I could not only have hard disk recording, but also along with that vdieo I could also have live camera and external tape decks attached and control all by one system. Even to this day, I still have my system up and operational, though not being used as much, but there when I need it for SD video. I have, like most of you added on additional equipment and software so that I can do HD recording and editing. Even at that time, I was using addtional software and hardware editing packages that would allow real time rendering as the older stuff, of having to wait hours for just 5 minutes of video to be render, was just too much down time. I would like to know if anyone know the where one could aquire the keyboard that was used for the Fast video machine, as mine has a couple keys that have broken caps. I know at one time, someone use to sell these as they can be fixed. Guess it does seem strange to still have one of these still in operation, but more than once, I have been glad to still have some of my older equipment operational for times when needed. If someone knows of where I can get a replacement keyboard or parts for the keyboard to the fast video machine, then email me at: jerrytn@att.net.

Would be very much appreciated. Sometimes it nice to see the old stuff still operational and the tubes glowing in the dark.


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John Godwin
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Feb 6, 2012 at 12:24:17 pm

Jerry,

I *think* I have the VM parts somewhere in my basement. I'll try to check this week.

Best,
John


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Chris Harlan
Re: Anyone Remember Video Machine?
on Mar 6, 2013 at 5:18:54 am

[Darren Kelly] "I do wish though I had taken the Avid offer to switch to 5.5 for $1,000. Seems like that deal is dead now.
"


Well you can't do it to 5.5 anymore, but according to Videoguys--as of yesterday--you can crossgrade to 6.5 for 949. So, you'd have to settle for a full point version up at 50 dollars less.


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