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Novice needs some advice please

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J
Novice needs some advice please
by
on May 5, 2009 at 5:16:25 am

Hi,

I need some advice please. Let me start by saying I know virtually nothing about computers. I need a new one and I want one that will be good for video editing. I didn't know where to start or who to ask, then I discovered this site in time to hear that the DIY7 was coming - hooray!

But I'm not sure if this system is right for me. I certainly want it, but my needs don't really go beyond the hobby side. I did a little bit of basic NLE editing years ago at school, but I mostly used analogue equipment, so effectively I'm a beginner and will be using it to learn. It won't be a dedicated NLE system - I need it to be general purpose, which leads me to the following statement on the DIY7 page: "Make sure all of your hardware and software supports Vista64. Trying to run software and especially hardware without Vista64 support will create lots of problems including but not limited to: instability, sluggish performance, crashing, lock-ups, and even failure to boot." That has me worried! Doesn't that cut out a lot of everyday software? And what about anti-virus software?

I'm in Australia where the price can be expected to be close to double but I think I might just be able to afford it (especially with some very slight ommisions or changes - for example; I really don't need a Blu-ray burner at this stage - I can put that money towards a nice big new LCD monitor). I imagine output will be to DVD only at this stage. I want to be able to capture and edit VHS footage, TV programmes (from Australian cable TV and free-to-air) and other stuff as it may come up. I would like it to be versatile, upgradable and expandable for future use. I don't have a video camera at all yet, but one day I hope to have some sort of quality digital camera; of course by that time I'll probably need a new system altogether.

I could do with some advice regarding capture cards as well. The only thing I know is that component quality is supposed to be the best - except most of my equipment is old and basic and doesn't have component connections. I've tried to look at some of the articles and stuff on this site about getting started but I find it all a bit confusing and overwhelming. I don't understand technical things very well. If I go with the DIY7 I won't have much money, if any, left over for expensive add-ons.

I'm not sure yet what editing software to use. I think I might try and get a free copy of Adobe CS4 (I can't afford to buy it), but otherwise I might just get Premier Elements. Unless there's something else I should get. I don't need something as complicated as the professionals would use, but I don't want a toy either. I want to be able to be creative and try different things. I also do a bit of photography if that's makes a difference.

I also want to be able to make quality recordings off the radio. What would I need for that? Besides a sound card. Again any reccommendations?

I've never had a computer as good as this, and I do really want it, but is this system suitable for my needs? Should I aim a bit lower?

Then there's the issue of PC vs Mac. Many people tell me to get a Mac and that the extra cost is worth it. But how much would an equivalent Mac be?

I've noticed a lot of people's questions don't get answered. I really hope someone can help me, I don't know where else to ask. And you all seem to know what you're talking about.

Thanks!

J


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Alex Cantu
Re: Novice needs some advice please
on May 6, 2009 at 4:22:53 pm

Hi J

I read your post, and the first thing you'll need is a capture card and then plan the whole set up around it. Most computers (including mac) are not able to capture analog video out of the box, and a few PCs include tv-tunners that can capture in mpeg1/mpeg2 format (not the best for editing but it works).

Canopus ADVC110 might be just right for you, and it works with mac and pc. It captures analog video.

http://desktop.grassvalley.com/products/ADVC110/index.php
I'd recommed you to check availability of capture devices... and since you are hobbist a fast Core2 duo might be enough.

Feel free to keep asking.

Cheers'>

Pinnacle has several capture cards for home users... but I don't like them at all, but they're cheap.

I'd recommed you to check availability of capture devices... and since you are hobbist a fast Core2 duo might be enough.

Feel free to keep asking.

Cheers


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J
Re: Novice needs some advice please
by
on May 14, 2009 at 2:06:31 pm

Hi, thanks for replying!

My internet only works half the time, hence the delay.

I did think that maybe I should get the DIY6 or something, but the thing is, while anything would be a big improvement to what I've got now, I would really love to have a more current system. I've been behind for a long time - I'm still stuck with USB 1!! I think that might be what's causing my modem problems. Anyway...

I imagine it'll be a lot longer before the DIY7 would need updating. I'm assuming it's using technology that will become standard and the rest will be left behind. Will I be better off in the long run if I go with it? Which brings me back to that statement I quoted originally about the software and hardware problems that might come about from incompatibilities with Vista 64. Would I be able to use regular/older software with it? Is there a 64-bit version of MS Office? Most software is not 64-bit is it, so that is my main worry. Will it create too many problems? Is the capture card you recommended compatible?

I have a feeling it's kind of a stupid question, but I'd rather be sure about it.

I definitely need to look more into capture cards. Thanks, I had a quick look at that one. There's quite a few others there too. If only I could understand what all the info meant.

Are you saying I should choose the capture card before I decide on a system?

I'm sure I'll have more questions! Although I'm not always sure what to ask!
Cheers!


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Alex Cantu
Re: Novice needs some advice please
on May 14, 2009 at 5:01:20 pm

Hi J

Vista x64 can run most apps compatible with Win2000/XP as long as they are 32bit (it has two separeate Program Files folder for each, 32 and 64 bit apps). And specifically, you can run office 2003 and 2007 on vista 64.

Also, you are right, the newer the DIY article you base your system on, the longer it'll last (though it would be more expensive). My point was that for dv editing a core2 duo is good enough.

Finally, as you mentioned. You want to capture analog video, so a firewire port is not going to be enough for you. It would be better to choose a capture card first, and then build a system with compatible components.

If you have any doubt on a specific card feel free to ask.

My strongest recommendation is this one:

http://desktop.grassvalley.com/products/EDIUSNX/index.php


Cheers


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J
Re: Novice needs some advice please
by
on Sep 3, 2009 at 2:33:21 pm

I'm back. Sometimes life gets in the way. I still haven't got a new computer and I still need help. Chipocludo are you still around??

Good to know I can still use my old software. Thanks.

The EDIUS NX Express looks pretty good to my ignorant untrained eye. I googled to find prices but can't find much up-to-date information. A lot of places don't seem to have it any more and the prices I did manage to find are around AU$2,500 which is quite a lot! Is there one that is as good as that but much cheaper? I'm guessing that's probably a "no".
And I looked at the dealer and distribution links they have on that site for my state, and a few from other states, and couldn't find one that had this product! Very frustrating.

Also, the NVIDIA FX 1700 or 1800 is easier to find information on, but costs around $850-$1000! Again, is there something just as good but cheaper? I know some people have talked about other graphics cards, like the 285 /295?, but there has been some debate about them as well.


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Alex Cantu
Re: Novice needs some advice please
on Sep 10, 2009 at 3:58:44 pm

Hi J

Well... edius nx has become my favorite piece of hardware so far, but i understand, budget can be an issue sometimes. It's kind of expensive but Edius software it's the only truly real time editing option for PC.

If you are able to get a copy of Adobe CS4 there's a cheaper option that might work for you:

http://blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/

It costs about 200-300 US dollars, and it can handle HD.

The nvidia card you mention is the Quadro FX card, it is meant to be used in 3D apps (like 3ds max and Maya) and are pretty expensive, usually are advertised as "workstation cards". You don''t need that for video editing, GeForce cards (like the 285/295) are good enough for video editing.

Cheers!


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