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STLSailor
Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 3, 2003 at 7:09:51 pm

I would like to convert good quality Hi-8's to DVD. I need a new system. Would like to use a Dell because get a discount and have had bad luck with Gateway's Tech Support, but...

1. A Dell workstation is recommended? How does the workstation differ from the 8250? Not clear to me what I might get and give up.

2. The 8200 with ATI Radeon Card/Win2K is recommended; with nVidia and Win2K is not. How about 8250 with ATI Radeon and XP?


3. What do I need in a monitor?

4. I have heard about problems with capture cards keeping video and audio in sync. What capture card is recommended with an S-Video in?

STL_Sailor


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John Q
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 4, 2003 at 1:15:37 am

First, you need at least 2 hard drives, one for the OS on IDE1 and a second on IDE2 for video. Make it large, as DV uses 13 GB per hour of video. During editng, you'll need more space for temporary files. If you choose a non-realtime capture card, everything will have to be rendered to temporary files. It adds up fast.

When you add in the video capture card's power draw, you need the 300+ W power supply of the workstation.

Now decide what type capture card you want. The faster, realtime NLE boards, like the RT.X100, have very tight motherboard compatibility requirements. Don't decide on the computer until you've decide on the capture card.

I've gone through 4 boards, a Rainbow Runner, a Pyro, an RT2000, and now have an RT.X100. The Rainbow Runner was interesting for short clips, but hard drives were too small to do anything big without a SCSI RAID array. The Pyro hooked up beautifully to my new DV camcorder, but everything had to be rendered to see how it would look on the final video. The RT2000 did the video editing realtime and speeded up editing dramatically. Then DVD-R drives came out and transcoding the DV to DVD took FOREVER using software.

The RT.X100 is one board that can do realtime export for DVD, so if you're planning to get serious about authoring DVD, then go for a realtime board, like the X100.

If you're just trying to move your home videos to DVD and do simple editing and menus, you could just buy a DVDR deck and digitize directly from your video to the deck, do your cuts and menu, and burn the DVD.


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digitaldot
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 5, 2003 at 10:06:40 pm

Your question was almost perfect for me.....have the same question, am also looking at the 8250. Did you get any responses that actually helped you ? If you ever get the ans. and can tell me this, why do I need a video capture card? thought the system came with one .....thanks.

appreciate any info that you have found....this is all so confusing.


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STLSailor
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 6, 2003 at 3:12:58 am

Thanks. Given that I am a novice at this I have a few follow-up questions. I did plan to get a system with either 2-80G or 2-120G HDs bc I never seem to have enough HD space even without video.

1. I assume from your comment that the Dell 8250 or Gateway 700 come with less than a 300 watt Power supply? Is that the key difference?


2. More importantly--what is the difference in a real-time capture card and a non-real time capture card? I gather rendering (not sure what that is) is the opposite of a real-time capture card? Will the RTX.100 take in S-video from an analog camcorder?

3. Major goal right now is to move home movies (Hi-8) to DVD, do basic editing and menus. I am not familiar with how you would edit on a DVDR deck--say rearrange sequences, cut out certain clips, modify audio, etc. How does that work...what would be an example of a DVDR deck that I might check out?

Thanks much!


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STLSailor
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 6, 2003 at 3:22:55 am

The above message from John Q was helpful, but I had to ask a few follow-up questions.

I can tell you what I found out so far. I was intending to buy a Dell 8250...reason is that I've had far better luck with Dell's support than Gateway's. However I discovered that there are MAJOR compatibility problems with the 8250 with an nVidia card and WinXP. I discovered that elsewhere, which is how I learned about videoguys who also have it documented on one of their pages. They recommend if you go with an 8250 that you get the ATI Radeon card and Win2K on the web site. When I called, they recommended a Dell 340 workstation or a Gateway 700. So I'm not sure which machine to go with. I suspect John Q is right to look at the capture card first.

Why a capture card? Remember I'm a novice, but here goes. The Dell 8250 does come with one, but since there are huge compatibility problems I don't necessarily want to go that route. Also I have read on forums that many cards have trouble syncing up video and audio. I don't understand it...not worth much if that's the case...but If you are inputting only from a DV Camera, then I don't think you have to have a capture card...maybe just a firewire connection or USB2...though they do make DV capture cards, so maybe you do need them. I need to input analog S-Video signals, which definitely requires a capture card.

Hope this helps somewhat.


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John Q
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 7, 2003 at 6:14:41 am

A realtime capture card, like the RT.X100, has hardware to assist with the video capture, editing, and DVD transcoding. The X100 includes the extra hardware to digitize either analog composite, S-video, or IEEE-1394. I have no audio sync problems with my X100. My video is all DV, but I'm often asked to incorporate customer's VHS, so it helps having both analog and digital video capture capabilities.

Additionally, the hardware is used during editing to perform specialized functions in realtime, no rendering required. One of my favorite effects is realtime color correction, allowing me to match video shot from different cameras without having to render. The hardware also helps during editing, allowing simultaneous preview on the PC screen and an external NTSC monitor.

Then, after the DV editing is complete, I can transcode the DV to DVD format using the X100 hardware, also in realtime.

Canopus and Pinnacle make similar boards, and there are many others that can capture video without the realtime boost, but I found they just weren't practical for me to use in my sideline event videography business. Time is truly money for me.

The Videoguys have lots of information elsewhere on the website to help you select a capture card. I strongly recommend reviewing this info before locking yourself into the wrong system.

FYI, my system is an Asus A7M266-D dual Athlon MP 2100 with 1 GB DDR SDRAM, the Matrox RT.X100, a Matrox G550, an Audigy, 3-7200 ATA100 hard drives, and a Pioneer A03, running on WinXP Pro. The lights dim, when I turn it on, but it is fast!


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 7, 2003 at 3:31:43 pm

A capture card is a device that digitizes analog video into a specified digital format, for example DV AVI and Mpeg. Since the digitizing begins and ends when you press the "record" button, it is by definition "real time". "Capturing" is also used to refer to the process of importing already digitized DV from a DV camcorder into a computer. Some software and hardware will convert DV avi to Mpeg in near-real time.

"Real time" usually refers to the ability to play edited video without rendering it first. It is very useful to those who add a lot of special effects to video and need to preview it.

I do not own a Dell, but I have read that the standard power supply on Dell's consumer computers is 200W. If so, adding in a lot of stuff for video editing would strain the system. You could probably add a second hard drive and use external capture devices, such as Snazzi's USB 2 Mpeg encoder or Dazzle's Hollywood DV bridge, with no problem.

For The Videoguys, how up-to-date is the info on Dell and Nvidia and does it apply to standard OHCI cards as well as to the more advanced ones?

The reason I ask this is that I mildly disagree with the info concerning the Compaq Presario on the same page. I have had three Presario's now and the only problem I have had was that the early generation of Pinnacle's firewire cards were not completely OHCI compliant, so I could import DV only with the Studio software. However, I could then use other programs to edit it.


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Gary Bettan
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 7, 2003 at 3:59:52 pm

For basic OHCI Firewire video editing any P4 system on the market today should work just fine. That's the hardware, the software is a matter of how good the software actually is. There are lots of low cost titles bundled with various machines. We feel the Pinnacle Studio 8 is by FAR AND AWAY the best low cost NLE solution for getting started. It is easy, stable and suprisingly powerful.

Our real-time cards require more bandwidth and resources then a simple OHCI card. That is why they have more specific system recommendations. We do not yet have an 8250 in house. We have gotten really good feedback from customers with a variety of our real-time cards.

Gary

The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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STLSailor
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 9, 2003 at 2:41:16 am

Thanks for the information. While this is not for a business, time is in short supply, and I know that my son will want to use it so it sounds like real time is the way to go. I assume I can chec out the system board compatibility either on videoguys website or some other website.


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 9, 2003 at 3:51:54 am

You may end up being the guinea pig.


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John Q
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 9, 2003 at 4:16:37 am

Once you've decided on a capture card, go to the manufacturer's website and check his tech support for board compatibility info.


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 9, 2003 at 5:25:39 pm

If you want one of the real time cards, the fastest and safest way to go is to get a computer with the card factory installed. If you want to go with the Dell 8250, check with Dell to find out which motherboard it has and contact the video company directly to check on compatibility. I doubt that the can tell anything definitively. Things are changing so fast it is hard to keep up.

This is a link to the Canopus’s compatibility list-

http://canopus.com/us/products/dvstorm_2/dvstorm_compatibility.asp

Most of the chipsets and cards listed are ancient. Pinnacle's is no better. The Dell 8250 uses the newest or second newest generation of P4 motherboards depending or whether or not you get the version with hyperthreading.


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STLSailor
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 10, 2003 at 4:09:45 am

As I understand it the Pinnacle Studio 8 includes both an A/D capture card and software. I would like to get started inexpensively, but if I have to wait an hour to see something, it seems like that would be a huge drawback...not ever having done it yet I certainly don't know.

What is OHCI?


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STLSailor
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 10, 2003 at 4:14:04 am

I did go to the Matrox site yesterday and found the information.

I do not plan to get hyperthreading based on reviews that it probably wouldn't make much difference for most of what I do...but I didn't think to check on video. Do you know if hyperthreading makes a difference for that?

I haven't ruled out going with a non-real time board, but I am concerned about the time aspect. For real time boards, which do you consider the best?


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 10, 2003 at 1:10:04 pm

If you mean both analog and digital capture to the DV format, it is the Studio Deluxe card you need and you need to install the version of Studio that comes with it.

You can preview your work without a real time card, it just may not play full screen and may not play smoothly, depending on your computer's capabliities.

I forget what OHCI stands for and am too lazy to look it up, but OHCI compliant means that it is built to a standard for working with PC hardware and software.


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Kenneth Daves
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 10, 2003 at 1:25:14 pm

Hyperthreading is a new technology that essentially turns hyperthreading-enabled P4's into dual-processor systems. A program must be designed to take advantage of dual processors to benefit from hyperthreading. Premiere is one such program and I understand that Main Concept is updating its Mpeg encoder to use hyperthreading, so programs with that version of the encoder may benefit. It may not help with Studio Deluxe.

Take a look at the new Videoguys matrix for real time solutions posted yesterday.

Also, here is a link to an expert review of three systems-

http://digitalvideoediting.com/Htm/DVEditHomeSet1.htm


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digitaldot
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 22, 2003 at 9:31:41 pm

Sounds like a motorcycle. only kidding....where do you get the RT.x100 video capture card...can I read about in at videoguys pages ??


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Gary Bettan
Re: Dell System with XP? Monitor and Capture Card?
on Jan 23, 2003 at 1:24:06 am

We are getting very good reports from our customers about the Dell Dimensions 8250. We just got one in and we will be testing it out.

Preliminary results look good.

Gary

The Electronic Mailbox 800 323-2325
We Are The Desk Top Video Editing & Production Experts

All DTV purchases come with our exclusive 30 day customer assurance program and FREE Tech Support


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