State of the union - PC based NLE solutions
I made this post on another forum in response to questions about which PC based NLE solution to get. I liked it so much I decided to post it here
1) With Premeire Pro the RTX100 was and is the best real-time accelerator around. Not only does it add real-time playback performance via both DV and analog output, but it also adds some additional transitions, effects and filters that are not found in Premiere. These are also real-time.
2) RTX100 also gives you accelerated MPEG2 encoding for DVD authoring - directly from the timeline. For most projects this will result in real-time (ie a 1 hour timeline will take 1 hour to encode).
3) While the RTX100 is a phenomenal DV solution, it does not have an HD or HDV upgrade path. The chips on the card are simply not able to handle the higher reolutions.
4) Over the past 12-18 months we have seen a technology change in the industry. CPU speeds have gotten so fast and so has the other components in your computer (graphics, memory, storage, bus speeds) that you can achieve a remarkable amount of real-time performance without special hardware acceleration. Vegas was at the forefront of this technology change.
5) With Vegas and other real-time NLE solutions you get a very productive workflow while editing. Your previews are in real-time on the vga monitor. You'll also get some level of real-time preview via firewire output. This scales to meet the power of your computer and complexity of the video segment. So you won;t get full speed, full frame playback in rpreview. For final output you will need to render.
6) The rendering of vegas and other software based NLEs will vary greatly depending on the complexity of your timeline (ie video layers, filters and FX0 and the overall speed of your computer.
7) Some NLEs such as Liquid Edition will take advantage of your graphics cards GPU power to accerelate rendering and increase real-time performance. Vegas is CPU power only. You get no benefit from your graphics card.
Other NLEs like Avid Xpress Pro can utilize an external accelerator. Mojo attaches to your computer via FireWire and adds a tremendous level of real-time perfomance to Xpress Pro, as well as the ability to injest, edit and output uncompressed video.
9) HDV support. While Vegas, Liquid Edition and Premeire Pro now support HDV editing with real-time previews, you are going to have to render your final output. If you have one of the Sony HDV cams, you are shooting in 1080i. This is almost 5 times the data per second of video vs DV. So as you can imagine, the final rendering takes a ton of power, and it is still pretty slow. The quality is perfect and the final results are great, you just have to wait.
10) Eventually we are going to get HDV chipsets which will result in a new age of real-time hardware acceleration. The Edius HX for HDV already has a port on it just waitng for this. When the real-time HDV daughter card is available, you will be able to get HDV output directly from the timeline.
11) We are also waiting for a final HD optial disk standard. Right now the Blu-Ray and HD DVD camps are slugging it out. There is talk of compromise, but so far nothing. Microsoft is pushing WM9HD on standard DVD as an alternative, but set top players do not curretnly support this. When the optical HD standards are agred to, the HDV chipset mentioned above will also be tweaked to accelerate the encoding for this.
As you guys know, we have a wealth of information on all of the points mentioned above on the videoguys website. If you are new to us, take a few minutes (or hours or days) to cruise around and research.