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Sean Thomas
New System Recommendations
on Nov 26, 2010 at 6:08:54 am

Hello to all. I hope this is the best place to post.

Quick Background: I built my current SD system over 5 years ago, still works flawlessly, so I have not been on a VIDEO forum in years, nor kept up with any new model numbers etc. So now I am cramming 5 years of tech research. I currently shoot DV (Sony DSR-590), edit in FCP and output back to tape or SD DVD.

Current System Specs:
Mac G5 - dual 2.5 / 8GB ram / many FW400/800 external drives
Software - FCP HD 1 (v.5) / Adobe Suite CS2

Now it's time to upgrade everything for HD. I could probably ask a thousand questions but maybe I will just list what I'm thinking of getting and ask for comments.

New Workflow: I will be shooting on a Canon 5D or similar. Will import files direct from card, will view on 40" HDMI monitor and SD tube monitor. Will output to HD and SD files for web, HD to blu ray, SD to DVD and tape.

New System:
Computer: current 2.8Ghz Quadcore standard config
Computer add-ons (all form OWC):
240gig SSD drive for boot
LG internal blu ray in optical bay 2 (pioneer has known issues?)
16 gig RAM
4TB RAID and eSATA card, dual cable, 300MB/sec

For monitoring 1080P on 40" plasma and SD at same time, other analog I/O

New Software: Upgrade to FCP HD 3 - v.7.xx and Adobe CS5

1. Any obvious flaws/problems with proposed system
2. Blu Ray work flow - import from card / edit native in FCP / export / author in DVD SP / burn in something else - what? (surprised to see that DVD SP doesn't burn BR)
3. Any issues with the BM card (will ask on that forum too)
4. Any "don't upgrade now" issues. New FCP early 2011, new Mac architecture, etc.


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Michael Sacci
Re: New System Recommendations
on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:05:23 am

1st at this time you do NOT edit the files as they come off the card in FCP, you can with PPro CS5. For FCP you transcode them.

While DVDSP cannot do BluRay, you can make HD approval BluRay with the new version of Compressor. You can also use Encore and Toast, but no serious BluRay authoring on a Mac at all.

Personally I would spend the money for the SDD on a faster Mac, for heavy graphic, transcoding, compressing and rendering I think a beefier system would be a better use of your bucks. Plus as the SDD price drops you can always add that in later, you cannot add in processors.

RAID system, yours in fine but it is a little dated, SAS cards offer faster speeds but more importantly they can be set up as RAID 5 to give you redundancy. But your setup will get the job done, so it is not a bad choice just wanted to point you to a better choice. But the eSata will you a lot for your buck.

There should be a new version of FCP out this summer and MacPros normally get updated in July/Aug, so if you need it now, get it now, if you can wait there will always be new systems. But the system you buy today will be just fine when the new ones come out. If you are going to start editing the Canon footage now, I say get the system now.

Cannot comment on the BMC, no history with it.

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Sean Thomas
Re: New System Recommendations
on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:12:33 pm


I do realize I must transcode the files to ProRes - using the Canon plugin it should be automated.

I am a bit worried about buying now with new model cpu's and software coming out, but that is ALWAYS the case, if we waited till the next best thing, we would never buy anything.

Not too worried about the faster processor. Moving from a dual 2.5 G5, I think I will be happy with a Quad 2.8 and save a grand for accessories.

Blu-ray workflow is an fuzzy issue. I will try to find out more on that. I only need client proofs for now. Can DVDSP build blu-ray? If not I will use Encore and/or Toast.

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