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Hardware Thread, Video Editing Rig in Technical; ...
  1. #1

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    Video Editing Rig

    Morning Guys/Gals

    I have been asked to look into sorting out a video editing solution for the school. There have been talks of macs but after specing up a half decent mac pro (quad core, 4gb ram, dual screens, 2 TB HDD etc) it came to over £4,000. They nearly died. Iv read through a lot of threads on here on the subject and it does seem the macs are more often than not, very expensive.

    Apart from anything else I wouldnt know how to link it in to our vanilla 2k3 network. Getting it talking to the fileserver etc etc.

    I would much rather go down the PC route and get the same hardware for half the price. I am just a bit stumped on the software as everyone raves on about macs + video editing = win. From what iv been told you can do almost everything on a PC as you can on a mac these days. It has to be relativly simple so students (and more to the point TEACHERS) can use it. We have movie maker but are looking for something a little more 'pro'.

    What are your opinions?

    As far as the hardware, will prob get a high spec Dell as we have nearly 600 of them so why stop now? I can also get them for a damn good price.

    Thanks Guys

    Jon

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    krisd32's Avatar
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    not sure about the spec of the machine you'd need but the software that i use and the kids find quite easy is adobe premier elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krisd32 View Post
    not sure about the spec of the machine you'd need but the software that i use and the kids find quite easy is adobe premier elements.
    Without meaning to hijack this thread, I'm having a right nightmare trying to get adobe premiere elements working in a multiple user enviroment waiting on a reply from adobe.

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    How pro is "pro"? If you want the big daddy have a look at Adobe Premier. If not you can look at the usual suspects; Pinnical, Ulead etc.

    At school level there is no reason why a mac is better than a PC. Fair enough at Sky Sports a mac might be better but not for 14 yr old kids to make a daft video.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Dont forget about Linux Video editing you could save a lot of money on licences that can be spent on hardware to a similar spec as a Mac Pro.

    Home | Ubuntu Studio


    If I were you I would go with one of these options depending on budget

    £££ Mac Pro with Final Cut
    ££ PC with Adobe Premiere (pro or elements)
    £ PC with Ubuntu Studio (kino)
    Last edited by somabc; 15th September 2008 at 10:34 AM.

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    a Mac pro..?

    is that not overkill..what about an iMac - mine runs adobe premier cs3 no worries, unless I'm doing proper HD realtime splits - then it chokes.

    But my guess is you wouldn't be doing anything like that.

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    A mac is much better IMHO and I have done a fair bit on both. We find our media students produce much better results using the Macbooks in mac mode than in Windows mode. It just seems to flow much more smoothly.

    As Domino said I would look at an iMac which does pretty much what you require I would imagine and is very easy to work with.

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    Thanks guys,

    What about connecting it to the network so the kids can get to their shares etc? I don't want them to have to be running around plugging in a usb key everytime they use it. Also it just seems like I can get a lot more for my money spec wise if buying a PC over a mac.

    Thanks

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    Don't forget that a 60 second avi clip is 1GB so you need to be careful about what the kids can save.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m1ddy View Post
    Thanks guys,

    What about connecting it to the network so the kids can get to their shares etc? I don't want them to have to be running around plugging in a usb key everytime they use it. Also it just seems like I can get a lot more for my money spec wise if buying a PC over a mac.

    Thanks
    You can setup network home folders so that the kids can store and access video projects on a file server. Don't see any reason why you can't do this with smb/cifs shares if you plan on using a windows server i.e integrating macs into your existing windows domain.

    I only have experience of doing this using afp and ilife apps on the client. Not tried it with final cut express, but number of concurrent streams will be restricted using fcp express...so you'd want teamed NICs and a fast striped RAID disk setup on the file server/NAS head if your plannign on having several stations editing at once...gigabit at the client also helps. Also as lazer points out, you'll need to look at your storage capacity if you plan on storing hours of footage on the servers...it might be better to use the network as the project area where edited footage is 'mastered' back to minDV tape at the end of every lesson. It'll mean you have a lot of tape to manage but the upside is your server/NAS won't be clogged up with footage of some brats goofing around with a video camera [let's face it, that's 90% of the footage captured to camera].

    A Mac pro would be a good choice as a mac server, but it's a lot of money to spend on a box to sit in the corner.

    The Macpro is ideal for high end HD video work (high end by school standards, prosumer standard otherwise) final cut pro is a fantastic application, i would recommend if your not sure on your level of requirements go with an imac and final cut express.....the only reason why i think anyone would Adobe premiere on the mac when you've got final cut express for less than £200 would be because of the 'stick with what you know' argument. Most people having come from a windows world where more often than not premiere is the choice of app.

    On the windows side have a look at sony vegas, i've seen blogs where people are using it to do some neat looking color correction of footage shot on good quality consumer HDV cameras. Steer clear of the AVCHD kit for now, it'll be a sod to edit with. Stick to HDV with it's long GOP mpeg2 compression, which is more amenable for post production.....some of the better hdv cameras still use tape. nothing wrong with tape in a video workflow. Preferable to the proprietary methods of storing footage on HDD cameras like the early JVC consumer HDV cameras imo.
    Last edited by torledo; 15th September 2008 at 11:37 AM.

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    I used to agree with the final cut over Premier POV, but since using CS3 as a full suite - I'd say premiere has the edge

    The integration and feature set of it is astounding - and this is the first version I used that was as stable as FCP

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    We use Macs with big external HDDs to save work to. I wouldn't want video files being saved across the network as it would slow it down to a crawl. Think about it ........... bell goes and 30 kids click save on files between 1G and 3G!!!

    Macs well worth the extra money in this case IMHO.

  13. #13

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    Macs are just eye candy IMHO as they use the same intel chipsets as a PC I see no reason to spend vast amounts of money on these luxury items as a good spec PC will give the same result, I feel it is the type of software package that you use which determines how good the kit is. What is the criteria that the students have to meet? do they really need an all singing all dancing software package to achieve this?
    Adobe is good and so is Pinnacle but then there is this which is free:
    t@b ZS4 Video Editing Software - Free software downloads and reviews - CNET Download.com
    Check it out as i think there could be more of this free video editing software about ok

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by m1ddy View Post
    I have been asked to look into sorting out a video editing solution for the school.
    Get a Mac Mini and an external Firewire harddrive (I'm sure you can get a snazzy one that fits the Mini's case). Any screen will do - Insight are selling huge great 22" monitors for £140 at the moment. Mac Minis are around £400, harddrives around £100 - that's somewhere around £600 for the lot.

    --
    David Hicks

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    somabc's Avatar
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    is a mac mini powerful enough? I don't really do a lot of HD video editing but I would have though a mac mini would struggle.

    @bossman did you read the reviews for t@b ZS4?

    What about Cinelerra? Its probably better than most free video editing software?
    Last edited by somabc; 15th September 2008 at 08:06 PM.

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