Data rate ?



I am new to pc editing and I am on the verge of taking the
plunge to buy a DV camcorder with analogue convertor in/out (svhs to pc and back to vhs) having wasted time with all sorts of input cards.

I would like to know if my PC is up to standard - otherwise it will also mean a new pc as well!.

I do not anticipate doing any more than standard cuts with a few graphics thrown in! I have a Time PC :- 1300mhz, 60 gig, 512ram, 32mb Nvidia TNT2 graphic card, running Windows ME.
I guess i will need a second HD.

I have already got Pinnacle studio 8.0. - I tested the capture date rate and it said Read speed:2300 kbyte sec and Write speed : 3100.
Which was rather low (aganist their standard 4000 kbyte minimum for DV). Then I enabled the DMA in the hard drive which then increase the read speed to 19703 kbyte/ sec and write at 14054 kbyte/ sec giving a safe rate of 12648 kbyte/sec

Are these read and write speeds high enough for DV capture?
that will stay consistant with other prgs Premiere etc.

Will my graphic card - 32mb Nvidia TNT2 graphic be up to the job?

Many thanks.


firstly if you get a dv cam you should be putting the films onto dvd or back to dv tape. putting them onto vhs is going to ruin all that lovely quality.

14000kb/s is fast enough for capture. you will know when you start downloading as you will drop frames if it isnt. you will need a firewire card/ports to do this on your pc. usb wont work.

you pc seems ok for general editing but to be honest when you come to render your video to make it watchable on a tv it is going to take hours. possibly >6hr.

also bear in mind that 1 mini dv tape 60min long needs 13Gb of hard drive space. then you need to render it. if it is going on a dvd you need another 10 gig or so.

i would recommend a seperate 100+ gig drive for video editing.

as for the graphics card in my experience it doesnt really make much difference. it is cpu power that is needed.


CPU & RAM - The specs you have listed for these 2 are ample. Additional RAM will improve things when it comes to rendering, but not needed.
I would say that a 120Gb drive would be a very good upgrade, and should cost you less than £80. You could easily go smaller, but I doubt you would save much money doing so as even 120Gb is small now with 200Gb easily available. When you add the new drive don't install any programmes on it and keep it just for video footage. Also install it on the master IDE controller as a slave to your boot disk. Make sure the DVD/CD drives are on the secondary IDE controller as they can slow doen a HDD if on the same controller.
As said you don't need to worry about the graphics card, but be aware that the video will not look that good on any PC monitor. To see what it really looks like you must connect a TV via the camcorder etc. if no TV out on PC.

A future upgrade that I would recommend is going to Windows XP as ME will not allow you to have any files on disk that are larger than 4Gb due to the limits of the FAT32 file system it uses. XP uses NTFS and can have files of any size up to the size of the disk. 4Gb sounds large, but this is only 16 minutes of video at full DV quality.

Do a bit of searching on this forum and you will find loads more advise for editing. If, no sorry when you have more questions feel free to ask.


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