Is my PC up to DV mastering and editing?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by goldenfleece, Dec 29, 2001.

  1. goldenfleece

    goldenfleece
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    I own a 2 year old AMD K6 3d 450 machine with a 10GB hard drive, and a second 4 GB hard drive, 450 RAM (100 Mhz). Is this PC up to editing DV video input or is it too slow and old?

    "nd, what does a firewire socket look like and would a 2 year old PC have one? Is not, what plug in options do I have without replacing this PC?
     
  2. leon

    leon
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    IM not sure if the speed is ok but firwire is like a small phone socket ,i dont think your machine would have one but the new soundblaster cards have them built onto it .the trasfer rate is amazing and puts usb to shame ,
     
  3. goldenfleece

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    Yes I just found out I need a Firewire adaptor card. They seem to cost around £70 in general. Still a bit worried I might buy a DV cam and the firewire card, etc, only to find my AMD 450 machine can't cope with the data tranfer speed and just produces jerky old low definition rubbish. However the Firewire spec on the Adaptec site claims a 233 Mhz machine is up to scratch, but I cant see a 233 coping with such high transfer rates. My machine only has a 100 mhz motherboard as well, and on top of that, a 10GB hard drive could not hope to edit a feature length movie! I accept I will need a need a new 40 Gb drive at least to be on the safe side of disk space requirements!

    Anyone know from experience of DV editing if a 450 mhz machine is up to speed for quality DV or D8 mastering? I really need to know if a new Jan sale good spec PC should be added to my shopping list (gulp), but my present 450 is fine for everything else I do running Win XP.
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    No, your machine is underpowered in terms of processor power and hard drive space. And it's extremely unlikely that it would have a Firewire card in it.
    My Dual PIII 866 with a Gig of RAM is ok for the job. You'll need at least a 40 gig hdd, preferably two. The firewire card and cable are not expensive - £30 from www.ukdigital.co.uk.
     
  5. goldenfleece

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    Yes I thought my PC would be a bit past it really. It cant cope with editing msuic in Soundforge without hiccuping. Really cant upgrade the PC and buy a cam, so PC editing is out for the time being. Looking at the following method which I have used previously, that is 90% editing while shooting (bit of an expert at getting it just right), and then copying direct to VHS and dubbing sound with audio dub on the video machine, or via a mixer at the copying stage with a few CD players and tape inserts, etc( fun, but panic time) A few questions...

    1) Is there any real difference in pic quality of an analogue (RF)transfered DV video or hi8 version? Would the better DV quality show through in the final analogue VHS copy? I have a new VCR so its more or less got virgin heads. If not, I might just buy a hi8 machine in the Jan sales, some very good bargains at the moment.

    2) Can you get stereo hi8 camcorders with audio dub features and insert edit. and digital effects? I have a feeling this would suit me more than digital 8 or DV since I cant use my PC. I know hi8 is on the way out, but when we bear in mind the final analogue VHS product perhaps this old tech might suit be best at the moment. Its unlikely I can afford to upgrade the old PC for 12 months or more when I need a camcorder, tripod, accessories, etc.

    Bottom line is I have £500 max....can you recommend a machine>
     
  6. Guest

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    The best deal on a mini dv cam at the moment has to be the Panasonic NV-DS27B at amazon.com for £399. No other places seem to be offering it this low and it has more features than its next best which is the JVC DVL150.
     
  7. Floandal

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    Hi Goldenfleece,
    definitely go with the MiniDV format, rather than analogue Hi-8. If you would like to have a look at a post on the forum at Simply DV --- www.simplydv.co.uk
    You will find a new post covering this same subject. Also I too think that the Panasonic has the edge over the JVC Camcorder.
    I have just bought the Panasonic NV-DS38B, which, apart from additional features, is basically the same Camcorder as the NV-DS27B and 28B --- (the "B" suffix denotes a British, or at least Western European model, as opposed to a "grey import, which may not carry a warranty) I am very pleased with the Panasonic.
    Good luck, --- Alan:)
     
  8. rjwilkins

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    Your machine should be OK, but it is on the border.
    I am using a 500MHz K6 and it runs (almost) perfectly but make sure that you optimise the hardware as detailed in the capture/firewire- card instructions.
    Your hard disk is bit small. I would recommend getting at least an extra 20GB, although an IBM 60 GB is the cheapest at the moment.
    Keep your 10GB hardisk for windows and editing software and use the extra hardisk for your video and project files, as windows needs to access the hardisk alot.
    With this machine I would recommend using Windows 98SE.

    Best regards,

    Rod Wilkins.
     
  9. goldenfleece

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    I just upgraded the machine to an AMD K6 3D 500 chip, the highest it will go to (from a 450). Very slight difference in speed noted. I will also fit a 40GB hard drive as well, 7,200 RPM, but I only have IDE connectors....is this OK with firewire tranfer and digital editing or do I really needs those SCSI machines for this?

    I am worried I will get jerky or video editing that drops frames all the time, but not really a way of testing it before I buy the Firewire card I suppose. If anyone knows a test that can be realistically done to see if any PC can handle complex video data tranfer and editing, can they let me know.


    Im also running XP which is the most up to date Windows, there is now 360 MB RAM at 100 Mhz on a PC Chuips 100 mhz mainboard. Will I need more actual RAM or is this OK?
     
  10. rjwilkins

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    You do not need to invest in SCSI harddisks. Your IDE should be OK.
    I would think that your machine would not give jerky videos as the DV protocol is not compressed nearly as much as MJPEG of MPEG for example and therefore does not require the CPU to work as hard.
    Having said that, you are running XP which I have no real experiance of but it could be that it does need more from your CPU. Another problem with XP is that is NT based and this can slow down access to hardware due to the built-in hardware protection. I personnaly use WIN98SE and am reluctant to change as it is working well.
    The most important of all is the data access setup correctly in windows.
    Here is a link to some really good advice.
    http://www.videoguys.com/techsupp.htm

    To recap, I am confident that your machine will work well. If you do get problems check your setup. If you still get problems kick out XP and install WIB98SE or even WINME.

    Best regards,
    Rod Wilkins.

    P.S. if you are using Premier 6 this can give jerky playback. The secret is to make an AVI file of the finished program. Load this into a new project. Render and then export to tape.
     
  11. goldenfleece

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    Well I think Im ready to give it ago. Im buying the Panasonic DV37, or is the 38, the one with the DV in/out sockets. Can you recommend a good Firewire card that will not give my Bank manager a hernia, but one that will do top quality transfers of even full length feature movies without problems? Which ones come with DV editing software, and which is the editing software to consider. Im looking for one that will give me sound mixing options, special effects, titling, dissolves, etc, but nothing too elaborate that I will never need to use.

    I would say sound mixing is the most important important option. The Panasonic DV has 12 bit stereo audio dubbing/mixing, but I would prefer to do this in 16bit stereo to get as near CD quality as possible, mizxing the original soundtrack with music, sound effects, merging tracks as needed, etc, and get a final good stereo balance.

    Any suggestions? I know there are numerous DV editing kits out there, but I dont want to spend hundreds on something which any bundled software that comes free with a Firewire card pack can do equallly well. Remembering I dont have a brand new 2ghz PC with 1000 MB RAM of course (wish wish).
     
  12. Floandal

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    Hi again Goldenfleece,
    you have been busy over Christmas. I have been following a very similar question to your's on Simply DV, and the professional cameraman/editor/journalist who reassured the guy asking if his 500Mhz powered computer was up to the job, has himself, not long upgraded from a 500Mhz processor, and had edited thousands of feet on it, up to then.
    It depends how much you want to spend on a Firewire card and software. If you are a beginner, I think it has to be Pinnacle Studio DV., with version 7 . I have searched myself lately, and the Pinnacle is turning out to be the best budget system on the market. Again, a good review by Colin Barrett, who also writes for Camcorder User, at www.simplydv.co.uk
    Another good budget one is the Adaptec 4300 bundled with MGI Videowave 4. The Pinnacle is £80 - £100-00 the Adaptec a little cheaper.
    These cheaper cards use your own sound card to capture sound, but I believe that the Pinnacle setup is much better now as far as sound/video sync. is concerned. If you want a card with onboard sound, then you are going to have to spend at least £250-00.
    Does WinXP have a "go-back type programme running in the background? you would have to turn this, and any other non-essential programmes off. In Win98, I turn everything off bar the bare minimum to run Windows including A/virus,(if I remember, I just leave Explorer, Stimon & Systray on.)
    Good luck, --- Alan.
     
  13. goldenfleece

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    Yes I have stripped off all but the bare essentials for running windows in operative terms. It now boots up in 35 seconds which is not bad for a 550 and XP. Since RAM is so cheap now I think I will extend my memory to the mainboard max, 756 MB, just to give it that little bit extra.

    Another question though, my choice of camcorder, the PANASONIC DS27 is currently an incredible £399, where as the next model up with DV in is £499. Is it worth £100 just for the DV input, as I believe there are other methods of getting the digital signal back into the camera with other connectors? Would this be cheaper than paying £100 just for the DV in socket? How fiddly is it without a dedicated DV in socket on the camera?

    Re my sound card, its an onboard chip on the mainboard, all I know is its description in the manual which says "full 16 bit CODEC, 3d sound, supports 4 channel speakers, 3d surround, digital audio interface with 16 bit stereo 44 KHZ sampling and 130 DB audio quality.." Sounds good but maybe its a bit primitive.

    Regarding the built in Windows MOVIE MAKER in XP...is this useful in any way or is this just far too simple for editing movies from DV. Assuming it supports the DV signal that is.....I have played around editing short MPGvideo clips into a 20 minute MPEG movie but it took 2 hours to save the final result using the hi-quality setting. I guess MOVIE MAKER has no place in real DV editing?
     
  14. rjwilkins

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    Hi Goldenfleece.
    I totally agrea with Floandal regarding the Pinnacle DV. Firstclass hardware with some quite good software. I have been using it with the packaged software as well as Premier 6.0 for about 10 months now and have produced many hours of video with this system.

    I would recommend investing the extra £100 for a camcorder with DV, as this is the only way that I know of to in/out digital video. Plus as the sound is embedded along with the video, you will not have problems with the sound being out of sync with the video which you can get with analogue systems that use the PC sound card for grabbing audio, therefore the type of sound card you have is irrelevant when using DV in/out.
    When you install the DV editing software the appropriate CODECS are installed at the same time.

    Best regards,
    Rod Wilkins.
     

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