Advice please on video editing hardware/software

  flick 23:09 29 May 2003

I have recently bought a Sony DSR PC8 Camcorder and am now looking for the best way to edit tape on computer.

My ageing desktop is, I suspect, very underpowered - P2 400, MHz 125MB ram, Win98, 8MB graphics card, 20GB HD, but we do have a more highly specified laptop in the family - P4 2.0 GHz, 512MB ram, 64 MB graphics card, XP Home, 60GB HD - both with CD rewriters.

What hardware do I need for downloading to computer? Is it available for laptops? Does anyone have recommendations for software or good websites where I can increase my knowledge base?

  Mysticnas 23:26 29 May 2003

i have just been advising Audeal on a similar topic... click here

the desktop that you described there is indeed not powerfull enough to edit video effectively/comfortably.

Can you buy a new desktop? or at least upgrade you current one? do you know how to upgrade the motherboard yourself?

what you need to get is dependant on your requirements. What type of editing do you want to do? is it just home video's? do you want them to be DVD's or just avi's or mpegs?

you camera has a firewire link so what you need to get for your laptop is a firewire card.

You laptop spec is fine for video editing, maybe your hard drive on it is a tad small for digital video editing, but i think it will suffice for someone just starting out on video editing.

Ideally you can pick up a desktop suitable for your need and prob more for around £500, even better if you don't need a monitor.

hope this helps.

  flick 23:52 29 May 2003

Thanks for that input Mysticnas and the link to Audeal's queries. At the moment we're on 'home video' but if I'm going out to buy new stuff for the laptop we might as well know what the limitations are.

Q. Is firewire the same as IEE 1394 (which I think the laptop has)?
Q. Would an additional 40GB hard drive in a bay be a useful/necessary laptop addition?
Q. Is the difference between DVs, AVs and mpeg just one of compression and therefore quality?
Q. Should I upgrade the laptop to XP Pro?
Q. Should I be thinking about buying a new desktop now (inevitable eventually) or get the hang of things with the laptop for the time being?

  Mysticnas 00:10 30 May 2003

A. yes firewire is the common term for 1394 socket.

A. i don't think it would be worth getting a 40Gb drive, cuz if you're going to upgrade your pc you might as well wait.

Digital Video can be anthing that is saved electronicly or not analogue as in a VHS tape which is analogue. If the video is on your computer then it is surely digital, as well as on CD, DVD. DVD is a media format. Like a CD, but of a a different file format. DVD's can hold more that 4.5Gb of data where as a CD can hold only 0.8Gb of data. As far as i know Mpeg4 is the highest quality video at the moment, unless anyone else knows otherwise. then after that DVD is the best.

A. XP pro is the best bet if you want to run intensive applications, it's a little more secure and reliable/robust than XP home.

A. If you want to get a new desktop PC just for the sake of video editing that wait and get used to it on your laptop, cuz you may become bored of it soon. You've only just got your camera i take it? the novelty wears off after a while, it's something we all experience i'm afraid. When we get a new gadget/toy/car etc... we all get excited for a while then we get used to it.

If you want a new pc then get just becuase you feel you want a new PC or need a new pc then get one. But don't feel you have to go balls out and get a top spec pc. you can get a perfectly adequete pc for waaay under £1000, even one for around £500. You prob want a new monitor as well considering the one you have is quite old?

If you need help on what pc spec the post back

i'm going away for the weekend to birmingham tomorrow, so i won't be replying till next week.



  WaTcHiNg 00:20 30 May 2003

Personally I use ULead Media Studio Pro 7.
Good, reliable, used for many projects.
I always render as PAL DVD and then create a DVD of the output so if you're looking for a new Desktop PC, think seriously about a DVD writer.
Good software like Ulead MSP7 is retailing at around £350

  Belatucadrus 00:24 30 May 2003

A couple of bits of video editing freeware worth checking out are Zwei Stein click here and ABC Videoroll click here

  flick 23:12 30 May 2003

Thank you for all your input. As the laptop is sufficient for the purposes of discovering whether video editing is something we want to pursue further I will postpone the desktop upgrade until reallly necessary.

I will check out the software suggestions and come back for further advice if that's ok.

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