I place this post knowing that I may get flamed as a heretic. I have been looking into building a new box to use for video capture, editing DV from my camcorder for family use, surfing, some gaming but I do not need intense 3D. Ideally, I want stability, simplicity, and speed. Waiting for ever for rendering etc will make me not likely to use the box. I was planning on building the following... Kt266a, Athlon XP 1800+, 512mb PC2100, RAID, either DV Raptor or ADS PYRO for capture, and WinXP Pro.
I cannot believe that I am even going to pose the question... A friend of mine has been needling me to get a new iMac. He says that they are better with DV and much more simple. All the software I would need is included. It also has DVD burner. He reports that they are incredibly easy to use and that my wife could even edit DVD without problems. Finally, my wife wants this box to go into a room where it would be hard to keep it away from small kids and she doesn't like all the cords/cables of a PC. Is my friend correct that an iMac can do quality DV editing straight out of the box? Are they fast? How would it compare to my proposed system above with regards to quality, simplicity, stability, and speed? How does the apple software compare with Adobe Premiere? Now, this is not to replace my current box, only to supplement. I am not considering going completely Mac. But have I gone completely mad?
Apples have been ahead in a/v for a long time. I have been searching for information on DV lately and the only good info I have found was for Apples. I'll bet you would like Apples for a/v work. I won't kill you to go look at one and see what you think. The new mac is soooo cool looking.
I agree with lakedude. The iMacs are great for capturing and editing video except for 2 things:
1) Limited disk space. You can't just pop in a second hard drive when you start to fill up the first one.
2) I have no idea what they are like when converting to MPEG4 (DivX). Based on the fact that they are sub-gigahertz processors I would assume that they take quite some time to run the conversion. Of course, if you aren't planning on converting to mpeg4 then never mind this. Also, when I state that I don't know what they are like for converting, I really mean it. Like lakedude, I don't personally own an iMac and have never tried it myself. This is just an assumption on my part.
There are 2 ways to solve problem #1. Firstly you could get an external firewire hard drive, but these are expensive. The other method would be to network the iMac to your PC and use the PC's HD. I wouldn't want to be working on anything filed on the PC from the iMac, but once you have finished editing it you can use the PC for storage. It's a heck of a lot easier to add a hard drive to a PC then it is to an iMac.
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Lakedude and Knowan,
Thanks for your responses. I think that I am going to have to find a way to check an iMac out. The new ones come with 60gb HD and DVD-R. I am only going to be editing one hour tapes at a time, I think. I hope that amount of space would be enough. Good idea about networking to PC though. I guess I could always just store on DVTapes or burn to cd/dvd if that didn't work. I am concerned about hte rendering times though. If it took forever, I wouldn't have the time or patience. Also, I want the videos to look semi-professional not amature. I hope that the apple software would copare favorably. If you have any other thoughts please share them.
I saw on another of your posts that many DVD players may not play discs written with DVD burners. Apple advertises:
"With the SuperDrive-equipped iMac and Apple’s revolutionary iDVD 2 software, you have a simple, affordable way to turn your movies and photos into interactive DVDs that can be played on most consumer DVD players."
Are they guilty of false advertising, embellishing, or is their setup different?
They Write "Most" and that is 75% of consumer DVDs.
The Apple SuperDrive is the same as the Pioneer 103 BTW with the new 104 comming to replace it soon.
Since you are planing to go for DVD and not DviX the DviX comment don'T really apply. As I said before, If you like Appels then it's a very good solution for video capturing/Editing/DVD authoring.
Apple have gr8 programs for this as well.