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Video Guide Part 1: Market Situation and Applications

Video Processing For Home Users - Part 2

The most inexpensive MPEG-1 encoder that produces relatively high quality videos is currently on offer is the Studio MP10 from Pinnacle. It costs about $350 and is connected externally to the PC via the parallel interface.

This encoder virtually attains VHS video quality with a data rate just under 2,000 kbps. The quality of videos in MPEG-1 format is adequate for most applications. The only downside compared with MPEG-2 is the limited maximum resolution of 352 x 240 pixels. More aspiring home users and video freaks with a high-performance PC should instead look at more suitable video editing boards with a digital interface. Models such as the Fast DV Master Pro - which however, costs about $2,900 - or the Pinnacle DV300 have an IEEE-1394 interface which allows you to connect a digital video camera (acceptable models cost over $1,200) via a 'FireWire'. In comparison with video editing boards with analog inputs, such as Fast's AV Master, the transmission of audio and video data to the PC is practically without losses. The possibilities available to home users are summarized in the following table.

ApplicationPC ResourcesRequired Video HardwarePrice of Video Hardware
Digitizing of vacation films in MPEG-1 formatAt least Pentium 200, 32 MB RAM, 2 GB hard diskPinnacle Studio MP10approx. $350
Editing of videos of all types (MJPEG)At least Pentium II/300, 128 MB RAM, 10 GB hard diske.g. Fast AV Master, Pinnacle DC10 Plusapprox. $250- $1,000
Completely digital editing of videos from a digital video sourceAt least Pentium II/300, 128 MB RAM, 10 GB hard diske.g. Fast DV Master, Pinnacle DV300approx. $1,000- $2,900