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Thread: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

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    Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    I'm looking to build a machine for capturing HDMI/Composite video input. But editing on the machine might be necessary given the large amount of data I'll be working with. I basically want to build a machine to work with the Blackmagic Intensity Pro which is available for £125.

    The main point of this set-up is to be able to store data at a fast and sustainable 150Mb/s via a SATA RAID array. Blackmagic give an indication of uncompressed video data transfer rates here. Although is I can budget a decent processor and RAM, it's probably possible to losslessly compress the video during capture. The minimum I need to capture is 720p as the show will be produced at this resolution, but the ability to capture 1080 would be nice :3

    So I have an Antec900 case to put it in, I'm looking for a minimum 1Tb SATA RAID array. The main point is to get around a 150Mb/s write rate so a SATA controller off the southbridge and not the PCI-E bus is best. Storage is second priority, RAM and CPU are next for compression and to help processing during capture. Graphics card is last, but Nvidia GF9 preferred, not really for gaming but video acceleration.

    The main reason I'm asking for help is while I'm a capable system builder, I just have lost interest in keeping up-to date and my 2 desktop servers are PCI. While my laptop isn't able to take desktop cards obviously. So I'm waving the white flag and hoping for people's recommendations. ^^

    PS. Minimum/Recommended specs for the card. 2Gb for XP, but I guess 4Gb minimum is preferred.
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    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Your best chance of hitting those write speeds without spending huge amounts of money would be something like 3 x WD6400AAKS drives in RAID0......maybe even 4 of them to be on the safe side.

    That's quite a high sustained write speed you need and it's the sustained part that's the killer.

    On top of that you would need a boot drive (I wouldn't slap your OS and program files on the RAID0).

    That immediatly uses 200-250 of the budget....

    The CPU and RAM, you could choose almost anything you wanted...the specs page really does not give any recomendations....I would possibly think about an AMD triple core with some DDR3 RAM though just for the cores (I suspect the software will use multiple cores well) and the memory bandwidth you get for cheap.
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    After seeing http://www.vimeo.com/959328?pg=embed&sec=959328 I see that CPU/memory is important too, especially to avoid frameskip/audio sync issues. I'm leaning towards a quad. BUt it's hard to figure out which chipset to go for, and then find a motherboard where the SATA RAID is linked directly to the southbridge.

    I'm willing to increase the budget considering I've saved some money of decorating recently.
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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    I've never really understood the point of that card to be honest.

    I can't think of ant HMDI sources that you couldn't get the data some other way. Camcorders? pull the data files off over Firewire or USB. Satellite box? use a DVB-S card and CAM instead. PC output? there is softwware that will grab the framebuffer before it gets to the output (or at least there used to be).

    What are you using this for, if you don't mind me asking?

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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    What software do you plan to edit with.
    I've recently been involed in testing Edius 5 and discovered it's extremely FSB sensitive when running conversions (AVCHD to CanopusHQ) prior to editing.
    Also not all editing software is fully multi-core aware. So while the affore mentioned convertor uses all four cores of a quad, Edius 5 itself is can only max two. This is something Edius 6 will fix.
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    I do my editing in Premiere Pro. But I doubt the overhead will help with the capture. I'm sure there's a lightweight capture/lossless encoder out there. The idea is to use the footage from PC/360/Wii/PS3 in a machinima-related show. I'm still working on the format and just doing out a start-up budget, but I wanted to start with a middle-of-the-road figure of £500 The show will be broadcast in 720p so that's the format to aim for.
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrii View Post
    footage from PC/360/Wii/PS3 in a machinima-related show.
    Ah! OK. That's the one scenario I didn't think of

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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Have you run any test on your current hardware just to get an idea of what you're dealing with?

    As you're planning to use an hd-format pay close attention to your space needs - where are you planning to archive footage, what will you use to back it up etc - as space will dissappear fast.

    Also have a plan for your edit process/workflow - what steps do you need to go through each time you work. Thinking capture/edit/publish is it may be right but it's rarely that simple. Will you publish straight from your edit software? Are you planning to add effects? Do the software support your burner? yadda yadda yadda - hence the testing because this will also highlight where the slow-downs are and influence your hardware choices.

    Out of interest what is your plan for the full storage setup?
    With an edit machine I usually recommend a solo drive or RAID1 for boot, RAID0 for capturing/editing and a RAID5 for project/archive storage. If you have the cash for drives I'd maybe dedicate the RAID0 to capturing - move the archive to another gigabit-attached machine or NAS device, and swap the RAID5 for a RAID10 and use that to store the footage for editing.

    Regardless editing usually produces very interesting PC setups so I'm fascinated to see what works for you.
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Well my current idea is to use a Q9550 and looks towards DDR3. I've always found FSB is a bad bottleneck in any system.

    My problem is going to be archiving, at the moment my main worry is capture. And unless the captures can be stored externally, editing will have to be on the same machine. The problem is I don't have any PCI-E machines at the moment, so building one from scratch is a daunting task.
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    If you don't mind going for an AMD based machine a Phenom II X4 955BE is worth looking at. Here is a review:

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16796

    You could pair it with a 770 based motherboard and 4gb of DDR3 for under £280:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/AMD-P...he-125W-Retail

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/GIGAB...770T-UD3P-MOBO

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/4GB-(...d-CAS-9-9-9-24


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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    TBH I'd never really seen FSB as an issue until I came across Edius. If you look at my siggie I ran the testing on my main rig with the q9450 and my work rig with the Xeon X5355, both of which are quads clocked at 2.66GHz stock speeds.
    In the convertion testing the Q9450 was up to 50% faster despite the lack of work station components. In the end it came down to my RAM choice. The FBDIMM's in the work machine are only clocked at 667MHz wheras my home PC is sitting pretty at 1066MHz.

    Thing is the actual editing doesn't really see the benefit and programs like 3D Studio Max8 render ever-so-slightly faster on the Dell (we're taking seconds over a 40min render vs 10mins over a 20min convertion). It really does come down to the programs you're using and which bits of the system are specifically bottlenecks on a program by program basis.

    If you do choose Intel right now I'd start with an Asus P5Q3 board (or similar) with basic 1333MHz DDR3 and see how that goes. However as CAT says right now AMD are offering great value.
    Personnally I would look to save more and go the whole hog and i7 920 or wait for the soon-to-emerge i5's and see what that does to pricing - even if it only serves to make the AMD's even better value!
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Well I just went ape**** and decided to take advantage of scan's mobo/RAM/CPU offer and ended up spending about £1000 overall. But I saved £250 in decorating and have billed for some work recently so all should be fine ^^ Here's what I'm currentl;y waiting this moment to be delivered:

    From Scan:


    From Aria:


    From onevideo:


    Total: I don't wanna know *buries head in sand*
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Grats, That will be a very nice system for video editing
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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    That should fly along nicely!
    Are all those drives going in one of your server chassis?
    1 : i5 4670K | 8Gb | ASUS Maximus VI Genie | HD6890 | MX100 512GB | TX650W | CM Black Widow | Dell U2713H | 8.1 Pro
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    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    Well that's the dialemma, I have an Antec900 case, but no 3.5-5.25 converters left, so dunno if I should put all 6 in, or 5 and a 10Gb PATA
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      • Graphics card(s):
      • 512MB ATI Radeon HD4550
      • PSU:
      • Antec 350W 80+ Efficient PSU
      • Case:
      • Antec NSK1480 Slim Mini Desktop Case
      • Operating System:
      • Vista Ultimate 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407 + 2408 monitors
      • Internet:
      • Zen 8mb

    Re: Capture Machine/Edit Suite for around £500

    How about this:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Icy-D...ap-Best-Seller

    I have two in my server along with two 3-in-2 cages.

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