Benchmark:Truevision Ready-to-edit turnkey nonlinear editing workstation
The Complete Package



Truevision Ready-to-Edit Turnkey Nonlinear Editing Workstation

($8,495)

Truevision Inc.

2500 Walsh Avenue

Santa Clara, CA 95051

(800) 522-8783

www.truevision.com

Many professional and prosumer video producers want to make the change from tape-based linear editing to a digital nonlinear system but don’t want to take on the job of building a system piece by piece. Truevision offers these advanced users a solution to this problem with a Ready-to-Edit line of turnkey nonlinear digital capture and editing workstations. Available in a range of configurations, the Truevision Ready-to-Edit workstations offer a serious alternative to spending many hours under the hood of a home computer.

The Ready-to-Edit workstation we tested consisted of an IBM Intellistation M Pro computer with two 9GB A/V hard drives, configured to run as a RAID level 0, a Truevision TARGA 1000 capture board, and Avid’s MCXpress editing software. Other versions are available with different capture boards and editing software.

Hook Up and Go

As a turnkey system, the Ready-to-Edit offers a professional-level system based on a PC computer running Windows NT. All components of the system have been specifically chosen and configured to work together, ready to be plugged in and turned on. All the user has to do is attach the monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc. to the computer, and it’s ready to accept audio and video inputs. Within thirty minutes of unpacking the system, we had everything hooked up, powered up and ready to capture footage.

The Targa 1000 capture board that comes installed in the system includes two breakout cable bundles–one for input, and the other for output. For our test, we used an S-VHS VCR for input and output.

In Use

The Avid MCXpress software provides a preview window on the computer’s monitor that’s clear, clean and full speed (29.97 frames per second). In addition to allowing adjustments of the input video’s levels (luminance, black level, chroma and phase), the Avid software includes a waveform/vectorscope display. The scopes make it much easier to setup the input levels, especially when there are color bars on the source tape.

Before capturing any footage we went to the Set Digitize Quality window and pressed the Suggest button to see the maximum video rate the system will handle. Ours said 188K per frame (5.6MB/second) was the suggested quality. We accepted that setting and captured about 30 seconds of footage. The playback quality of the captured footage was excellent and the file size was 160MB. We decided to drop the quality to 100KB per frame (3MB/second) to reduce the file size. At that setting, the file size was only 87.4MB, while there was no real noticeable change in the video quality. At 100KB per frame, the 9GB A/V hard drives will hold about 100 minutes of video. That is enough hard drive space for making commercials, short promotional pieces and music videos.

The Truevision Ready-to-Edit nonlinear system is an ideal way for the serious prosumer video producer to step into the world of professional video production, at a price that is surprisingly low. All the correct hardware items are chosen in advance, installed, and ready to use. Using Avid’s MCXpress, based on the Avid Media Composer software for the Macintosh, the Ready-to-Edit nonlinear system gives users the ability to create quality video programs with a minimum of fuss.

–Jim Martin

Tech Specs

Truevision Ready-to-Edit Turnkey Nonlinear Editing Workstation

Platform: IBM Intellistation M Pro

CODEC: Motion-JPEG

Inputs: Composite, S-video, RGB component, genlock via separate sync input

Outputs: One composite, one S-video, RGB component

Digitizing resolutions (NTSC): 648×486, 640×480

Audio: 16-bit

Bundled software: Avid MCXpress 1.5 for Windows NT (Adobe Premiere 4.2 available in another option)

Strengths

  • Easy setup
  • MCXpress software.
  • High-quality playback

Weaknesses

  • Windows NT only

Summary

An affordable, professional-level workstation for the professional and prosumer video producer.

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