No matter what kind of video-editing system you own, one thing remains constant: you need a desk to put it on. If you recently moved into the world of computer video editing, or even if you’ve edited video on your PC for some time, chances are good that your production system is squeezed into an inferior work area.
While your editing workstation doesn’t need to be made of gold, functionality, ergonomics and a little room to grow are essential. After all, once configured, you will spend a lot of time at your editing bay. A comfortable, ergonomically-friendly chair is also important. In this article we’ll introduce you to some of the desks that you might consider. Maybe one of them will become the foundation for your own editing system.
Why Not Just Any Desk?
Traditional computer desks and workstations, available at most department stores, are based on typical desktop components: monitor, keyboard, printer, mouse and perhaps a scanner. While some editing systems, like Apple’s iMac and Sony’s VAIO are quite compact and don’t require much room, many editing systems call for a more spread-out approach. You might not house a printer or scanner with your editing setup, but it’s likely you’ll need room for two or three monitors and perhaps a fairly large set of speakers. You also need a place to wire your camcorder, and room to hold scripts, videotapes and CDs. You may also have one or more VCRs and an audio or video mixer. Whatever your setup, you want all the controls at your fingertips. Your ability to be able to comfortably reach all of your components is a must.
How have the office furniture manufacturers kept up with the burgeoning video editing craze? Do they offer furniture adequate for the prosumer video producer? The answer is a resounding yes. Read on to find out who sells them, what they offer and how much you can expect to spend.
Like editing systems themselves, the furniture built to hold them is available for all budgets. Entry-level, all-in-one editing systems, like the iMac and Sony VAIO for instance, will fit nicely on a modestly priced desk that measures 4-feet wide and 30-inches deep.
Many companies offer a multitude of optional gadgets to add on to their workstations. They include document trays, additional shelves, keyboard trays, cable management kits, ground-level CPU holders, assorted baskets, phone mounts and even cup holders.
The Small Bay
Anthro and iStand offer colorful, functional and compact workstations ideal for the trendy iMac or other small-footprint editing systems. Anthro’s iCart ($169 for the base model) comes in iMac-friendly ruby, tangerine and indigo, ensuring that your handsome editing computer will be perched on a thoroughly modern desk. The iCart is 32 inches wide and 29 inches deep.
The lightweight steel-framed iStand is available in plastic-top ($199) and tempered glass-top ($249) models. Offered in eight fruity colors, iStand has a 39-inch front width (it tapers to 33 inches in the rear), stands 28 inches high and is 25 inches deep. A matching plastic peripheral shelf is included. The iCart and iStand both offer optional upgrades.
Bush Furniture, which features a wide variety of office and business furnishings, offers several feature-packed workstations ideal for housing your small editing system. Bush’s MM52402, ($420 MSRP) a bit larger than the Anthro and iStand units described above, offers a tidy, five-tiered setup framed by black metal tubular supports. This computer station sits on rolling casters, and measures 40 inches high, 52 inches wide and 30 inches deep. It features a base shelf for your CPU and a sliding keyboard/mousepad shelf. The main tabletop is nice and wide, capable of holding your camcorder, scripts, tapes and other assorted editing gear. Above that is a shelf that is set back and meant to house a single monitor. The small, twin shelves on top can house speakers or other peripherals. Bush also offers several workstations equipped to house larger systems.
Grant Enterprises’ Da-Lite line of computer furniture includes four two-tiered workstations from 32 inches wide ($159) to 55 inches wide ($203).
The Large Bay
For larger-scale systems, an L-shaped setup featuring two 6-foot-long table surfaces, with monitor and speaker shelves can fill your workstation needs. Ready-to-assemble furniture companies like Sauder and O’Sullivan offer a myriad of reasonable-priced computer workstations that could be fashioned to accommodate large editing systems.
HomeComputerFurniture.com also offers several, affordable ready-to-assemble workstations that could be ideal for small or large editing setups. In particular, it’s Corner Workstation ($449), would make an excellent large editing bay. The L-shaped workstation features two 66-inch surfaces, and two hutches (that could each hold a monitor), a fixed keyboard shelf and two CD storage racks.
Omnirax designs and produces several audio/video-editing workstations. The Force 12, for example (base model $1,200), includes two large rack bays below the 74-inch desk surface, a riser that can house numerous monitors and speakers, a CPU under-the-desk shelf and a convenient, adjustable keyboard/mouse shelf.
The Winsted Company also specializes in high-tech furniture, and offers a variety of ergonomically-designed multimedia desks. Winsted’s 94-inch-wide, E4572 model ($2,622), for instance, has a curved tabletop and includes a 20-inch-deep adjustable riser, a mini-tower support-shelf, a vertical rack for additional electronics, and raceways to keep electric cords out of sight.
Biomorph, who claims to have "reinvented computer furniture to fit the human form," specializes in ergonomically designed, height-adjustable computer furniture. Its goal is to comfortably integrate each individual and each unique computer system into an efficient and comfortable workstation. Two-tiered edit-suitable Biomorph workstations range from the Exo-Desk ($795) to the surround-shaped Multi-Desk ($2,195).
Solutions Custom Furnishings specializes in editing bays, workstations and desks. The main surface of its two-tiered Crescent model ranges from 72 inches by 24 inches ($1,909) to 92 inches by 30 inches ($2,099). It also includes a monitor bridge, capable of accommodating three 20-inch monitors. The Arc’s ($2,119) main desktop surface measures 85-inches-wide and also includes a 72-inch monitor bridge. The company also offers the Duo, a single-monitor workstation ($1,879).
The Relica Workstation, from Eco-Furniture.com, is perhaps the most pricey editing furniture solution. Each earth-friendly desk’s construction comes from sustainable sources, which is admirable, but the 60-inch-wide desk, equipped with a three-drawer unit and monitor tier, retails for $6,995. If you have unlimited cash, the Relica Workstation has the unique feature of self illumination; it is inset with recycled circuit boards that are backlit with an energy-efficient light source.
Your editing equipment, depending on the simplicity or complexity of your setup, can reside on anything from a discount store microwave cart, to a giant, fully-loaded, multi-tiered professional workstation. The final choice – how large or expensive your editing workstation should be – is ultimately up to you.