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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love Macs they work they are minimum upkeep and I’m really comfortable working with them.

No this is not a platform war thread but just some random thoughts on the future of the video editing business.

With the recent announcement of Apple’s G5 and it’s all new architecture. I’m wondering if the choices for a Mac user (maybe even Windows users) are going to be getting less.

It seems highly unlikely that Media 100 or any other hardware based solution will redesign it’s boards to meet Apples new offerings. Mr. Jobs seems to be pushing us all to adopt FCP or leave the platform. On the other side of the world is the new Premiere which is starting to sound remarkably like FCP and is only Windows based .

With these two excellent software based solutions, is the end in sight for all hardware NLEs?

I like the Mac platform and would choose Premiere over FCP any day of the week mainly due to my preference for the Adobe interface. But like all of us changing platforms is a daunting proposition.

What about Avid?? Will they hang in there and offer cost effective solutions ? I doubt it they, like Media 100, they seem to have their corporate calendars stuck back in the 80’s .

So I find myself looking not to far down the road having to make a choice that I don’t want to make……. and with less options than 2 years ago.

I was under the impression that with the rise of technology that our choices would increase when in actual fact it seems to be the inverse.

What am I missing ?
 

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Every time Apple has a big unveiling, there are always a few people who scratch their heads and say, "I don't get it." Yet the company doesn't crash, the expressed worries fail to pan out -- in this case, I feel sure the G5 will work marvelously as a video editing system, and hardware makers will adjust to the new reality if they want to stay in business.

So yes, you're missing something. It's called time. It moves forward. Things change. I for one am not worried. And I wish I could order a G5!
 

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I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to convey...

You need to remember is that although technology advances, while one facet speeds up, another grows beyond it's current "ablilities". Desktop video is getting faster/cheaper/etc., but industry is now now moving to high(er)-definition video which requires more than just a fast computer.

Already there are prosumer level HD camcorders being produced that are affordable. Do you think Final Cut or Premiere is currently ready to handle High-Def? Nope.

This can be said for just about every area of media -- imaging, audio, video, 3d, motion graphics, etc. It's a trickle effect... the technology that is available to masses today, were not readily available 10 years ago. CD-Rs are a prime example. They're everywhere now, but a mere sever years ago it cost approximately $6 to buy a blank CD-R and CD-R drives we're just dropping below $1,000.

Let's put it this way... Avid and Media 100 will not stay still and keep pushing the same old stuff. They're going to advance their technology and capabilities beyond their current wares like everyone else... or they'll die off.

Premiere, on the other hand, is not the better NLE over FCP. It's buggy, problematic and hasn't grown much in the six years I've used it. In fact, compared to the amount of features introduced to After Effects, it's been relatively stale.

To me, ever since Apple went the way of OS X, it seems to me that media applications have been multiplying exponentially. OS X is still relatively new... who knows what next year will bring?

Anyway, that's my two pennies.
 

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Already there are prosumer level HD camcorders being produced that are affordable. Do you think Final Cut or Premiere is currently ready
to handle High-Def? Nope.
Huh? What do you mean FCP can't handle HD?

http://www.apple.com/ca/finalcutpro/hd.html

And if it doesnt support it, somebody better tell the guys that did Dinosaurs (and in FCP 2 no less)

http://www.apple.com/hotnews/articles/2001/07/dinosaur/dinosaur.html

Of course you wont be able to do uncompressed HD without an extra card and a crapload of HD space, but it handles HD just fine (Providing you have a system that can handle it).
 

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I knew that was going to come back and bite me in the ass when I wrote it. :confused:

I should been more specific in that it can't deal with HD video uncompressed, with realtime effects, etc. without 3rd party hardware support. Depending also what you have for a Mac. Although I'm sure the G5 will help in this area.

There was a "shootout" article in DV magazine about 2-3 months ago in which they unfortunately had to exclude it due to these current limitations since the software/hardware needed to be in the same general capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To set the record straight the G5 is a great machine in a years time for a specific high end market. It’s been built to support professional progs like FCP, AE and Shake. The average user is not going to benefit that much. Everything is new…. hard drives, memory, PCI cards. This will be like the switch from NuBus to PCI.

The fact still remains it’s all new architecture which means the hardware based manufacturers need to spend mega amounts of money on making a compatible unit. FYI a Media 100 is based on a Motorola 6800 chip, this means a big jump costing millions to the latest state of the art architecture. PLUS they would have to rewrite the software to take advantage of the 64 bit processor. They are not going to do this in a market where there are software based progs @ $1500.00.

Media 100’s new product the 844x is expensive and only runs on ultra fast Window’s boxes

Avid made the NLE work, changed the way we do our craft, but they lost their way. Was it greed or foolishness? They are trying to come back, new products, more realistic prices, but it could very well be too late. If they had acted sooner, FCP would never have gained a foothold. Their story is a classic business school case.

Don’t bet on hardware NLE‚s. They are doomed. Only a handful will exist at the ultra high end. The big question; can Discreet Smoke etc prosper on low-volume, high-profit sales? What platform will they try to ride as the desktop accelerates to super-computer speeds? What about poor Quantel? Priced their latest offerings?

Don’t bet on smaller software companies; who can tilt with the Apple juggernaut? FCP has already conquered the world; too many seats now and an army of kids ready to ride the wave in the next generation. Market share, penetration is the key. What happens if Apple decides to give away a FCP-light? Every school child will know and use the program.


Adobe has stepped into the fray with a new Premiere which challenges FCP in features and real time however it only runs on Windows.

So with the upcoming demise of hardware based products it seems that FCP on Mac and Premiere on Windows will be the cost effective expanding solutions.

I don’t see speeding technology offering me more but as I stated much less.

HDTV???? Well it will come but that’s in the future in terms of clients actually requesting it and me making money off it.
 

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Well of course not, I do not know of ANY software availible that can handle HD in realtime with effects, you need to have some sort of hardware to do that.
 

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Hardware NLEs are still where they started... in the pro industry. Actually... even that has trickled into the prosumer level as well thanks to Pinacle Systems, Matrox, et al.

I am confused with the point of your post is, though (okay, so I'm not swift
)... you like the fact that the G5 is fast... but dislike the idea of having to upgrade hardware (or software) because of the new architecture.

Do you prefer to stay in one level of technology, or do you want to progress to the next level? The software companies cannot proceed with new 64 bit applications before the OS is available. Kind of putting the cart before the horse, you know?


Apple, much to their credit, has always pushed for software solutions rather than rely on hardware... however, there are limitations to what software can pull off (being the computer as we had addressed previously).

That being said... with the demands of the OS and software. It's pretty hard for an application to "do it all" and remove the necessity of 3rd party hardware completely out of the picture.

Sure, if you're doing simple editing without much effects or special titling and such, then you'd pretty much never need extra hardware. But nothing beats being able to colour correct, adjust, comp, edit, apply various filters and effects and title your project on the fly. You simply cannot do that without the extra hardware -- not matter how fast your computer is. A fast Mac will only shorten the rendering time... not eliminate it.

Good discussion I must say! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Manny I like advancing technology. However my point being that for a pro studio like us the cost is going to be high to go to G5. Serial based drives new PCI raid cards etc. The time saving on rendering ( After Effects etc.) will be impressive but it puts people such as myself at a crossroads, which requires our business to review all of the options. From where I sit those options especially on a Mac are limited. Which grieves me

Upgrading hardware based video NLE’s will be prohibitively expensive for the manufacturer, so we loose that option of even sticking to the same platform.

Switching to say Smoke Discreet on a Windows box will cost upwards of 150,00 USD.

The bottom line is that the choices are a lot less for the Mac user, if you take out the two major players (Avid and Media 100) the choices become few and far between. What's the use of an amazing new technology if my solution of choice does not work on it. I choose to stay with Media 100 because it has superior quality with less maintenance that the other NLE’s . FCP is not there yet, sure it has more whistles and bells but lack of good real-time and the associated rendering is a killer.

Jobs wants us all on FCP exactly like Microsoft got everyone on Office. Eventually FCP will be the only choice on a Mac which really means more technology but less choice.
Let’s also not forget that the G5 is still unproven in the field and probably needs a couple of models to settle down.
 

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Okay, gotcha.


The flip side to the entrance of the G5 is a very nice scenario: The dual G4s have dropped prices and have become very affordable -- so much so, that you could buy 2 top of the line G4s for the price of 1 (when they were first introduced). I'm sure that and current NLE options could withstand another 2-5 years or usages until then you can wait to see where the market is at in that point of time.

You could look at the print industry and see lots of G3s doing plenty of production work on Quark 3.0 or Photoshop 3 for that matter. Okay, sure, it's not exactly as processor intensive as a compositing serveral layers of video in AfterEffects, however they typically deal with high-res images... they seem to refuse to jump ship whenever something new comes along (InDesign being an exception to the rule ;) ).

Apple's drive to push FinalCut pro may not completely dominate the market. People have their preferences and as long as they (you) make your choice... I don't see Avid or anyone leaving the Mac.

You're right though... it is a difficult time to make costly decisions.

[ July 11, 2003, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: mannyp ]
 

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Just a quick note re something Stinand said:

This will be like the switch from NuBus to PCI

The 133Mhz PCI-X Slots in the PowerMac G5 will also work with existing 33Mhz and 66Mhz PCI cards, so any cards you have already (like a Media100 for example) will work in the new G5 machines.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From my conversations with various techs the Media 100 P6000 card will not work in the new PCI-X slots. The PCI-X slots support 3.3 Volt signaling. The Media 100 P6000 card, which sits in a PCI slot, relies on 5V signaling.

It should be pointed out that the M9020LL/A model of the PowerPC G5 (1.6ghz model) has 3 open full-length 33MHz, 64-bit PCI slots which support 5V signaling.

So on one hand you are right, however there is no real speed increase worth talking about against the current top of the line G4's in that scenario . Without a 64 bit program with the Altivec enhanced core you are still moving along at 32 bits anyway.


The 1.8GHz and dual 2GHz have133Mhz or 100Mhz PCI-X slots. with 3.3 voltage. I think you may find that many cards are at 5volt signaling and will be incompatible with two of the G5 models.

Apple is hardly going to come out and advertise the incompatibilities of it’s latest products is it ?

If you've got some other info on this subject I'd reaaly be very interested.
 

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There are numerous performance enhancements that will come with the G5 besides the fact that it is 64 bit, in fact for all intensive purposes, the fact that it is 64 bit does precisely jack for most people[1].

The big improvements most people should focus on are things like the faster, true DDR system bus, the huge number of instructions the G5 can have in flight at once (250 vs the G4s 16 or the P4s 126[2]), and the oodles and oodles of RAM it supports. Even Panther is not a 64 bit OS, it is just a hybrid.

As to the Media 100 cards (and others like them), if they wont work in a 3.3v PCI-X Slot, you can custom order any of the PowerMac G5s to come with PCI instead of PCI-X.

[1] most people being average users and anyone who doesn't do anything to intense.

[2] this may have increased recently, but the only info I can find is a few months old. AFAIK it would be the same regardless of the recent changes to the P4.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interesting discussion but my point was not about the pros and cons of G5’s . The discussion of Media 100’s board adaptability is more that just the PCI bus, it’s also about the way the chipset on the board deals with throughput from the bus and the way the software splits it’s tasks between the board and the computers processors.

The point being was that video suppliers are dumping or being forced out of the Mac platform.

Media 100 has switched it’s new products to Windows, Adobe’s DVD prog and the new Premiere are Windows based. Avid’s support for Mac is skinny at best . Smoke ( whose future is questionable) also is Windows based .

What choices are left for the professional video market on a Mac? C’mon Posterboy give me some alternatives!!!!!

I love Mac and I make money out of Media 100 and are loath to see that avenue closed to me. Three years ago I had choices on a Mac….. now my only choice (FCP) which is not up to the standard of the editing solutions three years ago.


Just wait till the consumer figures out that the G5’s are not faster for the day to day tasks that the average user needs and G4’s probably will be discontinued. It seems to me that everyone’s choices are getting thinner.
 

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As far as Adobe's Encore goes... I don't think the product can compare against DVD Studio Pro -- feature to feature and price either.

However, if you are truly wanting Encore for the Mac, then e-mail Adobe about your interest in the software. The only way they'll know people care is if you tell them.

This goes for Premiere as well. A company's decision to remove support for a particular platform can be swayed, if you let your voice be heard. Start an e-mail petition.

Otherwise, being concerned about software options is moot if you have no intention of actually buying said software.

And... Final Cut Pro is not the only choice for NLE (non-hardware) applications. Avid has several options (including a FREE DV version. Media100 has been working dilligently to rework their software from the ground up to better exploit Mac OS X. Neither are going anywhere anytime soon.

Premiere might be discontinued right now... but it'll work for you for quite some time. Adobe has been known to retreat certain software packages, regroup, and release a new, bigger and better version. InDesign being one that has overtaken Quark.

Having said that, blaming Apple for pushing the competition away is kind of short-sighted. Adobe had a chance to get Final Cut Pro from Macromedia before Apple... and they passed. ;) Oops

Anyway, you gotta relax. The paint has yet to dry on the new technology and already you're panicking.
 

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stinand said:
Just wait till the consumer figures out that the G5’s are not faster for the day to day tasks that the average user needs and G4’s probably will be discontinued. It seems to me that everyone’s choices are getting thinner.


I don't think the G4 will be discontinued any time soon, in fact I don't think that the G3 wil even be discontinued any time soon[1], especially if you consider that unless Moto gets their shiznit together the G3 is going to overtake the G4 in terms of mhz and features[2].

Also, the G5 is too hot to put into a small enclosure at the moment, so the G4 will be sticking around to fill out the PowerBook/iMac/eMac market for a while.

I'd continue on about the choices of video editing stuff available for the Mac, but I think Manny did a fine job already.

[1] If it is it will be for marketing reasons.
[2] The G3's roadmap takes it all the way to 2Ghz +, and includes Altivec (in not the next rev, but the one after), a DDR bus, a smaller process (it's been at .13micon for a while and I believe it is slated to go smaller, and a larger l2 cache (1MB as of the next rev). The G4 roadmap on the other hand has it only just going to .13micron, and only just (finally) getting a 512k l2 cache, but still not going any faster than it already is.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well guys with Apple’s recent Premiere to FCP trade in and the announcement of Soundtrack. I think that everyone can see that Apple intends to discourage any other competing NLE’s on the platform. Are they taking a page out of Microsoft‘s book?

BTW Posterboy that was an interesting post about processors however all worthwhile hardware based NLE‘s run on a minimum of a G4. G3 is not an issue in our world. Nobody at this time is approving the G5 for high end video.
 

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Apple's not discouraging the competition... the competition can do whatever it wants — release a superior product and people will buy it. Adobe saw it fit to remove Premiere... that's their doing. It has nothing to do with Apple, regardless of what anyone says.

Ever wonder why Adobe hasn't removed GoLive or LimeMotion for their product line? There are TONS of various HTML/Flash development tools out there for the Win platform — I don't see Adobe packing their bags and calling it a day. Can you say oversaturated market?

Like I said earlier... Apple saved FCP from the trash can. Adobe wanted nothing to do with it. Their loss. Boo hoo. Move on. Quit blaming Apple for others lack of incentive or vision.

Apple's just another company looking to make a profit and making sure that it's going to survive. If Apple hadn't jumped into the software market then chances are we wouldn't be using Macs right now.

I don't see the big deal anyway, Premiere sucked as an NLE.

And where do you get your facts about the G5 being not approved for video? Says who? There are a lot of DV resellers like ProMax that are ready to start offering DV/HDTV editing suites equipped with a G5. There has been a lot of positive feedback among video producers about the G5 as well.
 

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Stinand,

Adobe Premiere is just starting to add things that Final Cut Pro 3.0 has had for quite some time. I applaud Adobe for making the move as they would have lost lots of $$ developing Premiere for the Mac any further.

Soundtrack has been tied with Final Cut Pro 4.0? It is now only being available as a stand alone. So Apple isn't doing anything wrong or differently.

As for Apple not allowing for competition on their platform? That's a bunch of crap. Why should Apple sit on their butts, perhaps wait several years for some company to FINALLY offer what Final Cut Pro has to offer? Where was Adobe Premiere over the years on the Mac platform? FALLING way behind the competition from Apple. Think about it, if Apple has a great idea and NO other competitor is making any move or developing that same idea, why shouldn't Apple go ahead? In fact why shouldn't anyone in any company think like that? That's how things are out in the world. You either are first and ahead or last and behind like Adobe and Premiere.

Although there is one company that hasn't shaken the industry with competition and that is Quark. Adobe thought it could shake things up, but man they haven't even made a dent into Quark users in my opinion. Quark users SWEAR on QuarkXpress (any version) like it is the bible of all gods. No competitor out there can change that level of thinking NEVER EVER!!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay one at a time. I’m willing to get into a discussion about the subject all I ask is that people read before they react.

Many, I said “Apple intends to discourage any other competing NLE’s on the platform” I didn’t say about competition generally or any other market segment such as HTML/Flash.

Unlike yourself my business relies on video editing so I get my answers straight from the horses mouth. At Media 100 I spoke to the VP of tech development and at Avid the customer advocate. It seems that Apple does not ship the computers to developers such as Avid and Media 100 until 1 month before they are put in the stores. Another fine example of Apples uncooperative actions is when they moved to OSX they where very slow and uncooperative with Medea (who make raids). Believe me I had 100 gigs of their product sitting here doing nothing because Medea could not get the info from Apple to write new drivers. The same applied to Adaptec and some of their raid cards. This by the way was shortly before Apple announced there Raid system.

Promax is not servicing the market I’m in they are lower end and tend to sell mainly software based systems. My market needs true real time which Fcp product does not support at this time without major hardware needing 130mb/sec throughput and bucks that put them in the Trinity, Avid, 844x,Smoke price bracket .

I’m very excited about the G5 and the possibilities of the extra speed. We just rendered 21 16x9 video clips out of After Effects and it took 23 minutes a piece. Time is literally money to me so the potential increase in speed and $$$ in my pocket is amazing.

Urban Legend I never gave an opinion about whether in my humble opinion Apple was wrong or right to take their present stance. They did a wonderful job with FCP and eventually I may even switch to it. They kicked Premiere’s butt on the Mac side but should have ported it to Windows and done the same their. As for Apple developing new ideas I think things like the IPod etc. are brilliant and is definitely a path that should be followed but make the stuff cross platform when you introduce it .

However being a software and a hardware company at the same time is tricky balancing act and I hope Jobs can pull it off. But remember, much as I hate to say it we are only 5% of the market and need Microsoft, Adobe and Quark to talk to the “rest of the world”. We do a lot of serious screen presentations for events and everybody wants it in PowerPoint now matter how much we point out the obvious advantages of keynote.

As for Quark I think that may be a religion not a product:)

I think that Mac is a wonderful platform and I don’t want to switch but I also don’t think that Apple (or any manufacturer) is perfect. Lets try looking at both sides of the story guys
 
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