Best hardware for capturing and editing videos

Posted on 2004-11-09
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I'm talking about motherboard, processor and things like it that you may recommend to me for editing and capturing videos from a camcorder, a vcr and give them a dvd format, and even a software program for doing so.

Ok what i want to do is have the hardware on my PC to do it. You know like get videos for example of a wedding and give a nice format to dvd, placing some titles.

I hope you understand what i mean.

Thank you for any advices.
Question by:sisiliano
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    I'd recommend reading the reviews on software and hardware at (I love the site)
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    To capture video, you will need a hardware device to grab the video as it plays.
    You can do this with a dv camcorder, plugging in the video and audio connections
    from your source (vhs deck or analog camcorder) and the dv camcorder will convert
    it to digital and send it out via Firewire.  You will also need a Firewire input
    on your pc, which can be added easily with a PCI USB2.0/Firewire card  if you don't already have it.  A substitute
    for a dv camcorder would be a analog-to-digital device like a Canopus ADVC-100 or
    Dazzle.  The other hardware you can use to capture is a PCI video capture card, which
    typically has a tv tuner on it.  If you want to use your pc like a digital vcr,
    this would be the way because these cards usually come with software to schedule
    capture times and channels (at least the Hauppauge PVR-250 does).

    Once you've got the hardware, you need a capture program.  An easy to use one is
    Pinnacle Studio 8, which will let you capture and edit, create titles, and compress
    to mpeg2.  Current hardware is not powerful enough to capture and compress on-the-fly
    with a software compressor, but if you have a hardware compressor (like the PVR-250),
    you can do it.  After compressing to mpeg1 for vcds, mpeg2 for svcds, mpeg2 for dvds,
    or mpeg4 for DivX or Xvid, you can create an image to burn.  Use the burner that came
    with your CD writer or DVD writer to burn to disc.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    That is kind of a loaded question as there are so many variables.  Are you looking to build a new system on your own?  Will you be purchasing one?  Are you going Intel or AMD for the CPU?  These are a few of the things that can really make a difference in answering the question.  Having said that, I'll make some general recommendations as someone who does a LOT of video editing/encoding.

    I found (to my surprise) that hard drive speed is the most important hardware aspect.  I was honestly expecting it to be video card for obvious reasons.  The second most important factor was the RAM.  Mostly the amount of RAM, but I'm sure the speed helps as well.  The third most important factor was CPU speed.

    I was not happy with the performance of the system in video editing until I got two SATA drives in a raid 0 configuration on my system.  This gave me much needed storage space (video really eats it up quick), and gave me the speed I needed for easy editing.  I got two 120gb Seagate SATA hard drives and put them on my nforce2 chipset motherboard.  Raid chips are standard on these motherboards.

    You need a minimum of 512mb of RAM and really want 1024mb or more for video.  Most likely 1024mb will be the optimum you could reasonably afford.  It really gets expensive after that.  In any case, on the nforce2 motherboards, you can get dual inline memory going.  That means that I bought two 512mb RAM chips, put them in special slots, and they run basicly twice as fast.  I went for PC3200.

    For the CPU I used an AMD Athlon 3000 with a 400MHz FSB.  As long as the FSB on the CPU matches that of the RAM, then you're fine.  If you're on a budget, an Athlon Mobile chip runs very cool and is very easily over-clockable.

    For video card, I recommend something like a GeForce 4 5700LE if you can afford it.  If everything else is together however, you can easily get away with a 5200.  As I said earlier, the video card didn't end up being nearly as important as I thought it would.  If you have the choice, more onboard video memory is preferred.

    In general, SATA hard drive(s), as much RAM as you can afford, and a fairly fast CPU will make your video editing experience much easier.  I hope this helps.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks to everyone for your comments.

    I would like to get some more advices like Garak's.

    And yes i'm looking to build a system on my own and i'm going for intel's CPU. So i want to build  something that works fast so i may get the most out of it. As for software are there any other advices?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Well, I'm not going to make a (huge) fuss over it, but has links, recommendations, how-tos for just about everything video related on a computer.  

    would appreciate a second EE Admin related opinion, but whatever happens happens (I'm not suggesting I should be solely awarded the points, but at least a few through a split...)

    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    The Rasberry PI is a low cost piece of hardware that you can have a lot of fun with through experimenting and building/working on projects like media players, running a low cost computer, build data loggers etc. - see:
    What do we know about Legacy Video Conferencing? - Full IT support needed! - Complicated systems at outrageous prices! - Intense training required! Highfive believes we need to embrace a new alternative.
    Need more eyes on your posted question? Go ahead and follow the quick steps in this video to learn how to Request Attention to your question. *Log into your Experts Exchange account *Find the question you want to Request Attention for *Go to the e…
    In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor ( If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

    758 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    10 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now