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Building a computer.

Monday, 24 September, 2012

Outright, I am seeking the advice of people who know what the hell they are doing. I have not built or seriously worked on a surviving computer since the last presidential administration.

In short the machine I want to build, and the OS that goes into it, should be intended for two tasks.

1. The presentation and potential recording of live 720p video from a minimum of three [sic] cameras with switcher, and audio from up to four microphones even if I don’t know how that is going to work just yet.

2. The editing and processing of 1080p video.

Even if I don’t just yet know what apps I’m going to use to do any of this.

I also am interested in tips on lighting, specific strategies for sound other than the obvious, and the use of free hosting. For instance, what is an appropriate host for something intended for people over 25. It sure as hell isn’t Stickam or Justin.tv, What about hosting artistic and/or adult content? This occurs to me as one of the dares which has evolved into the musical misfeasance which is presently discussed under the title “Angrystan Live!” involves something explicitly “adult” in nature … if only I can get the right sort of mobile data upload.

Anyway this is what I want to accomplish. Three cams in: something not unlike Logitech C910 or C920, and which is better for this application? As many as four mics in with perhaps a sound board simply using USB with analog on the outside, but I’m open to suggestions.

Lighting and the quality and nature of the room are beyond the scope of today’s posting.

What I understand is that the quality of memory is more important that raw processor speed. This means I’m looking for interleaved memory split into as many banks as may be available. Does this mean I am stuck with Intel? or does AMD offer a chipset of which I am not aware which shall accomplish the task? Do I want an internal RAID?

Do I want to mix the audio while shooting or in post? Most of my experience is analog and you do the mix in post. I suspect digital is different.

Also, the OS. I want as little OS overhead as possible. I also want to be able to use this machine for watching video feeds in my home or elsewhere. I suspect this means a variant of Windows.

Software. This machine shall be called upon to edit, process without taking eons to do so, and process live video with a software switcher. I presume, perhaps in error, that audio will be a minor and independent factor.

Portability may be a factor. I would love a machine that can be moved readily, but do not know how that might fit into the other requirements.

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2 Comments
  1. Monday, 24 September, 2012 9:48

    My rig is AMD. I use the Thuban II chipset & I have 16GB of RAM running on the ASUS crosshair mobo, which I’m sure is already hopelessly out of date. The weak link is my video card. I have only one of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127554 I assume you’ll need at least 2 if you’re going to be doing heavy editing?

    As I just upgraded my camera & now have HD video as an option, I may well need another very soon. I don’t know anything about video.

    Some of my SF tweeps do. They all seem to know Avid, and they were up in arms about the latest version of Final Cut Pro because it was geared toward n00bs.

    I don’t know what I will do about software at this point. I know Photoshop CS6 has video support built in. That may be good enough for my purposes. At some point I may upgrade to the full suite? Definitely not something I want to do this year, so I will just shut up about video.

    A friend of mine just started working with Premiere Elements, and he likes it. He has been using Flash for years, though, so he’s simply at home in Adobe. Not sure if that would be enough for what you have in mind?

    I am going on and on about nothing. Really, I just wanted to say that AMD is an option.

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    • Monday, 24 September, 2012 16:30

      I suspect you know my dirty secret. That I never learned non-linear video editing. All of my little videos were done with iMovie. Of course, that was appropriate for the modest aspirations of those projects. My mind is still analog.

      SSD for the OS and software. Two SATA 6 disks, I’m playing with the idea of four disks in two RAID0 arrays, one to plop the raw video on and the other to process to. Interleaved memory is critical here, using as many banks as possible which at this point seems to be 4X4GB. What I intend to do is heavily processor dependent, so I am less worried about the video card. Nonetheless, I do need to have four 720 video feeds going and some elbow room.

      My study of live internet streaming has lead to a confession among my Austin-based following. A long-time arts participant is wanting to do a streaming talk show with archives posted to Vimeo or Youtube or similar. This has encouraged me to bump up the specification a bit.

      Some of the people I’ve been reading who are doing something not unlike what I’m considering run 2×720 with a low-grade switcher through a laptop without consideration to the hardware with good results. I may be over thinking this if you can imagine.

      As a matter of the performance in front of the camera, I want a “jingle box” type setup and presumably the same box could be used to communicate (voice mail, e-mail, Skype is ready to go) while performing. Although I would like an option to take Skype voice or similar calls “on the air”. That is difficult to work out despite the fact that its not computer-type difficult. I’m thinking of doing audio analog style and feeding it into the CPU just to be more flexible, or since the machine is likely to be powerful enough just run everything on the one box.

      or I don’t know what I’m talking about and will waste a ton of money.

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