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Old 08-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #1
techitone
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Which hardware to choose for Multi Media Production


Hi, this is my first post on LQ so please excuse me if I've posted in the wrong place.

I wish to buy all the hardware components I would need to create a multi media production computer. I think it would probably need to run Ubuntu Studio but if anyone has any advice on this it would be very welcomed. The computer would need to be able to capture/edit video. Capture/Edit Audio. Edit very large Digital Photos. Edit audio, Burn CD's and DVD's etc

The video capture would need to be via firewire for the video camera to capture MiniDV footage and edit it, Use firewire/USB to capture digital stopframe animation from a digital stills camera or video camera, It would also need to be able to connect to the Internet via Wifi. It would also need audio in/out

I can do all of this on a Mac and I'd really like to move over to Linux Hardware and Software.

I don't want the latest top of the range hardware. I want to base the system on less expensive components. I'd really like to make the whole system as cheaply as possible ie for between 100 and 200 !!

Thanks in advance for your responses.
--
 
Old 08-22-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
lazlow
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Quote:
Edit very large Digital Photos.
You are really going to have to define things like this better. For me this would mean 10GB files but for most people it would mean 10MB(?) files.

For handling large media get as many cores in the cpu as possible, basically you are limited by how much you can spend. With ram being as cheap as it is right now, you probably want to look at a minimum of 4GB of ram. Depending on your definition (above) you may want a machine that can handle much more ram (future proof). Firewire is the only thing I saw any your list that will not be on virtually any system (you should always double check).

You will want to use a 64bit version of linux. Handling large files (editing/converting video) is one of the areas that 64bit performance really outshines 32bit. While this requires you to have a 64bit cpu, probably 99% of the PC's being sold today are 64bit.
 
Old 08-23-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
techitone
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Thanks for the reply

I will try and define what I am trying to do.

I would like some advice on which hardware components to buy and where I can buy them from that will work with a Linux distro like 'Ubuntu Studio':-

ie which Processor (Intel or AMD), which motherboard, which Ram, which Hard Drive, Which DVD/CD reader/writer and everything else needed to make the computer system and that will work with Linux

It must have 'Firewire' for video capture.

I am a Digital Media Artist that works with community groups. I have been making Films, Animations, large scale digital 2D prints, websites etc for over 15 years. I have always used a Mac to do this but I would like to create a Linux system that I can use with my groups. Ubuntu Studio looks like the right distro for my needs but I do not know which hardware components are compatible with Linux.

If possible I would like to use less expensive components because the groups I work with can not afford a Mac System!

In short I would like to make an inexpensive Computer System for Multi Media Production that will run Ubuntu Studio and the creative software that is included in this distro:-

See Wiki article about Ubuntu Studio

Any advice is welcomed.

Thank you

--
 
Old 08-23-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
lazlow
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The selection is so wide that it will probably be better for you to find some systems that you think meet your criteria and then ask for our opinions on those specific systems. The majority of hardware out there will work fine, but there is still the odd part that does not get along with linux (thus the check).
 
Old 08-24-2009, 10:01 AM   #5
techitone
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Thanks Lazlow

I don't really know anything about where to buy the right components or which components to buy when I do find where to get them from. I'm stuck.

I've been using Mac's for a long time. From new, you open the box, switch the Mac on, install some software like Final Cut or Photoshop and you make things. It just works and works every time! Using Linux seems so different.

It would be great if you or someone could point me in the direction of a good place to buy components that work well with Linux or which Motherboard and Processor combination would suit my needs.

Thanks, T
--
 
Old 08-24-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
Myiagros
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I myself prefer Intel CPU's. Quad core would probably be the best for multimedia then just get a motherboard that supports the socket type as well as how much memory you want(4GB and up) as well as firewire, quite a few new motherboards all come with firewire built in.
 
Old 08-24-2009, 02:55 PM   #7
lazlow
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You can read the customer reviews on www.newegg.com. They have been around for a long time (20years?) and have a good selection. Even if you do not buy from them, they are an excellent research tool. Since you are in the UK I really cannot point you to a specific vendor.

There are very few vendors that sell linux pre installed. Dell is the only big name that was doing it that I am aware of. However I have not heard much about them doing it in a long time.
 
Old 08-24-2009, 03:11 PM   #8
joeBuffer
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Going by Dell's site, they are selling a couple of laptops that come pre-installed with Ubuntu, but they dropped the rest.
 
Old 08-24-2009, 05:02 PM   #9
techitone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeBuffer View Post
Going by Dell's site, they are selling a couple of laptops that come pre-installed with Ubuntu, but they dropped the rest.
Thanks JoeBuffer

I want to build a Desktop machine but the Dell stuff looks really interesting

T
--
 
Old 08-24-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
techitone
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Registered: Aug 2009
Location: Exeter, Devon, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
You can read the customer reviews on www.newegg.com. They have been around for a long time (20years?) and have a good selection. Even if you do not buy from them, they are an excellent research tool. Since you are in the UK I really cannot point you to a specific vendor.

There are very few vendors that sell linux pre installed. Dell is the only big name that was doing it that I am aware of. However I have not heard much about them doing it in a long time.
Hi lazlow

Thanks for pointing me to Newegg.com their website is a real treasure trove

I would like to install Linux myself. I really want to learn as much as I can about building systems and installing the right components, software, distro etc.....

Thank you again

T
--
 
Old 08-24-2009, 05:16 PM   #11
techitone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myiagros View Post
I myself prefer Intel CPU's. Quad core would probably be the best for multimedia then just get a motherboard that supports the socket type as well as how much memory you want(4GB and up) as well as firewire, quite a few new motherboards all come with firewire built in.
Hi Myiagros

The newer iMac's that I use have the Intel chips and they are very reliable. Can you recommend an Intel CPU that is inexpensive and works well with Linux?

I think AMD CPU's are less expensive than the Intel CPU's. It is really important that I make the Computer System as inexpensive as possible.

Thanks also for suggesting what to look for when choosing a Motherboard. I've been looking at Motherboards on the Newegg.com website as suggested by lazlow (see post) their a lot of choice and some are very cheap indeed!

All the best, T
--
 
Old 08-24-2009, 06:48 PM   #12
Electro
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You will not be able to build a computer for less than $300 to handle multimedia tasks. You need at least $1000 to start out with a computer. Then the price increases to include monitors and video capture equipment. The following is what I suggest even though it is for my home theater computer.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...Number=8984714

I suggest CRT based monitors for image and video editing because they have the best color reproduction than LCD. If you are going to get an LCD, make sure it uses either IPS or PVA technology. LCD based on IPS o and PVA have a wider viewing angle compared to TN based, so you can edit at any angle with out staring straight at the screen like TN based monitors. It is hard to find information about the LCD is using, so you have to do research. IPS based LCD screens are faster than PVA, so I suggest look for those since you are also doing motion picture. The list at the following page should help you choose a good monitor for both graphic and video editing.

http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php

A single hard drive does not have a high enough sustain throughput for video, so I suggest use RAID-0 or even better RAID-10. To simplify setting RAID and still provide some status if a hard drive fails or providing a status of activity, I suggest a hardware port multiplier from Addonics. The hard drives that I suggest are Western Digital VelicoRaptor because of their low latency and high throughput. A cheaper alternative is Western Digital Blue or SE16.

A video capture device that I suggest is Canopus ADVC110. You can use either dvgrab or kino to capture the video. For recording from component video, you can use either Canopus HDSTORM Plus or KWorld PVRTV-PE360-A, but question the support because it hard to find out what chips it uses to get an idea what module or driver to use.

I do not recommend WiFi for the Internet because of reliability, stability, security issues. Instead use wired network for the most reliable, stable, and secure setup. A consumer grade router (Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, etc) between the Internet and your computer is all you need to feel some what secure.

Linux is OK for most uses, but it does take time to learn. One of the problems you will face using Linux for multimedia publishing is managing its color reproduction. The gamma is set at 1 which makes it harder to calibrate. Linux is not designed for real-time use because how it is written. Even with patches, it is has a problem with real-time data. I suggest that you reconsider by sticking with a MAC because it is designed for real-time use and it is designed for desktop/notebook use. Also another reason why to stick with MAC systems because all these problems have already been thought by Apple and MAC OS X is designed for what you are doing. You can still use Linux programs. Also MAC OS X contains UNIX like commands, so the difference is not far.
 
Old 08-24-2009, 08:22 PM   #13
joeBuffer
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Quote:
I want to build a Desktop machine but the Dell stuff looks really interesting
Not long ago, they still had three laptops and one desktop (Inspiron 530n) that came pre-installed with Ubuntu, but now (on dell.com), they only have two laptops.
I read somewhere that they were still planning on selling Linux computers (and possibly still selling Linux desktops, also), but I don't know if that's true. I don't know what they're doing.
 
Old 08-25-2009, 10:36 AM   #14
techitone
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Registered: Aug 2009
Location: Exeter, Devon, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
You will not be able to build a computer for less than $300 to handle multimedia tasks. You need at least $1000 to start out with a computer. Then the price increases to include monitors and video capture equipment. The following is what I suggest even though it is for my home theater computer.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/Pu...Number=8984714

I suggest CRT based monitors for image and video editing because they have the best color reproduction than LCD. If you are going to get an LCD, make sure it uses either IPS or PVA technology. LCD based on IPS o and PVA have a wider viewing angle compared to TN based, so you can edit at any angle with out staring straight at the screen like TN based monitors. It is hard to find information about the LCD is using, so you have to do research. IPS based LCD screens are faster than PVA, so I suggest look for those since you are also doing motion picture. The list at the following page should help you choose a good monitor for both graphic and video editing.

http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php

A single hard drive does not have a high enough sustain throughput for video, so I suggest use RAID-0 or even better RAID-10. To simplify setting RAID and still provide some status if a hard drive fails or providing a status of activity, I suggest a hardware port multiplier from Addonics. The hard drives that I suggest are Western Digital VelicoRaptor because of their low latency and high throughput. A cheaper alternative is Western Digital Blue or SE16.

A video capture device that I suggest is Canopus ADVC110. You can use either dvgrab or kino to capture the video. For recording from component video, you can use either Canopus HDSTORM Plus or KWorld PVRTV-PE360-A, but question the support because it hard to find out what chips it uses to get an idea what module or driver to use.

I do not recommend WiFi for the Internet because of reliability, stability, security issues. Instead use wired network for the most reliable, stable, and secure setup. A consumer grade router (Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, etc) between the Internet and your computer is all you need to feel some what secure.

Linux is OK for most uses, but it does take time to learn. One of the problems you will face using Linux for multimedia publishing is managing its color reproduction. The gamma is set at 1 which makes it harder to calibrate. Linux is not designed for real-time use because how it is written. Even with patches, it is has a problem with real-time data. I suggest that you reconsider by sticking with a MAC because it is designed for real-time use and it is designed for desktop/notebook use. Also another reason why to stick with MAC systems because all these problems have already been thought by Apple and MAC OS X is designed for what you are doing. You can still use Linux programs. Also MAC OS X contains UNIX like commands, so the difference is not far.
Hi Electro

Thank you very much for sharing your very comprehensive knowledge

One of the reasons for putting together this system is so that I can work with any one of my many community groups, teach them how to make film, animation etc and then leave them with 'the Linux system' so they can continue to create things after I've finished working with them. Most, if not all, of the groups I work with have very little funding. In the UK Apple Mac's are still too expensive. The cheapest iMac is over 900 (over $1400) I really want to make a Linux based Computer System that does what a Mac does but costs a fraction of the price. I have seen films on Youtube created on Linux Systems using Kino and Cinelerra. I only work in MiniDv and 3GP so I can capture using Firewire and transfer the 3GP footage via USB. I don't need a capture card and I export straight to the Internet or to DVD. I'm looking to build a low tech system, it doesn't have to be a screamer

I agree with you that Wifi is not ideal and being wired to the router is much better for many reasons.

Thanks for the web links. The "Green Penguin Home Theater Center II" specs and the LCD monitors are very impressive and unfortunately a little out of my league.

I've used and still use Western Digital drives. I use LaCie external drive to.

I didn't realise that Linux is not designed for 'Real-Time' use. This is a real problem. I don't want to give up the idea of putting together a Linux System for Video Editing, Stop Frame Animation, Image Manipulation etc.....

Thanks again for you advice.

T
--
 
Old 08-25-2009, 10:51 AM   #15
Myiagros
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techitone View Post
Hi Myiagros

The newer iMac's that I use have the Intel chips and they are very reliable. Can you recommend an Intel CPU that is inexpensive and works well with Linux?

I think AMD CPU's are less expensive than the Intel CPU's. It is really important that I make the Computer System as inexpensive as possible.

Thanks also for suggesting what to look for when choosing a Motherboard. I've been looking at Motherboards on the Newegg.com website as suggested by lazlow (see post) their a lot of choice and some are very cheap indeed!

All the best, T
--
The Intel Core 2 Quads range from $150-$300+ on newegg depending on speed so it really comes down to how much you are willing to spend. The are all socket 775 and use DDR2 memory.
I haven't really kept up with AMD since I switched to Core 2 Duo last year but I believe that the Phenom II X4 is the best bet, ranging from $140 to $250 and using the AM3 socket with DDR2 memory as well.

The main thing to keep an eye on when choosing is the cache size, the larger it is the better it will keep up with processes. For the motherboard a higher FSB will be quicker and a higher memory standard allows you to use faster RAM.
 
  


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