View Full Version : Ready to Join the Pack Again

02-20-2004, 01:02 PM

after giving up on my Toaster system last year,
I'm finally prepared to give her another go.

Anyone want to recommend a good solid mobo
for it?

I'm planning on capturing and editing only...
no live switching, so I'm only planning on a Pentium 3GHz
with tons of RAM and Harddrive space...

A recommendation on a reasonable graphics card
wouldn't hurt...

Other than that...nothing else is going in. I don't want
any of the problems that I had last round.

(And I will be upgrading to T3 once this thing is built,
although I've had problems in the past...I love Newtek.
So I'm in for round 2.)

Any help would be appreciated.

02-20-2004, 01:31 PM
I have built a number of VT3 systems with the SuperMicro X5DA8 (SCSI) or X5DAL-TG2 (SATA). They are dual processor MBs and I put 2 -3 GHZ Xeons in them. If you have been frustrated before, look at these and go with SCSI (X5DA8) and I believe that much of your frustrations will go away. When I first used mine (upgraded from a P4 1.7) VT was like a completely different package and every day that I use it I just can't believe I'm getting paid to have this much fun.

1- X5DA8 MB
2 - 3GHZ Xeons
2 - 1Gig memory
1- 128 NVIDA dual head video card
4 - 120 gig IBM drives*
1 - Escolade IDE controler*

* I moved these from the old system and will upgrade to SCSI when the need arises which is why I went with the X5DA8 board.


Jim Capillo
02-20-2004, 01:41 PM
My only amendment to Ivan's suggestion is to go with 2 gig of RAM.

He pretty much listed my machine......


02-20-2004, 02:02 PM
Anything with Pentium 3GHz instead?

Trying to keep enough money for food and shelter...
thanks though.

02-20-2004, 02:20 PM
I just upgrade mobo from 1.8 to a 2.8 P4
and it is much more fun now.
All I do is the same as you want to do

Tape it, set up in VT, play out to tape or DVD, get paid.
No live stuff.

I have the Asus P4S533 Mobo (there are newer ones now)
2.8 P4
4-80 gig Maxtor drives for video
1 40 gig Maxtor drive for Audio
1 40 Gig Maxtor for system drive
A Maxtor controller card

Getting 75 MB/S with the Newtek tester (but will go to SATA soon)
to boost that up.

Been running since a year and a half ago without problems. (well cept for the CG crawl speed)
Running the VT2 still. (had a choice to get LW 8 or VT3)

But quite happy with VT2 still so got LW8.

Anyway, that's what I am running.

02-20-2004, 02:42 PM
The best reason for going Xeon is the 64 bit PCI slot. I would suggest going with a single Xeon processor in a dual board to save some money, this way when you want to upgrade it is just the cost of a processor and you have a machine that is almost twice as fast. You can get by with one gig of memory but as Jim said 2 is better and memory is pretty cheap.


02-20-2004, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by Ivan
The best reason for going Xeon is the 64 bit PCI slot. I would suggest going with a single Xeon processor in a dual board to save some money,


Only problem with this approach is that the new CPU would have to be the same series as the old one, not just the same speed.

We ran into a problem when we tried to update a client from a single Xeon to dual, and since the CPU's had the same part number from distribution, all should have been good. But the 6 month span of time in between the build and the upgrade meant that the two chips WITH IDENTICAL PART NUMBERS were incompatable. Intel and distribution would not help, since a chip's build series is not tracked by the distribution/sales chain.

Theoretically, you could try and locate another proc of the same run, but why hassle it?

And for what it's worth, go SCSI. It works.

02-23-2004, 07:35 AM
and thanks...

But due to budget constraints,
I've gone with an ABIT EC-7 mobo.
1 gig RAM and will be using an Escalade Raid Card.

Cross your fingers for me and please oh please,
give a shout if you know of any stumbling blocks with
this mobo.

Thanks again.

Newtekie's ROCK!

02-23-2004, 10:47 AM
Welcome Back Ed. Since I rarely see you around town, are you going to NAB?

02-23-2004, 02:29 PM
Who's Ed?

02-23-2004, 03:59 PM
I thought you were Ed Cutler from Digital Attic. No?
Sorry. Where are you located?

02-24-2004, 06:44 AM
I'm located just outside of Modesto, CA.

See my site for more info at:
Sights Unsee (http://www.sightsunseencentral.com)

I had a feeling it was just a case of mistaken identity. LOL

Jim Capillo
02-24-2004, 12:55 PM
The pic of the guy with the knife on the bottom of the page looks like Ted after a long night of editing on his "other" system..... :D ;) :p

Don't worry Ted - all will be better with the release of VT[4] ! :) :cool:

02-24-2004, 02:42 PM
Jim, were you peaking in my window again?;)
Actually, I'm mostly only using my "other" system now days as a router to bring everything into the VT through the SDI input.
I sure miss the other systems CG though. That's still years ahead of the VT CG.:(

By the way Jim, are you going to NAB? After all these years together, it's about time we had a chance to meet in person.

02-28-2004, 08:41 AM

This thing is finally working and at smokin' speed!

Love the Toaster!

so what am I doing wrong that I'm not recording sound
loud enough to hear?

Jim Capillo
02-28-2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by ted

I sure miss the other systems CG though. That's still years ahead of the VT CG.:(

By the way Jim, are you going to NAB? After all these years together, it's about time we had a chance to meet in person.

I agree with you on that Ted ! I loved that CG !!! Believe it or not, I've moved to Photoshop to do most of my static CG/Graphics work - I've gotten good enough on it that I can pretty much do anything I need to.

I'm still hoping for that 'complete rework' of the VT CG. It is, without a doubt, the weakest link in the VT suite. I haven't used it in months.

NAB ? I wish..... I've got too much going on here. But don't worry, we'll get that (those?) beer(s) together someday...... as long as you don't hit me over the head with that big old blue/orange box..... :D :p

03-01-2004, 07:56 AM
Agreed that the CG needs work...

but there's nothing in there that I haven't been able to pull off with Aura or DFX, in fact, I prefer to use either one of those two excellent programs for the CG and more.

Jim Capillo
03-01-2004, 08:58 AM
I'll be honest, I haven't used Aura (or Mirage) that much, I just haven't had the time to go in and experiment (without distraction).

Maybe I spend too much time here..... ;) :D :p

03-01-2004, 11:47 AM
We also use PS for most GFX.
We're also waiting for a CG re-work.

But for now, we're loving everything else about VT and understand the CG is working for some people. No single product is capable of doing every production task.

Come on Jim, get NAB on your schedule for next year. I might even see if Stu and Joe/joe can come! ;)
Actually Stu and I e-mail each other about once a year. I'm overdue, so I guess I gotta dig up his e-mail.

Jim Capillo
03-01-2004, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by ted
Come on Jim, get NAB on your schedule for next year. I might even see if Stu and Joe/joe can come! ;)

Now THAT would be too much for the old ticker......

I haven't heard from Stu in a while, either. Joe/joe did drop me an email about 6 months ago.

He must miss all the action ! :p

03-01-2004, 01:24 PM
Hi Ted and Jim, (Jim, we actually met once a few years back when both of us were using other things, remember?)

I was interested in your post guys about using "the other system" for CG work and importing into the VT3. I love my VT3 very much, but can't stand the CG. It is definitely the system's weakest link. Since I do not have SDI..only component, is there any way I can import, key or whatever, CG pages or sequences from "elsewhere" into the VT3 as opposed to using the VT3 CG?

I'm hoping that VT4 will address many of our concerns about the CG. By the way, when can we expect this upgrade anyway?

Thanks so much,
David Medzorian

03-01-2004, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by ted

I sure miss the other systems CG though. That's still years ahead of the VT CG.:(

Not to invite a lot of gunplay here, but what is so bad about the CG? It did have a major re-write from 2 to 3, and I think it improved dramatically.

What is it about the "other system's" cg that is so dramatically better than the VT3's? I'm sure that the guys in San Antonio would like to hear it. Is it a feature that is missing, or an interface issue?

The CG makes lower thirds fine for me, and the DDR plays them back wonderfully.

03-01-2004, 03:08 PM
To keep this on track, I'll refer you here for the CG stuff.


Now that VT's gotten more complete, (Mostly TED), it might be time to revisit the CG shortcomings again.
I've kind of backed off from whining about it for a while.:p

Jim Capillo
03-01-2004, 04:10 PM

I don't like the look and feel of it. The workspace and tools have a "toy" feel to them, especially if you've used any professional CG's (Chyron, etc.) in the past - or present. It's just too "blocky" and doesn't have a very nice GUI. The cursor looks like something out of the early Amiga days.

All of the things that Rich mentions in the other thread are lacking. Personally, I don't like the shadows. I would like it to remember a default (without saving a page and reloading it every time) to build from. It always goes to a default white/grey shadow and I have to change it 100% of the time to black and then lower the alpha. That gets old and annoying real fast. The shadows themselves are barely adequate. Punch up the dissolve on the drop shadow and you end up with a shadow that turns into an outline, not a drop shadow at all. We need a Photoshop type alpha workspace, so you can see what you're adjusting when you change variables in the work area. A black background doesn't cut it when you're trying to adjust the alpha on a black drop shadow.

There is too much confusion in saving different types of files. Make it automatic - motion is saved as rtv's, alphas are png's, etc. (overideable, of course). Get rid of the preset page storage on the right side.... it looks like crap, is hard to see, adds confusion and it is easy to unintentionally overwrite a file saved there. Let's have a conventional Windows type file saver/requestor that goes away when you're done.

Frankly, I was very disappointed when I saw the "new and improved" CG. Looked like the same old thing to me, albeit with a few new features and fixes. I know Newtek is capable of designing a sleek new interface that has the look and feel of a professional broadcast CG. Heck, I'd be happy with an upgrade to the Trinity CG look. I really do feel that I'm stuck in the 80's when I use it.

Keep in mind, this is only constructive criticism...... but I doubt I'll be using it anytime soon for serious work unless it gets a real overhaul.

Jim Capillo
03-01-2004, 06:03 PM
OK, I started a poll over in the CG threads to see if everyone is happy with the way the CG is now (and I'm waaay off base) or it needs more work......