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View Full Version : Should I buy a VT



Mukti
06-23-2004, 09:56 PM
I am thinking about buyinf a VT3. I have been basically a videographer for many years, but have not had a chance to do any non-linear editing. So this is a big step into the digital realm.

I am looking at Avid Express, VT3 or FinalCutPro.

How has VT3 worked for you guys? How is the graphic interface? Are there many bugs?

Thanks for your input, in advance.

ScorpioProd
06-23-2004, 10:28 PM
What video formats do you work in?

Mukti
06-23-2004, 10:49 PM
I am still mostly BetaSp, but I know I am pushing the limits of that tape format. When I change I will probably change to DVCpro or DVCam.

Jim Capillo
06-24-2004, 04:35 AM
I am working in Beta SP as well as using DV with Panasonic's DVX-100. I have no problems with either, using component with the Beta and Y/C with the DV...... both formats are included if you buy the SX-8 rack mounted interface.

The GUI is a bit different than the others, but IMHO, it is more flexible once you get used to it. Since you have no non-linear experience, I doubt if you'll have any problems at all. The interface is very intuitive and while some features are lacking that the others have, there are many features that the VT can do that the others can't. The updates come fast and furious when bugs are found, and that and the fact that you can DIRECTLY email the head of program development with your own bugs/problems suggests a level of customer involvement that is unheard of with the other companies.

Lightwave 3-D is included as is Aura, the resident paint program and the internal CG program. Lightwave is some $1500 standalone, so that is a great deal on its own. While it may be a bit above your head without any experience, there are a couple of programs that make it practical for the novice. FXMonkey is included - it makes 3-D logo moves quick and easy. I'm not sure if it is working in the latest build (it has been broken a couple of times). 3D Arsenal is a collection of over 300 LightWave 3D scenes set up for the user to easily map their video clips to a variety of 3D objects. While it costs extra, it allows access to the program that would probably take months, if not years, to develop on your own. Having a 24 input switcher and audio console is pretty cool, too :cool:

Bugs? There are some here and there, but no more than any other software based program. And as I said, Newtek is very good about addressing them. The key here is to buy the fastest host computer you can afford....... AND TO BUY IT FROM A REPUTABLE DEALER !!! They have the experience of putting together machines with Newtek recommended parts. I have seen over and over where new buyers put together their own machines and invariably run into problems - problems that would be eliminated by buying from a dealer. It's not worth saving a few bucks.

All in all, I'd say VT is a better deal than the others, both from the support and actual program capabilities. I'm sure others will differ - and that's fine. All I will tell you is all my projects get done quickly (in realtime), and with uncompressed video, it looks great.

Mukti
06-24-2004, 07:30 AM
Jim,

Thank you for your input. As a shooter, I don't have a lot opportunity to edit, but I am in a edit session now with Avid Express, (I don't know if I should use a competior's names or not, so forgive me), but it's operation seemed so tedious. It had to render a simple move and coloring of a graphic background. Unbelievable. It seems that VT3 is faster.

The con in my decision making process is that everyone I now either has FC or AE. Do I want to be the lone wolf?

But the pro is that I will be using the sytem for my own use, I am not trying to build a post house.

Anyway, please continue, any input from this group's experience is well appreciated.

Jim, I believe I do have a good dealer. He has offered training as well as tech support, atleast during the day when they are open.

UnCommonGrafx
06-24-2004, 07:58 AM
Lone Wolf....

Yeah, I'd take the mantle. Do understand something that I think a lot of us that own them take for granted: it's a suite of tools, not just an editor or a switcher.
I bet you would be the lone wolf on a lot of fronts with this puppy in your steward. The only one with that weird Aura program. {I love this program if the sarcasm isn't dripping enough} One of the few editors you know that has Lightwave. One of the few editors around that can shove all that stuff into/onto his timeline, live even, with up to 24 composite cameras connected.
Oh, and AE, DF, Combustion can get in on the fun, too.

We, the users of these tools, are spoiled brats. ;) We want lots more. And they say they will give them to us.

The days of a new user:
"What the ... it can do that?!?"
"Why won't that work? What, it doesn't?"
When at work with the other tools, "Are we done, yet?"
Again at work, looking at an on-location shoot, "Hey guys, I have an idea...", twinkle in eyes, as wild dreams go running amuck. Most of us dream big. Some even live it:
http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=24441

There's a lot here. A lot to do with and a lot of frustrations that go along with it, too. Thank goodness for the many communities we have.! Stellar, gracious and helpful communities, I might add.

Can ya tell I own one? And only my dead, pried away hands could get it from me?


:D

Jim Capillo
06-24-2004, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Mukti
The con in my decision making process is that everyone I now either has FC or AE. Do I want to be the lone wolf?

Mukti,

There are many testimonials here of FCP, AE and other users being astonished at what VT does and at its lightning speed. I think you are going about it the right way - getting input from actual users. I wouldn't consider worrying about what the other guy has as a valid business argument - just as long as it delivers the goods..... and VT does.

Good luck with your decision ! :)

Mukti
06-24-2004, 10:40 AM
Robert.....wow. I feel your passion jumping thru the computer screen. It's that good?

What do you guys think, should I wait for the new release, or has it been coming for a while?

If I buy before the new release comes out, will the update be an added expense?

Tech questions: Uncompressed is wonderful, but do you wish VT3 could be compressed if you needed it?

I see that there are some VT3 available to buy, but I don't think I want to be without the tech support from my dealer.

Any thoughts?

Jim_C
06-24-2004, 11:09 AM
Originally posted by Mukti
What do you guys think, should I wait for the new release, or has it been coming for a while?

If I buy before the new release comes out, will the update be an added expense?

Tech questions: Uncompressed is wonderful, but do you wish VT3 could be compressed if you needed it?

I see that there are some VT3 available to buy, but I don't think I want to be without the tech support from my dealer.

Any thoughts?

Throwin my ~~ Out there....
Get a demo now asap.

Newtek is notorious for coming out with patches that not only fix a bug here and there but also come loaded with new features and tools. For free.
So some updates have been an added expense (From VT1 to VT2 and then to T3, and I would imagine(?) from T3 to T4) but there have always been many free updates along the way.


T3 can capture and work uncompressed. T3 can use most any acceptable windows video codec to render to, and compressed and uncompressed all play fine along side each other on the timeline. Some guys hardly use uncompressed rtv and are strictly DV, some the opposite.

You may be able to do a little of both. I am guessing most of the dealers here would work with you if you bought say a used T3 card but wanted them to build a box around it. Maybe they would be miltant and say all my equip or nothing do to break down reasons, but hopefully not. Never know. There are some really hard working, cool guys here building and selling these things.

Mostly see number #1, get a demo.

There is so much under the hood of T3 it truly is overwhelming.
If you just need an editor. It may not be for you.
It's big and hungry and full of switches and gadgets and cross programs of sorts that just and a cut and dissolve guy wouldn't need.
But if you like to plunker around with tools, and learn new ways to do things everyday, check it out.

Jim

ted
06-24-2004, 11:12 AM
Decide what you plan to use the editor for. Make the time to get a demo, doing what you plan to do regularly. No system is perfect for every type of production.

With that said, NewTek's VT system is about as flexible as you can get. As you do more types of productions, you'll find VT can probably adapt for most anything, as opposed to FC and AVID.
I have a Production Assistant who owns a FC system, and hes sorry he does now that hes seen the VT system in daily use.

Jim and I are strong believers in using a GREAT dealer to build your system and buying the baddest computer you can afford and then adding 10% more. The VT likes horsepower, (although people are doing incredible things on the minimum spec computers).

We all wish you luck, and never forget the benefit of this powerful and dedicated group of VT users who are always willing to help you as you get started, and throughout your productions with the VT system!!!

Mukti
06-24-2004, 12:14 PM
I appreciate all who have posted.

I have been given a live demo at the dealer, but a taped demo wouldbe great.

I'll contact NewTek and have one sent.

To everyone here have and wonderful day!

Jim_C
06-24-2004, 01:07 PM
See you again soon.

:D
;)

ScorpioProd
06-24-2004, 03:35 PM
I don't know of any taped demos, but please do post here if you find one.

Knowing your video formats now, I agree that VT[3] is best for what you are looking for.

It can be scary having a non-standard system versus what others have, but it can also be an advantage for what you can do that they can't. :)

As for uncompressed and compressed, the VT[3] can handle just about any codec you throw at it. Though uncompressed RTV is perfect quality, I never use it. 90% of what I do is DVCAM, and I stay in the compressed DVCAM format for my editing, no reason not to. The other 10% of my work is S-VHS, and for that I use the PicVideo M-JPEG codec for beautiful compressed quality.

pnelson
06-24-2004, 04:05 PM
I love the NewTek community!! You guys rock!!

bradl
06-24-2004, 10:38 PM
There are some files of Paul doing a demo and others from NAB as well. Don't have the URL's handy, but I think I know where some older ones are...

ftp.newtek.com

There are a couple of files under /multimedia/VT3Demos

Jim_C
06-24-2004, 11:08 PM
oh yea, we shoot Beta also...

Nice Beta Footage + uncompressed RTV = :)

You can not tell a difference and as my Bossman says sometimes when he watches a little and notices the crispness of the details and the awesome black shades.
"How can a copy look better than the original?"

ScorpioProd
06-25-2004, 05:21 PM
But yah know, with all the talented users and Newtek people we have, and the superior tools we have with VT[3], one would think Newtek could make a new "Revolution" DVD demo for people...

Everyone isn't always near a dealer. The original "Revolution" sold me on my original VT, I had no dealer.

Mukti
06-26-2004, 04:11 PM
Thank you guys for all of the comments. Perhaps these post will be beneficial for others also thinking about looking for a good procuct.

I was in a edit session all night last night. An editor was doing the editing of my product on AE. Let me tell you it was not pretty. I needed heavy graphics. It's a corporate piece where the presenter spoke using many overheads.

So we had to recreate the overheads and bring them up full, from first positions them on the screen.

So here is the picture. We have a wide shoot with presenter and screen. We place our graphic over the screen and bring it full as the presenter talks about it.

Another time, we angled the speaker and the graphic in a "^" shape as if the speaker was reading off the screen.

Let me tell you guys, it was like asking for the moon. The editor had to build a rocket and lauchpad, then go around asking millions of people to stand back becasue the rocket is getting ready to take off.

It took forever! All night long it was like that. My demo of NewTek at the dealer, seemed to show that VT3 could produce those effect easliy.

I am going to take another demo, and ask the dealer to show me some graphics to make sure I saw what I think I saw, and I think I will be good to go.

I thank everybody for their comments.

Take Care.

Jim_C
06-26-2004, 06:46 PM
hehehehe......

That would all be sooo easy and real time with T3 and the positioner panel and splines.

You're gonna love it.

bbeanan
06-26-2004, 10:00 PM
Get a VT3 system without a single hesitation... My employer has 2 full blown Avid bays, and a FCP bay in all about $1 mil. to build it all... But I can still finish a edit project faster on my personal VT3 system than if they have 3 editors using all 3 bays doing the same exact thing... And I'm not even a full time editor.

Granted they can do HD so they have that on me (but to date they have never needed to do a HD edit).

I did a project last year which was exactly what you described and it was a breeze. so find yourself a good dealer and buy a system (do not try to build it yourself) For what it's worth I recommend Video Hardware, Blain Holm www.videohardware.com

lesterfoster
07-11-2004, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by Mukti
I am thinking about buyinf a VT3. I have been basically a videographer for many years, but have not had a chance to do any non-linear editing. So this is a big step into the digital realm.

I am looking at Avid Express, VT3 or FinalCutPro.

How has VT3 worked for you guys? How is the graphic interface? Are there many bugs?

Thanks for your input, in advance.

VideoTOASTER reputation is grate. All that I have to do is say I have one and I am hired for the job.

The 3 best parts of the [VT3] to me are.
1) LightWAVE 3D
2) The breakout box <BOB> for live switching
3) ToasterEDIT

It is nice to show up for a job with my VideoTOASTER to shoot an event. And at the end of the event I hit eject from the VCR and give him or her the tape right there on the spot. You just can't do this with any other system on the market.

My VideoTOASTER is the best investment that I have ever made.

lesterfoster
07-11-2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by bbeanan
so find yourself a good dealer and buy a system (do not try to build it yourself)



I agree with bbeanan. this is where I got mine from:http://www.digitalvideoeditor.com Plus I get lots of good ongoing advice from my dealer.