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  #1  
11-27-2013, 12:18 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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I am thinking of buying a new laptop, as I already have a 'reasonable' DualCore Desktop. I plan to use this laptop for video (and audio) capturing, editing, restoration, encoding, burning of discs.

I wonder if you can help me decide on the specifications and brand.

My requirements:

1. Should have the facility to capture DV footage (Firewire). However, laptops these days are not coming equipped with Firewire port. Can I add it later from USB or PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot?

2. Should be able to 'edit' HD Video from camcorder easily without problems

3. Should be able to 'capture' HD Video from set-top-box if I buy such a capture card in future

4. Should be able to 'play' HD Video without stutter.

5. Should be able to support high-end capture cards such as Black Magic, Matrox in case I decide to buy one in future

6. Should support the ATI USB 600 card

7. Should be able to encode videos to H.264 without taking ages

What should be the ideal configurations in terms of processor, RAM, hard drive space, hard drive speed, screen (display) size & type, graphics card, graphics RAM, USB 2.0 Vs 3.0, Thunderbolt vs normal, PCMCIA vs ExpressCard, Windows 7 Vs 8, 32-bit vs 64-bit...etc? Also, which brand is more reliable?

Thanks for your help.
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  #2  
11-27-2013, 07:32 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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The biggest hurdle is the Firewire problem. Finding laptops with an Expresscard slot is becoming a pain these days too. Expect to spend at last $1000 on one that has such a slot. Anything in that price range will meet the above requirements as they usually come with a decent Core i5 or i7 CPU, just find something you like.

I took a serious look at the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart 15-4010nr earlier in the year, mostly because it had Thunderbolt (TB to Firewire adapters exist). I didn't pursue it since HP hasn't decided to release an updated model with Haswell CPUs. The biggest con of the machine was battery life which a Haswell update would have addressed. A shame because otherwise it likely would have been a great product.
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The following users thank NJRoadfan for this useful post: lordsmurf (12-14-2013)
  #3  
12-14-2013, 09:47 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naripeddi View Post
1. Should have the facility to capture DV footage (Firewire). However, laptops these days are not coming equipped with Firewire port. Can I add it later from USB or PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot?
Not easy to find. And it usually requires the larger 17" models. These days, you likely have to custom order a business laptop directly from Dell, HP, or Lenovo (former IBM), and it's wont be cheap.

Quote:
2. Should be able to 'edit' HD Video from camcorder easily without problems
4. Should be able to 'play' HD Video without stutter.
7. Should be able to encode videos to H.264 without taking ages
Any new laptop is fine for this.

Quote:
3. Should be able to 'capture' HD Video from set-top-box if I buy such a capture card in future
5. Should be able to support high-end capture cards such as Black Magic, Matrox in case I decide to buy one in future
6. Should support the ATI USB 600 card
As long as the connection exists (USB2, USB3, etc), it'll be fine.

Quote:
What should be the ideal configurations in terms of processor, RAM, hard drive space, hard drive speed, screen (display) size & type, graphics card, graphics RAM, USB 2.0 Vs 3.0, Thunderbolt vs normal, PCMCIA vs ExpressCard, Windows 7 Vs 8, 32-bit vs 64-bit...etc? Also, which brand is more reliable?
- The quick answer = as much as you can afford. As much RAM as you can, as new a CPU as you can.
- Video + Windows 8 = often a disaster. Use Windows 7 for video workflows.
- nVidia sucks. Avoid it at all costs. Lots of dead laptops because is the BS company.
- USB3
- PCMCIA is 1980s tech. Nobody uses that anymore, and hasn't in 5-10 years.
- ExpressCard was unpopular. It's HTF now.
- It'll be 64-bit if you have lots of RAM.

The most reliable? None of them. I've had nice Sony and HP, but no brand is flawless. It varies per model. Most bad things about laptop are not found out until it's been out a least 6-12 months, and you already own it! You're gambling. Just realize this as fact. Not much you can do here.

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  #4  
12-14-2013, 11:25 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
As long as the connection exists (USB2, USB3, etc), it'll be fine.
There have been lots of complaints about using BlackMagic's USB 3.0 products over the years. Hopefully the situation has resolved itself with newer chipsets...
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  #5  
12-17-2013, 05:02 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thanks Lordsmurf & NJRoadfan.

So, would it be fine if I end up buying a laptop without a Firewire port, but add it through a USB 3.0-to-Firewire adapter?
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  #6  
12-17-2013, 05:28 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naripeddi View Post
a USB 3.0-to-Firewire adapter?
I don't think such a thing exists.
There is a Firewire 800 to USB 3 -- but not the other way around.
The reason? Firewire is sustained, while USB is not.

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  #7  
12-17-2013, 05:54 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Well...I want to connect a Firewire device to a laptop that has USB 3.0 and capture the DV footage. Is that possible through an adaptor?
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  #8  
12-19-2013, 06:34 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naripeddi View Post
Is that possible through an adaptor?
The problem is that I do not believe such an adapter exists.
- Firewire port > USB cable = yes
- USB port > Firewire cable = no

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  #9  
12-19-2013, 10:46 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Ok. Then I will have to go for those expensive laptops that provide direct Firewire port. Thanks.
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