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Understanding PC Hardware Requirements for Video Editing

The Personal Computer has come along way since its inception and is now a central component in many household's across the globe. However, as far as the PC has come over the years it is only with recent advancements in technology and PC hardware, that the average home computer has been able to enter the realm of digital home entertainment. For example, in order to create a dazzling digital movie masterpiece, not only do you need to have an easy to use and feature-rich software (such as CyberLink PowerDirector Pro), you also need to have the right hardware equipment to go with it, such as a fast processor, video capture card (for analog to digital video capture) or a Firewire card (for digital video capture), a relatively large Hard Drive, etc.

To process and edit video on the PC, you firstly need to have the video content captured onto the PC and have it converted into digital format (if it is not already) through a video encoding process. Though more and more PCs today come ready for video editing, the necessary hardware components may not be available on your PC and thus will need to be purchased separately and installed on your computer.

Currently the most commonly used hardware equipment for video editing can be divided into two types: Analog and Digital.

 

Video Capture Card (for Analog video): A Video Capture Card is needed for importing analog video onto your PC from sources such as a TV, VCR or analog camcorder, and transforming the content into digital video format.

IEEE 1394 Firewire (for Digital video): The new digital video standard for capturing content from a digital video source is called IEEE 1394 Firewire. With an IEEE 1394 Firewire card installed on your PC, you will be able to directly connect your DV Camcorder to your PC and transfer the contents directly in digital format. The advantage for capturing video digitally is that it eliminates the complex process of converting traditional analog video to digital format, which leads to a loss in video quality.
 

Additional Hardware Specifications

In addition, you will also need to ensure that you have the following hardware items:

 

Large Hard Drive Space: One of the most important components to working with digital video on the PC is the Hard Drive. When working with digital video in high quality, the file sizes can be quite large and thus require a great deal of storage space. For example, one hour of pure digital video can occupy about 13 Gigabytes of Hard Disk space. If you convert your files to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 they will take up less space, but the files are still rather large. The ideal solution would be to have a hard drive capable of storing 10 GB. Since your HD will also need to contain other files, such as your other software programs and project files, it is probably best to have two Hard Drives, and use one specifically for video editing purposes.
Note: Your HD should have an RPM of at least 7200.

Fast CPU Processor: Most of today's PCs are fast enough to edit video fairly comfortably, but if your PC is not over the 1 GHz level, it might be a good time for an upgrade. The faster your CPU is, the better it will be to render edited video clips, convert files into different formats, preview video in real-time, and so on. If you are going to work with MPEG-2 video (for producing DVD titles) it is recommended that your CPU be at least a Pentium IV 1.4 GHz or an Athlon 1.2 GHz. If you are working with MPEG-1 video (for producing VCD titles) it is recommended you have at least a Pentium III 800 MHz or and Athlon 800 MHz.

Memory (RAM): Basically, the more memory you have the better. Your PC should have at least 128 MB RAM. Actually, it is recommended that you have 256 MB RAM or higher if you would like to ensure better performance and a smoother process while editing video on your PC.

CD or DVD Writer (optional): If you are looking to output your edited video productions on to a CD or DVD, you will need to have a CD or DVD writer (or burner as some would call it). For CD writers the choice usually comes down to brand preference and writing speed. For DVD writers you will need to consider one other factor and that is the format. Currently their are two main DVD recordable format groups: DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW.

Hopefully this article has given you a basic overview of the hardware requirements for editing video on the PC. Before choosing a video editing software, please check the products system requirements and make sure your hardware is compatible. To view PowerDirector Pro's system requirements, please click here.

Source: Shop at CyberLink,The Complete Digital Home Entertainment Center!


 

 
 

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