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Unfortunately from Friday 10th March 2017 DVC has ceased trading. We would like to thank our customers for their support over the years. For a short time we may be able to offer limited technical support. Please email sales@dvctraining.co.uk and we will try to help where possible.

21st June 2013

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David Vincent Clarke Ltd
Unit E7, Knoll Business Centre
Old Shoreham Road,
Hove, Sussex, BN3 7GS
Tel: 01273 205700

21st June 2013

Headlines

  • New DVC laptop can have a solid state Windows drive, two 1TB drives and a Blu-ray writer!
  • Adobe CC is available  
  • Last chance to buy an upgrade from Avid Xpress to Media Composer
  • Blackmagic Mini Monitor in Stock, and drivers for Premiere Pro CC released.

New DVC Haswell laptop can have a 3 drives and a Blu-ray writer

DVC Haswell laptop

Intel has recently released some new processors.  These will replace the Ivybridge processors that we use in the majority of computers, both laptops and desktops.  We are currently testing new versions of each.

The new Haswell laptop is very similar to the old Ivybridge in that it has FireWire, a high quality 1920x1080 screen, a powerful graphic nVidia 770m graphic card, can have up to 32GB RAM, and has USB3, eSATA, HDMI and display port sockets.

Apart from using the new, faster Haswell processors the laptop also has a new ability - it can use a type of solid state drive called an mSATA drive - basically a drive on a small compact card as opposed to a 2.5" regular size laptop drive.  mSATA drives are very new and up to now have only been usable for caching, you could not run Windows from them.  However, with the new laptop we can use mSATA drives just like a regular drive which means we can install Windows on the mSATA and leave the two regular hard drive sockets for 1TB 7200 RPM video drives, and still have a bay for the Blu-ray writer.

You can actually add 2 mSATA drives as well as 2 normal size drives.  However mSATA drives are more expensive than normal mechanical drives of even regular solid state drives, and are only available in sizes up to 256GB currently, so most people probably will not choose to have 2 mSATAs and 2 normal drives.  Having a second mSATA drive would make sense for After Effects users as the second mSATA drive would work well for the After Effects disc cache that was introduced in CS6.  The AE disc cache renders your timeline in the background so you can see the effects at full quality without having to do a RAM preview, but as it does the renders in uncompressed video it needs a fast hard drive to be able to play the footage back - like an mSATA drive.

This is all in our regular 17", most commonly ordered, laptop.  

The laptop starts at 1,221+VAT.  A typical system with 2x1TB video drives, 1 mSATA Windows drive, a Blu-ray writer, 3GB nVidia 770M graphic card, 17" 1920x1080 screen would be 1,529+VAT - 1,834.39 inc.

We can also now offer a choice of different language keyboards with the same laptop.  You can read more and make up your own configuration for this laptop by visiting our website: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/P170SM-laptop.html

New Haswell desktop computers

DVC SYSTEMSIn addition to laptop Haswell chips we also have desktop Haswell processors.  The new Haswell processors' advantage over the Ivybridge processors is that they are slightly faster and use less power. 

The Haswell chips have a better built-in graphics card and still have Intel Quicksync - the process where you can make h.264 video faster than realtime.  Currently Grass Valley EDIUS uses this and you can make an hour video in to the right format for Blu-ray or MP4 in about 20 minutes. The Intel Quicksync in the Haswell processors is a newer version but still works with EDIUS.

The chips need a different motherboard to the Ivybridge machines so you cannot simply slot one into an existing machine - so if you want to upgrade from an Ivybridge you need both a new motherboard and new processors.  The Haswell motherboard still use DDR3 RAM like the Ivybridge, Sandybridge and i7 systems we have been selling recently.   Since we have new motherboards we are having to carry our extensive testing with all our different programs and hardware to find out which will work and which does not.  We are nearing the end of our testing and have settled on two motherboards - one which is a low cost option, and one which has a better specification.

The low cost board is working well with all the software we have tried and most of the hardware.  One of the limitations of the board is the number of extra PCIe cards you can install (which let you use devices like the Matrox MX02 or Blackmagic cards) so many of these devices will work - like the Matrox MX02 - but devices which need a 4xPCIe slot will not work along side other devices.  One of the advantages of the higher specification board is that it will work better with 3xPCIe cards and more devices, as well as having more USB3 sockets and a Renesas USB3 connector which works, in our tests, with the Blackmagic USB3 devices.

We have nearly finished our tests and will be add Haswell desktop configurations to the website soon.

Should you upgrade to a Haswell system?

We have not done a proper comparison of the performance between the Haswell and Ivybridge processors as yet - we have been concentrating determining of they work.  Estimates say that at best they are about 10% faster than an Ivybridge system, so if you have an Ivybridge machine it is probably not worth upgrading.  However, since the Ivybridge were better than the Sandybridge, which were in turn better than the first i7s, which were quite a lot better than the Core2Duo & Core2Quad processors, then the older your processor the more of a difference you will notice.  Of course if running EDIUS on an old i7 you will notice a huge difference to your Blu-ray encoding because of the Quicksync, but all the programs will benefit from the extra processing power.  if you are considering upgrading your computer contact us and we can determine what you need to upgrade and what you can keep, as well as the cost involved.  you don't have to upgrade your editing software at the same time as your hardware.  We have recently been upgrading users of Premiere Pro CS5 to new machines, with Windows 7 for example, so they can get a speed boost to their editing without having to pay for an Adobe upgrade as well.

We will post more information on the advantages of the new processor in future newsletters.  You can read more about DVC systems and configure your own on our website:

http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/DVC_systems.html

New Adobe Creative Cloud software available

Premiere Pro CSNext In the last newsletter we talked about the new Adobe Creative Cloud software (or Adobe CC) which Adobe announced at the Adobe MAX show in May.  Now the software is available.  Users with a Creative Cloud subscription can download and install the software immediately.  Those with CS6 or a previous version of the software have to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud to get the new versions.  They will not be available on a permanent licence.

We have produced about 50 minutes of video on the new features of Premiere Pro CC.  We will not be producing a new DVC Premiere Pro tutorial so these clips will serve as both a demonstration of the new features and a tutorial on how to use them.  There are many improvements inside Premiere Pro CC, which include a redesign of the timeline, a way of automatically lining up multicamera clips based on the sound and some really great integration with Speedgrade.

You can see the DVC tutorials on our website: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/premierecc_video.html

You can also read about the changes in our Adobe section:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/What-s-new-in-CSNext-.html

There are new CC versions of nearly every program but one program that has not been updated is Adobe Encore.  Adobe will not be developing Encore any further - CS6 will be the last version.  If you subscribe to the Creative Cloud then you will be able to install and use Encore CS6 since all the CS6 apps will be available to CC subscribers as well as the new CC versions.  However, if you edit in Premiere Pro CC you will not be able to use the dynamic link to Encore as you can with Premiere Pro CS6, which is a shame.

Is Encore effectively dead?

You can see Adobe's official word on Encore here: http://www.adobe.com/products/encore/faq.html

The answer is no, you can still buy it (either as a perpetual CS6 licence or by subscribing to the Creative Cloud), it works on currently available computers - both with Windows 7 and Windows 8 and with the current MAC o/s.  It is curious Adobe don't mention Windows 8 support in the FAQ but it does work in Windows 8, and in fact the 6.02 Encore update was to fix disc burning with Windows 8.  What we assume is that they won't support future versions of Windows 8, or future MAC O/s versions.  This does not mean it won't work on future operating systems, but means if it does not work they are not promising to fix it.  So it is not dead but may not have a long term future.

What are the alternatives?

Apart from spending a lot of Money on a program like Sony DoStudio the alternatives are cheap, fairly limited programs like TMPEG and Cyberlink Power Producer, or Avid DVD and Sony DVD Architect.  Avid DVD is our least favourite authoring program and since it is based in a product which is no longer available, DVDit Pro, we can't help think it may suffer the same fate as Encore sometime.  Sony DVD Architect is the best alternative since it has nearly all of the same features as Adobe Encore (except for Blu-ray pop-up menus) and a couple of things you do not get in Encore, such as scripting.  You can only by DVD Architect with Sony Vegas.  You can read more about Architect here:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Sony_DVD_Architect.html

How do you buy the CC software?

You can only get the Creative Clouds software on subscription.  This is where, rather than buying the software outright (called a perpetual licence) as you can with CS6, you pay a monthly fee to Adobe.  If you stop paying the monthly fee the software stops working.  This is the major disadvantage to subscribing;  there are many advantages as well.

You can read more about the Creative Cloud advantages and disadvantages here: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Adobe-Creative-Cloud.html

There are two types of Cloud subscription: 

Regular Creative Cloud - only available from Adobe direct
Creative Cloud for Teams - this has advantages for businesses with 3 or more people.  This is available from us at DVC.  Visit the link listed above for more information.

You can still buy a permanent licence for CS6 if you prefer.  This will continue to be available for the forseeable future for people who do not want to pay by subscription.  If you buy the CS6 versions you will not be able to upgrade the licence to the new CC versions but Adobe say they will continue to support them and fix major bugs.  Of course at any time you can choose to subscribe to the Creative Cloud and get a discount for the first year as you already own Adobe software.

At DVC we will supply systems either with, or without the Creative Cloud.  If you choose the Creative Cloud then we will still support the software even though you have not bought it from us because you will be using it on a DVC system.  Currently our Adobe systems are about 50% Creative Cloud and 50% CS6.

You can read more about Adobe Premiere Pro, both CS6 and CC here:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Adobe_Premiere_Pro.html

You can read more about DVC Adobe premiere pro systems here: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Matrox_Systems.html

Last chance to buy an upgrade from Avid Xpress to Media Composer

Avid MC7Avid Media Composer 7 is due to arrive soon.  Although we do not have a definite date we are expecting the release at the end of this Month.  If you buy Avid MC6.5 now you qualify for a free update to MC7, as long as you register with Avid before 30th June.

Currently you can upgrade from just about ANY copy of Avid to Media Composer - including old copies of Avid Xpress Pro and Avid Xpress DV.  However, the Xpress Pro/DV upgrade is ending.  The official end date was 14th June and we have only 4 copies left.  When these are gone you will only be able to upgrade to Media Composer from other versions of Media Composer.  So if you have been thinking of upgrading from your really old copy, act now or miss out.

The upgrade, which includes Avid FX, Avid DVD and Sorenson Squeeze, is 359+VAT and you can order it now from the DVC webshop:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Avid_Media_Composer.html

Blackmagic Mini Monitor in Stock, and drivers for Premiere Pro CC released

Blackmagic Mini MonitorMany of the new i/o cards that Blackmagic announced at NAB have arrived.

The Mini monitor

A card that has HDMI and SDI outputs only.  Many people do not need to capture video any more - they film on an HD camera on to cards to a hard drive and then transfer the footage across to their PC for editing, or they use a camera that can transfer footage via FireWire, DV or HDV.  However they would like to see the footage on an HD screen when editing and so need an extra bit of hardware to do so.  This is exactly what the Mini Monitor provides through either HDMI or SDI.  For just 95+VAT you can add a decent output to your editing program.  Like most Blackmagic cards it works with nearly every editing program. We have so far tested it with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 & CC, Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve and Avid Media Composer 6.5.  It should also work with Sony Vegas.  The Mini Monitor will not work with Grass Valley EDIUS because EDIUS only supports Blackmagic cards for input, not output. 

There is a version with inputs only, the Mini Recorder, which is the same price.

Blackmagic Decklink 4K Extreme

Blackmagic's latest PCIe card is the Decklink 4K Extreme which replaces the Decklink 3D Extreme.  This is a 4 lane PCIe card which supports resolutions up to 4K.  It also has just about every connector you would want, SDI, HDMI, component, XLR etc.   You may not be moving to 4K yet (although you might do soon with the 4K Blackmagic Cinema Camera scheduled to arrive next month) but this card does do every resolution in between as well, include formats like 1920x1080 50P which appears on many cameras.  The price is 589+VAT.

Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K

This is an external Thunderbolt version of the Decklink 4K Extreme which connects to the computer via Thunderbolt.  The features between the two cards are identical and the Decklink 4K has the advantage that you do not need to buy a 40 Thunderbolt cable to use it, however, because it is designed as an extrenal box the UltraStudio also doubles up as nice breakout box with all your connections, as opposed to a mass of cables sticking out the back of the PC as with the Decklink Extreme.

We have not yet tested the Ultrastudio 4K with a Thunderbolt connection on a PC as we are waiting for the first of the Haswell Thunderbolt motherboard to become available, however, we have tested previous Blackmagic Thunderbolt devices on the Ivybridge Thunderbolt boards and they worked well.  Of course, if you use a MAC, then the Thunderbolt device is your only real option because if is very difficult to find any MAC which will let you add an internal PCIe card any more. 

You can read more about the full range of Blackmagic cards on our website: http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/Black_Magic_capture_cards.html

Blackmagic release Premiere Pro CC drivers

Blackmagic are the first company to release drivers for their card to work with Adobe Premiere Pro CC.  The 9.7.5 drivers add support for the CC applications as well as support for the UltraStudio 4K.  If using EDIUS or Avid there is no real reason to upgrade and infact we have seen some people complaining of sync issues on long captures with all the 9.7 Blackmagic drivers.  For EDIUS or Avid we would suggest you stick with the 9.6.8 drivers which work really well for us.

However if you are using Premiere Pro CC we suggest you download the new drivers and get working.

You can download the driver update from the Blackmagic Design website:http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/

Matrox support for Premiere Pro CC

Matrox MX02Matrox have not yet produced new drivers to work with Premiere Pro CC but we have been advised that they are working on them.  In addition to supporting Premiere Pro CC (as well as CS6 and Avid Media Composer) the new driver will, we believe, give you output fromAdobe Speedgrade CC.  When grading you really need to see the picture on a proper screen and sadly this is one thing that has been lacking with the CS6 version of Speedgrade (unless you have a certain SDI-based graphic card).  With Speedgrade CC, Adobe have addedMercury Transmit to Speedgrade (the way Adobe software talks to hardware like the Matrox MX02).  This will be supported by Matrox and AJA in the first release.  We can't wait to try it out!

You can read more about the Matrox range of i/o devices here:http://www.dvc.uk.com/acatalog/matrox_cards.html

New 320 nVidia drivers

There have been some new nVidia drivers released.  Previous driver updates have sometimes caused problems on various machines and we have been advised by Adobe that they have had some problems with Premiere Pro CC and CS6 with the 320 nVidia drivers and people should stay on the previous available 314.22 drivers.  Grass Valley EDIUS appears to work fine with the 320 drivers. 

David Clarke
Managing Director
David Vincent Clarke Ltd

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All prices correct at time of email but subject to change; errors and omissions excepted.

David Vincent Clarke Ltd
Unit E7, Knoll Business Centre
Old Shoreham Road,
Hove, Sussex, BN3 7GS
Tel: 01273 205700
Web: www.dvc.uk.com
Email: david@dvc.uk.com

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