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Video Cameras forum

General discussion

can my computer handle HD video

by aenv / December 12, 2007 11:38 AM PST

This forum is a wealth of knowledge. I am looking to buy a HD camcorder. Initially I was looking at the Canon HG10 but after everything I have read about editing the video, and quality loss, I am thinking about the HV20.

My laptop is an Acer TravelMate 4002WLMi with a Intel Pentium M 725 processor (1.6 GHz (Centrino), 400 MHz FSB, 2 MB L2 Cache) with 512 MB Ram and a 60 GB hard drive. I also bought a 500 GB external drive, only the guy at the store told me the USB version was better so not knowing then what I have read here, I foolishly believed him.

So my question is, will my laptop edit the stuff that the HV20 would capture or am I setting myself up for some long frustrating evenings waiting for the computer to work? Would a simple memory upgrade solve a lot of problem or do I need a processor upgrade (i.e. new computer).

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No, it cannot.
by Kiddpeat / December 12, 2007 1:28 PM PST

It is going to take at least a Core Duo processor to handle high definition video in its native form. Slower machines can work with HD through use of a proxey file, but that would eat your 60 gbyte hard drive alive. My guess is that a USB connected drive is too slow.

The problem lies in editing where, in order to see the video, the video must be rendered in real time.

You can edit video from the HV20, but it would need to convert the video to SD before sending it to your computer.

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(NT) Thank you
by aenv / December 12, 2007 9:58 PM PST
In reply to: No, it cannot.
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Unfortunately Frustration
by mados123 / December 17, 2007 12:50 AM PST

Sorry to say but you will be frustrated with the waiting around. Areas of concern are:

1) size of internal hard drive. As you know HD content is quite large.

2) speed of internal hard drive- (you have possibly 4200 or 5400RPM, as most laptop drives do). Minimum should be at least a 7200 for HD. 7200 with striped raid (raid 0) is even better (not possible with your laptop though). Your interface might also be IDE rather than SATA (which is also slower). SATA2 with a desktop setup would be ideal for your type of work.

3) memory- assuming you have XP, 512 is the minimum I would recommend for basic usage of the OS. For HD editing, I would recommend at least 2GB.

4) your external hard drive size is great for storage but not for virtual memory/paging file. Regarding firewire vs. usb, I doubt the acer has firewire2 (1394b) so it probably won't make a difference comparing usb2 vs firewire1 (1394a). As a vote of confidence, the USB drive (as a storage unit) is your better choice due to its connectivity being more universal.

5) processor will take forever to process the data. As previously suggested, the Intel Core Duo (as well as AMD Dual Core processors) will serve you well. If you want the most out of your current processor, make sure the power settings are not limiting the speed (ie- maximum battery savings). When the settings are such, regardless of whether you have Intel Speed Step tech or , it would always stay at the lowest.

As stated, if you are going to do HD editing, your system just wouldn't cut it. A desktop computer with the specs needed are (relatively) inexpensive these days.

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