Editing large (1GB +) DV files on a medium spec PC

I’ve used a number of different video editing packages on my PC over the past few years, and since moving from an analog camcorder to a digital camcorder, I found that my PC couldn’t handle editing the large raw AVI files transferred onto my PC via firewire. The easiest option would have been to transfer the source material onto the PC in smaller chunks, but this takes time to split it up, and it just seems more convenient to transfer across a tape at a time. My PC and the editing packages I had though couldn’t handle searching through and jumping about the large 1 – 2 GB AVI files while I was editing, and more often than not the software would just crash (or even worse, crash during rendering to MPEG).

I started originally with some Ulead software that came with my DVD burner. It was ok for small files, but crashed at least once during an editing session. I upgraded to ULead DVD Movie Factory – too slow. And it still crashed periodically. Next was Nero Ultra 7, which included Nero Vision. This was the most stable editing software I’d used so far, although periodically crashed during the middle of rendering, and became too slow with the large files. I’ve used Pinnacle Studio 8 as well – this is ok but is again too slow on my PC (which by the way is a 1.2GHz P4, 1GB PC2700 ram, multiple 7200rpm drives).

From time to time I’d downloaded trial version of TMPGEnc to render AVIs to MPEG ready to burn to DVD and liked the results I got from that. During a frustrating editing session I went to TMPG’s website and found out that they have a number of rendering and authoring programs. I took a gamble on DVD Source Creator since this seemed to have the features that I was looking for, plus one of it’s selling points is ‘high speed thumbnail viewing and scrolling’ – excellent.

So far I’ve been really impressed with this product – at $40 it’s not only is a bargain in comparison with other editing packages (ok, so it’s not as full featured in terms of adding transitions, text etc), but it does exactly what it advertises, it does it well, and it’s rock solid. I’ve edited a few hours of raw AVI from my digital camcorder and it hasn’t crashed or hung once. The scrolling through large 1GB AVI files is seamless and smooth – this is exactly what I was looking for. So far I can’t recommend this product enough… it’s refreshing when you find a piece of software that works this well.

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