Video Editing Suite Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chillined1212, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. chillined1212 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Hello Mac experts,

    I don't know if I am in the right forum, but I am looking for the best advice for creating a video editing "suite".

    I'm a teachers aid and student, but I convinced my school to create a Broadcast Journalism class. I co-teach it with a teacher that really has no idea what she is doing. I've held up the class the entire year, but I want to leave her with as much paperwork and advice as possible.

    We are looking to create an actual Video Editing classroom. We will be working with iMac's and Final Cut Pro X (it's the easiest software that the kids can learn from and both edit green screen video and add titles as such).

    Our goal by next year is to have an entire classroom. As far the the video end goes, I'm all good with that. We have spots for a green screen, backdrops, lighting etc.

    What I am looking for is advice on how to go about setting this up. We are looking to get 5-8 iMacs with a minimum of 8gb ram to run and edit Final Cut Pro X. Would Macbook Pros do the job to edit as well? They are a bit cheaper and we will need some to be portable?

    My second and biggest kink to figure out is how to go about Data storage. We have a basic 1080p 30FPS camcorder, but they files run pretty big when downloaded.

    How can we store and stare the video storage to all the macs? We tried a Airport extreme with the 2tb hard drive but the wifi is counter acting with our wifi already in the building (we are having huge network issues running it as a wifi bridge). We want to be able to pull the video footage from a main device and edit that footage from any one of the Macs?

    Basically, what is the best solution to being able to set this up. We have 20,000 budget at the moment, but we are sending the proposal in a month or so.

    Please all suggestion or comments will help so much.
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    before you get too deep into this, do you have onsite tech support? Is there an IT department that is good with Macs and networking? A bunch of computers with kids crawling all over them will need to be watched over and maintained.

    There will be no editing over WiFi. You need a server and a wired Ethernet network. How big of a server do you need? I don't know. What is your default media format and codec? What is the expected production format and codec? What do you think you will be producing in a semester? 1 hour of programming? Ten hours? How much material will that be on the server?

    So and Ethernet switch, cabling, a server, storage. Who sets that up , who maintains it? What's you plan of action when something breaks?

    And the server, every student gets their own account, their own login, their own mount or partition? What protects files from mistakes, stupidity, maliciousness?

    Maybe you should just go with external drives. Every student has their own (1TB USB drives are around $60, $70 now) and you keep a copy of all sources files and masters. Make them get one as a condition of the course. Don't provide, they will all be lost or stole before the end of the semester.

    The money. The less you spend now, the more you will have to do what you really need to do later after you figure out what doesn't and what you forgot about. Buy as little as possible at first. Use whatever discounts the school has. Buy the cheapest computers you can. Adversity teaches more than convenience.

    You can buy used, buy refurbished, beg, borrow, steal. Maybe not steal. Buy things off of eBay.

    An older computer will let anyone learn everything they need to know about research, writing, editing and crafting a story. Sure, it may bring certain other limitations but it'll be cheap.

    Spend money on the server and storage. That's something you want to get right from the start. A Mac Mini and a Promise Pegasus will good for a handful of users.

    Make your vendor answer questions. Take your time and question everything.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    If you just want to do basic green screening then iMovie 11 is fine. However FCP X runs off a different license system so I am not sure how many computers you can install on under the EULA. You want to ensure that you abide by the EULA.

    You need to understand that the AirPort Extreme is not a NAS. In fact the USB port will give you at most 20 MB/s under an ideal light load network. Under a large roaming network of AirPorts like I manage you are looking realistically at maybe 10 MB/s. You probably are going to want a Final Cut server to host everything.

    You also need decent networking hardware to support this. 1080p is decently sized and if you have 20 students all clamoring to put it across to a server or NAS it is going to get slow if not unusable very quickly. This isn't the type of thing where you want to use Best Buy switches and routers, you need quality gear. The NAS will probably need to use link aggregation to hook it up to increase the capacity of the I/O.

    We are more than happy to help you out, but I think you have the wrong mindset in what you need. However, good job on taking a stance for the betterment of your school!

Share This Page