Digital Video Editing Introduction

Necessary Equipment

Video editing is well within the grasp of the average consumer with low cost firewire (IEE1394) cards supplied complete with DV editing software. You'll need the following equipment to get started:

  • PC with at least 500MHz CPU and 128Mb of RAM. Recommended better then 1GHz and at least 256Mb RAM. Windows 98SE or Windows 2000 is recommended.
  • Camcorder with DV out capability. DV in is also required if you wish to save the edited video back onto tape. This is not necessary, but will allow you to keep DV quality master of your final movie.
  • FireWire (IEE 1394) capture card.
  • Video editing software, often supplied with the capture card.
  • Plenty of hard disc space. DV quality video requires 12Gb per hour. Ideally you should have a second hard disc in your PC dedicated for storing video. Modern IDE discs are fast enough (4.5Mb per second sustained transfers are required) - just make sure that DMA is enabled for the disc and that no slow devices (such as CD-ROM drive) use the same IDE channel. Ideally your video disc should be on a separate IDE channel to other devices, but this is not always possible.

Choosing a Capture Card

These days there are plenty of cheap OHCI compliant capture cards available. OHCI is a standard, for which a Microsoft driver is available for recent operating systems. These are often bundled with cheap editing software or a "light" version of a better editing suite. Other specialist companies can supply highly regarded software with a DV board for a reasonable price.

Choosing a capture card and editing software is not simple. There are many to choose from, so spend a little time thinking about what you want from your system. Some things you may want to consider are:

  • How much editing am I going to do? Do I just want to transfer from a DV camcorder onto another format, such as VideoCD?
  • How much can I afford to spend?
  • What editing features do I require? Remember that some features, such as exotic wipes and fades become tiresome if used too often.

Once you have considered these options, take a look at some manufacturers web sites, including the following:


You'll need some software to go with your new capture card. Most come bundled with software. If you go for a cheap card you may soon wish to upgrade the bundled software.

Digital Video
Glossary MPEG Bitrate

Video Editing

Introduction Plasma LCD Projection HDTV Antennas

Introduction Aerial Channels Coverage PVR Recording STB Guides TV


Beginners Settings






If you have any comments please use the feedback form.
Add to Favourites Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2002-2021 Ian Willis. All rights reserved.