specializes in complete and ready-to-use VES/Delta series professional video editing systems running Avid Media Composer or Avid Liquid (Pinnacle) software, along with friendly User Training and Support. Because you are an artist, not an engineer!  are the U.S. Distributors and Customer Support for VES/Delta series workstations & laptops.

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Why we built the VES/Delta 1000 for AVID & Liquid
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Why we designed the VES/Delta 1000

Putting together the "perfect" computer system for running AVID is a whole lot more complicated than I (Prof. Fred Ginsburg) ever imagined when I first began my quest for a personal computer system to host the copy of Media Composer Academic that I purchased after the (August 2006) University Film & Video Association Conference held at Chapman University.

Of course, it was that frustration that led me down the path to my esteemed colleague, Nigel Hamley, who has been a leader in putting together video editing systems ever since his early years with Convergence Editing Systems in England! These days, his company is located in Burbank California, and he has designed and installed systems for major studios & broadcast facilities.

I showed Nigel some quotes that I had gotten from various sources on the web, and he began enlightening me on the realities of non-linear editing.

Which, of course, is what ultimately brought about the creation of the VES/Delta Series of advanced, turnkey editing systems for AVID and AVID Liquid. But I digress from sharing with you what I have learned.

MAC vs PC. This is the first question on everybody's mind. After all, didn't AVID originally only run on the MAC platform?  Well, yes, sort of. The AVID package included software & special hardware, and cost more than most houses. In those days, you did not buy software only.

That was then, and this is now.

When you get a MAC, you get it the way Apple intends it. Period. Not much wiggle room, nor opportunity to customize it cheaply. Despite their great advertising campaign, Apple is far from the bohemian, counter-culture, folksy image that they convey. In reality, we are staring at a massive, monopolistic corporate monolith whose halls swarm with as many "suits" as any other "big business" entity.

Video has changed a lot since the olde days. Much higher resolutions, more sophisticated effects, and more emphasis on doing it all right there in your desktop as opposed to editing only an off-line EDL and then bringing your tapes to a facility for final rendering.

Oh, and let us not forget that HD and HDV are upon us.

Today's editing systems need some major processing power, terabytes of (transportable) storage, and well conceived fail safes! There is no room for technical compromise if you expect to play in the big leagues!

Which is why the production community now favors the PC. A PC can be configured far more efficiently for what we need it to do.

To begin with, there is a myth regarding the speed of the CPU. It is widely believed that the most important number when choosing a computer is the speed or power of the Central Processing Unit. Not so. The CPU plays an important role, but the power of the Graphics Processing Unit is perhaps even more critical when discussing video editing.

Economically speaking, one should go with a slightly less powerful CPU and put the savings into a better GPU. Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that we not use a state-of-the-art Intel Quad-core, but we do not need the fastest one on the market.

More of the overall speed of the system has to do with a high performance chipset supporting a high performance graphics processor. Many computers fail in this regard by not engineering the best chipset to support the graphics! Our VES/Delta computers will employ a very powerful (newly designed)  Nvidia Quadro graphics card supported by an advanced chipset and special motherboard. So new, in fact, that we had to re-think our original design to accommodate this new technology.

Fact. AVID software works best with Nvidia. Although Liquid is far less fussy when it comes to the type of graphics card, classic AVID is extremely particular and is only certified with a handful of models. AVID strongly recommends Nvidia, and that is what we are using!

Beware, though, that not all Nvidia graphics cards are appropriate for AVID. They manufacture a variety of cards, some of which are not suitable for professional video editing!

The motherboard, chipset, and graphics processor that we have put together will support the future addition of a second GPU. You probably don't need it now, but who knows what the near future holds in store? New formats, new clients, new processing demands. Better to spend a few more dollars today on an advanced, upgradeable system -- than to have to toss out your motherboard and GPU in order to beef up your system later.

Our single GPU supports two monitors, of course. We supply every system with two 22-inch wide-screen displays, along with audio speakers (properly mated in terms of quality, magnetic shielding, and impedance on your system).

Drives. We start off with four large capacity drives. These are all the latest technology, removable, heavy duty drives that install as easily as changing the battery on a power drill.

Drive 1 is for the main operating system and applications. It remains uncluttered from projects and media, which are on drives 2 thru 4.  It comes preloaded and configured (as does everything on the Delta). We also include special utilities for disk management & routine maintenance.

But one day, the drive will self-corrupt or mechanically fail. All drives fail eventually. That is a fact of life that computer manufacturers like to pretend will never happen. But it will crash. Question is, what will happen to your career?

Before we ship your system to you, and after it has been completely configured, we make a special restore package for your main drive.  (And yes, this required a lot of political negotiation and special licensing from the software giants.) All you have to do is employ the restore media, and minutes later your reformatted or new main drive is ready to continue editing, just as if nothing bad ever happened.

Unless you have survived the ordeal of attempting to self-install a program as complex as Media Composer, with all of its myriad setup requirements, mods to Windows, upgrades to third party plug-ins, legacy connections, and labyrinths of installation do's/don'ts, you cannot even begin to appreciate the genius behind our painless approach to editing solutions.

We get it all done correctly in our shop, so that when you sit down in front of the computer, all you have to do is edit. And when the software gets messed up (for whatever reasons), all you have to do to fix it is insert a disk and walk away for an hour!

Drives 2 thru 4 would include your Project data as well as Media. The Project data could be recovered from your backup on one of the other drives.

If your original media is timecoded, you can alway recapture or batch capture your material in the event of a crash. Or, you can back up your media drives to external high performance drives, thanks to the addition of two ports on the back!

These ports also make it very easy to transport your whole show to another physical computer somewhere else in your company, or even around the world.

For those of you with stringent client demands who absolutely cannot afford to recapture due to time schedules or other reasons, the VES/Delta computers are set up to easily add our Raid 5 array.

I know. You're not a geek. What the heck is a Raid 5?

The Raid 5 is an internal hard drive array holding 4 active drives for your media. It would replace the function of the your Drives 3 and 4. But the cool thing about these drives is that any 3 of the 4 hold 100% of your data. It is a complicated thing to explain, but at any given moment 3 drives store data while the fourth drive (called a Parity drive) stores a redundant data. Of course, the role of the 4 drives continually changes, so that at any given moment, any 3 of the 4 drives can restore the data of its (damaged) sibling.

Oh, and should one of the drives fail, you will not have to wait impatiently for Federal Express  to deliver a spare drive to you. We stash a brand new drive inside of the rack so that you are not forced to "drive without a spare tire" in case of another crash. We have great respect for Murphy's Law!

Then there are all of the other little details. A really beefy power supply and whisper-quiet cooling fans. A top notch (industry preferred) DVD burner (not Sony nor Pioneer). An optional CAT-5 extender kit for remoting the monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc. so that you can edit & record audio "quietly". An inexpensive firewire to analog interface box for those of you who do not need the full capabilities of the MOJO.

Multiple ethernet systems, including WiFi, so you can link local editing systems to each other and still have internet capability. Like when you want Training & Support to take control of your desktop for instruction or troubleshooting!

By the way. All of the documentation is in plain English, written for us creative types who are artists rather than engineers. And we will also provide training DVD's, and a VES/Delta Users Only section of the website for posting tutorials, tips, tricks, and a Users Forum.

There's a lot more to the package, of course, but you get the point.

The VES/Delta computer system was built to run AVID by engineers who make a living dealing with AVID and Liquid editing systems. They are not just "I.T. guys" who make computers; they are FILM and TV people who understand Hollywood.

Final pricing is not posted on this website, because we discourage internet price comparisons. It is not fair to compare a discount computer package against one of our premium quality and included features!

But we are looking at a middle of the road price, which I like to call "creditcard-able". A few bucks more than beginners would have liked, but still very affordable and pretty much on par with other systems.

Especially when you factor in that our systems ship complete with two monitors, speakers, custom keyboard, extra software, multiple (four to nine) SATA drives, multicard and P2 readers, and a host of special features (like our unique Restore Kit).

But none of those competing systems has the engineering and design considerations (for present and future) that Nigel and his team have put into the VES/Delta.

However, you could lease (to own) a typical complete VES/Delta AVID system for roughly $300 to $350 per month for 36 months. A couple of hundred bucks per month for a fully professional video editing system... talk about easy to manage on a budget!

Obviously the final lease amount depends on your final configuration, choice of software, etc.  If you leased it for 48 or 60 months, the monthly rate would be even lower.

Although we were invited to exhibit in the AVID Pavilion at NAB 2007, short notice prevented us from accepting their invitation. However, we did preview one of our systems in our hotel suite to selected VIP's and received excellent reviews.

Because of all the (flattering) buzz coming our way from the NAB unveiling, we strongly recommend that you get a deposit in to insure that you are on the list to take delivery on one of the first batch of certified VES/Delta workstations!




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Copyright 2009
Last modified: 05/12/09

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