Mac Mini for pro video editing: a field report from Guatemala

TecnoTur on PVC by Alan Tepper

Despite gloomy predictions from the naysayers, the Mac Mini beats the MacPro tower for video editing.

Many readers of ProVideo Coalition magazine may recall my recent article Mac Mini w/Thunderbolt: preferred platform for many new editing systems. However, some of the readers had doubts, and one naysayer even dared to comment via LinkedIn: “This is hilarious garbage. No serious editor, in their right mind, would do this.” Another commenter via LinkedIn supposed that it would stand up for standard-definition video editing only, but would never work for HD 1080p editing. Fortunately, here is a detailed report from a very serious commercial production company in Guatemala, that has recently replaced two MacPro towers with Mac Mini i7 with Thunderbolt, together with a Thunderbolt RAID5 disk array, and a Thunderbolt-based professional audio/video i/o device. Here you’ll see the exact software and hardware configuration used, performance, and enthusiastic comments from the editor. On the other hand, you’ll even learn where not to use a Mac Mini.

Mac Mini configuration at Staff HDTV/Alta Definición in Guatemala

Staff HDTV/Alta Definición purchased the following configuration for two of their editing rooms. All of the above is repeated in two different editing rooms. Staff HDTV/Alta Definición has decided (for now) to stay with Final Cut Pro 7 since Final Cut Pro X (as of today) cannot work completely with a professional a/v interface. Although they already owned Final Cut Pro 7 and the monitors, they needed to purchase the new Mac Minis with Thunderbolt, the disk arrays, and the professional audio/video i/o device immediately after IBC. The lack of immediate availability of Thunderbolt-based i/o devices from AJA and Matrox made their decision quite simple, and that’s why they purchased two UltraStudio 3D interfaces, which I covered in this recent article. The lack of direct compatibility with the HP DreamColor was not an issue with these editing rooms, since in these rooms they have the mentioned JVC monitors which can accept either digital RGB or digital YUV with no problem. read more...

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