Archive for December, 2008

Sesame Street Economy

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I grew up watching quite a lot of Sesame Street, this is the best episode ever! LOL!

DIY Cheap Online TV Station, Part 2

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

There are a few things that we need to consider before you can start podcasting your shows. First, you need to have the right equipment & software. Second, you need a studio. Third is the human resource issue. Yes, you actually need people to work on the shows.

You need equipment and software to record and process your shows. A basic setup will require you to get the following:

1. Camera
The world is going towards HD. True HD is still far from affordable for many of us. But there are cameras that can record in variations HD in lower resolutions which is cheap enough for all of us. One thing about going HD is you’re preparing for the future and if TV stations are interested to buy your clips, clips in HD formats can command for a higher price compared to DV clips.
Please be careful when you pick your HD camera. If you are getting a HDV camera that records to miniDV tapes, you should be fine. But if you are getting HD camera that records into a hard drive or a card in AVCHD format. Then you need to find out if the video files created by the camera are compatible with your editing software. Though cameras from different manufacturers are using the same AVCHD label, the format is not standardized yet and each company tend to have their own variation of AVCHD. Oh, don’t forget to check if the camera has a microphone input.

2. Microphone
I ain’t no expert in microphones, but one rule of thumb that guides me well is go to a musical instrument store that sells recording equipment and tell them what you need the microphone for. They will be able to recommend you the right one for the right price. My experience, a microphone that cost between USD100 to USD150 is good enough for producing podcast.

Visit this site you if need to know more about microphones.

3. Editing Machine & Software
Not that I am a Mac fan, frankly speaking, Macs are by far the best solution for low cost AV production. If you consider the hardware and the software suites tailor made for the platform, no other company can beat Apple Inc to it. Sorry FOSS fans, the FOSS community still have a lot to catch up in terms of software development for the audio/video production sector. An iMac now cost around USD1200, the iLife suite that come with it is HD compatible. You can start doing a decent project right out of the box. I do recommend you to spend a hundred or two USDs to max the RAMs. Trust me, you will be a much happier person when you are rendering HD movies with more RAMs.

If you’re turning more pro, you may start considering getting the Final Cut Studio 2 suite. Well, it will cost as much as your iMac though at USD1299. But you can do film editing, audio post-production, graphics & animation, color finishing and DVD production.

If cost is your real concern and you may need a more professional video editing software, you can get a copy of Final Cut Express for USD199.

One important advice before you start buying. Please make friends with someone in colleges, they may get a good education discount from Apple.

4. Hard Disk
No amount of hard disk space that come with your computer will be enough when you start editing videos. Therefore, you have no choice but to get external hard drive (HDD). Please get Firewire hard drives for your video projects as you can edit the video directly on the external HDD. You cannot do so with a USB external HDD due to the way how it works. HDD spaces are cheap now, so you can buy according to your budget.

If you want to find out why Firewire external HDD is better than its USB counter parts, you may click the following link:

Next, we will explore more on how to build your own studio, at a very low cost.

Go to Part 1