How much PC power is required for HD PIP?

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I downloaded the trial version of Camtasia and am encouraged by the results, certainly the ease of use.

However, I think the output indicates what I want to do is exceeding my hardware capabilities.

The application involves forward and rear facing cameras in a motor sports setting that are combined during editing for Picture-in-Picture with PIP for the rear-facing camera in a smaller window. My requirement is to do this in HD utilizing MOV H.264 files for input.

I tried it with the trial version on my laptop. The video resolution was fine, but the video output has discontinuity (skips ahead) and the soundtrack may be losing synchronization with the visual track. Also, the rendering time for a 7 minute video is prohibitively long - more than an hour (this is why I have not gone back to double check to see if the audio sync. was an editing issue).

Please confirm that this is a viable use case for your software and what I need for hardware. I am interested to know how much capability the PC I must buy to run the program needs to have.
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Matt Robison

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Posted 8 years ago

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Randy Schott

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Hi Matt,

At the moment, the only things that affect the performance of Camtasia Studio are the typical things that affect almost any application, and they are:

1. Processor Speed/Count. A quad-core processor with a decent sized cache should be a big help. We do inherit multi-thread decoding of files due to our use of DirectShow as an underlying architecture.

2. RAM. We are a 32-bit application, so we can't use more than about 3 GB, but having more than that will still help on a 64-bit machine because we won't get swapped out to disk to make room for another application.

3. Hard-drive speed. This one isn't quite as important but can still matter. As long as you don't have a super slow, highly fragmented hard drive, we should be okay. But if you have some spare cash laying around, a Solid State drive doesn't hurt :-).

4. Operating System. XP is a reliable standard, but Windows 7 has a lot of internal improvements that can make a huge difference. (Notice I didn't mention Vista)

In general, our MOV performance isn't phenomenal ( I should know, I wrote it ;-) ). Part of it is due to adapting Quicktime to run in a DirectShow environment. The other part is the fact that Quicktime on Windows is "serialized", which means that even though we are trying to decode two videos at the same time on different threads, the Quicktime runtime will only process calls from a single thread at a time.

You may be able to get better performance by converting those MOVs to MP4s. The decoders we use for MP4 are much better. Your best bet would be to find a converter that can do "pass-through" conversion, since the video and audio streams are already in the correct format. They just need to be repackaged into a different container. That would preserve the same quality as the original, with no need to worry about encode settings.

Hope that helps,
Randy
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Randy Schott

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Hi there,

I just wanted to let you know that the Camtasia Studio 8 has been released and includes lots of improvements to the performance of the rendering engine. The previously mentioned issues with Quicktime still exist, so you may not see perfect playback with multiple HD MOV files, but the overall performance should be noticeably better. We are hoping to address specific MOV performance issues in the future.

The 30-day trial is fully functional and can be installed alongside existing versions of Camtasia Studio. You can learn more about the new version here:

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia-wha...

Give it a try and let us know if it helps.
Randy

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