PCs can make excellent edit controllers but a
lot depends on the software… We've been trying out the new PC-100 package from
As far as we're aware this is Datavideo's
first foray into the PC editing market -- in the UK at least -- they're better
known for their stand-alone controllers and processors. This is a fairly mature
market, the first PC controllers appeared more than five years ago, so they've
got a lot of ground to make up.
The PC-100 package is designed to run on any
Pentium PC (120MHz or faster) under Windows 95. It can control a single
camcorder via a LANC/Control L or Panasonic interface, the record VCR is operated
by infra-red commands. It supports both VITC and RC timecodes, as well as
normal tape counter data.
Installation takes a few minutes. The outfit
includes a small box that connects to the PC parallel printer port, leads to
the IR wand and the camcorder's edit control terminal plug into the back. A
9-volt battery or mains adaptor (not supplied) powers the module. The operating software is on four 3.5-inch
floppies, once it has been loaded and fired up the colourful opening screen has
five options: set-up, cut, EDL, project and record. Set-up includes a facility
to learn IR commands from the VCRs remote handset if the stored codes won't
work. Despite having five choices it failed dismally with a Sony VCR though it
had better luck with a Panasonic machine.
All was not well with the display, it looked
unfinished, the taskbar at the bottom of the window extended off the side of
the screen and a large unmarked arrow at the end of a row of buttons closes the
program without any warning. The design and layout defies a lot of Windows conventions
and it also managed to disable the Win 95 hidden taskbar feature.
Operationally it all looks quite reasonable. Clicking
on the in/out button designates cut points; timings are displayed on screen and
entered into an edit decision list (EDL), where they can be modified. However,
the controls on the Cut menu proved to be quite sluggish (our testbed PC, a 233
PII with 64Mb RAM is no slouch…), the program crashed several times after
clicking on a button in frustration, as nothing seemed to be happening.
We did manage to get most elements to work at
one time or another -- we tried it on another Pentium PC, just in case it was
our fault -- but in both cases the program proved to be quite unstable. We expect
that kind of thing on Beta software but this is supposed to be a finished
product and as it stands it's simply not up to the standard of rival products.
PE-100 PC Editor
Guide Price £49.95
System requirements Pentium PC (120MHz or faster) Windows 95, 4Mb RAM
Control systems Source:
Control L or Panasonic 5-pin, record: IR
Ltd, telephone (0161) 367 9000
Video Camera Ratings
Ó R. Maybury 1998 2105