Hands on 1 Beyond's 660 DVS
If you're looking for a high-quality digital video (DV) editing system for an affordable price, 1 Beyond's 660 DVS offers all the power and disk space your students will ever need. And the best part, it's ready to go out of the box. There's even an introductory video that gives you an overview of the system and walks you through the setup process.
The 660 DVS features native DV editing on a system fully-loaded with a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 processor and a 115 GB hard drive that can store more than eight hours of full-resolution DV video. And if you still need more storage, the system's hard drive is upgradable to 200 GB, offering 15 hours of DV video storage. The system also comes with 256 MB of 800 MHz RD Ram (400 MHz Ram Bus). The 660 DVS is housed in a full tower that comes with three removable disk bays, a CD-RW and a DVD-ROM - making the system flexible and efficient, and allowing students to perform multiple tasks at once. And what's great about the 660 DVS system is that a 19" ViewSonic CRT monitor is included to bring the editing experience to life, though the monitor might take up much of your desktop. In addition to the monitor, the 660 DVS system comes complete with a three-piece Altec Lansing speaker system with a 20-watt subwoofer, which is just about enough power to keep the students satisfied. Another nice feature is that the keyboard offers Internet shortcut keys that allow you to perform actions such as jumping backward and forward between Web pages, going directly to your e-mail, and pulling up a list of your favorite Web links. The system also features front input and output jacks for DV, S-Video and audio devices. And, most importantly, a front-locking door on the system's tower protects your peripherals. Other options that can be integrated into the system include DVD authoring software and a DVD burner.
When it comes to applications, 1 Beyond offers the user a variety of editing platforms, including Canopus StormEdit, Adobe Premiere 6.0 and Avid Xpress DV 2. Each program has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on the skill level you're looking for; the budget you have to work with; and your performance needs. For example, Canopus StormEdit is easy to learn for first-time DV video editors, but it can't perform sophisticated editing techniques. Premiere 6.0, the world's standard DV editing application, is a little more advanced, offering cross-platform support for Web, CD and DVD video formats. Finally, Avid Xpress DV 2 is for the more advanced DV editor and comes with a higher cost, though it is a very robust and powerful application. A great added bonus is that training videos and test programs showing how to use each of these programs come loaded on the system's desktop.
1 Beyond's 660 DVS is the perfect DV editing system for students and instructors of all levels. The biggest advantage is being able to customize your system with the exact specifications and software requirements to meet your needs, instead of being stuck with programs you never use; or worse, being stuck with programs that you don't know how to use. For the price, listed at approximately $4,995 for educators, it's hard to find an all-in-one DV editing system like the 660 DVS. Now, if manufacturers could just figure out how to make an editing system that's a little more compact, they would be a little more practical for a classroom or lab setting.
This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.