We have focused on the strengths of the EDIUS Pro 4 software on its own for this review, since this provides your main editing interface. But you’re just as likely to buy it with one of Canopus’ hardware products. The cheapest is the DVX PCI card, which costs £410.08 but only supports editing DV, not HDV. It offers a FireWire interface and analogue S-Video and composite outputs, plus plug-ins for Adobe Premiere 6.5 and Premiere Pro, should you want to use these instead.
But if you want HDV editing support, you will need the next step up: EDIUS NX. This now comes in two versions, one with a 64-bit PCI-X interface and one with a x1 PCI Express interface. They have identical capabilities, and cost virtually the same, so the choice comes down to which type of slots your PC has on offer. The 64-bit PCI-X card will work in a regular 32-bit PCI slot, but loses some of its HDV acceleration capabilities.
On the face of it, the NX hardware is simply an I/O card. It offers a FireWire port, plus composite and S-video capture and output alongside mini-jack audio. A handy breakout box which fits in a 5.25in drive bay is available for £104.58 inc VAT, or you can add component output as well for previewing HD via the HDV Expansion Kit (£504.08 inc VAT). This includes the breakout box, a PCI component I/O card, Title Motion Pro titler software and codecs for editing HDV natively.
But the NX hardware is a little more than just for analogue digitisation. It also includes a hardware DV encoding chip, and hardware video overlay support for both DV and HDV (although the latter doesn’t work when using the PCI-X card in a 32-bit slot). We’ve found that having the NX hardware installed does noticeably improve on the real-time editing capabilities. Even without NX, EDIUS is capable of real-time DV output over FireWire from the timeline, but with the additional hardware you can add a layer or two more than with just OHCI FireWire. Likewise, HD playback works in real time for that little bit longer with the NX hardware, although it’s hard to quantify exactly how much better it is.
At the time of writing, all these hardware products were still shipping with EDIUS Pro 3, but you can upgrade to version 4 for free. This makes the DVX actually cheaper than buying EDIUS Pro 4 on its own!