written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 8/30/2011
Most post-production systems are simply software operating on regular computers with peripherals, but the Casablanca system brings in a hardware component for an interesting integration of analog and digital.
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Back to Hardware
Since the first Avid systems switched us to the non-linear video editing system, the shift has been towards software exclusive systems. These systems employ regular computers, though often of a high-caliber and exclusive use, to run professional level software. These computers are not exclusively designed for this use in most cases, but instead tailored towards this use because of the purpose employed by the owner. It is almost antithetical to consider buying a hardware-based video editing system, but there are still those available. The Casablanca video editing system line is a series of video editing systems that you buy, which act as a complete computerized system in and of themselves. This is an incredibly unusual choice, but one that remains available in the world of professional video post-production.
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The basic function of the Casablanca video editing system, made by MacroSystem Digital Video, is really that of a non-linear video editing system run on a computer, yet the computer is designed for this purpose in mind specifically and sold as a complete package. In a lot of ways this simplifies the process since it is perfectly suited to take certain types of inputs and outputs, though it is limiting for what you want to work on. You then attach a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to it as you with a normal computer and you can perform your editing project. Unlike developing a non-linear video editing system on your existing computer, or even one you purchase with that intent, you will be able to begin working on project from original source media very quickly after setting up the machine since it is designed for quick start up.
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The system that is on the Casablanca video editing system is going to be the Bogart, which stands as a unique piece of software. It is designed for simplicity and the ability to quickly work with source media, but it does not have the extensive features or power of other programs. Final Cut Pro’s package is more involved and best known, Avid is much more powerful and a feature film standard, and Adobe Premiere brings in outside software like After Effects and Photoshop. Bogart is going give you a great series of options for analog and digital displays as well as moving and sharing media that is more difficult in a program like Final Cut Pro, but since it is not anywhere close to being an industry standard, it is hard to use this in a professional setting at any degree. MacroSystem claims 130,000 Casablanca users world wide, but this number does not indicate that it has any of the professional market share.
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There are essentially two versions for the Casablanca system: Casablanca S-3000 and Casablanca S-6000. The Casablanca S-3000 is going to give you just about everything you need such as full editing for major formats like HDV and AVCHD, HD displays, HDMI connections, DVD burner and the option for a Blu-ray burner, and font, DVD authoring, and media management software options. It will also bring in 2 GB of RAM, an Intel Core 2 Duo E63000 processor, and most of the technical specs you are going to need for audio and video editing. The Casablanca 3-6000 is essentially going to be the more professional version. It will have a higher resolution display, bring in a Blu-ray burner as standard, have flexible export options, include a 200 GB storage space, and essentially have a much larger set of options.
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What the Casablanca video editing system shows is the ability to have an all-inclusive package that can bring in power, speed, and quality, even though it is not going to dominate the industry. The software that is already available takes up such an enormous market share that few competitors could come in, especially at the prices that MacroSystem is asking. The Casablanca S-6000 Digital Video Editing System can run you around $4,000, which is going to be excessive by anyone’s standards. For comparison, Final Cut Pro will cost you about $1,000. The best computer system to run with it will then run maybe another $3,000 if you want the highest of professional levels. That system would be a comparable price, yet blow Casablanca out of the water with the features and abilities that it would produce. More than that, you could get by with only a fraction of the price of the Casablanca system and still produce projects with most of the ease and features that you have there. Since Casablanca will not allow your projects to travel, or go into a professional settings, it is the system that will have to be left behind by most post-production enthusiasts.