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Linux Journal: Linux as a Video Desktop

Jan 21, 2001, 14:11 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Rowe)

"For the Oscar award-winning movie Titanic the production studio Digital Domain used Linux on a network of more than a hundred DEC Alpha machines to render the special effects. However, they used 350 SGI machines running IRIX and a hundred DEC Alphas running Windows NT for the artistic aspects of the production. Linux was judged not-ready in 1997 for the video desktop. What's developed with Linux as a desktop operating system for video production in the last few years?"

"For Linux to be a player in the realm of television and motion picture production it must have stunning graphics capabilities, high-performance disk I/O with support for the very large file sizes video needs, integration with analog and digital video input/output devices, and the actual video applications themselves. As these capabilities are becoming available on Linux, the companies that develop video applications (including the company I work for) are looking at Linux in a new way."

"Because Digital Convergence seems like too much of a mouthful for a title, and Linux Multimedia too lame, we'll call the column Media/GFX. GFX is an abbreviation of ``graphics'' used in television news rundowns and scripts, a term I picked up years ago as technical director for news production at an NBC television station. Media/GFX will tell about our travails with Linux over the next year as we install multimedia applications and make progress on the programming front and will discuss what it is like to develop multimedia applications for Linux from scratch. My own area of expertise is video software design using C++ and Java, and that's always interesting (and frustrating) on any platform. Video applications are always some of the most challenging because of the demands they make on the CPU, disk and I/O systems."

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