Two more issues you brought up, so here's two more bits of info:
Re: CD Architect. (Actually, I think you mean DVD Architect).
Since no one wants or watches VHS Tapes anymore, and unless you're doing material for broadcast (on servers, digi beta tape, etc.) chances are nearly 100% you're going to deliver product to your clients on DVD. We will NOT make VHS copies for a client unless there's a drop-dead reason to do so; we will not risk the embarassment that the gen-loss to VHS brings. The need to make them grows less and less every day. We recently gave away our stock of VHS T-10 and T-120's, keeping about ten of each "For someday".
DVD's are the ONLY way we go now for all video projects. If someone claims their machines wont play them, we suggest they go to Best Buy and spring for $50 for a GoVIdeo player that will. It may sound arrogant, but it's already the future, and we're not going back. We learned our lesson with the last 5 VHS machines we bought - about 10 minutes before the bottom fell out of the format. :roll:
So, aside from a DV Tape and Hard Disc backup of the finished project, it's a given you'll need to make a DVD of your work for temps, final proofs and even dupes for clients. This is where the beauty of Vegas/DVD Arch really shines. The two products are designed to work together, actually. (In many more ways than I can tell you here, you'll just have to trust me on this...you'll find out as you go, smiling all the time, believe me.)
Timelines for projects in Vegas can match up smoothly to when you port it all over to DVD Arch (as MPEG (Video) files and AC3 (Dolby Audio) files.
One of the really smart & savvy things you can do is this: Highlight a region in Vegas to "Render" to MPEG, give it a name: Myfilm.mpeg and then do the same with the audio: Myflim.ac3. When you open DVD Architect and beging making your DVD, it will automatically find the audio as soon as you import the video (MPEG) clip. (Assuming you've put them in the same folder, of course.) You can always change it, as well, but the marriage is designed to be seamless.
You can also create "chapters" in either product - Vegas or DVD Arch, it's sometimes smarter to do it in either place, depending on your needs. (If you create the chapters in Vegas and render to an MPEG, the chapters will then show up in DVD Architect already. Brilliant!)
The main thing is this ability for pre-creating DVD projects in Vegas: All work gets rendered to DVD-compatible MPEG files (in a variety of frame rates, ratios, formats for many many DVD types and regions) and are therefore usuable as menu clips, movies, special features, etc. Ditto for audio, and (space dependent) you can create stereo OR 5.1 versions of the soundtrack for the DVD as well. (All menu selectable, of course.) The beauty of it is that it's all compatible, under one roof, in a way. (2 separate apps, of course, but definitely designed to work together.)
Did I mention it's also HD compatible? With a software patch (About $150) you can import HD video and still work on it within Vegas. We've already done HD-ready production with it, as well as converting things over to SD for regular projects. (all at 16x9, too.) As soon as we get calls for HD DVDs, we're ready.
RE: DV Cameras. In general, I would not buy any more SD (standard def) DV cameras. Not in today's market, not with such great afforable HD stuff coming out now, unless it's a real steal on old unopened stock. (Do not bother with "used" or refurbished DV cameras; their problems with tape path and pixellations/glitches make it not worth the hassle. Way too risky!)
Did you know, btw: that just about all Pro-sumer HDV gear has a switch or selector for HD as well as SD? Yep! It's all reverse compatible. Of course, I'm in no hurry to part with my Sony SD cameras (the 2100, 1000 and 900, not nec. in that order) , but we've gone with JVC for HD live projects now. (3 cameras: one for master shots, and two for side views/pickups, etc.) B&H in NYC is still the best source for this stuff, IMHO. (Ordered my pro-sumer JVC JY-HD10u last Friday morning, it arrived today via UPS. Can't beat that for service and turnaround time. ) This new JVC HDV cam cost less than my SD Sony 2100 (purchased last year around this time), and it's ALSO got pro XLR inputs too.
We try to do everything in 16x9, usually 30fps (sometimes 24 for a filmic look depending on the project's needs) and in HD when the project warrants it, with multitrack audio for surround soundtracks. Even it if becomes just an SD stereo DVD with no goodies, we've still got the capability to revise it someday, and it's good practice for the stuff that's coming along next.
Yeah, I'm sold on this NLE stuff. Can you tell? :twisted: