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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Technology Recommendations for MFA and MA Film-Television Majors

In the School of Communication & the Arts, technical tools are important for effectively accomplishing class projects. While we don't endorse any platform in particular, we offer the following guidelines:

1. Am I required to buy a camera or other equipment?

No Some students buy their own, but Regent University's FTV Equipment Office stocks cameras and other equipment needed for FTV class assignments.

2. Am I required to buy a computer or software for editing?

Regent University strongly recommends that FTV students purchase their own system for editing class projects. FTV courses require students to shoot and edit their own class projects.

3. Does Regent University provide computers or software for editing?

Regent University recommends that you purchase your own system for editing class projects. For general coursework, there are several computer labs on campus, but there are no general editing labs.

4. Can I use the computer I already own?

An older computer might run new editing software, but performance will be slow and possibly unstable. If your system is more than three years old, or does not meet minimum software requirements, you should consider a new computer system.

5. Can I use the editing software I already own?

Your system must be able to input, edit and output HD video in various formats. It must also be able to create titles and layer several tracks of audio (dialogue, sound effects and music). Depending on your needs, this can be as basic as the free software that often comes bundled with computers, or as elaborate as the professional systems on the market.

6. Is there an advantage to buying a new system?

Buying a new system gets you a warranty from the manufacturer. Manufacturer warranties are usually one year, and for an additional cost, can be up to three years. A newer system is faster and more stable, which can make you more productive with less waiting and frustration.

7. What are the recommended desktop and laptop configurations?

Because requirements are so complex and varied, we strongly advise that you follow your software's recommended —not the minimum— configuration for whichever system you choose.

8. PC (Windows XP) or Mac (OS X)?

Both platforms are viable for post-production work—assuming proper configurations in both cases. However, Apple editing software only works on Macs. Avid and Adobe software work on both Macs and PCs.

9. Laptop or desktop computer?

While laptops offer portability, properly configured systems are costly, and offer limited upgrade capability. In general, properly configured desktops are less costly than laptops, and are easier to upgrade.

10. What editing software do I need?

Depending on your editing needs, there are several good choices. Refer to #5 above.

11. Do I need a DVD burner for my computer?

Regent recommends that you have a DVD burner for completing assignments and for data backups, but it's not required. External, name-brand USB DVD burners can be purchased for under $30.

12. Do I need an external hard drive?

YES! The faster and higher the capacity, the better. USB 3 for PCs, and Thunderbolt or USB 3 for Macs.

13. Does Regent University provide support for my computer and/or software?

No. Computer or editing software problems should be handled by the manufacturer or dealer. Regent University recommends that you buy an extended service agreement with help-desk support if you're not comfortable troubleshooting on your own.

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