Top 7 Remote Desktop Software for Video Editing

by | September 1, 2022

Something that has really helped video editors navigate working remotely is remote desktop software for video editing.

Remote desktop software grants remote access to a machine. That machine can either be a physical machine — like an office computer — or a virtual machine hosted in the cloud.

Remote access software gives many editors the freedom to work remotely, with large video files, without having to invest in expensive hardware (new laptop, local drive, etc.) and software (Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, etc.).

All they have to do is remote access into a machine that already has the performance, apps, tools, and media files they need. From there, it’s just a matter of having a decent internet connection and minimal latency between machines to get the job done.

You can even have multiple users remote into a machine for better collaboration and hand-off (e.g. assistant editor to editor, to VFX, to colorist)

And since many MASV users are no strangers to remote editing workflow, we figured, why not provide some intelligence on the best remote editing solutions? Check out our picks below!

Remote Desktop Software for Video Editing:

  1. Green Rock VCS
  2. Parsec
  3. BeBop OS
  4. Blackbird
  5. CuttingRoom
  6. Tehama
  7. Avid Edit On Demand
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1. Green Rock VCS

Green Rock VCS logo

The first platform we looked at was Green Rock VCS, based in London, UK, and Los Angeles. VCS stands for “virtual creative solution,” and the company bills itself as the “world’s first fully virtualized sustainable edit solution.”

The software uses a combination of multi-cloud storage and virtual machines that can run video editing software such as Adobe Creative Cloud (Green Rock is an Adobe partner) and DaVinci Resolve.

All you need to get started is a basic computer and a regular internet connection.

Handy tools for remote collaboration that come standard include its Virtual Collaboration with Live View and Review and Instant Feedback mechanisms.

They’ve even got a pretty high-powered Hollywood endorsement from video editor Walter Murch, who has worked on films such as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now.

“I’ve always embraced new ways of working, and the VCS platform was a game-changer.”

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2. Parsec

Parsec logo

Parsec was originally a free service designed for remote video gaming. But then the pandemic happened, and people realized the NYC-based service could also be used for editing video remotely (Linus Tech Tips reviewed it at the time).

This one is slightly different in that instead of cloud storage or a virtual machine, Parsec allows anyone to log into remote computer via a UDP connection (sort of like a VPN).

It’s compatible with all major operating systems and even works on a tiny Raspberry Pi device. Parsec also features 4:4:4 color mode, drawing tablets for VFX artists, real-time collaboration tools, multi-monitor support, and a high-performance relay server.

The company claims to offer near-zero latency but the software defaults to a 10Mbps bandwidth limit. For the best experience, it’s recommended to increase the software’s bandwidth to at least 25Mbps (preferably 50Mbps) via settings.

And make sure you have a fast internet connection both at home and at your work computer.

Parsec also recommends using the H.265 codec to reduce bandwidth consumption.

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3. BeBop OS

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BeBop OS bills itself as the world’s “most powerful, fast, and reliable platform for remote virtual post-production.”

The service offers what it says are powerful and secure GPU desktops in the cloud. It includes shared storage, connected networks, and video editing software such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Maya, Nuke, Blender, and DaVinci Resolve with one-click installation.

Advanced features of BeBop OS include:

  • Cache management (by automatically sending cache files to its storage solution)
  • In-flight and at-rest enterprise security
  • Single sign-on via OpenID-based systems such as Okta and Azure Active Directory.

It also allows you to host the service on your public cloud (including Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud) and run real-time streaming review and approval sessions.

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4. Blackbird

Blackbird logo

Unlike a VPN-like service or a GPU virtual machine, Blackbird is a browser-based video editor (Blackbird Forte) that offers eight video and 36 audio tracks.

It also offers a range of social media and other web publishing, content monetization, and media management options.

The company leans very heavily into the sustainability angle of its solution, somewhat similar to Green Rock VCS, claiming its software generates up to 91 percent less CO2 than on-premises workflows.

Users can get good performance with just a 2Mbps connection, it runs on any computer, and it integrates with Avid, Adobe Premiere, and other non-linear editing software (NLEs). It also offers its own Blackbird Codec which allows users to work on high-quality proxy files.

Read More: How to Create Video Proxy Files in Adobe Premiere Pro

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5. CuttingRoom

CuttingRoom logo

CuttingRoom is a new product (founded in 2022) similar to Blackbird in that it’s a browser-based remote editor with publishing capabilities, describing itself as “the world’s fastest collaborative, cloud-native video editing and publishing tool.”

Users can use CuttingRoom to:

  • Create videos with multiple aspect ratios and transitions using advanced layered sequences in its timeline panel.
  • Edit projects in local or cloud storage.
  • Facilitate the real-time editing of live input streams.
  • Import animations and graphics from After Effects (or use some of CuttingRoom’s templates).

CuttingRoom, based in Norway, offers integrations with services such as Amazon S3, Iconik, Mjoll, Dropbox, AWS MediaPackage, Facebook, and YouTube.

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6. Tehama

Tehama logo

Tehama is a virtual desktop solution based in Ottawa, Canada (hey, that’s our hometown, too!) that caters to a few different industries, including healthcare, financial services, and remote call centres.

Its media & entertainment offering is Tehama Carrier for Work, which allows users to operate a virtual production studio in the cloud.

Tehama’s value proposition for enterprises includes zero-trust identity controls, forensic auditing capabilities, and enterprise-grade security combined with fast setup and onboarding. Those traits translate to its video production offering.

Tehama offers GPU virtual desktops based on the Amazon EC2 G4 instance, and users can scale quickly using either Windows or Linux virtual machines. Tehama also handles all infrastructure, patches, and updates, allowing video editors to spend more time editing projects and less on technology maintenance.

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7. Avid Edit On Demand

Avid logo

Avid Edit On Demand’s tagline is “edit from anywhere” and it comes with the supreme legitimacy only a big-name player like Avid Technology can offer, especially when editing remotely.

The product is a SaaS-based virtual post-production environment in the cloud available through a weekly or monthly subscription. It includes both Avid Media Composer editing software and Avid Nexis cloud storage. Avid says the user experience is basically the same as using an on-premises video editor.

PostPerspective Magazine says Avid Edit On Demand,

“can be configured to meet the specific needs of each production,” adding that “customers can start with a small configuration and then scale up to dozens of editing seats and hundreds of terabytes of storage.”

Stay in Sync While Remote Editing

Using remote desktop software for video editing is a great way to keep production schedules on track in a remote environment. If users can get remote access into their office network and connect to their computer — using a tool like Parsec or Tehama’s Carrier for Work — they can access files and use an NLE as they would if they were physically there. That is, if the latency isn’t too bad.

Or, they can leverage a virtual machine like Avid Edit on Demand, Green Rock VCS, and BeBop OS to ditch physical hardware all together and work completely in the cloud.

And for those who want to edit remotely without any sort of plug-ins and add-ons, there are browser-based virtual workstations like Blackbird and CuttingRoom which provide enterprise-grade video editing on the web.

So there you have it.

Seven remote access tools to help speed up your remote workflow. Another great way to speed up workflows is a fast, reliable, and secure file transfer solution capable of moving large video and media files with ease. That’s where MASV comes in.

MASV: Fast Large File Transfer for Remote Workflows

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MASV is a cloud-based file transfer solution perfect for remote media workflows. Unlike other file transfer solutions, MASV is built to move large files online.

How large?

How about up to 15 TB per file.

MASV is used by video teams around the world to transfer media from set, to post production, to broadcast rooms. Upload and download a single video file, a batch of raw footage, high-resolution proxy files, DCPs, and other heavy media assets across a private network of 300+ worldwide servers.

All MASV transfers are encrypted and backed by the Trusted Partner Network — a content security assessment led by the Motion Picture Association.

Best of all, if you want to spice up your remote workflow with MASV, you can get started in seconds. You don’t need to sit through a sales demo like you would with Aspera or Signiant.

Simply sign-up and we’ll give you 20 GB free to use towards your next transfer project.

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