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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:59 AM   #1
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NeoHD and Matrox mini and Sony EX-1 and PP project presets

I have an EX-1 and read all the threads on using it with NeoHD and the Matrox mini.
My goal is to be able to shoot in any format the EX-1 shoots, achieve render free previews and use my 25" HDTV, HDMI input TV as my program monitor.

Right now I have a BM Intensity Pro card and am very dissapointed that it offers a limited number of project presets in PP CS4. If I don't use one of their presets I can't use my LCD TV as a monitor.
Does Matrox and/or NeoHD add their own project presets? I am encouraged that the Mini supports output from PhotoShop, so I am hoping that the Mini will allow just about anything that I see on my monitor to be seen on my HDTV.

TIA, Rob
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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The Mini will NOT make you happy. I have one and used it for only two days, and I HATE it. Here are my issues with it:
1) Yes, it does require Matrox presets in order to use the Mini for monitoring
2) Opening a sequence with Matrox preset but NOT having the Mini powered on causes Premiere and AE to crash. Thus, you will always need the Mini and can't share or move projects to other computers that don't have a Mini.
3) In Premiere, with the Source monitor selected and then selecting the Program or timeline causes a 3-5 second delay for the Mini to catch up and in the mean time, you can't do anything else. This delay also happens when going from the timeline/program to source monitor.
4) In Premiere, you lose the ability to easily adjust size and position in the Program window. Half the time, I never saw anything in the Program window while using the Mini.
5) With the Mini turned off, AE crashes upon starting.

The presets are: NTSC 486/PAL 525, 720p & 1080p/i

Why do you want NeoHD? I have an EX1 and XDCAM EX is very easy to edit. NeoHD is mainly for people with AVCHD cameras.

One last problem: the Mini doesn't output 24p.

Last edited by Steve Kalle; April 3rd, 2010 at 07:59 PM.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 06:52 PM   #3
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Rob –

While I do not have an EX1, I am using currently using PProCS4 with NeoHD and use a mini-MXO2 to monitor via HDMI to a Sony Bravia tv set.

I use NeoHD for both HDV and AVCHD. The HDV comes from CF cards recorded on MRC units and gets run quickly through NeoHD. Basically, it is the same process for the AVCHD.

I can be a little more specific about Matrox presets than the previous poster. The Matrox HD presets I see start with 720p for which you get fps settings of 23.98, 25, 29.97, 50 and 59.94. For 1440 x 1080 and 1920 x 1080, you can get “I” presets for 25 and 29.97 fps and “P” presets, for 23.98, 25. and 29.97 fps. There is no preset for 1080p/60.

Although the EX1 allows you to record 1080p/60 (I think), but I cannot find any preset for that in PProCS4, and Matrox doesn’t supply one, either. I cannot find one higher than 1080p/30.

While I haven't had the project crashes that Steve has seen when trying to run PPro CS4 without a mini attached, but I have had other difficulties which seem to be inherent quirks of the Mini.

Following up on what Steve said about time lags in switching from source to program monitoring, I have seen some of that but mainly with my multi-cam projects. As long as I'm working with a single track of video and not applying effects, there's only a slight hesitation in switching. I'm using what is basically a Videoguys DIY 7 set-up with a G-Speed Raid 10, so I'm pretty sure that the problems I see are not caused by underpowered hardware.

I have run into three issues when using Mini while editing HD multi-cam projects. The first is progressively longer lags between doing an edit on the timeline and then either being able to see it play on the external monitor or being able to go on to the next edit. I do a lot of multi-cam editing. When I first start a sequence, and make an edit, there is a slight hesitation before the edit will play but there is no hesitation in making the next edit. This changes as as I get further into the project, After more edits, there are delays and they get progressively longer the further I get into the project. When I've gotten to forty or fifty minutes into a project, the delay can be 5 seconds or a bit more and intermittently (and unpredictably) temporarily longer.

I've got a couple of things I do for a work around. One is running both AVCHD and HDV footage through NeoHD. The resulting AVI files seem to defer the delays further into the project. The other is breaking the project into shorter segments. The combination of these two seems to reduce the delay/hesitation problem from intolerable to merely irritating.

When I've tried uninstalling the Mini and running with plain old CS4, the delay problem does not occur until much further into a project, so I suspect that it is not wholly the fault of the Mini. The Mini just seems to make it worse.

There is another set of quirks in using the mini when I use multi-cam editing and have PPro spread across dual monitors. If I have the multi-cam monitor on my secondary screen, and click the "play" button, the Mini puts the four-way split on the external tv display and the four boxes on the secondary monitor go blank. The four screens are still there, they are just blank. The multi-cam windows all play on the external monitor, albeit at a reduced frame rate. When I put the multi-cam window on the main display, the Matrox sends only the selected track to the tv which is what it is supposed to do. If I move PPro's main editing screen over to the secondary monitor (with the multi cam screen on the priomary monitor), then PPRo's main screen's source and program monitoring panels go completely transparent as though they were windows to the underlying desktop. However, they will display effects controls and titling frames.

The most annoying quirk is that doing a project save will often cause PProCS4 to lock up and corrupt the project file if I save a complex project while the multi-cam panel is on the primary monitor and the main editing panel is on the secondary screen. The work around is to close the multi-cam screen, and drag the main editing panel back to the primary monitor before trying to save. Then I rag it back over to the secondary monitor and re-open the multi-cam panel on the main one.

If memory serves, I think Steve junked his MMO2 mini to buy one of the HP Dreamcolor monitors. I've looked at SDI cards like those from AJA and thought about getting an SDI monitor. However, both Dreamcolor and SDI are beyond my budget for now. With my work-arounds, the current set up is tolerable for me.

I'm waiting for the release of PPro CS5 the week after next. I plan on downloading the trial version to see if a fully 64-bit program and the Mercury display engine helps with these quirks.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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Hi Jay.

I was using dual monitors and I tested two layouts:
1) timeline stretched across both with source & program on 2nd monitor
2) timeline on main and only program on 2nd monitor

According to what you said, it sounds like the Mini can be made to work more efficiently depending on the # of monitors and the layout.

Did Matrox update their firmware within the last 5 months because I vividly recall the Mini not supporting 1080/24p. I remember now: it can't OUTPUT 24p. For this reason, I never got the HP Dreamcolor because the HP requires a progressive (and RGB) input for the "Dreamcolor Engine" to work.

On a side note: I ended up getting an Eizo CG243W, a little more $ than the HP. Its great but I didn't research it enough - I thought it had the common video adjustments (ie Blue Only....). However, I was still able to adjust correctly using Bars. For the Blue Only, I turned the Red and Green channels down to 0.

And I still have my Mini.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 03:18 AM   #5
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Steve ---

Cineform did update their software at the end of January or beginning of February and I am using the latest PC version of NeoHD.

My list came from the CS4's "new sequence" set-up screen. While 1080p/24 is on the list, I've never actually tried to shoot or edit in that format, so I can't say whether or not it actually works. Everything else I've tried does work including the various flavors of SD presets. Earlier this evening, I did try using the 720p/60 preset for the first time. It displayed on the external monitor and seemed fine for editing. However, Encore crashed when I tried to export the timeline for a blue-ray DVD, so I've got some more bug-swatting to do.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #6
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I am ordering a HP Z800 (w/ dual 6 core & 24GB ram, yeah me!) for our new studio, and I will be reinstalling the OS to a SSD. But before reinstalling the OS, I will install CS4 and the Mini and test the accuracy of a Samsung LCD HDTV connected to the Mini in addition to the Eizo connected via displayport (Quadro FX3800) and a Panasonic 17" BT-LH1710 LCD via DVI.

I want to do this because: when I was testing and adjusting the Eizo, I noticed how flat the image was, especially compared to my Dell 20" Ultrasharp. With the Eizo's Rec 709 preset, the unaltered EX1 video looked like Red One video in that it was so flat. Then I adjusted the settings using Bars and it is less flat/a bit more contrast. I think one of the best advantages of a high-end monitor is the blacks and how little they get crushed. I think it will be cool to see how close I can get the HDTV/Mini to the Eizo. Heck, I might even keep the Mini installed because I will be outputting to broadcast (and web) and it will be easier to see what the video will look like on normal TVs.

EDIT: dummy me never looked into shortcuts. I can easily use 3 point edits and avoid the switching delay from Source to timeline.

Jay, have you or can you test under/over-cranked footage with the Mini?
Also, for the 720/60p footage, can you use a 720/30p preset and manually adjust the 60p footage to get it to work?
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Old April 4th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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Steve:


"have you or can you test under/over-cranked footage with the Mini?"

I don't have an EX1, so I don't think I have any way to test this. As far as I can tell, none of my HDV cameras will undercrank or overcrank the way an EX1 can.


"Also, for the 720/60p footage, can you use a 720/30p preset and manually adjust the 60p footage to get it to work?"

Is 720p the problem here? The preset that I think may be lacking for EX1 and EX3 owners is one that will ingest or export 1080p/60. Near as I can tell, PProCS4, NeoHD and Matrox simply convert it to 1080i/60 by using one the XDCam presets. Again, I don't have an EX1 so I may not be of much help on that.

As far as the 720p formats, PPro/CS4 combo has no trouble working with either of the 720p formats. (Of course, I'm fabricating the 720p footage by transcoding from 1080i -- I won't have a camera that will actuall shoot 720p until me NX5 shows up in a couple of weeks). It's the Dynamic Link (Lunk???) export to Encore that is giving me trouble and I don't think it has anything to do with 720 formats or presets. What I suspect is that my setup won't let me do a direct export from Premiere to an Encore Blue Ray project the way I can directly export from the timeline to a standard DVD project in Encore. (For example, 720p timelines do a direct export to standard DVDs in Encore without a hitch). It is just an Encore issue with BlueRay. (I can export the 720 timeline to files via Adobe Media Encoder and those files seem to import into Encore without a problem).
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Old April 10th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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Matrox Mini woes the same as Intensity Pro

Thanks to all for the very detailed and informative replies.

I have already wasted $199 on the Intensity Pro card and am grateful to everyone's replies that will prevent me from wasting $499 on the Matrox Mini.

That said, is there no card out there at a reasonable price that will let me use my LCD TV's HDMI inputs to serve as a program monitor on PP4? Especially at the EX-1's 1080/30p acquisition setting!

Any additional info greatly appreciated!

TIA, Rob
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Old April 11th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #9
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I did not mean to suggest that Mini is a waste, only that it has quirks and might or might not be suitable for what you want to do.

It certainly will handle 1080p/30. (It is only 1080p/60 that is lacking, but that's been lacking in Premiere, anyway.)

The "Mini" quirks that I've seen mostly have been related to multi-cam editing with a three screen set-up (2 computer monitors and an external tv). You won't encounter these problems if you are running Premiere on a single computer monitor and just want to feed out color-accurate video to an external TV monitor.

I haven't seen anything else that is even close to its price, let alone something which allows you to properly calibrate the tv color. That's basically why I got it.

You might try calling Videoguys and see if they are aware of anything else.

Also, you might want to check out the new CS5. It is supposed to released on Monday and I would guess that Adobe will post trial versions of it. The Mercury display engine might (or might not) help with the issues I ran into, or it might help with what you want to do.

One last thing. Do you have a dual-head video display card or a card with both DVI and HDMI output ports? Some folks are very happy feeding a DVI/HDMI signal to a secondary monitor and using it for displaying Premiere's program monitor in full screen mode.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #10
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Matrox Mini- reply

Thank you for some clarifications on the mini.
I do have a dual DVI graphics card and am running two 21" monitors. One of them is a NEC multisynch with an ISP panel. I have tried using it as my program monitor, but it is a little stuttery. I really want to see what my program looks like on a larger screen HDTV.

I do like the feature of the mini that would let me calibrate my LCDTV.

I may go ahead and try one out even if I have to return it.

Thanks for your opinion and info,

Rob
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