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Old June 6th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Capture/Edit with Matrox MX02 Mini

I purchased the Matrox MX02 Mini and was hoping to see how other XHA1s users use this box. With the MX02, we have a choice to capture mpeg 2 I-frame footage or HDV through firewire. I have not figured out the best format to shoot (60i, 30p) versus my editing settings in Premiere and Matrox options. I shoot mostly sports and music performances and output mostly to DVD and web. I have not done any Blu-Ray, yet.

Last edited by Alex DeJesus; June 7th, 2010 at 12:12 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #2
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I'm currently using Matrox RT-X2. I'm interested in finding out how the MX02 works. Does it work on PC?
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Old June 9th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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HDV capture from your camera via firewire should be a lossless transfer (or nearly so). However, going through the Matrox box will not be.

...and yes it works on a PC.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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Capturing through Firewire is a lossless transfer unless there are drop outs during playback.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #5
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I am running the mxo2 mini on a Mach V PC from Falcon Northwest. I shoot with XHA1 however I use an HV20 to capture directly from the sensor via HDMI. I can capture XHA1 footage at 1080i 1920x1280. You cannot capture via firewire with mxo2 mini..only HDMI, component, or s-video. You can use firewire for device control though. So far I have been pleased with the performance. Even sequences that require rendering will playback in realtime..although that has more to with the horsepower in the PC than the mxo2. Drivers for CS5 are not out yet..supposed to be here sometime this Month(June). They are supposed to provide some realtime editing. I use a Vizio hdtv for monitoring and the mxo2 provides a calibration utility.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
HDV capture from your camera via firewire should be a lossless transfer (or nearly so). However, going through the Matrox box will not be.

...and yes it works on a PC.
Do you mean going through the Matrox box is lossy? I thought it was the other way around.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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Okay, i have a fundamental and pressing question.

Since firewire and HDMI support playback from the shuttle of the capture software, how does it work for Component cables? Are you forced to hit the PLAY button on the XHA1, and RECORD on your NLE, without any control?
How would somebody keep the timecode of their footage?


@Alex.
Perrone is correct as far as the Matrox card goes. HDV is captured as a proprietary codec into your PC...It's an MPEG I frame codec wrapped in an AVI container to allow for playback on any NLE..

I'm in Taky's boat..Thinking of buying a new PC, and deciding to dump my RTX2 card for an MXO...
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Old June 13th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
@Alex.
Perrone is correct as far as the Matrox card goes. HDV is captured as a proprietary codec into your PC...It's an MPEG I frame codec wrapped in an AVI container to allow for playback on any NLE..
The Matrox RTX2 card actually captured the exact MPEG-2 data from the camcorder without any quality loss. It is wrapped into a matrox AVI for editing purpose. But it's still the same HDV 25mbps mpeg-2 file.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 04:02 PM   #9
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Sorry Taky...

I believe this isn't possible...HDV uses a long GOP file structure..Totally different from when Matrox captures into single MPEG2 frames.
You can even tell Matrox what bitrate and type of file structure upon capture. I believe the default is 90mbps.
Matrox's codec treats each frame of video as Intraframe upon capture.
This is why you can view on an external monitor via Matrox's codec and hardware..

Otherwise, we wouldn't need a Matrox card for realtime CC work...

But i think the word, "Quality Loss" is open to suspicion. Yes, there is information lost, but it's theoretical in my books!..Matrox does a fantastic job at converting the footage. So much so, that I can afford lower bitrates (.h264 and mpeg2) upon export...
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Old June 13th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #10
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That's not correct. What you mentioned is true for the Matrox EXPORTED AVI file that uses Matrox proprietary MPEG-2 I-Frame codec (and you can select different data rate up to 100mbps). For the Matrox CAPTURED AVI file is indeed still a HDV file (even matrox called those Matrox HDV files). They are 25mbps as it's HDV content.

There is no re-compression during the capture process. In fact, the Matrox hardware doesn't even have real firewire port. The firewire port on the BOB is only a pass through. Your computer need to have a firewire port to capture.

You can use Premiere to capture (not using any Matrox preset) HDV to .mpeg files. Now you can drag those .mpeg files to Matrox preset timeline. All the real time capability including external monitor preview and CC and all Matrox realtime filters are still there functioning. You won't get a red render line above the timeline. Matrox's hardware is capable of handling Adobe captured MPEG-2 file. It's just Premiere is much happier to work with AVI file than to MPEG file.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #11
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You're right!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
That's not correct. What you mentioned is true for the Matrox EXPORTED AVI file that uses Matrox proprietary MPEG-2 I-Frame codec (and you can select different data rate up to 100mbps). For the Matrox CAPTURED AVI file is indeed still a HDV file.
For over a year now, i've been working with the wrong assumptions.
I assumed that getting frame accurate editing, multiple ripple edits and instant CC to work smoothly, was a function of a proprietary capture codec!

Either i've underestimated my computer, or overestimated the card's capabilities..
Thanks for the eye opener Taky...


But nonetheless, back a few posts, how does one control a camera/deck with the MXO, especially through component cables?
Alex, can you explain your workflow?
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Old June 13th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #12
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Peter, it's some healthy discussion. =) I'm wanting to move beyond HDV and the RTX2... hopefully we can both investigate some other options.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #13
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Hopefully i can get to the ProFusion expo.

I'm going straight for the Matrox reps and i'm gonna shake em up!!!!
I'll let you know my discoveries.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #14
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Seriously confused now

With the MX02 I have been capturing via component to Matrox AVI, which are a hell of a lot bigger files than HDV capture over firewire. I normally capture at the highest resolution 1920 x 1080 and edit in Premiere. I have tried comparing HDV files but cannot tell the difference quality wise, except the Matrox AVIs are supposed to handle effects better.

I am confused by what Taky said about capturing with RTX2. Is it different than the MX02?
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Old June 14th, 2010, 08:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
With the MX02 I have been capturing via component to Matrox AVI, which are a hell of a lot bigger files than HDV capture over firewire. I normally capture at the highest resolution 1920 x 1080 and edit in Premiere. I have tried comparing HDV files but cannot tell the difference quality wise, except the Matrox AVIs are supposed to handle effects better.
So you've taken a digital signal from your camera, to analog, and back to digital in a compressed codec. This process is lossy, and increases the size of the file. The benefit to this (potentially) is that you have a file that is now easier to handle in many NLEs, and can be more robust for handling things in post. BUT make no mistake, you have lost data in the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex DeJesus View Post
I am confused by what Taky said about capturing with RTX2. Is it different than the MX02?
The RTX2 is a card that goes inside the machine. It is different than the mini and has different connections that Taky may not be aware of. The RTX2 apparently has a firewire pass through which allows the capture of HDV without recompression. The Mini has no such connection and cannot perform the same function. I am guessing he's not aware of that.
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