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Old April 28th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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Using an IO Express or MXO2 Mini to capture straight to Cineform

I've seen some DIY projects (like Henry's which is genius), but I hope the recent NAB announcements on the IO Express and MXO2 are going to be able to do what the DIY solutions have been able to accomplish.

From my glance, these two devices really don't seem too different (except for SDI connections on the IO Express for an extra $500). If it's purely going to be used as an HDMI capture solution straight into the ExpressCard slot on a Laptop (specifically a MacBook Pro) the MXO2 Mini seems like the perfect device!

Oddly enough, ProRes seems to require quite a bit of CPU speed (higher than 2.5GHz) which most laptops don't have, in order to support 1080p24. Although Cineform seems to do just fine with just a Core2Duo 2.4GHz CPU. I have a MacBook Pro but I can use bootcamp to go straight into Prospect HD/Premiere on a Windows OS if it's more likely to handle the task.

This seems to be a perfect advantage/solution for Cineform's codec. Has anyone been able to do any testing on the full-size MXO2? It seems like most people have been using it w/ ProRes HQ, but it's limited to 720p. I'm ready to pre-order the MXO2 mini if it'll be able to handle Cineform capture.

...but am I overlooking something? I've scoured through the Matrox forums and contacted them for support, but they don't know anything about Cineform it sounds like. They haven't done any testing, all they want to do is talk about ProRes. So I was hoping someone could chime in with some user-feedback, or someone who has crunched the numbers.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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Any reason you're not considering an Intensity Pro in a Magma Expressbox? Cheaper and more mobile by the looks of things. Plus it works with CineForm without any jiggery-pokery.

Magma is even making an Expressbox powered by an external 12v PSU, which conceivably you could swap for a battery pack.

I've no experience with this particular Matrox product but they do like to tie you into their workflow based on the stuff I have used of theirs.
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Old April 28th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #3
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Any reason you're not considering an Intensity Pro in a Magma Expressbox? Cheaper and more mobile by the looks of things. Plus it works with CineForm without any jiggery-pokery.

Magma is even making an Expressbox powered by an external 12v PSU, which conceivably you could swap for a battery pack.

I've no experience with this particular Matrox product but they do like to tie you into their workflow based on the stuff I have used of theirs.
Intensity Pro is 8-bit, Matrox Mini is 10-bit.

To answer the question, I have both MXO devices and they both are OSX only. That means, the driver was and is specifically built for a Mac environment. If, there was a way, for Cineform to create a driver / capture window in a Mac Environment, that utilizes the MXO hardware - you'd be in business.

So, the short answer is Boot Camp won't help if you don't have a driver.
I like where your mind is - Pro-Res requires a quad-core and who wants DVCPRO HD when you could go Pro-Res?

-C
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Old April 28th, 2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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We learned more about IO Express at NAB. It seems this device is almost made specifically for CineForm - at least as far as ingest is concerned. We should have no trouble ingesting in RT to CineForm files through IO Express on Win or Mac. We're waiting to get one to test....

Re MXO2, I'll lead off by saying we don't have one of these so we're not too knowledgeable. But if it's capable of capturing to QT codecs, then CineForm should show up in the list if Neo HD/4K is installed. Or does MXO2 not capture to QT codecs?
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Old May 1st, 2009, 05:10 AM   #5
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The mxo2 mini works for both mac and pc so im guessing we could just use bootcamp to capture on it to cinform. So i hope someone gets one and tests it out and lets us know asap as i think this will make it a really killer deal for 500. And what have any of you been using to capture right now (what cpu) to cineform 1080 24p with no dropped frames on labtop.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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The MXO2 will not capture to Cineform on the PC side until they totally rework the software. Matrox's products are locked to their codecs, which for this device are Uncompressed and MPEG I-Frame HD. On the Mac side, you may have better luck since QT gives more universal video options. The I/O should be a much better fit for Cineform capture since the architecture seems to be that of an LHI in an external box, but still connected via PCIe (thru ExpressCard).
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:41 AM   #7
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So if you use a mxo2 mini on a macbook pro can you use your software to capture to cineform files or not. If so which of your products would i need. I plan on capturing from a canon xh a1 from its compenant output.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #8
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We're getting an MXO2 Mini at CineForm next week so we can do some testing....
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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That's fantastic news! Can't wait to hear about the results.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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I cant wait to hear your results either. I do remember your post on when you guys used an intensity inside of a magma box and you were able to capture most stuff on an older laptop so really thinking this will work very well cant wait to hear.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #11
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Yeah, and the mxo2 mini should be about half the cost of the Intensity + Magma Expressbox.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:52 PM   #12
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An update. Just spoke to my guys inside Matrox. Good news! Premiere timeline w/ Cineform plays back beautifully though MXO2 Mini! With the MXO2 HDMI calibration tool this should be especiially sweet with First Light.

Next step - Cineform capture. Working on it. Matrox will be releasing a new capture tool with MXO2 Mini that will allow you to capture on the fly from uncompressed to Matrox MPEG2 files. Now the guys are going to see if they can tweak that app to allow Cineform Codec as an option.

We are pumped! Already working with both Matrox & Cinform on the bundle possibiliites!

Gary
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #13
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That is great news but i was wondering about capturing to cineform on my macbook pro since it seems to be more effeicent or i mean able to then with pro res. I guess i could always just use bootcamp and do it but would rather buy cineform software for mac instead of pc.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #14
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Gary, does the Mini show as a standard DirectShow capture device? You can check this by loading VirtualDub, selecting File -> Capture AVI and then looking for it under the Devices selection.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 04:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
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We're getting an MXO2 Mini at CineForm next week so we can do some testing....
I just noticed the product is now shipping. Have you received your sample for testing yet, David?
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