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Old August 9th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #16
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re: testing on mxo 2 mini with max

I look at the encoding speed comparisons vs with Compressor using a local quick cluster so that all/most CPUs are used and wonder, what would have happened if the Mac Pro they used for the test actually had 8 to 16GB of RAM like real video editing machines do so that each core could have enough RAM to do its job effectively? Seems like an unrealistic test designed to hurt Compressor+quick cluster's results.

Sure mxo 2 mini max would be a monster timesaver for laptop users who need to encode h264 a lot and want better quality than that USB stick encoding accelerator. And it'll be nice for those who want the accurate monitor for color correction. Note that not all monitors play nice with all frame rates though.

There are costs besides the substantial money too. Note that the mxo 2 mini uses up the laptop's expresscard slot one might want to use for reading SxS cards or more likely connecting an external RAID drive while editing (though you could use FW800 on a MBP). Also if it works just like an MXO, and your external monitor switches between being used as your main/second editing screen and a video playback screen, be prepared for a couple seconds wait with each changeover.

Also check out the comment from last year over at the B&H reviews for it about it not automatically creating a keyframe at scene changes (cuts) like compressor does. Did they fix that yet?

By the way if you do go look at the B&H reviews someone complains about matrox support there and I have to disagree, my experiences with Matrox support for an MXO were excellent.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #17
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Some very fair comments. I just wanted to make you aware of the imrpvements MAtrox has made witht he 2.0 drivers which are now available:

Matrox MAX Technology 2.0 for Mac Delivers H.264 Video up to 500% Faster Without Sacrificing Quality

Montreal, Canada – July 14, 2010 — Matrox® Video Products Group today announced the immediate availability of Matrox MAX Technology 2.0 for Matrox MXO™2 I/O devices and the Matrox CompressHD card for Mac. Matrox MAX 2.0 for Mac is a unique technology that implements faster than realtime H.264 encoding for resolutions ranging from iPod to HD. It uses a dedicated hardware processor to accelerate the creation of H.264 files for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray. By using specialized hardware acceleration, jobs are finished with amazing speed and system resources are liberated for other tasks. Quality and flexibility are ensured through direct integration with Apple Compressor and support for other applications on the Mac such as Telestream Episode, Final Cut Pro and QuickTime Pro through the QuickTime codec component.

The key feature of this release is the addition of many new control parameters such variable bit rate, constant quality, scene detection, noise filtering and many more, that let users optimize encoding speed and video quality. Web video publishers, in particular, will appreciate the ability of Matrox MAX 2.0 to deliver superb quality video at low bit rates.

"Video professionals delivering H.264 content for the web, iPad, iPhone, iPod, or Blu-ray discs, know how painful it can be to wait for the long encoding times needed to create high-quality video files using software only," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. "They might even be tempted to sacrifice quality for speed. With Matrox MAX 2.0, they no longer need to even consider making that trade off."
Key features of the Matrox MAX Technology 2.0 for Mac

* Faster than realtime creation of H.264 files, for resolutions ranging from iPod to HD
* A specialized, dedicated hardware processor liberates system resources for other tasks
* Accelerated encoding for Blu-ray, Apple TV, YouTube, Flash, web formats, and mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, and iPod from various video sources including SD, HD, and RED proxy files up to 2K
* Direct integration with Apple Compressor to simplify workflow
* Support for Telestream Episode, Final Cut Pro, and QuickTime Pro through the QuickTime codec component
* Customizable encoding parameters including VBR, CBR, constant quality, scene detection, noise filtering and many more
* Creation of Blu-ray H.264 files that can be authored in Apple Compressor, Adobe Encore, and Roxio Toast then burned without re-encoding
* Support for Apple Qmaster to take advantage of multiple systems with a Matrox MAX processing engine for distributed encoding across a network

Price and availability
Matrox products are available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. The 2.0 release for Mac is available to registered users of Matrox MXO2 devices and Matrox CompressHD cards as a free download from the Matrox website.



As you can see, Matrox is not standing still on MAX. They continue to improve the features and performance. At IBC they have made 2 more announcements that Will make MXO2 family and MAX even stronger!!

Matrox Announces Vetura Capture Application – a Powerful Complement to Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, Apple Final Cut Pro 7, and Avid Media Composer 5

Montreal, Canada – August 5, 2010 — Matrox® Video Products Group today announced Matrox Vetura Capture for Mac OS X, a stand-alone capture software application compatible with the Matrox MXO2 family of I/O devices. Matrox Vetura Capture lets users quickly and easily capture QuickTime files using popular codecs installed on their editing systems. With Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 the Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame codec and Apple Uncompressed formats are supported. With Final Cut Pro 7, ProRes, DVCPRO HD and other popular Final Cut Pro codecs are supported. With Avid Media Composer 5, the Avid DnX, DnXHD, and other popular Avid Media Composer codecs are supported.

"Matrox Vetura Capture enables new on-set workflows when used with a Matrox MXO2 device and a Mac Pro equipped with a Matrox CompressHD H.264 encoding accelerator card," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. "While recording XDCAM EX, P2, or RED footage as usual, users can also feed the output of their camera through their Matrox MXO2 device and capture directly into H.264 .mov files using Matrox MAX technology that is built into the CompressHD card. Dailies are immediately available as low bit rate, manageable-sized files for delivery to the client."

"We're continuing to add value to the Matrox MXO2 product line," said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior director of sales and marketing. "With Matrox Vetura Capture we have started to implement our vision of expanding the capabilities of Matrox MAX technology beyond simple H.264 export acceleration."

Matrox Vetura Capture will be demonstrated at IBC 2010 in Amsterdam, September 10-14, on the Matrox stand 7.B29.

Availability
Matrox products are available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. The Matrox Vetura Capture application for Mac will be available in release 2.1 to registered users of Matrox MXO2 devices as a free download from the Matrox website in October 2010.


Matrox Announces Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium Support on Matrox MXO2 Family for MacBook Pro and Mac Pro

Montreal, Canada – August 5, 2010 — Matrox® Video Products Group today announced support for Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium software with Matrox MXO2 I/O devices for Mac OS X. The key features of this new release include professional audio and video input and output with 10-bit hardware up/down/cross conversion and HDMI video monitoring with the unique Matrox calibration controls including blue-only. In addition, WYSIWYG support for Adobe Photoshop and After Effects is also provided.

"Users of file-based workflows will love the built-in color calibration tools on the MXO2 devices that turn their inexpensive HDMI displays into professional-grade HD monitors they can trust, even for color grading," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. "When they need to capture from analog or SDI sources, we have them covered too, with the new Matrox Vetura Capture application and the high-quality, highly-efficient Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame intermediate codec."

"This release rounds out the Matrox MXO2 cross-platform story," said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior director of sales and marketing. "We are the only I/O hardware manufacturer that can claim support for the three most popular professional editing applications: Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Avid Media Composer."

The entire family of Matrox MXO2 devices will be demonstrated at IBC 2010 in Amsterdam, September 10-14, on the Matrox stand 7.B29.
Key features of the Matrox MXO2 family for Mac with Adobe CS5 Production Premium

* Convenient form factors for use in studio, on set, in the field, and in OB vans
* Works with MacBook Pros and Mac Pros
* Broadcast quality HD/SD video and audio input/output
* Flexible support for leading codecs, file formats, cameras, and workflows
* Matrox Vetura Capture application for fast capture to HD and SD codecs – highly-efficient Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame at up to 300 Mb/s and Apple Uncompressed
* Matrox Vetura Playback application for convenient playback of H.264 and .mov files
* Extensive application support including Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and After Effects
* 10-bit HDMI input, output, and monitoring with calibration controls including blue-only
* 10-bit realtime hardware up/down/cross conversion on capture and output
* Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support

Availability
Matrox products are available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Adobe CS5 support for the Matrox MXO2 devices for Mac (release 2.1) will be available to registered users as a free download from the Matrox website in October 2010.


Matrox has also announce a customer loyalty program that can save RTX or Axio owners up to $500 on an MXO2 with MAX Videoguys Blog - Matrox Loyalty Discount Program

Gary
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Old August 20th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #18
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Tutorial on calibrating monitor

Hey Gary,

What I would LOVE to see is a tutorial on how to properly calibrate your Dell 24 LCD or equivalent using the Matrox MXO2 mini (or equivalent).

I've tried it several times and I just never have real 'confidence' that it's calibrated correctly.

Are there monitor settings that need to be taken into consideration along with the adjustments you can make?

Thanks

Jim
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Old August 20th, 2010, 08:20 AM   #19
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What *I* would love to see is 720/24p in Avid...
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
Hey Gary,

What I would LOVE to see is a tutorial on how to properly calibrate your Dell 24 LCD or equivalent using the Matrox MXO2 mini (or equivalent).

I've tried it several times and I just never have real 'confidence' that it's calibrated correctly.

Are there monitor settings that need to be taken into consideration along with the adjustments you can make?

Thanks

Jim
i would also be really interested to see this!
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #21
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Matrox Mini vs. Second Monitor

I'm trying to figure out if the mini will make my life better and am interested in hearing some opinions. Here's my scenerio:

Using FCP on an iMac 27" I7. Editing HDV. Output is to wide screen SD-DVD. I have no problems with my set-up and work flow but, I do want to get a second monitor so I can see my canvas larger. I was planing to get the new 27" cinema display when it becomes available. Now after reading about the mini, I'm wondering if the mini and an HDTV is a better way to go.

Which would be a better way to go and why?

Thanks.
--JL
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #22
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Maybe I just don't understand enough about FCP (and that is ENTIRELY possible) but I don't see how the mini would have anything to do with your "canvas". It's great for driving a confidence monitor, or a client monitor, but won't extend your computer display at all.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #23
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Perrone,

I realize the mini is not a second monitor and doesn't extend my desktop. I just need to see my output larger without constantly resizing windows. I know I can do this with a second monitor but reading about the mini I was thinking it might offer some additional features that might speed things up.

It may be a moot point as upon doing further research, I'm not sure the mini can connect to an iMac.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Josh Laronge View Post
Perrone,

I realize the mini is not a second monitor and doesn't extend my desktop. I just need to see my output larger without constantly resizing windows. I know I can do this with a second monitor but reading about the mini I was thinking it might offer some additional features that might speed things up.

It may be a moot point as upon doing further research, I'm not sure the mini can connect to an iMac.
Ahhh gotcha... I was thinking you were trying to drag a window to it. But yea, if you're just trying to see a full sized screen of it, I see what you're saying. I guess the iMac doesn't have too many connections or slots eh?
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:21 AM   #25
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Yeah the iMac lacks expansion options (thanks Steve) but still is a hell of a computer for the money. There is an express card 34 to USB adapter available which would connect the laptop version of the mini to an iMac. But, I'm skeptical as to whether the lower throughput of USB would be a problem with the mini.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #26
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No way USB can handle the speed of uncompressed video... that's a bad option.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 12:34 PM   #27
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From further research, the original Matrox MXO will work with an iMac but it's twice the price of the mini.
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Old August 20th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Joseph View Post
Thanks Gary - is there a HDMI/SDI IN/OUT product that does the following:

1. HD HDMI and/or component OUTPUT for FCP monitoring
2. HD-SDI input for prores 422 (HQ) capture
3. component output from MBP 17" (expresscard34) of the Finder or PowerPoint so we present PPT presentations.
The $449 Matrox MXO2 Mini would handle item 1.

The $995 Matrox MXO2 LE would handle items 1, 2.

The $995 AJA IO Express would handle items 1, 2 and 3. (edit, only the AJA Kona card handles 3)

For Josh's iMac, your only expansion connection for HD Video IO would be Firewire 800 which limits you to a couple of options:

AJA IO Io - AJA Video Systems
MOTU V4HD MOTU.com - V4HD Overview

Hopefully soon we'll soon USB 3.0 on the Mac then you can use a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle at $188.05!


and Jim, this tutorial I made might help you calibrate your HDMI monitor a bit.

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Old August 20th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Joseph View Post
Thanks Gary - is there a HDMI/SDI IN/OUT product that does the following:
3. component output from MBP 17" (expresscard34) of the Finder or PowerPoint so we present PPT presentations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran View Post
The $995 AJA IO Express would handle items 1, 2 and 3.
Not according to AJA, I sent them my enquiry, they replied thus:
Quote:
The Io Express cannot output finder or powerpoint as component video. You will need a device that has a scan-rate converter, as well as the ability to emulate your computer's GPU.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 12:22 PM   #30
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Not according to AJA, I sent them my enquiry, they replied thus:
Mark,

You're correct, before responding I had called a tech and both of us assumed that the AJA control panel was like the Kona where you can display the desktop. My apologies for the confusion. I wonder if we could get Jon Thorn (AJA Product Manager and dvinfo.net member) to chime in on why it's not a "feature" on the IO Express.
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