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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
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Some i/o questions

I have been recently hearing a ton about i/o units and how great they are. I am very interested in purchasing one, but want to make sure I have all of my facts straight. So my understanding is that they allow you to capture and render footage outside of the computer's processor. I am also under the impression that many of these units also serve as somewhat of a video card? There is one that I am looking at in particular and that is the Maxtor MXO2.

Here is what I want to do: I want to be able to render outside of the computer's processor as well as be able to capture HD, mainly DVCPro and HDV. Will I then be able to work inside FCP while rendering/capturing? I am also on a MacBook Pro and would like to be able to utilize two additional screen besides the laptops built in screen. Is this even possible with an i/o like the Maxtor?

I apologize for my ignorance and would be greatly appreciative of any help :)
Ryan Mueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 09:02 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: United States
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NONE of the video I/O cards / boxes render ANYTHING with ONE exception. They don't render FX or anything else.

What most I/O interfaces do is some hardware scaling to accelerate HDV / DVCpro to go from native res to full HD res. THATS IT. one exception - AJA IOhd will compress the signal to ProRes in the box... but you then take compression hits every time you move video in or out and it does add up. Also the CPU STILL has to decompress the ProRes image to do anything with it. its really not much of a gain.

the Matrox MXO2 with MAX can accelerate H.264 compression dramatically, faster then RT in HD compared to a 8 Core Mac Pro, way faster then you hardware.

as for doing other things while capturing, NOT recommended on a laptop because if you are compressing to ProRes, that takes a lot of HP. using other apps while capturing may well result in dropped frames. I'll do it on my MacPro 8 core, but I would not recommend it on something less.
Steve Oakley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 2nd, 2009, 11:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Steve. That confirms my thoughts that I should just wait till I have the scratch to drop on a new desktop with some serious processing power.
Ryan Mueller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2009, 10:47 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kennewick, WA
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When we made our purchase back in January we were trying to decide between the AJA Io HD and the MOTU V4HD. At the time, we didn't like the Matrox MXO2 because the inputs were on one side and the outputs on the other, creating a cabling nightmare. They have since fixed this "problem" with the introduction of the MXO2 Rack.

Anyway, we chose the AJA Io HD for two reasons:

1) It will capture and compress to ProRes 422 HQ in real time. It has the processing built-in to the box, so your computer isn't bogged down while capturing. This feature allows us to hook our Sony EX3 camera's HD-SDI output into the Io HD and capture at a much higher quality that what can be recorded to the SxS cards.

2) The box also has the appropriate drivers to allow Adobe applications to use it as a "preview output device". For example, I can be inside Adobe After Effects, and while I'm working the software will output to the AJA Io HD which is hooked to our JVC 24-inch pro display. We can check color, flicker issues, and just the overall look of what we're working on before we render and view in Final Cut Pro. Without this feature, you can only view your work on your computer monitor. Some people won't miss this feature, but I use it all the time. From inside AfterEffects, I can view compositions in any format from DV to HD (1920x1080 30p).

3) We liked how the Io HD allows you to connect lots of "legacy" analog gear like our Sony Beta SP deck, and VHS deck (just in case). We also connect our audio mixing board and other equipment. It has a lot of inputs on the back.

Since we've purchased this box, other companies have introduced new options that you should look at. (BlackMagicDesign, Matrox, AJA KiPro, etc...)

Good luck! :)
Sony EX3, Canon 5D MkII, Chrosziel Matte Box, Sachtler tripod, Steadicam Flyer, Mac Pro, Apple/Adobe software - 20 years as a local videographer/editor
Mitchell Lewis is offline   Reply

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