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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:06 PM   #1
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AJA IOHD or IO Express

Hi guys,

I have an IOHD which I primarily use for monitoring via SDI to a client monitor. The IOHD works great for all my AVC-Intra and DVCProHD material, but it chokes on EX1. I did a little research and apparently this is a known issue. I am editing from a 15" MacBook Pro, but apparently even high end systems have a problem.

Apparently, the IO Express can handle the EX material natively(w/out transcoding it to ProRes), so I'm thinking of ditching the IOHD and getting one of these instead. I use the IOHD occasionally to ingest analog material, but other than that I am completely file based (P2 or EX). Is there any reason I should keep the IOHD and not get an IO Express instead?

Thanks!

Peter
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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I have the IO HD as well and I haven't had any issues with footage from the EX1.

I think you should keep it. The main difference is with the Io HD, you have ProRes in hardware in the box. That's why you can ingest to the HQ flavor as well on a Macbook Pro laptop.

The Io Express is essentially a portable I/O box. But it's strength will depend on the power of the host computer.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:00 PM   #3
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Thanks Michael. What set up are you using with the EX1 material?

So the IOHD allows me to injest prores HQ (10-bit) but the express only does 8-bit prores? Any other differences? Aja suggest through the marketing that a macbookpro is powerful enough to drive the system. Does that sound right, assuming. Relatively spec'd out system?
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Richardson View Post
So the IOHD allows me to injest prores HQ (10-bit) but the express only does 8-bit prores? Any other differences? Aja suggest through the marketing that a macbookpro is powerful enough to drive the system. Does that sound right, assuming.
The ProRes 422 family of codecs are all 10-bit. Nothing 8-bit about the Express.

I do find it funny how vague AJA is in their marketing about "ProRes 422 Injesting"...

Marketing aside, it is quite impossible for the IO Express to support 1080i ProRes 422 HQ on a MBP without acceleration. The Core 2 Duo even at 2.5 Ghz is just to slow. This is the same with the Matrox MXO 2- A quad-core processor is needed without hardware acceleration. 720p is a different story and every codec lower on the totem.

The IO Express is just another iteration of the Matrox MXO 2 and Mini.
Using the PCIe buss with the MBP's express slot or the PCIe buss on Mac Pro, which relies completely on the CPU for encoding and clocks at 1x.

The reason why the IoHD is so expensive is the ProRes acceleration hardware.
Now, if AJA had IoHD mini, this would be a different discussion.

-C
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 07:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Galvan View Post
I have the IO HD as well and I haven't had any issues with footage from the EX1.

I think you should keep it. The main difference is with the Io HD, you have ProRes in hardware in the box. That's why you can ingest to the HQ flavor as well on a Macbook Pro laptop.

The Io Express is essentially a portable I/O box. But it's strength will depend on the power of the host computer.

The only issue per se with the Io HD is that it handles HD codecs in ProRes ... that means that if you're working with a non tape based camera native HD codec then your host Mac has to decompress the native codec then transcode that to ProRes before passing it off to the Io HD. Quite apart from the heavy processing burden this places on the host it also represents an extra otherwise unnecessary compression cycle. The Io Express (like the Matrox MXO2 series of products) bypasses this issue as it is not tied to the ProRes codec, instead it connects via the much faster PCIe over Cable interface which allows it to handle an uncompressed HD data stream from the host. The downside of course is that with the Io Express / MXO2 solutions then you don't have the capacity to ingest via the IoHD's on board ProRes hardware so you have no way of capturing to ProRes (SQ or HQ) at 1080 HD resolutions on a laptop ... as Chris has noted, for that to happen reliably you need a quad core host.

Regarding the IoExpress and MXO2 comparison, the Io Express is most equivalent to the MXO2 LE, although at this time the MXO2 LE does seem to boast some genuine advantages over the Io Express at the same price point (up/down/cross conversion, analog video inputs/output, XLR and RCA audio inputs/ outputs, simultaneous HD and SD output) plus you can get it in their "MAX" version (additional cost) that adds greatly accelerated H264 encoding (if thats something you might want or need)

Hope thats good info.
Andy
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