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Old May 21st, 2010, 11:25 AM   #1
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Advice Needed: Matrox and tethered shooting

Greetings.

I am gearing up (economy permitting) to re configure my entire video editing system. I am going to hold off buying a Mac Pro till next month to see what happens, or if I get real busy, bite the bullet and get the current flavor.

I am also seriously considering the Matrox MXO LE not just for it's ability to monitor HD in real time, but I also understand that you can hook up a camera, with the right connections to actually monitor in realtime on a second monitor the video that is being captured. The MXO LE seems like a good choice because it comes with both the PCI card and the adaptor for Express card slot, though now you need an older laptop or the 17" Macbook Pro.

So here is the set up as I think I understand it:

Camera HDMI out connected to Matrox HDMI in. Matrox connected to supplied PCI card in Mac PRo. HDMI out from Matrox to HDMI in on second monitor (I'm thinking a smaller-ish consumer HD TV might work for me). This is where it is a little fuzzy for me. I think this is where you use log and transfer in FC to achieve what I'm hoping as stated above. I'd also use Matrox's Pro Res codec on import.

And let's say the camera is a Panny 170 or Canon XF300. I think both have an HDMI connection.

So, will this workflow work? Is the HDMI connection the way to go since that also carries sound and can deal with 10 bit video?

Is there a more preferred way? And if you can do this, does the camera record to it's internal card simultaneously, or is that different from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Thanks in advance.

Jonathan
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:07 PM   #2
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I don't know if anyone on this forum would have ever used an MXO exactly the way you describe, however the best place to get this question answered would be to call Matrox tech support and ask them directly. They would obviously be able to tell you definitively right away if your workflow is possible or not.

Let us know what you find out so others can learn from your experimentation.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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Thanks Robert.

The more I look into this....

Still learning.

I just checked the specs on the new Canon 300/305. Both have an HDMI out. I looked at the HPX 170 and it does not have a HDMI connector.

This got me wondering: If you are able to "monitor" your video feed through HDMI out camera > HDMI in on the Matrox> Matrox HDMI OUT > LCD TV while in FC, would you be able to just "record" your video feed using log and transfer, live if you will, without even pressing "Record" on the camera? The obvious drawback to this is that you have nothing being written to the cameras card as sort of a back up. The same image info is going through the sensor. Or am I completely thinking of this in the wrong way.

Still my main question remains as in the first post. I did speak with Matrox and they thought that this could and is done regularly, but I'd like to get any info you kind folks have to offer.

Thanks.

Jonathan
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 04:09 PM   #4
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My guess is that if anyone on this forum had been using that workflow they'd have replied by now, so it's likely you'll be the "trailblazer" for us all to see how it turns out.

Alternatively, although not the same workflow but even more beneficial, you could use the AJA KiPro to get 4:2:2 ProRes right from the HD-SDI on the HPX170. Then you wouldn't have any L&T ops during ingest, just drag-n-drop to the timeline and you could also have a dual-recording setup as you'd get the data to the KiPro and the P2 cards simultaneously (although the KiPro would be in ProRes and the cards would be in the P2-MXF).
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Old May 24th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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Hi Jonathan

The MXO2 is not really designed as a monitoring while capturing solution but as a bi-product of the fact that FCP sends a return signal to the device from its Log and Capture interface, then it can indeed be made to work as per the basic connectivity you describe:

1) Plug source into MXO2 Input as desired
2) Plug monitor into MXO2 Output as desired
3) Open FCP's Log and Capture window .. note: you don't actually need to Capture, you just need the window open.

What you will see on your MXO2 connected monitor will be the signal passed from source, through the MXO2 input (including any up/down/cross conversion applied) into FCP, then back to your MXO2 output. This leaves you free to record in camera with monitoring, record in camera with simultaneous capture in FCP plus monitoring, capture in FCP only plus monitoring.

So, will this workflow work? Yes
Is the HDMI connection the way to go since that also carries sound and can deal with 10 bit video? Its up to you, but yes, HDMI is a good choice.

Is there a more preferred way? Not especially.
And if you can do this, does the camera record to it's internal card simultaneously That's up to you, but I would certainly advise you simultaneously record in camera as a backup should you suffer any unexpected issues during capture (or after).

Best
Andy

Last edited by Andy Mees; May 24th, 2010 at 07:36 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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Robert and Andy. Great information, thank you.

So now my question goes from can you do this? to why wouldn't everyone do it this way? I come from a digital photo background and if I'm on location and in one place for the shoot, then I always shoot tethered to a laptop. My DSLR also records simultaneously to card, just in case.

So this seems great. If you connect to Hd-SDI, is there any downside getting an analog signal from the camera? Does HD-SDI carry audio like HDMI? And a last question: Am I correct to assume that SD-SDI is standard definition? I plan on never working with SD from here on.

Again thanks so much for your help. This helping a lot when I eventually pull the trigger.

Jonathan
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Old May 25th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #7
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>So now my question goes from can you do this? to why wouldn't everyone do it this way?

What makes you think hey don't Jonathan? This is a perfectly standard way of doing things when shooting tethered.

>If you connect to Hd-SDI, is there any downside getting an analog signal from the camera?

HD-SDI is digital not analog. (SDI = Serial Digital Interface)

>Does HD-SDI carry audio like HDMI?

Yes, audio, video , timecode and ancilliary data.

>Am I correct to assume that SD-SDI is standard definition?

Yes. SD-SDI is standard definition video carried over SDI, HD-SDI is high definition video carried over SDI.

Best
Andy
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Old May 25th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #8
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Hi Andy.

Thanks for that. I usually find all the great information here on DVInfo. but I just discovered the Matrox forums last night, and noticed that there you are too.

The Matrox forums offer some really great answers to my questions and more, but my loyalty is to DVInfo.

Great stuff.

Jonathan
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Old May 26th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #9
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No worries Jonathan
DVInfo has some great forums, some of which really can't be beat.
Best
Andy
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Old May 31st, 2010, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Mees View Post
>So now my question goes from can you do this? to why wouldn't everyone do it this way?

>If you connect to Hd-SDI, is there any downside getting an analog signal from the camera?

HD-SDI is digital not analog. (SDI = Serial Digital Interface)

>Does HD-SDI carry audio like HDMI?

Yes, audio, video , timecode and ancilliary data.
with cameras, there can be menu items to enable what goes down the SDI line.... also either HD SDI or HDMI, it may well be a 8bit signal. might be locked by the camera, or having a setting to switch between them.

as for HD SDI vs analog in HD... well if your camera gives you one, but not the other, it really doesn't matter. thankfully the MXO2 lets you do anything in. the upside of analog is you can go with long runs - 500ft or more. SDI really only want to run 330ft - its the spec. if you can do longer, YMMV depending on camera & cable quality. HDMI is more like 30-50ft before you need a repeater on the line.

and to be more specific here - a 2 core laptop won't work for HD capture beyond maybe 720p24. if you want to capture 1080, or 720p60, you might well need a 4core machine. that could be reason enough to wait, or did apple just release 4 core laptops ? I know you can get them on the PC side and use Prem Pro... but thats another story.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 12:04 AM   #11
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I've been recording output from the SDI port on my Canon XL H1 for years - straight into a Mac & Final Cut Pro via a Blackmagic card.

If I felt like it I could record straight out of the firewire port to the Mac via FCP, but there would be no point in terms of quality.

The SDI output gives me 4:2:2: colorspace which is kinda nice, but not tremendously noticeable unless you are doing green screen.

I see no reason why you should not be able to record via HDMI.

By the way, my particular model of Canon does not carry audio within the SDI output signal, so you have to take that from the analog outputs which is no problem.

I believe that our esteemed moderator Robert Lane did a feature film recording from the XLH1 via SDI straight into FCP. At least, that's how I remember it.

Of course, you can always spring 3k or whatever it is for a Nanoflash which will record 4:2:2.

All the best

Harry.
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