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Old March 4th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #1
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MXO Question

Set-up:MacBook Pro 17" (OS X 10.4.8) - FCP 5.1.2 - Mac 23" Cinema Display - XLH1

I'd like to add an MXO to this system and have a couple of questions.

1)
While viewing a FCP or DVDSP project (through the MXO box) and on MCD 23" I will be able to evalute the "broadcast" quality of my project (specifically color, brightness and contrast). Is this a correct assumption?

2)
Some of my FCP projects will require going to tape (Sony DHR-1000 deck for SD / XLX1 for HD) - either as a delivery format or simply as a backup. As there is no FireWire output for the MXO box is it possible to view the MXO output and record to tape at the same time? If I use the YUV / (S-video) outputs from the MXO will this decrease the quality of the recorded (taped) material as compared with the normal MacBook - FireWire - deck transfer I normally make.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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I have that setup except my MBP is 15" and I also have a Panasonic Broadcast LCD connected to the SDI out of the MXO.

The image shown on both monitors is very close colorwise and with some tweaking I have no doubt I could get the color bars to match exactly on both monitors. The gamma is a bit off as well but could probably be matched up with different settings on the ACD. Matrox is working on a software blue gun and color controls so that one can calibrate their LCD in a traditional way, which hopefully will be available in a future release.

The image quality on an ACD 23" via the MXO is very good (as good as one is going to get on a non broadcast LCD) but of course the Panny via SDI blows it away. If you take the time to read the specs on the Panasonic and JVC broadcast LCDs you'll realize why a standard computer LCD is never going to be able to absolutely mimic a true broadcast LCD (which many will tell you isn't really a substitue for a good broadcast CRT).

I have never checked the signal out the firewire port as I'm working with HDV but I would assume it's still live if you're working with a format like DV as the MXO is working entirely throught the graphics card/ DVI port. The Matrox guys could definitely answer that question over at the MXO forum on Matrox's website.

I highly recommend the MXO for MBP editors working with HDV. It's the only way you'll get to see your video in full glory without having to record it back to the camera for playback.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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I thought about your second question a bit more. You still have to conform your HDV and use the print to tape option to go back to tape via FW to the H1 so the MXO doesn't really gain you anything there. You can play back in RT via the timeline without conforming and go SD via Y/C to your sony deck. As far as the quality loss there you would have to test. The SD output of the MXO looks good but it's hard for me to judge as I've never compared it to an SD conversion via the cam.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #4
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Mxo

Rich:

Thanks for your detailed response. I envy you your dual monitor set-up but given my space and budget it sounds like I can get in the ballpark with the ACD and MXO. At this point I'll be outputting SD content only so I'll at least be saving time on the conforming and print to tape process that would be involved in out putting HDV.
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Old March 4th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #5
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MXO output

Perhaps someone can solve the question regarding output BEFORE I order the MXO.

I want to capture HDV files from my XLH1 (keep these on a hard drive for future HD use and eliminate the need to recapture later). The specific job I'm working on now will be delivered on SD DVD. My understanding is that the MXO will do the downcoversion and reformatting on the fly working from a FCP project with a NTSC FireWire Basic setup. Given that the MXO is downstream from the FireWire Port of the computer it seems to me that output from the computer's FireWire port will not display the affects of the MXO box. Is this correct or am I missing something? So, it I have to output from the MXO box to tape (DHR 1000 deck) through MXO's YUV / S-Video ports will my tape (backup copy) be the same quality (a clone) that I normally get going from my MacBook via FireWire to a tape?
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