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Old September 7th, 2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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Questions for Matrox RT.X2 users

I'm looking to make the jump to HDV and am considering the Matrox RT.X2 for editing. I had a few questions I'm hoping current RT.X2 users might be able to answer.

First, the Matrox site says the RT.X2 processes video internally in 8-bit. I'm concerned what this might mean for video quality when footage gets heavily processed (large color correction changes and/or many effects). Has anyone using this card seen banding on footage when editing?

The next question is for any RT.X2 users who also use a Sony HVR-V1 camera. The Matrox site states the V1's 1080p 24p and 30p resolutions are supported. But it's not entirely clear how the Sony V1's progressive modes are supported. Does the RT.X2 perform reverse pulldown on capture, meaning that the captured files consist of true progressive footage (in other words, not progressive footage stored in an interlaced video stream)? Is the editing mode then entirely progressive (true 1080p, not 1080i)?

Can the RT.X2 do something similar with the Sony V1 30p footage (combine the interlaced fields on capture for true progressive 29.97 footage)?
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Old September 10th, 2007, 05:37 PM   #2
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Okay, I know we have some RT.X2 users on this board somewhere. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik View Post
First, the Matrox site says the RT.X2 processes video internally in 8-bit. I'm concerned what this might mean for video quality when footage gets heavily processed (large color correction changes and/or many effects). Has anyone using this card seen banding on footage when editing?
Let me rephrase the question this way: Has anyone using the RT.X2 not not seen any banding when applying color correction/effects to footage with large gradients (e.g., the sky, etc.)?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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Hi Chris.

Let me ask you this, what do you mean by banding in the video? The reason I am asking because I haven't seen any issues with the video processed with the card. The only thing that has been experienced in the past(previous builds) with some of the effects and this is noted is that depending on what you are doing, at points with certain types of media, softening "can" take place. I haven't experienced this to be honest as far as I can remember since version 1.0 from the effects I use, but that is the negative side.

I am using hdv clips and am currently finishing video that was shot primarily in the sky, and I haven't had a problem. But if you can give more details, maybe I can elaborate a bit further. But besides this, this is all I can say. I will finish by saying this, when I read this, I had to actually go read up on what "banding" was. This is because the video that I have processed with my card have always been good and I haven't rec'd artifacting at all.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 10:15 PM   #4
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Damon, it's good to hear your experience with the card. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Here's an example of what I mean by banding (click on the image for a larger view).

From what I understand from the reading I've done, banding can be an issue when making a large alteration and/or using many effects on an image with a gradient (such as a sky) when the alteration/effects and the image are processed at 8-bits per channel. If you're doing these types of operations on your footage with the RT.X2 and not seeing any banding, then that's good news.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #5
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Hi!

Not as far as I have noticed at all! I actually pulled out a recent test disc I authored and did not see that at all on my television. So definately not from what I am seeing..
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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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Thanks Damon! I really appreciate the information.

Just thought of one other question. For anyone who has used the component/s-video outputs, how did the video signal look?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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Hi Chris. If you use the I-frame at a high bitrate and your source material is good, it looks good. The old line of "garbage in garbage out" of course applies, but otherwise with what I have captured, people have been extremely pleased with it. I haven't had to use it in a few months since the vast majority of my captures are firewire, but it looks good.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 08:27 AM   #8
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Good to know Matrox didn't skimp on the quality of the analog capture. If you've happened to see the s-video output quality, is good as well? I have a Sony broadcast monitor I need to hookup for color correction purposes.
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Old September 14th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #9
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Hi Chris!

I have only used S-vid and Component. I used and use S-vid 95-98% of the time, so I can definately attest to the quality on both! Just use I-frame at a higher bitrate and you will recieve great results..
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik View Post
Here's an example of what I mean by banding (click on the image for a larger view).

From what I understand from the reading I've done, banding can be an issue when making a large alteration and/or using many effects on an image with a gradient (such as a sky) when the alteration/effects and the image are processed at 8-bits per channel. If you're doing these types of operations on your footage with the RT.X2 and not seeing any banding, then that's good news.
Chris, I also have the same question, because I have a VERY NOTICEABLE banding problem while using my RT.X100 and Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 on any output format (HD and SD AVI's, direct to disk, etc). I shoot underwater video, and when I have a shot such as a bunch of sharks swimming in clear blue water at depth, the banding after post-production is very obvious as the water column lightens towards the surface. I assume it is because Premiere Pro 1.5 processes in 8-bit color, and it would be solved by upgrading to Premiere Pro CS3. Since I can get the loyalty upgrade of the RT.X2 w/ PPro CS3 for under $1300, that would be a bit cheaper than the CS3 upgrade plus Prospect HD. Since you have been exploring's Cineform's site, it sounds like you are also checking out the inexpensive HD editing solution options, as I am. Cineform's Prospect HD or Aspect HD is a direct competitor to the Matrox RT.X2. For me, solving the banding problem is first priority, second priority is speed.

So, let's assume I need to upgrade my PPro to get rid of the banding. But will upgrading PPRo together with the RT.X2 (with 8-bit hardware processing) take all the benefit out of a 10-bit version of PPro? I wish I could get a straight answer!
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Old September 18th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik View Post
Good to know Matrox didn't skimp on the quality of the analog capture. If you've happened to see the s-video output quality, is good as well? I have a Sony broadcast monitor I need to hookup for color correction purposes.
I'm used to editing in Sony Vegas and previewing from firewire through my Canopus ADVC-100 convertor into my Sony broadcast monitor. When I compared the same HDV video coming out of Vegas to that coming out of the Matrox into my sony monitor --- the Matrox signal looked soft to me (in both component and s-video). The colors were also a bit odd looking but that could just be the HDV conversion. The DVI output of the Matrox card looked great but I was surprised that the analog signal did not meet or beat the Canopus convertor.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon Gaskin View Post
Hi Chris!
I have only used S-vid and Component. I used and use S-vid 95-98% of the time, so I can definately attest to the quality on both! Just use I-frame at a higher bitrate and you will recieve great results..
Thanks Damon!
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Backman View Post
But will upgrading PPRo together with the RT.X2 (with 8-bit hardware processing) take all the benefit out of a 10-bit version of PPro? I wish I could get a straight answer!
Looks like we're both in the same boat. From Damon's experience, though, it sounds like the RT.X2 handles color gradients okay.

FWIW, Premiere Pro features 32-bit internal color processing. Of course, Cineform Aspect and Prospect replace the Premiere Pro processing engine. I don't know how the RT.X2 handles the software side, but the board does process color in 8-bits internally.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Salvatore View Post
I'm used to editing in Sony Vegas and previewing from firewire through my Canopus ADVC-100 convertor into my Sony broadcast monitor. When I compared the same HDV video coming out of Vegas to that coming out of the Matrox into my sony monitor --- the Matrox signal looked soft to me (in both component and s-video). The colors were also a bit odd looking but that could just be the HDV conversion. The DVI output of the Matrox card looked great
Thanks Marc!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Salvatore View Post
I was surprised that the analog signal did not meet or beat the Canopus convertor.
That is a bit odd, given the price of the RT.X2.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #15
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I'm happy with my RTX2.

My only issue is after I do a HDV (1440x1080i) project and use the matrox media encoder (same as Adobe media encoder, but accellerated a little) to make a DVD compliant mpeg file the video is crisp, but the vertical edges where it is bright or the horizontal tops of pews tend to have fllickering effect if the camcorder is panning or zooming. The video looks crisp upconverted onto the 1080 46inch Samsung HDTV. Viewing the mpg file on my monitor it also flickers without such vertical or horizontal lines or witout motion the video looks pretty awesome.

I love the crisp video, but not the line flickering as the camcorder moves or zooms.

Since I went to CS3 I have an occasional crash if I hit the space bar in succession causing an audio loop of a couple of bars of sound and video continues. Just exit, don't save, then use ctl alt del to shut down the program. Restart and redo since last save. This did not happen with CS2 where it was very stable.

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