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Old April 8th, 2002, 02:30 PM   #1
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Matrox 2500: Good? Bad?

Hey guys I have been thinking about upgrading from my Pinnacle DV 200. I loaded the drivers to get the benifit of the auto tape sensing and capture abilities. What I got was video with a lot of lines. After removing the drivers and reloading Adobe the problem went away. So now I am thinking maybe I should get a better FW capture card. So I have been tossing around the idea of picking up the Matrox 2500. Has anyone tried this card? More importantly has anyone tried it with Windows XP and a Canon XL1 or XL1s?

Best,
James
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Old April 8th, 2002, 08:10 PM   #2
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Hi James - Matrox products don't get much favorable press here, but I use the RT2500 with my XL1S on a W2K system and it works just fine. The Matrox Media Tools batch capture software and Matrox card seem to eliminate a lot of the capture problems associated with Premiere and the XL1 that you may find mentioned on these boards. My projects are currently all output to VHS, so not having real time DV output is not a concern and I seldom have to render anything at all.

It works for me, but may not be the best solution, depending on your needs.
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Old April 9th, 2002, 03:40 PM   #3
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When Matrox first shipped the RT2000 it was a very difficult product to support. We had system compatibility issues and conflicts. With the intro last spring of the RT2500 single board solution, things got much better.

Now the RT2500 with the latest drivers is very solid. Matrox support has gotten much better and so has the company. They keep putting out new features, FX packs etc that allow even original RT2000 users to upgrade to the very latest technology.

Gary
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Old April 9th, 2002, 04:22 PM   #4
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Is this a good time to mention trying Avid XDV3 and a cheap OHCI card? I have been contemplating a RT2500 too, and now have begun thinking about Avid, since they have come out with a "popular priced" (well, it's over a grand, but that is dirt cheap for that brand) version for DV. It sounds like a good way to chuck out all the conflicts and bugs...or maybe not?
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Last edited by Mike Butler; April 9th, 2002 at 04:34 PM.
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Old April 9th, 2002, 05:13 PM   #5
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James,

I've been using the 2500 with Win2K and a GL1 for about 5 months now and am pretty happy with it and Premiere. Most of the problems I've encountered have ended up being pilot error.

The Matrox forum admin asked the members why they purchased the 2000/2500. You can check it out here:

http://forum.matrox.com/rt2000/Forum8/HTML/000759.html

It's a bit of a love fest but has a nice leavening of disident voices as well. The forum itself is one of the best perks of going with the 2500. I haven't had to contact Matrox support for anything, I've always gotten the answers I need from the users and admins.

Cheers,
Bruce
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Old April 9th, 2002, 08:50 PM   #6
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Matrox has worked long and hard to make the forum a love fest. Like I said, the RT2500 has come a long way. It is now I feel the most stable and powerful real-time system on the market with Premiere 6.

Gary
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Old April 10th, 2002, 03:38 AM   #7
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Mike,

I read in another thread that XDV does not support that
Matrox board. The thread suggested going with a cheap
OHCI compliant board instead. The thread is titled
"Any AVID Xpress DV3 users here?" and can be found under
the "Non-linear Editing on the PC" forum.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 08:24 AM   #8
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I am not in any way suggesting you use XDV with the Matrox hardware. It will not work. If you want Premiere, get the RT2500. If you want XDV, you only need a $100 firewire card like the Pyro.

Gary
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Old April 10th, 2002, 09:44 AM   #9
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Got it.

Matrox 2500 w/Premiere.

Or a cheap OHCI card w/Avid. (and I know you don't mix Avid w/Matrox)

I know I am going to have to decide between these two routes.

Now I have to decide which one will contribute harmoniously to a well-rounded PC workstation. My IT boyz (& grrlz) will issue me one IBM PC for this and will expect the rig to also be able to work reliably with Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, etc., as well as MS Office and e-mail. Don't even think about a "dedicated" NLE here.

I am intrigued at the prospect of getting a "professional" NLE from the company whose name is synonymous with editing in Hollywood, for just a few hundred bucks more than we had planned. Or do I hunker down and settle for the Adobe product, thinking that it is more likely to "play nicely with others"????
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Old April 10th, 2002, 10:15 AM   #10
 
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...or I would suggest Sonic Foundry's Vegas Video 3 and an ADS PYRO 1394 card. I've been using VV3 about a month now and can say great things about this card. No dropped frames, no freezeups, 1st class audio edit support, compositing(like a simplified AE), real time previewing, a really nice transition and special effects package, multi processor awareness(rendering with both processors), an excelent DV codec, and other stuff. All in all, some say it's better than FCP.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 10:58 AM   #11
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OK, that's sort of "Apples" to oranges, to coin a phrase, since FCP is for Mac only. I will submit that FCP, to its credit, has been totally bulletproof from Day 1, and I have had 100% productivity and 0% downtime on that platform.

But I am looking for the right item on the PC side, something as trouble-free as that. The key is it has to work flawlessly when I'm using it, AND stay out of the way when I'm using other appplications on the same machine. Conflicts are not an option. So, whether it's Vegas Video and a low-end card, Avid and a low-end card, or Premiere with a high-zoot card, the machine has to be 100% reliable, both while doing NLE editing and when we call it a wrap and start working on a print job, photo retouching or sending an e-mail, or whatever.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 11:11 AM   #12
 
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My comparison to FCP refers strictly to user operability. I don't want to get into the religion of platfor type, here. What I mean to compare is the natural progression of the editting process by the NL editor. VV3 has a natural progression with most of the default values and mouse clicks that work the way my mind does. I don't have to struggle to find the right menu drop down or button. Additionally, since I installed VV3, I've had zero conflicts or problems of any kind. I needed a 'production" tool that is reliable and dependable. I submit that VV3 has met my requirements and exceeded them in the past month I've owned it. One of the best features is that Sonic Foundry gives you their audio editting technology with VV3. There's a lot of good noise filters, equalizers and other filters for the audio portion.

On the negative side, there is no user manual(other than a very limited manual that comes with it). But, if one is familiar with compositing, learning VV3 should not be a problem.

At NAB a partnership with BOXX and VV3 has been announced. I wouldn't be surprised to see hardware support for VV3 in the near future, that will include 24p editting.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 12:52 PM   #13
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Bill,
I understand you don't want to get into the ol' platform jihad. I use them both, and am very realistic about each of them. I do have to be mindful of which products are available for which platforms. Fortunately, Photoshop is for both, just gotta buy two separate copies, doggone it! Ditto most of the rest of the graphic designer's tool kit.

I too need a production tool that is reliable and dependable, and easy to use, like you describe. It also has to not wreck the functionality of the machine for other jobs. Got it covered on the Mac side with FCP, it took me a bit longer to smoke out the answer on the PC side.

BTW, I 'm not sure I'd complain about no user manual, the book that comes with FCP is as thick as the Manhattan telephone directory. :-)
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