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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 11:23 AM   #1
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Video I/O equipment

Does anyone have any experience with any of the following I/O devices?

MOTU HD Express

Matrox Mini

Black Magic Intensity

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I've been working mostly off my laptop and partially off of my desktop for the past few years, and now that I have a new and very awesome day job, I've been given the task of building on to my current system so that we can hook up a large HDTV for client viewing.

I'm running Windows 7 Business Edition and Adobe CS5.5. The MOTU and BlackMagic boxes intrigue me the most, since they seem to be priced reasonably, and they offer options for both laptops and desktops. My desktop machine currently only has a single 1X PCI Express card slot available, so it would be advantageous to not have to fork over cash for a brand new workstation when I can squeeze at least another 2 years out of this current one.

Basically, I'm looking for your opinions if you've used any of these devices. Are they stable and reliable? Or is the software difficult to work with, does it cause conflicts or problems with other applications, etc.?
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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Re: Video I/O equipment

We are using BMD Intensity Pro, and generally it is sufficient for most basic editing work. It does offer only 1080i and 720p monitoring - no 1080p, so if you are shooting in 1080p24 p25 or p30 it will not give you 1:1.

Also, I would be careful about putting them in x1 slot. I had Decklink SP, supposedly x1 card, inserted in x1 slot in Mac Pro, but it was quite unstable when it came to HD footage. It became stable when I moved it to x4 slot.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Video I/O equipment

If all you want to do is feed an hdmi signal to a tv with audio, you may not need to get the kind of external devices you are looking at. Since you are running CS 5.5 on a desktop system, you should have a current nVidia card to get the benefits of the MPE. Many of the nVidia cards have an HDMI output which you could use to feed a signal to a tv. Many laptops also have this capability. (My laptop does.) For the audio, you use the audio-out from the computer. My laptop allows me to to do this although I have only tried it once.

On my editing workstation, I've been using the MXO2-Mini for a couple of years. I have used it for editing, first with CS4, then CS5 and now CS 5.5. Once in a while, I have used it for showing projects to customers. For them, I have switched the audio from the computer sound system to the tv audio. (The Mini allows you to choose between sending the audio via hdmi to the tv or to the computer's sound system.)

There have been a fair number of postings and threads in which I and others have posted on aspects of using the Mini with CS 5 and 5.5. I assume you've done a search on the "mxo2-mini" and checked out the results, so I won't repeat what has already been said at some length elsewhere.

The Mini can feed 1080p/30 (or 1080/p25) although your tv might not handle that. Likewise, it can handle 1080p/24 but, as far as I know, tvs do not display it. (They convert the signal to something else they can display.) As with the BlackMagic unit that Bart described, the Mini does not yet have the capability to output a full 1080p/60 or 1080p/50 signal for monitoring.

Your post indicates you might want to use it with a laptop. I am running my MXO2-Mini in a 4x slot in my main system (I7/950, ASUS P6T D ver 2 mobo, 12 gb RAM). I have not tried using the Mini with my laptop as I do not have the laptop card. Therefore, I cannot comment on whether a Mini could work for you in that regard.
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