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Gary Bettan May 27th, 2009 06:59 PM

Top 10 Reasons to Buy Matrox MXO2 Mini – Not Intensity Pro
 
Top 10 Reasons to Buy Matrox MXO2 Mini – Not Intensity Pro

The folks at Matrox put this excellent comparison list together. It's on their website as a pdf
http://www.matrox.com/video/media/pd..._intensity.pdf
I figured it would make good reading here.

1. Matrox MXO2 Mini is a portable box that works with PC and Mac laptops and desktops – Intensity Pro is a card that works only in desktops.

2. Matrox MXO2 Mini is a sleek, professional breakout box – Intensity Pro comes with a messy fan-out cable
and there is no breakout box option.

3. Matrox MXO2 Mini supports eight tracks of embedded audio through HDMI so you can monitor up to 7.1 surround sound – Intensity Pro supports only two tracks.
4. Matrox MXO2 Mini provides high-quality 10-bit HDMI input and output – Intensity Pro provides 8-bit HDMI input and output.

5. Matrox MXO2 Mini features a 10-bit hardware scaling engine that works on capture and play out to let you perform realtime HD to SD downscaling, SD to HD upscaling, and 720 to 1080 and 1080 to 720 cross conversion – Intensity Pro does not provide upscaling from SD to 720 and cross conversion from 1080 to 720.

6. Matrox MXO2 Mini supports RGB as well as YUV output via HDMI and component for compatibility with a wider range of monitors – Intensity Pro provides only YUV output.

7. Matrox MXO2 Mini lets you output HD and SD simultaneously – with Intensity Pro you have to choose one or the other.

8. Matrox MXO2 Mini turns your HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with Matrox’s unique color calibration tool. Controls for hue, chroma, contrast, brightness, and blue-only are provided. You get accurate color representation so that you can use your HDMI monitor even for color grading – Intensity Pro does not have a calibration tool.

9. Matrox MXO2 Mini is backed by a three-year hardware warranty – Intensity Pro comes with a one-year warranty.

10. On the PC, Matrox MXO2 Mini lets you capture to the highly-efficient Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame codec at adjustable date rates up to 300 Mbps to optimize quality and storage usage – Intensity Pro uses an older M-JPEG codec that is limited to 128 Mbps and is not user adjustable.

11. On the PC, Matrox MXO2 Mini provides WYSIWYG support for a wide variety of applications including Autodesk 3ds Max and Combustion, NewTek LightWave 3D, and Eyeon Fusion (32-bit versions) – Intensity Pro does not provides WYSIWYG support for these applications.

12. A version of Matrox MXO2 Mini is available with Matrox MAX technology for faster than realtime H.264 HD file creation – Intensity Pro does not offer this important benefit.

Gary
Videoguys.com - Search for "mxo2mini"

Ray Bell May 27th, 2009 07:10 PM

Now that this is shipping will we see a dedicated area here on DVinfo for discussion??

I'd sure like to know how its working out for everyone...

can this run off of a battery??

Gary Bettan May 27th, 2009 07:35 PM

I'll look into the battery question for you. comes with ac adapter.

I'd love to see an HD hardware section. For discussions on Matrox, Aja, Blackmagic etc.

Gary

Laurence Scott May 27th, 2009 07:44 PM

I wonder if this is the reason the Intensity Pro dropped down from $349 to $199.

Gary Bettan May 27th, 2009 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Laurence Scott (Post 1149403)
I wonder if this is the reason the Intensity Pro dropped down from $349 to $199.

It is. When Black Magic found out about the MXO2 Mini at NAB they immediately reacted and dumped the price on the Intensity Pro. I guess they realized the MXO2Mini was twice as good!

Gary

Ray Bell May 28th, 2009 05:48 PM

I could ask this over in the Cineform area but I'd like to keep it here...

The question is...

I know Cineform has the box and they are working on a Cineform capture solution...
any one heard how they are doing and when it might be available...

If I can get battery support for out in the field with a laptop and Cineform.. I'm on board.

Stephen Armour May 28th, 2009 07:00 PM

I also have a question that could be asked in the CF area, but will ask it here:

For direct capture from the HDMI port of our V1's, why would we want MPEG compression and THEN conversion to CF for editing? (like MX02 mini)

One of the benefits of HDMI is capturing before MPEG compression takes place and converting directly to CF. (like Intensity Pro)

This is important to us, as we do lots of chromakey work and MPEG compression makes a mess of that.

Ron Evans May 29th, 2009 01:08 PM

Gary,does the unit do a file conversion? Can it convert a HDV file to SD MPEG2 for DVD authoring? I do not mean output from the connectors just within the PC, convert one file format to the other in high quality. A high quality conversion is not that easy to accomplish without edge effects and motion artifacts that takes a long time with just software.

Ron Evans

Gary Bettan May 29th, 2009 01:28 PM

file conversion. The MAX technology gives you accelerated H.264 encoding. the MXO2 Mini is simply I/O and cross conversion, not format conversion.

Gary

Doug Tessler May 29th, 2009 03:43 PM

Does it have SDI ?
 
I would like to use the JVC HM 700 to ingest into my laptop using SDI is this possible

Doug

Christopher Drews May 29th, 2009 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doug Tessler (Post 1150516)
I would like to use the JVC HM 700 to ingest into my laptop using SDI is this possible

Doug

You are thinking of the MXO2. Mini is HD Component and HDMI.

-C

Christopher Drews May 29th, 2009 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1150456)
file conversion. The MAX technology gives you accelerated H.264 encoding. the MXO2 Mini is simply I/O and cross conversion, not format conversion.

Gary

I believe MAX technology is a waste of money when Elgato Turbo.264 HD exists for half the price.

-C

Gary Bettan May 30th, 2009 02:03 AM

The Elgato is a cool little device, but it's a consumer grade encoder. The Matrox MAX technology is for professional apps. Not just more powerful, but integrates with Apple compressor or Adobe encoder and offers you a full range of settings and options.

Gary

Adrian Frearson May 30th, 2009 09:58 AM

Gary,
Do you have any idea whether the surround audio outputs over hdmi can be addressed separately? I was wondering if the mini could act as an alternative to the Motu V4 interface with Digital Performer, for final soundtrack mixdown/foley etc. It would be great to have a one box solution to this that doesn't cost the earth. Cheers

Gary Bettan May 30th, 2009 10:51 AM

Adrian: I think that goes beyond the abilities of the mini. I know MAtrox is monitoring this thread, so if I'm wrong, someone will let me know or jump in.

Gary

Adrian Frearson May 31st, 2009 04:45 AM

Thanks Gary, I thought this would be a nice little extra if it was possible and would eliminate the need for separate audio I/O for this task. Realtime cross conversion and capture at this price is pretty attractive to say the least, add h.264 acceleration and it really looks like a must for me.

John Cline June 17th, 2009 03:06 PM

Does anyone know where I can download a short clip recorded on a PC in the I-frame only MPEG2 mode of the MX02 mini? I'd like to test it out its files with some various NLEs before I commit to buying it.

Thanks,
John

Gary Bettan June 18th, 2009 11:45 AM

John,

The RTX2 already uses this for analog HD capture for Premiere. No complaints about the quality. I don;t think Matrox MPEG2 HD works in any other NLE besides Premiere.

Gary

John Cline June 18th, 2009 03:12 PM

Gary,

I understand the the MX02 mini is only fully integrated into Premiere on the PC side. I have and use Premiere CS4, Avid Media Composer v3.5 and Vegas v9 and I much prefer Vegas. I'd like to see if Vegas can handle the MX02's I-frame-only MPEG2 files.

John

Ron Evans June 18th, 2009 06:44 PM

IF the codec is on the PC maybe Vegas and Edius will use and work with Matrox MPEG. I too am interested but would want it to work with Edius or Vegas or preferably both.

Ron Evans

Bill Koehler June 22nd, 2009 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1160225)
John,

I don't think Matrox MPEG2 HD works in any other NLE besides Premiere.

Gary

If it wasn't for my concern that I would be buying into a proprietary codec/wrapper, my order would already be in.
This thread illustrates some of the problems:

Matrox MXO User Forum :: View topic - MXO2 Mini and Matrox HDV

Given how video is often archived, a codec/wrapper/format without an assured long, long lifetime is simply a no-go for me.

Bill Ravens June 22nd, 2009 10:48 AM

Why is this solution better than AJA's IO Express? I know the MXO2 mini is cheaper, but, the IO Express has HD-SDI I/O.

Edit: AJA seems to exclusively be a MAC shop, the IO Express records to Apples Prores codec. But, There is a decoder available for Prores on the PC, and, hopefully the Cineform DI can also be ported to the IO Express.

Gary Bettan June 22nd, 2009 10:50 AM

I can certainly understand your concern. We have good news on the Cineform front. Things are moving forward nicely and we hope to have an official announcement from Matrox & Cineform shortly.

Things not going as smooth with Sony. There is work to be done to make Vegas & Mini compatible. Not sure Sony has the resources available at the current time.

Gary

Bill Koehler June 22nd, 2009 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Ravens (Post 1161888)
Why is this solution better than AJA's IO Express?

Thanks for the reference, I didn't know about the IO Express, only the IO HD.
I'll bet I'm not the only one.

When I went to AJA's website and looked around, they mention PC support - and that's it. No details. They do mention the codecs that are supported only on the Mac. I didn't find anything about the ones supported on the PC or even minimum PC system requirements. The documentation is still overwhelmingly Apple/Mac centric. And the same Final Cut/Premiere Pro bias.

Andrew Clark June 25th, 2009 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1149384)
6. Matrox MXO2 Mini supports RGB as well as YUV output via HDMI and component for compatibility with a wider range of monitors – Intensity Pro provides only YUV output.

** Is this user selectable, or does the Mini automatically decide?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1149384)
8. Matrox MXO2 Mini turns your HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with Matrox’s unique color calibration tool. Controls for hue, chroma, contrast, brightness, and blue-only are provided. You get accurate color representation so that you can use your HDMI monitor even for color grading – Intensity Pro does not have a calibration tool.

** Reasoning to my previous question above....to utilize the HP Dreamcolor LP2480zx monitor, the monitor needs to be fed a RGB progressive signal (in order to take full advantage of all the benefits the monitor provides) which would be great if the Mini truly did this!!


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1149384)
10. On the PC, Matrox MXO2 Mini lets you capture to the highly-efficient Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame codec at adjustable date rates up to 300 Mbps to optimize quality and storage usage – Intensity Pro uses an older M-JPEG codec that is limited to 128 Mbps and is not user adjustable.

** Is this the only option to capture to? Can one capture the camera's native codec? What about the Mac side? Can one capture using ProRes / ProRes HQ?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Gary Bettan (Post 1149384)
12. A version of Matrox MXO2 Mini is available with Matrox MAX technology for faster than realtime H.264 HD file creation – Intensity Pro does not offer this important benefit.

** This is cool...but I'm a bit confused; does one need the CompressHD card to do this....or is MAX built into the Mini?

Gary Bettan June 25th, 2009 02:53 PM

I have not tested Mini with dreamcast monitor, but I do know of folks successfully using the MXO2 HDMI output with it.

MXO2 Mini is available witht he MAX option integrated into it for $849. So you don;t need the seperate compressHD card.

MAtrox MPEG-2 capture is for Premeire. Capture into Cineform is on the way. The MXO2 Mini captures directly into ProRes in real time on a quad core Mac

Gary

Frank Brodkorb June 25th, 2009 03:30 PM

Don´t want to rain on the parade, but Intensity captures uncompressed.
I take that every day over any codec.

Also Intensity can be connected to a laptop via card slot.

In case you have to be independend of AC power....

But usualy, with all the lights and whatnot at a set, one more cable for a small PC doesn´t matter.

My ct 2

Frank

Gary Bettan June 25th, 2009 04:50 PM

Of course the MXO2 Mini captures uncompressed. I was answering specific questions about the compression options.

As for portability and versatility, MXO2 mini wins hands down. It's an I/O box, that attaches via Express Card for Laptops or PCIe card for desktop. It comes with your choice, but for $100 more you can get both! Now just move the box between your laptop and desktop!

Gary

Andrew Clark June 26th, 2009 12:27 PM

Gary - Thanks for the replies...much appreciate it!! Right to the point, exactly what I needed to know.

Do you have these in stock...(with the MAX option)?

Gary Bettan June 26th, 2009 03:29 PM

MXO2 mini and Mini Max are selling strong and we've got more units rolling to us from Matrox.

Not sure if we still have stock today, but more coming Mon or Tues

Gary

Andrew Clark June 26th, 2009 04:44 PM

Nice!! I'll check your website.

Many thanks again for posting this (top 10 list); very helpful!!

Jack Falbey June 26th, 2009 05:16 PM

Gary, do you have a ballpark idea of when the Mini will be able to capture to Cineform on the PC? I realize the testing is still underway, but I'm just wondering are we talking weeks or months?

Jack Falbey June 29th, 2009 03:55 PM

I saw the Press Release today about NeoScene codec playback through the Mini. Looks like the guys at Cineform & Matrox are working well together so far. Any word or speculation about HDMI capture through the Mini to a Cineform codec?

Sorry if I seem impatient... I've been putting off investing in an HD workflow until the time was right for cameras & editing gear to capture, edit, and deliver in full 1920x1080 10-bit 4:2:2, and with the Mini it looks like the time may be right! I just want to make sure it does what I hope it does before I spend the $$.

Harm Millaard June 29th, 2009 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Falbey (Post 1164965)
Any word or speculation about HDMI capture through the Mini to a Cineform codec?

Why would you want to 'capture' with HDMI? It gives no improvement in picture quality, it is still the same but it looses all metadata, like exposure data, date and timestamp and disables scene detection.

Just keep in mind that HDMI is a video display oriented protocol, not a data protocol which is needed for video editing, like firewire.

Despite all the hype about HDMI, there is no advantage but only drawbacks from using HDMI over firewire.

Jack Falbey June 29th, 2009 04:44 PM

Hi Harm,

I read with great interest your discussion on another thread about the advantages/disadvantages of Firewire vs. HDMI capture, and it seems from what I have found that HDMI does give a better end result by bypassing any AVCHD or HDV compression. I don't have any personal experience to back this up, but from posts by Mike Schell and others, it appears that HDMI capture preserves the pre-compression signal from the imaging sensor. Since I am getting more requests for greenscreen work these days, I'd like to preserve as much of the original resolution & color space as possible. To me, the metadata is less important than having the best source video to begin keying.

BTW, I'd like to say thanks to you for your very informative posts on all subjects video-related both here and at the Adobe forums over the years. I've learned a ton from you.

Adam Gold June 29th, 2009 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack Falbey (Post 1164986)
... it appears that HDMI capture preserves the pre-compression signal from the imaging sensor.

Only if you are recording live via HDMI to PC, not if you are capturing video that has already been recorded to tape. I think most of us mean the latter when we use the term "capture," so there is no advantage to HDMI "capture."

Harm Millaard June 30th, 2009 05:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Jack,

Maybe this scheme can show you the advantages of HDMI, if it is located before the DSP. Then of course the next problem is you can only use your workstation and not your laptop, because a laptop is just too slow to handle the data stream. With the limited cable length you are more of less required to only stationary shots.

Ron Evans June 30th, 2009 05:57 AM

Recording from HDMI, as your diagram shows, gives the opportunity to record using a different codec than HDV. This is where boxes like MXO2 mini or the Intensity card come into play to reduce the data rate using a better codec than HDV all the way up to full uncompressed. For instance a box with 25mbps AVCHD would be better or VBR MPEG2 at 35mbps like the XDCam. It doesn't have to be uncompressed to make a difference and the data rate can be made to be within the limits of a modern laptop to an external hard drive especially with USB3 on the way. Better yet to a dedicated box with recording capability.

Ron Evans

Gary Bettan June 30th, 2009 07:47 AM

It's not a better CODEC, it's better CODEC for editing and post production.

The whole concept of Cineform / ProRes / DNxHD i/ Canopus HQ is that camera acquisition CODECs are not always very good for editing. When you convert a file (AVCHD) into a DI CODEC (Cineform) you get some loss no matter what. But the DI holds up so much better during editing, and it requires far less CPU to handle the compressed files.

When you go from an uncompressed video stream (vie HDMI / SDI or analog) to a DI, you end up with the best possible picture. The more bits you start with, the better the final compressed file will look. This is especially important with color space 4:2:2 vs other schemes.

Gary

Jack Falbey June 30th, 2009 11:43 AM

Yes, Adam is correct. I meant recording live via HDMI, not capturing from tape via HDMI. I understand that the data is compressed as it is laid down on tape (or recorded to HDD, CF, SDHC, etc.) That's why I like the idea of getting the data straight from the sensor block. Until recently, this required an expensive workflow using something like HD-SDI and was impractical for taking out in the field. Also, the cameras and PC hardware were way out of my price range. Now, with prosumer cams offering HDMI output bypassing the compression scheme, and devices like the MXO2 Mini offering live HDMI recording to a laptop, the whole process has become affordable to me.

Where I'm having difficulty in understanding this is the post-recording workflow. The Mini currently offers Uncompressed (which is far too large for laptop capture on location) or Matrox MPEG2 I-frame. In my discussions with Matrox, they have told me that in order to edit the Matrox I-frame codec in realtime I would need to move up to an Axio system because my RT.X2 is only designed for HDV, not full-HD video. That's why I'm so interested in the Cineform option.

And thanks also to Gary, Adam, Ron, and all of the other big-league video experts here; without your posts, articles, and advice I probably wouldn't even be in this business.


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