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Old December 6th, 2001, 03:52 PM   #1
Janet Patterson
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Matrox card, yes or no

I am interning for a small independent co. They are trying to decide if they should bite the bullet and buy a Matrox RTMac card, rent one, or go with the cheaper Dazzle. Hesitation with renting a card is rumours of configuration headaches.
Any suggestions?
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Old December 13th, 2001, 02:00 PM   #2
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Comparing the Features

I would compare the features of either solution...

Matrox RTmac:

- RT capabilities on FCP 2.0 & 3.0
- Break-out box with A & D I/O
- Serves as an additional graphics card (you can hook up a second monitor to it)
- Can only be used on G4 mini-tower systems
- Rather pricy

Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge:

- Equivalent to break-out box with A & D I/O (according to a review I read, the quality of the two devices' A/D conversion is equivalent - sorry, can't remember where I read it...)
- Doesn't drive an additional monitor (although you can view your analog output on a video monitor while recording the S-VHS signal to a VCR).
- Is rather portable and works with any Mac or PC with a FireWire port
- Inexpensive

My advice:

If the machine you are using is a dual processor G4 and already drives two displays (or you don't want a second one), I'd upgrade to FCP 3 (and possibly Mac OS X), and go with the Dazzle Hollywood. This way you'll get RT effects, A & D I/O and the benefits of FCP 3.0 for less than the price of the Matrox RTmac.

Otherwise, I'd probably choose the RTmac. However, I'd wait to see if they released a new product at MacWorld Expo SF in January.


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Old December 16th, 2001, 02:32 AM   #3
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FCP 3 Review

I just wanted to post a link to a review of FCP 3 at the LA FCP User Group site. Here it is:


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Old December 26th, 2001, 06:13 PM   #4
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Great article, thanks!
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Old December 29th, 2001, 09:55 PM   #5
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As someone who has both the RTMac and the Dazzle Bridge -and- has just begun using FCP 3 during the past few days I'd have to think -real- hard about getting the RTMac again. FCP 3 on a fast G4 really approaches the value of the RTMac's real-time effects for all practical purposes (although FCP 3's effects are not truly real-time). The handiest part of the RTMac for my work is the ability to connect a pro NTSC monitor to it (thus avoiding the nastygram when FCP doesn't see anything attached to my firewire port) and to connect headphone video sound monitors separately from my Mac's main sound system. The real-time transition effects are nice but not nearly as handy or time-saving as I thought as I thought they would be.

The Dazzle Bridge can be handy but has a nasty tendency to introduce artifacts when capturing longer clips. If you get one be sure to test it with varying lengths of clips before using it in production.

Ron's suggestion of waiting until after MacWorld in early January is a good one.
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