Matrox Mini w/MAX
by Daniel Dunn on Jun 5, 2009 at 10:32:15 pm
I'm fairly new to the free lance editing world (8 months in) and getting ready to get my first real system. Mac Pro with a bunch of RAM. I would like people's opinion on this Matrox Mini with MAX. I do event videography with a few different cameras, and it seems they all shoot to AVCHD, which is an awesome shooting codec, but a bitch to edit with. I would like to convert to ProRes and then back to H.264 for delivery on Web and maybe to HD DVD. It seems like a few people are recommending this Matrox box. It seems like it will fit my needs very nicely. Any opinions are greatly appreciated.
Re: Matrox Mini w/MAX by Andy Mees on Jun 6, 2009 at 12:09:39 am
For the setup and workflow you've described the MXO2 Mini w/MAX would fit the bill nicely. Together with any of the current MacPro's you'd have full rein to capture to and edit in ProRes and the MAX option would allow you to export to H.264 for web and/or BD blazingly fast. Don't forget you'll need to add a copy of Roxio Toast 10 (or Adobe Encore) and a BD Burner into the mix too.
Re: Matrox Mini w/MAX by Daniel Dunn on Jun 6, 2009 at 12:34:44 am
Thanks Andy, it seems like you are actually truly unbiased (nice to see). I appreciate your help. Anything else out there that may do a better job of what I'm trying to do (or just as well, but cheaper)
Re: Matrox Mini w/MAX by Andy Mees on Jun 6, 2009 at 1:22:23 am
Have a look at the BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro, its a PCIe based I/O card that you would install inside your MacPro ... it's a steal at only 199 USD and will give you many of the same capture options as the Mini. Matrox have posted a PDF that contrasts and compares the advantages of their MXO2 Mini vs the Intensity Pro (there's a recent thread here just below with the link and some discussion on the comparison) and it would be worth your while to have a look at that. If the advantages of the Mini are not ones you see yourself needing then the Intensity board is a strong option. For an alternative accelerated compression to H264 option then look no further than Elgato's Turbo264 HD ... not as impressive as the MAX technology but a very strong performer at only 149 USD
Ps In all fairness I'm not completely unbiased ... I absolutely LOVE my MXO2 :-)
Here's my question: I'm shooting wedding footage with a Canon 5d mk2 (H.264 1080p) that I'm editing for same-day edits to show at the reception in the evening. Right now, the slowest part of my workflow is going from H264 to MPEG-2 when it comes time to burn a DVD. (Most of the reception venues have DVD players but not AV access, otherwise I'd just play through a deck straight from my FCP timeline. DVD is usually a must.)
I know that all of these devices (Matrox Mini Max, etc...) are set up around Blue-ray, but does anyone know of anything designed to speed up the DVD encoding process? That's what I really could use.... And USB/Firewire would be idea. Thanks in advance!
Re: Matrox Mini w/MAX by Andy Mees on Sep 3, 2009 at 7:35:07 am
You note that "Most of the reception venues have DVD players but not AV access..." Hmmm... well the DVD player must be connected into their AV system by some fashion right? Usually via composite, component or HDMI right? As these are all connections that your Mini also provides then you should be just fine connecting your Mini directly into such a system (temporarily replacing the DVD players connection if no other AV input is available). Most venues would be more than happy to accommodate your needs, even more so if you visit and check the setup in a advance.
As to the question regarding hardware assisted MPEG2 encoding, I'm not aware of any portable encoders. Canopus make the Firecoder Blu which is a very nice H264 / MPEG2 PCI Express based boardset but that's PC only to my knowledge. Of course, chances are that venues will increasingly crop up with Bluray players as the format becomes more ingrained ... which brings up another possible option that you might consider, that being to simply buy and carry with you a cheap Bluray DVD player for playback ie something you can use at a venue in place of the existing DVD player which may be more acceptable (or just plain easier) than hooking up your Mac and MXO Mini. Worth considering anyway.
Hope it helps
Ps. On a side note, can I suggest that (in future) you start a new thread for new questions? It really helps to keep thread contents relevant to the stated subject and so makes it much easier for forum visitors to quickly and easily find/browse the info thats relevant to them. Would be much appreciated.
Sorry, Andy, I thought this was more of a continuation of the first question, rather than a new one.
It's true that the DVD players at these venues are plugged into something (duh), but you'd be surprised how often it's built into some pulpit or hardwood cabinet with less-than-convenient access. These swanky reception halls are set up for people to easily plug in their AV devices; it's very rare to have practical access to the AV ports. Sometimes we'll do a wedding with the reception at a conference center-type place, which tends to be more AV-friendly, but more often it's a nice restaurant, a hotel, a golf club, etc.... Blu-Ray may or may not ever become the next standard, and there's a definite demand for fast DVD encoding.