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Decklink HD Extreme vs Matrox MXO2 vs Kona 3

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Helge Løken
Decklink HD Extreme vs Matrox MXO2 vs Kona 3
on Apr 22, 2009 at 6:06:00 am

This is probably a much asked question but I couldn't find it anywhere else in the forum.

My question is quite simple, but I find it hard to read anything from the specs and therefor I'm interested in real world experiences. I'm looking into getting a capture card for my Mac Pro (and my MacBook Pro if I land on an MXO2) which primarily will be used for monitoring. At least for the foreseeable future I'll be using a 10bit HDMI display for monitoring, but I'd like to retain the possibility of upgrading to an HDSDI monitor at some point - maybe even get full 2K monitoring. The software I'll be using are Final Cut Pro, Color, After Effects and Nuke (which is getting output support in 5.2).

My question is if there's any technical differences between these cards that will either have an impact on my ability to get an accurate output? Does any of these cards provide a speed benefit over the others? (heard some rumors that the Kona might do some additional processing)

Secondary I'm doing DCP coloring and for this it would be helpful to have the option of a hardware LUT.

Thirdly I've been doing a lot of probing in to S3D and thinking of doing more post work for this - any difference between the cards that could give a benefit?

Thank you for your time!


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Luke Maslen
Re: Decklink HD Extreme vs Matrox MXO2 vs Kona 3
on Apr 22, 2009 at 7:35:02 am

Hi Helge,

The new DeckLink HD Extreme has all the connections you could possibly need. It has 3 Gb/s SDI in and out which means you can use it for SD-SDI, HD-SDI and even full-resolution (2048 x 1556) real time 2K via SDI via a single SDI cable. If you have dual link SDI equipment, like a HDCAM SR deck, it also includes dual link in and out so you can work in 4:4:4 RGB color mode in HD-SDI.

Aside from SDI, it also has both analog video and analog audio connections for input AND output. The three video cables for analog video switch between component, S-Video and composite analog video. Component analog video can switch between HD and SD and of course S-Video and composite are always SD.

HDMI has become really popular so we include HDMI input and output on the card too! The HDMI color precision is 10-bit 4:2:2.

Reference input is included on the breakout cable and works with both blackburst and Tri-sync signals.

There are a number of other audio inputs and outputs and you can check out all the connections on the DeckLink HD Extreme 3 connection diagram.

If you're working with high quality video like 2K film, you don't want any processing happening as it will just be messing with your video. DeckLink HD Extreme is very powerful and allows you to work with uncompressed formats all the way up to 2K so that your video is kept clean and unaltered as you work without any worries about compression artefacts. If you want to work with compressed formats in SD and HD, then we support the same compressed codecs that pretty much everyone supports through Final Cut Pro including ProRes HQ, DVCPRO HD and others. By working in uncompressed video, you get the maximum RT effects and maintain maximum quality without having to do further processing.

In regards to LUT's, we offer the HDLink Pro and HDLink Optical Fiber products for monitoring using DVI and HDMI displays. They include 3D LUT control so you can tweak your display as required and can also apply the LUT's to your SDI video output if you want to send it to tape with the LUT's applied.

I don't know enough about S3D to comment so I'll leave that to others but I'm not aware of anything in any of the products you've mentioned which might give one an advantage over the other.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Michael French
Re: Decklink HD Extreme vs Matrox MXO2 vs Kona 3
on Apr 23, 2009 at 3:43:47 pm

We have a Decklink HD Extreme PCIe card in use at our TV production control room and it appears to be working fine. However, there is one issue that is causing us major problems. The issue is the activation / deactivation of genlock. The card ships with a consumer breakout harness (no genlock) and a professional breakout harness (includes genlock). In the Decklink control panel, one can confirm if the genlock reference is connected. What happens is when our graphics application is launched, the genlock is deactivated. When the application is closed, genlock is reactivated. It would seem the graphics program is causing this but the software programmer says otherwise. I would like to know if there is a consumer or professional mode that can be set. It seems logical that the consumer mode would deactivate the genlock and vice-versa for the pro mode. The system resides on a Win XP Pro platform with the house format being 720P/59.94. Any info along these lines would be most appreciated.



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Luke Maslen
Re: Decklink HD Extreme vs Matrox MXO2 vs Kona 3
on Apr 24, 2009 at 1:59:22 am

Hi Michael,

It sounds as though you've got either the original DeckLink HD Extreme or the DeckLink HD Extreme 2 card. Your problem sounds odd and I think it's going to be easiest to fix by talking with one of our technical support staff at your closest Blackmagic Design office. They will be able to take you through a few tests to work out why the genlock keeps deactivating when you launch your graphics software. That's a really weird problem but not one that is related to the topic of this thread and I don't think it will be an easy one to solve via correspondence. Some of our support staff are at NAB this week but will soon be back in the office and will be very happy to work through the problem with you over the phone.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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