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Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?

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Michael Hadley
Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 3:17:13 am

Looking for recommendations in terms of monitoring solutions with X. Have used Matrox MXO Mini in the past with a Samsung HDMI monitor. However, wanted to switch to some 3 year old Apple Cinema Displays we have. What breakout boxes do you recommend to get high quality monitoring using an ACD?

BTW, these displays have mini display port connectors.

Also, right now working off a 2009 tower so no Thunderbolt. That said, we will be getting either a new tower when (if?) they come or the new iMac.


Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks.


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Neil Patience
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 9:00:15 pm

Hi Michael

The Matrox with the Samsung HDMI offers you a true video monitoring solution, without an I/O and just using the cinema display you are just using a 2nd computer monitor which does not give proper video monitoring.

An I/O like the Matrox or similar is always going to be a better alternative than any computer display alone for monitoring.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Michael Hadley
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:20:37 pm

Yes, understand completely.

What I'm wondering is: what is good breakout box for use with the Apple Cinema Display? I think I'll get better results with the ACD. FWIW, had frequent issues with the MXO 2 when I was using FCP 7. Wondering if there is a better solution for FCPX and the ACD.

Thoughts?


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Neil Patience
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 1:40:31 am

Gotcha, I cant find an HDMI to Mini Display port adapter. I did stumble on this article that says they are illegal ! Seems harsh. http://www.slashgear.com/hdmi-to-mini-displayport-cables-declared-illegal-0...

So perhaps your issue will be finding a way to connect an I/O to Mini Display. Agree with you about the Matrox and FCP7, never owned one but the odd place I worked at that had that combination I always found the Matrox to be flakey compared to Kona or BM.

Sorry I cant be more helpful, you would have thought it would be a pretty easy thing to do.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Bret Williams
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 16, 2013 at 3:26:35 am

The matrox and such output a video signal, not a computer monitor signal. It's easy to go computer monitor signal to HDMI, because HDMI supports the computer signal. Pretty easy since it doesn't have audio, fields, etc. But to go the other way would be a problem.

FWIW, I have a cable that has mdp on one end, and hdmi on the other. But I think it only goes one way - mdp to hdmi. In any case I got it on amazon. I used it a year ago to monitor FCP 7 off the iMac before I got the thunderbolt BMD box.


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Neil Patience
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 16, 2013 at 5:45:00 pm

Yes I found plenty of cables going the same way you have Bret. But the other way, it seems, is not allowed.

In any case Michael the Apple monitor, as nice as it may be as a computer monitor, is not going to make a good video monitor option. You really need something that is native 1920x1080 otherwise you are just going to get pixel mangling going on.

You should use an I/O and a video monitor, or otherwise you are going to end up not happy with the results one way or another.
AJA are my preferred choice, Blackmagic are pretty good but can have driver issues depending on the NLE. They seem slower at fixing problems than AJA.
Matrox is perfect for speeding up H264 creation if you have a "MAX" model but my least favourite I/O.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Bret Williams
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 16, 2013 at 9:22:29 pm

Matrox has feature parity in general with AJA systems 3 times as much, but it's driver world is a mess. Gotta change out firmware and driver just to switch apps like X and Premiere. But before X, Matrox was a great deal. Much more power than the BMD, if you need it. I was able to output a center cut component SD along side a 1080 HDMI output. The 1080 could be native 24p while the center cut SD was having pulldown added. Or it could be letterbox. But I rarely used either. Once for a TV show, the other time for a local TV commercial. Both times to see the SD center cut alongside the full 1080. Also the hardware up and down coversion capabilities were similar to AJA. This was all with the matrox mini. Matrox devices seem to be the same capabilities except for max, but with different hardware forms/connections. While BMD scales up capabilities and hardware connections in many more configurations. I'm using the Ultrastudio Express right now and it's a one size fits all for less than $500. Component, SDI, HDMI, XLR, RS-422, etc. But if you just need the output and not the input or analog connections or tape control, the BMD ultrastudio mini monitor is great if you have thunderbolt. A decklink in a macpro should suffice if you need that too. BMD is generally compatible with resolve too, although color correction on an AMD would be meaningless.

I've not had any driver issues with BMD, and they seem to provide fixes before anyone imo. They have a one driver, all apps kind of design as well. I'm sold on BMD generally.


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Neil Patience
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 19, 2013 at 12:13:24 am

[Bret Williams] " the BMD ultrastudio mini monitor is great if you have thunderbolt. "

I recently got one of these and have to say very impressed. As long as you only need HD monitoring, which I do, this seems to work very well. The AJA TTap offers 2K monitoring and a few other bits and bobs but I didn't need those. Tried it so far with FCPX, FCP Legacy and Avid Symphony 6.5. I had a really quick look at Resolve and that worked too so yes a really good and cost effective monitoring solution.

best wishes
Neil
http://www.patience.tv

8 Core MacPro, Kona 3, Tangent Wave, Mackie Universal Symphony 6.5 FCP7
i7 2.7 Gig MBP (non retina) 16Gigs Ram Blackmagic Monitor Mini Symphony 6.5 FCP7


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Michael Hadley
Re: Good monitoring Solutions for FCPX?
on Feb 19, 2013 at 3:47:37 pm

Thanks for all the input.

It's a bit if a muddle right now. Our current main system is a 2009 tower, so no thunderbolt. Had been using the Matrox MXO Mini out to an HDMI Samsung for playback/grading.

When we switched over to X, no support for Matrox. So we were going straight to an Apple Cinema Display. Honestly, the results were good for our deliverables, mainly web and projection.

That said, always wanted to get back to a calibrated solution--for the 2009 tower. I guess we could go back to the MXO/Samsung HDMI solution (although I have to say the ACD looks pretty damn fine. And for one potential reason, see this article by Phillip Hodgetts http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/09/fcp-x-color-management-secret/ )

Compounding this is that we will be getting another system soon--either 27" iMac or new tower if they come out in March as some think will happen. Seems like Thunderbolt opens up a new world of options. And new breakout boxes.

For non-broad cast, are folks with new iMacs relying on what they see on the screen or going out through a box to a broadcast monitor? Probably a bit of both.

So:

>>Any final recs for breakout box or card from a 2009 tower to an HDMI Samsung?

>>Recs for a "broadcast" monitor for grading in a Thunderbolt world?

Thanks!


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