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Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic

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T. Payton
Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:20:40 pm

I'm moving temporary from a Mac Pro to an Thunderbolt iMac for editing. I have been using a PCIe Matrox MX02 Mini with a 50" LCD HDMI & 15" CRT via S-Video. So I have two choices:

1 - Matrox Thunderbolt Adapter $199 @ B&H
2 - BlackMagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor $137 @ B&H

Anybody have experience with both of these they could chime in on? The Matrox drivers are okay, but not the greatest. It does have a color calibration for HDMI. Are BlackMagic drivers being supported well for FCP X?

I have used the AJA Io XT with Thunderbolt also (which worked flawlessly) but that is 10x the price and I really just need monitoring.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Jordan Mena
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:35:02 pm

I'm running the BlackMagic UltraStudio Mini monitor. I had to buy this so I can run FCPX, Premiere, AE, and of course Davinci Resolve (due to Resolve not seeing AJA). For the most part it works fine except once in awhile if I switch NLEs or in and out of Davinci my monitor goes all crazy. Only way to fix is if I quite everything and replug the Thunderbolt from the Mini monitor. If I wasn't working in Davinci I probably would have bought the Aja T-Tap instead.

Also, if you are changing frame rates in between projects you have to set it inside System Prefs and not inside FCPX. That drove me crazy before I figured that out.

Hopes This helps.

J


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:37:46 pm

[Jordan Mena] "Also, if you are changing frame rates in between projects you have to set it inside System Prefs and not inside FCPX. That drove me crazy before I figured that out."

That is how Matrox works too. I think that is just FCPX.

So does BlackMagic let you do any kind of calibration with your HDMI display?

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Jordan Mena
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 27, 2013 at 11:42:21 pm

I looked into that and found nothing. It was amazingly hard for me to calibrate my HDMI LCD. If you have an easier time let me know.

J

Jordan Mena|Editor|Colorist|Producer
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJitHxgajDS3y4C0gZjH_ZJihqPLHB32p


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John Davidson
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:09:32 am

We have two mini-monitors and like them.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


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Bret Williams
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:41:04 am

I love my BM ultrastudio express. I switched to it after mxo2 mini PCIe, then the thunderbolt adapter. But I needed SDI with occasional analog input. Otherwise the mini monitor would be the way to go. Matrox drivers are a pain in the ... But, BM drivers work for all apps. One driver fits all. Plus their tape capture app is decent. I don't have any trouble switching apps. You might have to quit one to see the other, but no rebooting the device neccessary.

Get the BM for sure.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:39:44 am

[T. Payton] "I have used the AJA Io XT with Thunderbolt also (which worked flawlessly) but that is 10x the price and I really just need monitoring."

Check out the AJA T-Tap.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andy Mees
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:53:56 am

Hey Tim

Another option with potential value for a general use Thunderbolt (w/MXO2) system is the MXO2 Dock ... it's more expensive at $349, but it adds a general purpose docking station to the Matrox Thunderbolt Adapter ... you can think of it as a regular Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt dock with an MXO2 host port tacked on (for an extra $100).

We just picked up a DS-1 for one of our laptops ... but I'm wishing we'd ordered up the MXO2 Dock instead.

Cheers
Andy


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Michael Garber
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 1:34:48 am

I have an Ultrastudio Express. If I had it all to do over again, I'd get the AJA Io XT.

Lots of little issues with the BM box. Doesn't update monitor as frequently when scrubbing. In Premiere, can't set a master frame rate (like you could in FCP7) - you can do that with AJA and Premiere.

Also there are issues playing 23.98 when monitoring is set to 29.97. Support says they are fixing that one, but couldn't give me a timeframe.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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Bret Williams
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:26:51 am

Funny, I love that about how it works with premiere. I want it to show everything natively. I always thought that was a problem with legacys setup. I've been playing with Premiere lately and found that to be a nice surprise. When I work with AJA on FCP 7' half the time it won't even show the viewer on the client monitor. Especially stills. I've had matrox and a couple bmd devices on Mac Pro and iMac and I see not difference with scrubbing. Same scrubbing experience with AJA. Scrubbing is scrubbing for me.

I did encounter some problems with 23.98 in a 1080i sequence recently. Renders and export went ok though.


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Michael Garber
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:33:27 am

With AJA on Premiere, you get the option to go native or global on the frame rate. I prefer that option. If I am editing in a specific frame rate, I like to see everything in that frame rate when I'm logging and working. For me, there's a delay on my monitor when it has to change it's frame rate/sync.

With my Kona 3 and Premiere, playback at 29.97 from all footage seemed to work just fine. No delays and all footage loaded and played out. I know what you mean with FCP7 not doing that correctly with lots of footage.

The issue with 23.98 is when the BMD monitoring is set to 29.97 and you are playing footage from the viewer on FCPX. It just gets it's wrong. Didn't have that issue with the Kona 3 or with a Kona 3G card.

Last, I found that scrubbing with a Kona 3G on my iMac (and Tbolt Expansion Chassis) updated skimming as expected. Whereas the Ultrastudio tends to feel sluggish.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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Mark Dobson
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 10:06:25 am

Hi Tim,

I'm running a Matrox MX02 mini to drive my HDMI monitor. I've also got a Blackmagic Intensity Pro card sitting on my shelf which is now redundant. The reason I've gone with the Matrox unit is because of the colour calibration capability.

To get the Matrox to work with my new iMac I've had to buy a Matrox Thunderbolt adapter and it all works fine. Unfortunately my Sony Bravia does not support 1080 25P so I have use 1080i 25P - they used to offer a PsF setting that got round this problem.

I'm really pleased with the ability to check the image out on an HDMI monitor but calibrating the set it is so subjective. I can't afford to pay for a broadcast spec monitor and this is a poor mans solution.

I'm also finding that with quality of the screen on the new iMac that I'm using the external monitor less and less.


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 28, 2013 at 2:28:34 pm

[Mark Dobson] "The reason I've gone with the Matrox unit is because of the colour calibration capability."

Indeed. That is why I got the MX02 in the first place. It is not perfect, but can make a consumer TV in the ballpark of 701.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Mar 29, 2013 at 3:54:57 am

Make that 709.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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David C. Scott
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 4, 2013 at 9:28:11 pm

I have both a Matrox MXo2 Mini and a BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt. I successfully have used both to monitor FCP X output to an ordinary Samsung HDMI HDTV. However, the picture produced by the MXo2 is superior to the Shuttle, particularly when pausing playback of a clip. In that case, the Intensity displays a dramatically degraded picture with jagged horizon lines. The same clip monitored via the MXo2 is perfect. I've contacted BlackMagic tech support but they have provided no solution so I've abandoned it in favor of the Mini.

What I would love, though, are some suggestion for the best, non-broadcast quality monitor to use with the Mini. My deliverables are high definition ADVHD and standard def DVDs. I just want my HDTV monitor to approximate what the average viewer will see, recognizing that folks adjust the pictures on their sets. So far, I resort to tweaking my Samsung something that appears, to my eyes, as "average;" i.e not Vivid or overly bright.

The Matrox Monitor Calibration Utility is too sophisticated for the Samsung model I have. Does anyone have a monitor they endorse?



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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 5, 2013 at 9:15:05 pm

[David C. Scott] "The Matrox Monitor Calibration Utility is too sophisticated for the Samsung model I have. Does anyone have a monitor they endorse?"

How so? I find it works really well. I have a el cheapo Best Buy "Insignia" LCD for my client monitor. The calibration got very close to what I am seeing on my 13 Sony Broadcast CRT.

BTW. I'm still on the fence on BlackMagic or Matrox adapter. Gonna wait and see if anything new develops at NAB.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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David C. Scott
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 5, 2013 at 9:51:43 pm

Sophisticated in the sense that many of the calibration process adjustments wouldn't work on this particular Samsung and the one for contrast, when tweaked as per the Matrox on-screen instructions, made the monitor exceedingly dark. Prior to trying calibration, I was hitting the mark fairly close, i.e., adjusting the Samsung so it looked good to my eyes, then ensuring brightness and contrast in FCP X was within recommended waveform tolerances, then testing the final DVD in several consumer HDTVs. Not scientific but OK until I obtain a real broadcast monitor or otherwise resolve settings. By the way, the jagged edge problem I mentioned regarding the paused playback with the Intensity Shuttle was also present when I tried a different HDTV, a Vizio. Both sets were inexpensive so that might be the problem. However, the MXo2 Mini paused picture is perfect on both. I had high hopes for the Intensity Shuttle but I think the MXo2 does a better job. (I'll be happy to send you pix that illustrate what I'm talking about. I'm at dc_scott@mac.com.



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David C. Scott
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 6, 2013 at 11:49:20 pm

T. Payton has requested I post a comparison of HDTV screen shots I earlier sent to him via email. They show the difference in paused FCP X images when I'm monitoring with the the Matrox MXO2 and the BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt, both of which I own. The larger one is using the MXO2 and, to my eye, is perfect. The inset is the same clip when monitored via the Intensity Shuttle. The jagged deterioration on the horizontal lines of the scanner are present whether I output to a consumer level Samsung HDTV or a Vizio one. MXO2 output is excellent to either HDTV. I've corresponded briefly with BlackMagic tech support in hopes of learning of an FCP X or Matrox setting to improve this but, so far, they've had no suggestions. (These were shot with an iPhone and I moved in a little more closely on the Intensity still to show Matrox detail of the degradation.) When the clip is in motion, monitoring through either the MXO2 or the Intensity is OK but I think the picture produced by the MXO2 is superior. But when the clip is paused, the difference is dramatic. (These examples are not necessarily the exact same frame of the clip but the difference is the same; i.e. paused Intensity frames are badly jagged while MXO2 ones are not.) I'm back to using my MXO2 but if anyone can shed light on this phenomenon, I would appreciate it.





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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 24, 2013 at 5:31:23 pm

I couldn't decide which way to go so I am trying both. :)

The BlackMagic is cheaper and works well but no HDMI Calibration and I loose my CRT output, so I am torn.

I'm doing some tests, and I found that I can have both Matrox and Blackmagic drivers loaded and even switch between them in FCP X:



Cool.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:07:51 pm

A bit more info if you are interested. Quality of both are excellent. However,

The BlackMagic Mini Monitor requires the frame rate to be set in the System Prefs exactly. Otherwise stuttering will occur. Changing the frame rate requires are restart of FCP.

The Matrox MX02 via thunderbolt on the other hand switches frame rates (not resolutions) apparently on the fly. I was able to set it to 1080 29.97i (the default) and it plays back all frame rates I threw at it without a problem.

Learning toward the Matrox.

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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willy pimentel
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:12:32 pm

Ur impresions are most welcome!!!!

Willy Pimentel
Motion Graphics Editor
Macbook Pro 2011 thunderbolt/ TBolt Display/ 2 SSD Hds /Lacie Tbolt


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Apr 26, 2013 at 8:22:17 pm

I just found that 60fps footage doesn't switch on the Matrox. Looks like it is playing back at 29.97.

Humm. Perhaps it is because the Matrox has a 1080i (interlaced) settings while the Blackmagic does not. Maybe the Matrox, or FCP rather, is introducing a pulldown to play 24p properly.

(BTW. 29.97 is far less nauseating than 60fps. This is actually a pretty nice feature as you can see how bad 60fps looks on the FCP viewer and how nice it looks to be converted to 29.97 on the A/V out monitor. As you can see I'm not opinionated or anything about high frame rates).

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 9, 2013 at 11:35:58 pm

Hi all,

Just wanted to thank you again for your input. After trying both for a couple of weeks, I decided to go with the Matrox. It is more expensive (silly expensive) and not quite as slick as the Blackmagic Mini Monitor. But the Matrox handles my workflow better.

The Matrox allows playback a range of frame rates, 23.98, 24, 35 and 29.97 without having to change settings of relaunch FCP X. Plus I couldn't give up my CRT monitor as you can see from the screen shot below (it's under the Perry the Platypus)



------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Michael Garber
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 9, 2013 at 11:41:11 pm

It makes me so happy that you can't let go of your CRT. I still use my L5/1 all the time. Love CRTs.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 9, 2013 at 11:46:14 pm

Mine is in horrible shape. I had a CRT repair guy give it to me back when they were going for $1000+. The transformer must be bad because it buzzes when it is on. Plus there are white horz. lines near the the top of the screen. However the color is good and it is super sharp!

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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Michael Garber
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 9, 2013 at 11:48:24 pm

Exactly. I still use mine to color and it's the only/best way to make sure interlacing is correct. Unless I spend 3k on a Flanders Scientific or similar priced monitor.

Thanks for the detailed notes on the Blackmagic vs. Matrox. I ended up with an Ultrastudio Express, but same issues with inability to downconvert inside the box. Good to know Matrox is another option.

Michael Garber
5th Wall - a post production company
Blog: GARBERSHOP


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David C. Scott
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 9, 2013 at 11:49:06 pm

Is that small CRT on the right high def broadcast-quality monitor? If so, what's the model? And is that big screen the Samsung you once mentioned? I'm still not happy with the small Samsung I'm using with my MXO2 Mini. It's OK, but just OK. Even commercial Blu-Rays played back on it are nothing about which to brag. I'm still searching for the best, "poor man's" monitor to use with the MXO2; i.e. something around two grand.



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T. Payton
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 10, 2013 at 2:33:06 am

Actually the CRT is a standard def 15 in. Sony broadcast monitor. Nothing special. Blue only let's me get in the ballpark for color.

My LCD is a 47" Best Buy brand monitor. El cheap o. I think it was $480. I got it because you can turn off all the crazy extras like "dynamic contras" and sharpening that you see on consumer TVs. It is by no means color accurate (I use the CRT of that) and simply a client monitor but it is definitely in the ballpark with the Matrox color calibration.

Since the financial crash in 2008 I have done a whopping total of 1 broadcast spot. Everything else is destined for the web DVD, BlueRay or theater. Those mediums are frankly all over the place as far as color consistency.

I have a fairly simple method of color correction. I will correct it to the best of my ability technically at my edit station at the office.. Then I will watch it on the screens I normally watch. That means YouTube on my Apple TV at home, a DVD in my MacBook Pro, or on my iPad. I can instantly identify color problems when I see it on the screens I am used to. The other thing I do is rip movies and shows and bring them into Final Cut and watch them on my broadcast monitors, paying careful attention to levels and the scopes. That gives me a good benchmark and guide to shoot for when I correcting.

I'm also a firm believer in reference material. I'll import stills and footage from looks that I like and match it by eye and the dual viewer scopes in FCPX (which as far as I know is the only app that has it.)

------
T. Payton
OneCreative, Albuquerque


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David C. Scott
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on May 10, 2013 at 12:45:16 pm

Thanks for the amplification. I do much the same. My shows are burned to Blu-Ray, AVCHD and standard DVDs for presentation before audiences or at home. I do my best to calibrate my FCP X monitor and watch the FCPX scopes, adjusting things with the Color Board. At some point, though, refinement is mostly by eye. The little Samsung to which I output via HDMI is adjusted (again, by eye) to sorta kinda match what I judge to be "average." Unlike your larger HD, it doesn't seem as flexible to the Matrox calibration tool with some tweaks simply not available. However, when I asked Matrox tech to recommend a specific, affordable screen, the reply is that they use several (unidentified), consumer-level sets so, nothing particularly special. With the many MXO2s and Intensity Pros out there, one would think that one or two models would emerge as most recommended. Sets, like yours, which permit the user to turn off all of the ambient light auto-adjustments, backlighting, etc. and fully accommodate the Matrox calibration process. As it is, I guess it's trial and error to get in the ballpark. Frankly, for the stuff I produce, I'm not as worried about spot-on color rendition as I am brightness and contrast. While I understand that TVs in the home environment are adjusted to appeal to a broad range of tastes, settings for commercial DVDs are such that they look pretty good across a wide spectrum. That's the ballpark at which I'm aiming.



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Sascha Engel
Re: Broadcast monitoring experience Matrox/BlackMagic
on Jun 26, 2013 at 6:38:32 pm

What do you think is better: The Mini Monitor from Blackmagic or the Shuttle Intensity Thunderbolt?


Thanx.

Sascha Engel
TIME BANDITZ Productions
http://www.youtube.com/taikang


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