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HD Link or Matrox for CC work?

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Matt Campbell
HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 4:01:24 pm

Since we can't afford a broadcast monitor nor really have the need for a high end monitor, I'm very curious about the BM HD Link and/or the Matrox MXO2. I'd love to be able to use a device like this and the LUTs to give me more accurate color for color correcting and grading footage either on a 30" Apple Cinema or a Consumer HDTV.

How well do these work? Are the LUTs difficult to calibrate and set up? Would a 30" Cinema display work better than a consumer HDTV (we have both, so no need for another purchase. just looking to adapt)? I'm leaning towards the HD Link because of cost. I'll also need to upgrade my card from Intensity Pro to probably the Deck Link Studio or Decklink HD Extreme.

Workflow: Deck Link Studio HD/SD-SDI out to HD Link, then HD Link DVI-D or HDMI out to monitor to TV.

Any thoughts? What do other people do that can't afford a high end broadcast/production monitor?

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Steve Eisen
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 4:39:04 pm

Think in the future. The MXO 2 can do a lot more than the HD-Link can. If you really want the HD-Link or the original MXO just for monitoring, I can sell you mine. They are sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

I can tell you this, if you plan on being in this business for at least a few more years, you will wind up spending more money than you originally had planned.

You say you have the BM Intensity Pro card. Don't you use this card for monitoring?

Any 1080 LCD with HDMI from Walmart will work.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Michael Sacci
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 4:42:38 pm

The HDLink is great for what it is but I have never been able to calibrate the LUT to be accurate for CCing. It is meant go to a computer monitor and a TV but I just you could do that but you are not going to be able to calibrate it very well. I use it to monitor HD to a 23" display, works fine for that but no way can I CC with it.

The Matrox MXO (not the MXO2) is what you are looking for. It uses the computers 2nd DVI out and still goes to computer display. I don't have one but there are many very respectable people on these forums that speak highly of it as the best low cost solution. Down side to this is you only have one monitor to use as the computer monitor.

Honestly if you already have the HD SDI card spend $2500 and get the FSI 17" Grade 1 monitor. Accuracy and color fidelity is more important than size.

For a viewing monitor stay with a 23/24" screen, HD is only 1920x1080 so 30" is overkill.



- Our software is idiot-proof, if you bought it it proves you are an idiot. - Dilbert


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 5:09:52 pm

But the MXO doesn't work with the 30" displays. They are dual link DVI, and the MXO is single link.

The Matrox MXO2 to HDTV is the better option. It has the ability to balance the HTDV to bars. Well, the HD LINK does too, I hear....but then you need a capture card to connect that too....and why not just get it all done with one piece of equipment?


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 5:53:13 pm

Thanks all for the responses. I'm currently using a dual monitor set up and don't want to sacrifice one for playback. I'm also using my Intensity Pro card to output to an HDTV strictly for monitoring purposes. No CC work. I figured with the HD Link or MXO2 I can keep my dual screen setup and monitor to our HDTV as well as a 2nd monitor, a 30" Cinema display for color work.

My main concern is calibrating the equipment. I'm mostly doing web and DVD deliverables so color criticial broadcast monitoring isn't a huge necessity. But I still want everything to look good. Being an ad agency we outsource most, if not all broadcast work.

Believe me, I've been trying to get approval for a nice LCD broadcast monitor like the FSIs for years but they don't want to spend the $ up front. Thus, why I'm looking for a cheaper solution.

Shane, are either of these devices fairly easy to calibrate. It seems like you would pump color bars to the TV or computer monitor and use the LUTs to calibrate. Would an EyeOne colorimeter help to calibrate the computer monitors (since we have one)? I know enough about calibration to understand it but actually doing it is another thing.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Michael Sacci
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:03:41 pm

If there is anyone that can tell me how to calibrate the HD Link I will send them a six pack of beer.

ok, if I'm understanding you correctly, you have all 3 monitors, (2) computer and (1) HDTV, all you need to do is calibrate the HDTV for color work. Is that correct.

If so what do you have for each right now. Seems like you are asking the question indirectly.



- Our software is idiot-proof, if you bought it it proves you are an idiot. - Dilbert


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:38:28 pm

Michael ok, if I'm understanding you correctly, you have all 3 monitors, (2) computer and (1) HDTV, all you need to do is calibrate the HDTV for color work. Is that correct.

That is correct. But the HDTV is crap. Which is why I was going to use one of our 4 30" cinemas in combination with either product.

My computer monitors were just calibrated with our Eye One using 100 cd, 6500K and gamma of 2.2. That was mainly done to get both monitors to look alike. And now they do. Before one had a redish tint to it. The TV is not calibrated other than the factory settings. To be honest, its junk.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:42:41 pm

The MXO2 will not work with computer monitors. MAYBE if they had HDMI in, but the 30" ACDs don't.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:49:46 pm

K. Thx. Wasn't aware of that. I could at least use it with our HDTV. I actually might be getting a Sony XBR from another department. They'll get my junker.

Am I wrong to assume that the HD Link will work with either an LCD or HDTV. I says it comes with DVI-D cable for ACDs and a DVI-D to HDMI cable for HDTV. Or there's even a model with HDMI out.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Michael Sacci
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 7:54:38 pm

It really sounds like you are going around the block to get next door. You already have the external video card. The MXO2 would replace that, not be added to it. The HD Link will allow you to convert the HD SDI signal to DVI (or HDMI) and go to a computer monitor, it looks great but I have not been able to get it to be accurate color wise.

But if the your company wants you to do real CC they have to get you the right equipment. In this case it is a Monitor that you are able to calibrate. 17" Grade one start at around $2500, If that is out of the question I would get the best HDTV and just go through the DM card. In the end you have to calibrate the TV not the signal. The reason that the HDLink has LUT table built in is because it is made to connect a computer monitor that has no color controls. Just keep it simple, get the best TV they are will to get you. Push for the smaller grade 1 if they expect high quality work from you.

- Our software is idiot-proof, if you bought it it proves you are an idiot. - Dilbert


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:07:28 pm

[Matt Campbell] "Shane, are either of these devices fairly easy to calibrate."

The MXO2 is a snap, if you know how to calibrate to bars. Do you know how?

http://www.lafcpug.org/faqwiki/index.php?title=LAFCPUG:_Getting_Started_FAQ...

[Matt Campbell] "It seems like you would pump color bars to the TV or computer monitor and use the LUTs to calibrate."

Not to broadcast spec, no.

[Matt Campbell] "Would an EyeOne colorimeter help to calibrate the computer monitors (since we have one)?"

Not to broadcast spec, no. That is for use in PRINT work. Not video. Won't work. This is why the MXO to computer monitor was so good, it gave PROPER calibration tools. But you won't be calibrating your monitors for video work. There is no need. They are for refrerence only.



Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:46:01 pm

The MXO2 is a snap, if you know how to calibrate to bars. Do you know how?

I do know how, but I've only done it once. And that was with a home theater kit and a blue only gel you look though. Not very accurate. I've also read this article:

http://www.videouniversity.com/articles/color-bars-and-how-to-use-em/printp...


"It seems like you would pump color bars to the TV or computer monitor and use the LUTs to calibrate."
Not to broadcast spec, no.


I just was checking out Matrox.com and came across this video tutorial. Is this different than what your talking about?

http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/mac/mxo2/monitoring/

But you won't be calibrating your monitors for video work. There is no need. They are for refrerence only.

Sorry, I'm confused now. I thought that was the overall goal. To give me somewhat, accurate displays?

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 6:53:51 pm

[Matt Campbell] "Sorry, I'm confused now. I thought that was the overall goal. To give me somewhat, accurate displays? "

The COMPUTER monitors that you use attached to your computer, are for you to see what you are doing. If you are doing PRINT work, then you can calibrate them with the EYE2ONE or Spyder, so that you can get accurate colors when it comes to PRINT. But VIDEO editing, Avid, FCP, Premiere...these are only used to see what you are doing. The colors, the quality, are NOT what you really have. These applications lower the quality so that they ensure full frame playback. The point of the EXTERNAL monitors, connected via a capture card, are to show you what you have, the true colors and quality. Or to serve as a large client monitor. The computer monitors that you use to work have never been the way to judge your work in a video editing situation.

THis is why the capture card and external monitor are critical, when you need to judge quality.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 7:01:13 pm

Stupid me. Duh. I knew that. Just wasn't thinking right. I thought you might have meant the external monitor or something. My BAD!

Shane, I read a thread a while back, that you were talking about the MXO2. Do you still use this? How has it been for you over the years. Me personally, I've enjoyed the BM products and with a cheaper price tag, I'm leaning that way. But Matrox is becoming ever more appealing as I read on.

It says about hardware up, down and cross conversions on output. Which BM doesn't. I believe there's is software.


Thanks for all your help. Now I just need to decide. HD Link or Matrox. Hmmm!

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 7:29:34 pm

I use the MXO2 daily. It is the device attached to my machine.


Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 7, 2010 at 2:05:47 pm

Last question, I swear. Would it make sense to use my 30" ACD? I could go HMDI out from the MXO2 to DVI on the ACD. We have a cable that has HDMI on one end and DVI on the other. Will this work or will DVI/HDMI affect color space or color shifting?


OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Shane Ross
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:08:05 pm

[Matt Campbell] "Would it make sense to use my 30" ACD? "

Nope...none. Zero sense.

[Matt Campbell] "I could go HMDI out from the MXO2 to DVI on the ACD. "

No, you cannot. The MXO2 is looking for a monitor/TV with 1920x1080...the closest the 30" can get is 1920x1200...and the MXO2 will not display at that resolution. I have tried, and it doesn't work. Matrox said it doesn't work.

Put using the 30" ACDs as monitoring solutions out of your mind. They are not good for ANY critical viewing of footage. You can use Digital Cinema Desktop, but that is only good as a client monitor, to see what you have fill the screen. The colors are in no way right.

[Matt Campbell] "Will this work or will DVI/HDMI affect color space or color shifting? "

Won't work. Period.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Matt Campbell
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:11:17 pm

much appreciated. thx

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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Rafael Amador
Re: HD Link or Matrox for CC work?
on Apr 6, 2010 at 7:19:42 pm

[Matt Campbell] " And that was with a home theater kit and a blue only gel you look though. Not very accurate."
You can make the "Only Blue" bars in FC with the "Channel Mixer" filter.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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