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Upgrading our suites, seriously need some advice...

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Todd Terry
Upgrading our suites, seriously need some advice...
on May 23, 2018 at 2:59:38 am

Hi guys...

I'll probably post this in Premiere or elsewhere, but thought I'd ask in here first... hope this is not too long, bear with me.

We're probably going to upgrade our two main suites this year, and I'm not sure what to do. When we had the last computers built we told the vendor we wanted "the most powerful badass machines they could build" (sorry for the technical computer-speak), but they are approaching five years old... so, unfortunately they are dinosaurs.

So, we're getting to the issue at hand...

The last two generations of suites have been based around Matrox machines... the first ones were AXIO, and the current machines are Matrox MX02 machines (both Windows computers, Premiere CS6). The internal Matrox voodoo provides hardware acceleration, which is tethered to a big breakout box that has all the ins and outs... component, composite, HDMI, HD-SDI, balanced audio, etc. These are ins-and-outs to the decks, and feed the rooms' monitors (a couple of desktop broadcast monitors and a big screen for clients in each room).

Here are our two suites, showing how the monitors are fed...

So here's the quandry...

The two center montiors on each are the regular computer dual montiors, the computer GUI desktop. The three other monitors in each are broadcast monitors.

We've loved Matrox products for years, but they no longer make anything equivalent to the I/O boxes that we've used in the past. And our current Matrox hardware does not support Premiere CC, which we would be moving to.

We probably no longer need hardware acceleration, computers being much more powerful these days... so that's not a big deal. Nor do we need to feed decks anymore (not a single deck in the racks has been even turned on in years). But we still need to feed broadcast monitors (not just the computer monitors).

So... I need to know what kind of hardware, software, configuration or whatever I can use to feed the rooms' monitors. My editor says "You just need a graphics card with HDMI out"... but, no... that would only (I think) feed external monitors the full desktop, the whole GUI. I need to feed monitors only Premiere's "Program" signal (24p, 60i, whatever the project specs are)... exactly as we've been doing for 20 years.

I've visited a few friends and colleagues' suites where they don't seem to need to worry about this... they don't use anything but their computer monitors. But 99% of what we produce is for broadcast television, we have to be able to see it on a "real TV." Heck, our suites even still have standard-def CRT monitors so we can see what our projects look like on those. Component or SDI would be great, but even HDMI out would be fine as long as it is just the "program" signal coming out of Premiere.

Any new machines we get will definitely be Windows PCs running the Adobe CC suite.

Any thoughts on how to make that happen these days? There's probably something easily out there, but I've lived in the Matrox world for so so long now, I'm totally unfamiliar with any other ways to do this.

Wisdom appreciated,


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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