Quantcast Seeking Advice on Matrox MX02 - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-11-2013, 10:55 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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So I'm considering buying an MX02 Mini. I've read the specs/details and it's very appealing, for many reasons but flexibility being the main one. I'd like to know what you guys think of it, and what your experience was like for those who have used it. To be clear, I'm after an elegant SD/HD capture solution, to update my current setup. I don't expect it to match an AIW on the analog side, for example, but I do expect it to perform well in all areas.

Here's my thoughts on pros:
* External/portable, for desktops and laptops
* PCIe, ExpressCard/34, Thunderbolt adapter options
* Compatible with old (XP) and new systems

Cons:
* Probably fails without TBC for analog capture, like BMI. Fine with me.
* Comb filter is probably lacking. Also fine with me.

The cheaper alternative is the BMI Shuttle, but not my pick because a) very limited compatibility and b) USB 3.0 only. Anyway, I've done much reading on MX02 already but would value your insight, and user feedback if possible. Thanks.

Last edited by Jarvis; 03-11-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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  #2  
03-12-2013, 01:33 AM
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There's several on Amazon -- which one?
It's nice, I'd buy one if I needed it and had the budget for it. I've looked at it many times.

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  #3  
03-18-2013, 07:31 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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The MXO2 Mini with PCIe. Option to buy other adapters later if need be.

I've researched some more, specifically capture codecs. For Windows, there's Uncompressed 8-bit/10-bit, and MPEG 2 I-frame 4:2:2, up to 50 Mbps for SD. That's comparable to DV50 and DigiBeta, correct? Sounds like a great intermediate if uncompressed/lossless isn't needed. Where it is needed, I want to clarify something -

Generally a striped RAID is recommended for uncompressed, and that's one thing that concerns me. I don't have experience with RAID, and would prefer not to take that route. I have new WD Black and Blue drives, that I assume would be fast enough on their own for SD, but I can't be sure. The other concern is the proprietary uncompressed codec itself, and what software and workflow it limits me to. Looking for advice on both topics.

Perhaps it'd be better to post on the Matrox forum instead, but I wanted to give it a try here first. Hope to hear your thoughts.
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  #4  
03-18-2013, 08:08 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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What is the application?

There are plenty of "cheap" HD capture cards out there that do the trick. The AVerMedia HD DVR will take HD video from HDMI or component and has a HDCP "workaround". It also supports DirectShow capture via apps like VirtualDub. The "con" is that it is limited to 1080i.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002SQE1O0/

I've heard some good things about this Startech card, mostly for video game play capturing. Its also sold under the Micomsoft brand in Japan for that exact purpose. It does 1080p30 capture, but no composite or S-video input. The component input does 480i/576i video going by reviews. It is also compatible with 3rd party software with DirectShow drivers.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007U5MGBE/
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  #5  
03-19-2013, 02:23 PM
svhs90 svhs90 is offline
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Hi,

I have a dated setup that I've been using for nearly two years, and am capturing SD video from VHS/S-VHS tape.

(JVC 6600U S-VHS) -S-video out-> (Pansonic DMR-E85HS, using as a pass-through line TBC)-component out-> (MX02 Mini)

The MX02 mini is connected via PCIe card to my 17" Macbook Pro. The external hard drive is a Hitachi G drive (1 TB, 7200 RPM) using firewire. My capturing software is Quicktime Pro 7. I had used Matrox's Vetura utility, but started getting dropped frames.

I capture to an uncompressed format, and export to x264. Final copies are burned to Blu-ray media.

From my untrained eye, video quality is excellent, depending on the source tape. On occasion, I've also used the MX02 to record directly from my cable box (720, not 1080i). These recordings look great to me.

My take on the MX02 - steep learning curve in the beginning, but well worth the journey.

My 2 1/2 cents!
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  #6  
03-20-2013, 06:15 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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@NJRoadfan, I appreciate the recommendations. I will say though that I'm considering a more serious, versatile piece of gear. For the moment, the application is general purpose - analog, HDTV, gaming etc. But down the line, creative applications too, potentially. MXO2 has great I/O and many features not available on lower end cards, so it's drawn my interest.

@svhs90, Appreciate the feedback. I've got some questions I hope you don't mind answering.
  • The Broadcast and Consumer quality settings - I believe they refer to tolerance, correct? As in, Broadcast will reject unstable analog signals, whereas Consumer will continue capturing regardless, even with dropped frames.
  • How is the AGC performance? Apparently, you can turn it on/off.
  • Have you tried Super White and Super Black? It sounds nice since it should provide better recovery in clipped/crushed areas.
Finally, how do you like the Vetura software in general? Thanks and hope to read more from you.
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  #7  
03-20-2013, 09:28 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvis View Post
@NJRoadfan, I appreciate the recommendations. I will say though that I'm considering a more serious, versatile piece of gear. For the moment, the application is general purpose - analog, HDTV, gaming etc. But down the line, creative applications too, potentially. MXO2 has great I/O and many features not available on lower end cards, so it's drawn my interest.
What I'm asking is, do you need SDI and XLR I/O? Genlock capability? One doesn't go from an AIW to something a network TV studio might use. Also remember that any new creative content is going to be via memory cards, no capturing needed.
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  #8  
03-20-2013, 10:21 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post
What I'm asking is, do you need SDI and XLR I/O? Genlock capability? One doesn't go from an AIW to something a network TV studio might use. Also remember that any new creative content is going to be via memory cards, no capturing needed.
You're speaking of the Matrox MXO2 & LE versions, which of course I don't need. The one I'm discussing here is the entry model MXO2 Mini. List of products here. As for creative application, I simply meant the device assisting me in video production, unrelated to capture and current projects/purposes. I don't have my heart set on this device but I am considering it, thus the thread.
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  #9  
03-20-2013, 11:04 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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In the era of $100-150 HDMI capture devices, its expensive. The only use I can see for it is the output options. Just make sure any laptop you get has the required I/O. Expresscard slots are becoming increasingly rare and Thunderbolt still hasn't caught on with PC laptops. Only 2-3 PC models have Thunderbolt, plus the adapter for the MXO2 costs quite a bit ($199!). The reviews aren't all that stellar either, although not quite as bad as the Black Magic products.
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  #10  
03-20-2013, 11:29 AM
Jarvis Jarvis is offline
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For now I'd just be sticking to my desktop, using the PCIe adapter. When Thunderbolt matures on PC, and when I could be bothered to upgrade, I could invest in a TB adapter. I like that kind of future-proofing. The portability and compatibility of it, with any kind of setup or OS, is attractive to me. That's why despite the higher cost it seems like a good investment.
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  #11  
03-20-2013, 12:36 PM
svhs90 svhs90 is offline
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Hi Jarvis,

I believe the Broadcast/Consumer option for capture is only available on the PC version of the software. The equivalent on Mac is to set the "Capture unstable video
signals" which ignores dropped or black frames. If this was not selected, then my experience has been that Vetura utility would stop capturing whenever a frame dropped. My sources are primarily off-air recorded tapes, sometimes with gaps between segments. My older (circa 1982-1990) tapes
were recorded on machines that did not have flying erase heads, hence more issues with dropped frames.

AGC setting...I can't seem to find that on the Mac side, however the Matrox forum (Windows) does refer to this as a capture setting. You may want to post a question there. I've done that in the past, and they seem to be helpfull.

Super white/black....never tried it, but you inspired me to test it on some camcorder originals. Will let you know how it goes.

Vetura- I had started using it when it was first released. The initial versions were very buggy, but it finally got to a point where it was stable. I stopped using it after encountering dropped frames on some SD transfers, and switched over to Quicktime Pro.

The MX02 Mini is really targeted towards field production work with HD camera feeds. My impression is that not many people are using like i do (i.e. digitizing a few hundred VHS and S-VHS tapes). I am seriously considering buying the MX02 Mini with Max. The real-time h.264 encoding would greatly improve my workflow.

The only other thing I'd mention, which is mostly on the export side, is the notorious gamma issue with Apple's version of h.264 (see Apple Support Forum for all the dirt).

Hope this helps!
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  #12  
04-12-2013, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvis View Post
The MXO2 Mini with PCIe. Option to buy other adapters later if need be.

I've researched some more, specifically capture codecs. For Windows, there's Uncompressed 8-bit/10-bit, and MPEG 2 I-frame 4:2:2, up to 50 Mbps for SD. That's comparable to DV50 and DigiBeta, correct? Sounds like a great intermediate if uncompressed/lossless isn't needed. Where it is needed, I want to clarify something -

Generally a striped RAID is recommended for uncompressed, and that's one thing that concerns me. I don't have experience with RAID, and would prefer not to take that route. I have new WD Black and Blue drives, that I assume would be fast enough on their own for SD, but I can't be sure. The other concern is the proprietary uncompressed codec itself, and what software and workflow it limits me to. Looking for advice on both topics.

Perhaps it'd be better to post on the Matrox forum instead, but I wanted to give it a try here first. Hope to hear your thoughts.
Lossless is an intermediary codec -- like HuffYUV and Lagreth, and you have compressed intermediary like ProRes422 (Apple codec).

As far as RAID is concerned, I would NOT suggest using RAID0 as it is abusive to the drives, they are highly fragmented, and they just do not last long at all ever.

-JMP

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