So here I am, at NAB working in the Matrox booth touting the MXO. When I arrived on Sunday, I dropped off my bags at the hotel and walked to the convention center (I am very close). Got there, found that the booth is right next to the front doors in the South Hall. Nice. I drop by the booth, see the usual stuff. But…one station has “MATROX ####.” TAPE over the product name. Hmmm…I heard that they were talking about a new product. And they did ask me “hey, what would you like to see in the next MXO.” Looks like they listened to most of what I wanted.

MATROX MXO 2 is what was under that tape. And when I got there they pulled out this box…

This shouldn’t be called the Matrox MXO 2, this needs to be called Matrox MXI/O, because that is what it does. INPUT AND OUTPUT. It inputs HD SDI, Component, Composite, S-Video, HDMI, AES/EBU audio, two channels of XLR. Then it outputs the same, except for FOUR channels of XLR audio, and 6 RCA audio outputs. What does it capture? Well, anything that FCP supports. DVCPRO HD, ProRes…and uncompressed HD. Uncompressed HD? Well, because it doesn’t connect via firewire. On the tower, it connects to the PCIe board…it ships with a PCIe connector card. AND, it also ships with an Express34 card for the MacBook Pro. Now, you aren’t going to get uncompressed on the laptop, but you can do ProRes. Because it connects to the Express34 slot, you are limited to Firewire drives. But a good raided firewire drive like the FirewireVR from CalDigit or the G-Raid from G-Tech and there you go…ProRes.

Now, it doesn’t have the PreRes encoder in the hardware like the AJA I/O HD…that is one of the big differences. It relies on the computer to provide the muscle to do the conversion, so you will need a pretty recent Intel Mac to do this. But, it does capture to uncompressed, and does have HDMI inputs so you can capture from the smaller HDMI cameras and bypass the HDV compression.

And it upconverts standard def to 720p or 1080i, and it can cross convert 720p to 1080i and 1080i to 720p…it is VERY light, just a little heavier than the original MXO.

Oh, and it costs $1600.

This is due out in July, so when I get my hands on one I will run it through the paces and verify that it can do all that they claim. Still, it looks exciting and I am really glad that I am working the Matrox Booth this year, so that I could get the inside skinny.

EDIT: OH…OH…OH…more. Sorry, I was rushed, trying to work and post at the same time. So…more.

Built in black burst for SD, and built in TRI-SYNC for HD.
Battery powered. You can connect Anton Baur battries to the box and power it that way for true to life field monitoring/capture.
Built in RS-422 machine control.
HDMI Monitor calibration. What the MXO does with the Apple Display, this does with an HDMI monitor…bars with blue only option.

CONNECTIVITY! Can’t forget to mention that. On a tower it connects via a PCIe card that you install on the bus…that is how they get uncompressed HD. ON a laptop it connects via Express34. And the unit is supposed to ship with both cards in the box.

And it is still only $1600.


NAB 2008 – Las Vegas, NV – April 14, 2008 – Matrox® Video Products Group today announced Matrox MXO2. Designed to streamline editing workflow with Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Production Premium on MacBook Pros and Mac Pros, Matrox MXO2 provides broadcast-quality input/output, monitoring, and up/down/cross conversion. Users can benefit from file-based workflows with native support for XDCAM, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, and P2. In addition, they are not limited to using a single codec as with some other I/O devices on the market.

“Matrox is leading the way in mobile editing on the Mac,” said Alberto Cieri, Matrox sales and marketing director. “Broadcasters tell us they need a way to upload video from laptops in the field and MXO2 is our answer for them. It’s lightweight, fits in a laptop bag, and runs for hours on a field battery. It’s also a complete I/O solution for post facilities, at an incredibly affordable price point.”

Matrox MXO2 will be demonstrated at NAB 2008 in booth SL320.

Key features of Matrox MXO2

Truly portable – fits in your laptop bag, runs off a field battery (or its AC adapter)
HD/SD SDI, HD/SD analog component, Y/C, and composite inputs and outputs
Genlock – SD analog black burst (bi-level) or HD tri-level sync
HDMI input, output, and monitoring with calibration controls including blue-only
10-bit realtime hardware up/down/cross conversion
Up to five user selectable simultaneous video outputs – HD and/or SD on HDMI, SDI, and analog
Professional audio inputs and outputs with 5.1 surround sound monitoring
RS-422 machine control for frame-accurate capture and print-to-tape
Captures to a variety of codecs – Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 10-bit uncompressed HD and many more
Supports file-based workflows – XDCAM, XDCAM HD, XDCAM EX, P2
Works with Final Cut Pro, Apple Color, Adobe Premiere Pro and all QuickTime applications that support the V-out component
For use with Intel-based MacBook Pros and Mac Pros
Price and availability
Priced at $1,595 US in North America (£899, €1,295) not including local taxes, Matrox MXO2 will be available in July 2008 through a worldwide network of authorized dealers.