Last year at NAB (2008) I was working in the Matrox Booth. The MXO2 was announced, but not shipping. I was working in the booth at the MXO for FCP station, showing off how to make your Apple Cinema Display into a color correction monitor, and how the MXO displayed interlacing as well.

Well, other stations in the booth showed the MXO used in combination with Avid Media Composer. Avid? How did it work with the Avid? I thought only Avid hardware worked with Avid software. They showed me how it worked and it was pretty slick. Impressed all the Avid editors who saw it.

Then 6 months later I find myself working on an Avid. And then at one point I needed to work from home. When I found myself at home I figured, hey, why not check this thing out? I have an MXO. But the MXO took one of the DVI ports, and I still liked working with two monitors as workspaces. So what was I do to? I recalled that a station at the Matrox booth across from me showed off the TripleHead2Go Digital Edition. What this box did was take one DVI port and spread it across two monitors…increase the horizontal resolution from 1920 to 3840. This way you could put two monitors on one DVI port, and then the MXO on the other. So I ordered one.

When it arrived I got the TripleHead working with two monitors on the one DVI port. Then I put the MXO on the other DVI port. Now, the MXO does two things. First off, it passes through the computer video, allowing for another computer monitor. And second, when used with FCP, you can activate it to send a broadcast signal to an external monitor, either Apple or Dell display via DVI, or broadcast monitor via Component or SDI.

What we are going to be using is the first option…the MXO allowing passthrough for another computer monitor. While this allows passthrough via DVI, you might not know that it sends this signal out via Component, Composite and SDI as well. Because of this feature, this allows the MXO to be used on an Avid. The image isn’t broadcast quality, but it is still full screen on an external HDTV or client monitor. And since most of the time you will be working with offline formats, like 15:1, or formats you capture via firewire, this is fine…it looks like poo anyway (well, 15:1 does).

HOW do you get this image onto the external monitor? Well, with this simple thing called TOGGLE FULL SCREEN. Go into the Avid Settings, click on this to open it up, drag it onto the monitor you want to use this with, and click SELECT MONITOR. Now when you activate this option your image will appear full screen.

Normally this allows you to play back the footage full screen on one of your computer monitors. Well, since the MXO allows playthrough of the computer image to another computer monitor, and out via SDI and Component, you can now send a full screen image out through the MXO to an external monitor. Doesn’t matter if this is a computer monitor, like my Apple Display, or CRT monitor, like my PVM-14L5.

Would you like to see this? Here:

If you want to see it bigger, CLICK HERE.

As you can see, I have the image full screen on my Apple display via DVI, and on my HD CRT via Component. Now, because I can get this signal out via component, composite and SDI, I can now output to tape, or a DVD recorder. Not sure about deck control. I know you can get USB to RS-422 adapters, but I don’t know if this will work with an Avid. I assume you can, as I did this with Media Log to log footage.

But that isn’t something I tested this time. But, if it does work, this means that you can output rough cuts to tape. And have that nice big image on the client monitor. And you don’t need the Avid hardware for this. $995 is a lot less than $4000 (Mojo DX). Bear in mind that the MXO does not capture, it is an output only device. And again, it is outputting a computer signal, so it isn’t full quality. This will not output full res to master. But it is great as a client monitor box. If you have multiple edit systems, you can get one Nitris or Mojo to capture the footage, and the rest can use the MXO (in cobination with the TripleHead2Go) to get the image out to a client monitor.

Heck, this will even work on an iMac, since the iMac can run the Avid software, and it has a DVI out…perfect for the MXO. That makes this one heck of a versatile box.