Video editing, capturing, video over IP products
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Matrox RT.X2 non linear editing video system
Matrox have announced a brand new capture card that will work with Premiere Pro 2 and be available very shortly, it’s called the RT.X2. Although this would appear to be a replacement for Matrox’ successful RT.X100 it is really another new version of the high end Axio card. The name RT.X2 really defines the kind of customer at whom it is aimed. If you have an RT.X100 or RT.X10 and you want to move to better effects and into HDV editing, the RT.X2 is the card for you.
Inputs and Outputs
The RT.X 2 has DV and HDV input and output Via FireWire, SD and HD component in and out, YC and composite SD in and out, Stereo audio in and out and DVI output only. As well as adding the huge list of Axio effects to Premiere Pro 2, the RT.X2 adds a component HD output as well as component HD in (with the usual Y/C and composite as well). Initially, it will support just the 1080i Sony and Canon HDV formats not JVC 720p format. Unlike the Axio LE it does not support DVC Pro HD or uncompressed HD. Below is a brief list of who the cards may appeal too. RT.X2 Users who primarily uses HDV , DV, or need component input and output. Axio LE Users who need higher end HD formats like HDCAM and DVCproHD, uncompressed SD and HD editing and SDI input and Output. Axio HD Users who need all the other options together with the best quality they can achieve and extra hardware support for their DVEs.
We expect. RT.X 2 to be slick and responsive, even with native HDV files. It can happily mix HDV and DV clips on the timeline. its currently the best device to use with Premiere Pro 2 for editing HDV footage as you can see the results of your effects and the quality of your footage at full HD quality while you edit - in much the same way the Canopus NX for HDV adds a component output to Canopus Edius. Without an RT.X 2 the only way to get an component output from Premiere is to use the second head of your graphic card where you can play the video full screen. This never looks like the output from your HDV camera as the movement is never quite right and the quality of the picture is also less than the original.
The RT.X 2 adds a long list of full quality Matrox effects to Premiere Pro including, as you would expect from the people that brought us the RT.X100, some fancy 3D effects, excellent slow motion and colour correction, and some new fancy filters such as “shine” which adds simulated light beams to your video and another filter that adds a high quality 3D texture to video. Matrox have also integrated it far better into Premiere Pro than the RT.X100; the controls for all the Matrox effects appear in Premiere’s effects control window, instead of Matrox own proprietary box, meaning it is quicker to get editing.
Because the RT.X2 is based on the same hardware and software as the Axio cards we are expecting it to be extremely reliable. Only time will tell for sure but as we have not yet managed to crash our Axio LE system, it is looking very good.
One interesting feature of the RT.X2 is that Matrox say it can output HD through a DVI connector, as well as component. This is an interesting and welcome idea. There are many low cost high res 19”-23” LCD screens which have DVI in but no component. These are normally both significantly cheaper than monitors which have component, which also normally have a huge list of other connections such as Svideo and a TV tuner, classing them as TVs and not computer monitors and making them more expensive. The RT.X2’s DVI connection may mean that you can use a cheaper monitor to view your HD signals. As we have yet to see it, we cannot confirm whether it is up to the standard or even better than the picture seen through component.
The obvious comparison for this system is to Canopus Edius NX for HDV, which would still be cheaper than an RT.X2 system, and would do more in realtime. However Canopus’ system only uses Canopus’ editing software Edius. If you want to use Premiere and the other Adobe software then the RT.X2 would be the best option - and would you believe some of our first enquires for the RT.X2 have come from Canopus Storm owners using Premiere Pro 1, who want to stick with Adobe and therefore cannot continue to use their Canopus hardware.
The RT.X2 comes bundled with Adobe Premiere Pro 2. There will be a special offer running that enables you to upgrade this Premiere copy to the Adobe Producion Studio and Production Studio Premium software collections at a significant discount. The RT.X2 costs £1,175 plus VAT, and will ship with Premiere Pro 2. There will be a special offer for RT.X100 owners; you will receive £175 off the price of the RT.X2. As it is based on the Axio LE to get decent HDV performance you will probably need to buy a dual dual core Opteron system, which will probably cost just under £4000 ex-VAT.
A typical complete RT.X2 system for HDV editing, includes the full Adobe Production Suite Premium - Premiere Pro 2, Encore 2, Audition 2, After Effects Professional 7, Illustrator CS2 and Photoshop CS2, is around £4800ex-VAT. This is based usually on Dual dual core AMD Opteron 270 processors, 2GB of RAM, 600GB video storage, 2 x 17” LCD monitors, 512 MB 1900XT ATI graphics card. Premiere shortcut keyboard and Edirol Speakers.
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