Avid Media Composer v5 and Matrox MX02 Mini FAQ

The following FAQ was put together jointly by Avid and Matrox. Special thanks to Marianna from Avid and Wayne from Matrox on this excellent document.

Matrox FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about Avid Media Composer v5 / Avid NewsCutter v9 and Matrox MX02 Mini


Q: What is the new monitoring solution Avid has approved with the release of Avid Media Composer v5 and Avid NewsCutter v9?
: Avid has partnered with Matrox to support the Matrox MXO2 Mini as a solution for program monitoring only. This cost-effective solution provides customers of software only versions of Avid Media Composer v5 (Windows and Mac) with the external monitoring solution they have been looking for.

Q: Is Matrox MXO2 Mini the only third-party monitoring device supported by Avid Media Composer v5 and Avid NewsCutter v9?

Q: Can I use the Matrox MXO2 Mini with other Avid editing systems like Avid Xpress Pro or earlier versions of Avid Media Composer?
Avid supports the use of Matrox MXO2 Mini only on Avid Media Composer v5 (Mac and WINDOWS).

Q: If I upgrade my Avid Media Composer v3.5 system to Avid Media Composer v5, can I add the Matrox MXO2 Mini to my system?
Yes. Matrox MXO2 Mini is supported on newly purchased versions of Avid Media Composer v5 software or upgrades to Avid Media Composer v5. Videoguys have put together a special bundles that include both MC5 (full or upgrade) and MXO2 Mini

Q: What benefits does Matrox MXO2 Mini provide when monitoring on an Avid Media Composer software-only system (Mac or Windows)?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini turns an HDMI monitor into a true-color video display that customers can trust, even for color grading. Customers can adjust and control the HDMI monitor exactly like they would a broadcast HD/SD monitor. Controls for hue, chroma, contrast, brightness, and blue-only are provided.

The Matrox MXO2 Mini provides 1:1 pixel mapping on HDMI monitors that support this feature. Customers can get accurate monitoring on their HDMI display in the following resolutions:

  • 720 x 486 (NTSC)
  • 720 x 576 (PAL)
  • 1920 x 1080
  • 1280 x 720

The Matrox MXO2 Mini’s realtime 10-bit hardware downscaling feature lets Avid customers view HD projects on an SD monitor with aspect ratio conversions to anamorphic and letterbox. On the Mac, center-cut, SD to HD upscaling, and crossconversions are also supported.

Q: What are the frame rates supported by Matrox MXO2 Mini with Media Composer v5 and NewsCutter v9 software ?
The Avid Media Composer v5 and Avid NewsCutter v9 supports the following file formats:

  • 30i NTSC
  • 25P PAL
  • 25i PAL
  • 720P 25
  • 720P 29.97
  • 720P 50
  • 720P 59.94
  • 1080P 23.976
  • 1080P 24
  • 1080P 25
  • 1080i 50
  • 1080i 59/94

Q: I see that the Matrox MXO2 Mini does support more formats and resolutions with other applications. Why are they not available in Media Composer v5?
Avid is committed to providing its customers with the most robust open workflows possible. The additional formats supported by the Matrox MX02 are being investigated for a future release.

Q: Will Matrox MXO2 Mini output SD on the HDMI output when in an SD project?

Q: Is the Matrox MXO2 Mini approved just for monitoring or can it be used for capturing as well?
Capture within Avid Media Composer using Matrox MX02 Mini is not supported directly.

Q: Are SD film rates and projects supported?
No. At this time the Matrox MXO2 cannot be used for monitoring with an Avid editingapplication for monitoring SD film projects (23.976p or 24p).


Q: How does Matrox MXO2 Mini connect to the Avid system?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini connects to a MacBook Pro or Windows laptop via and ExpressCard/34 adapter. It connects to Mac Pro or Windows desktop systems via an internal PCIe adapter card

Q: Does the Matrox MX02 Mini laptop adapter work in ExpressCard/54 slots?
Yes. ExpressCard/54 slots are compatible with ExpressCard/34 adapters.

Q: What is included in the Matrox MXO2 Mini package for use with my Avid editing system?
When you order a Matrox MXO2 Mini you receive the following:

  • Matrox MXO2 Mini monitoring device for use with Mac and Windows
  • Matrox MXO2 PCIe cable (1 meter)
  • Matrox MXO2 Mini external power supply
  • Two S-Video adapters
  • One of the following:
  • Matrox MXO2 PCIe x 1 host adapter (for use with Mac Pro and Windows desktops/ workstations)
  • Matrox MXO2 ExpressCard/34 adapter (for use with MacBook Pro and Windows laptops)

When ordering the Matrox MXO2 Mini, you must specify either a laptop or desktop

Q: Can I order a PCIe adapter for my desktop system and an ExpressCard/34 adapter for use with a laptop?
Yes. You can purchase additional adapters at any time from your Matrox dealer. Additional adapters are priced at $99 US MSRP in North America, not including local taxes. International customers should contact their Matrox dealer for pricing.

Q: What is involved when moving the MXO2 Mini back and forth between Mac and Windows-based Avid systems?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini works with WINDOWS and Mac laptops and towers. Proper Matrox MXO2 Mini drivers must be installed on all systems. When connecting to a laptop, simply plug and play. When connecting to a tower, power down the system, attach the MXO2 Mini and power up the system.

Q: I plan to use the Matrox MXO2 Mini with its PCIe adaptor on a Mac Pro system. What is the correct slot to use that will not conflict with other adapters like FireWire?
: The PCIe adapter for Matrox MXO2 Mini has been tested in all three slots of a Mac Pro with RAID controllers and other PCIe cards such as Matrox CompressHD. The PCIe adapter that for Matrox MXO2 Mini is a x1 PCIe card, so keeping the x16 slot for your storage and using any other available slot should work just fine.

Q: I have a ProTools 8.x system. Will the Matrox MXO2 Mini work for picture monitoring with that system?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini is not supported on the Avid ProTools system at this time.

Q: I have an iMac 27’ and would like to know if I can use the display port with a PCI or HDMI adapter to connect into a Matrox MXO2 Mini?
No. The Matrox MXO2 Mini requires an ExpressCard/34 or PCIe connection.

Q: I currently own a Digidesign Mbox2 for audio monitoring and use this as a pro XLR-input with Phantom power for voiceovers. How will the MBox2 coexist with the MXO2 Mini?
By toggling the output device selection in the Avid Media Composer interface, MBox2 or MXO2 Mini will be enabled.

Q: I also use the Mbox2 for audio scrubbing. With the MX02 attached, will the audio suffer from the same latency issues as FireWire?
: No. Because the Matrox MXO2 Mini connects to the PCIe bus, there are no latency issues as seen with FireWire.

Q: Will my system experience any video delays between the HDMI output and the computer screen playback when using Matrox MXO2 Mini? In other words, like with FireWire, will the system experience delays after I hit play on the timeline before video playback starts?
No. Whereas FireWire has latency issues, the Matrox MXO2 Mini connects via PCIe/ExpressCard34, which has no delays.

Q: Do Avid or Matrox have any specific monitor recommendations?
To take full advantage of Matrox MXO2 Mini, an HDMI monitor/television must support an input resolution of 1920×1080 and 1:1 pixel mapping (aspect ratio of 1:1) on the HDMI input. (Sometimes 1:1 pixel mapping is referred to as "dot-by-dot", "full pixel", or "just scan" mode.)

With an HDMI monitor that supports an aspect ratio of 1:1 on the HDMI input the MXO2 output is displayed at its exact resolution, without any scaling. For example, if the monitor supports a resolution of 1920×1080, and the output's resolution is 1280×720, the output will appear as a rectangle within the 1920×1080 display, surrounded by black bars on all four sides. If the monitor does not support 1:1 pixel mapping, the output may be resized.

Q: Are there any pros and cons to using an LED, LCD, or plasma displays for monitoring with the Matrox MX02 Mini?
Different monitor technologies provide different results and color fidelity. Users should choose the appropriate monitor for their particular needs.

Pros - Best black levels, wide viewing angle
Cons - Slight potential for burn-in, reflective screen

Pros – more 1920 x 1080 models available at desktop sizes, no danger of burn-in
Cons - image quality is generally not as good as on plasma models, relatively narrow viewing angle

Pros - Plasma-like blacks, energy efficient, ultraslim design
Cons – Can be pricy, limited screen sizes, relatively narrower viewing angle

Q: When the Matrox MXO2 Mini is connected to my Avid system, the sound is muted. Why?
: With the Matrox MXO2 Mini attached to the Avid system, the audio should be coming out of the MXO2 Mini, so you would need to connect your speakers to the MXO2 Mini's audio output.

Q: Will the Mini analog S-video/Component outputs also output a signal parallel to the HDMI-output at all times or does it work in another way? Please explain.
The Matrox MXO2 Mini has analog component and HDMI outputs. The HDMI and analog are independent. The analog component can output HD or SD. When outputting SD, the customer can decide to either output Y/C (S-Video) and Composite or Component. The Matrox MXO2 Mini can not output Component at the same time as Y/C and Composite, it’s either Component or Y/C and Composite. The Matrox MXO2 Mini ships with a Y/C adapter that can be attached to the analog output. There is a software setting which is selected to tell the Mini what you want the analog to be, either Component or Y/C and Composite.

Matrox MXO2 Mini with MAX H.264 encoding acceleration

Q: What is the difference between the Matrox MXO2 Mini and the Matrox MXO2 Mini with the MAX option?
: The Matrox MXO2 Mini which is approved for use with the Avid Media Composer is a video/audio monitoring device for content creators. When used with Avid editing systems, the Matrox MXO2 Mini is approved strictly as a monitoring device. The Matrox MXO2 Mini with the MAX option accelerates H.264 encoding with Adobe Media Encoder on the Windows and Apple Compressor and Telestream Episode on the Mac.

Q: If I buy the Matrox MXO2 Mini with the MAX option, will that affect my Avid editing system?
No. Avid editing software can use the Matrox MXO2 Mini with or without the MAX option for monitoring only.

Q: Are there any plans to work with Sorenson so that Sorenson Squeeze can benefit from H.264 encoding acceleration with the MAX option for MXO2 Mini?
Matrox does not officially support Sorenson Squeeze at this time.

Q: Can I buy the Matrox MXO2 Mini and add the MAX option at a later date?
: No. The MAX option for Matrox MXO2 Mini must be ordered at time of purchase. However, Matrox CompressHD is a stand alone H.264 encoding accelerator card featuring the Matrox MAX technology that can be added to a Mac Pro or Windows desktop system.

Q: What is the price difference between Matrox MXO2 Mini and Matrox MXO2 Mini
with the MAX option?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini list price is $449.. The Matrox MXO2 Mini with the MAX option is $849.

Q: What is the warranty on the Matrox MXO2 Mini?
The Matrox MXO2 Mini comes with a three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support.

Q: Will Avid support the Matrox MX02 LE or any other version of the Matrox product line?
No. Avid has no plans to support other devices in the Matrox MXO2 family at this time.

Q: If I have a Avid Media Composer v5 system running a Matrox MX02 Mini, who do I call for assistance?
Videoguys offers a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarntee and FREE Technical Support with all purchases!
If you still have a technical issue with your Avid Media Composer system, you can contact Avid Customer Support for assistance. Customers using the Matrox MX02 Mini will receive the same support as customers using Avid branded hardware. If Avid Customer Support determines that the issue is caused by the Matrox hardware, you may be transferred to Matrox Technical Support for further assistance. Avid can not offer any warranty replacements for Matrox hardware; Avid Extended Hardware Support Contracts do not cover Matrox products. Please Note: You must have a Service Access Code or an Avid Support Contract in order to contact Avid Customer Support.

Q: I have an Avid Media Composer v5 system running the Matrox MX02 Mini with MAX Option, who do I call for assistance?
Videoguys offers a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarntee and FREE Technical Support with all purchases!
Customers using the MX02 Mini with MAX Option can still contact Avid Customer Support exactly like customers without the MAX Option. Avid does not support using the MAX option with Avid products, therefore any issue related to the MAX option should be directed to Matrox Technical Support. Avid Customer Support will only assist with issues related to Avid Media Composer, Avid Newscutter, or Avid qualifed use of the Matrox MX02 Mini or Mini with MAX Option.

Q: What Matrox MXO2 Mini driver versions are required for use with Avid editing systems?
Mac v1.9.2, Windows 2.2

Q: Where can I download the Matrox MX02 Mini drivers?
The Avid qualified Matrox MX02 Mini drivers are included with your Avid Media Composer v5 and Avid Newscutter v9 installations. They are located in a Matrox folder in the Avid Utilities folder on your system.

  • Windows – XP: (Install Drive):Program FilesAvidUtilitiesMatrox
  • Windows – Vista: (Install Drive):Program Files (x86)AvidUtilitiesMatrox
  • Windows – Windows 7: Program Files (x86)AvidUtilitiesMatrox (Videoguys recommends Win7 64-bit)
  • Apple Macintosh: Mac HD > Applications > Utilities > Avid Utilities > Matrox

If you need to download the drivers, you can download them from Matrox’s Website:

Q: As new product versions are released by Avid how will I be notified to update my driver?
The ReadMes for each new product version will be updated with any new driver versions that are qualified by Avid. The latest qualified drivers can be found on Matrox’s website: http://www.matrox.com/video/en/support/downloads/

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