I’ve covered Matrox for a number of years. With the development of the MXO and MXO2 units, Matrox has put together one of the strongest families of I/O products that are available for the Apple Final Cut Pro editing customer. The original MXO was designed to use the video signal from one of the internal graphics card’s DVI ports and turn that into a broadcast quality signal for output and monitoring. The MXO2 was built as a more traditional ingest and output system. Instead of DVI, the MXO2 connects to the PCIe bus, via a card for the Mac Pro or an ExpressCard|34 adapter for laptops. In addition to the MXO and MXO2, the product group has grown to include the MXO2 Rack, MXO2 LE and MXO2 Mini.
From the beginning, the MXO2 was designed with the addition of future technology in mind. Last year Matrox revealed that new MXO2 products accommodate an H.264 encoding chip, which customers can purchase as an option with any new MXO2. This is branded as the MAX option and involves additional hardware integrated into the MXO2 product. It adds $400 to the price of any of the units, however, customers with older MXO2 units or other I/O hardware, can still benefit from Matrox’s hardware-accelerated H.264 encoding by purchasing the standalone CompressHD PCIe card.
MXO2 Mini Configuration
I’ve been working with an MXO2 Mini (with the MAX option) that Matrox loaned for this review. It packs a lot of punch for under a grand and with the accelerated H.264 encoding, adds value beyond just I/O. The Mini is the smallest of the MXO2 products and is ideal for use with a laptop. You can purchase a unit with either a PCIe card or an ExpressCard|34 adaptor, however, the other interface can be added as an optional accessory. With both interface adapters, one MXO2 Mini can be alternately used with both a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro. read more...