Matrox RT.X2 in the Real World: Part 1

DCP By Jan Ozer Nowhere is the phrase "time is money" more true than in digital video production. Our jobs typically require a demanding combination of creativity, superior output quality, and sheer computer throughput. That's why I'm always on the lookout for hardware or software that can help me get the job done faster with no compromise in quality, while not breaking the bank. Matrox's RT.X2 "professional realtime HD and SD editing platforms for the Adobe CS3 Production Premium" (according to the company) may be such a product for you, but it depends upon the type of equipment that you currently have and the type of projects you currently perform. More on that as we go through the article. Let’s start with some speeds and feeds. The RT.X2 is a board/breakout box/software set in two configurations: RT.X2 SD, which retails for $895 and handles only SD video resolution, and RT.X2, which retails for $1495 and handles both SD and HD video and which I tested. At a high level, the product provides four main functions, which are:
  • Realtime display of multiple layers of content on the Premiere Pro timeline
  • Additional realtime effects including color correction, chromakey, and blurring
  • Component analog capture to 32-bit MPEG-2 I-Frame AVI file with alpha channel support (which I did not test)
  • Full-resolution HD monitoring on an LCD panel.

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