Videoguys' FAQ: Matrox MXO2 Family of Products new and updated June 2012! The Matrox MXO2 Family of SMART I/O devices deliver outstanding I/O performance and with the MAX technology, superior quality and dramatically faster H.264 encoding!

We have broken this FAQ into several sections:

Top 5 reasons to Purchase a Matrox MXO2 Device from

  1. Flexibility. Only the MXO2 family of I/O devices works on both PCs and Macs. You get your choice of connection - PCIe card for desktops, Express card for laptops or Thunderbolt adapter for iMacs, Mac Mini and Mac Book Pros. You can purchase multiple adapters and move your MXO2 between multiple machines. If you have a desktop today, and get an iMac down the road, you’ll just need to purchase a Thunderbolt adapter and your trusted MXO2 moves with you.

  2. MAX - faster than real-time H.264 encoding. Matrox MAX turbocharges your H.264 encoding for deliveries to the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray Disc - and the video quality is as good or better!
    • On a fully loaded MacPro, encoding your finished 30 minute timeline to H.264 can take hours. Matrox MAX encoding is almost 5X faster than Compressor.
    • On a PC, Matrox MAX is up to 4x faster than software only encoders (i7 Quad core). It's like turning your single CPU i7 into a dual Xeon encoding beast!
    • Matrox H.264 Max capture for PC allows you to capture directly into H.264 for archiving, dubbing old VHS/DVDs, dailies or encoding straight for the web in real-time. There has never been an easier way to access your old SD video and view them in full HD quality.  Time is money, and Matrox MAX saves you a lot of time, without sacrificing any quality at all!

  3. Matrox MXO2 devices work with a wide range of NLEs! The MXO2 products support Avid Media Composer 6 & Avid Symphony 6 (note: MXO2 Mini supports Media Composer 5/5.5 for HD preview only), Adobe Premiere & Production Premium (CS4 or later) , Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and preview monitoring with Apple FCPX.

  4. Capture and Revitalize your older analog footage.
    • We know that even after you move to a completely tapeless HD workflow, you’ll still have the need at times to capture older legacy footage. You can use the analog input on any MXO2 device to capture your older tape based SD or HD footage. The MXO2 gives you a choice of H.264 or Matrox MPEG-2 HD intermediary CODEC. In addition if you have ProRes, DNxHD or Quicktime Pro already on your system, you can capture into those CODECs with MXO2.
    • Matrox MAX is the easiest way to get your old VHS footage to Blu-ray Disc. Just feed that analog signal into the MXO2 Mini MAX(or MXO2 LE MAX or Mojito MAX) and with the FREE Matrox MAX H264 utility capture directly to a Blu-ray ready file. This workflow also allows your footage to be encoded to H.264 so it can be viewed on an iPad, iPhone or even the web.  The Matrox 10-bit hardware scaler ensures the best SD to HD upscale and the dedicated H.264 chip on the MXO2 MINI MAX records to the highest quality.

  5. Your choice of I/O, for every budget.
    Matrox MXO2 comes in a variety of configurations, which means you only have to pay for the I/O and features you need.
    • If you are not using SDI equipment our “go to” recommendation is the Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX which is currently on sale starting at $599 (reg. $849). If you’re on a budget and just need basic HD I/O, the MXO2 Mini (without MAX) starts at just $449.
    • If you need SDI I/O, the internal Mojito MAX PCIe card and the Matrox MXO2 LE/ MXO2 LE MAX have it starting at $999.
    • If you need professional audio and broadcast I/O the MXO2 and MXO2 Rack MAX have what you need.

Picking the right MXO2 for you

Matrox offers an MXO2 solution for multiple levels of videographers, depending on your workflows and budget. The diagram below breaks down the product line by price points, from lowest to highest, we'll go into that in more detail below. MXO2 Mini – Inexpensive HD I/O perfect for home users at just $449
This is the least expensive and most basic solution form Matrox. You get analog and HDMI I/O in a compact breakout box with your choice of PCIe or ExpressCard Adapter for just $449. If you own a Thunderbolt equipped Mac there is also a bundle available with Thunderbolt Adapter for just $549.

Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX - The best choice for tapeless workflows that do not require SDI.
Right now we are running an incredible promotion on the MXO2 Mini MAX for just $599 ($699 w Thunderbolt). You get all HDMI and analog I/O, plus Matrox MAX turbocharges H.264 encoding for delivering pristine, HD quality files faster then realtime!

If you’re an Avid, Adobe or Final Cut editor, there is no other solution that comes close to delivering the quality, features and performance of the MXO2 Mini MAX. Use the Mini MAX with your desktop or laptop, Mac or PC.

If you have a Thunderbolt equipped iMac, Mac Book Pro or Mac Mini the MXO 2 MINI MAX with Thunderbolt Adapter for $699 is a fantastic choice. It works great with good old FCP 7, Avid Media Composer or Symphony 6, Adobe Premiere CS5, 5.5 or the new CS6 (CS6 requires new drivers). It supports broadcast preview monitoring on FCPX and you can use the MAX feature with Apple’s Compressor 4 App!

Two ways to add SDI I/O for under $1,000!! Matrox MXO2 LE is a compact external I/O device with SDI, HDMI & Component I/O plus balanced XLR audio for $995.
The MXO2 LE gives you the I/O flexibility you need with your choice of a PCIe or ExpressCard/34 adapter (or with a Thunderbolt Adapter for $100 more - $1,095). The MXO2 LE allows you to up, down and cross convert your footage, on the fly, during capture or playback. This is very useful for broadcast and professional post production environments that still need to support SD gear in with today's HD workflows.

Matrox Mojito MAXThe other option for under $1,000 is the Matrox Mojito MAX with SDI I/O for $995.
The Mojito MAX is an internal PCIe card that can be installed in your Mac Pro tower or Windows-based workstation. You get all of the I/O of the MXO2 LE via breakout cable, plus the Matrox Max turbocharged H.264 encoding. Mojito MAX is great way to add additional I/O and encoding acceleration to your older Mac Pro workstation. For those working on a PC, Mojito MAX works great in HP or Dell workstation or in our DIY builds. For desktop based Avid or Adobe editors, Mojito MAX is the best value and performance solution for under $1,000!!

Matrox MXO2 LE MAX with SDI I/O and Matrox MAX at $1,395 - (MXO2 LE Max Thunderbolt - $1495). If you want the flexibility of an external MXO2 solution combined with the Matrox MAX realtime encoding this is the product for you. It's the best of all worlds and the only external solution with SDI and MAX for under $1,500.

Matrox MXO2 Rack MAX - $2,395. The big daddy of the MXO family, the RACK MAX gives you all of the features of the MXO2 LE MAX plus additional I/O in a rack mounted configuration. Perfect for broadcast and post production facilities that need easy access to multiple ports. Matrox MXO2 Rack MAX gives you a full range of professional audio and video inputs and outputs, genlock with pass-through, and RS-422 machine control – right on the box. Direct 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound monitoring are supported on the XLR outputs. Both 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound monitoring are also supported on the HDMI output. No additional breakout cable is required.

Matrox MXO2 Smart I/O for Adobe & Avid Editors

Videoguys SMART I/O for Adobe Workflow FAQs

Adobe CS6 Production Premium Upgrade from CS3/4 with Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX1) What versions of Adobe Production Premium support MXO2 I/O devices?

  • The latest drivers for Matrox SMART I/O devices fully support Adobe Production Premium CS6 and the new Mercury transmit output engine. This means you can take full advantage of both the Adobe Mercury playback engine and your Matrox Smart I/O hardware. They integrate and work perfectly together, without any special project presets.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and 5.5 support the Matrox Smart I/O hardware, but you must use a Matrox preset for your Premiere project. These presets will not allow you to benefit from the Mercury playback engine and the Matrox Smart I/O device simultaneously.
  • Matrox MXO2 devices will run with Adobe Premiere Pro CS4, CS5, CS5.5 or CS6. You must make sure you download and run the right drives for your Adobe software. The Matrox download center is pretty easy to navigate and each driver is well documented.

2) Can I use the MAX encoding directly from the Premiere Pro timeline?

  • On a Windows-based systems, Matrox MAX technology is accessible through Adobe Media Encoder or directly from Adobe Premiere Pro timelines where you can export your editing sequence to an H.264 file using the Matrox export function. There are two categories of Matrox MAX presets – Matrox MP4 or Matrox H.264 Blu-ray – or you can create your own customized settings.
  • On the Mac, Adobe Media Encoder recognizes the Matrox MAX H.264 encoder as a QuickTime codec. You can generate .mov files using Matrox MAX presets or you can create your own customized settings.

For more detailed info on Matrox SMART I/O Adobe Workflows, see this blog post

Videoguys SMART I/O for Avid Workflow FAQs

Avid Symphony 6 Crossgrade with Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX1) What versions of Avid support MXO2 I/O devices?

  • Media Composer 6 and Symphony 6 support the full line of Matrox SMART I/O devices including MXO2 Mini, Mini MAX, LE, LE MAX, Classic MXO2, MXO2 MAX, MXO2 Rack and the Mojito MAX
  • Media Composer 5 and 5.5 support the Matrox MXO2 Mini and Mini Max. With MC5.x you only get preview monitoring form the timeline. You can't use the MXO2 Mini for input

2) Can I use the MAX encoding directly from the Avid timeline?

  • Mac users can output directly from the Avid timeline to H.264. This is 5x faster then using Sorenson Squeeze for your export
  • PC users must have the Adobe Media Encoder (AME) installed on their system in order to access the MAX encoding from the Avid timeline. AME comes with Premiere & After Effects. You can also download it from Adobe here

3) Does Matrox MXO2 SMART devices support Avid Symphony 6 Universal Mastering?

  • No. The only I/O hardware that supports Avid Symphony Universal Mastering is the Avid NitrisDX hardware. All other 3rd party hardware, including Avid Mojo DX do not. If this is an important feature for you, you have to purchase is the Avid Nitris DX

For more detailed info on Matrox SMART I/O Avid Workflows, see this blog post


The MAX Advantage: Understanding Matrox MAX H.264 encoding technology

Matrox MAXIf you're delivering H.264 content for the web, mobile devices, Apple TV, and Blu-ray discs, you know how painful it can be to wait for the long encoding times needed to create high-quality video files using software only. You might even be tempted to sacrifice quality for speed.

With Matrox MAX technology, you no longer need to even consider making that trade off. You quickly and easily create your H.264 files from a variety of video sources including SD, HD, and RED proxy files up to 2K. There is no need for you to learn a new application or utility to take advantage of this game-changing technology. Matrox MAX works great with Adobe, Avid & Apple software!

Matrox MAX with Adobe Media Encoder

On the PC, Matrox MAX technology is integrated directly into Adobe Media Encoder.

There are two categories of Matrox MAX presets – Matrox MP4 or Matrox H.264 Blu-ray – or you can create your own customized settings.

Matrox MP4 presets
Matrox MP4 presets are used for H.264 files destined for Apple TV, YouTube, Flash, the web, and mobile devices including iPhone, and iPod.

Matrox Blu-ray presets
Matrox H.264 Blu-ray presets are used to create Blu-ray compliant H.264 files. The Matrox MAX hardware performs proper color space conversions from and SD to HD as well as proper color space conversion from RGB to YUV to prevent gamma shift. Files you created in Adobe Media Encoder can be authored in Adobe Encore or Roxio Toast without the need to re-encode. You should use H.264 level 4.0 if you want to create Matrox MAX H.264 files intended for mass replication of Blu-ray discs. You can use either H.264 level 4.0 or 4.1 if you want to author and burn individual copies that are compatible with Blu-ray disc players.

Customizable presets
Tweak the power of MAX to fit your own unique requirements. You can choose to encode at a constant bit rate (CBR) or a variable bit rate (VBR), then choose other parameters to perfect the encode.

On the Mac, Adobe Media Encoder recognizes the Matrox MAX H.264 encoder as a QuickTime codec. There are two ways to capture QuickTime files – at a constant bit rate so quality varies depending on the complexity of each frame or at a constant quality so that quality is maintained while the bit rate varies. You can generate .mov files using Matrox MAX presets or you can create your own customized settings.

  • Constant bit rate
    CBR ensures that the bit rate remains stable; quality varies depending on the complexity of each frame. This is the desired setting when content is delivered over a pipe with a fixed bandwidth. CBR ensures quality is maximized over such a connection.
  • Variable bit rate
    VBR targets an average bit rate. Matrox MAX squeezes out the highest quality possible for each frame while respecting the average bit rate you choose. It analyzes each video frame and determines which frames require more or less compression data. This is the preferred mode when the lowest overall file size matters, but you do not want to sacrifice quality.

Click here to learn more about using Adobe software with the Matrox MXO2


Matrox MAX with Avid Media Composer & Avid Symphony 6

On the Mac, you can deliver H.264 files for the web and mobile devices directly from Media Composer up to five times faster than software alone, without sacrificing quality. Matrox MAX even lets you deliver directly from Media Composer up to three times faster than if you used Sorenson Squeeze to encode the files.
Avid Media Composer recognizes the Matrox MAX H.264 encoder as a QuickTime codec. There are two ways to capture QuickTime files – at a constant bit rate so quality varies depending on the complexity of each frame or at a constant quality so that quality is maintained while the bit rate varies. You can generate .mov files using Matrox MAX presets or you can create your own customized settings.

On the PC, you can speed up deliveries of H.264 files for the web, mobile devices, and Blu-ray using Adobe Media Encoder, which you already own if you are using Adobe After Effects or Photoshop. Using Matrox MAX with Adobe Media Encoder lets you deliver H.264 files up to five times faster than if you export from Sorenson Squeeze software.

Click here to learn more about using Adobe software with the Matrox MXO2


Realtime hardware up/down/cross conversion for capture, monitoring, and output

Matrox MXO2 products and Mojito MAX let you deliver in any format your clients demand. The 10-bit hardware scaling provides high-quality mastering. to SD downscaling
Realtime HD to SD downscaling is performed with proper conversion of the HD color space to the SD color space. Proper aspect ratio conversion to anamorphic and letterbox are supported on Mac and PC. Center-cut is supported on the Mac. You can monitor or record an SD master of your HD project in real time.

SD to HD upscaling
Realtime SD to HD upscaling is perfomed with proper conversion of the SD color space to the HD color space. Footage with a 4:3 aspect ration will be "pillarboxed", 16:9 SD footage will be scaled to full screen.

Cross conversion
Realtime cross conversion from 720 to 1080 and 1080 to 720 is supported. Realtime frame rate conversion is also supported with 2:3:2:3 and 2:3:3:2 cadences. This feature is useful if, for example, your source material is recorded at a different frame rate or resolution than the delivery format your client requires. It also facilitates monitoring when, for example, you need to work with 23.98 fps footage but your monitor does not support that frame rate. You can use the realtime frame rate conversion feature to view your project at 29.97 fps. Conversion from 23.98 fps to 25 fps is handled by your editing application and the host.

A full range of capture products for streaming

Matrox MXO2 devices are the ideal portable capture solutions for streaming live events from wherever they are happening. News, sports, concerts, educational seminars, religious services, and corporate meetings are just a few of the many types of live events where an MXO2 device will come in handy for creating your internet broadcasts. Their convenient form factors let you stream from anywhere there’s an internet connection – in studio, on set, in the field, and in OB vans.

Connect to your HD or SD camera or any other video source. Use the live pass-through feature for external video monitoring. Easily provide high-quality content to popular public distribution websites like Ustream,, Livestream or to your dedicated IP distribution site.

Matrox Mojito MAX provides the same great functionality in a ¾ length PCIe card that can be easily integrated into a MacPro or PC desktop or server.

Use your favorite streaming app:

Native Support of Livestream
Procaster for both PC and MAC platforms.
Support for Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder is provided via Microsoft DirectShow for Windows and via QuickTime for Mac OS. Support for Microsoft Expression is provided via Microsoft DirectShow for Windows. Support for Telestream Wirecast and QuickTime Broadcaster is provided via QuickTime for Mac OS. productions

For those who already own a production switcher, you can easily add an MXO2 to your workflow and upgrade your productions to include live streaming. Just run the output of the switcher into your MXO2 I/O device and stream directly to the internet. You can choose to stream form both SD or HD mixers. (Roland V-440HD pictured with Matrox MXO2 Mini Max into a Thunderbolt equipped MacBook Pro).

  • If your mixer outputs either HDMI or component video, then the Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX will allow you to add live streaming to your workflow for just $599
  • If your mixing environment provides SDI output, then you can feed the SDI signal into your MXO2 LE for under $1,000, or with the MXO2 LE MAX for just $1,395.
  • If you have a Thunderbolt equipped Mac Book Pro or iMac, use the MXOI2MINI MAX/T $699 or for SDI the MXO2 LE MAX/T $1,495.

Adding live streaming to your existing multi-camera production has never been easier or more affordable!

Matrox Smart I/O Bundles with Avid & Adobe



Videoguys' Bundles Combine the BEST Editing Software from Avid & Adobe with the BEST Hardware I/O from Matrox!

Each Bundle includes FREE HDMI cable and FREE Class On Demand Black card for your choice of training title!

AdobeAdobe CS6 Production Premium (BOX, MAC)

Adobe Premiere Pro, Prelude, and Encore CS6 & Mercury Transmit I/O

Mercury Transmit makes it easier to integrate 3rd party hardware from partners like AJA, Matrox, BlackMagic, BlueFish and more. This new API basically puts the control of the output/monitoring on the “Adobe Side” of the equation . No more need for special Presets for each 3rd party card or special editing modes. Transmit lets you use 3rd party hardware and take full advantage of the Adobe Mercury Playback engine!

This is the best reason ever to combine Hardware with your CS6 Upgrade or new license and Videoguys' Bundles are priced better than ever!

Adobe CS6 Production Premium is $1,799 for Mac or Windows and, if you own a previous Adobe software suite, upgrades start at just $359.


Avid Symphony 6 Editing & Finishing SoftwareAvid Symphony 6 is Open for business

Avid Symphony 6 is now fully open thanks to Avid Open I/O, so you can work with your choice of Avid audio and video interfaces or third-party video interfaces, including those from AJA, Matrox, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444, and MOTU. Manufacturers can simply create plug-ins using Avid Open I/O to have their hardware work with Symphony, meaning you’ll have even more choices to come.

HURRY! There's just a few days left to take advantage of Avid's Special Crossgrade and Upgrade Off on Symphony 6 for under $1,000. Expires 6/15/12!

Avid Symphony 6 is regulary $5,495 but is on sale now for just $995 when you upgrade from a previous version of Media Composer, Xpress or Xpress Pro or Crossgrade from Apple Final Cut Pro.

These specials also include $1,600 in 3rd-party software:
Boris Continuum Complete AVX, Sorenson Squeeze & more!

Click here for Videoguys SMART I/O bundles featuring Avid & Matrox!


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