Learn More Contact Now

Matrox MXO Product Review


The Matrox MXO is a must have device for those who are working with HDV within Final Cut Pro. HDV is a compressed form of HD and is highly compressed using a mpg compression scheme. Since HDV compresses video uses mpg, it requires additional processing to output the media from Final Cut Pro.


One of the frustrating things Final Cut Pro users eventually figure out, is there isn't a way to immediately output your finished sequence back to tape. You must perform a 'print to video' function and wait for Final Cut Pro to conform your HDV video. If you decide to make changes to your sequence, you must repeat the entire process over again. Depending on your computer's processing speed, this can be a timely process.

This is where the Matrox MXO comes to the rescue. It eliminates the lengthy conforming process. It's as simple as configuring your audio-video settings within Final Cut Pro and selecting one of the special Matrox MXO presets to match your sequence settings.


The Matrox MXO is a small external device that connects to a second video port on your graphics card. The engineers at Matrox have figured out a way to convert the DVI signal from the second port on the graphics card to a true genlocked video signal. This means you can output HDV in real-time to a wide variety of HD or Analog formats.

On the back of the Matrox MXO are outputs for Composite, Component, and SDI outputs. S-Video output is also supported through an adapter cable that ships with the retail box. Therefore, you'll need to make sure your tape machine supports one of these inputs. Keep in mind there is no firewire output directly from the Matrox MXO box.


Another great feature is the SDI output supports up to 8 channel of embedded audio.

Furthermore the Matrox MXO provides three choices for the aspect ratio that you are sending to your tape machine. These are:

Letterbox - for correct letterbox display on a standard 4:3 screen
Anamorphic - for widescreen television sets at true 16:9
Center Cut - for standard 4:3 screens without a letterbox


The real beauty of this box, is the ability to output your Final Cut Pro sequence to SD or HD on the fly without having to transcode your video. If you are working with HDV the box is performing a down-res or up-res of your HDV footage. Full HD uses a picture size of 1920 x 1080 with a color sampling of 4:2:2. HDV records at 1280x720 or 1440x1080 using a color sampling of 4:1:1.

The Matrox MXO will either up-res HDV, DVCPRO HD or Dynamic RT segments to full output resolution or down-res your HD sequence to SD

Final Cut Pro users can now edit their entire show in HDV, and then output to the format of their choice. This way, you can immediately output a standard def version of your sequence for today's audience. Then if your client requests an HD copy, simply play back your sequence to HD.


*It is important to note, that the Matrox MXO will provide a full HD or SD output of your HDV sequence. It does not directly output HDV.

The Matrox MXO also operates in a presentation mode, which encodes the output of your desktop so a broadcast quality output. Presentation mode can be used with applications such as Keynote, Powerpoint, or even a web browser. It will allow you to record the presentation using the video outputs on the back of the Matrox MXO. The computer's audio is also routed to all the MXO audio outputs.


Other interesting features of the Matrox MXO are:

  • *A Mastering mode that is supported with After Effects.This means you can play back full screen composites directly from After Effects.

  • An Anti-Flicker filter for output of your desktop

  • The ability to output your screen to an NSTC, or HD video signal.

  • Full Screen Video Output from QuickTime Pro.
  • rt_quicktime_playback.gif

    System Requirements:

    Mac OS X 10.4.7 or later
    One available USB 2.0 port
    Display card with DVI-I connector. Must be able to display 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz.
    512 MB of RAM

    To configure and install the Matrox MXO takes less than 5 minutes. The product is very straight forward in terms of its operational features.


    The Matrox MXO is a great value and a must have for anyone using the HDV format. It is also a great solution for anyone who needs to output real-time video directly from the Final Cut Pro without having to use firewire output. For iMac or Mac Book Pro users, because of the lack of pci expansion slots, this is a must have device.

    The retail price is $995.00. This is an excellent price to performance ratio, considering all the time you will save from being able to instantly output your HDV sequences.

    Receive FREE Tutorials by email:


      Avid Media Composer Training
    • Enrollment Cost: $50.00
    • 84 Media Composer Lectures
    • Includes Practice Media
    • Interactive Quizzes
    • Official Certificate of Completion
    • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
    • Click to Enroll for 10% off!
      Final cut Pro X Training
    • Enrollment Cost: $20.00
    • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
    • Includes Practice Media
    • Interactive Quizzes
    • Official Certificate of Completion
    • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
    • Click to Enroll


    Customizing a Particle System In Motion was the previous entry in this blog.

    Adding Slideshows in DVD Studio Pro is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.