R.David Ruiz, media manager and editor, recently equipped four news trucks with Matrox MXO2 Rack I/O devices to support field editing with Final Cut Pro running on MacBook Pros.
“Until recently, we shot on Betacam SX and had to do linear tape-to-tape editing in the field, playback from the deck via microwave video transmitter, and ingest the edited pieces into Final Cut Pro edit systems back at the studio for playback to air. We really needed to streamline our workflow to meet tight news deadlines,” said Ruiz. “Our wish list was extensive. We wanted to edit on-site with Final Cut Pro running on MacBook Pros in our trucks then output directly to our microwave video encoder to get the finished pieces back to the station for playback to air. We wanted a device that could support multiple input formats such as shots from our new HDV camcorders that shoot on CompactFlash cards, file footage shot on Betacam SX, or video in legacy SDI and analog formats that we receive from other stations and various sources. At the same time we had to plan for our transition to a tapeless future. We also needed to accommodate our current SD production but be ready to go to HD seamlessly. To top it all off, we wanted a robust, reliable unit that could be securely mounted in the racks on our trucks.”
“We had already done tests with the Matrox MXO2 and really liked the performance, but were worried about securing it in the news trucks. Then Matrox introduced the MXO2 Rack. We quickly discovered that it could meet all our requirements. With all the various inputs available, we have the confidence that we can throw anything into it which makes it ideal when we need to use video from pool feeds or archives, as well as our cameras. The workflow in the trucks is now almost identical to the workflow in the studio, and consistency was very important to us. With its simultaneous outputs, MXO2 Rack also lets us preview to a broadcast monitor while editing and while playing back to the microwave video encoder so we can easily make sure that everything is perfect.”
“I have discovered a few added advantages of Matrox MXO2 along the way. One day we were heading to a breaking story without a minute to spare when we realized one of the laptops wasn’t working. Because MXO2 Rack is hot-swappable, we were able to just grab a laptop from another truck, plug it in, and be on our way. We were able to get the story to air on deadline. We have also been very satisfied by the responsive technical support that Matrox offers. Whenever questions come up, as they inevitably do with high-tech products, Matrox is there to answer them and help us optimize our production process. Timely assistance is crucial in our business; we can’t afford any downtime.”
“And perhaps best of all in these days of tight budgets is that I am happy to know that we have a ‘future proof’ solution. When we are ready to go to full HD production in the field, MXO2 Rack will be right there with us, easing the transition.”