Learn out how to get Uncompressed HD out of one laptop, into another as a video source, through your VJ software of choice.

The Matrox MXO2-Mini is a fairly cheap HD video digitizer meant for post production/editing usage, but the fact that it supports HDMI 1.3 means it should be able to handle RGB DVI input as long as its a valid 'real' video standard frame-rate and resolution.

Using a laptop that has an Express Card 34 adaptor slot we can finally mix in HD with real HD sources, using whatever Quicktime compatible software we want.

This video shows you how to set up the MXO2-Mini, some of the issues it has with being a bit testy, issues with the Express Card adaptor slot on the Mac Book pro, and setting up Avenue, Modul8 and VDMX for HD mixing.

The MXO2-Mini should work similarly on the PC/Windows side of the equation so applications like VVVV and friends should see it; however I was not able to test this as I don't have a Windows XP Bootcamp partition set up.

This video also features me nerd-ing out and cursing, and generally making an embarrassment out of myself.

The MXO2-Mini retails for around $450 US.

Pros:

*) MOTHERFUCKING UNCOMPRESSED HD MIXING FROM LAPTOP TO LAPTOP.
*) Lets you also grab HD via component, and older analog S-Video and composite sources.
*) Works for editorial/post production workflows as expected
*) Really lightweight, portable and small.

Cons:

*) Very finicky, as the video shows. Hopefully this can be addressed with software & driver updates.
*) Express Card 34 on Apple machines can be a bit touchy. Curious how alternatives handle this.
*) Need a really hefty video card to handle multiple effects at HD resolutions. This can crush your FPS fast.

Im honestly unsure if Im going to keep the MXO2-Mini. It's *so close* to being perfect but the fact of the matter is I really don't want to plug in at a gig and have to jump through hoops to get it working, only to have the Express Card get popped out because of a gentle nudge and be forced to reboot. The other issue is, as an Apple developer/Quartz Composer user and being tied to OS X, the next machine Id have to get would be a 17", as the 15" Mac Book Pros no longer have an Express Card slot. I mean, Id *much* rather have a SD card reader, because reading SD cards was absolutely im-fucking-possible to do before we had built in card readers.. right?

So so close, you can taste it. Its coming; portable, usable, cheap HD mixing.

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