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Matrox Facilitates Adventure TV Productions

 Matrox’s MX02 Rack MAX

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO.—For nearly 30 years we’ve produced a syndicated outdoor adventure series that features hunting and fishing excursions around the world. The series, “The Outdoorsman”, is distributed internationally and is seen on more than 500 TV stations and cable networks.

We do all of our own shooting, editing and post production, and have developed a workflow that lets us meet our deadline of producing a weekly show. We rely on Adobe Premiere Pro running on a PC workstation, backed up by a Matrox MXO2 Rack MAX. Everything passes though the Matrox unit, as it provides all the connections and flexibility we need. It handles SDI, HDMI and analog HD I/Os, as well as XLR for audio I/O with direct 7.1 surround sound monitoring. Everything is right there on the unit so we don’t have to deal with messy breakout cables hanging out of the computer.

Our workflow consists of taking footage from our Panasonic DVCPRO HD’s SDI output and sending it to the MX02 Rack so we can use the full-raster Matrox MPEG-2 I-frame intermediate codec rather than work with a thin-raster 1394 file transfer. We’ve found that the Matrox codec gives us very high-quality footage and is a less processor-intensive way of working, making editing smoother when you’re dealing with multilayer sequences.

Once editing is completed, we use the Matrox MPEG-2 codec as the rendering codec to ensure that “flattened” files maintain high quality when we’re exporting or transferring to tape. It’s also an effective archiving codec for material that we may want to use in the future. The “MAX” feature of the Matrox unit comes in handy too for accelerating H.264 encoding for delivery to the Web.

“Burned Out,” another TV series in development, chronicles the rebuilding of our family home in Missouri after a devastating fire last year. We’re doing this to showcase the step-by-step process involved in constructing a new-age, energy-efficient, two-story house.

We’ve shot more than 100 hours of raw footage for that project and are doing the editing for the series. Again, the Matrox MXO2 Rack has been instrumental in getting high-quality footage into and out of the editing system.

We’ve just built a new edit suite and one of the items we’re looking at to add to our equipment package is the Matrox MXO2 LE MAX. This is a portable version of the unit, which will allow us to maintain our current workflow, but also opens up the possibility of doing some editing in the field with the powerful PC laptops and all-in-ones equipped with Thunderbolt connectivity that we expect to see on the market in the near future. I plan to use this on my next African safari.

Buck McNeely is the founder and CEO of Outdoorsman International and Timberwolf Productions. He may be contacted
For additional information contact Matrox Video at 800-361-4903 or