The Matrox RT.X10 is a hardware and software video editing solution for high-end PCs. It combines an expansion card, designed to boost video capture and editing performance, with a full copy of Premiere, Adobe’s semi-professional video editing suite.
The latest in a long line of PC-based editing cards from Matrox, including the RT2000 and RT2500 products, the RT.X10 uses a new architecture, based on what Matrox calls ‘The Power of X’. Simply put, this means that the card hands over much of the heavyweight processing involved in video editing to the main processor in your PC. The faster your processor, you better your editing performance.
Many of the transitions and effects that would have been rendered for preview by earlier Matrox cards are now handled in real-time. The majority of Premiere transitions and nearly all the extra ones supplied by Matrox work this way, considerably shortening the edit-preview cycle. You can also convert analogue video to digital in a single pass, as it’s imported.
The increased performance also makes new features possible. You can, for example, colour-correct a video clip by simply selecting a pixel in any frame which should be white. The RT.X10 then re-balances the colour for the entire clip, based on the new white setting – another huge time-saver.
Matrox has always been one of the leaders in providing professional quality effects and transitions. This it has continued with the new product and effects like page curls are both clean and highly detailed, with a reversed image appearing on the back of the curl. There are improvements to slow and fast motion playback, titling and audio mixing, including the provision of ready-made soundtracks using a bundled application called SmartSound QuickTracks.
The RT.X10 is not a solution for the video editing beginner. The learning curve on Premiere is quite steep and you’ll need a heavyweight PC to get the most out of the product. The recommended specification is a 2.2 GHz Pentium 4 with 512 MB of memory. You’ll also need twin hard drives, probably of around 60GB each.
£399 may seem expensive for a video editing product, but when you consider Adobe Premiere on its own costs nearly that much, it doesn’t look bad.
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