Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Matrox MXO2 vs. AJA IoHD

  1. Matrox MXO2 costs substantially less – $1,595 (£1125) vs. about $2,770 (£2500)
  2. Matrox MXO2 is truly portable – fits easily into a laptop bag, can run off a field battery, weighs 3 ½ lbs vs. 9 ½ lbs.
  3. Matrox MXO2 is road ready and rugged – built entirely on one circuit board, MXO2 is a robust design where as IoHD has many stacked circuit boards which can become loose over time.
  4. Matrox MXO2 provides direct surround sound monitoring – IoHD has only stereo RCA output for monitoring.
  5. Matrox MXO2 works with a variety of codecs, not just ProRes – there is no need to transcode your native XDCAM, P2, HDV, and DV footage, for example.
  6. Matrox MXO2 does not use the FW800 bus – the PCIe bus used by MXO2 provides higher bandwidth so you are not limited to just compressed workflows, you can work with all formats including uncompressed 10-bit HD. You also have the flexibility to use popular FireWire storage solutions with MXO2, even on towers.


When I was re-kiting for HD there was only one option, the AJA box, that cost me £2500 at the time and had a few bugs. Eighteen months later it’s still my mainstay I/O box when editing with Final Cut Pro.

matrox_max_logotypeI don’t like the fact that it uses the FW800 port and it clearly tells you that using other FW devices will impair the AJAs stability. I was very interested to see the MXO2 had a PCIe connection and comes with a PCIe card that fits into your Mac. I also like the fact that the MXO2 is not restricted to one codec PRO REZ. Creative video sell the MXO2 for £1125.  

A new Max version is also available with Matrox MAX technology for faster than realtime high definition H.264 file creation. I have to hand it to Matrox, if I was buying today I would plum for the MXO2 Max because you get a lot more for your money and save £1000 in doing so.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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