Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
May 28, 2009 04:06PM
Matrox CompressHD H.264 Accelerator Card for the Mac Now Shipping

Award-winning product offers faster than realtime high definition H.264 file creation for mobile devices, the web, and Blu-ray discs at a breakthrough price
Montreal, Canada ? May 28, 2009 ? Matrox® Video Products Group today announced that Matrox CompressHD?, the first implementation of Matrox MAX? technology in an H.264 accelerator card for the Mac, is now shipping. Matrox MAX technology uses a dedicated hardware processor to accelerate the creation of H.264 files for mobile devices, the web and Blu-ray discs. By using specialized hardware acceleration, jobs are finished with amazing speed and system resources are liberated for other tasks. Very affordably priced at just $495 US (£375, ?449) not including local taxes, Matrox CompressHD works in systems with or without a video I/O device. Ease of use is ensured through direct integration with Apple Compressor on the Mac. As an added benefit, the Matrox MAX technology allows direct export to higher-quality H.264 Blu-ray compliant files from Compressor.

"Professional content creators have discovered that H.264 compression technology delivers a high-quality video experience at low bit rates for a variety of devices ranging from iPhone to Blu-ray, but they have had to constantly make compromises, trading off quality for encoding speed, or paying a high price for equipment that can give them both," said Wayne Andrews, Matrox product manager. "Matrox CompressHD removes all the hurdles, providing incredible encoding speed and quality at a very affordable price point".

Key features of Matrox CompressHD for the Mac
- Faster than realtime creation of H.264 files using Matrox MAX technology
- Low profile, half-length PCIe x1 card that fits into all Mac Pros and Intel-based Apple Xserve systems
- Works in systems with or without an I/O device
- Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support

Key features of Matrox MAX technology
- Faster than realtime creation of H.264 files, for resolutions ranging from iPod to HD, at bitrates up to 50 Mbps
- A specialized, dedicated hardware processor liberates system resources for other tasks
- Accelerated encoding for Blu-ray, PS3, Apple TV, YouTube, Flash, web formats, and mobile devices including iPhone, and iPod from various video sources including 2K files
- Direct integration with Apple Compressor to simplify workflow
- Creation of Blu-ray H.264 files that can be authored in Adobe Encore CS4 or Roxio Toast 10 and burned without re-encoding
- Support for Apple Qmaster to take advantage of multiple systems with a Matrox MAX processing engine for distributed encoding across a network

Price and availability
Priced at $495 US (£375, ?449) not including local taxes, Matrox CompressHD with Mac drivers is now available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Windows drivers will be available free of charge to registered Matrox CompressHD owners in July 2009.

About Matrox
Matrox Video Products Group is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for realtime editing, audio/video input/output, DVD/Blu-ray authoring, capture/playout servers, clip/still stores, and CGs. Matrox's Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, post-production facilities, project studios, corporate communicators, and videographers worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information visit
Re: Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
November 16, 2009 12:17PM
I just got one of these and am putting it to the test on my daily encodes. I currently encode a daily Tv show that i receive at 720X486 ProRes(HQ) and encode to an H.264 Flash file at 432X324 at 550 K/Sec. Using COmpressor Only I'm getting very satisfying results. So far, the speed of the CompressHD has been awesome, but I am unable to achieve similar quality to what I'm getting with Compressor alone. Anyone else have a similar experience? Or different? I'm really hoping it's my settings (i've matched my previous ones).
Re: Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
November 16, 2009 12:19PM
Well thats not good. Might give a call to Matrox support and see if any issues. Could be as simple as a setting.

Michael Horton
Re: Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
December 11, 2009 12:19PM
Well I've been testing this card for some time now. I've been in touch with their engineers. In fact I had a conference call with their entire development staff including a gentleman names Jean Lapierre the head of development for Mac.

They were very gracious and kind and even offered to take a look at my original settings and create a custom setting that would kick out the same specs as what I was encoding with Compressor only. They guaranteed it would at least match the video quality of Compressor alone, naturally much faster though.

Man I really wanted this to work, but the results speak for themselves. I have yet to see a video encoded on the CompresseHD card that can match my Compressor only settings. Anyone else way in on this? I really want to be wrong, but no one can seem to match my quality. I'll even send you an uncompressed clip and my original settings if you want to have a go at it?

Here are my results:
Re: Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
December 22, 2009 10:03AM
So I finally got to the bottom of this. Matrox has not yet developed their software to include the ability to recognize scene changes on it's own. Compressor currently has the ability to analyze the source footage and recognize scene changes and insert a Keyframe there. Pretty major issue if you ask me.

If all you're doing is testing a 2 min clip of the same basic footage then the car will probably do a great job. But if you're encoding a production of any kind with video cuts're going to run into problems as before.

I will give them credit for working very hard with me, however I'm kinda surprised it took them so long to figure out that this was what was missing in their software. It is my understanding that they are working to add this to one of their next software upgrade. I'm hoping to re-evaluate at that point.
Re: Matrox CompressHD for Mac - Now Shipping!
December 24, 2009 06:33PM

This article/review might explain the issues you are experiencing. Not a solution, but just why it is happening. Hopefully, like you said, Matrox will offer a software upgrade to fix it.


(Snippet from article -- click on above link to see full issue )

The one fly in the ointment was poor quality at one very dramatic scene change, as shown in Figure 5, which is the first frame of a new scene. On the left, the image produced by Compressor is relatively clear; on the right, the image produced by CompressHD is distorted, and remains so for several frames. This is a particularly dramatic scene change from a Taekwondo dojo with very low levels of detail to a scene with extreme detail, and was the only one of 42 scene changes in my test clip that triggered this reaction. It?s unlikely that you?ll see this reaction in most normal scene changes, but, as mentioned, it?s a deficit that Matrox needs to address.

I am expecting arrival of the matrox hd for my PC-based system. It will be interesting to compare the results. (It will arrive the end of Dec.)

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