by October 11, 2002 0 comments



This is a real-time effects card apt for use in production and broadcast houses. Since the effects hardware is on a separate card, the PC is not taxed during intensive video editing tasks. Also, as all the video processing is handled by separate dedicated hardware, video dropouts and jerks are avoided.

The Monarch fx Creator package comes with a PCI card, video and audio cables, a parallel port dongle, driver CD and a demo CD. Installation is straightforward and the card goes into a free PCI slot on your motherboard. Connect the audio and video cables to the card. Also plug in the dongle into the parallel port of your PC. At boot-up, Windows detects the card and you are prompted for the drivers. 

A tool for production houses and online TV broadcast stations

Snapshot
MONARCH FX CREATOR
Price:
Rs 75,000
Meant
for: 
Production houses
Feature:
Real-time video effects hardware and software, four A/V source inputs
Pros:
Good processor performance in terms of applying the effects with no jerks or dropouts, lots of preset effects and graphics with capability to use your own graphics too
Contact:
Monarch Video Vision, Mumbai
E-mail
viren@bom2.vsnl.net.in 

Though at the first glance, the A/V cables appear to be confusing (a total of 6 for video and 11 for audio!); all of them are well marked for the four input sources as well as the outputs. Connect your sources to the appropriate cables. Take care to connect the audio cables to the same source number as the corresponding video. For example, if your source 1 is a VCR, connect the video output of the VCR to Video1 cable and the stereo audio output to Audio In 1L and 1R. This would ensure that during playback, the audio and video from different sources does not get mixed up. Feed the output of the audio and video to the target (a TV or a recording device). 

The FX creator’s application interface is divided into four parts–graphics, effects, source and preview. The Graphics tab stores still graphics to be used for adding to the video. There are lots of pre-stored graphics for some purposes (divided into categories like scene, title texture etc.). You can also create your own graphics categories and add your own graphics. To apply a graphic, you need to load it into the G1 and G2 sources. Click on G1 and Ctrl + click a graphic to load it into G1 (Shift + click to load into G2). The Effects tab stores preset effects. These effects are divided into categories like PIP, wipe, slide, alpha, frame, shape etc. To apply an effect, double click to load it and press the play button in the preview tab to apply and view it. 

The Source tab controls the input sources. The Source tab also has some quick source property settings like posterize, B/W, mirror, still etc. There is also a slider on the right side of the preview tab that allows you to manually control a transition. Some other settings are available in the menu on top for Paint, Audio volumes, layer settings and a quick PIP Button. The Paint button launches the Magic FX software that cane be used to edit the graphics to be used in the main application. 

The Bottom Line: Monarch FX Creator also comes with an excellent demo CD. This is a VCD with commentary in Hindi and a very good video explanation of the workings of the software. The product is priced at Rs 75,000. Though it might look expensive, this forms an indispensable tool for production houses and online TV broadcast stations like news channels. 

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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