Matrox Mil & Firewire 1394 Image Acquisition

With newer versions of Matrox Mil (>= Mil 8 ) it is possible to grab images from firewire cameras without the need for any Matrox hardware, Mil will just use your PC’s normal Firewire/1394 adaptor(s) to acquire the images. When setup correctly you should be able to grab from either code or from intellicam.


However in typical Matrox fashion finding out how to set Mil up this way is quite difficult as there isn’t much information ‘out there’ or in the Mil documentation on how to do it,  and (again in typical Matrox fashion) the procedure is a tad non-intuitive.


So to add 1394 support – Install Mil, and when you get to the stage where it asks you which drivers it should install for the various possible frame grabber cards choose ‘Meteor II 1394’ remember though that you don’t  actually need a Meteor II frame grabber – Mil will use your existing Firewire adaptor(s) instead!


The next thing to note is that whenever you want to see or use any of the Mil 1394 features from Intellicam or from code you must have your camera(s) plugged in – otherwise Mil will deny all knlowedge!


For example if you start up Intellicam without your firewire camera plugged in then you may get an error message like the following, plugging the camera in and restarting Intellicam will fix things:


ooops camera is unplugged!

To grab images from Intellicam, first plug in your camera and then launch Intellicam and make sure the ‘Meteor-II /1394’ system is selected.


 Choose the 1394 System


With firewire Mil does not use DCF files like it does for other frame-grabber and camera combinations, instead the required camera and digitiser format is specified by a string.  To see the available formats hit the ‘New DCF’ toolbar button or choose the ‘File/New…’ menu option,  this will display a list of format strings:  



Choose your digitiser format


Once you select a suitable format you should be able to grab from the camera!