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Nigel Thompson
Ultra scope
on Apr 20, 2009 at 5:40:37 pm

Ok so who can explain to me how this works.
I see u gotta have a PC, ok cool but is there something u stick in the PCI express lane what some body talk to me.

a set of scopes for 695 , wow, i'll do that in a heartbeat. so lets hear an explanation by someone who has got the skinny on this

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 12:50:24 am

Hi Nigel,

UltraScope is a combination card and software package. There is a x1 lane PCI Express card which plugs in to your PC. It has conventional SDI input and output and also the new optical fiber SDI input and output so it's right up to date with all the latest technology!

Regards

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Nigel Thompson
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 3:11:10 am

ok that optical sdi thing i have not seen b4 2day, but i think it's a great idea. lets see how it picks up

but that Ultrascope sounds like a plan, 700bucks is cheap, but i disagree with the article saying scopes these days a re inaccurate.

Im a mac person so i guess i have to buy a cheap windows box to run this thing. no biggy, but i need scopes bad.

Oh and why a 24 inch monitor?

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 3:50:14 am

Hi Nigel,

Thanks for your questions as they are all really good questions and it's interesting to learn what people are wondering when we announce new products.

[Nigel Thompson] "i disagree with the article saying scopes these days a re inaccurate."

This comment referred to the software scopes in NLE software which just aren't very accurate and we have lots of editors and colorists telling us that they just can't use them because they are inaccurate. Hardware scopes definitely are accurate and companies like Tektronix make fantastic scope hardware. However the interface to a lot of scopes is not very elegant so we've tried to make the UltraScope interface really nice to use.

[Nigel Thompson] "Im a mac person so i guess i have to buy a cheap windows box to run this thing. no biggy, but i need scopes bad. "

Technically there is no reason why we couldn't have made UltraScope for Mac. In fact if we receive lots of requests for Mac support, we could do it easily. However as this is a PCI Express card, the only Mac in which it could be used is a Mac Pro and it would be a complete waste to have a dedicated Mac Pro just to use this card as there is no such thing as a low-end Mac Pro. There are a lot of low cost PC's which would be perfectly suitable for use with the x1 lane PCI Express card in the Ultrascope package so that's why it's Windows-only at this stage.

[Nigel Thompson] "Oh and why a 24 inch monitor?"

The requirement for a 24 inch monitor is because the UltraScope interface is 1920 x 1200 pixels. This allows us to have a large, elegant interface with all 6 scopes on the screen simultaneously. If you are visiting NAB 2009, please drop by our booth and take a look at the UltraScope interface and you will then see why the 24" display is required.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Shane Betts
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 4:12:14 am

Hey Luke!

So, does that mean we need a dedicated machine to run Ultra Scope? If so, is it possible to run more than one Ultra Scope in a given PC? It uses a 1x slot. Can we have 2 or more US cards in various slots and run it to all suites or would we have just the one US card and switch from suite to suite?

Cheers
Shane Betts (I don't work there anymore)


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 5:42:48 am

Hey Shane!

'Good to hear you're still asking the tricky questions! UltraScope is so new that I don't think there has been time for any discussion of running multiple UltraScope cards in the one PC.

I'll raise the question when the engineers return from NAB but I'm guessing they will suggest that, rather than buying a more expensive PC which can handle multiple cards reliably, you could use an SDI router and just switch your source signals using the router. I believe that would be a far more reliable and robust solution which would enable you facility to use the scopes on every piece of SDI hardware that you have and allow you to add extra equipment as your facility grows. The number of PCI Express slots in a PC would be quite limiting and would restrict you to monitoring a very small number of SDI video sources so I think a router would provide far greater flexibility.

As you know, we manufacture the Videohub series of SDI video routers. We've just introduced a couple of new models at the show. Studio Videohub is the smallest one with 16 inputs and 32 outputs with a price of just US$4,995. It might be small but it supports SD, HD and 2K signals via SDI. We also have the Broadcast Videohub with 72 x 144 and have just announced the Enterprise Videohub with 144 x 288 routing connections.

I don't think everyone will need an Enterprise Videohub but the Studio Videohub should be great for smaller workgroups and will make a great partner for UltraScope if you don't already have an SDI router.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Kristian Lam
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 7:44:05 am

Hi,

To add on to Luke's suggestion, why not mirror your Ultrascope monitor using the DVI Extender into the Videohub. That way the Ultrascope's output will always be available to any monitor in your facility!

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design


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Margus Voll
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:49:59 am

Hi.

Can Scope work wit really simple Atom based Intel win box or does it need something more powerful ?

Generally it sounds really cool.

Looking forward to it.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu


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Baz Leffler
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 8:03:06 am

Boy it'd be handy if it could do automatic QC reports like the Tektronix does.... maybe next year?

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Devin Crane
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 2:19:06 pm

I didn't see much for PC requirements. will any PC with an PCIe slot work? For instance a Dell Inspiron?



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Dino Sanacory
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 21, 2009 at 4:36:18 pm

Yea, what's the minimum system we can get away with? Any home brew builders out there want to come up with the smallest, cheapest package the Ultrascope will work in? Might be a new business opportunity for you.




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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:18:54 am

Hi Devlin and Dino,

That's a good question and we'll add the minimum system requirements to our website shortly before UltraScope ships. We just didn't have enough time before NAB to post that information but we'll post it soon.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 12:17:10 am

Hi Baz,

Thanks for your suggestion which I'll pass on to the engineers. I'm not sure that could happen on the current product as there is no RS-422 port but it's a good idea so I'll make sure the engineers consider it for the future.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Nigel Thompson
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 2:58:19 am

ok cool loos like i'll be buying one of these, when do they ship luke?

HVX200, RED ONE, FCS and more,
High End, Production & Post Production
in the Caribbean
http://www.bistt.com


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 3:22:06 am

Hi Nigel,

UltraScope will ship in June so it's not too far away :-) Thanks for your questions.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Baz Leffler
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 3:09:20 am

Hey Luke - as a further suggestion ask the engineers to add an Expresscard32 interface (as Matrox does with the MXO2) along with Mac software and then we can put our MacBookPro's to good use when back at the shop - imagine that.... I really am a dreamer eh!

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 22, 2009 at 3:26:30 am

Thanks Baz,

It's a good idea but one of the reasons why we didn't make an Expresscard32 capture card was that the bandwidth was marginal and seemed to run slower than a x1 lane PCI Express slot in a computer. This meant that it just wasn't reliable enough for uncompressed 10-bit capture and playback and we didn't want to release a product that was on the edge of what would and wouldn't work reliably. I'm guessing the same issue will be true for the UltraScope but it's a good suggestion so I'll raise it with the engineers when they return from NAB.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Baz Leffler
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 23, 2009 at 12:22:17 am

[Luke Maslen] "the bandwidth was marginal and seemed to run slower than a x1 lane PCI Express slot in a computer."

Interesting that Matrox seem to have got around that problem with MXO2 on the MacBookPro but they do blame bad HD performance on ProRes processor requirements.

Are you saying that when a more powerful MBP becomes available Matrox will have to think of a new excuse?

I run ProResHQ stuff rendered out of a Multibridge'd Mac on a MBP and a MXO2 with no problems but I can see your reasoning when uncompressed HD needs to be shifted.

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 23, 2009 at 1:55:48 am

Hi Baz,

Clearly UltraScope is always going to need to work with uncompressed video input so whatever solution we provide has to be able to handle 10-bit SD and HD without any question of exceeding the bandwidth of the connection to the computer.

In regards to capturing to a compressed codec, our capture cards still need to handle the full bandwidth of an uncompressed capture because that's what the card receives on its input regardless of to what compressed codec you might then decide to use when saving movies to disk. So the PCI Express or ExpressCard interface still needs to be able to handle full uncompressed video bandwidth and then you can choose whether to save to an uncompressed or compressed video file. Our capture cards work fine with ProResHQ on Mac Pro's and it's a nice codec if you don't have the capacity for uncompressed video but it's even better to stay with uncompressed for maximum quality if you can. Computers and hard drives are always getting faster so I'm sure we'll all be editing uncompressed 2K on laptops in the future :-)

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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nick hasson
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 23, 2009 at 5:27:19 pm

I'm hoping to use something like this.

http://www.abmx.com/1u-mini-server

Add the card into it. Put it in line with the monitor and start coloring.


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 24, 2009 at 12:56:41 am

Hi Nick,

The UltraScope requires that you have a monitor with a 1920x1200 resolution which is very common on 24" DVI-based LCD computer monitors. As far as I can see, the computer you are considering only has VGA output and only at a maximum resolution of 1600x1280. If I understand its specifications correctly, once you add the UltraScope card in to it's optional PCI Express riser card, you could not add a regular x16 lane PCI Express graphics card so I don't think this computer would be suitable. Maybe I've overlooked something in the specifications but that's my quick analysis of that computer model.

You should also consider whether you want a rack or tower style PC for use with UltraScope. Many rack-mountable, server type computers ("pizza boxes") are very noisy and not something you want anywhere near you when concentrating on video and audio quality. Some tower PC's can also be noisy but there are plenty which are whisper quiet. Many rack-mountable, server type computers are designed to run "headless" to cut down on cost and so they will have little or no graphics support. UltraScope requires that you use a 1920x1200 resolution monitor which in turn will require a x16 lane graphics card with DVI output. We've tested with several graphics cards and we've found some really expensive ones which aren't suitable and some really affordable ones which work perfectly. We'll be publishing that information shortly before UltraScope ships so that you can find a PC that is very affordable and perfectly adequate for use with UltraScope.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Sean Donnelly
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 28, 2009 at 2:50:29 am

I like the idea of having all 6 functions visible at once, but for location use it would be useful to be able to display one at a time on a 12" (800x600 possibly?) display and cycle through them. I'm sure this isn't what you really had in mind when you designed this system, but I'm already looking at a battery operable mini-itx enclosure that could be attached to the base of a 12" touch panel...

-Sean





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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 30, 2009 at 12:30:11 am

Hi Sean,

Thanks for your suggestion and we received a lot of great feedback from NAB about what people like about UltraScope and what changes or extra features they would like. We don't want to delay the initial release by adding lots of new features so it will be released as planned and then we will sift through the many suggestions and see which ones are most popular. Hopefully we can add some of these soon!

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Luke Maslen
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 30, 2009 at 1:06:30 am

Hi Sean,

I just spoke to Grant about your idea and he said that he would like to do everything but obviously we can't do it all at once and we need to work out a priority order of features for each release. I've just set up an email address ultrascope-ideas@blackmagic-design.com so that anyone can email their UltraScope suggestions and ideas straight to our engineers and that makes it easy for us to see what would be the most popular suggestions and then roll them out in the next few software releases for UltraScope.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Sean Donnelly
Re: Ultra scope
on Apr 30, 2009 at 2:31:02 pm

Thanks Luke, it's a really exciting product, and I look forward to getting one. I'll be sure to send an email off to that address.


-Sean Donnelly
Digital Supervisor, SFI


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