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UltraStudio SDI on a Laptop

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David Dobson
UltraStudio SDI on a Laptop
on Mar 15, 2012 at 4:15:53 pm

It's kind of working. Does what I need for this job, but it seems fragile. The box crashes and has to be unplugged regularly.

My Laptop is an Asus G74S. A gaming machine. One USB3 port (fresco Controller, not Renesas.) The Utrastudio SDI had to update 2 or three times before it worked. Media Express crashed constantly.

But finally, after multiple restarts and trial and error, Premiere Pro 5.5 was able to capture 1080i59.95 video using the BlackMagic mJpeg AVI codec to an internal hard drive and was able to output NTSC-SD Video to a monitor. Couldn't figure out what kind of timeline in Premiere would send the right signal to the box for HD out to the monitor.

This was accomplised the moring of the shoot and really I was shocked when it started working just 5 minutes before the first shot.

I am using the UltraStudio SDI to capture just a few seconds of a green screen shot, then quickly key it and composite it over the prerecorded backplate so we can tweak the position of the actors.

Not sure I would want to record the whole shoot with it. It never crashed while recording, but if I don't close the capture window before clicking off to another program, when I come back it's just grey and sometimes PPro is non-responsive. Fortunately, I discovered that simply unplugging the box stops the freeze.


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David Dobson
Re: UltraStudio SDI on a Laptop
on Mar 17, 2012 at 5:07:32 pm

Days 2 and 3 started off better. But in the end, the UltraStudio SDI just wasn't worth the hassle. Almost every time I closed the capture window, it failed to connect on the next attempt to open. TO get the PPro to see the device again I would have to unplug it and plug it back in OR after even that stopped working, restart PPro. Then I could open the capture window and capture as much as i wanted, so long as I didn't do anything else (like log the shots i excel or try to edit.

However, sometimes I could. for 2 hours straight I could capture, close the window and edit and open it again or log while the window was open.

So I don't know if that means it got hot and started getting flakey or if my cell phone was to close to the box or the cable or what. I even was downloaded the updated software, 9.2 on the 16th the day it was released and managed to get the last shot of the day when I it seemed the box had finally dies on me completely.

I will be returning this item. I really hope a future version by blackmagic or someone else comes out cause this was a really great solution for usb3 laptops. And I am pretty sure it was some kind of internal crash in the box that was going on, but also, I am pretty sure my laptop didn't meet the exacting specs of the product (I certainly didn't have the correct usb3 hardware (fresco not renesas)). But given the issue I had with the Intensity Pro as well as complaints from othes, well, I think there is room for a competitor in this field.


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Tim Baldwin
Re: UltraStudio SDI on a Laptop
on Mar 20, 2012 at 3:17:15 am

We have had reasonable results with the Dell Latitude E6420 which does have the Renesas chipset and the Blackmagic USB3 devices. However, with Thunderbolt looming on Windows laptops and Thunderbolt devices from Blackmagic available and Thunderbolt PCIe expansion boxes from Magma (in which you could install Blackmagic PCIe cards), it might make sense to wait a little longer and see how things settle out.

Tim Baldwin
Kulabyte
http://www.kulabyte.com
Twitter: @kulabyte


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David Dobson
Re: UltraStudio SDI on a Laptop
on Mar 20, 2012 at 2:10:32 pm

Good to know, thanks. I guess the chip set really matters. Just wish that information had been made more clear before I purchased the box. It ought to be the first thing it says about the product.


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