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Capturing real time video stream from BlackMagic ATEM TV Studio through Intensity Pro into PremierePro?

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Carl Werdine
Capturing real time video stream from BlackMagic ATEM TV Studio through Intensity Pro into PremierePro?
on Nov 14, 2013 at 4:30:40 pm


I am from time to time working at a venue where they just bought a Blackmagic ATEM TV Studio which connects through an Intensity Pro, and the video stream is captured with the Media Express software. There are two options for capturing, uncompressed YUV and Motion-JPEG. The former results in a file too big for our workflow and the latter has to be transcoded into a more robust codec for archival and further post production.

I intend to use DNxHD as the codec for the master after doing tests considering degradation over several generations of encoding, file-size, future compatibility, easy handling in Premiere Pro or another NLE. It is a pain to have to first import the Motion JPEG and then transcode, a better workflow would be to have a good DNxHD, or other codec (I am not very impressed with the Motion JPEG file) to start with.

The Intensity Pro is supposed to allow you to capture video in Premiere Pro and choose a multitude of codecs. At least, when connecting a Camera directly to the card. But when selecting the Intensity in the capture settings, no matter what capture settings are selected, the message that the device is not recognized, or not ready, keeps popping up. I did close Media Express so it wouldn't address the Intensity Pro so only Premiere would address it. But obviously, without having the ATEM switcher interface running, there is no video stream coming from the ATEM and I suspect that this is the reason Premiere Pro can't access the Intensity Pro.

Has anybody tried and been successful in capturing the video stream from the ATEM into Premiere Pro? Or does anybody know if it simply can't be done?

I am afraid we need to switch to capturing on the HyperDeck Shuttle 2 as this allows you to capture in many different codecs. but it is yet another device we need to spend our limited budget on (it is really quite smart how Blackmagic keeps you needing more of their gadgets to make the workflow actually work).

Any thoughts?


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Re: Capturing real time video stream from BlackMagic ATEM TV Studio through Intensity Pro into PremierePro?
on Nov 15, 2013 at 5:52:49 pm

I have captured with the Atem series directly via USB3 and not via the Intensity card. I have tested the Intensity with Premiere many times and never had issues with it beyond a driver occasionally and the capture crashing some. However there is only DVCPro HD as an option in Premiere besides what Media Express already supports and Mjpeg is far better. Matter of fact Mjpeg is the most commonly used codec for archival because of the size to quality ratio. I am surprised that is not acceptable. I would suggest you look at Cineform if you don't like Mjpeg. Last I checked you can capture directly from Blackmagic cards into Cineform with the HDlink utility. Cineform is by far best codec option out. It's just a paid option in this scenario.

Tech Manager

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Carl Werdine
Re: Capturing real time video stream from BlackMagic ATEM TV Studio through Intensity Pro into PremierePro?
on Nov 16, 2013 at 2:06:24 pm
Last Edited By Carl Werdine on Nov 16, 2013 at 5:51:40 pm

Thanks, that is interesting. I was only the last to try to get the ATEM stream to capture in Premiere, after all failed to get it to work, but it is worth to try it directly through USB3.

When I select the Intensity in the capture setting, I could see from the pull down menu a great many codecs to choose from, I assumed they could be chosen, and not just DVCPRo, that is a bit disappointing. (EDIT: I went through it again and did see only M-JPEG, DVCPro and Uncompressed, I guess the first time I confused another setting or I was looking with my nose)

Concerning M-JPEG, we need to do some post production on the files, and I found that even the 2nd generation M-JPEG was degraded to such an extend as to not make it usable. This is using the preset in Premiere/Media Encoder. DNxHD held up much better, the 1st generation being almost identical to the original file. The weird thing is that when I encode shorter fragments the DNxHD file is smaller than the M-JPEG one, but if I encode the whole file (+/- 1 hour) the DNxHD file is bigger.

I did consider Cineform, but it is a paid option and we are running out of budget fast and we have multiple people working on the files, some privately, I can't expect everybody who offers to help out to invest in the codec. Plus not all the workstations available, including the private ones, will be powerful enough to handle the codec, as I understand it requires a fair amount of CPU to process. We are trying as much as possible to use standards that are readily available, the fact that for DNxHD an extra codec has to be installed already being an extra step we rather not have to do. It is a trade off but this is not a professional video environment and most who help out are volunteers.

If there is a way to use M-JPEG and have it not degrade as much after post production I'd be very interested as it would speed up the workflow considerably.

Thanks for the info so far!

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