Blackmagic Design Forum
Universal CCU
Universal CCU
by Jim Cunningham on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:40:18 pm

BM now has a camera, switchers, camera/studio converters(optical w/ intercom & tally). What seems to be missing is a way to remotely shade a camera w/out a triax type system. LANC control might be employed for start/stop/iris, but is anyone thinking (or is it even practical) to consider striping out the RGB in an SDI stream and adjusting color balance remotely? Is BM considering something like this to complete there systems?

Sony has a Nipros system for the EX3s, and I believe JVC has some sort of system, but typically these systems cost 3x as much as the cameras. Is this a technology that anyone is considering?


Re: Universal CCU
by Shaun Roemich on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:46:31 pm

I'm looking at the Terranex to do that for me, without White Balance and Iris and gain control... More like a classic Time Base Corrector than a CCU though... Fine for shading, more or less.

Don't think there is anything UNIVERSAL that would act as a true CCU across camera lines and brands...

Big Dog - Technical Director - Switcher
Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC Canada

Re: Universal CCU
by Tom Bassford on Jun 3, 2012 at 2:17:17 pm

Personally I'd simply like someone to produce a low cost (sub £5000) studio camera system.

The large sensor trend has proven that you can get decent (well acceptable anyway) images for not so much money. But the interconnectivity we need for multicam simply isn't an option until you have £20,000 per camera budgets.

Could we not have a split head system with a fibre link between head and base station? Ideally with a small 3 chip head with a B2 mount and opticon output which links to a 1u rackmount brain with knobs for the basic CCU commands (iris, colour balance, gain, pedestal etc)

I don't see why this is not already in production by someone? Come on Blackmagic this type of camera is now the only missing link in the low cost live production environment.

Re: Universal CCU
by Matt Drabick on Jun 4, 2012 at 12:22:58 pm

Jim, the Blackmagic ATEM line-up and other equipment makes for a powerful set-up. Call me with any questions you may have.

Matt Drabick,
DigiTek Systems (Blackmagic dealer)
Raleigh, NC
919 790 5488

Re: Universal CCU
by Mike Squires on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:49:59 pm

FYI, currently, the new BM camera isn't compatible with their ATEM switchers.

Re: Universal CCU
by Patrick Sproule on Jun 5, 2012 at 10:30:39 am

We built a small 6 camera OB truck a few years ago and we ended up going all JVC 251's, but running up Camplex hybrid fibre / copper rather than JVC's multicore for extended cable lengths. While we used JVC's CCU panels, it is possible to buy some alternative generic branded panels that supposedly can talk to a variety of cameras. Most of the camera CCU remotes are simply RS232 or RS422 bi-directional comms so it shouldn't have been too hard for BMD to add that to their camera convertor system. But sadly they didn't. Maybe the variation in bitrates, connectors and so on would have made it too difficult.

I dont think adding a proc amp after the camera is the right way to do it though.


Re: Universal CCU
by Tom Bassford on Jun 6, 2012 at 11:08:18 pm

Have you specifically tested that Mike? or are you reposting the speculation from ?

AFAIK the camera is not in production yet, and the specs are blackmagic specs so they could well be completely different to the actual spec of the product on release (and in turn the first couple of firmware updates may add or remove a whole load of stuff)

I would not believe too much of what BMD sales tell you, often the subtleties between things such as 25p and 20PsF are way too technical for them to have any hope of understanding!

Re: Universal CCU
by Mike Squires on Jun 6, 2012 at 11:32:35 pm

I'm going by what a BMD tech told me. (btw, I go by taz291819 over on

The tech told me that it currently isn't compatible, but it is a highly requested feature, and that their engineers are looking into it.

Though, I do agree with you, the tech may not have known what he was talking about.

Re: Universal CCU
by Tom Bassford on Jun 8, 2012 at 10:18:51 pm


It's confusing everyone having 2 names! I won't bore you with the conversation again as we covered it all on