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Blackmagic Design i/o cards



Blackmagic Design have been producing a range of i/o card for many years and also produce other video hardware like hard drive recorders and Cinema cameras.

Their devices range from a simply card that just adds HDMI and SDI output to a system all the way to 4K cards with every input and output you need.  The devices interface with the computer either by an internal PCIe card, USB3 or Thunderbolt..  Below you will see the kind of connection used in the title of the product.

Blackmagic devices support the greatest variety of programs and are generally the cheapest cards available. 



Program support with Blackmagic

Blackmagic cards work with more varieties of software than any other make of card:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro (on both Mac and PC). With the advent of the Mercury Transmit Engine with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Blackmagic cards almost perform the same with Premiere as other cards.  With previous versions of Premiere Pro using a Blackmagic card would deteriorate the performance of Premiere. Not so with CS6 and above.  This has removed many of the advantages which did exist if using a Matrox card; Matrox have now stopped producing i/o devices and have not written any Windows 10 drivers for their MXO2 range. Blackmagic cards are also supported in Adobe Encore and After Effects.
  • Grading programs - Adobe Speedgrade and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve: Adobe Speedgrade CC is currently supported by Blackmagic cards, CS6 is not. Blackmagic cards also work with their own grading program, DaVinci Resolve, and are the only cards that do work with Resolve.  All Blackmagic cards are supported by Resolve.  When comparing which device to use with your editing program this is sometimes the final thing which would sway you towards using Blackmagic over other companies' devices.  For example, if editing in Avid you have the choice of many cards, including Matrox & AJA, but since a lot of grading is done in DaVinci then choose the Blackmagic and get output from both Resolve and Avid.  The free version of DaVinci Resolve is very capable, can grade footage up to Ultra HD (3840x2160) and is not limited in any way.
  • Sony Vegas- Blackmagic wrote support for Vegas 9 into their drivers and Sony have kept this going in all subsequent versions.  You can even get 3D output from the Vegas timeline although we have never successfully been able to get proper frame interleave full HD 3D using any Blackmagic card.  YOU cannot output greater than HD resolutions with Vegas on ANY Blackmagic card. Click here to read more about Sony Vegas and see specs of typical DVC bespoke editing systems.
  • Grass Valley EDIUS - One of the major features of EDIUS Pro 7 is that it gave full support to a range of Blackmagic devices - both for input and output. This is also included in EDIUS 8, of course.  This means we can get output from EDIUS in all resolutions up to 4K (the latter using the UltraStudio 4K).  This support is written by Grass Valley, not Blackmagic, which means it is very stable and that Blackmagic cards now support all the same formats and options as Grass Valley cards.
  • Avid Media Composer - From Media Composer 6 upwards Blackmagic cards now will capture and playback with Avid Media Composer. You have access to all the standard Avid codecs and the devices work from within Media Composer - just like AJA and Matrox. The only devices which do not work well with Avid are Blackmagic's USB3 devices like the Intensity Shuttle and Ultra Studio Pro.
  • Final Cut Pro 7 & X - Apple's editing program supports the Blackmagic cards and as well as capture into Blackmagic formats you can also capture intoApple Pro Res.  Like Vegas, FCP performs exactly the same with a Blackmagic card installed meaning it is a great way to add cheap i/o to FCP.



In addition to adding extra i/o Blackmagic cards have a couple of extra programs.  The first is a stand-alone capture program which can be used to capture into uncompressed, Blackmagic's motion JPEG format, and some uncompressed image formats.  Also, when used on an Apple Mac, some of the cards have a program that let you overlay graphics on live video or even mix between pictures playing on two cards in the same machine.

Click here to read more about these features.

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