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vedcom  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1:22:44 PM(UTC)
vedcom

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Dear all,

I'm having conflicting information about blackmagic Intensity Pro capture cards; the Vmix developper is using 3 Intensity Pro in his computer to support 3 live sources and recording at 1080p ( http://www.vmix.com.au/supported-hardware.aspx )

I have been in contact with blackmagic techsupport and here is the reply I got from them:

"I don't think the intensity pros would work, because each one thinks it is the only card in the machine. So, they would not be able to be allocated to different duties.

However, it is possible to use multiple Blackmagic Decklink cards in 1 system, as the driver supports this. The Decklink cards can do that.
However you will need software that is designed to work with multiple Blackmagic cards. Our standard supported software, such as Blackmagic Media Express, is only designed to use 1 capture card at a time.
When installing multiple cards, there is no way to tell Media Express which card to capture or playback from, as the software is only designed for 1 card. This is also common to other applications such as Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. Software from companies such a Softron or Tools On Air are designed specifically to use multiple Blackmagic cards.
"

Maybe using their Media Express software has some limitations, but my understanding is that VMix can use multiple Intensity Pro. I'm ready to buy a Decklink x4 to capture my 3 videosources, but it is more expensive.

Thanks for clarifying; I was about to order this morning when their anwser...

Best regards
François
Steadirob  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, October 30, 2012 11:21:37 PM(UTC)
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Having used a Decklink Duo and now a Decklink Quad, I can confirm that the Media Express application does what BMD says, however it is possible to run multiple instances of Media Express, if you intall the second instance on another disk.
After that you still have to carefully select which channel is activated by which instance and where it saves the files under what name.

At the moment I am using the Quad and have seen no problems, using for instance 2x Sony EX-3, 1 x Red Epic-X and 1x Arri Alexa at the same time.
If there is any problem with the input in vMix, you has to go back to the Media Express application and check the settings there. If those are not conform the input signal, the capture screen will be black. If there is an image in ME, then there is an image in vMix.

Rob
vedcom  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 6:48:30 AM(UTC)
vedcom

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Hello Rob,

Thanks for your answer. If I understand you correctly, if I'm using a Quad capture card, I will be able to capture my 3 video feeds with one instance of Media Express loaded, but if I want to use 3 Intensity Pro, I would need 3 hard disks and run 3 instances of Media express???

Since I'm planning to use Vmix for my live broadcast, do I still need Media Express, or do I need it only to setup the card. Sorry for the questions, being new to "video capturing" and needing to order my equipment today (tomorrow at the latest).

At first I wanted to play safe and use a similar setup as the one used by VMix dev tech (3 Intensity Pro) but I'm unsure after BMD answer.

Any additional confirmation/clarification would be appreciated

Best regards
François

admin  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 7:57:47 AM(UTC)
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I thought I would add the following information and clarify a couple of things:

1. I can verify using 3 intensity pros in vMix works fine. I have heard reports of 4 and 5 working as well.
The biggest limitation here is the number of *dedicated* PCI Express slots available as many motherboards manufacturers
combine or share these slots with various other on board devices which can cause problems.
This is less of an issue with the latest 7 series intel motherboards but still something to keep in mind.

2. I am currently using a DeckLink Quad for vMix testing in the lab. This requires a single PCI-Express x4 and as a result
avoids the issues above and is therefore the recommended option if you can afford it.

3. Media Express can only use a single card at a time. This applies to both Intensity Pro or DeckLink.
This is based on the intended function of Media Express and has nothing to do with limitations in the hardware itself.

What I think Steadirob has suggested is you can use Media Express on each camera input one by one to make sure the picture is working
from each camera, once you know all the connections are working and the format worked out then you can begin using them in vMix all at once.

I hope this all makes sense!

Regards,

Martin
vMix

vedcom  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:41:50 AM(UTC)
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Martin,

That's exactly the "reassuring" answer I was looking for. The Quad + 3 mini HDMI - SDI converters is a lot more expensive than 3 Intensity Pro...($600 vs $2100)

I will probably give it a try with 3 Intensity Pro since I will use a new motherboard and i7 processor, cost difference being important, I will try to have the possibility to return the Intensity in case it doesn't work as expected.

Once again, many thanks.
François
Steadirob  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:45:20 AM(UTC)
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François, I think I did not make it clear enough in my explanation and you misunderstood:

When opening the Media Express program, you will see in the top menu the choice between the available inputs, for the Duo 2 inputs, for the Quad 4 inputs.
You have then to choose which input to activate, meaning you can only record 1 input at a time. The corresponding output will then also work ( loop-through during recording or as play-back output.

If you require 2 ( or more) inputs to record simultanuosly, you need to start a second version of the Media Express, one that you have installed on a different disk ( not the c-drive) and select there that 2nd input.

There is a problem however: unlike say VLC, the ME windows are not scalable so you cannot have 2 ME windows open on 1 desktop.
The second ME must go to another screen (extended desktop) and you have to mouse from screen to screen to work them.....
Annoying. I have never tried 3 or 4 ME windows at the same time, too much hassle.

VMix is the only program that I tested that opens all inputs at the same time without problem.

I hope this explanation is clear.

Rob
Steadirob  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:47:47 AM(UTC)
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François, I think I did not make it clear enough in my explanation and you misunderstood:

When opening the Media Express program, you will see in the top menu the choice between the available inputs, for the Duo 2 inputs, for the Quad 4 inputs.
You have then to choose which input to activate, meaning you can only record 1 input at a time. The corresponding output will then also work ( loop-through during recording or as play-back output.

If you require 2 ( or more) inputs to record simultanuosly, you need to start a second version of the Media Express, one that you have installed on a different disk ( not the c-drive) and select there that 2nd input.

There is a problem however: unlike say VLC, the ME windows are not scalable so you cannot have 2 ME windows open on 1 desktop.
The second ME must go to another screen (extended desktop) and you have to mouse from screen to screen to work them.....
Annoying. I have never tried 3 or 4 ME windows at the same time, too much hassle.

VMix is the only program that I tested that opens all inputs at the same time without problem.

I hope this explanation is clear.

Rob
watchfulone  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:33:16 PM(UTC)
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admin wrote:
I thought I would add the following information and clarify a couple of things:

1. I can verify using 3 intensity pros in vMix works fine. I have heard reports of 4 and 5 working as well.
The biggest limitation here is the number of *dedicated* PCI Express slots available as many motherboards manufacturers
combine or share these slots with various other on board devices which can cause problems.
This is less of an issue with the latest 7 series intel motherboards but still something to keep in mind.

2. I am currently using a DeckLink Quad for vMix testing in the lab. This requires a single PCI-Express x4 and as a result
avoids the issues above and is therefore the recommended option if you can afford it.

3. Media Express can only use a single card at a time. This applies to both Intensity Pro or DeckLink.
This is based on the intended function of Media Express and has nothing to do with limitations in the hardware itself.

What I think Steadirob has suggested is you can use Media Express on each camera input one by one to make sure the picture is working
from each camera, once you know all the connections are working and the format worked out then you can begin using them in vMix all at once.

I hope this all makes sense!

Regards,

Martin
vMix



When is say vMix is the best trust me vMix is the best
watchfulone  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, October 31, 2012 10:05:04 PM(UTC)
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admin wrote:
I thought I would add the following information and clarify a couple of things:

1. I can verify using 3 intensity pros in vMix works fine. I have heard reports of 4 and 5 working as well.
The biggest limitation here is the number of *dedicated* PCI Express slots available as many motherboards manufacturers
combine or share these slots with various other on board devices which can cause problems.
This is less of an issue with the latest 7 series intel motherboards but still something to keep in mind.

2. I am currently using a DeckLink Quad for vMix testing in the lab. This requires a single PCI-Express x4 and as a result
avoids the issues above and is therefore the recommended option if you can afford it.

3. Media Express can only use a single card at a time. This applies to both Intensity Pro or DeckLink.
This is based on the intended function of Media Express and has nothing to do with limitations in the hardware itself.

What I think Steadirob has suggested is you can use Media Express on each camera input one by one to make sure the picture is working
from each camera, once you know all the connections are working and the format worked out then you can begin using them in vMix all at once.

I hope this all makes sense!

Regards,

Martin
vMix



Have you ever tried using 2 or 3 Decklink Quad Cards? I'm just thinking what vMix must be capable of doing.
vedranius  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, July 3, 2013 8:05:48 PM(UTC)
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Hi all!
I'm wondering how did you got this working?
As right now I'm trying to set this up on Windows 8.
First I've installed Intensity Pro and later I tried to install DeckLink SDI, but only one would work and get recognized by windows. I tried everything but only one would show in BlackMagic's Control Panel...
Any idea how can I get both cards working in the same time?
Thank you! Plz help ASAP! :)
Egriswold  
#11 Posted : Thursday, July 4, 2013 9:35:16 AM(UTC)
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vedranius,
If you haven't done so . You need to uninstall Intensity Pro drivers then install Decklink SDI drivers they will take care of both cards.
h2video.nl  
#12 Posted : Sunday, July 7, 2013 7:42:42 AM(UTC)
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hi francois,

just to add t o the discussion.

if it is about budget, just notice bm will have a cheaper input card only out soon. about 100 us... furthermore there are alternaives like avermedia card that are not as demanding as the bm and also work ok.

i have two bm intensity in one computer and as martin pointed out i can not use the two pci e 1x slots together, they only work on the x16 and one of the x1 slots. i can use them together with two bm shuttles on two separate usb ports ( back and front port - because of the same sharing limitation).

if you use separate cards it is easier to combine and exchange on different machines.

last point: also have enough power installed in the computer you pick.

good luck
stefan
macjaeger  
#13 Posted : Sunday, July 7, 2013 4:33:18 PM(UTC)
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h2video.nl wrote:
just notice bm will have a cheaper input card only out soon. about 100 us...

Do you have more information on this card?
h2video.nl  
#14 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2013 3:23:35 AM(UTC)
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hello macjaeger, it's called the decklink mini recorder (hdmi and hd sdi input only) listed as 145 us on the site of bm design.com.

in holland it is priced 139 euro inc 21% vat. see http://www.videobewerken...kLink-Mini-Recorder.html

it is a small card so it fits in a low profile casing.

it will be available soon and i will check it out. presumably it has the same hign demand on resources as comparable bm cards, which requires you to have a good look at the board and pci slots you are planning to use if you want to install more than 2.

especially the option to use hd sdi input, in combination with a hdmi sdi converter gives more options using a high end consumer camera in combination with long distances using standard cables and keep budgets in control. this combination is cheaper tha a cube.

if you know of any afordable camera with sdi out please let me know.
greetings
stefan
macjaeger  
#15 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2013 7:34:38 AM(UTC)
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Thank you for the information!

I might add a blackmagic cinema camera to our set, so that SDI-in might come in handy in the future - yet probably it's only going to be a blackmagic pocket camera, then hdmi will suffice.
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