User Tools

Site Tools


connect_cameras_using_a_blackmagic_ultra_studio_mini_recorder

To connect a HDMI or SDI camera via Thunderbolt, the Blackmagic Design Ultra Studio Mini Recorder is a great and inexpensive device to get the Job done. After installing the Blackmagic Desktop Video drivers and rebooting the Mac, first go to System preferences and find the “Blackmagic Design” pane. Select the input you are planning to use here.

Next up, find “Blackmagic Media Express” in your applications folder. We'll use this application to determine if the box actually sees your camera. Before you start Media Express, make sure you have set your camera to progressive mode, since BoinxTV only works in progressive mode. Most cameras have the possibility to be set to progressive (or 25p/30p) mode. Please refer to your cameras manual for details. Now launch Media Express and first switch to log and capture. If you can already see your cameras video, simply remember the resolution setting you see in the bottom left.
If you don't see the video yet, go to the Media Express preferences by clicking “Media Express” in the menubar and then select “Preferences” or press “⌘ + ,” on your keyboard. In the preferences, select another resolution and framerate from the first dropdown and close the preferences window. If necessary repeat this step until you see video from your camera. As soon as you see the video image, remember the setting you are at (bottom left). If you don't see the cameras video at any setting, please check the cabling and your cameras settings. If you don't get the camera working in Media Express, you won't in BoinxTV either. At this point we have no control of the outcome yet.
Close Media Express and open BoinxTV. Select your template and go down to the sources panel. Make sure you have a layer enabled that shows the source you are about to modify. Select the source you want to assign the camera connected to the Mini Recorder to. From the device dropdown select the camera that represents the resolution you remembered from Media Express. Always choose the 8-bit version unless you have a very specific reason not to. NEVER simply choose the device simply called “Blackmagic”, it will not deliver any video.
If Media Express recognized your camera e.g. as 1080p30, you'll notice that there is no such choice in BoinxTV. Don't worry, simply double the framerate and choose the according i-version instead. So instead of 1080p30, choose 1080i60. It will still deliver progressive frames. For 1080p25 it will be 1080i50 instead. Now you should be able to see your cameras video.
Troubleshooting: Sometime BoinxTV is unable to see your cameras video feed. In this case, unplug the Mini Recorder from its Thunderbolt cable. Save your BoinxTV changes and quit BoinxTV. Now reconnect the Mini Recorder and start BoinxTV again. In rare occasions it took us 3 cycles of the prior steps to resolve the issue. So far we haven't come across a standard HDMI camera that didn't work with the Mini Recorder and BoinxTV.

connect_cameras_using_a_blackmagic_ultra_studio_mini_recorder.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/14 01:58 by bastian