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Blackmagic Design introduces DeckLink HD Extreme, MultiBridge Pro and Blackmagic On-Air

Grant Petty’s Blackmagic Design have been releasing and updating products at a frightening pace and this NAB is no exception, with three new products that set new levels of price/performance and innovation.

DeckLink HD Extreme

DeckLink HD Extreme is similar to Blackmagic Design’s original DeckLink Extreme SD card in features but with a completely new design using technology from their Multibridge Extreme, adopting the higher quality 14 bit digital to analog conversion on output.

The DeckLink HD Extreme replaces all models of the DeckLink HD family, without 4:4:4 support. For PCI-X customers or those needing 4:4:4 Blackmagic Design are keeping the DeckLink HD Pro 4:4:4 models. The SD-only card range remains for those needing PCI or PCIe support in SD only.

The HD Extreme switches between HD and SD SDI input and dual SD/HD SDI outputs which can be used as fill and key when using their LiveKey application. DeckLink HD Extreme also includes 12 bit analog video in, to complement the 14 bit analog video out. The analog video connections can be independently switched to component (YUV) or composite NTSC/PAL and now S-Video. When using component (YUV) video, the analog connections will switch between high definition and standard definition.

Audio is catered for with 2 channels of analog balanced audio in and out via XLR connectors as well as 2 channel AES/EBU digital audio in and out via unbalanced BNC connectors. The AES is also S/PDIF compatible if you want to connect to consumer equipment. The DeckLink HD Extreme retails at only US$995, and it’s available immediately – if you’re at NAB you can even buy it from resellers on the show floor!

Multibridge Pro

Multibridge Pro is the entry level item in the Multibridge product line and is a replacement for our Multibridge HD and Multibridge SD models, which are now discontinued but you get an HD-capable product for the price of the older SD model. Multibridge Pro is PCI Express connected, so you can use it as a capture playback solution or unplug it from the computer to use it as a standalone bi-directional converter.

Multibridge Pro is very similar to Multibridge Extreme, without the expensive 2K film features, that are not needed by most video users lowering the cost. Multibridge Pro also has more connections than the DeckLink HD Extreme PCIe plug in card, so its a nice solution for people who want more power in video, but don’t do feature films. It’s also a break-out box style of capture/playback solution when connected to a computer via PCI Express, so will be popular with people who like a break-out box style solutions.

Multibridge Pro switches between high definition and standard definition video, and features a single SD/HD-SDI input, and dual SD/HD-SDI outputs, which can be used as two outputs. Multibridge Pro also includes 12 bit analog video in, and incredible 14 bit analog to digital video conversion out. The analog video connections can be independently switched to component (YUV) or composite NTSC/PAL and now S-Video. When using component (YUV) video, the analog connections will switch between high definition and standard definition.

Audio’s covered with 2 channels of analog balanced audio in and out via XLR connectors, as well as 4 channels of AES/EBU digital audio in and out with each input featuring sample rate converters. Multibridge Pro also features 2 channel unbalanced audio out for HiFi monitoring, and is a compact 1 rack unit in size.

Multibridge Pro retails for only US$1,595, and will be available about 2 weeks after NAB. It should be remembered that Multibridge Pro can be used as a stand-alone converter and in that role costs less than most converter-only products.

It’s complete, and we are just waiting for more parts for production to start.

Multibridge Pro is a replacement for our Multibridge HD and Multibridge SD< models, which are now discontinued. The advantage is you get a HD product at a similar price to the older standard definition model. You also get similar features to the older HD model, but with PCI Express built in, so you can use it for editing without purchasing an SDI card, plus you have the added benefit built-in HDMI monitoring and AES sample rate converters. Of course there will still be more software updates for the Multibridge HD and Multibridge SD models, even though they are now discontinued.

We hope that with all these powerful features, Multibridge Pro should be incredibly popular as a converter, even if you don’t need to use the PCI Express feature for capture and playback. Most other converters cost over $2,000 just for digital to analog conversion, while Multibridge Pro converts from digital to analog, and analog to digital at the same time, with AES digital and analog audio support, and HDMI video and RCA audio monitoring out. It’s incredible value for only US$1,595.

It’s been our dream to allow a multi function converter to be mass produced so it can have lower cost than more simple converters, while including extra features such as analog and digital audio, HDMI and PCI Express, so it becomes so much more.

Blackmagic On-Air

Blackmagic On-Air a new mixing software tool for use with Multibridge Extreme for live mixing between two cameras – two HD cameras if you want. Blackmagic On-Air is a perfect companion for Canon’s XL-H1 or JVC’s GY-HD250U with HD-SDI outputs.

Blackmagic On-Air uses a standard Multibridge Extreme model that has spare processing power and two SDI inputs. Blackmagic On-Air is a simple software update and will mix between the two SDI inputs, a graphic, and black video. It uses a large window that incorporates both camera views, and the program mix view in real time. There are actually three streams of video coming back over the PCI Express to the computer, so you’ll need a powerful computer to run this.

There’s a lot more about the new On-Air product at the Blackmagic Design website but it’s important to note that it’s not only an ‘on computer’ switcher but record to disk is a single button-click. If you have Final Cut Pro HD installed, you can capture to the DVCPRO HD codec, so you don’t need to use a bulky disk array for HD recording.

Blackmagic On-Air will be included free in the next major software release for the Multibridge family, which will be v5.6 due early May. Initially Blackmagic On-Air will be Mac OS X only, and will be ported to Windows as soon as possible.

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