HDMI capture in live multi-camera production

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Thanks to the new HDMI input interfaces like Blackmagic’s Intensity and Intensity Pro, it is feasible to connect certain HD cameras with HDMI output live to a computer, and even dissolve between them without genlock.


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Just install two Intensity (US$249 x 2) or Intensity Pro (US$349 x 2) cards into a MacPro tower computer, with Blackmagic’s included On-Air software. Compatible cameras include both HDV cameras and the new AVCHD cameras with HDMI output. This way (for live-to-disk 2-camera production), one can not only capture an “uncompressed” signal via HDMI, but also a “never-yet-compressed” signal. The only important limitation of the Blackmagic On-Air system is that you can connect a maximum of two cameras.

The Blackmagic On-Air software shows a preview image of each camera, plus a larger program image. If you activate it in the preferences, the preview image of the “on-air” camera will be surrounded by a red border, like a tally light. Also, if activated in the preferences, the program image may also be surrounded by a red border, which indicates that you are recording. The Blackmagic On-Air software allows cuts, dissolves and keys in real time.




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A similar piece of software called BoinxTV works with the same pair of Intensity or Intensity Pro cards, although is aimed at video webcasting or video podcasting. BoinxTV is not limited to HDMI capture. It can also work with HDV cameras over IEEE-1394 as long as they have progressive modes. I will publish a complete article about BoinxTV soon.

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Allan Tépper

Allan Tépper

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.