If you don’t recall, back in 2015, Blackmagic announced its Video Assist, a monitor/recorder. At NAB 2017, Blackmagic announced its firmware updates for its Video Assist to add multilingual support for 10 languages and new scopes, including waveform, RGB parade, vectorscope and histogram which can be viewed full screen. The exact 10 languages are listed by Blackmagic, but yet unclear, as you’ll see ahead, together with the yet undetermined PsF and reverse telecine capability.
The Blackmagic press release lists the following, with my comment just after in parenthesis:
- “Chinese” (presumably Mandarin)
- “Spanish” (presumably Castilian, aka castellano)
I wrote those comments in parenthesis since there are several Chinese and at least four Spanish languages recognized in Part 3 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, including Castilian, Catalán, Basque (Euskera with multiple accepted spellings) and Galician. Since I have published several books about this topic, I am quite anxious to get a clarification from Blackmagic. When Blackmagic responds, I’ll update this article.
The new scopes make the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model perfect for live production monitoring, as a portable test scope for broadcasters, and even for balancing color when color grading using the RGB parade scope.
Pending question regarding removal of pulldown from PsF and telecine over HDMI
Back in 2015, when Blackmagic first released the Video Assist, I asked whether it could remove pulldown from PsF and telecine over HDMI (29.97p-over–59.94i, 25p-over–50i, and 23.976p-over–59.94i) before recording. The answer then was: “No, but we are looking into it.” Back in 2015, nearly all HDMI cameras unfortunately output PsF and telecine exclusively. Although there are now some new HDMI cameras that can output pure progressive at certain framerates, there are still many more that can unfortunately still only output PsF and telecine. At least three other manufacturers offer solutions to remove pulldown and PsF in their products before recording, as I have covered in many past articles. I have reiterated my question to Blackmagic. When I receive the response, I’ll either update this article or publish another.
Availability and price
The Blackmagic Video Assist 2.4 update is available now from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all current Blackmagic Video Assist and Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers. Blackmagic Video Assist 2.5, which will support scopes on the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model should be available in June 2017.
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