At IBC in Amsterdam, Blackmagic has just announced its second Thunderbolt audio/video i/o interface, the US$299 Intensity Extreme. For about 70% less in price than Blackmagic’s first Thunderbolt product, the Intensity Extreme is also the first bus-powered a/v Thunderbolt interface, although not the first bus-powered device (since Matrox’s Thunderbolt adapter is bus-powered, but it is not an audio/video interface itself, but the connection to one). When connected with a laptop (i.e. MacBook Air or MacBook Pro), the Intensity Extreme will be powered by the laptop’s internal battery via the Thunderbolt connection. This article will describe exactly what you’ll get -and what you won’t get- if you choose the US$299 Intensity Extreme interface from Blackmagic, and its availability.
Intensity Extreme features and specs
- Compatible with Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and any QuickTime-based software application.
- HDMI video and audio capture and playback.
- Analog capture and playback in SD/HD component. In SD (NTSC/PAL), composite and Y/C (“S-Video”).
- Stereo analog audio capture and playback.
- Thunderbolt connection (end-point, so no loopability, but bus-powered, so no extra power required).
- Capture and playback using the following códecs: DV25 (8-bit), DV100 (“DVCPRO HD”) (8-bit), HDV-compliant MPEG2 (8-bit), Online JPEG (8-bit), ProRes (10-bit) and uncompressed video.
- HDMI and component analog switches between HD and SD.
- Video capture and playback with Blackmagic Media Express 3 utility.
- Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
- Includes breakout cable with RCA type connectors for analog video and audio.
What you don’t get with this inexpensive model
- No SDI
- No balanced XLR audio
- No onboard device control (Some editing software allows for device control via a serial port, USB, or even FireWire/IEEE-1394.)
- No genlock
- Less software compatibility
- As of publication time, neither the UltraStudio 3D nor the Intensity Extreme offers digital RGB-over-HDMI output for the HP DreamColor monitor. If and when Blackmagic adds this feature to either product, I will amend this article and announce it.
Availability of the Intensity Extreme
Blackamagic says that the Intensity Extreme will be available in the 4th quarter of 2011.
Please consider reading the following related articles:
- AJA announces Io XT interface with Thunderbolt at IBC in Amsterdam from September 9th, 2011
- Blackmagic delivers its first Thunderbolt-based i/o interface, the UltraStudio 3D from September 5th, 2011
- Matrox adds optional Thunderbolt connectivity to existing MXO2 family of interfaces from September 5th, 2011
- Why FCP X’s secondary monitor should be 1920×1200, not 1920×1080 from August 15, 2011
- Does Premiere CS5 achieve the “impossible dream” for critical evaluation monitoring? from July 1st, 2010
- Why should I care if my monitor shows ITU Rec.709? from December 8th, 2009
- Who is the ITU, and why should I care? from December 8th, 2009
- How to connect your HD evaluation monitor to your editing system properly: Let me count the ways! from May 23rd, 2009
- DreamColor from HP: an ideal tool for critical image evaluation from December 8th, 2009
- DreamColor converter boxes for non-compliant systems from December 8th, 2009
- DreamColor direct interfaces from December 8th, 2009
- Thunderbolt in MacBook Pro: a new era for demanding video editors who prefer laptops from February 27th, 2011
- Mac Mini w/Thunderbolt: preferred platform for many new editing systems from August 8th, 2011
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