Blackmagic: We’re ready to remove the Band-Aid!

If you agree, please sign the online petition requesting the required updates.


Despite years of diplomatic prodding on my part, both via articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine and private emails, Blackmagic has still avoided and postponed offering RGB on its HDMI outputs. [If you’ve read my articles regarding HP DreamColor connectivity, you already know that the DreamColor engine demands digital RGB (not YUV/component) and true progressive (not interlaced or even PsF).] As a result, until Blackmagic updates their products (hopefully via a firmware and software update), you’ll have to spend an additional US$495 for an HDLink Pro 3D DisplayPort which will take the SDI signal from either the DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card or the UltraStudio 3D external interface. And that also means an additional SDI cable, an additional power supply, an additional power outlet, and having to make additional adjustments in another device. If you agree, please sign the online petition I’ve created.

The last time I contacted Blackmagic about this issue was less than a month ago, just after NAB in April 2012. The answer I received from Blackmagic’s USA public relations department via email was that it would only offer RGB over HDMI “at 1080p60” and from an RGB/4:4:4 timeline as a source. As you probably know, 1080p60.000 is a non-standard signal, since standard progressive signals include :

  • 1080p23.976
  • 1080p24.000
  • 1080p25
  • 1080p29.97
  • 1080p50
  • 1080p59.94

It is certainly possible that Blackmagic’s public relations department (or their internal source) was simply rounding 59.94 to 60 when responding to me. Even so, we really want to send the exact matching framerate of the timeline to the monitor. We don’t want it cross-converted to 59.94 or 60.000 when the timeline is at one of the other framerates. And although everything in a grading program may be transcoded to RGB upon import, that’s not typically the case with video editing software. As stated in several prior articles, AJA and Matrox have all added this capability, which transcodes the YUV (component) to RGB on-the-fly when necessary after the user has selected to force RGB on the HDMI output. I have no idea whether Blackmagic is avoiding adding this digital RGB-over-HDMI feature to the DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card and the UltraStudio 3D on purpose to force us to buy the additional US$495 “Band-Aid” (the HDLink Pro 3D DisplayPort), whether they have simply been busy with other things, or whether it has been an oversight.

Why do I like the HP DreamColor so much?

The short answer is because the HP DreamColor is by far the lowest cost LCD critical evaluation monitor with the following included:

  • Beyond CRT gamut
  • Color temperature set by adjusting LED backlight, not by manipulating the video signal
  • Inexpensive dedicated colorimeter with software for Mac & Windows (both from HP) and for Linux (open source version)
  • ITU-R Rec.601 color space for SD video
  • ITU-R Rec.709 color space for HD video
  • DCI P3 color space for digital cinema
  • Adobe RGB
  • sRGB
  • Custom profiles for atypical client situations
  • For pro video applications, all profiles are stored in the monitor, not in the computer
  • IPS (In Plane Switching) panel = extremely high contrast ratio even at very indirect angles (off-axis)
  • Matte panel (not reflective)
  • True 30-bit (10-bit per each subpixel x3) panel, which means full color, and no banding or dithering
  • Very low black level (CRT class)

For the long answer, see the links to related articles at the end of this article.


Please sign the petition for Blackmagic to update this via firmware & software

I have created an online petition. Please click here to sign it to ask Blackmagic Design to add the necessary update to these products, and to others if possible.


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Related Thunderbolt articles

Related DreamColor articles


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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…

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