Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by UTball, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. UTball macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    Does anyone have the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI card installed in their MAC PRO and are capturing HD video from their camcorder? I am going to purchase a MAC PRO on thursday and was going to buy this as well since it is such a cheap alternative to an HD canopus.

    And then also if you are using it, if you are sending a signal out to an external display at the same time as capturing it to your computer.

    I am going to be purchasing a MAC PRO Octo 2.66 with 12gb of ram and 3TB of hard drive space. So my computer should be able to handle importing HD video.
  2. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Yes, it should work fine - however, whatever compression that happened on your camcorder will still be apparent on the video footage, since it already happened while the camera was capturing video.

    Also, your camera should have come with its own importing equipment - nowadays its USB which is slooooow, so the Intensity could save you some time depending on your camera's format - what HD camcorder do you have?

    Furthermore, to record uncompressed video, you will need to have a RAID of two hard discs, maybe three, to support the massive throughput - otherwise you will have dropped frames. It doesn't matter so much about space, but more about throughput.

    Not to mention it captures in 1080i at most, AFAIK.

    Also, it cannot capture signels that are HDCP protected - meaning that your camcorder/non-HDCP-protected-video can be captured, but stuff out of your cable box cannot.

    And finally, yes, it has an HDMI-in port and an HDMI-out port for using a broadcast monitor to see what you are capturing. I have an Intensity, but oddly enough, it doesn't work with the G5 (kext is Intel-only, as I found out). But since the Mac Pro is Intel, it should work just fine.
  3. hyram macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    It really depends on what you need it for. If you're just going to use it to ingest footage already recorded then don't bother.... use firewire. But if you're going to use it for in a live capture situation then it works quite well. And if you have the right camcorder you can by-pass the internal compression and record directly from the sensor. I do this with my rather old (now) HV20, I imagine the new Canon's would work even better. Not sure about other brands but bet they'll do the same. If you're looking for something more versatile then look at the HDLink, or stuff from Aja or Matrox.

  4. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    Sorry, not trying to derail the thread here, but I own this card and have some questions...

    I've been able to capture:

    PlayStation 3 (over component) - in 480i, 720p and 1080i
    Dreamcast (over composite) - in 480i

    This weekend I tried capturing older game console footage, and all I get is a quick image flicker and that's it. Anyone know why it might be doing this?

    These things don't work:

    Sega Saturn (over composite)
    N64 (over composite)
    PlayStation 3 (over composite) - in 480p
    Dreamcast (over VGA -> component cable) - in 480p

    So I guess I understand the card doesn't support 480p, but the Sega Saturn and N64 should work fine in "NTSC" capture mode, since they work fine in a TV and that's "NTSC" and the Dreamcast works fine as well.

    Any ideas?
  5. hyram macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    Sorry, can't help. I hope someone else can. I have the original Intensity (non-pro) so HDMI only for me.

  6. Gymnut macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2003
    If you're ingesting from your camera, then yes you're relegated to whatever codec is being used, but if your camera has HDMI out, like the Canon HV20/30/40, you can bypass the HDV compression by being tethered to the BM Intensity card.
  7. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    I believe Hyram also made this point. Once again, it all depends on the camcorder, must be recorded live (a slight set of hassles), and the OP hasn't bothered to post his particular camera in this thread.
  8. UTball thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    I am sorry...I am in college and school has been a hassle the last day or two.

    I have a Canon HG 20. I know that I can just copy the files over from USB but I was more looking for a live capture if ever I needed to capture live.
  9. UTball thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2009
    Just so you know. I went to the Apple store today to order my MAC PRO and I asked them about this card and they told me that they did not sell them in the store (which I figured).

    But then when I asked if when my computer came in could I get this installed on my computer they told me that they would not install it in store. I understand that it is a simple install, but I thought that it was crazy that the ONLY HDMI card sold on the apple website is not covered under apple care to get installed in the store. I think that that is unacceptable!!
  10. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    I think it's expected to be a user-serviced part.

    No offense, but it's a reasonable expectation. Tasks as complicated as video editing that require a tool as specialized as a capture card demand a user who knows what he's doing. It's not difficult to install a PCIe card and  warranties don't cover it.  only warranties and services what they sell and manufacture, which, again, is reasonable.
  11. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Well, I've been searching around, trying to see if the HG series of camcorders has the same feature as the HV series (in uncompressed live capture), but I've been unfruitful :( Also, if you don't have it, you should need a mini-HDMI to HDMI (don't quote me on that, you can see the connectors). But yes, you can capture live, just realise you may want to stripe two HDDs for uncompressed resolution.

    Well, unfortunatly that's the way the world works. I got screwed over by the Intel-only kext. In other news, installation seems pretty easy. There's an installer for the driver, and to install the card the process is relatively simple.

    MacPro (or PC)
    Intensity Card

    1. Open Mac Pro
    2. Unscrew the screw holding in the expansion shield, and remove.
    3. Insert Intensity Card, and screw into place. Preferably in the top PCIe x4 lane (don't want to use up the extra x16 if possible).
    4. Close Mac Pro.

    Also, isn't the card warrantied by BlackMagic?

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