Blackmagic Intensity Extreme and Thunderbolt

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by orgazmojedi, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. orgazmojedi macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    Been searching around the web and waiting to try and find a solution to the Target display mode nosense with Thunderbolt and came across this;

    Blackmagic Intensity extreme

    Now I know its a capture device and for now lets ignore the high price tag but...

    I am looking at putting my xbox through this and using the iMac as the monitor (as you could in target display mode of ye olde good times).
    In the past I wouldn't even consider it because of the obvious lag that would occur but with such high speeds that TB can handle...

    1) Could you use this in full screen mode without lag just as a viewer, even if it is through the BM software?

    2) If I started to capture as well would this slow down the viewer if the answer to Q1 is yes?

    If this is a straight no chance has anyone found something else that might do it?

  2. intermedial macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    I recently got one of these cards so let me tell you what you can do with it:

    Right now I have my Xbox/PlayStation connected to my MacBook Air i5 through a Lacie 2big and Thunderbolt display (it has to be an end-of-chain device since the BME has only one thunderbolt port).

    The BME passes through the picture from my Xbox into my Mac and to my HDTV (it has an HDMI input, and the output just sends whatever the input is -- it doesn't let you use your HDTV as a display for the Mac itself) -- I can game just fine while it captures video onto my drive. I have even connected my DSLR and my PC tower to the BME, capturing just fine from them all both to my drive and to Telestream/Ustream. If there is any lag, then it's not enough to notice.

    While you can see what's coming out from the Xbox in the preview window of the Blackmagic software, it's definitely not large enough to game with. You can't have it fullscreen either, and the capture software doesn't preview the audio either. So no, the BME is not a workaround for target display mode, but it's a nifty little device, truly amazing for anyone that wants to record their gameplay and great for people who want to broadcast it live.
  3. macuser1232 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2012
  4. orgazmojedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Cheers guys. Thanks for responses.

    I think I will wait and see what else comes out in the future for thunderbolt as I mainly want to use my 27"iMac as an external monitor for my Xbox with the occasional option to capture gamplay.

    I have looked at the AJA IO XT extreme because I have used the pro HDD version on site and was quite impressed but it might be a tad out of my price range for now:)
  5. DreamweaverN macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2012
    Hi intermedial

    Have you tried using VLC? I was rather hoping to use this setup myself with my MacBook Pro "13...

  6. intermedial macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012

    Haven't tried using VLC yet actually, but it's on my list of things to try out.

    I actually wasn't aware that VLC did much more than playback until recently since I rarely have the need to use it. Now that I'm planning on doing more capture+broadcasting, that's going to change obviously.
  7. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    intermedial, just out of curiosity have you tries other 3rd party packages like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere? I'm curious of any of those would give you a preview window big enough to game on. I'm surprised no one has come out with a video capture solution to alleviate the "target display mode" issue we currently have with the TB display.
  8. orgazmojedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    I have had a look at Prem Pro and you can make the capture screen go 99% full screen but I would rather use the software it was designed for.
    It does state that all other capture software would be compatible but...

    I have also got info on the xbox itself. Only media content sky player, netflix etc... has the HDCP built in. There maybe a small number of games but that is still unsure.

    I spoke to a blackmagic reseller and they confirmed that there would be no lag and the software can go full screen for preview. This I have yet to see visual proof on but with the speed of TB it should be possible.
  9. DreamweaverN macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2012
    Hi intermedial,

    Were you ever able to try this out?

  10. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Anyone else think it's hilarious that you guys have a $2000 computer, several hundred dollar Thunderbolt hard drives, a $300 BlackMagic capture device, and several $50 Thunderbolt cables, yet you won't just drop a couple hundred bucks on a TV to avoid all this hassle?
  11. pyoshiha macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    It's a matter of simplicity. I don't want to have another garbage TV lying around just to play video games. The monitor is supposed to that just fine ... Which is why I'm kind of pissed about having spent $950 on that Display.
  12. jayhawk11 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    No, it's not supposed to do that just fine.

    Target Display Mode prior to Thunderbolt was only designed to work with another device using Mini DisplayPort. Now that iMac has Thunderbolt, it is only designed to work with another device using Thunderbolt.

    You're frustrated that an Apple product doesn't do something that no one (especially Apple) said that it would.

    I get not wanting to have another display just for one thing, but if you wanted a multipurpose monitor for plugging in multiple devices, why not get something designed for that? A Dell UltraSharp 27" is the same price as a Thunderbolt display but has multiple display inputs. That would have been a much better fit for this use scenario.
  13. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    And your point is what, exactly? A lot of people would simply like their new ACDs and iMacs to have the same functionality as their older 2010 counterparts. Sadly, they don't. And for the record I RMAed my DELL U3011 for an Apple display for obvious reasons.
  14. intermedial macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Haven't really tried any of this out yet I'm afraid. Haven't had the time, and my little Air is overworked as it is... waiting on the new iMacs/MacPros before I buy into anymore software.

    I've mainly been using the Intensity with Isadora and uStream, and mostly it's own software. Had it rigged up with FCPX as well as a broadcast monitor, it's a really, really lovely device and perfect for my purposes.

    But a solution for target display mode, it is not. The expense alone makes it not worth considering for that purpose alone since HDTVs are so cheap and mountable. At least half the people I talk to about it with wants to use it for this, which just isn't what it's designed to do.
  15. tokie macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    Is there any update on this with using VLC?

    If you use VLC, go to File > Open Capture Device. If you set the resolution to 720p it *should* work, but the question is whether it is lag free.

    I want to use my laptop screen so that I don't have to purchase a monitor for my desktop computer. If this product allows you to see the HDMI input lag-free, then I will buy it.
  16. Ashok0 macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2010
    Yes, but does it WORK? So what if it's expensive, maybe I light my cigars with $100 bills and want to use my PS3 with an Apple TB display. I just need to know if it works lag free with VLC @ 720. :)
  17. tokie macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2006
    This is exactly what I want to know.

    Some of us live mobile lives and have no spare room or time for lugging around HDTVs or desktop monitors. I have a mini ITX system with a decent video card which I would like to use for gaming on a 15" MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt.
  18. orgazmojedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    It's been a while so I thought I would bump the thread.

    Has anyone had any luck using VLC or other software as a full screen workaround @720?
  19. nexx27 macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2012

    I have the very same demand!

    I want to play xbox 360 on a mac window LAGLESS through thunderbolt port

    I bought the Matrox Mxo2. Total Crap. Worst piece of hardware I ever used. It is connected through thunderbolt, it is laggy and you can't resize the window. Matrox software is very inferior to blackmagic. Drivers are a nightmare.

    To give you an idea of how bad matrox mxo2 is, you have to install a different driver version to use different capture software. Eg: suppose you want to capture video with final cut, you need to install a driver and reboot. Tomorrow you want to capture by using matrox software, that's another driver and reboot... what a piece of crap. Matrox capture software is also a piece of junk.

    So BUMP... Any solution to "play xbox 360 on a mac window LAGLESS through thunderbolt port"?
  20. DreamweaverN macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2012
    I know this is a bit old but did any one get a chance to spend the 15 minutes to test if this works?

  21. orgazmojedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    The poster above is correct about the Matrox but I am yet to get my hands on the BM box for testing.

    However I have read mixed reviews about whether it will full screen or not (through VLC or other). This is my first question before lag because I don't want to fork out the cash :)

    We are still waiting to see if intermedial(7posts up) gets back to this thread as they have one but didn't give much constructive technical feedback :(
  22. intermedial, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

    intermedial macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    Totally forgot about this thread, because I can't get it to work (on either my Air or rMBP)

    I use my Intensity with tons of other applications but VLC doesn't seem to want to recognize the feed. If you have any procedures you'd like me to try I can experiment with it today.


    I thought I'd expand by showing what I mean.

    When you go to set up an application with the Blackmagic Intensity, these are the kinds of options you usually get (this screenshot is from Isadora)


    However, with VLC, this is all it shows me:


    I'm going to admit, I hate VLC and haven't used it in years, so perhaps I'm not looking in the right place. If someone has some instructions on what I should be doing, please let me know.

    Further edit: technically, you could get Isadora to do what you want VLC to do, in which case it would work perfectly (still no live audio however) That would require shelling out for the software and learning how to patch it, but you could probably get the demo version to do it.
  23. orgazmojedi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    thanks for the really fast response :)

    1) When you say you have used it with other applications could you offer insight as to what programs will go full screen with no lag? Have you got premier pro?

    2) What do you put through the BM box? Is it a camera, games console or other and does in involve any HDCP?

    3) If its not a games console do you have one you could try?? Yes I'm cheeky but thats the whole point with this thread ;)
    I work in the live video industry and I am involved with some game industry events which require on stage demos and we have multi £k's switchers and matrix's that have the option to disable HDCP. Sometimes it needs it and sometimes it doesn't.

    Basically what I'm getting at is if you could try say an Xbox on HDMI and it doesn't work through the Intensity because of HDCP it may be possible to do it through either component, or a HDMI analog down convertor to VGA.

    As for audio that is not an issue because I can find room for a small set of speakers or simply use a gaming headset.

    Thanks for taking the time to look for us and I hope I made sense :)
  24. intermedial, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

    intermedial macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2012
    The main application I used my Intensity with is Isadora. It's a live performance control tool and effect mixer (among other things). I've also used it with Final Cut X and Wirecast/uStream Producer pro. While I do have Creative Cloud, I don't have much experience with Premier Pro.

    Almost exclusively cameras (DSLRs and camcorders). I have had my PC pass through it as well. I have never had an issue with HDCP since we're almost always creating orignal content or material.

    I do not have a video game console that has HDMI anymore, unfortunately. As I said in my first post, I did do some capture from a PS3 awhile ago. I have an original launch Xbox 360... somewhere... I'm honestly not sure if it still works though. Ironically I have a Kinect that I used for motion capture and interactivity! Unless you count my gaming PC. Sorry, I'm not a console gamer :(

    I have never run up against problems with HDCP. I am not sure if the Intensity will let you disable it. I do a lot of live video work an installations, I'm new to this work though (student)

    Blackmagic specifically advertises the Intensity as being something you can use with an Xbox and there are numerous videos on the Web of people using the included software to capture their gameplay. In almost all cases, these people are using the HDMI out on the Intensity to pass through to a monitor or television set (something I've done with my PC and my cameras).

    I can patch Isadora to run the feed full screen on the main monitor. Of course, normally, you'd have Isadora pumping the feed to external displays or projectors. Since you work in live video, maybe Isadora is something you have access to -- it could be a solution.

    Isadora with the Intensity produces an extremely minimal delay. It is certainly not laggy in the least, and at least with my camera feeds, you really, really have to watch closely to notice it.

    I don't know if this would be a dealbreaker for gaming or not. Like I said, I had my PC connected into the Blackmagic and captured some gameplay there, I didn't seem laggy, but I wasn't focused on it since I still had the computer connected to my television.

    For example, I could totally see plugging a game console into the Intensity, patching the feed into Isadora, and use the gameplay as an effect in a performance piece or VJ set, but I'd almost certainly have a TV connected for the actual players to use in that case. This would be a pretty "routine" use of Isadora and the Intensity with a game console by my standards.

    Doing this for gaming at home strikes me as an extremely complex workaround with mixed results, but if you're doing to use the Intensity for live video, you might really like it.
  25. DreamweaverN macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2012
    Thanks for taking the time to test it. I'm surprised that this seems to be so hard. I was looking at the Elgato Game Capture but that doesn't seem to do it either.

    Is viewing a live input that difficult?

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