NAB 2016

NAB 2016: Blackmagic's Duplicator 4K Solves Key Industry Problem

Blackmagic is expanding its 4K product line and the Duplicator 4K tops the list as it allows for UHD material to be recorded to 25 SD cards simultaneously in realtime. Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design, CEO, says that it solves a worldwide industry problem as it has previously been difficult, if not impossible, to easily get UHD content into multiple people’s hands. And with UHD just starting out the ability to record it and get it into the hands of production team members, advertisers, network executives, and more is an important functionality.

Blackmagic's Duplicator 4K allows for 4K content to be encoded onto 25 SD cards, making it easier than ever to distribute 4K content.

Blackmagic’s Duplicator 4K allows for 4K content to be encoded onto 25 SD cards, making it easier than ever to distribute 4K content.

“You can even use it for recording on the cards and giving the cards tothe  players,” says Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design, CEO. “This helps our customers do that economically.”

The one-rack unit has 25 built-in SD card recorders and encodes files using H.265 and saves them on the SD cards in an open file format for playback via 4K TVs and Windows 10 computers. Files can be recorded onto the SD cards at up to 2160 resolution and 60 frames per second and on all 25 slots in realtime. The system costs $1,995.

Also new is Video Assist 4K, a portable all-in-one professional monitor and video recorder tops the list. The monitor can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera and features a seven-inch monitor for checking focus and framing, two high speed recorders for HD and UHD recording, two high-quality XLR microphone inputs, built-in speaker, and more. It’s available now for $895.

“Customers with DSLRs can use it to frame shots and record higher-quality images and superior audio than ever before,” says Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design, CEO. “They can use it to add modern, file-based recording to older cameras and high-end filmmakers can record files for editorial while simultaneously recording RAW files on their camera.”

Recording capabilities top out at 2160p30 (on SD cards) with files saved as 10-bit 4:2:2 video in either ProRes or DNxHD. Recording can be triggered to start and stop using LANC or over HDMI or SDI from the camera. And when recording fills up the card in one recorder it then transfers over to the other recorder instantly.

The monitor portion is 1920×1200 and also has a touchscreen for tap and swipe gestures for information like camera information, changing settings, and evaluating audio and video levels. It also has a heads up display so that users can monitor things like frame rate, histogram, audio meters, timecode, and more while shooting.

The company also introduced MultiView 4, a new $495 multiviewer that lets customers monitor four independent SDI video sources on a single display, including any combination of SD, HD, or UHD formats and frame rates.

“Even facilities that aren’t working in UHD today can take advantage of the increased resolution and clarity when using a UHD display to monitor regular HD sources,” says Petty. “The extra resolution is really important on live productions where you’re monitoring camera feeds and need to check focus.

Also new this year is the URSA Studio Viewfinder, a high-resolution 7-inch studio viewfinder with variable tension mounting points, tally, external controls and more that turns Blackmagic URSA Mini into a true professional studio camera.

The all-metal design is durable and features the highest quality variable tension mounting points available, as well as an articulated arm so the viewfinder can be raised, lowered, moved forward and backward. These mounting points can be set for the perfect amount of resistance so that customers can pan and tilt the viewfinder to whatever position they need.

It also features a physical dial, knobs and three customizable function buttons that let camera operators quickly adjust brightness, contrast, and peaking without having to hunt through menus while live on air. The customizable function buttons can be used for zoom, false color, edge focus detection, loading 3D LUTs and more.

The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder displays frame guides that can show the location of a lower third, graphic, logo or ticker so camera operators can accurately compose and frame shots. In addition to viewing the built-in camera frame guides (HDTV, 4:3, 2.4:1, 2.39:1, 1.85:1 and thirds) customers can also create up to three black or white custom cursors that can have variable height, width and position, making it easy to match the location for all the graphics that will be added live or during later broadcast. Frame guides are an essential function for every viewfinder, especially during live production where graphics and other elements are going to be keyed downstream. Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder will be available in Q3 for US$1,795.

Users of DaVinci Resolve are also in for a treat as Version 12.5 is a massive update with over 1,000 enhancements and 250 new features that include major additions to the editing toolset, new and enhanced color features, including improved HDR support, and powerful new effects. DaVinci Resolve 12.5 beta is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website.

The company says DaVinci Resolve 12.5 is designed to make it easier for professional editors and colorists to work faster and have more creative options than ever before. New editing and trimming features include new swap and shuffle edits, seven entirely new trim operations, paste inserts, an expanded edit overlay with ripple overwrites and append edits, and much more. In addition, timeline performance has been greatly improved so editing is faster and the new Cinema Viewer option plays video full screen, making it easier for customers to preview their cut on laptops or systems with a single display.

DaVinci Resolve 12.5 also introduces an entirely new way to navigate clips using audio waveforms. The source viewer features a revolutionary audio waveform overlay that allows you to see the audio waveform and video clip at the same time. This is the fastest way to navigate to different parts of a clip based on spikes, silent areas or other visual cues in the audio waveform.

DaVinci Resolve 12.5 also adds dozens of new media management and metadata features that make it easier for both assistants and editors to organize and work with massive amounts of media.

A new metadata keyword dictionary makes it easier to choose common or previously created keywords and quickly apply them to clips. Metadata can now also be imported or exported via CSV files. Media Pool metadata columns can also be customized and saved, colors can be assigned to specific clips, and markers can now be single frame or durational. Display names, which are used throughout the software, can be automatically created based on metadata tags such as scene, shot and take information, saving editors hours when importing and working with large amounts of footage.

And new Power Bins in the Media Pool allow sharing of content between projects, making them perfect for graphics, stock footage and sound effect or music libraries that are used across multiple projects.

The timeline curve editor has been improved so customers can now select, move, and edit groups of multiple keyframes at the same time. There are also new visual controls for adding or selecting keyframes, as well as a menu for selecting specific parameters and curves to edit.


DaVinci Resolve 12.5 also introduces ResolveFX, a powerful new framework for native GPU and CPU accelerated effects. This release includes ResolveFX plug-ins such as GPU accelerated color space and gamma transformations, along with more traditional effects such as lens blur, light rays, emboss, dent, vortex, mirrors, gaussian and other blurs, glows, ripples, and more.

Advanced ResolveFX tools like film grain, lens blurs and flares are available with DaVinci Resolve 12.5 Studio. For more advanced visual effects work, the new Fusion Connect feature lets customers send clips to Fusion for additional visual effects. Fusion is Blackmagic Design’s advanced node based 3D compositing, visual effects and motion graphics software. When scenes are rendered out of Fusion, they automatically replace the clips on Resolve’s timeline. As effect shots are completed, the Fusion Connect clips in the Resolve timeline can be refreshed to show the most current version of the shot.

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