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  • Okay, now he’s just messing with us. EPIC Blackmagic Hardware releases

  • Tim Wilson

    April 8, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Look, I know that lots of people are making fantastic announcements at NAB, and I know that every year, we agree that while any number of individual announcements might be “Best of Show” depending on what you’re looking for from the show, and yet we still ask ourselves, “Can Blackmagic really win this thing AGAIN?”, and every year, we kind of agree, yeah, looks like it. Again.

    This feels risky for me to write, because I’m once again here in dual roles. I’m the Editor-in-Chief sharing links to press releases from (obviously) one of our big advertisers, but I appreciate the indulgence you grant me (pun not intended, but I’ll take it) as a genuine fan of this industry that I’ve been in and out of since the mid-70s, longer than some of you have been alive, yes, and maybe not as long in the industry as some of you, but I’ve passed 40 years off and on (some of it admittedly quite a bit off) in the game, and I can’t recall a batch of announcements landing with quite this much force….

    …I say as a fan. As Editor-in-Chief, I love all my partners LOL and honestly I’m nuts about plenty of folks we’re not yet working with. This is a fantastic industry, with more energy in it all the time. Like, have you seen the announcements from freaking AMAZON for this NAB? Here and here, for example. Some of the coolest stuff that anybody is doing, I say not imagining in a million years that they’d advertise with us. (Not that I ain’t gonna ask, mind you.) The Vizrt/NewTek news is as big as any non-BMD acquisition since Macromedia acquired Adobe in 2005 (wait, that’s not right….right?).

    This is the strongest AJA lineup in some time, the Alexa Mini LF is jaw-dropping to me, and so much more that’ll have to wait for a proper show wrap-up, but add this to exciting releases from Avid, Adobe (and if you use Adobe stuff, you’ve gotta LOVE this Sonnet announcement), and so many others, I’m having a blast covering NAB this year, which I assure you is far from always the case. Some years it’s a grind, and nothing but a grind.

    Yo, not this year.

    I love this stuff. I absolutely freaking love it. So I’m going to riff on what excites me about this set of announcements from the hardware side of Blackmagic, and am trusting you COWs and our other partners to trust me that I’m still playing fair with everyone, and if you have any grievances with my enthusiasm, that you’ll take it up with me offline.

    I know that there’s already a thread on Resolve 16….but I don’t think that anyone has noticed that we’re still 5 months shy of the 10th anniversary of DaVinci Resolve under Grant Petty’s guidance. I remember lots of people, including me, asking “What the hell are you thinking?” And you can look it up — I asked Grant that very question in those very words back in the fall of 2009, and we both had a good larf. Nobody’s laughing now.

    The scope of the changes in that one application alone are staggering, to say nothing of the fact that “that one application” now includes Fusion, Fairlight, Ulimatte, and heaven knows what else.

    But the hardware coming out of Blackmagic this year is INSANE, and insanely cheap for what it brings. I was going to summarize these press releases into one, but you know what? They’re freaking EPIC, and absolutely deserve reading.

    One of my favorite things is that the quotes sound like they’re actually from Grant, which I assume that they are, and that his unvarnished enthusiasm presents a marked contrast to the smoothly polished marketing-speak that we’ve mocked elsewhere in the last day or three.

    Check this quote on the Constellation 8K switcher:

    “This switcher is so incredibly big that we think customers will love it, even if they don’t need to do 8K production,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “The ATEM Constellation 8K will help our customers handle more complex jobs and put more cameras into scenes than ever before possible. It’s very exciting!”

    Look, not everyone needs 24 independently routable 12G-SDI outputs, and as Grant notes, not everyone needs 8K at all. Certainly not everyone has $9995 for a switcher, but HOLY COW, not only does it include 24 8K gazintas, but you get 4 independent multiview outputs that can each be individually customized or transformed into a single full resolution 8K multiview. Plus all external inputs and all internal sources can be routed to any view. Plus each multiview can be independently set to 4, 7, 10, 13 or 16 simultaneous views.

    Plus embedded program audio, plus mix minus support, RP-188 embedded timecode, SDI camera control, tally and talkback, each of which is often a pricey add-on with other switchers.

    PLUS OH YEAH, 16 ATEM Advanced Keyers for high quality chroma or luminance keying for virtual sets, AND a built in Fairlight audio mixer!!!

    Not only that, it’s the biggest audio mixer in a live production switcher, with 156 channels. 80 mixer channels are de-embedded from the SDI inputs, while an extra 64 audio channels are input via MADI in.

    All included “free”, and honestly, at under $10K, it practically IS free. Remember when you paid $10,000 for a BetaSP deck? I sure do, and it didn’t even come with a timebase corrector for pete’s sake.

    I mean, if your budget is dead in the water past $5K or whatever, then sure, this isn’t for you. But seeeeeeriously, how is he doing this? It’s clearly fun for him to be demolishing our expectations of what $10,000 can buy you for broadcast hardware.

    And I felt the same thing reading about the Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K. Surely I can roll THIS into a press release with some other “little” products — but c’mon, 8K HDMI monitoring solution with dual on screen scope overlays, HDR, 33 point 3D LUTs….

    All Quad Link 12G-SDI inputs have outputs for looping to other equipment. Plus all HD, Ultra HD and 8K standards are supported allowing broadcast or film industry use. In 720p customers get support for 50p, 59.94p up to 60p. In 1080i formats, customers get 50i, 59.94i up to 60i. 1080p, 1080PsF as well as 2160p formats are supported from 23.98 to 60 fps. Customers even get support for 2K and 4K DCI film formats from 23.98p to 60p. 4320p 8K formats are supported at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, up to 59.94. With 2SI to Square Division conversion built in, an 8K source will be automatically converted for the monitor. Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI even handles both Level A or B 3G-SDI plus YUV and RGB SDI formats.

    So when Grant says, “We are exciting to announce the new Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K HDR because it provides a monitoring features we have not offered in the past,” you get the feeling that he IS excited. “While we have SDI to HDMI converters in our product range, this new model includes many more features for monitoring. The built in scopes, Hollywood quality 33 point 3D LUT’s, automatic probe based calibration and native 8K are advanced features that will dramatically improve workflows for our digital film and broadcast customers!”

    And then you doublecheck the price again. Yep, $1295. Down from $70,000 when it was an SD-only product before Grant bought it. He adds insane numbers of features, and blows the price out through the floor. Sure, why not?

    The craziest part of the story is that no workers were harmed in the making of these prices. LOL There’s enough money to go around. Grant’s feeling is that Blackmagic is charging what they need to for these products, for him and everyone else to make a good living, so there’s no need to charge more.

    Now, admittedly, not all of these offerings are in the post wheelhouse that this particular forum lives in, but one of my favorite things about hanging around the broadcast world when I was at Avid was seeing how vast the array of gear there that was beyond my typical ken, but absolutely fascinating. The HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR definitely falls in that category. Record native 8K H.265 files, optional internal cache, 3D LUTs, HDR support…

    ….Quad Link 12G-SDI for SD, HD, Ultra HD and 8K SDI devices. The 12G-SDI outputs support fill and key when playing RGBA 4:4:4:4 files….10G internet for digital signage….

    ….use it in live production as a master recorder, clip player and for recording ISO cameras….analog inputs for recording from the aforementioned BetaSP deck or whatever other legacy stuff you have laying around….control up to 8 “regular” decks with good ol’ RS-422…

    ….and I put “regular” decks in quotes, because WHAT EVEN IS THIS. It’s hyper. It’s a deck. It’s lots of decks. It’s…it’s….

    “We think the new HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR will offer customers a whole new generation of technology while enabling a new wave of 8K production. Even if customers don’t need 8K, we think this new HyperDeck has so many features, it will become the centerpiece of live production, digital signage and broadcast!”

    Hey, and for $4995, why the heck not.

    And that’s before we even get to the new URSA Mini Pro G2 Camera: Super 35mm 4.6K image sensor that captures up to 4608 x 2592 pixels with 15 stops of latitude at up to 3200 ISO. This allows customers to record full sensor 4.6K images at up to 120 fps windowed 4K DCI at up 150 fps, and windowed 1080 HD at 300 fps.

    What? For how much? $5995. Sure, toss one of ’em in the cart, let’s go home.

    I’m admittedly kind of playing around here, and I apologize for any suggestion that Grant is too. He may be playing, but he’s playing for keeps. One of the things I love is that he doesn’t just enjoy surpassing our expectations, and delivering humongous bang for the buck. He cares about the tech. He got into this business because he loves it.

    And yeah, I respond to that open, direct, enthusiasm. It speaks to my own fandom.

    So below find a TWO HOUR overview of the TECHNOLOGY behind Blackmagic’s NAB 2019 releases. TWO HOURS. Because there’s much to talk about, and that much to show.

    And be sure to dig into these epic press releases. I’m sure you’re going to find features that eluded me. I’ve obviously not been in the game myself for a while, but I do so love what I see from the stands!

    Blackmagic Design Announces New ATEM Constellation 8K with Built-in Fairlight Mixing in Industry’s Largest Live Production Audio Mixer
    Powerful 8K switcher with 8K DVE, standards converted 8K inputs, 8K SuperSource, 8K chroma key and 8K MultiView, 16 hardware keyers, 156 channels of audio, and much more

    Blackmagic Design Announces New Teranex Mini SDI to HDMI 8K
    New advanced 8K HDMI monitoring solution with dual on screen scope overlays, HDR, 33 point 3D LUTs and monitor calibration for professional, color accurate SDI monitoring on HDMI 8K screens, $1295

    Blackmagic Design Announces New HyperDeck Extreme 8K HDR
    The world’s first 8K broadcast deck with advanced H.265 recording, touch screen interface, internal cache, built in scopes, HDR, traditional deck control and more!

    Blackmagic Design Announces New URSA Mini Pro G2 Camera
    Next generation URSA Mini Pro camera features new electronics, Super 35 4.6K HDR image sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range, 300 fps high frame rate shooting, Blackmagic RAW and more!

    And for the record, this ain’t even all the big announcements. These are just the ones I’ve had time to post so far today. More coming soon!

  • David Mathis

    April 9, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Our fears of Fusion standalone going the way of Apple Shake has been addressed. The free version is no more. It appears as if BMD is trying to get more Resolve users by ending the free (lite) version of Fusion standalone. This is a very bold business decision move. The free version of Resolve lives on but will it be the next to go? How will the Adobe market share be affected? Tim, your thoughts?

  • Michael Gissing

    April 9, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    With Fusion lite inside Resolve, the need for a free Fusion standalone has probably disappeared. Your fear that Fusion would not get an upgrade has been addressed and the fact that it is Fusion 16 Studio only certainly makes sense to me.

    I have only been using Fusion in Resolve since they ported it and I just haven’t opened Fusion free for a long time so I have no problem with them dropping free Fusion. I see no indication that free Resolve will go. It is a critical part of BM’s strategy to get people into the eco system and then drop some money for the Studio version. Increasingly the Studio version is getting the killer features but the free version is the entry point and BM would be mad to drop that. They have probably been monitoring the downloads of all software and I bet the drop in demand for Fusion free is why they have dropped it with 16. Not worth the extra dev time to make that version. BM is increasingly seeking out user input and I’m sure they are taking note of what is not needed as much as what is.

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