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Blackmagic ships Thunderbolt-equipped UltraStudio 3D

Blackmagic Design has started shipping the world’s first video product with Thunderbolt technology, the $995 UltraStudio 3D, which will allow Mac laptops to work with 2K and 3D.

Blackmagic Design has started shipping the world’s first video product with Thunderbolt technology, writes David Fox.

The $995 UltraStudio 3D allows portable capture and playback with full resolution dual-stream 3D support. It also features: 10-bit hardware; dual link 3Gbps SDI; support for up to 1080p60 in SDI; component analogue and HDMI 1.4a connections; full SD, HD and 2K support; plus balanced analogue and AES/EBU digital audio capture and playback.

For 3D it features a choice of interleaved, side-by-side, frame-packed or dual-stream capture and playback.

Dual-stream 3D, which captures each lens output as a separate file, is higher quality because each eye is full resolution video, but it is less compatible with current editing software.

To solve this, Blackmagic Design’s Media Express 3 software (pictured) has also been upgraded to handle both interleaved and dual-stream 3D for capture and playback of 3D media.

With so many connections, the UltraStudio 3D lets users connect to almost any deck, cameras and monitor. It instantly switches between SD, HD and 2K, making it suitable for post production and broadcast use when working on design, editing, paint and effects tasks.

It has a new internal hardware design, with support for 10-bit SDI video and full support for video rates up to 1080p60 via SDI, HDMI and analogue component. The 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology easily handles this quality, and allows high-end post quality and features in a portable design.

“We are so excited to release the world’s first feature film quality Thunderbolt technology-based capture and playback device. Working closely with Intel and Apple on this project, I cannot believe how many advanced industry leading features are packed into this single product,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “UltraStudio 3D has finally provided a real, portable high quality solution at a price anyone can afford.”

“Thunderbolt technology is a game-changer for media creators,” added Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt Marketing, “Enthusiasts can now work with multiple streams of full resolution video with extreme portability.”

Other features include: hardware-based 10-bit Up, Down and Cross-Conversion; Genlock/tri-sync input; Sony-compatible RS-422 deck control; support for uncompressed 8- and 10-bit and compressed video capture and playback; hardware SD and HD keying; and the SDI inputs include full SDI re-clocking for capture from poor quality SDI sources.

It is compatible with any Mac OS X computers with a Thunderbolt port (which includes all of Apple’s current laptops, iMacs and Mac Mini models), and supports Final Cut Studio, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and more. It includes a free developer software development kit.