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Blackmagic updates HyperDeck Studio for DNxHD

Blackmagic Design has added broadcast quality compressed 10-bit recording and playback to the Avid DNxHD format to its HyperDeck Studio recorder.

Blackmagic Design has added broadcast quality compressed 10-bit recording and playback to the Avid DNxHD format to its HyperDeck Studio recorder, writes David Fox.

Adding native support for DNxHD will allow dramatically longer recording times (compared to the recorder’s uncompressed mode), lower media storage costs and full file format compatibility with Avid’s Media Composer. All media is recorded in MXF format, so it’s available in Media Composer without any time-consuming import processing.

It comes as part of the HyperDeck Software Update 2.0 public beta, which users can download free by connecting the HyperDeck Studio to their Mac OS X or Windows computer via USB. The beta release will allow customers to get the immediate benefit of the new compressed video mode, help check compatibility with various third party software products while the format certification process is underway.

HyperDeck Studio also records uncompressed 10-bit video, for maximum quality, but the update will allow users switch between uncompressed or DNxHD, depending on the work they are doing. DNxHD recording allows dramatically longer record durations from the same size Solid State Disk (SSD). The smallest size 64GB disk will record just six minutes uncompressed, but records more than 40 minutes using DNxHD. This can reduce the cost of using SSDs to a little more than $2 per minute, which is less than high end videotape formats. There is also the added benefit that the disk can be mounted on a computer desktop for editing direct from the SSD.

As HyperDeck Studio records direct to SSDs it offers much faster read and write speeds, so they have the high bandwidth required for full SD or HD recording and playback in both uncompressed and DNxHD compressed video formats. SSDs have the advantage of being used in regular laptop and desktop computers, so are constantly increasing in capacity, while purchase prices have been dropping dramatically.

HyperDeck Studio is designed to replace traditional broadcast VCRs but offer higher quality, direct file format compatibility with NLE software and easy-to-use broadcast deck features. HyperDeck Studio allows recording and playback from SDI and HDMI sources, and includes support for RS-422 deck control. Because it includes dual SSD slots, it can record for as long as needed, as a new blank disk can be inserted while recording, and when the current recording disk is full, HyperDeck Studio seamlessly continues to record on the new blank disk.

“This is a very exciting update because it allows much longer recording duration on customers disks, and DNxHD is one of the most common high end broadcast file formats, so quality is not compromised,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design.

“Now customers get great 10-bit quality and in the MXF format that allows all files to be loaded into Avid Media Composer without any import processing. That’s the fastest and most efficient workflow possible, vitally important in fast moving broadcast stations.”

Other features of the $995 HyperDeck Studio include: 3Gbps SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, including SDI loop through and monitoring outputs; VTR-like controls, including a jog/shuttle wheel and RS-422 deck control; QuickTime and MXF file formats compatible with Avid and other editing applications; and a compact 1RU design.