Blackmagic Design first with USB 3.0 HDMI capture

First useful non-storage related USB 3.0 device launches

WE’RE SORRY IF you’re sick and tired of reading about USB 3.0 this and USB 3.0 that, lately, but Blackmagic Design has actually launched what appears to be the first really useful USB 3.0 product beyond various storage solutions. Well, so it has a fairly limited appeal, as Blackmagic Designs new Intensity Shuttle is an external HDMI and analogue video capture product.

Blackmagic Designs is already offering a PCI Express card that allows you to capture video over HDMI, but the Intensity Shuttle now enables you to capture non-copy protected video over HDMI as well as component video, S-Video and composite video. It also features an HDMI out port so you can monitor what you’re capturing on a dedicated display. The Intensity Shuttle can capture 8-bit and 10-bit video and supports HDMI 1.3. Any camcorder or camera with an HDMI port can be connected and the format of the source video is no longer an issue. It also captures up to eight channels of audio over HDMI, unlike the Intensity Pro PCI Express card which is limited to stereo.

Interestingly, after our question to the USB-IF with regards to performance testing on the various USB 3.0 implementations, Blackmagic Designs states that the Intensity Shuttle is only compatible with X58 motherboards. We’re fairly certain it would work just fine on other motherboards as well, but there has to be enough bandwidth available for the USB 3.0 controller to be able to operate at full speed, something that isn’t possible in for example all notebook implementations of USB 3.0 and of course on some P55, H55 and H57 motherboards.

A neat feature is that the Intensity Shuttle can up convert SD video to 720p or 1080p resolution at the time of capture in real time. It can also be used for streaming video directly from your HDMI equipped camcorder, although this requires third party software to work. The Intensity Shuttle is compatible with all of Adobe’s video editing software and it comes with Blackmagic Design’s own Media Express capture and playback software. At $199 the Intensity Shuttle is something of a bargain for anyone who wants to be able to capture video from an HDMI source as well as a wide range of analogue sources.S|A

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