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Blackmagic Ships Sub-$1,000 Real-Time, Uncompressed Video Capture Card

DeckLink PCI card offers real-time effects, deck control By Dave Nagel
Blackmagic Design has shipped a new real-time, uncompressed video capture card. Blackmagic is the company that designed the drivers for the Kona SD capture board from AJA Video Systems. The new PCI-based DeckLink capture card offers standard-definition capture with uncompressed 10- and 8-bit color, SDI audio and Sony-compatible RS422 serial deck control built in. It's fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.2 and runs $995.

The DeckLink is a QuickTime capture board in a 66 MHz PCI configuration for use with Apple's Xserve machines, though it will also work with Macintosh systems that include only 33 MHz PCI slots. It offers SDI video and audio input and output and includes an RS422 port for deck control. All video and audio channels are sent via a single BNC type video cable, and the equipment provides an SDI reference video to the deck when capturing video.

Other features include:

  • Fully digital SMPTE-259M 10 bit SDI input, and output.
  • Generation of SDI video sync internally.
  • Uncompressed 10-bit and 8-bit capture and playback.
  • Built-in DV Bridge.
  • Compressed JPEG capture and playback mode.
  • Real-time effects (Cross Dissolve, Non Additive Dissolve, Additive Dissolve, Fade in Fade out, Dip to Color, Sepia, Desaturate, Brightness Contrast, Proc Amp, Tint, and Gamma Correction) with updates provided via software.
  • Extended desktop function for previewing applications like Adobe Photoshop on a studio monitor.
  • NTSC and PAL support.
  • 64-bit RGB codec for rendering at trillions of colors.
  • Adobe After Effects RGB output for previewing compositions and pre renders.
  • YUV native rendering in supported applications.
  • Second SDI monitoring output.
  • Fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.2.
  • Universal free software codec for Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 and Windows.

The Blackmagic DeckLink is available now for $995. It supports Apple Final Cut Pro, Shake, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro; Discreet Combustion and Cleaner; Adobe After Effects and Photoshop; and other QuickTime-compatible applications. For more information, visit

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at

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