Windows hardware requirements for Blackmagic devices
Posted by Renewed Vision Support on December 16, 2015 at 04:43 PM
Updated by Renewed Vision Support on Dec 16, 2015
ProPresenter 6 for Windows now includes support for Blackmagic hardware. This means that you can now get high-quality, reliable video inputs and outputs. The Live Video feature has lagged behind on Windows since we first released ProPresenter 4 for Windows. By adding support for Blackmagic hardware, you can now get SD/HD video much more reliably than in the past. You can also take advantage of the SDI Module and Alpha Keyer Module that are now available for the first time on Windows.
Please contact us before purchasing any hardware or modules if you have any questions or aren't sure what you need to get.
There are three types of Blackmagic hardware available for Windows: USB 3.0, PCIe, and Thunderbolt. At this time, we have only tested certain devices with USB 3.0 and PCIe. As of the writing of this article, we have only tested a few PCIe cards and have not tested Thunderbolt devices at all. We will update this article once we are able to test more devices.
USB 3.0 - Live Video input or SDI output
The USB 3.0 devices are the UltraStudio for USB 3.0 and the Intensity. Both of these devices can be used for capturing or playing SD/HD video. The UltraStudio is the most flexible of the two devices in terms of inputs and outputs. There are two UltaStudio devices, although we have only tested the UltraStudio SDI. We have not tested the UltraStudio Pro. The Intensity is best if you need to connect to older video sources that use analog inputs/outputs. These devices will work for Live Video or with the SDI Module. These will not work with the Alpha Keyer Module.
PCIe - Live Video, SDI output, Alpha Keyer
The PCIe DeckLink cards will need to be installed in a desktop computer that has two PCIe cards. Blackmagic specifies that it should be a "PCI Express 4 lane generation 2, compatible with 4, 8 and 16 lane PCIe". Most computers will not meet this requirement out-of-the-box. It is likely you will need to purchase a new motherboard for your computer or purchase a more powerful computer. We are currently recommending the DeckLink 4k Extreme for Alpha Keyer and the DeckLink SDI 4k for SDI or Live Video.
Computer (motherboard) requirements
If you are purchasing a new computer, look at the workstation options from Dell and HP as starting points. Workstation computers do not include a dedicated video card, so you will need to purchase an NVIDIA or AMD video card to install. You will also likely need to install additional RAM as many of these systems only ship with 4GB or 8GB. You will want to budget between $750 and $1000 for a new computer if you are using the SDI or Alpha Keyer module, in addition to the cost of the Blackmagic hardware and module cost. We are not planning on offering specific computers or motherboard recommendations, although we are happy to help you with your research for new hardware.
Some computers may already have the second PCIe card slot available, but there's no way to know without opening up the computer and checking. We can try to help you identify what's available on your motherboard if you can send us a clear picture of the motherboard from straight on, as well as a close up of the slots along the bottom of the card where your video card is installed. If you have a model number, that will also help identify what's available on your motherboard.