Uncompressed video via HDMI becomes popular again

A year ago, the Atomos Ninja and the Cinedeck Extreme field recorders were about the two only ones that could record video directly to a high-quality codec using a video camera’s HDMI output. Today, Black Magic has at least three devices that are capable of recording to Uncompressed the same way.

Black Magic’s Intensity is a device — not a field recorder — that captures your video camera’s signal to Uncompressed video. These devices can handle up to 1080HD signals. The most expensive Intensity, the Intensity Extreme, has a Thunderbolt interface.

The Extreme has only one Thunderbolt interface, just like the Sonnet Technologies’ Echo ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt adapter. As far as I can see, the reason for that single Thunderbolt port is the same as for the Echo: the Intensity Extreme takes power via the Thunderbolt cable.

Black Magic’s other HDMI input device is the HyperDeck, a SSD type video recorder without a monitor. There are two models: the field recorder (Shuttle) and a studio rack-based device (Studio). The Hyperdeck Shuttle records to uncompressed QuickTime and Avid DNxHD MXF file formats, and operates on batteries or 12V power. It has an optional mounting plate, which can carry a V-Mount or Anton Bauer style battery plate for additional power.

The Shuttle has USB 3 only, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new model appear with Thunderbolt interface for additional speed and bus-powered capabilities.

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