Blackmagic Design ships first Thunderbolt-enabled professional product

Since Apple introduced its 10-bit file transfer technology called Thunderbolt earlier this year, a handful of professional video production companies have announced products that support it, but none have shipped… until now.

Blackmagic Design, based in Milpitas, CA, is now shipping its UltraStudio 3D, a portable capture and playback device with full resolution, dual stream 3-D support, 10 bit hardware architecture, dual link 3 Gb/s SDI, support for up to 1080p60 in SDI and component analog and HDMI 1.4a connections, as well as full SD, HD and 2K support.

Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design, said his engineers worked closely with Apple and Intel (a co-developer of Thunderbolt) during development of the product.

UltraStudio 3D uses the Thunderbolt interface for dual link 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI 1.4a and analog component/s-video/composite, as well as balanced analog and AES/EBU digital audio capture and playback. UltraStudio 3D supports 3-D workflows by including interleaved, side-by-side, frame packed and dual stream capture and playback.

Dual stream 3-D allows customers to use the UltraStudio 3D dual link SDI connections to capture and play back two streams, one for the left eye and one for the right eye. The two streams are recorded into two separate media files. Dual stream 3-D is higher quality because each eye is full resolution video, but dual stream is less compatible with current editing software. To solve this problem, Blackmagic Design’s Media Express 3 has been upgraded to handle both interleaved and dual stream 3D for capture and playback of 3-D media for a complete 3-D solution.

Jason Ziller, Intel’s director of Thunderbolt Marketing, said Thunderbolt technology is a game-changer for media creators.

“Enthusiasts can now work with multiple streams of full resolution video with extreme portability,” he said.