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Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder

B&H # BLH264PR MFR # VIDPROREC
Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder

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Product Highlights

  • Professional Encoding
  • SD/HDMI Inputs Support SD/HD Formats
  • Maximum Flexibility
  • Media Express Software Included
  • RS-422 Deck Control
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • High-quality Video Capture
  • Preserve Archive Footage
  • Real-time Scaling/Cropping
  • With 12v Power Supply
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You Pay: $470.25

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The Blackmagic Design H.264 Pro Recorder is designed for the industry professionals who require professional encoding from SDI, HDMI, analog/component composite, and balanced audio. The flexible Pro Recorder enables you to capture old or new video formats into the same file formats used on the web, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, and more, providing a convenient solution to capture from professional broadcast decks directly to SD and HD H.264 files.

With the Media Express software, you can encode hours of content into popular online formats and batch H.264 files with an attractive user interface as well as create playlists from captured files. The software supports CMX EDL import and RS-422 accurate deck control, and is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. It also provides clip information such as frame size, frame-rate, color space, format, and codec.

The H.264 recorder allows you to capture high-quality videos and select between SDI, HDMI, and analog component video inputs. Apart from capturing audio from the SDI, HDMI, or stereo balanced analog audio input jacks, you can also connect the recorder directly to HD or SD video sources as the SDI, HDMI, and capture from HDCAM, Digital Betacam, Betacam SP, DVD players, and more. Analog video inputs switch between component s-video and composite, and support SD and HD.

The Pro Recorder allows you to save your old memories as digital files on your PC, converting old programming video formats into H.264 file format. It supports real-time scaling, and allows you to capture videos at full HD or SD resolution. You can also resize videos in real-time to scale and encode for playing on devices such as iPhone, iPad, or iPod. The adjustable tools can crop unwanted video portions such as black borders and VHS switching.

Real-time H.264 encoder that connects via USB
Designed for industry professionals who need professional encoding from SDI, HDMI, analog component/ composite and balanced audio
Capture from professional broadcast decks directly to SD and HD H.264 files
Capture old or new programming content into the same file format used on the web, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, and YouTube
Media Express software to encode content into popular online formats
Batch H.264 files with a user interface
RS-422 deck control is included with software for Mac and Windows
Clip information - frame size, frame-rate, color space, format, and codec
Converts old video tapes to H.264 file format
Real-time scaling/cropping
Ideal for mobile applications using a notebook/computer (power supply required)
Connections
  • SDI Video Input: 1 x 12 bit SD/HD switchable.

  • Analog Video Input: 1 x Component YUV on 3 BNCs switchable to S-Video or Composite.
    Component supports HD and SD.

  • HDMI Video Input: 1 x HDMI type A connector.

  • SDI Audio Input: 2 Channels from embedded SDI audio.

  • Analog Audio Input: 2 Channels of professional balanced analog audio with standard 1/4 inch jack connections.

  • HDMI Audio Input: 2 Channels from embedded HDMI audio.

  • Device Control: Sony compatible RS422 deck control port.

  • Computer Interface: USB 2.0 high speed (480Mb/s)
  • Standards
  • HD Format Support: 720p50, 720p59.94, 720p60, 1080PsF23.98, 1080p23.98, 1080PsF24, 1080p24, 1080PsF25, 1080p25, 1080PsF29.97, 1080p29.97, 1080PsF30, 1080p30, 1080i50, 1080p50, 1080i59.94, 1080p59.94, 1080i60, and 1080p60.

  • SD Format Support: 625/25 PAL, 525/29.97 NTSC and 480p.

  • SDI Compliance: SMPTE 259M and 292.

  • Multiple Rate support: SDI, HDMI and component analog video connections are switchable between standard definition and high definition. SDI switches between 270 Mb/s standard definition SDI, 1.5 Gb/s HD-SDI and 3 Gb/s HD-SDI.

  • Video Sampling: 4:2:2

  • Color Precision: 12 bit

  • Color Space: 4:2:2 YUV

  • Audio Sampling: Television standard sample rate of 48 kHz and 24 bit.

  • HDMI Color Precision: 12 bit

  • Copy Protection: For legal reasons HDMI input is unable to capture from copy protected HDMI sources. Always confirm copyright ownership before capture or distribution of content.
  • Processing
  • Encoding: Hardware based real time H.264 encoder supports multiple profiles for small, portable video devices through to full resolution HDTV.

  • Real-time Scaling: Capture at full HD or SD resolution, or use direct resize in real-time to scale and encode for the intended playback device, such as iPhone, iPad or iPod.

  • Real-time Cropping: Adjustable tools provide real-time cropping of unwanted video artifacts such as black borders and VHS switching.
  • Firmware
  • Firmware upgrade via USB.
  • Installation
  • Connect unit to the computer's USB 2.0 port, install Blackmagic H.264 Pro Recorder software and run Media Express.
  • Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder
  • 12v Power Supply
  • Media Express, Blackmagic System Preferences and Blackmagic Driver on Mac OS X
  • Media Express, Blackmagic Control Panel and Blackmagic Driver on Windows
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Blackmagic DesignH.264 PRO Recorder
     
    3.9

    (based on 33 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (14)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (4)

    81%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Compact (13)
    • Easy to use (12)
    • Lightweight (8)
    • Professional quality (8)
    • Easy to setup (7)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • In the studio (6)
      • Professional (6)
      • Office (4)
      • Home movies (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Power user (11), Business owner (8)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (27)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      It just works!!! (more or less)

      Let me explain exactly what this does, as there seems to be some confusion. It is a piece of hardware that takes video in and compresses it in hardware to an h.264 stream...Read complete review

      Let me explain exactly what this does, as there seems to be some confusion. It is a piece of hardware that takes video in and compresses it in hardware to an h.264 stream that is written to a file via USB 2.0.

      So it is HD and SD, but it is compressed video. If you need cheap HD capture, I think this box is pretty much impossible to beat.

      I am using this product to capture HD out via HDMI. The HD is used in online promo videos. I just don't need uncompressed HD for my projects.

      Usage is simple. You connect a video source to the box and connect the box via micro USB. Audio levels have to be pro-level, not consumer.

      All things considered, for the price, it is absolutely unbeatable and the video quality looks great. Highly recommended.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Works well with one fatal flaw

      While this is a handy little encoder for making MP4 files to a computer there is one fatal flaw. If there is any interruption to the video signal, even one you cannot see it...Read complete review

      While this is a handy little encoder for making MP4 files to a computer there is one fatal flaw. If there is any interruption to the video signal, even one you cannot see it corrupts the entire file and it is not easy to get it fixed. If you are ever recording with your camera on AC and want to go the battery that is already on the camera by just pulling the AC input, you won't see any glitch in the video but the MP4 file will be corrupt and will not play. The answer is to buy the ATEM video snitcher from Black Magic and use the built in H.264 encoder in that unit, you'll pay twice as much and even if you don't use the switcher it will be worth it. We lost several very important files due to this problem.

      Reviewed by 33 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-20

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      5.0

      Good Product

      By Scott

      from Bayside, NY

      About Me Power User

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fast Setup

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Office

        Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

        So far this product has worked well for real-time recording and compressing into MP4 so that faculty members will not have additional work to do before having a usable file.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Works well with one fatal flaw

        By Joe

        from DEtroit, MI

        About Me Power User

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Attractive Design
        • Fast Setup

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

            While this is a handy little encoder for making MP4 files to a computer there is one fatal flaw. If there is any interruption to the video signal, even one you cannot see it corrupts the entire file and it is not easy to get it fixed. If you are ever recording with your camera on AC and want to go the battery that is already on the camera by just pulling the AC input, you won't see any glitch in the video but the MP4 file will be corrupt and will not play. The answer is to buy the ATEM video snitcher from Black Magic and use the built in H.264 encoder in that unit, you'll pay twice as much and even if you don't use the switcher it will be worth it. We lost several very important files due to this problem.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Transfer

            By Brenda

            from Buffalo, NY

            About Me Power User

            Pros

            • Simple Controls

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Professional

              Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

              Everything is transfered in real time. Very easy to use.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Amazing Product!

              By Cameradude

              from Lake Villa, IL

              Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

              I purchased the Blackmagic H-264 Pro Recorder to finish a job, I had previously started using software to encode files to MP4 from VHS analog tapes. This H-264 Pro Recorder saved many many hours of encoding large files using compressor in FCP. It was worth every penny. Fantastic product!!

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Works Great

              By Jason

              from Menominee, MI

              About Me Casual User

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fast Setup
              • Simple Controls

              Cons

              • Cost

              Best Uses

              • Office
              • Professional

              Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

              We have an older Sony camera with great optics but only records onto DV tape. We use the HDMI out to go to the H.264 PRO recorder then directly to the computer. Captures it great!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Cool little piece of gear!

              By Colep

              from West Monroe, LA

              About Me Power User

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Fast Setup
              • Simple Controls

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                  Great for capturing all sorts of video to H264 digital format. Works great with the Media Express software that comes with it.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  This Box Saved the Day(s) !

                  By Studio51media

                  from Southern Maryland / DC metropolitan area

                  About Me Power User

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • No

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                      I have an older Sony HDV camera HVR-Z1U and because all my Canon DSLR's DO NOT have recordable HDMI outputs…I had to find a way to use this camera for a job that required, 3 solid days of recorded HD video that also had to feed a 27ft HD Jumbo-tron. let me add that I was the ONLY camera for those 3 days and I needed to stick this camera on the end of a 20ft Jib.

                      Since the HDV format is basically dead (as far as I can tell) and this expensive camera has been sitting unused for 2-3 years I decided that I needed some kind of "HD component" (analog HD 1080)- to -xxx box. After reading about 3 hours worth of reviews of several different possible solutions, I chose this box "H.264" PRO recorder. First let me say that I believe all the negative reviews (I'm convinced) are based on either a misapplication or misunderstanding of what this box does. For instance I read about "Sync issues between video and audio"… well yes… If you try to play the native file! (all my tests were set to either the default data rate and the MAXED OUT data rate!) every computer that I owned played the files horribly BUT once converted to an editable format like "Pro Rez"... they played AND synced PERFECTLY. From the 3 day festival, I had 3 hour continuous files that played perfectly once converted. I recorded basically 3days of 10 hours worth almost continuos video using this box and a 5 year old MacBook Pro that doesn't have the latest OS and is only USB 2 with a USB 2 external drive connected. IT NEVER MISSED A BEAT even with the quality setting MAXED OUT. Another reviewer said "Audio levels were low" well again yes… but this IS a "PRO" box… they have wonderful audio meters built into the free video recording software (which deserves some credit too I think) I brought a small console (yamaha O1v) and got a feed from the festival's sound people… again PERFECT actually the signal is generous when clipped and you do need to provide professional level audio which is no problem actually a blessing since I work with mostly Pro's.

                      There is huge latency and I have not tried using this box to "Live Stream"… which could be a problem so that is the ONLY possibility that I can imagine as problematic, but again, remember that I was using the "native" setting and the quality was maxed out, If properly set for the steaming config's I'll bet it works great there too BUT I HAVE NOT tested this use of the box and I probably never will.

                      BTW the outputted files were 1920x1080p 30fps… notice "p"… this camera can not record that to tape! and I don't know about you guys but I hate interlaced video even HD 60fps which is what this camera does.

                      Amazing product, Amazing price, Amazing reliability, Amazing flexibility LOVE IT! thank you BMD!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                       
                      1.0

                      Low volume

                      By Steve Rother

                      from Las Vegas NV

                      About Me Power User

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                        Cons

                        • Does Not Improve Audio/Video
                        • Poor Design

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                          Good unit but it lacks volume settings and it reduces the volume when it records. Wrote to Black Magic and they suggest an amplifier. Funny that I don't need an amplifier on the other recorders I have on the same line. If I need to reencode to raise the volume than it is useless to me.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Will not work with Livestream Studio

                          By Matt

                          from Little Rock, AR

                          About Me Power User

                          Pros

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                The device seems to work great overall however when I read the reviews it said it would work with Livestream. It will work with Livestream Producer but NOT the Livestream Studio which is what I have. Just FYI

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                4.0

                                Solid working device

                                By Andy48

                                from Columbia, SC

                                About Me Power User

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Fast Setup
                                • Simple Controls

                                Cons

                                • No Real Instructions

                                Best Uses

                                • Office
                                • Professional
                                • Streaming

                                Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                I've used this with my MacBook Pro and Livestream's Producers software. It works great, but it runs a little hot so be aware the box will get warm. Don't be worried about USB 2.0 vs USB 3.0 - to this day Livestream recommends this device above all the others. It does not have a true manual though, so trouble shooting takes a lot of trial and error and knowhow.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Awesome

                                By Gman

                                from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

                                About Me Power User

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attractive Design
                                • Fast Setup
                                • Improved Audio/Video
                                • Simple Controls

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Home
                                  • Movies
                                  • Office
                                  • Professional

                                  Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                  I use to to LiveStream events from BrandonChurch.ca works great in testing! Couldn't be happier!

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  1.0

                                  terrible product

                                  By hexer

                                  from Ontario, Canada

                                  About Me Power User

                                  Pros

                                    Cons

                                    • Poor Design

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                      does not work with the SDK they provide. horrible product. i would give zero stars if i could. the company also provides zero support for it. you buy it, and you're on your own!

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Works great, less filling!

                                      By Namkie

                                      from Florida

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Attractive Design
                                      • Fast Setup

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Professional

                                        Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                        Small therefore less filling. Easy to intergrate in the collection of components. Nice look and feel.

                                        Great value and performance

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

                                        Share this review

                                         
                                        4.0

                                        Works with the right software

                                        By photobob

                                        from Orange County, CA

                                        About Me Power User

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Simple Controls

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Professional

                                          Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                          This is the best solution I could find and woks great once you get the right software. It ships with a newer version than what is available for download but contrary to what you'd expect, the older software download is what you need.
                                          Blackmagic really needs to do a better job of communicating with it's customers as it took me 30 minutes on hold to get the correct information from the tech support line.
                                          Some people have complained about the limited output choices but I think they are fine for my needs.
                                          Also, it comes with no USB cable which is annoying and as I've read in another review, make sure you get a good quality shielded cable.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

                                          Share this review

                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          2.0

                                          Software needs to Catch up to Hardware

                                          By Laz

                                          from Philadelphia, PA

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Compact Design
                                          • Easy To Use
                                          • Improves Performance
                                          • Professional Quality

                                          Cons

                                          • Poor Performance

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                            This would get 5 Stars if the software that this unit uses kept the video and audio in sync.

                                            Other then that...solid product.

                                            • Was this a gift?:
                                            • No

                                            Share this review

                                             
                                            5.0

                                            Excellent recorder

                                            By cfionvideo

                                            from Staten Island, NY

                                            About Me Professional Artist

                                            Verified Buyer

                                            Pros

                                            • Compact Design
                                            • Easy To Use
                                            • Highly Compatible
                                            • Improves Performance
                                            • Lightweight
                                            • Professional Quality

                                            Cons

                                              Best Uses

                                              • Complex Projects
                                              • Home Movies
                                              • Independent Films
                                              • In The Studio

                                              Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                              The product is a cheap and easy way to record to a hard drive in any type of environment. The compression rate is amazing. I Recorded 6 hours of footage and only used about 6.6 GBs of memory on my HDD. The program that comes with it is easy to use and user friendly so if you haven't used capturing software before you will enjoy the experience.

                                              Share this review

                                               
                                              3.0

                                              So-so results so far after using once

                                              By avguy57

                                              from midwest, usa

                                              About Me AV Coordinator

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                              • Compact Design
                                              • Easy To Use
                                              • Lightweight

                                              Cons

                                              • Inconsistent Performance

                                              Best Uses

                                              • Corporate Meetings

                                              Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                              I recorded a series of nine segments over a two-day period of a work seminar. Results are mixed so far. I am recording SD (720x486) because that's the best camera we own. Several of the clips lost sync - audio got ahead of video - towards the end. Especially those of 30 minutes. Yet other clips of longer times recorded perfectly fine.
                                              It could be the laptop, though it is a newer model with plenty of hard drive capacity. I will be using it to record upcoming monthly meetings, so it may be too soon to tell.

                                              • Was this a gift?:
                                              • No

                                              Share this review

                                               
                                              5.0

                                              The product was checked and began to use

                                              By Jolus

                                              from Cali Colombia

                                              About Me Business Owner

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                              • Easy To Use
                                              • Highly Compatible
                                              • Improves Performance

                                              Cons

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Video Solutiones In Opera

                                                Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                                It´s an excellent product for HD

                                                • Was this a gift?:
                                                • No

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                4.0

                                                Plug and Play....

                                                By Marty P

                                                from NYC, NY

                                                About Me Producer

                                                Verified Buyer

                                                Pros

                                                • Ease Of Use

                                                Cons

                                                • None

                                                Best Uses

                                                • Livestream

                                                Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                                Used it for a webcast/livestream with Livestream...it worked like a charm...plug and play. Loaded software, Desktop Video by BMD, plugged it in, fed it SDI, and streamed...! No complaints....I wish it also had an HDMI input...but then that's another BMD interface....and it would probably cost a few more bucks.

                                                • Was this a gift?:
                                                • No

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                1.0

                                                Weak Jacks

                                                By Legal Video

                                                from Tulsa, OK

                                                Pros

                                                • Compact Design
                                                • Easy To Use

                                                Cons

                                                  Best Uses

                                                    Comments about Blackmagic Design H.264 PRO Recorder:

                                                    When it worked, it worked great. The usb jack was weak from the start and has now died. I was getting intermittent freeze ups due to the bad jack, but now the unit has quit completely.

                                                    Nice paperweight now though.

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