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by PowerReviews
Blackmagic DesignIntensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt
 
4.2

(based on 60 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (29)
  • Lightweight (27)
  • Professional quality (26)
  • Easy to use (25)
  • Highly compatible (19)

Cons

  • Limited compatibility (3)

Best Uses

  • In the studio (18)
  • Independent films (14)
  • Complex projects (12)
  • Multimedia (12)
  • Home movies (8)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Business owner (12), Professional artist (9), Enthusiast (4)
    • Primary use:
    • Business (16)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (34)
    • Computer Platform:
    • Mac (18)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

iPad Screen Capture - Works!

I am developing an iPad application and wanted to create some training videos. I have a 13" MacBook Pro with a Crucial Technology 512GB m4 Solid State Drive. Since this is a...Read complete review

I am developing an iPad application and wanted to create some training videos. I have a 13" MacBook Pro with a Crucial Technology 512GB m4 Solid State Drive. Since this is a laptop a capture card was not an option. I tried doing research on the web before I purchased the Intensity Extreme but did not find much information about its suitability in this role. My purpose in writing this review is to pass on the information I wish I had before going down this path.

I had tried several other approaches for doing screen capture – to include HDMI to Component Video adaptors (several of them). None of those worked. I also tried using web cams to try and capture the screen. This approach worked but had the usual problem of video ripple when animations were running in the iPad app and having my fingers in the video as I used the app being filmed.

That said, the Intensity Extreme turned out to be the cheapest approach that gave professional (five stars) results. Now for the things you need to know. You need the Solid State Drive and the Thunderbolt port. I had these anyway so it worked out for me but the speed needed to capture the video on the fly does not seem to leave many other options. The capture will be over a GByte a minute worth of data. The 512GB SSD is well worth the investment and the Intensity Extreme does an amazing job for the price. Remember that you will also need to purchase a Thunderbolt cable as the Intensity Extreme does not come with one.

To save you time in getting up and going the only software from Blackmagic Design that you will need to install is the Desktop Video. There are many other software packages on the DVD that ships with the product, none of which seemed to have any function with the Intensity Extreme. You will also want to skip the DVD and just go to Blackmagic's web site to get the latest copy of Desktop Video. You will need the SN of your unit for this.

The next piece of information you will need is the setting for the video. In the preferences of the Desktop Video app (cmd ,) you need to set the Video to 720p60; no other setting will give you an image for the iPad. With the iPad connected with the HDMI adaptor from Apple and the "Log and Capture" tab selected in the Capture software you should see your iPad' screen in the Preview window. If you already an HDMI adaptor for your iPad then you are set. If you do not have one I strongly recommend that you not bother with getting one but rather spend a few more dollars and purchase an Apple TV. This is another bit of info I which I had beforehand. With my Apple TV I can plug it into the HDMI port of the Intensity Extreme and then use Air Play (built in feature of the iPad) to wirelessly broadcast the iPad's screen. This allows me run the iPad app that I am recording without any cables attached to iPad. Otherwise trying to move the iPad around as you use it will always have the risk of the HDMI adaptor cable becoming unplugged in the middle of your recording session. The only thing you will not be able to record regardless of the type of HDMI connection is any media being played that is HDCP protected (iTunes movies).

In summary configuration that worked for me:

• Macbook Pro with Thunderbolt Port.
• Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme (Desktop Video comes with this)
• Apple - Thunderbolt Cable
• Crucial Technology 512GB m4 SSD
• Apple TV (1080p)
• HDMI cable
• Video editing software to turn your raw footage into a finished product (I am currently Camtasia 2 which seems fine for my needs).

Both the product and B&H's service deserve five stars. Hope this helps.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Video Editor's Take

I am a professional video editor and purchased this product for my home editing suite. At my office we use AJA Kona 3G cards ($2000.00) on Mac Pro towers. For my home office...Read complete review

I am a professional video editor and purchased this product for my home editing suite. At my office we use AJA Kona 3G cards ($2000.00) on Mac Pro towers. For my home office with my iMac, I considered getting the AJA IO XT (a similar thunderbolt device from AJA), but since I am using this primarily as a client monitor, I concluded that I'd save $1200 and use BlackMagic instead.BlackMagic often (though not always) takes a backseat to AJA. This was my first BlackMagic device, but overall, I am pleasantly suprised with this little gizmo.THE GOOD:1. Works great with Final Cut Pro 7: BlackMagic has always kind of leaned in supporting Final Cut Pro over other NLE software, and though they have expanded their capability in recent years, FCP 7 worked best with the BMD IE of my three NLE software (I also own Avid MC and Adobe CS6). The only problem is that this is an end of life program.2. Ascetically pleasing: You can tell BMD had Mac users in mind. The aluminum build of the BMD IE goes well with my 27" iMac.3. Suitable connectivity: The unit comes with HDMI built into the device and a breakout cable via a serial port for Component and Stereo audio (both in and out) and AES/EBU (out only) which I was not expecting. Though the IO ports on the breakout cable use RCA connectors as opposed to higher end BNC connectors, this is to be expected from a cheaper device.4. Handles inputs well: I wasn't planning on using this much as a capture device, but got that functionality on the rare occasions that I thought it would be needed. And so far, it works like a charm. I had to capture some video for an iPad beta app for a review I was editing, and the Blackmagic handled it flawlessly. I'll also add that I used their provided Media Express software which I found to be a great capture app for basic needs.5. Powers itself through the Thunderbolt port: This doesn't sound like it would be a big deal, but it is to me and is a great advantage over other similar IO devices.THE BAD:1. No thunderbolt daisy-chaining: This only has one thunderbolt port, meaning that you will not be able to daisy-chain other devices to it. I find this to be a huge drawback, especially as a video editor, when often I need to connect 3-4 thunderbolt or MDP devices on my iMac (which only provides two ports). Though I know this is a cheaper device, for $300, I think they could have tried to include one...2. Works OK with Avid: Unfortunately, the BMD IE does not do video converting in the box itself when it comes to outputting from Avid. You can convert from HD to SD, but not from say 1080P at 23.98 FPS to 1080i at 59.94. This is a big drawback if your TV doesn't do pure 24P inputs (mine doesn't) or if you want to connect an external monitor via Component cable (which can only handle 1080i or 720P). This means that if my Avid project is 1080P, to work in Avid, I need to change my Avid project settings to 720P to get the device to output. In Final Cut Pro 7, there is an option within Final Cut to do this conversion so I don't need to actually change my sequence settings to get it to work.4. Premiere Pro 6 requires specific sequence settings. Unlike FCP and Avid which output independently of the sequence, for some reason, PP6 requires a specific BlackMagic Design sequence setting to output. This means two things. This makes it incredibly cumbersome to open old projects, or to move projects to another systen that doesn't use BlackMagic. Premiere Pro 7 released through Creative Cloud fixes this issue, but a lot of people out there are still on CS6.3. No headphone jack: It would be nice if this device had a 3.5MM headphone jack, especially in Avid which requires you to output audio AND video through the BMD IE or nothing at all. This means that if you want to have both your client monitor and headphones while using Avid, you need to buy additional adapters for the RCA Stereo ports.THE BOTTOM LINE:If I were using this for ProSumer use only, I would easily rate this product 4 or 5 stars. As a professional IO device, it falls short, but in all honesty I knew that is was going to fall short in most areas before I bought it. Though I would not recommend this for a professional post-facility (except maybe for mobile editing), for a home office, even for professional editors, this is a steel.

Reviewed by 60 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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1.0

Worhtless junk

By M

from AZ

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Multimedia

      Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

      Do not try to do composite video. The screen will flicker as well as the audio. The support people said "You need a time base corrector" Maybe they can purchase the unit for me.That was there solution. I do not like this company. Do not buy their products.

      • Primary use:
      • Business
      • Computer Platform:
      • Mac

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      4.0

      Small and portable for playback

      By audioczar

      from rush ny

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Multimedia

        Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

        This plays back Final cut 7 and protools sessions video files on Yosemite no less.

        • Primary use:
        • Business
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac

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        4.0

        Solid Gear

        By InfanteMedia1

        from Hollywood CA

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

        I have purchased two of these units to get my Panasonic AG-AC 130A Cameras into my Apple Mac Pro Cylinder (2014) for use in Qlab 3. Simple set up, very plug and play. Mac OSx recognizes each box as a camera. Comes with Blackmagic DVD of all software controllers. Use Video Desktop to configure them. I am running them at 1080i 59.94 and seeing very little lag. Lets be honest it's not perfect. The latency is probably coming from converting HDMI to SDI and then back again to come into the box.

        • Primary use:
        • Business
        • Computer Platform:
        • Mac

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        4.0

        Extremely Intense

        By OT

        from Oakland, CA

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight
        • Plug N' Play
        • Small

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

            The Intensity Extreme works well with one issue. It could be related to the specific situation we are in. We have this hooked up to a wireless receiver. The transmitter is on an HD camera. To get this working there is a very specific order everything has to be connected in. Once everything is plugged in it works excellently.

            This fixed the problem we were having with the Ultra Studio Recorder. Which had a purple cast to the video.

            The HDMI out is also perfect because we require a second monitor. All in all this is a great product.

            • Primary use:
            • Business
            • Computer Platform:
            • Mac

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            5.0

            Works Great!!!!

            By jda

            from Pittsburgh

            Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

            I read a bunch of information on doing straming from camcorders particularly a Canon Vixia one. I was a little nervous from cost standpoint. But I have not been let down. It was a great purchase.

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            5.0

            Awesome - Function & Price

            By Bamajr

            from Star Prairie, WI

            About Me Web-based Video Creator, Web-based Video Producer, Web Designer, Web developer, Wordpress Designer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to use
            • Exceptional Functionality
            • Small Footprint
            • Sturdy design

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Convert Hdmi To Thunderbolt

              Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

              This has got to be one of the easiest devices to use, when trying to access HD Video features on a DSLR (Such as a Canon EOS Rebel T3i). Plug 'n Play has never been so Plug 'n Play ;-)

              • Primary use:
              • Business
              • Computer Platform:
              • Mac

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              5.0

              Great quality and ease of use!

              By Sid the SID

              from Madison, MS

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
              • Easy to Customize
              • Easy to Navigate
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Educational Purposes
                • Live Event Streaming
                • Multimedia

                Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                Switched production computer from PC to Mac and absolutely LOVE this product! Allows for choosing the format of the HD input prior to streaming live athletic and school events. Hopes are to purchase additional units to increase the number of cameras during broadcast.

                • Primary use:
                • Business
                • Computer Platform:
                • Mac

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                5.0

                It's Blackmagic, what more can I say

                By flcoasterguy

                from Orlando, FL

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to set-up
                • Easy to use
                • Resonably Priced

                Cons

                • None

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                  I have always had great luck with all of the Blackmagic products I have owned and this one is no exception. It just works and works great.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal
                  • Computer Platform:
                  • Mac

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                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  This is the Ustream solution!!!

                  By Chad

                  from Corsica SD

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                  • Easy to Navigate

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Multimedia

                    Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                    Streaming HD video Church services live.

                    • Primary use:
                    • Business
                    • Computer Platform:
                    • Mac

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                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Thunderbolt HDMI Interface

                    By Johnny 5

                    from VT

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Multimedia

                      Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                      High Quality Device
                      Perfect for Macs
                      Difficult to sync properly

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal
                      • Computer Platform:
                      • Mac

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                      5.0

                      Great product

                      By Comfort Dental

                      from Denver, Co

                      About Me Dentist, Video Specialist

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Navigate

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Multimedia
                        • Webcasting With Wirecast

                        Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                        Very easy to use. I ordered two of these as I made the move from Old Mac pro to the new generation with Thunderbolt. I use these along with Wirecast pro.

                        One of the two I received was defective. B&H was great about getting a return in place and a replacement sent out.

                        Once I had two good ones they populated in my program and worked great.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Business
                        • Computer Platform:
                        • Mac

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                        4.0

                        Prefect Device

                        By Gossy

                        from Mandeville, Jamaica

                        About Me Tech Media Engineer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Navigate
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                        • All Rca Ends On Breakout

                        Best Uses

                        • Multimedia
                        • Video Capturing

                        Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                        We use to carry our VTR's with firewire on all our productions to do a tremendous amount of work like inputting graphics into our multi-cam system, getting video into a computer for internet streaming and capturing live during an event. We bought 3 of this device and immediately loved them. It immediately dropped the amount of equipment we carried around while at the same time increasing our quality.

                        A few drawbacks-
                        1. Nothing really points you to the setup panel it installs in the control panel initially. Wished they had put a shortcut in the blackmagic software it installs (blackmagic Express)
                        2. Wish it had a secondary thunderbolt interface for daisy-chaining.
                        3. Wished it had BNC connections instead of RCA on the breakout cable.

                        But all in all, it's a good device.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Business
                        • Computer Platform:
                        • Mac

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                        5.0

                        Clear HD.monitoring

                        By SusanaM

                        from Miami

                        Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                        Like all BM products: Amazing
                        We use for monitoring video sígnal from FCPX

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                        5.0

                        Easy and well made

                        By Per

                        from DC

                        About Me Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Navigate
                        • Easy to set up
                        • Versatile
                        • Well built

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • HD Video
                          • Live Streaming

                          Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                          I bought this device to use to connect a Sony EX-1R through the uStream livestreaming service. The Intensity Extremely works seamlessly with this setup.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Business
                          • Computer Platform:
                          • Mac

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Quality Conversion Box

                          By marcioguitar

                          from New york

                          Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                          Easy option to convert your footage, being Black Magic there is not much to say, they rock!
                          I had trouble setting up this box initially with my Mark III and MacBookPro but after spending time online looking for a solution I got everything done.

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                          5.0

                          I love this!!!!

                          By TK

                          from San Anselmo, Ca

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Great Tech Support

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Multimedia

                            Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                            I am excited to have this product as it will allow us to broadcast using much better cameras than before and so we can broadcast at the same time we are recording using multiple sources. The tech team was super helpful in walking me through the set up and as always the bh staff is simply the best when i need help as to the best solutions for my needs. I live on the west coast but BH is my go to place for material.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Business
                            • Computer Platform:
                            • Mac

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                            5.0

                            Great Device

                            By Chris Evans

                            from Kansas City

                            About Me Video Specialist At Naia

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Multimedia
                              • Online Streaming

                              Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                              We used the product to bring our camera feed into our mac for a live streaming event. Our actors were on a green screen and the key was very clean.

                              This device works great, easy to set up with the Mac. I had a few issues, but I just had to find the settings. The strangest thing is that some of the settings are in the Mac Preferences and wouldn't have found them if I didn't previously know about it or didn't read the manual.

                              The quality of the stream is great. As I said, we had a green screen and it keyed very well. We had a little green spill, but that has to do with the lighting and keyer we were using, not the device.

                              If you need something that is reliable and proven to work, this is your choice.

                              Only problem I had was that I had to unplug it and restart the camera every time I removed the camera from our live streaming program in order to reconnect it and get it working.

                              • Primary use:
                              • Business
                              • Computer Platform:
                              • Mac

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                              5.0

                              Awesome device

                              By Andrea

                              from New York

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                              • Easy to Customize
                              • Easy to Navigate

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Educational Purposes
                                • Multimedia

                                Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                                Works the way that it is supposed to. Easy setup for novices.

                                • Primary use:
                                • Business
                                • Computer Platform:
                                • Mac

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                                5.0

                                Affordable and high quality Blackagic

                                By Harry

                                from Glendale, California 91204

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                • Easy to Customize
                                • Easy to Navigate
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Educational Purposes
                                  • Multimedia

                                  Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                                  Very good product for post production, dvd authoring and mach more.Highly recomended, I have 23 years of experience in production, post production, graphics and sound. This product is realy good.

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Business
                                  • Computer Platform:
                                  • Mac

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                                  5.0

                                  Very satisfied with this product!

                                  By Vikki Waters

                                  from Chattanooga, Tn

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy To Collaborate Across Programs
                                  • Easy to Customize
                                  • Easy to Navigate

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Educational Purposes
                                    • Multimedia

                                    Comments about Blackmagic Design Intensity Extreme HDMI and Analog Capture & Playback Device - Thunderbolt:

                                    This product enabled us to stream live without a hitch!

                                    • Primary use:
                                    • Business
                                    • Computer Platform:
                                    • Mac

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