Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

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Lorin Schultz

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Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostSat Jan 21, 2017 11:27 pm

Please forgive me if this has been addressed before. I searched the forum and didn't find any discussion of this.

I'm a newbie. I just purchased an Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt to use with my new MacBook Pro. It's not working. I'm trying to determine if the Shuttle is defective or if I'm just doing something wrong.

The new MBP has only Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, so I purchased an Apple TB3-TB2 adaptor and an Apple Thunderbolt 2 cable.

I connected a known working HDMI source to the input on the Shuttle, and connected the HDMI output to a known working monitor. The monitor displayed only the "No input signal" warning and the Log/Capture screen showed black.

I'm guessing that the Mac is at least partially "aware" of the Shuttle being connected, because it shows up as a source for a Quicktime recording when connected and not when it isn't. However if selected the recording fails with a "no data received" message.

Has anyone successfully used the Apple Thunderbolt 3-to-2 adaptor with a Blackmagic capture product? I'm wondering if that might be the problem, but I don't have a way of testing the chain without it or it by itself.

Any suggestions are welcome.

System details, if they matter:

MacBook Pro 13,3 (15" touch bar)
2.9GHz Quad i7
16GB RAM
Intel HD Graphics 530 / Radeon Pro 460 (4GB) graphics
2TB Internal PCIe SSD storage
Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt via Apple Thunderbolt cable through Apple Thunderbolt-3-to-Thunderbolt-2 adaptor
No other peripherals connected

EDIT: Forgot the OS: macOS Sierra 10.2.2
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Colin Barrett

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostTue Jan 24, 2017 9:43 am

Which capture software are you using with it?
Blackmagic Teranex 2D, Ultrastudio Express, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), Two H.264 Pro Recorders (Mac OSX) & lots of old VTRs used for digital archiving of legacy video formats for major libraries, broadcasters, universities and public archives.
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Dave Johnstone

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostTue Jan 24, 2017 11:08 am

Launch Desktop Video - it should detect the Shuttle, select HDMI as input. Launch Media Express (you will have both these applications if you have successfully installed Desktop Video). Set the project settings to your HDMI source resolution and framerate. Connect your (HDMI) source (DO NOT use anything which may have HDCP on it). Select the Capture tab and you should see your source in the preview window if the Shuttle/ThunderBolt/Software/Source is working.

Regards,

Dave.
Freelance Television Broadcast Engineer
and Software Programmer.
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Lorin Schultz

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostWed Jan 25, 2017 4:25 pm

I just tried the Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt with the Mac mini in my living room and had some success. Even that was spotty, though.

Just to see if it would work, I connected the output of my cable box (an Arris portal on a Shaw Gateway system) to the input of the Shuttle. I didn't really expect it to work, thinking HDCP would be an issue, but it did. I was able to record just fine.

I then reconnected the cable box to my Denon receiver (all my sources connect to the receiver with HDMI, the HDMI output of the receiver connects to the TV). I connected the output of the receiver to the input of the Shuttle and got nothing. I'm at a loss to explain that, as all I did was put the receiver between a known-working source and the input of the Shuttle. I know the correct input was selected because I got the audio from the speakers connected to the receiver. No picture or sound on the HDMI input of the Shuttle though. Is it possible that the receiver is adding an HDCP flag to the signal? Seems unlikely.

I then connected a VHS deck to the composite inputs on the shuttle and used Desktop Video to select the correct input. It detected a signal, but it cut in-and-out -- rolling/tearing image for a second, then black for a second, image for a second, black for a second, etc.

As for the MacBook Pro I tried originally, I haven't yet tried the cable box source that worked with the Mac mini (waiting for delivery of some longer cables to make it possible), but I have tried sources that SHOULD work but they haven't. At work I have a monitor that is fed by the output of a multi-display system (similar to a security camera system with with the display showing several cameras). I unplugged the HDMI cable from the monitor and connected it to the input of the Shuttle. I then ran an HDMI cable from the output of the Shuttle to the monitor. The monitor displayed "no signal" and the Media Express window was black.

Using the laptop, the results with the VHS machine were the same as with the Mac mini.

So now I'm REALLY confused. I don't understand why I'm not seeing anything at all from HDMI sources that seemingly should work (and at least one case of it working where I wouldn't expect it to). On the other hand, it's encouraging that the results of the VHS test were consistent between the two computers, even if it didn't work properly, because it suggests that at least the Thunderbolt adaptor is working.

Follow-up question: When fed an HDMI source, will the Shuttle auto-detect the source frame rate and resolution or do I have to manually match it? I've tried various settings just in case, but I'd like to know what I should expect it to do.
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Gary Adams

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostWed Jan 25, 2017 5:31 pm

Hello Lorin. I can't explain everything, but receivers sometimes to add HDCP to outputs to prevent recording. Most cable boxes do as well but I see yours does not. But that is something to check. VHS and Beta machines must have a TBC or time base corrector between the output and any capture device (from most any manufacturer). Also beware of long HDMI cables. If they work for you, great, but they can be problematic. I have a similar setup and this is what I run into.

Regards, Gary
Gary Adams
Blackmagic Design
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Lorin Schultz

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostWed Jan 25, 2017 8:28 pm

Gary Adams wrote:[...] VHS and Beta machines must have a TBC or time base corrector between the output and any capture device (from most any manufacturer).


That has not been my experience at all. My old Canopus 110 captures from VHS just fine. So did the little Sony Firewire unit we had at work years ago. In fact, while looking for solutions to the VHS capture problem online I found many people who complained about various Blackmagic devices being unable to accomplish the task while cheap, consumer-oriented devices worked. Some wound up using Aver products, others even had success with budget devices made by companies I've never heard of.

If Blackmagic units won't capture from VHS without a TBC, that's useful information, but to say that such a requirement is common is not consistent with what I've seen.
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Colin Barrett

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostSat Jan 28, 2017 3:26 pm

As somebody who specialises in the digital archiving of old legacy videotape footage and who processes many hundreds of hours of tape sources to digital files for broadcasters, corporate libraries and public archives each and every year, I can confirm that you certainly do need some kind of timebase correction in order that a composite or component video signal, plus audio, is properly captured to file. If an off-tape source contains an uninterrupted stream of information playing off the tape, the chances of getting a reliable A-D conversion are good even without a sophisticated TBC. If, then, the capture card has some kind of built-in Genlock circuit which can lock up to the incoming signal (this often the case with 1990s/2000s capture cards from people like Canopus, Matrox, Pinnacle etc) then the chances are that you'll achieve a level of digitisation that's pretty reliable. However, if your source tape has constant interruptions to the sync pulse sequence (such as where the operator has left black gaps between recorded clips) then only a broadcast-grade TBC will generate a full- broadcast-spec sync pulse sequence in substitution because the capture device will simply drop out of capture mode repeatedly.

I see this all the time - mostly with consumer home video material, although sometimes even with material shot by so-called professional cameramen or VT recordists - and one of the reasons why I had to look around for previously-owned broadcast grade TBCs to sit between the VTR playback and the Blackmagic capture device. I haven't used a single piece of Blackmagic video capture hardware that can successfully capture an unstable video sequence without prior TBC processing. This even applies to the Teranex products, suprisingly. You'd think they'd be designed with a TBC circuit on composite and component video inputs, but no!
Blackmagic Teranex 2D, Ultrastudio Express, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), Two H.264 Pro Recorders (Mac OSX) & lots of old VTRs used for digital archiving of legacy video formats for major libraries, broadcasters, universities and public archives.
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Lorin Schultz

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 12:50 am

Colin Barrett wrote:I can confirm that you certainly do need some kind of timebase correction in order that a composite or component video signal, plus audio, is properly captured to file.


I agree if you add the words "with a Blackmagic capture device" because that has not been my experience with ANY of the other capture devices I've used, including a consumer-grade Pinnacle, Canopus 110, Sony iLink device similar to the Canopus, some pro rack-mount Matrox unit, and an old ex-broadcast composite video box, the name of which escapes me at the moment.



Colin Barrett wrote:[...] if your source tape has constant interruptions to the sync pulse sequence (such as where the operator has left black gaps between recorded clips) then only a broadcast-grade TBC will generate a full- broadcast-spec sync pulse sequence in substitution because the capture device will simply drop out of capture mode repeatedly.


Right, but that's not what I'm talking about. This thing won't lock to a steady stream. These are uninterrupted recordings of cable TV broadcasts and stuff recorded with a consumer VHS camcorder. I could understand if the problem was occurring whenever the camera was stopped/started, but that's not the case. It won't lock up at all.


Colin Barrett wrote:I haven't used a single piece of Blackmagic video capture hardware that can successfully capture an unstable video sequence without prior TBC processing.


How do you define "unstable" though? How is it that other cheap, consumer-grade devices are able to capture recordings from VHS but Blackmagic's devices can't?

This also still doesn't explain why the Shuttle is failing to recognize some HDMI sources that are not HDCP restricted.
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Lorin Schultz

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostMon Jan 30, 2017 12:50 am

Follow-up question: When fed an HDMI source, will the Shuttle auto-detect the source frame rate and resolution or do I have to manually match it? I've tried various settings just in case, but I'd like to know what I should expect it to do.
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Jason Worden

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostSat Nov 18, 2017 10:20 am

I'm having the same issue, but with the Ultrastudio Express. I'm using the official Apple Thunderbolt 2 to 3 adaptor, and the Blackmagic software won't recognize it through the adaptor. I have a new Macbook Pro 15 in with Touchbar.

I still have my old Macbook Pro Retina Display and the Blackmagic device connects fine to this via Thunderbolt 2.
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Colin Barrett

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostThu Nov 30, 2017 5:23 pm

Lorin Schultz wrote:How do you define "unstable" though? How is it that other cheap, consumer-grade devices are able to capture recordings from VHS but Blackmagic's devices can't?


Cheap, consumer-grade devices (of which I've used many over the past 20 years) are much more tolerant with unstable off-tape sources (ALL analogue videotape sources are inherently unstable - whether consumer or professional) and will lock to most inputs, but the trade-off is quality. In the 1990s I regularly used a Pinnacle DC30 card and it worked OK - but looking at the quality of the files now they're nowhere near as good as any of the Blackmagic devices I use on a day-to-day basis.

As for the differing behaviour of some of the HDMI sources, have you checked to see that they all meet the Shuttle's requirement in terms of frame rate, interlaced/progressive, etc? The Shuttle can't handle 1080p inputs.
Blackmagic Teranex 2D, Ultrastudio Express, Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt), Two H.264 Pro Recorders (Mac OSX) & lots of old VTRs used for digital archiving of legacy video formats for major libraries, broadcasters, universities and public archives.
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Christopher Dobey

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Re: Thunderbolt 3 adaptor Shuttle to new MacBook Pro

PostMon Dec 04, 2017 2:00 pm

Making sure we have the obvious out of the way: both a USB-C cable and a Thunderbolt 3 cable look identical but are wired differently inside. You are using a Thunderbolt 3 cable correct?
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