UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 - SD-SDI output artifact

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michaelangeletti

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UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 - SD-SDI output artifact

PostWed Oct 05, 2022 6:25 pm

Hi all,

I work in an archival digitization facility where we digitize (almost exclusively) legacy analog magnetic media such as U-matic, VHS, Betamax, Betacam, Video8, etc. We are using a Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 to digitize. We must use broadcast-grade CRTs and scopes to monitor the video signal during digitization, both at the output of the analog tape playback device, as well as the output of the digitized SDI signal from the UltraStudio 4K. We are using Mac OS 10.15.7 (Catalina), installed on a Mac Mini (3.2 GHz Intel i7, 6-core, 64 GB RAM).

This has worked well for us so far, as long as we don't use any version of Desktop Video above 11.2. If we do, the SD-SDI output of the UltraStudio has a horrible pink artifact in the vertical blanking interval. It's so bright and saturated that I'm worried it may be hurting the phosphors in our CRT monitors. We can't use flat panel monitors for this work. We need to monitor the 59.94 interlaced video signal from the SDI output of the UltraStudio into a interlace scan monitor with overscan and H/V delay functions for QC. We've confirmed with Blackmagic that this is a problem with the driver/firmware, and not a problem with our UltraStudio devices. It happens when we test with different Macs and different UltraStudio hardware. They have no interest in spending time or money addressing this problem.

Last week, one of our Mac Minis died, and we need to purchase a replacement. Will Desktop Video 11.2 work with an M1 Mac running Monterey? Where does the firmware/driver compatibility start to become an issue with newer operating systems? If we must, we will look into purchasing an older Mac. Since Blackmagic Design will not address this bug, we don't have much choice.

Thanks for any ideas or information you can provide!
Attachments
SDI_vector.jpeg
Vectorscope showing hot pink aberration
SDI_vector.jpeg (380.77 KiB) Viewed 4053 times
02_SonyPVM14L5_Horizontal-Vertical_Delay.jpeg
SDI H-V delay showing artifact
02_SonyPVM14L5_Horizontal-Vertical_Delay.jpeg (335.47 KiB) Viewed 4053 times
01_SonyBVM24_overscan.jpeg
SD-SDI output from UltraStudio into CRT in overscan mode
01_SonyBVM24_overscan.jpeg (525.04 KiB) Viewed 4053 times
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Jack Fairley

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Re: UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 - SD-SDI output artifact

PostThu Oct 06, 2022 5:58 pm

michaelangeletti wrote:Last week, one of our Mac Minis died, and we need to purchase a replacement. Will Desktop Video 11.2 work with an M1 Mac running Monterey? Where does the firmware/driver compatibility start to become an issue with newer operating systems? If we must, we will look into purchasing an older Mac. Since Blackmagic Design will not address this bug, we don't have much choice.

Thanks for any ideas or information you can provide!

No, you can't use M1 Macs without being on Desktop Video 12.0 or newer. Did BMD say if the driver/firmware bug is present on Windows or Linux installations?
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michaelangeletti

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Re: UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 - SD-SDI output artifact

PostThu Oct 06, 2022 6:44 pm

Hi Jack,

No, they acknowledged the bug existed when I reported it in 2019, but as far as I know, they didn't investigate a fix for this. And I have no idea if they tested on Windows or Linux installations. The niche market that continues to use CRT monitors is likely small, and it probably would not be cost-effective for them to spend engineering/developer time on fixing this. It's a dealbreaker for us though, and a real pain to deal with. I could test with a Windows or Cent OS installation myself, although we're loathe to use them because our workflows are all Mac-based (and in our environment anyway, security protocols are way easier with Macs). Thanks for the suggestion!

I guess we'll have to find an old machine to continue working with this hardware. This is disappointing. :cry:

Thanks for your help!
Michael Angeletti
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 - SD-SDI output artifact

PostFri Oct 07, 2022 5:16 am

michaelangeletti wrote:It's so bright and saturated that I'm worried it may be hurting the phosphors in our CRT monitors. We can't use flat panel monitors for this work. We need to monitor the 59.94 interlaced video signal from the SDI output of the UltraStudio into a interlace scan monitor with overscan and H/V delay functions for QC. We've confirmed with Blackmagic that this is a problem with the driver/firmware, and not a problem with our UltraStudio devices. It happens when we test with different Macs and different UltraStudio hardware. They have no interest in spending time or money addressing this problem.


Michael, did BMD say why it can't be fixed? Can I ask why you need to use CRT monitors for QC? Here in the UK broadcast TV is still interlaced and all Grade 1 lcd reference monitors, will handle that - there are no CRT monitors used at all now. I understand you may have very specific reasons (Teletext, VITC preservation?) but VBI, is for and only relevant to a CRT and these monitors are unlikely to have retained Grade 1 QC spec by now - they will increasingly fail too. Can you not use blanking, as we do when incorporating SD archive material in a programme? Is there anything you can do with the TBC, during capture too? Anyway, a Windows pc, as has been mentioned, would allow you to use 11.2, without issue.

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