Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

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Guy Ouillon

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Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostWed Jun 15, 2022 6:41 am

Hello,
I just got an intensity shuttle thunderbolt, that I want to use with a Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen 4.
I installed Desktop Video Setup (DVS) and Blackmagic Media Express (BME). The latter detects the device correctly.
Notice that the laptop possesses two Thunderbolt 4 ports. I thus have the adapter to connect the shuttle to the PC.
The shuttle has been used successfully by a friend on a MacBook.
I installed everything on my PC few days ago (downloading software from Blackmagic website).

I have an old VHS player (JVC DD859MS), on the back of which I plug a scart-to-composite video basic device. I then plug the composite cables into the input of the shuttle.

I also have a Sony DVD player (RDR-HX790) which I plug in the HDMI input port of the shuttle.

I paid attention that setups in DVS were the same as in BME.

For both devices, the display in Media Express remains black with no sound. I changed the 'conversion' options in DVS, and then got a blue image and the sound (not playing, but I saw the green levels fluctuate). I changed those options back, and then forth again and the blue image and sound are now totally absent again.

So I don't know what to do. I know some people may advise to use a TBC, but is that really the solution? Or is there something obvious I'm missing? I ask that because plugging the DVD player into the HDMI port leads to the same problem.

If I need some TBC (or other device), what brand would you advise?

Thanks a lot for your help, I have about 25 VHS tapes (secam type - being french) to digitize for the end of this month... :(

Guy
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Eric-Jan

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostWed Jun 15, 2022 5:03 pm

TBC's these are rare, the ones that work…. yes, the Intensity Shuttle needs a stable video signal, HDMI is not going to work due to HDCP (Copyright Protection) and the handshaking HDMI has, some (JVC) SuperVHS vcr's have TBC build-in but are also not perfect, and still drop some frames, which give audio sync issues, a DVD recorder as passthrough between source and Intensity Shuttle gives a good starting point (see my guide in this forum for tips and setup example)
The ES35V Panasonic combo has a steady signal by nature, my other VHS vcr's are not working with my Intensity Shuttle, only one JVC (with TBC) does, but not perfect for long captures, due to dropped frames.
(btw the Thunderbolt Intensity Shuttle is a Thunderbold 2 device)
The SCART > RCA adapter has a switch for input/output mode ?
The setup settings need to be done when the Intensity Shuttle is powered and connected, check if everthing is still the same after power up or software start.

Oops, your DVD player is a recorder ! that's maybe the solution to your problem, it has component video output, which is better than HDMI ! you can use it as passthrough ! which means you use it as TBC that way, with the Intensity Shuttle you can capture even in progressive if you want/set it, so you don't have to de-interlace in post….
Be sure to set 625i50 or 625p50 correctly everywhere where needed, if you're using PAL.
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UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Video Assist 3G, HyperdeckShuttleHD,Analog to SDI converter, software: Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 18 on Catalina. (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Guy Ouillon

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostWed Jun 15, 2022 5:43 pm

Thanks a lot Eric-Jan.
I checked that the settings are the same in Video Set Up and Media Express.
I also performed a test by getting through the DVD recorder (indeed it's a DVD player + a hard disk), and got still the same results.
1) I then performed the simplest test: plug the Shuttle on my PC Thunderbolt 4, and check it's detected.
2) Test the audio output of my VCR to check that it works, even through the DVD recorder.
3) Plug the stereo audio (red and white) into the 'audio in' of the shuttle.
4) Then get the sound out of the shuttle: nothing comes out.
In this last test, I do not use Media express for capture - it is launched, but I only check if things get through the shuttle and they don't. I used both RCA and S-video at the output of the DVD recorder, no effect.

To answer your question, yes, the SCART>RCA adapter has an I/O switch set to output (I anyway tried the reverse too, same results of course). I even used two different adapters.
That's so frustrating as I feel I'm not that far from a result, but definitely blind to something...
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Eric-Jan

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostWed Jun 15, 2022 6:10 pm

If you connect a source to the front video/audio input of the sony, and set the display part of the Sony to output over the component video output, you should be able to capture with component video inputs of the Intensity Shuttle….
This is how i do this with my ES35V, you can use the SCART connection for monitoring with a tv, because my guess is, that HDMI output is switched off when using component output.
RGB on SCART (if any) will also be switched off, so only s-video and composite can be used for monitoring when switching from interlaced to progressive.
just try….
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Video Assist 3G, HyperdeckShuttleHD,Analog to SDI converter, software: Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 18 on Catalina. (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostThu Jun 16, 2022 2:04 pm

It seems to WORK!!! You saved my day & and the 20 others to follow!!! :D
Encoding in AVI generates files of about 1.5Gb for 30 seconds of video - I'll try other options.

Thanks a lot!!!

Guy
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Eric-Jan

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostFri Jun 17, 2022 3:29 pm

Glad to be of help, you're capturing uncompressed i guess, on AppleMacBookPro you have the advantage, to capture with ProRes, i use ProRes422LT it's a compression per frame, so not like h.264 over several frame, ProRes is used for when editing, (frame by frame) it makes smaller files and you don't need that much CPU/GPU power,
On Windows you have to look for another codec, i have no idea about that, otherwise you need lots of (fast) storage space.

The Intensity Shuttle has the advantage to capture also in 625p50 if you set your Sony device aslo to 625p50,
other Intensity capture cards don't, it's only available in PAL mode on the Intensity Shuttle.

Maybe you can describe your recent setup here, many people will not believe that capturing without TBC can be done with the Intensity Shuttle.

btw Shutter Encoder is a nice converter software prog. with many options/features
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Video Assist 3G, HyperdeckShuttleHD,Analog to SDI converter, software: Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 18 on Catalina. (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostTue Jun 28, 2022 9:35 am

Ok, so I shall describe my setup here but I also have a new question at the end.

I thus have a good VHS player (JVC DD859MS), on the back of which I plug a scart-to-composite video converter(very basic one, less than 10 euros). The composite video cable is then plugged as an input into the front side of a good Sony DVD player (RDR-HX790 - which also possesses a hard-disk to record). Using the configuration menu of the latter, I set up the output image mode to 'progressive'. I then use the component video output of the DVD player and plug it at the corresponding input of the Intensity Shuttle (thunderbolt model), and do the same with the audio. The Intensity Shuttle is then plugged into a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, which USB-C tip is plugged into the Thunderbolt 4 port of my Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen 4 laptop. I then open Blackmagic Desktop Video Setup and select '625p50 PAL' for the input video format. In Blackmagic Media Express, I also select the same format in the menu 'Edit>Preferences'. In the same menu, I set the capture to AVI 8 bits (otherwise either the sound or the image are missing when importing into Sony Vegas Pro). It works perfectly fine - no image drop. A friend of mine used a similar hardware configuration and a McBook Pro (getting through an old DV recorder instead of the DVD player/recorder, and using the HDMI output of the former) and also got perfect results (editing a professional documentary).

Now, my new question : I was able to borrow a second Intensity Shuttle (Thunderbolt model too) to use in parallel on another laptop to speed up the process. However, this laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad W530) has only USB2.0, USB3.0 and a Firewire 1394 (the small one) connections. It also has VGA and a mini Display Port (looking like a Thunderbolt 2). I thus want to know if there is any way to connect that second Shuttle to this laptop (if yes, I would then get a second DVD recorder as I have a second VHS player). Any idea?
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Eric-Jan

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostTue Jun 28, 2022 7:52 pm

To answer your question, Windows is a less stable operating system, plus you have to convert the Thunderbold2 to the USB3 connection of your thinkpad, so this will be a bottleneck for the capture speed …. TB2 is much faster, but will be slowed down by USB3, the other interfaces on the thinkpad can not be used.
so it's uncertain if you can get the TB2 converter to USB3 to work on your system, or your Blackmagicdesign software will recognize the Intensity Shuttle that way, on Windows you don't have the advantage of the codecs you can use on a MacBook, but i guess it already worked on your first setup, and you have the advantage the tv system is PAL, because NTSC is not supported for the progressive mode.
Now you still have to find a passthrough DVD recorder that has component out, to use the progressive mode, or use only interlaced mode with s-video or composite video connections, (with s-video or composite you still have to de-interlace your capture)
If you don't have to spend much on the (second) setup your now planning, and the interface conversion also works it would be okay, what i now have discovered, is, that you also can go "on the cheap" by using a converter/scaler, that converts to HDMI, and using a HDMI to USB dongle, the converter would be round the 70 dollars/euro's and this HDMI dongle is available for as low as 15 dollar/euro, both devices are for sale in different brand names, but look and are the same, so only name or price is different, depending where you buy it, with the right combination of devices you don't need a passthrough recorder, or TBC, if you're interested, i can give you the info/pictures of the devices that i have working setup with, otherwise you still need to add a passthrough recorder, with this method you need to correct resolution and aspect ratio, because the 4:3 will be stretched within the widescreen resolution or you will have 4:3 with side bars witin 16:9 i use the capture option from Movavi Video Editor, which is available for both MAC and Windows OS.
I hope i have explained this all in a good way for you to understand this, and that the "trapdoors" are also clear :)

btw . there are scalers that can convert component (YUV) s-video, and composite to HDMI but not all have a TBC like function, if you want to go the scaler - HDMI "way" i can help you with "pointers" for different setups, which i have good results with. with the scaler and HDMI dongle you can also capture into progressive from a composite or s-video source output.

btw. in which country (tv system) you live ? Australia, France ?
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Video Assist 3G, HyperdeckShuttleHD,Analog to SDI converter, software: Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 18 on Catalina. (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's
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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostSun Jul 03, 2022 9:08 am

Thanks a lot for those details and tips. For the TV system, I live in France.
But given all the trapdoors you listed, I may spend more time in configuring a USB set up than just going ahead with the first setup which works perfectly fine.
But one day, when less pressurized, I'll give it a try.
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Eric-Jan

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Re: Intensity shuttle thunderbolt / Lenovo problem

PostSun Jul 03, 2022 11:22 am

Guy Ouillon wrote:Thanks a lot for those details and tips. For the TV system, I live in France.
But given all the trapdoors you listed, I may spend more time in configuring a USB set up than just going ahead with the first setup which works perfectly fine.
But one day, when less pressurized, I'll give it a try.


That's exactly what i mean, your working setup you have now, is a solid one, with just the right equipment, but you asked for a second setup to be more efficient.
Finding the right equipment for VHS transfer, is also a question of luck... finding this equipment, the main problem is that VHS delivers a unstable signal because it's analog, for any computer be it Windows or Mac ,it makes this even worse due to the constant "upgrades" on these systems, changes of software/hardware, making capture devices not upwards compatible, advise from forums that want you to downgrade your sytem, just to sell you their old tech, is also not helping, once you have a good setup, like you have now, you should look not any further, yes, the Intensity Shuttle is a picky capture device, but if you have it running in a good fashion, proves you have your "things" together in a good way, and the Intensity Shuttle is a good one, even more if you can use the component inputs, in PAL you can even use progressive mode, that saves you de-interlacing in post, and… the use of ProRes422(LT) on a Mac, the frame by frame compression, has no effect on quality for VHS
UltraStudio Mini Recorder, Intensity Shuttle, ATEM Mini, Video Assist 3G, HyperdeckShuttleHD,Analog to SDI converter, software: Davinci Resolve 15 on Sierra, Resolve 18 on Catalina. (Using Apple OS 32 & 64 bit on different MacBook Pro's

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