In this document we will be outlining some steps you can take in order to ensure that your Blackmagic Capture Card devices are functioning properly, especially when getting connected to Production Truck. We will primarily be looking at the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, but some of these tips can be used on other Blackmagic capture card devices.
Note: for further assistance with Blackmagic devices visit their Support Center here.
Your Blackmagic Drivers must be at least version 11.5 to be utilized with the latest version of Production Truck.
Blackmagic devices require drivers to be downloaded from Blackmagic. Production Truck often cannot read a camera feed from the capture card without these drivers download. Drivers for Blackmagic devices can be downloaded directly from within Production Truck.
By going to Help in the toolbar, navigate to Download Links then select Blackmagic driver. You will be taken through a standard software install process, your computer will likely need to be restarted.
Once the drivers are downloaded, with a restart of Production Truck, the camera views will show up. The cameras may need to be toggled on/off.
Verifying Blackmagic Driver Version
It's also important to keep your Blackmagic Drivers up to date, older versions of their software maybe incompatible with the latest Production Truck updates.
In order to see your Blackmagic Driver version, select the Desktop Video Setup application, with it open, navigate to the top navigation bar and select About Blackmagic Desktop Video Setup
A new window will appear that indicates which version of the Desktop Video Setup software you have installed.
Verify, via the Blackmagic Support website, that this is a fairly recent version of the software.
Verifying Input within Production Truck
It is also valuable to verify that Production Truck is detecting the correct settings. When attempting to connect a camera source, you will be given three key options: Source, Line In, and Format.
- Source should be "UltraStudio Mini Recorder" or the name of the recording device.
- Line In should indicate the cabling type you are utilizing, HDMI or SDI.
- Format should be the format that the camera is set to output at. Auto Format will be checked by default and will be set to the format that the camera is currently set to output at. We would recommend changing the output settings of the camera itself in order to get to the correct format.
We do not recommend recording in 1080i, instead opting for 1080p, as 1080i can cause issues particular regarding filming sports. That particular format causes interlacing issues which can cause video to look grainy and blurry.
Note: Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorders are not capable of recording at 1080p at 60 fps.
Powering the Capture Card
Blackmagic devices are not internally powered and require external power from the computer. In the case of the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, some MacBooks cannot power more than one without being externally powered itself via the Macbook's charging cable.
To ensure that your Blackmagic device is being powered, there is a small indicator light located on Blackmagic devices.
Some Mac devices cannot power more than two UltraStudio Mini Recorders at once, regardless of power.
If your Mac computer is having trouble powering certain Blackmagic devices, your computer will likely prompt you with an error.
Verifying Device and Input Detection
Production Truck grabs camera feeds via the Blackmagic driver software, if the software itself is not detecting the physical camera card, Production Truck will not either. Open up the Blackmagic drivers by finding the Desktop Video Setup application on your computer.
You should be met with a screen that displays the capture card you have connected. It will also display the resolution it is receiving from the camera.
If the input settings are either the wrong format or the wrong resolution, click on the small file icon above the input to change these settings.
You will want to verify that the Input Connection within the software matches with the type of output cable you are utilizing.
If you are instead met with a screen that indicates No Desktop Video Device Detected, then the Blackmagic drivers are not seeing the capture card device. This maybe caused by bad cabling, the capture card not receiving power, or an issue with the capture card itself. We would recommend; attempting to utilize a different USB port, switching out the connecting cables, or testing on a different computer.
Testing Video Input
Another Blackmagic program downloaded along with the drivers allows you to test to see if it is properly bringing in the video feed from the camera.
If you open up Blackmagic Media Express from your applications, and choose the Log and Capture option. You should then see your camera appear in the box above. If you do not, the camera is not outputting in a format that the Blackmagic software, and therefore Production Truck can read properly.
Note: Having Blackmagic Media Express and Production Truck attempting to utilize the same camera source may cause issues, we recommend closing Production Truck completely, when attempting to test via this method.
Specific Inputs not Appearing
If you are not seeing specific inputs appearing as an option with a Decklink Duo, Decklin Quad, or similar multi-input Blackmagic device, the Blackmagic software maybe looking for the incorrect video format.
Navigate to the Blackmagic Desktop Video software. You should see the device you are actively using appear, select the small file icon below the name and image of the device.
Then select the Connectors tab from the options at the top.
Finally, change the Connector Mapping, to the proper video format, whether this be SDI or HDMI.
Once you have made that change, restart Production Truck and you should see that change take place and those inputs, that were previously not there, be available within Production Truck.
Verifying Computer sees Device
This will verify that your computer is seeing the Blackmagic device, this will ensure there is not issue with your actual port.
On your Apple Device, navigate to About This Mac, by selecting the Apple icon in the upper right hand corner.
Then select, System Report...
Finally, under the Hardware area on the right select Thunderbolt, or the appropriate port you are attempting to bring in your capture card. On the right hand side, you should see the current Blackmagic device you are attempting to use.
If you do not see it, this means it maybe an issue with the device itself, or the port. We would recommend attempting to utilize another port.