Blackmagic Expands 3G Router Lineup

By Carl Lindemann

Blackmagic Design has conjured up 17 new products for the 2009 NAB Show, with the Enterprise Videohub, a 144×288 3G video router, front and center. It and the new 16×32 Studio Videohub join a lineup that began when the company introduced the 72×144 Broadcast Videohub at last year’s NAB Show.

According to company information, the Enterprise Videohub is designed for large broadcast facilities and post houses, while the Studio Videohub is for smaller settings or workgroups where people need to share a deck.

But the real eye-catcher is the new computer-control interface for all of Blackmagic’s routers. The interface replaces the need for manual patching and can also use an all-in-one computer with touchscreen to create a customized router control.

The idea is a fundamental improvement over traditional patching. There’s no need to have the masking tape and markers handy to remember what goes where. Seeing the demo at Blackmagic’s booth (SL10820) elicits an “aha!” from those that know these systems.

Also introduced are the Blackmagic UltraScope Waveform Monitoring, a PC-based waveform monitor that includes SDI and optical-fiber SDI inputs. The UltraScope is a combination PCI Express card and software package that includes an inexpensive PC and 24-inch monitor. Using the large display allows for simultaneous display of six waveform views including composite waveform, vector, and histogram. According to company specs, it is designed to be “technically accurate” so as to make it suitable for master monitoring and quality control.

Optical-fiber SDI technology is a big theme for Blackmagic’s product introductions this year, integrated into several new items. The aim is to eliminate SDI/optical-fiber converters and to provide key components for building cost-effective native optical-fiber studios.