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Blackmagic Unveils VideoAssist 4K, Duplicator 4K, and URSA Studio Viewfinder at NAB 2016

Other key announcements include UltraStudio 4K Extreme with Thunderbolt 3 support and HDR playback over HDMI

On the first morning at the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Blackmagic announced a host of updates to their current product lineup in addition to some new and updated hardware and software.

Click the image to see it at full size

New Hardware

Their first piece of all-new hardware announced was the Duplicator 4K ($1,995, below). This device simultaneously records to up to 25 SD cards. The use proposed for this device is being able to provide an immediate deliverable of a live event to a customer as soon as the event ends. The Duplicator 4K will record 2160p60 with H.265 compression. While H.265 isn’t universally available to consumer’s playback devices, some 4K televisions have built-in SD card readers that could display the content. If 4K isn’t desired, the Duplicator 4K can be configured for 1080p recording instead.

Blackmagic Duplicator 4K. Click the image to see it at full size.

The MultiView 4 ($495) was also announced with support for four independent 6G SDI connections. This device can display a single 2160p30 image or four separate 1080p images on a 4K display.

Another new product was the URSA Studio Viewfinder ($1,795, below), available in Q3. This 7” monitor has been designed to meet the demands of studio broadcast and sports camera operators. With an easy-to-adjust mounting system, large adjustment buttons, tally lighting, and interchangeable camera numbers, this monitor will surely be a welcome accessory for users of Blackmagic’s lineup of studio cameras.

Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder. Click the image to see it at full size.

Finally, Blackmagic introduced a few additional hardware utilities such as an SDI-to-HDMI micro converter ($85) and a 3G SDI Arduino Shield card that will allow users to design their own custom CCUs ($95).

Updated Hardware

The popular line of Video Assist hardware has been updated and renamed the Video Assist 4K ($895, below). This 7” monitor now comes with two SD card slots for recording UHD and full-size BNC connectors, as opposed to the mini BNC on previous models. It also includes low-noise XLR connectors for audio input.

Blackmagic VideoAssist 4K. Click the image to see it at full size.

Yet another 4K device announced was the UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 with support for the new Thunderbolt 3. The 40Gbps speed of Thunderbolt will become a must-have as more editors work with the immense file sizes and bit rates of UHD.

Software Updates

Blackmagic also added support for the all-important HDR playback over HDMI to their UltraStudio 4K Extreme and DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G hardware.

On the camera side, a major OS update for the URSA Mini will be available later this year for a free download. The software update brings a number of major functionality updates and is more of a major re-write than an update. The update brings an entirely redesigned UI, reducing the number of menus and submenus to simplify operations. Basic settings like ISO, white balance, shutter angle, iris, and frame rate are easily accessed and adjusted on screen via touch input or hardware buttons.

All of the hardware and software mentioned in this article are available for demos throughout the NAB Show.

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