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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I'll say it now, but thus far I've only used the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro to capture HDMI 720p 59.94fps video. I'm running Vista x64, and I've got a motherboard with the X48 chipset (processor is the Intel E8400), so haven't had any compatibility issues.

What this review will try to do is explain my experience so far with the card with the hope that it...
Published on November 1, 2010 by J. K.

versus
91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limitations
Hardware:
I have put together 4 SATA drives in a RAID 0 configuration that maintains a minimum of 180Mbyte/s. It's running on a 3GHz Xeon processor and 16GB of RAM. I'm using a video scaler that can basically translate the component input into (almost) any kind of HDMI signal which feeds into the Intensity's HDMI input.

Software:
This product has...
Published on September 21, 2009 by H. MCWHORTER


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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Limitations, September 21, 2009
This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
Hardware:
I have put together 4 SATA drives in a RAID 0 configuration that maintains a minimum of 180Mbyte/s. It's running on a 3GHz Xeon processor and 16GB of RAM. I'm using a video scaler that can basically translate the component input into (almost) any kind of HDMI signal which feeds into the Intensity's HDMI input.

Software:
This product has some good points and some issues. In an effort to be thorough I downloaded the manual several months before I bought the product. There was no mention that a software program named "Blackmagic Media Express" was included. While this program is a simple capture/replay screen, it has limitations in the configuration and setup. There are actually TWO configuration programs: 1) a control panel addition named (appropriately) "Blackmagic Control Panel" and 2) Edit->Preferences inside Media Express. The Blackmagic Control Panel selects the types on inputs and ouputs and pre and post processing. The Media Express Preferences sets captures at a) "Uncompressed 8-bit YUV" or b) "Compressed Motion JPEG".

Issue 1:
Initially I couldn't get any audio thru whatsoever. I had HDMI audio or analog audio and nothing would work. Tech Support said that this has happened to a lot of people and asked if I had on-board audio. I do. They suggested adding an audio card and turning off the on-board audio. This partially worked, but I can't use HDMI audio, only analog. And I had to buy a new audio card!

Issue 2:
I consistently had a problem with video/audio synchronization after 31 minutes of recording. You could watch the output and Media Express screens get more and more frames apart until, after 31 minutes, a message comes up and says "Frames have been dropped". Tech support has not offered any solutions, and said that they do not buffer video/audio. I can't believe that my RAID can't keep up w/ the recording of an SD signal.

Issue 3:
While I don't think that Blackmagic actually SAID that 1080p is supported, I somehow thought it was. But, after further investigation, here's what they do support:
HD 1080 PsF 23.976
HD 1080 PsF 24
HD 1080 PsF 25 (and other formats)

So any recording of 1080p 50 or 60Hz is out of the question.

Tech Support:
I've emailed them several times and they seem to wait a week to get back to me! The person explained that while the hard drive performance test shows different sample rates, it's just for show. They can only sample at 8 bits. (Aren't high bandwidth ADCs common?). After I told them that I finally got some audio thru on the audio card (see Issue 1) but that it was analog, and that HDMI audio didn't work (even though the HDTV played it perfectly), tech support provided no other diagnosis or suggestions. Also, w/ Issue 2 above tech support blamed it on my computer and had no diagnosis or suggestions.

Overall:
I can record in 1080i60 just fine. Tech support helps somewhat, but mostly you're on your own. I'm a little disappointed in the fact that they don't get involved in customers' problems more. Overall I'm still glad that I got the card, but when something better comes along I'll probably list this one on ebay.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, November 1, 2010
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
I'll say it now, but thus far I've only used the Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro to capture HDMI 720p 59.94fps video. I'm running Vista x64, and I've got a motherboard with the X48 chipset (processor is the Intel E8400), so haven't had any compatibility issues.

What this review will try to do is explain my experience so far with the card with the hope that it may help someone decide whether or not to buy this card.

I am no video production/recording professional (if I were, I wouldn't be buying this card), and don't know much about video capturing/compression/encoding, but here are my impressions of the card so far:
- Very easy to setup,
- Very easy to use.

Other thoughts:
- Blackmagic Media Express (Blackmagic Design's capture/playback software) is pretty much garbage.

As I have not tried capturing anything other than HDMI source 720p 59.94fps material, I cannot discuss any limitations for other input modes. However, for 720p 59.94fps video, the YUV capture format is HDYC (YUV 4:2:2).

The reason why I mention that the YUV format is HDYC is because this kind of limits the capture compression codecs that can be used. If you use Blackmagic Media Express in Windows, you are limited to what they call "AVI 8-bit YUV", "AVI Motion JPEG", and "DPX 10-bit RGB".
- I think AVI 8-bit YUV is uncompressed HDYC capture (haven't tried it, because I use VirtualDub for capturing anyway),
- I think that the "AVI Motion JPEG" capture format is pretty bad---seems to be Blackmagic's own MJPEG compression implementation, and there's no way to change any settings (e.g. quality, etc.). I tried using it once. Never again.
- Have not tried DPX 10-bit.

Blackmagic Media Express does not let you use any other installed capture codecs. Thus, I recommend using VirtualDub for capturing.

Now, there does not appear to be too many compressors out there that can deal with HDYC. There's a HuffyUV modification floating around that's been edited to work with HDYC, but it apparently has a problem with proper color conversions, or something. There's some pretty ghetto workaround so that the colors aren't represented improperly, but, yeah. As a side note, I think a Japanese guy is working on a pretty nice-looking lossless compressor called Ut Video Codec that is supposed to work for HDYC capture formats at a later point, but doesn't seem to work with HDYC so far.

Also, the PicVideo M-JPEG codec does not support HDYC formats for some reason according to someone's email correspondence with AccuSoft Pegasus (just straight up no support for HDYC at the moment).

So what are you left with for HDYC capture formats? A ghetto HuffyUV mutation, uncompressed HDYC, and Blackmagic's included codecs.

----------

Basically, what I'm trying to say is:

- Use VirtualDub for capturing.

- If you're planning on getting this card for capturing HDYC format video, make sure you've got a fast as balls hard drive (i.e. RAID 0 that writes ~120MB/s) so you can capture uncompressed. Or else you're stuck with bad/ghetto compressors like Blackmagic's bad MJPEG compressor implementation or like one lossless compressor that has color issues.

- (When I capture uncompressed 720p 59.94fps material, VirtualDub tells me that I'm writing at approximately 105MB/s, so aiming for a bit higher than that is probably a good idea. I don't know how fast a setup you'd need for 1080i material as I haven't tried. The Intensity Pro's manual has some estimated data rates for different input modes.)

The End.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly satisfied, August 23, 2011
By 
This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
Well, I have three of these capture cards. I'm using them in a Mac Pro, and use the software "Wirecast" to switch between the three cards for a monthly web show. The cards work well enough; I use three consumer-grade HD camcorders (Canon HV30) for camera video, and have captured with an iPad 2 as well (does not work with an iPad 1, and haven't been able to get it to work with my Android tablet yet). Summary of my experience:

- the setup for these cards is pretty undocumented, so you're sort of on your own. The control panel interface for the cards is somewhat vague as well; if you know what you're doing, you'll figure it out, it just might take some time.

- if you have more than one card in your system, the control panel (either Mac or Windows) will not uniquely identify them, so when you go to change the settings, you'll get a drop-down window that simply says "Blackmagic Intensity Pro", not knowing if you're changing the settings for card 1, card 2, card 3, etc. That's not a very good design.

- I think that there used to be some pretty decent capture software that came with the card, but as far as I can tell, they changed it (for the worse) and you can no longer get the older software. I contacted them and they said that it was discontinued.

- If you're using the card as a switcher for a live show, it works well enough. There's a fairly robust community in the Wirecast forums using these cards, so despite Blackmagic's lack of documentation and information, they can usually get you going.

- The card does not support 1080p30 as far as I can tell. I had to set the card up to capture in 720p...which is probably fine since switching between three cards, I don't know if the system would be able to keep up with three 1080p30 streams anyway.

- In Wirecast, I HAVE been able to get my iPad 2 video to show up (using the HDMI-out adapter). iPad 1 video does not show up (Apple limitation), and I haven't been able to get my Android tablet to show up (possibly a framerate problem, according to Wirecast forums).

Overall, this is a good card. Lack of information and support from Blackmagic is probably the weakest link. If you're just looking to do a simple HDMI capture (i.e. not switching like me), you might want to consider the AverMedia HD DVR HDMI capture card, because it is about half the price, and works well enough for simple captures (that card is Windows-only though, whereas Blackmagic's works on Mac and Windows).
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93 of 117 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading..., January 11, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
Nowhere on the official website OR on amazon.com did it mention this card would not work with the Intel i7 processor, so I went ahead and bought it. I received it in the mail and installed it in my system, but could not get it to see video or hear audio. I tried several different things, including installing it in different ports and re-installing the drivers and programs needed for this card, but to no avail. I finally resulted to calling Customer Service and as soon as I told them that I had the Intel i7 920 Nahelm CPU, they proceeded to tell me that their card does not work with the i7 line of products and that there was no way around it.

So I've basically got a (probably) wonderful card sitting here waiting to be returned.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful HD Capture card, February 24, 2011
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
Pros:

This card does what is says it can do and then went beyond the expectations of what I had initially expected. As someone who does Live game streaming on justin tv with my xbox 360 I wanted the best in quality and the Intensity Pro was the best choice. I stream in true 720p HD (1280x720) at 59.94 frames per second. I have a Hauppauge HD PVR as well but with the Intensity pro being built as a pci card for a pc you get a lot of options. Whether you use the card for live game captures and streaming like me or plan to use another device to capture it works well. The software that comes with the Intensity Pro is pretty easy to understand granted you read the instructions and know that the card when installed has a user CP that shows up in your computers control panel. The best thing to do when you get the card is make sure you get the latest drivers from the official Black magic Pro site, which can fix a lot of issues. I had no issues getting the audio or video to appear. You just have to make sure you have the correct settings for whatever the device you are using is compatible with. For example, the xbox 360 does not run on 60fps but rather 59.94 so the moment I switched that that option I got audio and video. While I do live game streaming this doesn't mean I simply use the card to stream. I use the software's capturing as well to test it out and when I played back the video the quality was great. I also went into my Adobe After Effects with the video file as well to confirm it is compatible as a video format for composting and video editing. Overall this card has been great so far and I couldn't be happier seeing my live stream on jtv in HD with no loss of quality, the Intensity Pro does its job well.

Cons:

Since this is an internal card it is not going to work well if you buy it for an older pc. The card can use a lot of cpu power if you don't have a computer that is up to par. Luckily I have a new custom built pc (Intel i7) so this is not an issue for me but if you do plan to get this make sure you have the system requirements to run it. One other issue with the intensity pro is not so much the card itself but the software. Even in the instructions they don't clearly let the user know that the Intensity Pro has a user cp where you can change a lot of options for the card settings. In a way, half of the settings for capturing are in the control panel and the other settings are in the Media Express program that you actually use to capture your video. It's not a huge con but it can be annoying having to use both panels to make sure settings are right depending on what you are capturing.

Other Thoughts:

Before I bought this card I saw a lot of reviews that flat out said the Intensity Pro does not work with any i7 computers. This is simply not true. I have an i7 960 and a LGA 1366 x58 i7 motherboard and this card had no compatibility issues whatsoever. You just have to make sure you set everything up correctly and also have the latest drivers. It's not that hard: install the card, update drivers, make sure your device settings are correct, and bam! you are capturing sweet HD.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gambling with your time (and money), March 14, 2013
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
If you look at all the feedback here, you will note that this card works immediately for some, only after a lot of work for others, and not at all for a significant number of others.

1. The most serious problem, I think, is poor technical support. While I seldom need tech support, and therefore have limited experience with most of it, support from Blackmagic is without a doubt the worst I have ever encountered. They asked me to perform specific tests and if the result I reported back revealed a defect in their card, it was ignored, and a new test was suggested. They have blamed everything else possible for the defective performance, including my broadcast quality SVHS deck (Panasonic AG-7510), cables (Acoustic Research, Monster Cable), consumer quality DVD player (Panasonic), consumer quality VHS player (Panasonic), my ability to set their control panel properly, my ability to use the tracking control on the AG-7510, and what have you. They have suggested I buy a SECOND Time Base Corrector for the AG-7510, despite the fact it has one that is built in. I asked which TBC worked with their card and they refused to say. When my DVD would not function properly with their card they said to test it with an Xbox, which I would also have to buy.

2. The card is defective with respect to the tasks I attempted to use it for. Thankfully Amazon has a reasonable return policy. I worked with it up until the last minute, and now must return it within two days. All the above referenced equipment performs perfectly with a Roxio capture device and a high def TV. Blackmagic tech support ignores the implications of these facts. Unfortunately, the Roxio captures in 4:2:0 color space only, while the Blackmagic card captures in the more desireable, from a color grade point of view especially, 4:2:2. I also tested the Intensity Pro with Virtual Dub, in case the problem was with their software. I got the same results with Virtual Dub. No choice but to return it. I do wish Amazon would send a replacement card, but they will not do this because it came from a partner vendor.

3. For those who might doubt the ability of my computer to accomodate a professional capture card, here are some of its specs:

a. Asus P8Z77V-Premium motherboard
b. Intel i7-3770 4 core 3.5 Ghz CPU, not overclocked
c. Corsair 1200i power supply (1200 watts, DSP controlled)
d. G.Skill memory, 32 GB
e. Samsung SATA III SSD capture disk, rated at 340 megabytes per second write speed by the Blackmagic SpeedTest.
f. Dual nVidia GTX 660ti video display cards
g. Silverstone Tj-11 case

4. The specific tasks I purchased the Intensity Pro for were:

a. Capture S-VHS and VHS media stored on professional level, rarely played analog tape ingested through composite and component outputs from both broadcast and consumer level decks.
b. Serve Premiere Pro CS6 timeline to a TV monitor through an HDMI port. I have not tested "b" because I spent a whole month attempting to get "a" resolved.

5. Conclusions:

a. While others have registered success in accomplishing the tasks I set out with their card and systems, it should be apparent from other feedback that many do not. Yet the card is advertised by Blackmagic as widely compatible, with no mention of sensitivity to various (and ordinary) combinations of equipment. My equipment is on the high end side, and my experience with computers includes writing successful commercial software and teaching classes in Alias animation software, with output written to tape on broadcast quality decks. I don't know everything, for sure, but I am not a newbie. Anyone who buys this card should be warned that their combination of card and ingestion hardware may not work, or the card may simply be defective. It is something of a crap shoot.

b. As many say here, you are on your own as far as tech support goes. They will simply waste more of your time than you will already waste by yourself attempting to solve a problem.

c. You may get lucky. If you do not you will surely waste your time messing with the card, their tech support, and the return process. I suppose whether to buy or not is a function of how lucky you feel, how much you value your time and, to a certain extent, whether you are willing to endure innuendo that you do not know what you are doing and other stonewalling techniques. If you are not mindful of the return window, you will also wind up wasting your money.

d. I congratulate those who have gotten their cards to work. I wish I were among them. If Blackmagic would have replaced my card, I would have tried again, giving them a second chance. In truth, they had their second chance during the email exchange with tech support, a chance they did not take.

March 16 update:
Amazon issued a full refund.

March 21 update:
I ordered a Matrox MXO2 Mini and it came today. It costs about $200 more than the Intensity here on Amazon and most other places, though it can run a little higher if you buy it from the wrong place.

This upped my investment futher than I wanted to go, but it is less than I would have spent if I had replaced my cables with even higher quality ones, bought a Time Base Corrector, an Xbox, and perhaps even new decks, all without any promise from Blackmagic that these additions would make their card work. Getting a new brain for myself was, of course, out of the question.

The Matrox unit took a couple of minutes to unpack and a couple more to hook up. It is quite obvious where everything goes. Installation of the software took less than a minute and I was in business. Same cables, same decks, same lack of a second TBC, no Xbox, same idiot at the controls (me), all of which BM blamed for their card's failures. But the Matrox unit "just worked". Matrox furnishes 105 extra codecs to install on your system if you want them. Of course I did, they cover a lot of situations that were not covered before and they were complimentary. To be fair, BM furnishes some nice codecs too, but not nearly as many.

The Matrox unit easily caputres in uncompressed AVI, for an 8-bit RGB capture that includes twice as much color info as the Blackmagic's 4:2:2 capture that I had attempted to use - can't remember if the Intensity Pro offered an uncompressed capture or not. Matrox's 4:4:4 is the way to go if you are trying to color grade incorrect exposures.

The instructions for the Matrox are very detailed, specific, and complete. They cover several products, as does the dox for BM, so you must be alert to only read the info relevant to the unit you have. But basically, the thing is easy to use and the installation patches Premiere Pro CS6 so that you can capture from within PPro or you can used Matrox's very simple app. I can't say anything about Matrox tech support because I didn't need any.

It got down to choosing to spend $200 more on something that I thought would work (and did) versus spending many hundreds on accessories that I didn't want and was not sure would work, or continuing to look for a solution. I'm happy with my choice.

In short, the Matrox unit invalidated everything Blackmagic tech support asserted.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professional capture card that yields excellent results, September 24, 2013
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
I have tried several different methods to caputre my gameplay footage on XBOX 360 and this is by far the BEST I have used.
Coming from Hauppauge and Aver Media, this Black Magic is the best so far. The quality it produces is excellent. I have had no issues with this card.

The installation was a breeze. Plugged right into my express slot and installed the latest drivers and was ready to go.
The card itself will accept HDMI and Component and Composite inputs if you desire. Now some gamers might want to know about lag.
I have throughly tested this card and I can confidently tell you that their is NO input lag or delay when using either component or HDMI.
Now do NOT confuse this with what might be displayed on your PC. There will be a delay if ever so slightly when using the preview screen on the pc.
However, when using the output of the card to your tv or monitor there will be NO delay. So if you plan to play strictly off your pc that would fine for
slower paced games but not for FPS or fighting type gameplay. If you plan to stream your gameplay again do not even worry about this cards compatibility.
Xsplit picked this card up no problems so thats another plus.

One last thing. Since the card does connect to your pc you should atleast look at the minimum specs needed for this card to capture what you want. Also if you
plan to stream you really need to make sure you either have a beefy pc or a good internet connection in order to stream at 720p with consistency. In the end though if you have looked and considered this card. Don't hesitate, and start capturing!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding! Does exactly what I hoped..., June 1, 2011
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
i browsed around a bit and landed on the pcie intensity pro. the HDMI pass-thru was a major seller. I'm using the card to capture Xbox 360 Live party sessions and the A/V is pixel perfect. There are a few negative reviews here, but I ignored them thinking that I would troubleshoot right through any issues. Let me state in no uncertain terms, this card was EASY to set up. I had the hardware and software installed in less than ten minutes. I then fired up Media Express and went straight to the preferences to match the Xbox 360 output settings (HD 720p 59.94), and presto! the image came right up. I then had to change the capture format from it's default to AVI motion JPEG, as the other settings wrote MASSIVE files. the product comes with benchmarking software that will flag what video formats your drive is capable of writing. I'm capturing to a single sata drive [Barracuda 7200.11 SATA 3Gb/s 1.5-TB] and didn't have any hard drive performance issues. as should be assumed with any video capture process, definitely use the largest capacity drive available to you. one of my first captures was exactly 5 minutes in length had a 4.5 GB file size. you can, of course, get those file sizes down considerably when using your video editing software. I got the sizes down to about 40Mb/minute and it still looks better than youtube HD.

bottom line: if your looking for a entry level HD capture card with HDMI pass-thru, the Blackmagic Intensity Pro has everything you need in one little box. I couldn't be happier.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see clearly now..., April 24, 2012
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
I bought two of these for a new rig (both cards in the same rig) I was building that is being used for an HD TV studio. I have two Sony Tripod mounted HD cameras feeding into these Blackmagic cards. The video coming from the cameras is carried through (2) 50' hdmi cables (see my other reviews). The picture quality at my computer is exactly as I see it on the HD cameras. There are no dropped frames, stuttering or lag time.

I have read some reviews that bad mouth these capture cards. I can only come to one conclusion. The people writing the bad reviews don't have a clue what they are doing. If you are going to buy cards like this you need to build a computer around those cards. The reason you get dropped frames, stuttering and lag time is because you don't have a powerful enough computer - it's the computer set up that is causing you the problems, not the Backmagic cards.

First, you need to get a decent mother board. Second, you need to get the right processor that the mother board is designed for. You need to put decent memory in the computer. And you need to spend a little money and buy a decent power supply unit. 90% of the time, dropped frames and stuttering are caused by an ineffecient power supply. The other 10% are an inadequate mobo, not enough RAM (or an inefficient brand outside the mobo recommended list), or poor configuration of your system.

These Blackmagic cards rock. And they will have you rockin' if you put them in a system that can handle them. Remember, "Minimum System Requirements" simply means the minimum specs you need to meet to make an item work at the lowest standards.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest creation ever!, May 25, 2011
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This review is from: Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card (Personal Computers)
Well not ever but at this point I have not had one single issue with this card. I mainly use it for broadcasting on websites such as Justintv. I find it really userfriendly that I can choose the card from a drop down list to broadcast through Adobe Flash Media Encoder or Xsplit. I know on many other cards out there you have to use a third party program like VHscreencap or something like that and then choose the area of the video and then use the vhscreen from the drop down box. That uses so much resources if you have a regular pc.

I have this hooked up to my PS3. After you get everything plugged in and the HDMI from the tv to the slot NEXT to the fat input on the card where all the cables come out of. You want to hold the touch sensitive powerbutton until you hear it beep once. Once you hear the beep let go. Now go into control panel, view by (small icons) then click on blackmagic design control panel. You should be on the settings tab. Output should be at default (HDMI & Component) and then set input as (Component Video & Analog RCA Audio) Click Apply then Ok. Now under all programs open up Blackmagic Media Express. Click the View tab and select Compact. This will make the window easier to play with. Now click the edit tab. The first drop down will have a list of formats to choose from. Since you reset your ps3 earlier to default video settings by holding the power button. You want to select NTSC (should be the first one on top) Capture File Format set to AVI Motion JPEG if you have a single hard drive. Then Check the Continue playback when in the background box. Then hit ok. Now that you're back at the media express window, select the CAPTURE tab or MASTER to show something on the screen. Your TV should also be showing what you see in the media express window. That's all.

Screenshots seem to be a .TGA file and I have no idea how to set it to png,jpeg or anything else unless I open it in photoshop then save as one of the other formats. I hope you found this helpful. Just comment and I will be more then willing to help you out.

PC Specs-
CPU- AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2ghz
Hard Drive- 320 WD hard drive. Two was not enough for uncompressed since they're older and slower drives.
4GB of DDR2 800mhz ram is plenty.
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Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro - HDMI and Analog Editing Card
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