on October 28, 2010
I read every review here before buying, and to be honest, you almost dissuaded me from my purchase. I figured that I would give it a shot. I spoke with Black Magic for a total of a few hours as well. They told me that I would need a 4 drive RAID 0 array to capture uncompressed HD, though I'm getting by just fine with a 3 drive array. Even then, I'm finding myself capturing in compressed anyways because uncompressed 720p from my Xbox 360 takes about 8GB per minute, where compressed is closer to 500MB per minute, and the quality is still rather good, though not as good. Once I got everything set up and configured correctly, it has been making very high quality videos. One gotcha that I found was that if you don't have the 360 configured to output in the exact same way that you have the Black Magic software configured, then you'll just get a black screen, but if it's all set up correctly, you'll be good to go. I'm using a non-supported motherboard in the family of supported ones. I think it supports the GIGABYTE UD5 and I'm using the UD3 with no problems. My biggest advice for people thinking about purchasing this device is to do your homework and make sure that you have the necessary PC hardware before spending the money. Call Black Magic too...they will tell you if your system is not going to work. I'm loving it so far.
on November 3, 2011
Do NOT be dissauded from purchasing this product based on angry reviews. Check to see exactly why each person was unable to get the Intensity Shuttle to work, and see that most of them assumed their hardware would be compatible with the product without doing the appropriate research first. I had relatively little trouble installing the Shuttle and getting it to work, although I will admit setting it up is going to take some technical knowledge and at times will test your patience. However, as long as you follow the installation instructions to the letter and have your system set up to meet or exceed the relatively high requirements, the Intensity Shuttle works like a dream.
First of all, consider the absolute basics. The Intensity Shuttle tells you right on the box that your system MUST connect to the unit using USB 3.0 ports. If you look at your computer's USB ports, they will be BLUE as opposed to black. If your USB ports aren't BLUE, they probably aren't 3.0 ports and will not work with the Shuttle.
Secondly, just because you have USB 3.0 ports doesn't mean the Shuttle will work with your system out of the box. In addition to having the blue 3.0 ports, you will also need to have upgraded them to the latest drivers and firmware versions. You can check to see which drivers and firmware you are running by going to the "Start" menu, then to "Programs", and finding "Renesas Electronics USB 3.0 Host Controller Utility".
Your computer will NEED to have driver versions no less than 22.214.171.124, and firmware version no less than 3025. Don't worry if you don't have them yet, as they can be downloaded. This is more than likely the main problem most people encounter when having trouble getting the Intensity Shuttle to work, as they assume the USB 3.0 ports on their system will work, without having checked and upgraded their drivers and firmware to the latest releases.
If you have USB 3.0 ports and an internet connection (just in case you need to download drivers and firmware), an x58 based or later motherboard, as well as 4 GB of RAM and LOTS of hard drive space, you should have NO problem getting the Shuttle to work like a dream. This system was able to handle the shuttle with little to no difficulty.
Intel I7 950 CPU @ 3.46ghz
Asus Sabertooth x58 motherboard
6 GB DDR3 1600mhz RAM
ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB GPU
1TB 7200rpm WD HDD
If your system specs approach or exceed those, you will be able to use the Intensity Shuttle. A few things you NEED to watch out for that may throw you off guard!!!
In order to capture video using the Shuttle, you must have the Shuttle AND its software configured to match the video source you are recording from. This has been a point of confusion leading many people to think the Shuttle isn't working, when in reality they haven't set the software to work in synch with the hardware. To even get a video feed to appear on your monitor using the Shuttle's Media Express software, you must first install both the Shuttle and the software, all appropriate drivers, reboot your system, and then access your Control Panel and access the "Black Magic Intensity Control Panel", and set the Shuttle to accept a video feed from your choice (HDMI, Component, S-Video, etc).
After having done that, you must ALSO set the software to capture footage that matches the resolution and framerate of the footage you're feeding into the Shuttle. For example, I recorded footage from a PS3 using component cables (you cannot record HDMI footage from a PS3 due to HDCP protocols) at 720p running 59 frames per second. In order to get a video feed on the monitor, I first had to change the Shuttles settings in the Control Panel to accept a "Component Video With RCA Audio" feed, and then change the settings in the Media Express software to accept a video resolution of 720p at 59 frames per second. Voila, the video feed from the PS3 appeared, and I was ready for recording. Don't worry, its really not as complicated as it sounds. Its just a matter of knowing where to go to access your settings, and knowing what they should be changed to, based on what type of video you are feeding into the Shuttle.
In other words, the Shuttle does not detect your video feed automatically. After the drivers for the Shuttle have been installed, you need to manually access your Control Panel, then find and open the mini-Control Panel FOR the Shuttle, and set it to look for video from the appropriate cables. After that, you need to manually set the software to look for video matching the Resolution AND frame rate of the video that's coming across those cables, be it 1080i, 1080p, 720p, etc.
ALSO, I would reccommend purchasing a reserve drive to store video. Uncompressed video files recorded from the Intensity Shuttle are HUGE!!! In some cases, a measly 30 seconds of 720p video is more than a gigabyte in size. Yeah, you read that right. 30 seconds of video = gigabytes of space eaten up! The quality is flawless, but space will soon become an issue. However, there are tricks that you can employ to deal with this problem. I usually import my raw video into high end HD video editing software, like Sony Vegas Pro 9, and render them into formats that preserve the most quality while shrinking the file sizes, like WMVs or MPEG2. Depending on your settings when rendering, you will lose very little quality, but its barely noticeable to the naked eye unless you're a diehard video enthusiast. However, its a small price to pay to have crisp, clean, high quality video to work with that doesn't eat up hard drive space, because if you plan on working with the Shuttle's Gigabyte-sized files, you'll probably find yourself strapped for space fairly quickly.
After I record video, I import that video into Vegas and render it into a format that's much smaller, but looks just as good (and sometimes better, somehow), to the naked eye. That way, my video files are usually around 300MB each instead of 1GB each. How you handle this problem is up to you, but really comes down to user preference and how much quality you want. Trust me, the Intensity Shuttle will give you all the quality you can ask for.
At any rate, I hope this review helps clear up most of the confusion surrounding the Intensity Shuttle, and gives you a rundown on what you'll need to get it working, and what to expect once you begin using this nifty piece of hardware. Remember, USB 3.0 ports upgraded to the latest drivers AND firmware are a must, plus having the Shuttle set to accept feed from the proper source, and having the software set to accept that feed at the proper resolution and framerate, are the most common problems people have issues getting past. Get these right first, and you'll be on your way to editing in no time!
The only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is because its tricky to set up, and currently, the system you will need to make the most of it will be pricey. With patience and attention to technical details, the Intensity Shuttle WILL work, but make sure you have the right hardware before buying it.
on September 4, 2012
This product was evidently developed on the X58 chipset from 2+ years ago, that had a certain version of USB3 from Renesas/NEC. While it's common to think that later generation chipsets, such as HM76-77, would meet or exceed its requirement, they use another USB controller, with which this is not compatible, to the degree that it just locks up. The only way to find equipment that, (I can only assume), works with this device is to find a used, older generation motherboard, as any new product won't be compatible. Blackmagic will acknowledge this problem yet, won't assign a priority to a corrective update, but continue to offer the product for sale. It seems that they should either release an immediate fix for this, or remove it from the market, as the population of unwarned owners of these useless bricks is growing.
This device should be taken off the market. It works on such a narrow range of computers that unless by magic you happen to have one of those, it will fail. None of this is mentioned on the Black Magic product page, the Amazon page or even by their sales people (who I called prior to buying this). Only when you've spent a day trying to get it to work and call their tech support do they start telling you all the limitations. Oh... and you have a list of computers it works on? Where is that on the product page? Right... it's only in some buried support FAQ. Pathetic.
The number of hoops I had to jump through just to confirm it doesn't work is absurd. If your device requires a specific driver, firmware, and other downloads, you should allow users to download it from your website. DON'T tell me the reason there's no link to the driver on your site, because the weird site with the drivers keeps changing the link. Let users download it from your site. It just makes BlackMagic look like a bunch of incompetents.
on November 15, 2011
I just finished building a system for video editing. Here is the break down
i7 2600k (overclocked to 4ghz)
4 5400 RPM 2tb Hitachi drives (red write speeds over 550mbps)
dual gtx 560 graphics cards
CS5.5 masters collection
Gygabyte z68 motherboard
According to their website my hardware falls under the "or better" category because i bought the latest versions of the suggested products.
I went through their instructions multiple times making sure i had the latest firmware for my USB 3.0 and all other
After going through multiple rounds of technical support taking me outside of my return window for this product I ended up with this information about my motherboard
"For now we are going to say they are not supported." Now I am left with this $200 piece of hardware that the seller will not take back, the manufacturer has left me with unsupported hardware and no solutions. I was going to go ahead and buy a PCI-E USB 3.0 card to use with this but the ones suggest by the manufacturer are either discontinued or as far as i can find no longer for sale. Their list of compatable hardware, however, has not been updated since the release of the product.
I read a lot of reviews for this product that seemed like relatively technically unskilled users having problems with hardware not being up to par. Well I have 4 years of video editing experience and before that 5 years of computer support and repair. I can tell you for a fact that this product has poor compatibility and unless you buy the exact hardware listed on their website and ignore the fact that this is now 2 generations old, you WILL NOT be able to get this to work.
Please, I beg of you. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Buy the Matrox or the Motu box. Or maybe buy the PCI-E version of this product. Buy anything but this. I know its the cheapest and seemingly most versatile product for capturing HDMI on the market but I promise that the time you will spend pulling out your hair is well worth the extra money for a more expensive option.
on December 4, 2015
I'm writing to update past perceptions of the BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle which are no longer valid due to many updates. First, the device works great on modern Windows10 laptops and desktops that have the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. It will not work with older laptops that originally shipped with versions of Windows prior to 8.1 because those machines did not have those ports. The shuttle needs the full 5GB capacity of those ports in order to handle the immense flood of video data. Early versions of the 3.0 ports were only 2.5GB and simply weren't fast enough and would freeze. That, apparently, was the problem all along and the Renansis chip often mentioned just happened to be the host controller chip that was rated for the full port speed. Ok enough of the geek speak.
Before you even open the box, there are several things you need to either check or do. As a practical matter, if you are doing video on the machine, you need to do these anyway. First, check if the system bios is up to date. If not, download the latest from the manufacturer's website and flash install it. Second, check and make sure all device drivers are up to date. Many manufacturers such as Dell have tools the can check this for you. Third, make sure your machine is running Windows 10 and all updates are current.
Next, you want to go to the BlackMagicDesign.com website to download and install the latest version of Desktop Installer which comes in the form of an .msi file. Just click on it to launch and answer all the prompts. After installed, look in your applications list for the BlackMagic folder and launch the Desktop Video Utility. It will tell you it cannot find the Intensity Shuttle. That's good.
Now, open the box and connect the blue USB cable from the Shuttle to the SS USB 3.O port (which may be color coded blue). When connected, you'll see the Desktop VIdeo Utility respond and you'll find that it now responds to control actions. Now you can connect your devices and configure.
You should be good to go now. If not, the issue is most likely something I already mentioned that should be done first that hasn't been done. Apparently most installation problems happen because folks open the box before doing the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Don't do it. You'll convince yourself the device doesn't work before you ever get it going.
I found BlackMagic technical support quite excellent in helping me get through my installation issues, but if you follow these instructions you won't need their help. As a point of reference, I successfully installed it on a Dell Inspiron I5 with 8GB of ram, so not a real high end machine but works well. I've captured from GoPros, Nikon DSLR, and both Sony and Canon Camcorders. I wouldn't even consider any other capture device on the market today. This is a really slick way to get around the 20 minute limitation most DSLR's have by simply capturing directly from the live cam feed to your local or an external harddisk.
Keep in mind that uncompressed video will take A LOT of HD space quickly as those file are huge!
Also, if you have an NLE editor such as FCP or Media Composer, you need to have it installed before you install the shuttle or you won't get the proper plug-ins loaded. If you install them later, simply reload the Blackmagic software again.
For a desktop machine, I would recommend going with the PCIe version if it doesn't have a factory SS USB 3.0 port as a suitable USB 3.0 card will cost nearly as much as the PCIe Shuttle. I hope this answers all your questions. I think you'll be very pleased with the results.
on July 6, 2015
After reading 12 thousand negative reviews online, (and the dozens a fake positive reviews), I thought since this product was released 5 years ago, they should have had all the bugs worked out by now.
Not. No. Not at all.
My system met all the super-unique-specific hardware requirements - Asus P6T, x58 chipset, 12 gig ram, Windows 7, 64 bit, external Fibre channel raid running at close to 400MBs capture R/W, PCIe USB 3.0 controller (Renesas chipset), running in a x16 slot - which gives me the 5gbs speed, etc. ( The JU-P20612-S1 only runs at 2.5 gbs in my spare x1 slot)
At first, upon day-one initial install, the Shuttle captured all flavors of video. I was impressed. For now, all I wanted to do is just wanted to do some simple Xbox 360 captures at 720p using the HDMI port. Testing went fine. It actually worked. Good quality video.
Then I shut the PC down for the day.
That was it. It never worked again after powering back up.
There were Audio and video sync problems (video lags the audio on all flavors of video captures) using their "Media Express" capture utility. (BTW this is a piece of clunky garbage s/w).
I then downloaded and updated the s/w from their site - still lag problems persist, and numerous other errors more frequent. Cleaned my system up, reinstalled everything, and still the same problems.
Then constant "Blackmagic S/W update required" popups every time I rebooted. The BM s/w updated successfully (as it reported back), but still the captures don't work. Lag and more lag. For a two minute capture, the audio can be behind the video by as much as 14 seconds. Still getting "BM s/w update required..." messages. (BM CheckversionPCI.exe doesn't work).
Spent a month working with Blackmagic Design Tech support. (There is NO support on this product).
They keep telling me to go back 20 s/w revisions. Tried that, but once you take the Shuttle update, all older versions of the s/w no longer recognize the hardware.
Multiple problems exist -
Media Express (their capture s/w) doesn't work - creates files with audio/video lags. Audio leads the video.
Does Not work with Sony Vegas. They say it does - no, it doesn't. Tried all versions from 9e, to 64 bit version 12. Can't import Media Express files (of any flavor), BM audio won't show up on the timeline. BM audio codecs are bad. Trying to capture in Vegas also shows the audio/video lag on the timeline. Even trying to play back any video using the BM Shuttle as a Monitor to an external HDMI monitor shows the lag.
Sometimes the BM s/w thinks the hardware is a Shuttle, then later it thinks it's a Decklink product. Big time driver problems. Current version is 10.4.1. BM Drivers DO NOT WORK.
More Major problems - The Blackmagic shuttle S/W (all of it) only runs in 32 bit mode. BM Tech Support has now admitted this. And today they emailed back asking me "Why are you using a 64 bit operating system?"
They are kidding me, right? They specified a 64 bit OS and they don't even know what it is. There is No support on this product. Their support is beyond worthless. I've got 50 emails to prove it.
Was thinking of getting a Intensity 4K at first, but those cards don't work either.
See the Blackmagic Forums for all the hundreds of upset users, and reference.
Also the BM Documentation does not match the product. There is no "Install" available - s/w for all their products are on one CD. No specific Shuttle folder. This is all Beta S/W and H/W. Something is really wrong with their 64-bit installer.
Solution found =
Use a free program called "VirtualDub" for capturing audio/video with the Shuttle. I'm using the 32 bit version. The settings for VirtualDub are confusing at first, but once you get it set up, it captures flawlessly. In one setting for the capture device, it needs to be set to "DeckLink", and in another, "BDMxxx". A 13 min capture at 720p, 59.94 fps., ended up with a file size of 9 gigs. About 85 MBs capture rate for Mjpeg. Now the files can be imported into Vegas 12 just fine. Will post this info on the BM Forums eventually.
So, stay away from this product. Not worth the headaches. Don't believe any of these fake paid "positive" reviews posted anywhere. You'll notice that NO ONE has proof that the Shuttle actually works (using BM s/w). All videos posted online "Using the Shuttle..." are using edited & added-on audio, not captured audio, and screen captures of the Media Express capture s/w.
Maybe someday (5 more years from now) they might have the bugs worked out and the drivers fixed.
Did I mention that there is NO SUPPORT for this product?
Don't even think about buying this product.
on May 11, 2011
A lot of people have been complaining about this product not working on their computer. A large number of them are from people who don't know how to read. This is a finicky product - as stated clearly in the product's description, it requires USB 3.0 due to the huge bandwidth requirements of HDMI, and a motherboard with the x58 chipset. So all those people trying it on USB 2.0? Idiots.
I suspect that a lot of the other people who are complaining are people who ignored the "warning - read this before installing" insert that came with the product informing you to update the NEC USB 3.0 drivers and where you can update them. This product will not work if your drivers are too old. I can understand why people were having problems with a product geared at those who are technically proficient.
The documentation that comes with the product is very good - well illustrated, in color.
It's way better than those crappy HD-PVR type devices - because it can capture from HDMI, and most importantly, LOSSLESSLY, instead of re-encoding everything on the fly by itself. Those HD-PVR boxes produce horrible encodes; but if you take video captured losslessly from a Design Intensity Shuttle and do a proper encode later with x264, your video will look excellent.
So I give this product a high rating, because despite being very picky on what hardware it works with, if you've got the proper equipment it works well. Right now this is hundreds of dollars cheaper than any other HDMI capture solution on the market.
Before I end this review let me give you the few "cons" I noticed:
-It doesn't support 1080p60. This is what the Xbox 360 and PS3 output when set to 1080p. So you have to set them to 1080i.
-You have to have their software or VirtualDub open for the device to pass through HDMI to the output port.
-It obeys the law - meaning it doesn't work with HDCP-compliant signals. You'll have to order a separate piece of hardware to strip out the HDCP from the HDMI signal if you're using a device that puts HDCP on the signal. Xbox 360 outputs HDCP-free signal when playing games or at the dashboard. PS3 uses HDCP at all times so you have to use an HDCP stripper or use custom firmware and trick your PS3 into thinking it's a development unit - which allows you to disable HDCP. Blu-ray players, cable DVRs, etc. will all likely use HDCP.
-Default lossless compression is very hard drive intensive - requiring write speeds above 1 Gbps (120 MB/sec). If you want to capture video losslessly I recommend using VirtualDub instead of the default software with the modified huffyuv codec for HDYC. HuffyUV (HDYC mod) or AMV2MT both lower the maximum required speed of your hard drives from 1 Gbps+ to 300-500 Mbps (35-65 MB/sec). And yes, the video is still completely lossless (no quality lost.) Amazon is dumb and won't let you link to stuff in reviews so I hope you know how to use Google to find them.
Hardware tested on:
ASRock x58 Extreme3 motherboard
Windows 7 x64
on October 7, 2015
Didn't work for my own usage, but that's because I purchased it in order to archive my (now quite old) family VHS tapes.
After speaking with Blackmagic's tech support (friendly people, btw), they mentioned I would need to have a timecode corrector unit, which would likely cost another $100 or so for it to work my old analog tapes.
The unit itself did work fine on both my windows PC and my Mac laptop. My PC is an older 2010 i7, and to make sure it worked correctly I had installed an add-on PCI express USB 3.0 card. I mention this since these USB 3.0 Shuttle's tend to not work well with the old USB 3.0 ports built-in to motherboards. These Intensity Shuttle units tend to score a bit low, so I wanted to rate it higher...but unfortunately it just didn't work for my own usage. As a reedeming note though, I tried other capture cards as well, and none of them were able to work correctly with my analog tapes… aside from [ironically] an extremely old PCI capture card that I purchased way back when Pentium 4's were the cutting edge of technology! Thus I ended up returning this unit & the others I tried.
on September 9, 2014
The Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle for USB 3.0 is one of the most complicated to set up, but easiest to use cards on the market. Read the system requirements and verify them before purchasing this card, otherwise you will have a $200 paperweight. I currently have this card working on a MSI x79 board that has a NEC/RENESAS USB 3 controller without issue in every major program from premiere, to Wirecast, Livestream Studio, OBS and others that support directshow devices. While the card only supports 1080i59.94 and 720p59.94 the quality is good enough for livestreaming.
Don't bother calling them or attempting to ask questions. You will get further by googling your questions. Additionally if you are having issues and you are not using a NEC/RENESAS USB 3.0 controller, it's not going to work, period.
Pass through for monitoring
Supports video sources 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i (at 59.94fps)
no adapters for svideo
mix hdmi video and analog audio
no 240i support (no capturing N64, SNES, NES and other older systems)
Newer driver versions do not really add any new features, sometimes cause instability
no 1080p support
If you are looking to capture on the go with a laptop: this card is NOT FOR YOU. If you have thunderbolt, pick up the thunderbolt version of this card, otherwise I would look at competing cards from avermedia.