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Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle - video capturing devices (NTSC, PAL, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Basic x64, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, , Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro CC Mercury Playback Engine, Avid Media Composer)

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2 x 10 cm ; 318 g
  • Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
  • Delivery Destinations: Visit the Delivery Destinations Help page to see where this item can be delivered.
    Find out more about our Delivery Rates and Returns Policy
  • Item model number: BINTSSHU/THBOLT
  • ASIN: B007ZDHDRS
  • Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 3 Dec. 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,056 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)

Product Description

BLACKMAGIC Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt


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I have previously used the USB 3.0 version without any problems. This version (Thunderbolt) has heat issues. When it becomes warm (after 25 min) the picture start to flicker. I have been in contact with BMD-support and they are very slow to work with. I have tried an UltraStudio Extreme - without any issues. I will never recommend the Shuttle/Thunderbolt version to anyone.
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Verified Purchase
Ummm. The shuttle unit keeps not being seen by my Mac. Update software and it works for a couple of days then does not connect again. Also gets very warm! Not great for a not so inexpensive piece of kit. Better off with the cheaper Black magic unit that works fine
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars 65 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly engineered product 23 Dec. 2013
By Dan - Published on Amazon.com
This is a half-baked product that is not worthy of purchase. Avoid it.

There are several issues that make this a show-stopper.

Primarily, the unit overheats like crazy and, in some cases, will start introducing frames of black causing a rapid but random, flickering effect in the output video stream. This effect gets worse as the unit continues to heat up. The case has virtually no air circulation so whether this problem is related to ventilation or to poor circuit board design, is hard to say.

Second, there are no power or status lights so you can't tell if the unit is functioning.

Third, the software is a joke starting with the installation process. The Mac .dmg install pushes a bunch of non-relevant software to your drive that you will have no use for. Furthermore, the system pref app is of marginal use as it has no preview pane for video and no real explanation if any of the settings are what you need to use. I've been using digital video software since Premier 1.0 in the early 90s and THAT era had better software than this.

Fourth, the unit's tolerance for stable video is very low. If it is not rock solid, it will not function. Even an otherwise great HDMI signal off of a non-HDCP camera source will cause users some issues.

Bottom line, look to another product such as from Elgato or AverMedia. The Intensity Shuttle is a toy, not a serious product.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Research before you buy, and happiness will result 22 July 2012
By fyrechief - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt records from every type of input that it claims to. *However,* if your HDMI output device (Xbox, Android phone) uses copy protection (HDCP, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) then it will *not* record HDMI input. This is not a shortcoming of the Shuttle, it's a licensing arrangement that Blackmagic Design must agree with if they are to support HDMI at all.

Thunderbolt speed is absolutely fantastic, allowing gameplay in realtime on the computer screen eliminating the need to hook up to a TV. We're very satisfied with the product.

To earn one more star, Blackmagic Design could include some instructions in a quick start guide to test analog throughput first, and HDMI later as HDMI streams may be subject to HDCP restrictions.
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Good Experience with this Blackmagic product 22 July 2013
By Sharon Parq Associates, Inc. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I am a first-time purchaser of Blackmagic Design products. I purchasedthe Intensity Shuttle for Thunderbolt after spending hours on the Blackmagic Design website. During that time I read anything and everything I could on the products so that I could make an informed buying decision.

What I wanted to do was to capture video generated by a Windows PC that I have. It has a video card that can do simultaneous output to a DVI port and to an HDMI port. I can hook monitors up to both of those ports, mirror them at 1080p60, and they work fine. So I figured I could purchase an external capture device, such as the Intensity Shuttle, and capture the video signal on my iMac.

Seems my expectation that Blackmagic Design could fill my need was premature. I purchased the Intensity Shuttle and hooked it up. It wouldn't work. Came to find out, after calling tech support, that my video card could output at 1080p50, 1080p59, or 1080p60. Except the Intensity shuttle couldn't capture at those rates. It could only do 1080p23.98 through 1080p30.

Crap. So in talking with Gilbert in tech support, he suggested I look to see what interlaced specs the video card would do. I did, and it will do 1080i25, 1080i29, and 1080i30. But, of course, the Intensity Shuttle won't. It's printed specs (available on the Blackmagic Design website) say that it will only do 1080i50, 1080i59.94, and 1080i60. No match, right?

Wrong. Gilbert said that 1080i25 will match up with 1080i50 (likewise for the others, just multiply by 2). Dang! How in the world was a person to know that without a call to tech support (and the attendant 30+ minute wait)? Why wasn't that information on the Blackmagic Design website anywhere? Gilbert couldn't say. (Seems like the company should be interested in anything that would answer users questions and cut down on tech support time. Apparently not.)

So I tried to get it to handshake at those interlaced rates. Wouldn't do it. Convinced that it must be a faulty Intensity Shuttle, I asked for an RMA and shipped the unit back to Blackmagic Design. They tested it, recording video for several hours with no problem.

*sigh*

I called and talked to someone else in tech support (not Gilbert) who told me that the testing had shown no problems. He asked me to repeat for him the problems I was having. He suggested that, perhaps, the HDMI handshake wasn't happening because of HDCP protection. You see, even though I only wanted to capture mouse and cursor movements from the screen for an instructional video, the video card might not talk to a capture device such as the Intensity Shuttle because I could really be capturing a DVD or a Netflix stream.

Could be; I don't know. There is no way to tell without buying more equipment to check how the handshake is working. That's overkill. All I know is that, as a consumer, I plug the HDMI output into a monitor or TV, and it works. I plug it into the Intensity Shuttle and it won't. Works with one device, doesn't with another. Very frustrating.

So, I decided that I would, instead, use the Intensity Shuttle to transfer some old VHS tapes to digital files. It would make a great family gift if I could grab the 1990 video interview of my now-deceased grandfather and share it with my siblings. So, I grab a VHS player, plug it into a TV, and verify that it does, in fact, play the VHS tape. (It was good to see grandpa again.)

Then, I plug the VHS into the Intensity Shuttle and connect the pass-through output from the Intensity Shuttle to the same TV. Doesn't show up on my iMac or on the TV. Only thing different is that I've inserted the Intensity Shuttle into the mix.

*Argh!* (Can't Blackmagic Design figure out that their products should be as drop-dead easy to use as a TV? Just "plug it in" and it works? Apparently not.)

So I make another call to tech support and talk with Richard. He walks me through some steps that show that my iMac is now, all of a sudden, not seeing my Intensity Shuttle. We switch around some cables, and all of a sudden it works. (According to Richard, sometimes a Thunderbolt cable will work with one device, but not another. Sometimes you even have to turn the cable around so that its ends are opposite of what they were. Go figure! Sure does build confidence in the supposed solution you are trying to use.)

Anyway, now the video shows up in Blackmagic Media Express. Except it was unusable. It was flashing on and off, showing tons of dropouts. Richard said that "we often see this with analog signals from VHS players." Seems that the signal from the VHS player doesn't meet the specs required by Blackmagic Design. But I could try to get a timecode corrector to see if that would help. He couldn't suggest one that would work, and he couldn't even tell me if it would work.

*Arrrrgggghhhhh!* I'm trying to grab a simple little composite signal from a VHS player, and a multi-hundred-dollar Blackmagic Design product won't do it. A cheap hundred-dollar TV or monitor will do it, but the Intensity Shuttle won't. Hard FAIL!

So now I have a multi-hundred-dollar doorstop. It won't do "hard" things (like capture HDMI video) and it won't do "simple" things (like capture composite video). It looks pretty sitting on my desk, but it is apparently worthless.

The standard company line (that I've heard from three different Blackmagic Design tech support people of the course of the past five weeks) is that "the specs have to match up exactly, or our device won't work." That seems, to me, to be dodging the issue and borders on "blaming the other guy." Nowhere in the pre-sales information that I read on Blackmagic Design's website did it mention that their specs were so narrow, so finely tuned, so exclusive that their products won't do what a lowly hundred-dollar TV will do. Perhaps that's because if they did say it, it would affect sales. It certainly would have affected the sale of this particular product to me.

Come on, Blackmagic Design—get your collective heads out of your you-know-whats and understand that to a non-engineer consumer, if a device will work with a TV or monitor and it is plug-and-play simple, it should also be plug-and-play simple with your devices. While your tech support people were professional and as helpful as they could be, the bottom line is that I have a very, very bad taste in my mouth based upon my experience with your products. I understand the old adage of "let the buyer beware," and I will certainly be helping other potential customers understand it as well, when it comes to your products.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid device, does not play well with other software 11 Oct. 2013
By Faye - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought the BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt in order to play XBox 360 games on my mid-2012 MacBook Pro. The XBox 360 (Slim) was connected to the BM Intensity Shuttle over HDMI and the BM Intensity Shuttle was connected to the MacBook Pro over Thunderbolt. I looked online to see if anyone had tried to play XBox 360 games while using their notebook's monitor as monitor for the XBox, and found only a few reviews with widely varying results: some people said it worked without noticeable lag but without sound, others didn't get the setup working at all, all of them agreed that setting up the BM Intensity Shuttle as an input device was cumbersome.

Note that the XBox 360 does not use HDCP (digital signal encryption) to encrypt the HDMI signal when you're playing games, *only* when you're watching a DVD or playing protected media of some kind (maybe Netflix and Hulu? I didn't try these). The BM Intensity Shuttle does explicitly *not* work with encrypted signals. No analog signal (like component or composite) is encrypted.

The setup process was easy: just download the latest version of BlackMagic's media program (called "Desktop Video") from their website and install it. I connected the BM Intensity Shuttle with the XBox already connected and set to 720p. Then I went into System Preferences on my Mac, opened the new BlackMagic preferences program and manually set the input to 720p at 59.94 frames per second, with both audio and video coming from the HDMI port. I closed the preferences app, closed System Preferences and went into the Desktop Video app, which readily recognized the connected BM Intensity Shuttle.

In the Desktop Video app, I opened the "Recording" tab and voila, I had a clear picture! There seemed to be no noticeable lag in displaying the XBox Dashboard. However, the Desktop Video app does not pass through audio, and I couldn't open the BM Intensity Shuttle's audio stream from any application that I knew of (I do not have access to Final Cut Pro or most Adobe Premiere applications). I was able to take screenshots from the Intensity Shuttle from within Photoshop, and I could open a video stream from CoGe (which also supports anti-aliasing!) but I had no luck in getting audio working.

As far as actual gameplay, the delay I experienced on my notebook* made the Halo games unplayable. If I had to guess, I'd say the delay is about 200ms between a button press and the corresponding screen update, which makes games theoretically playable but annoyingly so. I am also using a XIM Edge, which adds latency of its own, and that was the last drop. If only the BM Intensity Shuttle recording app supported a fullscreen input preview and passed through the audio, I might have kept the BM Intensity Shuttle around because I play mostly RPGs that don't feature much fast-paced action.

Conclusion: the products does exactly what it says it does: record audio and video from non-HDCP HD and SD sources, but there seem to be only 3 or so applications that it works with, audio is missing in the preview in Desktop Video (but not in the recordings themselves) and the input latency is larger than I'd like. I returned the BM Intensity Shuttle and will wait for something that offers realtime monitoring of input audio and video.

Let me know if you have any questions about the Intensity Shuttle! I played around with it for a day and may be able to answer some questions I couldn't find the answer to when I looked online myself prior to purchase.

* A fully specced out mid-2012 13" MacBook Pro (Core i5 at 2.5GHz, 16GB of RAM, 500GB SSD) with a clean installation of Mac OS 10.8.5.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works with the bundled software, but not others 2 Nov. 2012
By Allen - Published on Amazon.com
I bought this device to use with iStopMotion Pro to make time lapse photography videos. This device was specifically recommended by the developers of iStopMotion, however it does not work their latest version of the software.

If you just want to capture video using the provided bundled software the device works fine, if you are going to use this hardware with any other software be sure to do your homework first.

When I called the hardware support line they sort made feel like an idiot (in spite of my 30 years of PC experience and 15 years of Mac experience) and told me "it's not a video capture card, you can't just use it with any software you like".
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