Blackmagic Decklink SDK/Intensity Thunderbolt on Retina MacPro for LiveStreaming

We at Hellicar&Lewis have been working on a streaming video project for the Abandon Normal Devices festival:

We’ve ended up using the fantastic Camtwist:

After a suggestion from Jason Van Cleave. This allows us to use a pair of Dazzle USB video digitisers with the composite out of a pair of GoPro Hero2 cameras:

However, we would really love to be able to use a native oF HD solution on the remainder of the tour, and release it to the world. We’ve purchased a pair of Intensity Thunderbolts:

To allow us to take HD input from the HDMI output of the GoPro’s, rather than their SD PAL composite out, using Blackmagic’s Declink SDK:

However, getting either the composite, or HDMI outputs of the GoPro to appear as valid inputs on the Intensity Shuttle has proven to be impossible thus far. Has anyone else had any success with any of the Intensity range? Or with GoPro Hero2’s via composite or HDMI outputs?

Will Gallia has made a port of Arturo’s Linux ofxBlackmagicGrabber to OS X, which can be seen here:

Amongst other things.

This is the sister project to Diedericks video streaming efforts:

It would be great to get rock solid audio and video coming into oF - the Declink SDK is Mac/Windows/Linux, so could be great addition.

James George mentioned that Blackmagic input was the whole reason he made:

But I can’t even get the composite input to work - which is bizarre, as other composite devices work, and composite is composite is composite, right?

I believe the HDMI issue might be that the Hero2 is encoding audio with AAC. I have support issues going at both Blackmagic and GoPro - so will report back.


I have been working with the Intensity Pro PCIe card in a mac tower and it has worked well so far with ofxQTKitVideoGrabber. Here is a post that has the devices it lists and the cameras I’ve tested.

Does ofxQTKitVideoGrabber not recognize the intensity shuttle?

Have you gotten the stream to show up in the Black Magic software? It is really specific and the resolution and fps have to be exact.

I would like to use the Decklink API since it has more options, but I can’t seem to get it to work properly.
I tried Will Gallia’s ofxBlackmagicGrabber for osx, but when I try listing devices, the app crashes here, any suggestions?

if (deckLink->QueryInterface(IID_IDeckLinkInput, (void**)&deckLinkInput) != S_OK) {  
     ofLogError(LOG_NAME) << "Query Interface failed";  
     goto bail;  

I tried running the examples included with the SDK, but they do not work either. The documentation says that the intensity series is supported by the API. Not sure what the problem is since it doesn’t work with the included examples.


I updated to the latest drivers and I am able to get the video stream using the Blackmagic API. I commented out this line since I it was causing a crash.

audioReceiver->audioReceived(audioFrameBytes, audioFrame->GetSampleFrameCount() * (g_audioSampleDepth/8));  

Hey Nick,

I got another camera to test with, the Hitachi DZ-HV575E. Worked fine at 1080p 29.97 frame rate - using the Blackmagic Decklink SDK. I haven’t managed to get it working directly with Quicktime as yet. Which camera did you use?

I’m following this up with GoPro and Blackmagic as we speak.



Hi Joel,

I tried the Canon 60D, 5D mark II, t2i, XA10 camcorder, Vixia HF10 and the Panasonic HDC-TM90. The 5D and the XA10 were not interlaced. All cameras output 1080i. The XA10 did not have auto mode while outputting hdmi. There is a menu overlay on the 5D for live view. By installing magic lantern, it can be removed (though I was unable to test). I have a few more notes on each camera if you are interested.

The other cameras had interlacing, so a de-interlacing algorithm would be needed.

I am using a PCIe card and that might be why Quicktime is recognizing it. ofxQTKitGrabber was much faster than ofVideoGrabber.

Are you testing the GoPro Hero2? How did it go?


Hey Nick,

I am still testing the GoPro Hero2 - I think there is something slightly non standard about the way the Hero2 does output. Blackmagic have contacted GoPro directly, so I hope we will be able to get this resolved. I’ll follow up when I have more details. The most puzzling one is the composite incompatibility - I can’t understand why that at least won’t work. Composite is composite the world over right? The only different is resolution and framerate with PAL/NTSC as far as I can tell.



It would be great if these two things would play nice together. I have a lot of trouble with figuring out the proper fps and res for the blackmagic input. It takes a few guesses before I can get it to work. Wish I could offer more help.
Good luck!


Hey, is there any word from either BM or GoPro regarding the issue? Just tried Hero2 + Intensity and it did not work and then I saw this thread…

hey guys, I have just got an email from GoPro team… they recommended trying the “1080p 27.97fps and 720p 59.94 fps” for HERO2 and said to make sure “you are using either 1080-30 or 720-60”
can anyone with GoPro Hero2 and Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle try this? I don’t have mine Hero2 anymore…

I’ll try it when I get back to the studio! GoPro have been quite unresponsive - Blackmagic got back to me with this:

On 29 Aug 2012, at 10:35, Blackmagic Support EMEA wrote:

Hi Joel,

I did recently contact GoPro for some more information about the output of their cameras, and this is the response I received:

"Hi Paul,

Thank you for contacting us here at GoPro. We unfortunately do not have much detail on HDMI connection or EDID. What we can provide is the information on our support page which is below. If you need more detail than that I can try and get in contact with our engineering team for a more detailed breakdown.

When you connect your HD HERO2 to an external monitor with an HDMI cable, your camera should automatically go into live-feed mode. This means that the monitor will display what the camera’s image sensor sees. If your monitor is not displaying the signal, it may not be compatible with the HD HERO2 camera’s HDMI output. Here is a list of the HDMI output settings for the HD HERO2 camera:

NTSC HDMI output settings:
WVGA 60fps output: 480p 60fps

WVGA 120fps output: 480p 60fps

720p 30fps output: 720p 60fps

720p 60fps output: 720p 60fps

960p 30fps output: 1080p 30fps

960p 48fps output: 1080p 30fps

1080p 30fps: 1080p 30fps

Setup menu, Photo/video preview outputs: 1080p 30fps

PAL HDMI output settings:
WVGA 50fps output: 480p 50fps

WVGA 100fps output: 480p 50fps

720p 25fps output: 720p 50fps

720p 50fps output: 720p 50fps

960p 25fps output: 1080p 25fps

960p 50fps output: 1080p 25fps

1080p 25fps: 1080p 25fps

Setup menu, Photo/video preview outputs: 1080p 25fps

If your monitor does not support 1080p, the camera will output 1080i 60fps (NTSC) or 1080i 50fps (PAL). If 1080i60 is not supported, the camera will revert to outputting 720p 60fps (NTSC) or 720p 50fps (PAL).

Please let us know if you have any other questions and have a great rest of your day!"

Please keep in mind that only the broadcast resolutions such as PAL NTSC 720 and 1080 are supported by Blackmagic devices.

GoPro are eager but unable to explain why their HDMI streams are non-standard. Very frustrating.


@JGL- Hi did you get the blackmagic working with the blackmagic grabber- I wanted to work with the same device for input and output but have no luck with some of the older of addons. I saw on your github you have some examples but the files in your addon differ to anything I can find- can I get a copy of your modified addon?

To add to your other queries I use the thunderbolt and a variety of other versions of blackmagic hardware to capture video. There is one problem with the composite version, the system preferences that set the default input do not come through quicktime. If you use the standard videograbber and invoke the video settings you can then set the input to composite and you should get an image.

Prior to using the blackmagic capture cards I was using canopus ADVC110 and a variety of USB capture devices. ofxQTKitVideoGrabber gave much better results than the built in grabber for these USB and firewire capture devices, however the results I get from the normal grabber with the blackmagic hardware are much better- they do look even better with qtkit grabber but using the old grabber was the only solution I found to get composite input working with OF.

I think this is a blackmagic fault (the composite thing) as if you send an NTSC signal using ofxQTKitVideoGrabber you will see an image (the set default input does hold the physical port but not the format so if you set your default capture settings to composite and send NTSC it will work as expected.



Hi Fred,

Everything is up at:

Isn’t it? I managed to get HDMI coming in from another device - I need to retry with the recommended settings of 1080p/29.97 fps or 720p/59.94.

“If you use the standard videograbber and invoke the video settings you can then set the input to composite and you should get an image.”

Do you mean the standard oF videograbber? Or Quicktime itself?



I just see ofxSoundStream in the addons folder there.

HDMI works for me easily as long as the device puts out exactly what the blackmagic wants. I get fine signals from consumer cameras, ipads and other computers (these work easier in HD). Yes, I meant the the standard oF videograbber, but this is for composite as if you cannot get to the video capture settings you cannot select PAL again. This setting in the blackmagic preference does not stick and has to be reset.



Are there too!