Blackmagic Ultrastudio Express & Nuendo 6.04 64bit (WIN)?


I’m thinking of getting Blackmagic Ultrastudio Express Thunderbolt box for my MBP (late '11), but for Windows7-64bit, not OSX. The most important feature for me would be to play back video from internal SSD to HDMI monitor full screen while making music & sound design on laptop screen with Nuendo 6.04 (64-bit). Does anyone run similar setup and what are the experiences, is it stable and working OK?

If so, what kind of resolutions and codecs are the best choices? How do you usually convert your video files you get from your customers? Or do you just simply load the MOV on the timeline without much thinking about it? I’ve noticed many h264 files are glitchy and CPU hungry in Nuendo video window unless encoded properly, is it same thing with Blackmagic?

I know Blackmagic says all this should work on Nuendo and Cubase, but I’d rather hear about some real world experiences before spending money on new hardware.


Hello Habanero.
Using video in Nuendo with a blackmagic card works ok but is surely not drag&drop and play.
File format is something you’ll have to carefully watch.
Some H264 works well while some others are jerky or not playable.
I found photojpeg and prores422 to be the most efficient. I frequently get DVpal files and they work totally ok.

BUT, you’ll find lots of files format that don’t work as well and Blackmagic designs don’t support 1080p or 720p @ 25 fps. It totally sucks (for me) since this is the most common files I get deliverd nowadays. I then use interlaced output wich looks absolutely gross on my 40" video monitor.

Second problem is the way Nuendo uses the card. It is not very well integrated.
Nuendo can set the project timeline accordingly to the video file you provide but that’s about it.
You have to select manually in the device menu wich format would eventually fit (if it does) for what you want to display.
When you get files at different resolutions (like some 720P or Pal quickly done by the editor for preview), it is cumbersome to go in device menu/video output/select proper resolution because everybody panics since it looks weird… At least a drop box or a selecter in the project page would help…

On some projects, I have to resort using my fourth video output to the second input on my Monitor, thus bypassing the Intensity pro.

Those interfaces are not black and certainly not magic. They work provided YOU are careful with what you give them and know how to use Quicktime pro converter or Mpeg streamclip. And you need a mac if you want to encode in Prores.

I know I sound negative, but since you asked for real life experience, here is mine.

Hi Bifop,

Blackmagic cards in all studios here, and 99% of all delivery is 25fps.
Actually, I have never made the reflection, since our video is flawless.
We just set the framerate to 50 or 60, and I never saw anything “weird”.
What would be the problem we should be having?
(Not being sarcastic here, I see your -valid- point. But don’t see the problem)

FWIW, we output SDI to a Blackmagic Videohub, which is then send to the different rooms, and being converted into Hdmi (or other format) at the end.


Hi Fredo !

What I have observed when playing progressive 1080/720 file with the 1080i/720i @ 50 fps is a badly interlaced image especially with 1080p25.
It is like the fields are upside down.
Control room video Monitor is a Samsung MX400-II (going thru a HDMI splitter).

I wonder if your video hub and/or your final hdmi converter wouldn’t take care of correct frame distribution.

Thanks for your help Bifop and Fredo!

A few more questions, if you have time - are any of these experiences with Ultrastudio Express or close to the same family, especially in Windows764bit, Thunderbolt and newest Nuendo environment? Having never had any Thunderbolt devices I’m slightly worried about how they actually work in Windows with MBP hardware. Or am I to expect similar behavior whatever the Blackmagic card/boxe or OS is used with Nuendo?

I’ve also heard about lag involved when getting video to external screen in relation to audio. Is that something I should worry about with typical HDMI monitor and Blackmagic box? I’ve heard that in PT this is sometimes fixed by matching “a pip”-sound and white flash in the beginning of video file, adding some extra ms to audio playback until both occur at the same time. Are similar options available in Nuendo?

Thanks again!

I use the Blackmagic Intensity pro with Windows 7-64 bits and Nuendo 6.04-64 bit wich is many 6 and 4. :slight_smile:
I have never used thunderbolt devices so I can’t tell you how well that would work.

Usually Blackmagic cards are well regarded and pretty consistent across the line. The software and drivers are unified but you may get more options (and supported format and framerate) when going to the top of the line.

You can certainly keep the pip & flash method in NU6. There is a shift setting under Nuendo video device (independent for each video peripheral).

Blackmagic Studio cards here.
And what Bifop said. Measure and set the latency once, and forget about it.


Ok, this clears it up, thanks gents!

Tomorrow I’ll have Decklink Mini Monitor Thunderbolt delivered to me and I’ll report my experiences when I’ve fooled around it for a while.

Hi HabaNero, does your Decklink Mini Monitor works with Nuendo 6 ?

Yes, it does work very well, I have no complaints!