Video On Second Screen: Best Practices?


I’m currently upgrading my studio a bit and was wondering how you guys go about showing video while mixing and recording. When looking at studio images on Google, I often see a big screen, probably fed by a beamer. Others have a big flatscreen hanging in front of the mixing desk in smaller studios. How is this done? Is this just a regular output of the graphics card and a normal second monitor, so the video window is dragged over and maximised? Or do you have a special hardware box whose sole purpose is to display video on a TV or beamer?

So when I’d like to have a 2 screen setup for Nuendo, one with timeline, one with mixer. And an additional screen for the movie, I just need a GFX card with 3 monitor outputs? Or special hardware?

I’m on a Mac btw. So maybe this limits my choice of hardware.

Thanks for a hint how this is best solved.

One of the easiest, most economical, elegant, and hassle-free solutions has always been an auxiliary video card from Blackmagic Design. I’ve been using an Intensity Pro for years to achieve exactly the result you are after. However, with the upcoming change in the video engine for Nuendo 8 (and I am assuming retroactively for N7 and Cubase 9), it remains to be seen if this will continue to work. I’ll likely have to upgrade to something else.

The other way to go is as you mentioned, either a video card that is three screens simultaneously capable, or twin dual screen cards and drag the on screen video window to one of those.

Ah, good hint with the N8 video engine. Wait and see…

Would you then recommend computer monitors to use as video screens or buy a TV to get a more accurate representation and ease of use? I guess TVs are cheaper in bigger sizes if you take full HD TV in 40 or 50 inch sizes?

I have a 46 inch HD Sony Bravia hanging on the wall that I use for full screen viewing, but also use 27 inch Acer HD LED computer monitors depending on whether I’m working in Nuendo or on the Cubase machine. They all have HDMI and DVI inputs, although the Sony has multiple switchable inputs so you can run multiple systems into it and switch from one to the other via remote. Definitely more bang for the buck with television monitors these days.

I second Black Magic. I have the intensity pro that I’ve been using for years with no problem. Awesome company.

I use a blackmagic too. Deck Link mini is the smallest one to get now… Works nice.


Blackmagic Intensity Pro here as well.

I am using a Blackmagic Mini Monitor Card which is one of the less expensive options and useful for those who do not have access to Thunderbolt I/O. It has two ports. One is HDMI and the other is HD-SDI which drives an HD-SDI monitor that I use in my studio and out in the field when working on video shoots.

Nuendo is very good at identifying non-typical but broadcast oriented video sources that are hooked into the computer.

Black Magic Intensity pro that goes to a hdmi splitter to a 40 inch display in Control room and a display in the voice booth.

awesome, thanks for all your input!

the intensity pro is for Windows PCs i guess. the normal intensity would also work with macs. right? bummer the intensity only records video at 30fps.

or are there external PCIe cases for mac?

If you go PCIe you have the whole decklink family to choose. Or do you need external?


The thing is, that I’m on a Mac and neither the new Mac Pro, nor the iMac, nor the MacBook lineup have any expansion slots for PCI cards. So an external Thunderbolt or USB3 or something solution would be nice. I love the expandability of PC systems, but I just can’t work with Windows. Personal preference. I guess the external BlackMagic Intensity would work, too. But for some projects I do I’d like 60fps for recording. I could hit 2 birds with 1 stone. Let’s first see what N8 brings to the table and if the Intesity still works, and then I’ll have a look. Maybe the Elgato HD60s would work, too?

Hello Chris
Right, I would wait for N8, too.
Anyway, on occasion I worked with the BM Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 a while ago. Worked like a charme. It has, in addition, some useful analog features and does FullHD on 60, as well.
Costs a bit more, but ( not knowing the Elgato) is very reliable and flexible.
Might be worth looking into, as well…

Cheers, Big K

Thanks Big K, but as far as I’ve seen, the Intensity USB thingy only records 30fps in 1080p. That’s the device you’re talking about, right?

Hi Chris, …
Youp, up to now the shuttle thingy is 30 fps, but the newer Intensity Pro 4K can do 60 Maybe there soon might be a shuttle version, too. Pity, that you can’t just grab the Intensity Pro 4K since it is a PCIe format card.
Servus, Big K

Well surely no one records video using a video card these days?
I for sure do not.
Intensity pro trashcan w pcie chassi. Works pretty good and have done for years.

I second ErikG’s thought, you probably need to separate the functions of video playback and video record. On the rare occasion we need to record something live we use a separate Blackmagic device that does that.

What manufacturer and model name isthe pcie chassis?

Sonnet x Mac Pro server chassi and a stand alone echo something IIRC.

Does an extra video-card like the Blackmagic take load off the computers’ internal video-processing-CPU?

Although my MacPro Cheesegrater is quite a strong machine, some video’s in Nuendo’s internal video window don’t play smooth at all. I hope an extra (dedicated) video-card will solve that issue?

Niek/ Amsterdam.