Blackmagic MultiView 4



  • Hello,

    I produce fields of sculpture over which I projection-map interactive video using (primarily) Isadora.  
    When I'm just doing a one-day event or a shorter-term (3 days or less) show that I can manage personally, I set up one IR security camera going through a Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, an Xbox Kinect running on Processing via Syphon, a plug and play USB webcam as well as EpocCam MultiView to bring in a diverse set of live video feeds to distribute throughout the space and engage viewers through. 
    When I'm producing an installation which will stand alone, oftentimes in another city far away, for a month or more, utilizing all those feeds isn't practical as the Kinect regularly crashes Isadora (especially so it seems the newest build of Isadora), plug-and-play USB webcams are compressed feeds and thus heavy on the system and crash it if it's complicated, the EpocCams can be flaky over longer periods, mobiles need to be recharged, etc. 
    As such, I've been trying to find a solution to be able to have say, 4 solid, reliable live feeds coming into Isadora through which I can generate a programmed environment that remains complex and rich for a viewer, while stable for a gallery or museum crew which is almost never experienced enough to fix something if some aspect of the system goes down.
    I tried bringing an off-the shelf 4 camera security system feed into Isadora via the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, as well as through a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle, but neither of them worked.  The live security cameras all feed into what I assume is a proprietary hub of some sort, which then is meant to outputs via HDMI to a monitor, which is the point at which I wanted to intercept the signal and swing it into Isadora via Blackmagic, but no joy.  I suspect that either the total resolution of the four cameras added up to something that the Blackmagic device couldn't work with, and/or that the security camera hub was in some way compressing the feeds such that they were no longer visible to Blackmagic devices.  
    I called up Core Microsystems (which BTW has a much shorter wait time to access a helpline than Blackmagic offers) and they said that the Blackmagic MultiView 4 sounded like it might be a good fit for my needs, but that the question would be the resolution of the camera feeds going in and whether or not the resolution and/or frame rate would be supported.  The studio cameras that the recommend for use with the MultiView 4 are multi-thousands of dollars each...I just can't afford that kind of set-up.  So my questions are, have any of you successfully used Isadora with a Blackmagic MultiView 4, and if so with what kind of cameras?  
    Thanks in advance for any and all advice.  Best,
      FTP 


  • There are many cameras like this available and I have linked to these kinds of cameras a lot in this forum, but here we go, try HDSDI box cameras (security cameras). They have pretty good images, manula settings, IR modes if you need it for tracking, good output options, HDSDI and composite output, cmount changeable lenses and they are fine to be left on all day. The image quality is great, something like an HD go pro

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Megapixel-Full-1920x1080p-HD-SDI-Sony-CMOS-Box-Weatherproof-Camera-Exmor-/181108186791?hash=item2a2ae39ea7:g:8Z4AAOxyOeBRyyeA
    If you need a very high quality image and have a bit more cash (I think 1200 per camera) go for this
    https://www.ptgrey.com/zebra2-gige-vision-poe-hd-sdi-cameras
    These are amazing, super high quality, they have HDSDI out and also gigevision, so if you get more advanced projects and skills you can access the gigevision for a lot of crazy features like HDR, super high framerates, pixel sync between cameras etc
    Marshal also sell some cameras like this
    http://www.marshall-usa.com/optical/cameras/
    But they only have the tiny m lens and they have the same sensor and system as the security cameras above.
    The multiview will work fine, if you have a way to capture 4k you will end up with 4 HD streams coming in. Doable with a great computer and efficient with a blackmagic capture box as Mark integrated the blackmagic SDK into Isadora.
    I have not used this mulitview but I have used other multiviewers and quad splitters in front of capture cards and it is a good trick...With the blackmagic stuff it is cheap as they dont use scalers on the inputs. this means you need to have all the same input framerate and resolution and the output will have to have the same frame rate but not resolution.


  • Why I have this problem connectig Processing3.2.3  to Isadora 2.2.2?
    14cffa-screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-2.49.48-pm.png



  • Thanks Fred for the tips.

    What other multiviewers and quad-splitters have you used successfully with Isadora?  
     At $450 or so, the BM Multiviewer isn't cheap...


  • I used a decimator and an old analogue unit. 450 is cheap for a multi viewer.



  • Btw, it sounds like your first option could have worked. Did you try to confirm the HDMI output resolution of your security camera set by plugging it in to a modern TV. Usually when you plug this stuff in it will tell you the resolution. As long as it is a SMPTE standard black magic capture should read it. Other than something like a 1024*768 resolution, there is not really compression or proprietary signals that will run over HDMI.



  • Searching the forum for 'decimator' doesn't really turn anything up.

    Has anyone used the Decimator DMON-4S?  
    Is it comparable or considerably different in some way(s) from the Blackmagic Multiview 4?


  • Blackmagic box will output 4k or 4x full HD images in a 4K stream (or HD). Decimator does other stuff but is only HD. Decimator stuff is good and flexible.


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