Multiple SDI captures/outputs on one device, UltraStudio 4K, AJA IO XT?

edited March 2017 in MAIN
I would like to know if there are any devices that can offer multiple SDI captures and outputs off one device? I note that Blackmagic Design's UltraStudio 4K and 4K Extreme offers 2 and 4 SDI inputs/outputs respectively, however my understanding is that only one input can be utilised at one time. I've been caught out by many Blackmagic products in the past by assuming they should do what the advertising blurb boldly claims to do, only upon further investigation to find some very small print stating the limitation of the product. What I'm really looking for is a device that can offer 2 inputs and 2 outputs simultaneously off a single Thunderbolt 3 port. 

I understand that the Blackmagic UltraStudio 4K cannot do this. Does any one know if the AJA IO XT can do this? If not, what are the nearest alternatives to these products? 


  • Hello @matte,

    We got an AJA Io XT at our studio, and as far as we know, it's not possible to both capture and output at the same time. However you daisy-chain via Thunderbolt (to another capture card or a videoprojector for example).
    Be sure to contact AJA support to get more info.

    On Blackmagic's side, I guess the Decklink Duo 2 would be good enough (from technical specs, "4 x bidirectional 12-bit SD/HD independently configurable as either Input or Output"). You'd need a buy as Thunderbolt 2 or 3 as well.
    Once again, be sure to contact Blackmagic to get all info and answers.

    Best. Philippe
  • edited March 2017
    Hi @Millumin,

    Thanks for your reply. With the AJA IO XT, are you able to tell me if it is possible to capture two independent streams at the same time? 

    The DeckLink Duo 2 card with a Sonnet Express chassis does look like a good option. Do you know if there would be any additional latency issues running the DeckLink card this way into a MacBook Pro instead of installing the DeckLink card straight into a Mac Pro tower?

  • Hello @matte,

    Never tried to capture two feeds from an AJA Io XT at the same time, but I don't think it's possible. Almost sure (you can only switch the capture source, SDI or HDMI).
    Of course, you could chain two of these devices via Thunderbolt, to be able to get 2 feeds.

    We ran some tests years ago with 2 Blackmagic MiniRecorder, see this post (keep in mind that the GoPro HDMI has a very big latency, so not the most optimized test, but it can still give a good idea).
    If you use a Thunderbolt 2 or USB-C chassis, I think you would have the same latency as if the device with inside a MacPro tower (since theses buses are really fast). But be sure to contact Blackmagic support to get a proper confirmation about that.

    Best. Philippe
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