Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic On-Air
Posted May 5, 2006

At NAB, Blackmagic Design announced Blackmagic On-Air, a new software application that runs exclusively with the popular Multibridge Extreme to enable live, on air mixing, editing and capture. Blackmagic On-Air combines the capabilities of a real time HD mixing application with the power of Multibridge Extreme for a complete, live television production studio. This sophisticated HD/SDI workflow captures and mixes at the same high quality as used in a broadcast environment, yet at an affordable price. Multibridge On-Air is an affordable live studio solution when used with the new Canon XL H1 1080i HD resolution camera.

Two cameras connect SDI video into Multibridge Extreme and Blackmagic On-Air mixes the two video inputs in real time. The editor can mix between the two camera shots in real time and video output can be transmitted, broadcast, or recorded directly to disk for distribution via the Internet. Blackmagic On-Air is a terrific labor-saving device when recording lots of long duration programs which can be more conveniently captured, mixed and recorded to disk live.

It is perfect for live productions such as weddings, religious or theatrical events, professional ballet performances, public or community television--just about any event using two cameras, Blackmagic says. Multibridge Extreme has all the connections required for a complete on air television studio solution, connecting to any two cameras with SDI output and genlock input, enabling cameras to be synced without needing additional sync generator hardware. Once the cameras are connected they can be monitored via the on-screen camera and program views, or the user can connect any SDI, DVI or HDMI monitor to Multibridge Extreme for full resolution monitoring. Additionally, any audio mixer can be connected to Multibridge Extreme's 8 channel AES or 2 channel analog inputs for ultimate audio flexibility.

Blackmagic On-Air uses uncompressed 10-bit video or if the user has Final Cut Pro HD installed on their system, it can record in compressed HD allowing capture to internal disks, eliminating the need for cumbersome disk arrays on location. It features all monitoring, mixing and recording from an easy-to-use application window. This allows better feedback between functions so your situational awareness is greatly enhanced - an absolute must in live production. When using high-end DV or HDV cameras that feature SDI out with genlock, you have the added advantage of using internal recorders so if a mistake is made in mixing, the original camera footage is still available. Blackmagic On-Air records standard QuickTime movies that can be dropped into Final Cut Pro, and then easily corrected.

Recommended system requirements include Power Mac Dual-Core 2.0 GHz or faster, 2GB of RAM memory, and at least a 20-inch LCD display. Final Cut Pro is required if you're capturing to DVCPRO HD. Windows XP will be supported soon.

Multibridge Extreme is the world's first all-in-one bi-directional converter featuring a new high-speed 10GBps PCI-Express connection. 25 times faster than FireWire, Multibridge Extreme's PCI-Express allows capture and playback of uncompressed video up to 2K feature film resolutions when plugged into a computer. Multibridge Extreme can be used as the highest quality audio and video converter, or as a high-end editing and compositing system for broadcast, post-production and film projects. It instantly switches between HD and SD with 4:2:2 and Dual Link 4:4:4 video quality. Multibridge Extreme features SDI digital video, Analog Component video, 8 channels of AES/EBU digital audio, two channels of balanced professional XLR analog audio and two unbalanced audio outputs for low cost in-suite monitoring.

Blackmagic On-Air will be included as a free Mac OS X software update for all Multibridge Extreme models around May 15, 2006. The free upgrade will be available to existing Multibridge Extreme owners and can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website located at

A Windows XP version of Blackmagic On-Air will then be released in a later Windows Multibridge Extreme software update.