Another Use for a BlackMagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle

Many of you already know about BlackMagic Design’s new SDI/HDMI recording device, the Hyperdeck Shuttle. If you don’t know, then the short of it is that the Hyperdeck Shuttle takes an incoming video feed from either SD/HD-SDI or HDMI, and transcodes it to 10-bit uncompressed Quicktime on the fly, and writes it to a 2.5″ SSD drive. There are several good products that do this, but none that do it so cheaply, at US $350.00. I think the closest competitor is the Atomos Ninja at $995.00. What makes the Hyperdeck Shuttle so cheap is that fact that it’s so simple. No display, no menus (unless you’re using the computer interface app). Just standard record/play deck buttons to worry about, and you’re off to the races. Plug your camera in, hit record, and go.

The only drawback to the Hyperdeck Shuttle, in my opinion, and the only reason why I won’t buy one yet, is the fact that you have to hit RECORD manually; the unit will NOT detect time code from the camera and start on its own. When BlackMagic fixes this issue, I’ll probably buy two of the things. My friend Ed, however, DID buy one, and last week, we found another great use for it: acting as a real-time record backup unit for a TriCaster.

BlackMagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle
BlackMagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle recording from a TriCaster

If you don’t know, a TriCaster is a miracle machine made by the folks at NewTek. It is, essentially, a TV studio in a box. It takes in multiple camera feeds and allows the operator to switch, add titles, graphics, transitions, etc. and output a ready-made show while simultaneously outputting to a live web stream if desired, and it’s only the size of a small desktop computer case. However, the TriCaster does have one very annoying trait (at least the model I have): Once your show is finished, instead of copying the final file off of the machine’s internal hard drive for delivery to the client, you have to actually PLAY the file out from SpeedEdit in whatever format the client wants, just like you were writing to — shudder — tape. You can’t copy the original AVI from the hard drive because it is written in some proprietary NewTek codec, and it can’t be played unless it’s on the TriCaster, or at least, taken into SpeedEDIT.

But, thanks to the Hyperdeck Shuttle, we have a workaround. Simply take the TriCaster’s HD-SDI out feed, plug it into the Hyperdeck Shuttle, and hit RECORD. While the show is in progress, the Hyperdeck Shuttle writes the program to a .mov file on the SSD, which you can then simply hand to your client when the production is over. Just bill the cost of the SSD into the job, and you’re golden. DON’T leave it up to your clients to supply the drive; they will inevitably cheap out and think that a slower drive is just as good, and you will end up with an SSD that isn’t fast enough. You should have a drive that can sustain a 250mb/sec write speed, especially if you are recording an HD feed.

8 thoughts on “Another Use for a BlackMagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle”

  1. Great article. I’m going to explore using the hypershuttle as an external deck for my tricaster. I’m currently renting Ki-Pros.

    I do not find the Tricaster file to be as proprietary as you mention. The file loads fine in Premiere and Vegas. Final cut does need a little help.

    First you need to record on the tricaster in the “high” profile. This gives you a 4:2:2 file. Then you run a script on the file via your Mac to wrap the file into a .mov container and transcode the audio. Note that this process does NOT transcode the video. It is a very quick script. Once this is done your file can not be brought into Final Cut as a XDCAM source file.

    My clients have been very happy with this process. Check out this forum post for the script and further information:



  2. Ok, I’m a newbie – but I’m looking to record talent in front of a green screen in SDI and think the Hyperdeck is the way to go. I’ll be buying the Sony HXR-NX5U NXCAM Camcorder which has SDI out. My question is, can I record video and audio together onto the Hyperdeck? I’ll be using a separate mic for recording the audio how can I get that audio into the Hyperdeck too?

  3. I’m with Joe here. You should be able to take the TC’s recorded file directly to whatever NLE you want (FCP has some issues depending on what profile you are recording). TC records MPEG-2 iFrame only.

  4. I am glad to have found your website. Thinking of purchasing a Panasonic ag af 100 to go with my tricaster 850 that I purchased earlier. Do you know if the Panasonic works with tricaster HD?

  5. He said that he didn’t have to install any software and his web streaming software recognized the video input. He also said that Blackmagic offered some software for capturing the video, but he hadn’t used that.

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