How many inputs and or outputs do you have on a single video device?

With Softron's playout and ingest software you can work with multiple channels on the same computer. You can have multiple outputs and/or multiple records. You only need to make sure that your Mac will sustain what you ask it to do and that you have one or multiple video cards that will allow you these multiple in or out. There are different ways to have multiple in / out:

  1. you use one video device that can do multiple in/out (read the following article to know how to do that)
  2. OR you use multiple devices to reach the number of in/out you need

We would recommend you to use one device with multiple i/o) because these devices are meant for that (as the M|80, M|62 or M|44). 

 

Can I use all the connectors on my device?

Even if your card has multiple connectors, it does not mean it can use them simultaneously and independently. For example a lot of cards have 2 connectors for output (such as the UltraStudion 4K), but most of them will output just the same signal. These 2 connectors are used for outputting 3D, or dual link.

Important explanations on the tables below:

  • The number referenced in column number 2 and 3 indicate the number of Independent outputs or inputs. It does not indicate the number of connectors present on the board. For example the UltraStudio 4K has 5 SDI connectors, one for the reference, 2 for the input, and 2 for the output. BUT you can not use the 2 inputs or the 2 outputs independently, except for keying or 3G/6G dual outputs/inputs.
  • The last column indicates of the in and out can be used in Full Duplex.
    • When you can NOT use the connectors in Full Duplex it means that the connectors will be either in or out. For example, the AJA Io 4K has 4 different connectors. And a maximum of 4 inputs or 4 outputs, but not in Full Duplex so you can not use the 4 inputs and the 4 outputs a the same time. You will have the following combinations possible:
      • 4 in,
      • 4 out,
      • 2 in + 2 out,
      • 3 in + 1 out,
      • 1 in + 3 out
    • When you can use in Full Duplex, then you can use simultaneously the input and the output. For example again the UltraStudio 4K, you can use the card for 1 in and 1 out at the same time.
  • About 4K. Some video device use 3G connectors and need 4 connectors to be able to play or record 4K. This is the case for example for the AJA Io 4K or the M|Family. Other video devices use 6G or 12G connectors, and in that case you can have just one connector for one 4K signal.

 

Thunderbolt or USB devices

The following devices are Thunderbolt devices that can be connected directly to your Mac (provided it's a recent Mac with a Thunderbolt port of course). See under for the list of PCI devices.

 

AJA

Device                     Max Inputs Max Outputs Full Duplex
Io 4K 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) No
Io XT 2 (SD or HD) 2 (SD or HD) No
T-Tap 0 1 (SD or HD) N/A
U-Tap (Device Not Supported)    

 WARNING: there are some limitations to use multiple i/o on one single AJA card (KONA 3G, KONA 4K, Io 4K, Io XT). Read the following article to know more. (note that this article does not pertain to using multiple single i/o devices)

 

Blackmagic-Design

Device Max Inputs Max Outputs Full Duplex
Intensity Shuttle 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
UltraStudio 3D 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
UltraStudio 4K 1 (SD or HD or 4K) 1 (SD or HD or 4K) Yes
UltraStudio 4K Extreme 1 (SD or HD or 4K) 1 (SD or HD or 4K) Yes
UltraStudio Express 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
UltraStudio Extreme 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
UltraStudio Mini Monitor 0 1 (SD or HD) N/A
UltraStudio Mini Recorder 1 (SD or HD) 0 N/A
UltraStudio Pro 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
UltraStudio SDI 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No

Note: We don't recommend the use of the Blackmagic-Design USB devices as they have not been thoroughly tested with our products. But you can test them as in theory they should work fine.

M|family

Device                     Max Inputs Max Outputs Full Duplex
M|80 8 (SD or HD) or 2 (4K) 0 N/A
M|62 6 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) 2 (SD or HD)  Yes
M|44 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) Yes

 

PCI devices

The following devices are PCI cards that can be used in a Thunderbolt expansion chassis. So you will need to purchase one, for example from Sonnet. Or if you still own a grey Mac Pro tower, these devices can be plugged in directly in one of the PCI slots.

 

AJA

Device                     Max Inputs Max Outputs Full Duplex
KONA 3G 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) No
KONA 3 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
KONA 4K 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) 4 (SD or HD) or 1 (4K) No
KONA LHi 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) Yes
KONA LHe Plus 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) Yes
KONA LSe 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No

 WARNING: there are some limitations to use multiple i/o on one single AJA card (KONA 3G, KONA 4K, Io 4K, Io XT). Read the following article to know more. (note that this article does not pertain to using multiple single i/o devices)

 

Blackmagic-Design

Device Max Inputs Max Outputs Full Duplex
Intensity Extreme 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Intensity Pro 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Decklink SDI 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Duo 2 (SD or HD) 2 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Duo 2 4 (SD or HD) 4 (SD or HD) Either 4in, or 4out, or 2in/2out, or 3in/1out, 1in/3out
Decklink Optical Fibre 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Mini Monitor 0 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Mini Recorder 1 (SD or HD) 0 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Quad 4 (SD or HD) 4 (SD or HD) No
Decklink Quad 2 8 (SD or HD) 8 (SD or HD) Either 8in, or 8out, or 4in/4out, or 3in/5out, etc...
Decklink Studio (4K) 1 (SD, HD or 4K) 1 (SD, HD or 4K) No
Decklink 4K Extreme 1 (SD, HD or 4K) 1 (SD, HD or 4K) Yes
Decklink 4K Pro 1 (SD, HD or 4K) 1 (SD, HD or 4K) Yes
Decklink HD Extreme 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Decklink HD Extreme 3D 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Multibridge Pro 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No
Multibridge Eclipse 1 (SD or HD) 1 (SD or HD) No

 

You need analog audio- What can you do ?

All the cards that support multiple inputs or outputs only do that using SDI with embedded audio. Softron users who need multiple inputs or outputs with analog audio and don't want to work with embedder/de-embedder, can use multiple single i/o devices that have analog audio. And just connect multiple cards to your Mac. But you will be limited with the number of ports/slots available on the Mac.

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