When checking for the compatibility with Apple M1 computers (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max), there are different things to consider, we detail this below, but very briefly, we can tell that, while our applications run mostly fine on M1 chip (either Natively or with Rosetta depending on the application), the main things to know currently is that:
- You have to use the latest version of our software to be able to run them as universal versions. Our universal versions are easy to recognise, they use the new version of our icons.
- While our intel applications may run on an M1 computer (using Rosetta), only the applications built as Universal will be fully tested and supported. Contact us if you have more questions about this.
- OnTheAir Node 3 will not be compatible with Apple Silicon processors. You will have to upgrade to OnTheAir Node 4.
Read below for more details...
About Big Sur & Monterey
As the M1 computers will only run with Big Sur or Monterey, first make sure to check which applications and video device drivers are supported by this macOS version.
Rosetta or Native?
When running applications on computers with M1 chips, there are two possible types:
- Intel: the application is not built for M1 chips and thus it runs with the Rosetta translation. The performances won't be as good.
- Universal: the application has been built to run natively, so without translation. These applications are called "Universal" as they include a version for Intel and one for M1 processors. This should result in better performances.
Note that all the Softron applications that are universal come with a new type of icon that look like this:
So they are easy to recognise. If the application uses a different type of icon, it means it can not run natively on the Mac, but it can most probably run using Rosetta.
By default, if an application is "Universal", it will run "Natively". But in some cases, you may want to force the application to start with Rosetta. For this, select the application in the Finder, then use the command + i keyboard shortcut, and enable the following option:
Supported Applications Versions
IMPORTANT: If you use a video input/output (AJA, Blackmagic-Design, Deltacast, NDI), make sure to check the compatibility list in the next point below.
|Application||First Version Supported with Rosetta||First "Universal" Version|
|OnTheAir CG||3.5.4*||3.6 (Pre-release version available)|
|OnTheAir Video Express||4.0*||4.0**|
|OnTheAir Node||4.0b1* (Pre-release version available)||4.0b20* (Pre-release version available)|
|OnTheAir Live||4.0b1 (Pre-release version available)||4.0b1 (Pre-release version available)|
|OnTheAir Manager||4.0b1 (Pre-release version available)||4.0b1 (Pre-release version available)|
|MovieRecorder||4.4b5*||4.4b58 (Pre-release version available)|
|MovieRecorder Express||4.4b5*||4.4b58 (Pre-release version available)|
|M|Replay||2.2b25 (Pre-release version available)||2.2b25 (Pre-release version available)|
* Check the video drivers compatibility list below.
** If you are using the software with a Blackmagic-Design ATEM production switcher, make sure to install version 8.6.4 on your computer as it's the first universal version
Compatibility with video inputs and outputs
All video cards manufacturers, and NDI now offer a universal driver and SDK. Make sure to use the latest version of our software to be sure that we have added the latest universal SDK. Check below in which version it was added.
Video inputs/outputs compatibility with Apple Silicon
The first thing to make sure is that a "Universal" version of the driver is available, indeed drivers can not use Rosetta, so older drivers will not work on Apple Silicon chips.
|M|Family (Deltacast)||6.17 universal beta||6.19|
|NDI Output||All our applications since 2019**||4.6.1**, but the first optimised a truly universal version is 5.0|
|NDI Input||4.6.1**||4.6.1**, but the first optimised a truly universal version is 5.0|
|ATEM Production Switchers||8.5.3||8.6.4|
* some cards are not compatible with the M1 chip. Check the compatibility list in BMD's release note, and/or in our article.
** Newtek added a first partial support for Apple Silicon with the NDI SDK 4.6.1, but full support with version 5 or later. All our applications that use that SDK (see table below) are fully compatible, both for input and output, in Rosetta or Universal. Versions of our applications that use an NDI SDK prior to version 4.6.1 can only work for output only and only when using Rosetta.
Application versions that have Universal Libraries
With a M1 compatible driver for your device, you will be able to use most of our applications using Rosetta (except for OnTheAir Node, which require version 4). But if you want to use the device in "Native" mode, you will need to use a version that has the "Universal" Library. See below when the universal libraries are added to our applications for each device type.
(SDK 12.0 or later)
(SDK 4.6.1 or later)
|OnTheAir Video Express||4.0.1||4.0||4.0.1b42||4.0|
Version numbers are to be understood as "or later"...
Codecs Hardware Accelerators
Hardware accelerators can help to encode and decode some codecs by offloading the encode or decode to a different chip. When you use such an accelerator, you will see that the CPU is barely used.
Intel based Apple computers have had hardware acceleration for H.264 and HEVC since a while (either using the QuickSync technology from Intel, or the GPU or the T2 chip, depending on the models and codecs). The 2019 Mac Pro had the option to add an "Afterburner Card", which was a hardware acceleration to decode ProRes (not encode).
With Apple Silicon based computers, depending on the model, you will have a different number of hardware accelerators to encode and decode H.264, HEVC and ProRes. See the table below.
Comparison table (codecs hardware acceleration)
Decode Media Engines
Encode Media Engines
The ProRes Accelerators are VERY efficient, and according to our benchmarks, you will reach the limits of what a Thunderbolt BUS can handle (to get the video in), before reaching the limits of the CPU. Contact us if you need more info on what can be achieved.
Compatibility with codecs or formats
Encoding codecs on Apple Silicon computers
In MovieRecorder and MovieRecorder Express, we use some third party encoders. All the widely used codecs will continue to work, but some legacy codecs may not be ported. For example, all the DV codecs (DV, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD) will not be ported for a compatibility with Apple M1 computers. Note that this is not the case for decoding, so our playback applications (OnTheAir Video, OnTheAir Video Express, OnTheAir Node) will continue to support the same codecs on Apple Silicon computers. To check which encoding codecs are compatible with Apple Silicon computers, check MovieRecorder's specifications page.
Important note about interlaced sources
At the time of writing, the ProRes Accelerators were not able to encode interlaced material. In this case the CPU will be used. We do not know yet if Apple will add the support for it in the future.
Usual and important recommendations
As usual, when doing major system or hardware upgrades on critical pieces of equipment for broadcast or production, it is always best to run tests with a backup equipment so you can make sure that all the pieces of your specific workflow are working well together. We run many tests, and different combinations, but we don't have your files and all cameras.