Visual Cortex to UltraStudio HD Mini capture

Hi video friends!

I am trying to capture the output of a Visual Cortex using an UltraStudio HD Mini.

I’ve verified that the composite output from the VC is producing what I expect by monitoring it on a Liquid TV and also a projector.

I have an RCA component snake, but the UltraStudio has BNC inputs. Ok - I have a few RCA to BNC adapters of the correct gender. I hook the VC to the UltraStudio using the snake with adapters - and the input on the UltraStudio doesn’t report a signal format. Adapters maybe suck? So I toned them out, tip to ring, and they seem fine from the RCA end to the BNC end.

I have only one (cry) BNC to RCA cable, so I connect the VC to the UltraStudio using one of the composite outputs of the VC to the NTSC/Y input on the UltraStudio. The capture locks on and reports NTSC as expected, and records in color. (And records in black and white if using the luminance(?) output of the composite section.)

So I guess my question(s) are,

  • are Blackmagic widgets super sensitive to cable quality in this application?

  • is there anything obvious I’m missing in trying to capture component output with the tools I’ve mentioned above?

cheers and thanks!

Here’s the composite output:

And the component luminance captured as composite:

These are just a few ‘checklist’ questions. Is the green output from the VC going to the green input on the UltraStudio? Red to red? Blue to blue? Is the UltraStudio set to capure component? I’ve made both mistakes several times, BTW. It’s very easy to do, so whenever I have any problem with capture, these are the first questions I ask myself. Then I might look at the cable(s) themselves. Did I use a proper video cable?

I like using BNC cables and only using an RCA adaptor at the LZX end, but after removing all the non-video RCA cables, I don’t actually have that problem anymore. I only need to take care when purchasing cables. This works for me, but maybe - unlike me - you also need non-video cables with RCA connectors. That could make it easier to use the wrong cable.

However, I’d check where the cables connect first. Also beware of cheap component cables that mix the signals up. I have one of those and it has wasted my time more than once.

I would recommend getting some good RCA-to-BNC cables from a pro video place – I like the Thinline ones you can get from L-com. Adapters can sometimes go bad.

Can you show a screenshot of your settings in the Blackmagic Desktop Video app? You do need to select Component input from the software.

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I had VC green -> Y, VC blue -> Y-B, VC red -> Y-R

When I toned the snake + adapters out, I did match the colors on both ends.

Ultrastudio input was set to component when I was testing and failing, and set to composite when I had success. It locked on right away to composite.

I have a few of these guys: out for delivery so I can report in when I get home.

re: L-com, is this cable one you might recommend:

I"ll attach a screenshot of the settings later when I get home as well.

FWIW, I mainly use a mix of Pro Signal BNC, RCA and BNC/RCA cables. My main issue with BNC/RCA adaptors is the RCA plug falling out. I often wish I could use locking BNC connectors on everything. So I prefer to use a cable with fixed BNC on gear with BNC, and only use a cable with RCA on gear with RCA and no BNC.

For example, I try to avoid using BNC adaptors with RCA sockets as I find they’re the least reliable. The ideal BNC/RCA converter seems to be a cable with BNC at one end and an RCA plug at the other. However, sometimes I just run out of the ideal cables and resort to using an adaptor. If I’m careful, it’ll work well enough.

I don’t know if any of this is relevant to the OP’s problem. Maybe it is, maybe not. I’m just sharing this in the hope that it’ll be useful to someone.

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Good news! It was just either bad adapters or a bad rca snake (both were cheap). The new RCA/BNC cables that showed up did the trick!