Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


There are a vast array of codecs today and as an editor you can’t possibly be prepared for every eventuality mainly because every editing platform is limited as to what it accepts, FCPX 10.1.1 being a prime example. I have a Panasonic PX270 that decided to change the rules and give us fantastic pictures at 1080 50p LGop, FCPX as yet will not recognise LGop so you have one alternative to bring you footage in externally.

Having the ability to ingest any video format from 4K to SD is a great asset plus the Ultra Studio 4K (US4K) comes with Media Express that can finally import 1080 50p footage.

UltraStudio 4K has 6G-SDI, HDMI 4K, analog component video, 16 channels of SDI audio, 2 channels of balanced analog, 2 channels of unbalanced AES/EBU audio, timecode, up/down/cross conversion, reference and serial deck control.

I already had the Ultra Studio Express which I sold to a good friend so I was eager to get started with my new capture and playback device.

The US4K is a rack mounting unit so I decided to buy a LACK from IKEA which by chance takes 19″ units and a choice 0f 3 colours. There is a host of various BNC connectors on the back some of which I have never seen before and are a tad confusing.

The 2 analogue XLR outputs are for monitoring purposes but hold one dark secret…they don’t match up with the HDMI output causing a lag in the sound.

It took me till 3am last evening to sus out what was happening but the short version is as follows.

1. Analogue XLR sound… out of the US4K does not match the HDMI feed.

2. The only way to match the HDMI feed is to take a digital audio feed out your TV monitor to a sound bar with a DA input, this cures the sync problem.

Blackmagic need to update the US4K drivers to include a latency feed for the analogue sound out, then you can tweak the sound to get rid of the lag.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “Blackmagic’s Ultra Studio 4K

  1. Philip, I am interested in purchasing a Blackmagic Design Ultra Studio 4k. Do you have any issues with fan excessive noise? Would you recommend this unit?

    Thank you.

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