The newly announced Thunderbolted Intensity Extreme from Blackmagic Design is targeted at professional videographers. Small, bus powered with HDMI in & out, it will retail for €209.

We've had a bit of a tour of all the main players in the capture/playback card/box market out there and today it was the turn of Blackmagic Design.

The new Intensity Extreme is the little brother of the Ultrastudio 3D and is aimed at videographers who don't need HD-SDI / SDI in & outs.

"We think the combination of HDMI and analog on an extremely compact Thunderbolt bus powered design combined with an affordable price will change the lives of thousands of professional videographers," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design Inc. "Intensity Extreme features an amazing design thats machined out of a solid block of aluminum! Only Intensity Extreme gives you compact size, power efficient design, high quality and incredible strength, that is simply perfect as the ultimate portable video solution."

We agree it's pretty small and it's bus powered because the Intensity Extreme is an end of chain Thunderbolt device. It will work with Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro 7, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop and any QuickTime based software application. You cannot monitor the output of Final Cut Pro X with this device by trying to display the second desktop.


Intensity Extreme Key Features

• HDMI video and audio capture and playback.
• Analog capture and playback in SD/HD component, NTSC, PAL and S-Video.
• Stereo analog audio capture and playback.
• ThunderboltTM connection for high speed data and high video quality.
• Capture and playback DV, DVCPRO HD, HDV, Online JPEG, ProRes and uncompressed video.
• Use for edit playback monitoring on televisions and video projectors.
• HDMI and Component switches between HD and SD.
• Real time effects supported in Apple Final Cut Pro 7 and Adobe Premiere Pro.
• Video capture and playback with Blackmagic Media Express 3 utility.
• ThunderboltTM bus powered so no external power supply is required.
• Compatible with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
• Includes breakout cable with RCA type connectors for analog video and audio.

Intesity Exteme will be available in Q4 for €209. Don't forget to save €50 for the Thunderbolt cable from Apple which we have heard are getting very hard to find due to stock shortages. The US Apple Store has the cable in stock but European stores are showing 5-7 days delivery time.

On show right next to the Intensity Extreme was the UltraStudio 3D.


This wasn't glued to the desk.


The UltraStudio 3d is the top model of the range, the other two being the UltraStudio Pro and the UltraStudio SD. The UltraStudio 3D model priced at €695 (or $995) is the only one to feature a Thunderbolt port. It is also shipping.

You can output from FCPX using the Ultrastudio 3D (via the desktop method) although you won't be able to monitor in 5.1 should your project be set up to edit surround sound.

So two I/O solutions from BlackMagic Design for you to choose from if you need to have Thunderbolt connectivity. If you need more ins and outs than just HDMI and analogue audio, you will need the Ultrastudio 3D. If you don't then the Intensity Extreme looks very good value for money.

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I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

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Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

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Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

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I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

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I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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