Finalist 2023

Blackmagic Videohub

Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Videohubs are advanced, zero latency video routers that support any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD inputs simultaneously.

The Blackmagic Videohub is a series of advanced, zero latency video routers that support any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD inputs simultaneously. Designed specifically for large-scale live productions like news, sporting events and concerts, they offer an affordable means of routing up to 40 professional video standards simultaneously.

Design Brief:

  • Create an affordable means for independent broadcasters to rout a variety of professional video standards simultaneously without the associated mess of complex cabling.
  • Minimise the degradation of video signals common to long cables used in large-scale productions.
  • Develop a cohesive, refined aesthetic that reflects the sophisticated technology within.
  • Maintain a compact, portable form factor that fits into a standard 19” equipment rack.
  • Ensure immediate, ‘at-a-glance’ recognition of system status, even in darkened, back room environments.
  • Provide quick access to core functionality.
  • Allow direct monitoring of program feeds.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

With a minimal design and a control panel pared back to allow critical information to be relayed clearly and unambiguously, Blackmagic Videohubs are an affordable yet versatile solution for the high-speed routing of a range of video standards. With each piece of SDI equipment in a studio connected directly to the router, connections are performed electronically, eliminating complex and confusing system diagrams and associated cable mess.

Depending on requirements, users can choose from 10x10, 20x20 or 40x40 12G models, which enable the simultaneous routing of up to 10, 20 or 40 different video standards respectively.

Design Excellence

The aesthetic design of the Blackmagic Videohub is defined by its minimisation of superfluous detail to enhance usability. Visual design elements include:

The paired back, minimal visual language and a non-reflective black anodised finish eliminate distractions and focus attention on the main control interface and monitor.

The hierarchical layout employs refined tactile cues and materiality to clearly delineate functional zones. Smooth, back-lit clear capped buttons feature a scalloped profile that minimises user error.

The subtle curvature of the precision CNC machined aluminium front fascia, which gives the main surface a depth and lustre that would be lost a in a flat design. It aligns harmoniously with Blackmagic Design’s family of rack-based products.

The powdercoated sheet metal enclosure is highly durable, with a bespoke hexagonal venting pattern for optimal airflow through the transverse thermal management system.

Logical, ordered clustering and clear labelling of rear connectors makes set-up simple and efficient.

Design Innovation

Integrated with cutting edge 12G-SDI technology Blackmagic Videohub is a future-proof solution supporting almost any video standard and enabling transfers of high frame rate SD, HD or Ultra HD video signals at up to 11.8Gb/second. This makes it highly versatile and adaptable to virtually any broadcast scenario regardless of complexity.

Videohub includes revolutionary SDI re-clocking on every 12G-SDI input, which regenerates the video signal for maximum video quality. This is extremely important because longer video cables used in live productions often degrade video signals. This means producers can be confident of eliminating ‘drop-outs’ in video signals despite longer cable lengths.

Such intense workloads generate significant levels of potentially damaging heat from hard-working processors. Often mounted in hot, confined spaces like outside broadcast vehicles or road cases, effective thermal management is vital for on-going performance and reliability. With a proprietary ‘crossflow’ cooling system, cold air is moved efficiently over critical components, providing optimal heat dissipation and ensuring on-going performance.

Design Impact

Affordable, future-proof technology
Blackmagic Videohubs cost a fraction of similar professional routing systems. It is a sound, future-proof investment that arms broadcasters for the impending wave of Ultra-HD live content, while allowing them to facilitate high-volume SD, and HD workflows now.

Portability
Compact 1RU or 2RU (rack unit) form factors are ideal for efficient transportation. This is especially important for smaller operations that must remain agile and flexible to compete with larger broadcasters.

Approachable usability
The precision CNC machined front panel with bright LCD display offers intuitive direct operation, eliminating the need for additional, expensive control hardware.
The hierarchical layout is familiar to both experienced operators and new users. Industry standard, back-lit switcher buttons inspire confidence and minimise user-error in mission critical situations.

Failsafe Operation
Blackmagic Videohubs are extremely quiet due to the innovative, highly efficient transverse thermal system and low speed cooling fans – critical for on-going performance in high pressure, unpredictable production scenarios.

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