Grabbing DSLR video for Livestreaming on Youtube with a Blackmagic Mini Recorder

Grabbing DSLR video for Livestreaming on Youtube with a Blackmagic Mini Recorder

Black Magic UltraStudio Mini Recorder I’ve really enjoyed livestreaming from my YouTube channel this past month. Lately I’ve been trying to add more camera sources that I could switch between different views as I moved around the space. After a recent livestream, Jamie on Twitter messaged me to tell me about his uber-awesome livestreaming setup, which is portable and makes use of GoPro cameras and other high-quality HDMI sources; it’s the step-up from what I’m doing with consumer webcams and free software.

One of the devices on Jamie’s list was the Black Magic UltraStudio Mini Recorder, which is a tiny Thunderbolt box that accepts both HDMI and SDI inputs! HDMI is the standard that big screen TVs use these days, and SDI is a “professional standard” that I’ve not used; what’s important is that my camera outputs HDMI and this little box can feed it right into the Macbook Pro, where Open Broadcaster can use it as a video source! And because it’s Thunderbolt, it doesn’t use up a precious USB port on my Macbook Pro, which was a limiting factor. It so happens that my Canon 7D Mark II DSLR is supposed to have really nice HDMI output, so I fiddled around with it while livestreaming and got it working, which happened at the 16:28 minute mark in this video:

The result: HDMI input into a livestream on youtube! I can switch between my desktop where I’m doing design, and use the high-quality imaging of the DSLR to show things up-close and beautiful. As far as I have figured out, the trick is to first run the Black Magic Desktop Video Utility (installed from the SD card that’s packed-in with the Mini Recorder) to select the HDMI input and (I think) initialize the device over the Thunderbolt connection. After that, you can add a “Blackmagic Device” in OBS Studio directly to a scene.

I’m looking forward to seeing how to use this in upcoming design-related livestream with other project collaborators in my workspace! Woo!


  1. Roger Le 8 years ago

    I have an audio sync issue with my UltraStudio. Did you run into that issue with OBS?

    • Author
      Dave Seah 8 years ago

      I’ve had the same problem with audio sync too. I’ve read that the BM might be fussy about the digital format it’s getting and will lag as latency errors build up. Or possibly it’s because my audio is coming out of the regular PC sound output and the video is not. I haven’t completely debugged it.