Blackmagic Design Aquires Ultimatte, Updates for DaVinci and Video Assist

At this year’s IBC, Blackmagic Design hasn’t announced a whole bunch of new cameras, that’s the first surprise. The other surprise is the aquisition of two more companies, namely Fairlight and Ultimatte. And there’s some updates on the Video Assist 4K and DaVinci Resolve as well as on shipping status of the URSA cameras.

Blackmagic Design is Getting Bigger

Two more companies are now part of the Blackmagic Design family. One of them is Fairlight, a major manufacturer of professional audio products for live broadcast, film and television post production. This is what Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, has to say about this aquisition:

The exciting part about this acquisition is that it will add incredibly high end professional audio technology to Blackmagic Design’s amazing video products. We look forward to working with the Fairlight team to build even more exciting new products for our customers!

Blackmagic Design

A full blown Fairlight audio editing suite

Alright then, we’ll be keeping an eye on that one for sure. The other company which has been aquired might be of even bigger interest for the majority of us video shooters. Most likely, you’re already familiar with Ultimatte as it is the solution when it comes to keying a blue or greenscreen. As Stuart Ashton, Director EMEA at Blackmagic Design, puts it:

When you look in the dictionary and it says chroma key, next to it is says the word Ultimatte.

Blackmagic Design

Ultimatte hardware keyer

That sems to be a really nice addition to Blackmagic Design’s lineup, as it can be tightly integrated in their other software, such as DaVinci Resolve.

Updates to  Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and Video Assist

Speaking of DaVinci Resolve and tightly integrated workflows, the next 12.5.2 update of DaVinci is exactly about that. In features Fusion Connect, which acts like a pipeline between DaVinci and Fusion in order to streamline the process how to work on certain footage in both applications without the need of render/export/import the given clip every time.

Next up, there’s a significant software update for the Video Assist line of monitor/recorders. It’s now capable of displaying things like false color, expanded focus aids and you can lock the screen so it won’t flip in situations you just don’t want it to flip, such as on a Steadicam.

Blackmagic Design

Avid DNxHD working on a Video Assist 4K

Blackmagic Design also is giving Avid users have a reason to cheer up, as the Video Assist is now capable of recording all flavours of the DNxHD codec with everything from proxy all the way up to HQX.

The newest 2.2 version for Video Assit comes as a free download and it will be available from next week. You can find the download on their website.

sources: Fairlight aquisition / Ultimatte aquisition / DaVinci Resolve 12.5.2 / Video Assist 2.2

cinema5D at NAB 2016
Hedge F&V B&H Tilta Blackmagic Design


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Michael Schmucker September 9, 2016

Someone really needs to spellcheck this article.

Olaf von Voss Reply
Olaf von Voss September 9, 2016

Michael Schmucker,

my apologies, I was a bit in a rush (it’s still IBC, you know?) The article should be a much better read now, thanks for the heads up!


Jason Fisher-Jones September 9, 2016

Hoping this update might fix the blown out highlights on my 5″ model…

Patrick Baldwin September 9, 2016

Their release suggests it is just for the 4K model which if true disgusts me as 5″ model owner. If it is for both models then they need to work on their communication skills.

Vineeth Pulipati Reply
Vineeth Pulipati September 9, 2016

blackmagicdesign is on a roll, good to see some competition coming up

Pawel Chyrowski Reply
Pawel Chyrowski September 9, 2016

Wait, HQX it’s Grass Valley codek …

Leonardo Siqueira Moreira Reply
Leonardo Siqueira Moreira September 9, 2016

Michel Morais