Blackmagic Design Multiview 4 review
December 2016 – While testing equipment for the broadcast studio upgrade, we tested the Blackmagic Design Multiview 4. The unit was used to check the on-location coverage by a multi-camera arrangement to see the captured images before going to storage and the video mixer.
The Multiview 4 is the smaller version of the Multiview line which also has a 16 input system. The Multiview 4 has both an SDI out and HDMI out that can drive a UHD display or standard 4K TV. The output is a 2x2 image array that is being shown in Four 1080p windows.
The SDI based cameras can be connected to the Multiview with 6G SDI interfaces, which is adequate for the FHD images. The system was tested using a consumer UHD TV with the HDMI interface.
The studio has a full mixer environment with integrated multiviewer for all the inputs and data files. On location, the Multiview 4 acted as the primary viewer for the input signals to the flow. The on-location mixer had a single output from unit that showed the “selected and mixed” signal.
The system is very simple to operate, basically connected up the inputs and the output connection and turn the unit on. The basic system has a setup through 8 switches that define the video type being output , the audio type and is the inputs have labels. It worked well with SD, 720p, and 1080p input signals. The Multiview 4 provided frame synchronization for the various signals, and did not exhibit frame loss or jitter in the composite view.
For simplified communication and setup, as well as the ability to control multiple units there is networking connectivity software for MAC and Windows. This allows for the both the naming of inputs and multi-view units. As the device is generally not adjusted in use, but configured and used, it has a simplified from panel. The control is through a single bank of 8 switches which set the output type if the unit is connected with SDI, otherwise the HDMI out autoselects resolution between HD and UHD. The switches also control the displaying of loaded source names and audio types.
An option between the switch interface and the network connection control, is the use of the optional Teranex Mini front panel which has a select wheel, mini-display and function buttons. The unit provides expandability with the ability to daisy chain the units to show 7 input sources on a standard UHD TV.
As monitoring solution for both studio and on-location use, the Multiview 4 brings a solid cost effective solution, in a setup and use configuration.