Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini Ultra HD Broadcast Deck Review

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Blackmagic Design bills their HyperDeck Studio Mini Ultra HD Broadcast Deck as being the smallest broadcast deck on the market. It is pretty tough to argue with this; to be honest, we don’t think we have seen anything smaller out there. So, if you are looking for a portable broadcast deck, then this may be just the ticket. Let’s take a little look at it in a bit more depth, shall we?

Features/Design

Probably the main selling point of this deck is the compact size. It is only 5-inches wide. This, of course, means that it does not have a ton of features loaded into it. However, that is completely fine. This is because Blackmagic Design has created a modular system here. You see, you can hook it up to pretty much any of the modules in the Blackmagic range to really extend its functionality. Although, of course, it is going to be perfectly functional on its own too.

If you want, you can even purchase a few Hyperdecks and have them all synced up for some amazing playback ideas, although this is a feature that is likely going to be reserved for the more advanced users of the HyperDeck.

The connections on the HyperDeck Studio Mini are up to a professional standard. This means 6G-SDI connections. You have an SDI input and two SDI outputs. In addition to this, you have an HDMI output that allows you to hook everything up to a big screen or monitor to show your recordings.

The unit can hold up to two SD cards at once. These SD cards can be used for playback or recording. If you are recording, you can even switch them out ‘on the fly’. This is fantastic for those that are planning on recording a ton of footage in one go.

The SD card slots are actually pretty great. This is because they have been designed to be durable. Normally, when you have something at this sort of price point, you will be looking at SD card slots that wear down pretty quickly with all the moving of the SD cards that you need to do. That isn’t going to be an issue here. While the slots will wear down, they are separate from the rest of the unit. This means that if they ever break, you can just replace the slots without needing to purchase a brand-new Hyperdeck. This is the sort of feature that we wish other products on the market would offer too.

While we are on the subject of recording, this device will record to ProRes and DNx formats. This means that you do not have to do any tinkering with the recordings before you load them up into your favorite editing software.

The interface of the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck is simple but effective. You have a small LCD panel that will show you the clip that is being recorded or currently being played back. You have a dial that will allow you to scan the clip, as well as a couple of extra buttons to play or pause. Of course, you can pair all of this up with other equipment from Blackmagic Design to extend the functionality of everything even further.

The HyperDeck Studio Mini is going to be a brilliant addition to any broadcaster’s set-up, particularly if they are already utilizing Blackmagic broadcasting equipment. The unit’s size means that it can be taken just about anywhere too, which is always going to be incredibly handy!

Pros; Cons

Pros

  • Replaceable SD slots
  • Easy to use, even if you are new to broadcast
  • Modular design means you can boost the functionality of the device.
  • Fantastic recording quality

Cons

  • Can only record from SDI inputs, which may not be suitable for everybody.
  • Lack of control over your clips unless you are pairing it up with other Blackmagic units.

Conclusion

For such a simple kit, the Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini is a surprisingly good addition to any serious broadcaster’s arsenal. While it doesn’t boast the features that the much larger HyperDeck does, for those that simply want to playback some clips, or just record the action, you will struggle to find anything better at this price. You also get to enjoy the superb build quality that Blackmagic is always so well-known for. This product is going to be an absolute ‘must buy’ in our eyes.

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