BlackMagic Intensity Pro: Capturing an iPad 2 Demo via HDMI Out

One of the main features of the iPad 2 that I use the most over the iPad 1 is the ability to mirror my desktop out to a projector when doing demos. I've been using this feature extensively on my latest Adobe CS5 Evolution Tour. You can use either the original Apple VGA Adapter or the NEW Apple Digital AV (HDMI) Adapter. While this works GREAT for live presentations I also wanted to take advantage of it when recording tutorial videos or App reviews. The problem was finding a solution that allowed me to take either the VGA out or HDMI out of the iPad 2 back into my computer.


BlackMagic Intensity Pro to the rescue

The BlackMagic Intensity Pro PCIe card plugs into your Mac Pro or PC desktop computer's PCI card slot. It has an HDMI in and HDMI out port as well as a port for the supplied Component/Analog connections. Installation was pretty straight forward. Once I installed the card and installed their latest software, I plugged in one of my inexpensive HDMI cables and there was the live feed from iPad 2 on screen and ready to capture.

The quality is AMAZING! It captures uncompressed HD video. While the video capture is very straightforward, the biggest challenge was actually not video related at all. It was with the voice over audio. Since the audio isn't coming from the iPad's HDMI connection I had to record my voice separately via another App (Screenflow), my Rode Podcaster Mic and then edit the two together in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 afterwards. While I'm used to multiple camera editing workflows, it would be nice to be able to capture the audio at the same time into the same App. Otherwise this solution rocks!

If you have a Windows PC with USB 3 ports you can even go with the external version of this card. 


Sample Video

I put together this sample recording so that you can check out the end results for yourself:



You can get the BlackMagic Intensity Pro PCIe card here – list price $199: B&H has it for $189.05 Amazon has it for $189.05.

12 Replies to “BlackMagic Intensity Pro: Capturing an iPad 2 Demo via HDMI Out”

  1. Can you use the 3.5mm stereo out on that mic to feed the analog inputs of that card? Looks like maybe just a 3.5mm to RCA cable would do it. Then you could do both at once… If you’re already using that for headphones just grab a splitter and a 3.5mm to RCA cable.

  2. Hi Terry, I have the Intensity Shuttle and am trying to record my iPad 2. However, whenever I plug it into the Shuttle, the signal isn’t getting sent to the capture screen.
    What settings did you have yours on? Like the HD 720p etc. Is that right?
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  3. Hi Terry,

    I am looking for a way to have my iPad output appear in PC window so that I can include it in a GoToMeeting session. Will this board provide something like that rather than having to record the output first?

  4. Unfortunately it does not appear to work smoothly with all apps. I was going to demonstrate a process in the Brushes App and it does not “draw” it to the screen correctly. It only captures a corner of the iPad display when in paint/edit mode. Must have something to do with the way the app is tweeking resolution??? I dunna know?


  5. so terry,

    i am doing a similar thing but i am actually using a blackmagic eclipse thorugh a mac pro and capturing via final cut and i noticed something funky. My problem is that i know that the ipad outputs 1280×720 60fps through the hdmi and it pretty much edgecrops the image into the 1280×720 frame. but for some reason the image isnt filled correctly at the top and bottom. it seems like the image is scaled down about 19%. the reason i can tell is because when i plug it into a scan converter (image pro) or a tv through hdmi it fills the screen top to bottom.

    hit seems from your screen captures that your capture is doing it as well. i have my capture settings setup correct from what i can tell and ive tried changing those a multitude of times and nothing worked.

    capture settings:

    1280×720 60fps
    aspect ratio: square
    codec: apple prores HQ
    filed dominance: none


  6. For us Brits don’t forget to change the output setting on the iPad to NTSC. It then works a treat. Nothing happens at all if you leave it set to PAL.

    1. Thanks! I thought mine wasn’t working. I tested it on my TV it worked but nada on the Mac. Changing the settings to NTSC output solved it! Thanks a lot.

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