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TOPIC: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card

Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 1 year, 4 months ago #124835

  • Craig Marshall
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When I commissioned my DaVinci Resolve Colour Grading suite a couple of years ago, one of the Resolve's mandatory requirements was the installation of a Decklink I/O card to deliver a proper video signal to my monitor. Once the output of the Decklink was configured correctly to my calibrated HD monitor, I finally saw my pictures the way my camera had captured them.

Lightworks will work without a dedicated I/O card and it will display your edit Full Screen on a second monitor using the F12 key but what you see there is only a rough approximation of what you really have, irrespective what Graphics Card (GPU) you have and what it is plugged into.

Here is a quote from Jason Myres, a professional DaVinci Colorist based in Los Angeles. He explains in simple terms why is it necessary to use a Decklink card and a calibrated monitor for critical video post production:


"In certain cases it's possible for images to "look the same" on both graphics cards and video I/O cards, but they were really designed for two different purposes.

Graphics cards are based around computer signaling standards (VGA, DVI) and are purpose-built to render Graphical User Interfaces and text. They can display video, but that video has to be rasterized, or mapped to the appropriate pixels in your monitor, before it can be displayed. The output from graphics cards is generally limited to legal levels (16-235), which means no full range output (0-255), including sub-blacks and super whites. They also have no sense of interlacing.

Those things, along with any processing being applied by the graphics card, including sharpness, contrast, gamma, or color space adjustments (usually to sRGB), are what generally makes them unusable for critical viewing. The signal has been embellished, so what you see is not what you get. And, even if you were to try, it's very difficult to completely defeat, especially in OS X.

Video I/O cards are built around SMPTE standards, and are designed for passing unaltered ("baseband"), video signals used in film and broadcast television, in and out of your computer. They are specifically designed not to modify the signal unless you specify it, and when they do it's usually limited to formatting tasks like changing frame rate, frame size, etc. They provide a "proper video signal", which is exactly what you want for critical monitoring." J.M.


To date, Lightworks will not work with the simple 'mini-monitor' SDI/HDMI output card as the Software requires an In/Out card (ie: Decklink) and it pleasing to see Lightworks will support my current Decklink 4K Pro SDI card.

For those of you who are passionate about your pictures, I do recommend you consider installing a Decklink card or do as I do and edit Lightworks, finish in Resolve.

PS: To see your Decklink pictures in all their 10bit glory, you will also need a calibrated 10bit monitor but that is the subject for a further essay!
Custom Haswell z87 i7 3.9Ghz 4770
System SSD, RAID SSD, RAID HDD
16GB DDR3, Thunderbolt, Nvidia GTX 970 G1 Maxwell GPU
Lightworks Pro with DNxHD license
Resolve 12.5 with OxygenTec ProPanel
X-Keys Pro 68 key USB Jog/Shuttle controller
2 x 24" HD GUI, 24" 10bit IPS Reference Monitor
12G Decklink 4K SDI Pro>HD-Link Pro>Display Port
Sony 55" X9000B 4K Client Monitor
Sony Super 35 HD camera with Atomos ProRes Recorder
4x4" matte box/follow focus. Zeiss 'Contax' FF primes with Metabones 'Speed Booster'
Rode NTG-3/I-Rig XLR Phantom preamp
HDvideo4K.com
Last Edit: 1 year, 4 months ago by Craig Marshall.

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 1 year, 4 months ago #124890

  • hugly
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Craig Marshall,

sometimes I wonder whether you're the master of product placement or just a guy who loves to share his enthusiasm for certain hardware with other people. >> <<
It's better to travel well than to arrive...

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 1 year, 4 months ago #124894

  • Craig Marshall
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  • 1 year, 4 months ago
Always the latter! (but I did spend much of my Television career writing Advertising copy...)
Custom Haswell z87 i7 3.9Ghz 4770
System SSD, RAID SSD, RAID HDD
16GB DDR3, Thunderbolt, Nvidia GTX 970 G1 Maxwell GPU
Lightworks Pro with DNxHD license
Resolve 12.5 with OxygenTec ProPanel
X-Keys Pro 68 key USB Jog/Shuttle controller
2 x 24" HD GUI, 24" 10bit IPS Reference Monitor
12G Decklink 4K SDI Pro>HD-Link Pro>Display Port
Sony 55" X9000B 4K Client Monitor
Sony Super 35 HD camera with Atomos ProRes Recorder
4x4" matte box/follow focus. Zeiss 'Contax' FF primes with Metabones 'Speed Booster'
Rode NTG-3/I-Rig XLR Phantom preamp
HDvideo4K.com

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 3 months ago #162444

  • Badoodoo
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  • 3 months ago
Full spec DaVinci Resolve workstation with a Decklink 4K extreme card here.

Just jumped on Lightworks today and have not been able to manage the Client Monitor yet.

Any advice ?

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 3 months ago #162445

  • hugly
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  • Posts: 12326
  • 3 months ago
Hello and welcome!

As far as I know Decklink I/O card support is available only with the Pro license, not with the free version.

There's a month license available from Products Shop above which might be a possible way to test your configuration intensively.
It's better to travel well than to arrive...
Last Edit: 3 months ago by hugly.

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 3 months ago #162455

  • avid-words
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  • 3 months ago
When you say you finish in Resolve, what exactly do you mean?

Re: Why Lightworks users should consider adding a Decklink I/O card 3 months ago #162465

Edit Lightworks, export an EDL or AAF then conform, grade and complete the programme in Resolve. The Titles generator in DaVinci just received a huge quality boost too.
Custom Haswell z87 i7 3.9Ghz 4770
System SSD, RAID SSD, RAID HDD
16GB DDR3, Thunderbolt, Nvidia GTX 970 G1 Maxwell GPU
Lightworks Pro with DNxHD license
Resolve 12.5 with OxygenTec ProPanel
X-Keys Pro 68 key USB Jog/Shuttle controller
2 x 24" HD GUI, 24" 10bit IPS Reference Monitor
12G Decklink 4K SDI Pro>HD-Link Pro>Display Port
Sony 55" X9000B 4K Client Monitor
Sony Super 35 HD camera with Atomos ProRes Recorder
4x4" matte box/follow focus. Zeiss 'Contax' FF primes with Metabones 'Speed Booster'
Rode NTG-3/I-Rig XLR Phantom preamp
HDvideo4K.com
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