Alternatives to Decklink Duo 2 and desktops

Good day everyone,

Today i come with a question regarding hardware, so far when working with casparCG i’ve been using a dedicated desktop with a Decklink Duo 2 card on PCI, but what if i want to use a laptop? What options do i have if i need to use a laptop which doesn’t have PCI connectors for me to add a expansion card to it?

Thank you!

You could use a laptop with a Thunderbolt port, then use one of Blackmagic Ultrastudio devices, they’re great.

1 Like

We use Thunderbolt enabled laptops and Sonnet Echo Express SE I with Decklink Duo 2 and Quad 2.

There are the new Thunderbolt3 Sonnet Echo ExpressSE I in which you can put 1 PCI-e-card. Just be aware that if you buy a longer cable (origninal 50cm) it has to be a TB3-cable, usb-c 3.1 gen 3 does not work. I have been using Sonnet Echo Express SE I (both TB2 & TB3) for a couple of years without any problem, works well with both CasparCG and vMix.

The newest CasparCG version supports this little Datavideo box. It converts a simple HDMI output to a SDI fill & key. This gives you the option to use a more reasonable priced Laptop, whit out a Thunderbolt interface.


If you have a laptop with USB-C that has thunderbolt 3 support and a graphics card with some power like Dell XPS you can use the UltraStudio HD Mini which gives you fill and key out and one sdi in. Works grate and we have done a lots broadcasts with this setup.

1 Like

@didikunz with the new version of Caspar do you mean 2.2.0 or nextgen 2.3-build? Does it need to be a new version or could any old version work?

Same here. Small and portable setup. Using it most of the time. Did a lot of broadcasts and events with it.

AFAIK it‘s in the new release version 2.2. It will not work with older versions, as it uses a special trick to encode a 4:2:2:4 fill and key signal into the 3 colors of the HDMI output.

Thank you for all your replies, i’m glad to see there are many available options, i was wondering if i go for the Blackmagic UltraStudio HD Mini for example i’m hoping a Lenovo T480s (which i think so as it should be around the same graphics as a Dell XPS 13) will be enough for example, @didikunz idea is pretty interesting as well!