MacBook Pro (2017) - not enough power for 3 cameras????

Hi all,


Just getting my new MacBook Pro setup for streaming and was looking forward to adding 3 capture inputs but have come across a problem where only 2 are recognised at any one time.

I have 2 BM Ultra Studio Mini Recorder and a thunderbolt BM Intensity Pro. I can have 2 Mini Studio's working and Intensity Pro not, or Intensity Pro + 1 Ultrastudio but not all three at once. I have attached the warning that comes up when a third capture input is added. Hoping to get a fix on this asap. 


Thanks for your help in advance.



MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)

Processor 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7

Memory 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

Graphics Radeon Pro 555 2048 MB

Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB

57replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I can get 3x BMD Mini Recorders (SDI to T2) recognized in current version of Wirecast on a new 15" MBP using the CalDigit TS3 hub.  Another plus of the CalDigit device is that it provides a system audio input, recognized by Wirecast (we use external mixers, generally. Previously, we ran audio to a camera and accessed via SDI, which I disliked for a variety of reasons).

    The CalDigit device is about $240 with a 1-meter cable, available everywhere, by which I mean Amazon or B&H.

    (Also, of course, Apple T2 to T3 adapters on each BMD box.)

  • Tom Meyer Thanks for making a first hand recommendation.

  • I am having problem getting both of my two Black Magic Ultra Studio converters to work with my Macbook Pro 2017. Today I bought a new Hyperdrive usb-c-hub, that should give 100 W. But only one of my converters works when I plug dem directly into the MBP thunderbolt 3 slots and plug electricity via Hyperdrive. Any ideas of how I can fix this?

  • Jonatan Bergöö Two UltraStudio MiniRecorders should work but it may not leave enough power for anything else. I'm not sure about the hub but it may well be impacting the power resources of the MacBook Pro. I certainly wouldn't connect a MiniRecorder to the Hub especially if it's USBc and not Thunderbolt. If it's the SanHo Hyperdrive the reviews are very "mixed" at best (as seen on B&H's website).

  • I am searching the web for the maximum capture devices that can be plug to a 4-port TB3 macbookpro and found this forum.... I can use 2 Ultrastudio MiniRecorders (a 3rd MiniRecorder will not work) and 1 Intensity Shuttle usb3 at the same time on my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) but I have to plug first the 2 Ultrastudio minirecorders (make sure their lights are on) before the intensity shuttle. I tried plugging a 2nd intensity shuttle usb3 but couldn't get pass the 3 capture devices. Now Im wondering if there are ways to plug another macbook charger LOL

  • Top Lachi There are single devices that can support 4 inputs on one TB3 port. I believe AJA has one. Also a 4 input card (Blackmagic or Magewell) in a PCIe to Thunderbolt 3 chassis may work.

  • CraigS I have solved the problem. First, with no hub inserted and the Macbook Pro only running on battery, I plug in my two Ultra Studio recorders into the MBP. Then I plug in the Sanho Hyperdrive hub with power and my audio mixer. Then everything works and the battery is charging. I only works if you insert the stuff in that order.

  • Jonatan Bergöö Interesting that that would impact the battery use. It's probably the way the Mac detects and distributes power.

  • CraigS This is a great discussion and has been very helpful. Thank you for allowing me to chime in.

    I also have a new touch bar MacBook Pro 15 inch with 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, and 3 Blackmagic Design Ultrastudio Mini Recorders hoping to capture my 3 Panasonic G85 cameras in Wirecast. I'm also having the problem of the laptop only powering 2 of my BMD Ultrastudio Mini recorders at once.

    I'm considering my options for a 3rd camera solution and ask your advice.

    Would it be better to:
    1) Return one BMD Ultrastudio Mini Recorder, and purchase the Magewell HDMI to USB 3 device + a USB 3 to USB-C adapter as you mentioned to alaskacameradude ?

    2) Keep my 3rd BMD Ultrastudio Mini Recorder and purchase a Thunderbolt 3 dock, like Tom Meyer mentioned the CalDigit TS3 Plus 15-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock.

    3) Purchase a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle like Top Lachi  mentioned, as he can capture 3 cameras using a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle. Since this is USB rather than Thunderbolt, will the power issue be the same, since it's not all on the Thunderbolt Bus?

    Or are there any other solutions you would recommend?

    Thank you for all your help.

  • Derrick Minyard said:
    1) Return one BMD Ultrastudio Mini Recorder, and purchase the Magewell HDMI to USB 3 device + a USB 3 to USB-C adapter

     Personally I think this is the best option. 

    I have mixed feelings about the reliability of powered docks and the potential to still be a power draw and batter drain as some users have seen on past MBPs. 

    Given that other HDMI to USB3 options are drivers and some of the past issues I've seen with Blackmagic USB3 capture devices I personally don't feel confident about it.

  • CraigS thank you so much for your recommendation. I will report back on how it goes.

  • Derrick Minyard You're welcome of course.

  • Thanks,  CraigS , et al., for this helpful discussion. My .02...

    I have a 2017 MBP 13" with only two USB-C ports. I stream a couple of shows a week using OBS to Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/sailingillustratedblog and www.facebook.com/stfrancisyachtclub) with decent hard-wired internet connections (north of 15mbps up, one is actually 90 up) at 720p 30fps 4k bitrate with zero frames dropped in shows that typically last over an hour.

    Am using a Lenovo USB-C hub ("Amazon's Choice") - https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Adapter-Gigabit-Ethernet-Charging/dp/B077G5C9Z1/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1523725543&sr=8-4&keywords=lenovo+usb+c+hub . Does not have external power; uses only the USB-C bus.

    Inputs to the hub: two C920 USB webcams, one USB audio mixer, Apple power block. 

    Output from the hub: HDMI with OBS program video and audio out that feed a powered Geffen box that converts to SDI and feeds the TV monitors and audio system for the audience.

    (Use the Mac's MIDI setup in Utilities to get the OBS audio output to feed both the HDMI "Display Port" output as well as the Mac's headphone jack for monitoring the OBS audio out.)

    But wait, there's more. 

    The laptop, as you all know, has a second USB-C port. To capture (into OBS) the slides and video from a second laptop that a speakers uses with PowerPoint or Keynote, I take the HDMI out from that laptop through a BM Mini Recorder via an Apple Thunderbolt to USB-C adapter into the second USB-C port on the MBP. That MB box also has to be powered by the MBP's USB-C bus. 

    Getting it all to work is a bit like Apollo 13. The order in which you plug in the devices, and which of the two ports the Lenovo hub and MB Mini Recorder are plugged into makes a difference as to whether there is enough power. I find that it all works by first plugging the MB box into the aft (sorry, I'm a sailor) USB-C port, then plugging the hub into USB-C port that is nearer to the computer operator, then plugging the cameras one at a time in the USB-C hub.

    Perhaps those of you trying to get three HDMI cameras with adapters to work should try the Apollo 13 approach above. 

    Using the two ports with the unpowered hubs/adapters, I can get three USB cameras to work, but only with short USB cables. But then there is not enough power for the BM box.

    I have a friend with a 2017 MBP 15" with four USB-C ports that I have yet to try. Does it have more total power available on the USB-C bus(es)? From comments above, it does not sound like it. Or?

    The solution for all of us, obviously, is to get a powered hub. And for shows with multi HDMI (or SDI) cameras, when all is said and done (i.e., buying adapter boxes and powered hubs) seems not much more expensive just to buy an inexpensive MB Roland video switcher. Think that's what I am going to do barring advice to the contrary from any of you. 

    Thanks again for this discussion and any advice.  -TFE

  • TFE User reports show that two BMD MiniRecorders are all that can be handled by the new 4 TB3/USB-C port MBPs. The power draw depends on the port power draw from the video capture devices. Reports are that you can add Magewell HDMI to USB device as a third camera source. A powered hub might work but it might depend on the hub so that would involve some experimentation. The power draw is total power of all combined TB/USB-C ports.

    Some users will use a 4 input PCIe card in a PCIe to TB3 chassis to get multiple inputs on a single TB3 port. That might be he best (albeit more expensive) solution. I don't think we've officially test/support this and not all chassis are certified to support all cards. For example, Magewell 4 input card can work with a Sonnet chassis but that combination hasn't been certified last I checked.

    Like 1
  • CraigS Many thanks!

  • TFE You're welcome of course.

  • One can hook up mini recorders to a second computer running OBS and then feed the first by NDI.

  • Jocke Lagercrantz There's actually a direct Blackmagic to NDI utility. No need to go through extra processing.

  • Derrick Minyard CraigS

    I am reporting that my new Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 IS working correctly in harmony with my other 2 Blackmagic Design Ultrastudio Mini Recorders, allowing me to add 3 DSLR cameras as sources into Wirecast! My 2016 MacBook Pro with 4 USB-C ports is able to power this combination of 3 capture card devices.

  • Derrick Minyard Great. Thanks for reporting and confirming.

  • Tom Meyer Are you able to plug in 2 BMD Mini recorders to your CalDigit TS3 hub simultaneously, and have them work within Wirecast? I am looking at this for my situation. Your feedback would be very helpful! Thank you.

  • I don't precisely remember how I set it up, but we've used it as a 3-camera arrangement with I think 2 Mini Recorders into the hub and 1 into the laptop. It might have been the other way around: But you can get 3 cameras into Wirecast with the hub.

  • Tom Meyer That would be interesting if you had two MiniRecorders into the hub. 

    The MBP itself can handle two MiniRecorders and the Magewell device.

  • I just took a look at the hub. There's only 1 TB input, so it was 2 cameras into the MBP and one into the hub.

  • Tom Meyer That makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

Like Follow
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 57Replies
  • 2204Views
  • 13 Following