Goodbye, Thunderbolt: The Future of 4K HDMI Ingest is Here

No longer is Thunderbolt required for 4K digital video ingest and live view.

Epiphan has released the 4k, a 4K 30fps video ingest box over USB3, bringing 4K live video capture to a wider audience.

This tool gives us a cost-effective 4K scope option.

Most current video ingest options work with Thunderbolt, and while Thunderbolt is available on many Apple devices, it has never really taken off in the PC world. Even in the Apple universe, it isn’t available on the new Apple Macbook, which is USB-C only, limiting your options for video ingest to 1080p over USB3.  

Epiphan 4k USB3 Port
Epiphan 4k USB3 using the Type-B SuperSpeed connector.Credit: Courtesy of Epiphan

While the big use-case for live video ingest is the ability to live stream high-quality video, it’s also great news for filmmakers who aren’t using Periscope heavily. Nothing helps create consistent exposures quite like live video scopes on set; scopes are an essential part of any color grading or final finishing workflow. This tool gives us a cost-effective 4K scope option.

Scopebox, mac-based leader in software scopes.

Combined with Scopebox and any USB3 capable computer, it’s now possible to take the full 4K HDMI feed from your camera and get low-cost scopes and focus assist tools. While it won’t help in a run and gun situation, any studio shoot will be tremendously enhanced by being able to preview your full image live.

With vintage Apple towers available for under $1,000 (which will require a USB3 upgrade card, since they were natively USB2), a new Macbook, or even a Hackintosh, a truly cost-effect solution for on-set and post scopes at full 4K resolution is possible.     

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Your Comment


In case anyone needed, here's a Mac-compatible USB 3.0 card that works in the older Mac towers: Given some upgrades, the legacy towers can be a powerhouse with this device.

July 15, 2016 at 7:29AM

Ryan Atkins

So, this allows me to connect a RAID to my computer and get 20Gb/s transfer speeds? Oh, No, it doesn't. Therefore, not goodbye, thunderbolt.

July 15, 2016 at 12:11PM

Thomas Koch

Agreed. Also thunderbolt 3 has 40gb/s fast enough for external gpus

July 15, 2016 at 8:55PM


HDMI? I'll pass. SDI to USB could potentially be useful in some workflows, but that's not this unit.

July 15, 2016 at 1:56PM

Jamie LeJeune
Director of Photography

Go to their website and read the specs: UHD 4:2:2 captures at 20 frames per second and 4:2:0 at 30.

Audio downconverts to 48k 16 bits stereo.

Hardly "The Future of 4K HDMI ingest"...

July 16, 2016 at 5:34PM


This is junk. USB is not for video. It was designed for keyboards, mice, modems, and printers.

Thunderbolt is the interface to use for external storage and video. Abusing USB with crap like this is just ignorant.

July 26, 2016 at 4:14AM

David Gurney