New Video: Blackmagic Cloud Pod Review

Blackmagic makes great production gear that works well in low budget operations like mine but also at the professional broadcast level. I use a lot of their stuff for my day-to-day operations.

One of their newest products is this oddity called the “Cloud Pod” (compensated affiliate link) and is the subject of my latest video.

The Cloud Pod is a very simple network attached storage device (NAS) that allows for two USB-C portable SSDs to be connected and turned into network accessible drives.

It uses a 10 gig network connection (see my multigigabit coverage here) but it also appears to step down to slower speeds including 2.5 gig connections. It’s hindered by the slower USB Gen 1 speeds that max out at 5 gigabits per second. Most portable SSDs these days use faster Gen 2 connections that can achieve 10 gigabits per second. The result is that your drive on the Cloud Pod will perform at half the speed it does when directly connected to a computer. That said the USB ports don’t share a bus so each can deliver its full performance simultaneously (about 400 megabytes per second each).

The Cloud Pod has no security – no usernames, no passwords, nada. So devices on the same network that have SMB support (like everything) can access the Cloud Pod and read and write data from it. You can limit the device to read-only but it applies that rule to both drives.

It has a really cool status screen that it outputs through an HDMI output on the back to a display. Oddly there is no web control panel to monitor the device – you’ll only see status if you plug a monitor into it. The HDMI is an output only for the status screen – it doesn’t support ingest.

I was able to edit a 2 camera 4k 60 multicam project over a 10 gig connection with about the same performance I get when directly connected to the SSDs. But I was maxing out the connection with original media so a third camera angle would have created issues unless I switched to lower res proxy files. It supports syncing to Dropbox which might be useful for sending proxies to remote users. It says it supported Google Drive on the box but the software doesn’t yet support it.

The target market for this one is quite limited but I can see it being useful for a small production team. Just be super careful who has access to your local network because there is no way to restrict who can read, write, and change files on the drive.