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Need a solution for HD-SDI output

JJ Myers

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I have a client that needs a WO system to feed 3x 1080p displays via HD-SDI. I have a couple ideas that I am pondering, of which I would be tremendously grateful for any forum feedback on :


Solution 1 : Use a standard multi-head display port GFX card, along with active DP>HDMI adapters, and BM DVI extenders for the conversion. I didn't think there were active DP>HDMI adapters out there, until I found the one at the link below. Relevant parts list :



Solution 2 : Use a multi-head DVI GFX card, along with the BM extenders. Relevant parts list :



I like solution 2 the best, but have had zero experience with those types of cards in WO systems with 2+ heads.


Thanks for the help!


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In my experience, the BM converters are not truly able to do 1080p.  While the specs say they can do it, they run in to HDCP problems.  BM is more about camera feeds and true video, as opposed to a signal converted from a computer.


Apantac makes an HDMI to SDI converter that works flawlessly:  http://www.apantac.com/product-info.php?id=44


I use the star tech DP > DVI adapters and they work fine.  With DP, you get a locking connection for peace of mind.  


One other thought:  since you are going to a converter box that has an HDMI input, you might see if there is a comparable video card that has HDMI outputs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The HD 7750 and the FirePro W600 use the same GPU. So this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129274has the same amount of graphical horsepower as this card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814195115&cm_re=firepro_w600-_-14-195-115-_-Product


With the FirePro, you're paying for driver certification and testing, plus some extra features like Projector Overlap support and additional Eyefinity configurations, which Watchout doesn't need, nor use.


So, for light duty shows, the 7750 listed is as suited to Watchout as the W600 is. IMHO. I'd get the Eyefinity 6 version, personally.


Hope this helps.


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I have the same doubts for a W600, discussed here on the forum a couple of times earlier:


(earlier post by Jim Kellner)



"As for those tempted to use the FirePro W600, beware, the GPU is a bit weak for WATCHOUT.

The W600 is targeted at home video applications, not so much for DirectX 3D accelerated apps.

If all you are doing is video playback and very little with tween tracks, no masking, no keying, etc.

you might get away with the W600. That implies you have control of the content and its programming.   ;)".  
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Just to wrap up and put a bow on this post, the client ended up opting for a used CPU from our rental stock (with v6 on the horizon, we are going to need to redo our fleet anyways ;)). So... we ended up using an old Firepro V7900 with the Blackmagic DVI Extenders. The DVI Extenders work perfectly! Once set up, everything boots up with their respective, remembered EDID handshakes. Add an iPod Touch, WAP, and WatchRemote for control, and I have a low cost "power-and-go-out-of-the-box" solution for my client! Thanks everyone for the help!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Follow up. Turns out things didn't work out quite as planned. The client specified 1080i, and my tests were attempted with 1080i. However, Unbeknownst to me, the GFX card was actually switching resolutions on me each time WO would launch. So... all my tests were actually operating @ 1080p30. I found a way to force 1080i even when WO launched, but WO behaved similarly to when you aren't working with legitimate DirectX 3D outputs. My guess is that DirectX 3D is disabled when "(interlaced)" display modes are selected.


So... the DVI Extenders do not do the trick. We are now going with actual scaler devices to turn 1080p60 into 1080i60, using these :




Hopefully this thread alleviates future pain to someone else having to do this same thing!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have been using a product by Datavideo, the DAC-70. It converts VGA, HDMI/DVI and SDI to HDMI/DVI or SDI. They have been very stable, output a clean signal, and can convert the output to whatever standard you would like. 

Usually we use the SDI output, then we can hang a router on the outputs, and have a clean, quick path to the backup computers, as well as we feed one output to a local monitor, and we can see any output we want at a button push.


Even better, they're a LOT less expensive then most other scalers.


Here's a link:



Hope this helps!!

Kevin Lawson

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