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Blackmagic DVI Extender


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Has anyone tried using the Blackmagic DVI Extender to display a 1080 Watchout image through Panasonic HD switcher? Can Watchout be set to interlace? I've been able to adjust the display computer display settings so that when it is not running Watchout it appears to work fine (I'm testing by going through the SDI input on a Kona Lhe card into Final Cut, 1080i 59.97). When I start Watchout, the image stretches vertically - what I'd expect from a progressive signal going into interlaced.


We have the Radeon 5500 series set to 1080i with the refresh rate of 29hz (instructions from Blackmagic tech support) to get to the 59.97 output. Getting the EDID has been a pain - plug it until it works - I have a Gefen DVI Detective coming in today which should help.


Any thoughts?





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HI James,


this is a can of worms.

I would try to use 720p50 or 60 (59.94) instead, this has a lot more chance for success.


WATCHOUT is a inherently progressive computer based system, as any Windows computer.


WATCHOUT does NOT use the same settings that the Windows desktop, GDI mode, does.


When WATCHOUT goes into DirectX/Direct3D full screen mode, DirectX reads the EDID from the registry,

info provided by the graphics card input and it's driver.


An EDID Manager is a must, I think. It does not guarantee success though.


This is NOT a WATCHOUT issue, it's a DirectX, graphics card and driver related problem.

There is nothing in WATCHOUT that limits this, AFAIK, so it might be able to make this work.


Please feel free to share your further findings in this matter!



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I actually have it working - though I haven't tested it yet with the Panasonic. I have imported clips into FCP and it shows up as a 59.94 (not 59.97, my typo) 1920x1080i clip.


I did put the DVI Detective in the chain - set to the 1080i/59.94 preset. In the Displays Control Panel I set the advanced settings of the DVI Extender to a refresh rate of 29, screen size to 1080i.


In the Watchout preferences I set a custom frame rate of 29.97.


Here's the strange thing: the only way to start the system is with a second monitor hooked up to the VGA output - there isn't a second DVI out on this board - and set up with an extended desktop. Then the DVI Extender works fine and the converted SDI output comes up fine (the DVI out is set up as the primary monitor) and cursor and selections work normally. When I start Watchout Display the screens go black until I go on-line, then the start up screen goes on briefly (unless updating when it shows update progress) then goes to run the program.


I don't think I can mirror the desktops because of the progressive diplay issue. I'm using an HP monitor that will not interlace.


All of this appears to be repeatable. For the first show I think I'll have an Imagepro on standby - but I'd much rather have $500 in gear tied up than $7500!



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I would look at Parrots. They are a lot more expensive than the DVI Detective but they have a ton more control. They are passive like the DVI Detective but they can be programmed through a USB input. This way you can customize the EDID to be whatever you want. I had lots of issues seeing 1400x1050 as a resolution even when hooked to a native 1400x1050 destination... the Parrots solved all of that with a very easy programming interface.


They are definitely more expensive but the reprogramming ability is huge. I have had similar success using a LightWare DVI Manager in combination with the DVI Detective to set the EDID in the Detective. The biggest drawback to the Detective is the way it captures the EDID. With the LighWare EDID Manager you can push out a customized EDID and then write that into the Detective. This works a lot better because you have more control over what actually writes into the EDID.


Extron makes the 101D which is also similar but I don't believe it has any capture or programming ability. Rather it has a selector switch to get the resolutions you want.


I use fiber optic DVI cable on a regular basis and the Parrots are an incredible tool to have in that situation.


The parrots and other inline EDID managers have another bonus as well... if you are using multiple outputs from one server and something goes bad on one output you will lose -all- the outputs when the graphics card refreshes the pixel spaces. Putting the parrots inline help protect against this by providing a consistent destination independent of your actual destination. Something happens past the parrot and the server never even sees the destination loss... you get one screen that goes black on a 4 head server instead of 4 screens going kaput!


I am guessing your on something like a Panazonic AV-HS400A which only likes video formats...480/720p/1080i... if its a camera/video format switch such as this one then you may need to scan convert the 1080p to 1080i if you can't get the 1080i from the source.


I agree with Jonas 100%... Don't use the 1080, use 720p. The Panasonic should take that signal in no problem and love it. And the visual difference between 720p and 1080i is typically not something any audience would ever notice.



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