SDI to Analogue Video Connections

Both the Datavideo SE-2000 and the Panasonic AV HS300 (which we hired for a few weeks to trial HD video on) video mixers and most broadcast quality equipment feature SDI interfaces for connecting to external devices.

SDI stands for Serial Digital Interface and basically means the signal is in digital format and should not be confused with analogue component YUV (which can also be HD) video since both use BNC connectors. One of the advantages of using SDI for church video is that you can potentially have up to a 1000ft cable runs (depends on datarate, quality of cable, etc) without loss of signal quality, and large runs are possible with a distribution amplifer (must re-clock signal). Don't forget that both audio and video can be carried over SDI.

Once you start to use HD, you will find that there will always be a need to connect a SDI output to an analogue piece of equipment, be it a projector, TV monitor or even a church dvd recorder.

We encountered this issue recently, and had to buy a couple of SDI to Analogue mini converters.

SDI to Analogue converter decimator 2

Black Magic design SDI to analogue mini converter
The green cable in the picture above is the mixer program output (SDI) and the red connection is a composite analogue feed going to the house projectors. This mini converter can also output component YUV or a S-Video (Y/C) format. It automatically detects if the input signal is HD or SD and downconverts HD if the composite or S-Video format is selected using the DIP switches.

$500 for a converter! Yes this is some of the hidden costs of upgrading to High Definition that a church needs to be aware of. Even if you have a HD consumer DVD player or Projector, you might find out that they either have a HDMI or Component phono connection, as licensing restrictions prevent SDI interfaces being used on consumer products like TVs, Projectors and Recorders.

I thought I'd post this just to make you aware especially if you are thinking of a Multi-camera HD recording setup so you can budget appropriately.


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