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Zoran Vincic

Cheap SDI to HDMI converter

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I just received a super cheap SDI to HDMI converter which I bought to mount on one of my HDMI monitors. I paid only $21 for it so it certainly goes in the super cheap bin.

It is advertised to take 5-12V power and I wanted to test will it work on a fresh off the charger V-lock battery (measured 16.8V). I can happily say that it works with no ill effects (like smoke).

I opened it up just to confirm and the input capacitor is rated at 25V and it has AMS1117CD voltage regulator. And it says 5V>>18V on the PCB, right next to the power input.

 

It also has a metal casing and it seems robust enough but there are few issues.

 

 

The BNC and hdmi connectors are not robust enough. If you were to use it in production environment I'd strongly advise to have backup. I am planning to change the BNC connector to a better panel mounted one.

 

Also, the pcb in my unit is mounted with one screw only although there are four screw slots.

 

I attached a few snapshots

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post-10239-0-75589400-1469010396_thumb.jpg

post-10239-0-31484500-1469010584_thumb.jpg

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The main issue with a lot of SDI to HDMI convertors is their lack of 23.98psf support, which is what various production cameras put out. I think I've seen this one before or a version of it and it did not include that format--can you confirm or deny?

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Charles, I can't confirm as I currently don't have access to a camera which puts out that format so I can't test it. But if you ran into it before it's probably the same thing as they all come from the same production line.

Michael, besides the format issue, that unit certainly looks like a higher quality build, proper BNC's etc.

 

 

My main concern was will this box take unregulated 14.4V power, which it does without an issue. Hence this post, someone will be googling their ass off trying to find the same information, like I did. But unlike me they will have this thread.

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Sony F5/55 and Varicam outputs psf...as does Alexa in 23.98 mode but you can internally switch it to 59.94i. It's enough of an issue that it's worth noting. I know that Cinetronic monitor users battled that one, so they may be able to pitch in in terms of which other cameras presented psf.

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Charles, my converter supports HDMI Input timings 480i@59.94, 576i, 720p@50/59.96/60, 1080i@50/59.94/60, 1080p@ 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94 and 60.

The maximum output bit-rate is 2.970Gbps.

 

As I mostly work in TV and video this unit works fine for me - all it has to do is drive the HS/SD monitor on the Steadicam Pilot or turn HDMI out of my GH4 into HD-SDI for display or onwards transmission. If I needed more versatility I'd definitely be looking at Decimators, AJA or Blackmagic Design hardware. We have some of each where I (occasionally) work so I could check them out and see which seem to be the most durable and capable.

 

Mine is very similar externally to the one Zoran photographed but I haven't opened it up yet to peek inside. I wouldn't be surprised it it wasn't the exact same unit re-packaged by the wholesaler. Hopefully they used four screws to hold the pcb down! He's right about the BNC connector too - looks like "no expense was spared to keep the cost down".

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Oops, just realised this thread is about a converter that goes the other way (SDI toHDMI). I really should get one of these as well and see if it has the same specs for input etc. You guys have given me some good ideas!

Edited by Ned McIntosh

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Hi Zoran, you're quite right. I opened mine up and found the same 1117 regulator and 25 volt electrolytic capacitors. So I can feed it directly from the DC output on the Pilot stage using the IDX V-vlock battery. The only diffference was mine had 4 screws holding down the circuit-board.

For the money they're quite useful, but they wouldn't survive a lot of abuse.

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One note I'll add about the Feelworld convertors, as I tested those last winter as well as did Rich Greb from Camera Motion Research. They do list 23.98psf in their spec, however their converted output is not 23.98p or 24p, it's some oddball frame rate that some monitors may not be able to display (48i....?!) Otherwise they seem like a good unit for the price.

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Following up on Charles' comment on the Feelworld (Seetec) converters, we confirmed last year that they do work work converting 23.98/24 PsF for the Connex or Connex Mini wireless HD sets.

 

But they are very nice rugged converters (we tested about every other framerate/resolution avialiable with Decimator sets). Features that you won't find on many other converters are the 1/4-20 mounting points and built in (and removable) Sony battery plates and AC adaptor.

 

http://www.camotionllc.com/sdi/sch.shtml

 

Rich Greb

CMR

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Whoops, big typo in my earlier post, left out NOT!.

 

The Feelworld converters DO NOT WORK converterting 23.98/24 PsF for the Connex/Mini sets.

 

Rich Greb

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Whoops, big typo in my earlier post, left out NOT!.

 

The Feelworld converters DO NOT WORK converterting 23.98/24 PsF for the Connex/Mini sets.

 

Rich Greb

Hey Rich,

 

Does this go for the cross-converter as well?

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