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Brent Whetstine
Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 27, 2009 at 8:22:36 pm

Has anyone had any issues with the Blackmagic Design Mini Converters not working with their Panasonic AV-HS400? I bought the SDI-Analog and the Analog-SDI converters and get get either one to pass signal to or from the switcher.

Thanks...


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Bob Zelin
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 28, 2009 at 12:11:12 am

Although I have never used them together, I use Blackmagic A/D and D/A converters all the time. In addition, I have installed multiple AV-HS400A switchers. All are excellent products.

This is my advice to you. The AV-HS400A switcher has LOTS AND LOTS of menus, that allow you to change the product from HD-SDI to SD-SDI. I don't know exactly what you are trying to do, but you can't take a Blackmagic A/D converter on a Beta VTR (for example) and expect it to upconvert to the HD-SDI inputs of the AV-HS400A (if it is set for HD-SDI).

I urge you to try to find a scope or monitor that has SDI inputs, so you can try the Blackmagic converters in a stand alone situation. Certainly, you have a regular TV monitor, that you can take the AV-HS400A, set up a split wipe (if you have the switcher set to SD-SDI), and send the program output from the switcher into the D/A, and look at the output of the D/A (Y output) on your TV monitor. Do you see a picture.

A lot of people assume that you just plug in equipment, and it works. The Blackmagic converters have a few switches on them, that allow you to change from composite to component (for example), but they just don't plug in and work - it depends on your equipment. The AV-HS400A, however, is LOADED with layers of menus. The first time I used one, it took me 30 mintues to read thru the .pdf manual to figure out how to do anything with it, becuase of the complex layers of menus that it has.

I am going to ASSUME that you dont' have an SD-SDI source (for example) like a Digi Beta VTR that you can send into the switcher, to confirm that the switcher works.

Bob Zelin




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Brent Whetstine
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 28, 2009 at 7:51:28 pm

Here 'tis.....

The SDI to Analog miniconverter first. Issue was that although the Panasonic switcher has hd or sdi capability, it doesn't really have sd to hd upconversion on inputs 1-4 (the standard inputs). Instead, you can only input SD SDI if the frame rate is the same as the system frame rate - meaning you have to set the system to 480/59.94 to get SD to be a useable input. A "bonus" feature is that you can get SD when in 1080/59.94, but it only shows up 1 to 1 pixels for a nice little PIP effect. YOu have to purchase the Panasonic SDI card to upconvert SD/SDI to HD/SDI.

The Analog to SDI miniconvertor next - I found in the corner of a blog somewhere last night that if you output HD/SDI to the miniconvertor, it will only output component analog, not composite or Y/C - it does not "down convert" to composite. It will only output composite if you are feeding it SD/SDI.


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Joshua Helling
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 29, 2009 at 6:01:16 pm

Okay... I think you may have the products flipped around.

The Analog to SDI can take EITHER HD or SD. However, it will only take Composite and Y/C in SD (obviously). There's no scaling on that unit (however it will auto detect).

The SDI to Analog has two separate modes. If you give it HD SDI, it will output HD Component only. If you give it SD, it will output SDI on Component OR Y/C composite (depending on switches). The down converter mode (if enabled) will allow you to input an HD SDI signal and will give you SD Component OR Composite Y/C out. There is no SPLIT Down convert ability on this device.

So, I guess I am just not clear on what your workflow is here. Can you describe what you are trying to do. From what to what, what format etc. Maybe we can help figure out what is going on.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 29, 2009 at 10:13:55 pm

this is my guess. This gentelemen has a LOT of older analog composite equipment (including monitors) and purchased a PAnasonic AV-HD400A switcher, and is scrambling to get it to work with all of his old analog composite gear, and purchased Blackmagic A/D and D/A converters.

I have seen this with people with older facilities (composite video GVG switchers, monitors, etc.) that wind up with a modern SDI or HD-SDI chyron, and try to incorporate it into their older facility.

You will continue to be frustrated until you get more SD-SDI or HD-SDI equipment to work with. When I say "just plug in an SDI monitor", or I say "just plug in a DVI computer display to your AV-HS400 output" - it's easy for me to say, becuase its not my money.
If you have no other equipment to do tests with, and only your old composite video gear, and not even a composite waveform monitor to see if you even have a signal there - you are in for a "long ride".

I suggest that you hire some local help to get you going. What about your dealer that sold you the switcher ?

Bob Zelin




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Brent Whetstine
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 30, 2009 at 7:29:07 pm

We're using 3 HD250's, Marshall SDI monitors, and the Panasonic has a multi-viewer - all 1 year old. We were just trying to get a HD10 into our system for remote stuff without purchasing a full studio package.


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Brent Whetstine
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 30, 2009 at 7:23:45 pm

yup - I named them out of order, but my workflow was correct.

And, yes, we agree. They don't upconvert or downconvert. It just would have been nice if the helpdesk or available literature could have let me know that.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Jul 31, 2009 at 2:42:31 am

so that is the problem - they work, but they don't upconvert ?

There are no AJA mini converters that upconvert. There are no Miranda Pico converters that upconvert. When you looked at the Blackmagic literature, where did you see it say that it upconverted SDI to HD-SDI ? Exactly what "help desk" did you call in your research ? The AJA FS-1 is an inexpensive ($4000) upconverter, but it is a rackmount unit. Cobalt Digital, Miranda, Evertz, and Ensemble Design also make expensive up converters.

All product literature (for everything) states what the product CAN do. It does not state what the product CANNOT do. When you buy a TV monitor (like a Sony LMD-2030W, which is a hi def LCD monitor), it does not say "this product does NOT have an HD-SDI input". You might like to ASSUME that it does (becuase it's a broadcast HD LCD monitor from Sony), but Sony states in the specification what input jacks it DOES have. Sony doesn't say "even though this is a broadcast quality HD monitor than can display 1080i, it DOES NOT have any option for HD-SDI input". If Blackmagic, AJA, and the others listed everything the products CANNOT do, every document would be 50 pages long.

Bob Zelin




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Gregory Golda
Re: Blackmagic Mini Converter issues
on Aug 24, 2009 at 5:35:54 pm

Bob, I have a quick tech question on the av-hs400. In the multi view mode our cameras (canon xh-g1) do not fill the entire preview boxes. They are set for 1080 output and the board is too. When we change the board to 480 they fill the preview boxes but they're all out of aspect. What should be done? I can't find a forum or any tech sites on this mixer.
Thanks
Greg


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