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DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.

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Zack Pittman
DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 5:34:35 am

Hi there,

I was hoping someone out there with a little more experience with the DVI extender and comp graphic cards could shed some insight on what I'm doing wrong.

Heres my setup... I have 5 complete live video rigs I'm building that are about to go out on tour for the summer. Every rig is equipped the Panasonic AW-HS50 hd-sdi switcher (I wish the 1 m/e atem switcher would have released before i built these rack, but BM won't even let us dealers get one early :p). The DVI input of the switcher is being eaten up by a secondary input switcher for the OBTW's. I still have a mac pro in each rig that has to get DVI to the switcher. So I naturally buy 5 DVI Extenders, but I cant even get 1 to work. My video rigs are is set to 1080i 59.94 (Cam's and switcher). So Naturally i need to output 1920x1080@29.97Hz (or at 59.94i)?

4 of the 5 Mac Pros have the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT as the stock graphic card. 3 Have an addition ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT as an upgraded video card. and 1 has an additional ATI Radeon HD 3870.

1 newer machine has the Radeon X1900 XT as the sole video card. (the only computer i havent tested)

It my testing I cant get the panasonic switcher to recognize anything i try to output from any of the computers at 1920x1080 at any refresh rate. The mac pros naturally read the EDID as 60hz as the closet thing to 59.94, doesnt work. When I load Switch ResX in each machine I can set the outs to force 59.94i but still nothing on the switcher.

I also went as far to take the SDI out from the DVI Ext to the input of my decklink card and the only resolution I could get to work with media express was 1280x720/60p (out of the stock NVIDIA graphic cards). but since my system is in 1080i/59.94 mode I cant accept this res.) I have an UpConvert built in to the switcher but I'm thinking it'll only upconvert 480, not cross convert 720. I tried to switch my switcher to 720p/59.94 and it didnt even recognize this resoultion, but i guess it wanst to see exact 59.94, not 60.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated since blackmagics support guys seem to only want to tell me its my graphic cards issues (which it probably is) but not give me any other advice.

Thank
Zack P

zackhpittman@gmail.com


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Michael Kammes
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 2:37:36 pm

We have a similar setup, only using a BM Video Hub, and a much wider range of Nehalem and Westmere Macs, all with different gfx cards....but we've had our fair share of DVI Extender oddness.

Dumb questions, but A) is the USB cable to the DVI Extender plugged in and B) do you have the converter utility installed and set correctly?

http://blackmagic-design.com/support/detail/?sid=3950&pid=4018&os=mac&leg=0

Often, after making changes we had to reboot.

I suggest plugging in a DVI extender, configuring it, and running it to an SDI monitor to eliminate a possible variable, and when it finally shows on the SDI monitor, THEN patch it back into your router.

What concerns me is that you're converting the signal to SDI to VIEW SDI, correct...NOT to extended the DVI to SDI, then change it BACK to DVI, correct? When you;re in an SDI video mode you should be selecting a video res of 1080i, and it should have an icon of a monitor next to it...no need for ResX.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
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Zack Pittman
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 3:57:34 pm

Yeah... all the software is correct. Latest firmware. Running in video mode. Not running into a video hub. going straight to switcher. dont have the option on any video card to run refresh rate of 59.94. only 60.

The Dvi extender wants to see 1920 1080 @29.97 so Im assuming if its running interlaced it needs to be 59.94i from the computer?

Z

Thx

Z


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Michael Kammes
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 4:11:05 pm

When you change resolutions in System Prefs (Display), do you have a 1080i (Television) option, with a picture of a monitor next to it? That's what we have to select when we want SDI VIDEO, not a simple DVI extension.

Keep in mind 59.94 could in actuality be 29.97. 59.94 are fields, 29.97 is frames. However, again, since you're using the DVI Extender to create a video signal, you should have the option (listed above) to select a television preset - without messing with the frame / field rates.

~Michael

EDIT As I suggested, did you try eliminating the router, and trying to go to an SDI monitor to eliminate variables? IS the USB plugged in? When you launch the BM Converter utility, does it "see" the unit?


.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Zack Pittman
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 4:31:34 pm

yeah I dont have the TV icon option on the system prefs. just reg computer resolutions. what OS are you running. most of my machines running 10.5.8. none are 10.6. Is the TV icon a new thing in snow leopard?

I dont have a SDI monitor available ATM, but one of the machines has a decklink card in it and I was able to go into that and check the signal, and like i said in the first post, the only one I could get working was 720p/60. but my switcher cant cross convert 720 to 1080. only upconvert 480 to 1080.

Thx

Z


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Zack Pittman
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 4:35:40 pm

and yes. the converter utility see's the DVI ext.

Thx

Z


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Bob Zelin
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 13, 2011 at 11:46:33 pm

It's not going to work. I did this with a MacBookPro, DVI to SDI extender, and a Panasonic AV-HS400 switcher, with HD-SDI inputs.
As you have observed, the Mac puts out a 30 fps signal (not 29.97, or 59.94), and the Panasonic switcher can't see it. I spoke with Blackmagic support at the time. The DVI to SDI converter is NOT a scan converter. It's not going to work. End of story. Everyone wants a cheap solution - the DVI to SDI converter is not the solution that you want for this application.

Bob Zelin



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Michael Kammes
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 14, 2011 at 12:13:41 am

We have a Blackmagic Video Hub in the mix and 5 machines using the devices, and it works 100%.

Mac CPU (Nehalem/Westmere) DVI Out------DVI Extender-----(SDI) Blackmagic Video Hub-----projectors, video monitors, VTRs, etc.

As long as your display mode is set to the 1080i preset, you're golden.

When the converter is connected and if you are set to SDI Video mode (not DVI Extender Mode) in the Converter Utility, you will have a monitor icon next to a 1080 and 720 resolution - no frame rates listed. Select those, and your output should be a compliant SDI video signal.

Need a screen grab or video to see? :)

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com
.: twitter: @michaelkammes
.: facebook: /mkammes

Hear me pontificate: Speaking Schedule .


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Zack Pittman
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 14, 2011 at 5:30:18 am

Yeah, Im just thinking that my graphic cards arent going to support TV broadcast resolutions.

So now heres my question, what video card would i have to get to make this happen?

I thought about just throwing a Decklink SDI in each one and using the output on it, but i just learned that BM decklinks no longer support extended desktop output anymore. and the software I'm using doesnt support the card %100.

So i need another solution to get SDI outta these Mac Pros. Either get another graphic card, or get a whole different hardware solution. the hardware solution cant cost more than $500 a piece either.

Geeze if only BM would have released the 1 m/e atem switcher 3 weeks eariler. :p

Thx

Z


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Bob Zelin
Re: DVI Extender w/ MacPros & Panasonic Switcher... I'm Stumped.
on May 14, 2011 at 4:38:38 pm

there are LOTS of scan converters on the market -
here is one popular model -
http://www.commspecial.com/product/product_list.php?cat=Scan_Do

Folsom Research is another company that makes great scan converters.

Getting PC's and MAC's into video systems is a BIG BUSINESS, and these types of products are used by countless companies.

In our video market, both Matrox and Ensemble Design make products designed to do exactly this - take a DVI signal (any frame rate) and make it into an HD-SDI video signal. The Matrox is about $1000.
Don't buy another video card for your computer. Buy the right box that you need.

Bob Zelin



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