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Author Topic: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter  (Read 1115 times)

Phil Lewandowski

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Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« on: August 17, 2018, 10:50:01 am »

Hi all!

I'm an audio guy that's slowly started to get into prosumer video lately.  I'm in the market for a few good value HDMI to SDI, and SDI to HDMI converters. (I normally run dual screens for worship music lyrics, videos and such.)  Pretty much I'm coming HDMI out of computers and want to do SDI runs to projector, but then the level of projectors I'm working with do not have SDI input, so I have to get back to HDMI.

I've worked a lot with the DataVideo Converters, but at $300 a pop that would add up real quickly. 

What are the thoughts on the Black Magic Design converters?  Especially the bi-directional ones like the "Blackmagic Design Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI" or "Blackmagic Design Mini Converter UpDownCross HD"?

Are there better ones for the money I should be looking at?

Thank you so much!

PS - As a side question, if anyone has a source for good quality SDI cables that are value-priced, that would be helpful too!
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 10:53:51 am by Phil Lewandowski »
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Corey Scogin

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 11:10:02 am »

I haven't used the specific models you mention but I've used BlackMagic SDI / HDMI converters and SDI splitters before with no issues. I have some in an installation that have been working flawlessly for a couple of years. I wouldn't hesitate to buy BlackMagic products again.
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2018, 11:16:24 am »

We use both BMD and Decimator brands.  Decimator has been flawless (1 bad power supply over 5 years), BMD overall is very hit or miss.  Had one small project with 25% DOA.  If you can afford a better brand - do so.  BMD is the Behringer of video - it's worth using in some applications. 

Sent from my VS980 4G using Tapatalk

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Ray Aberle

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 11:34:59 am »

I've been using the entry level BMD micro converters (the $56 jobs) - [disclaimer: they only get used a few times a year, so if they fail quickly over repeated use, I can't speak to that.] They have been solid for me. Keep in mind they block HDCP-encrypted signals, so you'll need to strip that from the signal if present.

-Ray
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josh allman

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2018, 11:41:54 am »

Yeah, the blackmagic mini converters have been really good to me.

Itís surprising to see how much BMD is being used in professional production.

They donít have the same quality of support, and if you do have a problem, the answer is usually to send you a new one. With that said, I got an ATEM overnighted for $40 on an advance replacement and they didnít even ask for my card.

Their switchers donít do conversion so thatís why they are affordable but otherwise work well.

Sort of like Behringer, I wanted to pick out why BMD is a bad investment but it does too many things well enough that I canít.

I think their products are a great place to start. Youíll get your money out of them and it will get you going for a lot less than other brands.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 11:58:25 am »

Hi all!

I'm an audio guy that's slowly started to get into prosumer video lately.  I'm in the market for a few good value HDMI to SDI, and SDI to HDMI converters. (I normally run dual screens for worship music lyrics, videos and such.)  Pretty much I'm coming HDMI out of computers and want to do SDI runs to projector, but then the level of projectors I'm working with do not have SDI input, so I have to get back to HDMI.

I've worked a lot with the DataVideo Converters, but at $300 a pop that would add up real quickly. 

What are the thoughts on the Black Magic Design converters?  Especially the bi-directional ones like the "Blackmagic Design Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI" or "Blackmagic Design Mini Converter UpDownCross HD"?

Are there better ones for the money I should be looking at?

Thank you so much!

PS - As a side question, if anyone has a source for good quality SDI cables that are value-priced, that would be helpful too!

Decimator MD-LX.  Itís cheap, quality, and bi-directional or can be configured for pass through.  As a bonus if itís serving a device with a USB port (most TVs now) you can power it off the USB port and ditch the wall wart.
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 12:00:49 pm »

Yeah, the blackmagic mini converters have been really good to me.

Itís surprising to see how much BMD is being used in professional production.

They donít have the same quality of support, and if you do have a problem, the answer is usually to send you a new one. With that said, I got an ATEM overnighted for $40 on an advance replacement and they didnít even ask for my card.

Their switchers donít do conversion so thatís why they are affordable but otherwise work well.

Sort of like Behringer, I wanted to pick out why BMD is a bad investment but it does too many things well enough that I canít.

I think their products are a great place to start. Youíll get your money out of them and it will get you going for a lot less than other brands.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

BMD is a bad choice when it craps out mid show in a rather visable way.  Iíve experienced it.  Thatís why everyone I work with has moved to decimators.  Itís why I wonít put BMD in mission critical signal paths.
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Phil Lewandowski

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 01:14:04 pm »

Thanks all for the great input thus far!  I am definitely more of a buy once, cry once type guy, though I take value into large consideration.  So it sounds like with that in mind, the Decimator MD-LX may be the way to go.

With that said, I was looking at a BMD that could take 1 HDMI input and output it to up to 2 SDI outputs: BMD Micro Converter HDMI to SDI (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1247783-REG/blackmagic_design_convcmic_hs_micro_converter_hdmi_to.html?sts=pi)

This is so that I can take 1 HDMI output from a computer, and use the 2 SDI outputs to run to the screen on each side from the same box.   It didn't seem like the MD-LX could do that?  Is there another affordable Decimator product that could do this, or is there another good way to do this affordably but also reliably?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 01:26:36 pm by Phil Lewandowski »
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Milt Hathaway

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 01:16:26 pm »

Decimator MD-LX.  Itís cheap, quality, and bi-directional or can be configured for pass through.  As a bonus if itís serving a device with a USB port (most TVs now) you can power it off the USB port and ditch the wall wart.

This one. I have only 4 in my inventory at the moment, but they've been as rock solid as an SM58.

To answer the BMD question: IMHO BMD is the video equivalent of Behringer. Good enough to get you started, but not something you want to bet your reputation on. I'm transitioning from BMD to Decimator and Datavideo boxes as fast as I can.
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Phil Lewandowski

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 01:20:19 pm »

Double posted, sorry. Mods, Can be deleted.
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 02:35:07 pm »

Thanks all for the great input thus far!  I am definitely more of a buy once, cry once type guy, though I take value into large consideration.  So it sounds like with that in mind, the Decimator MD-LX may be the way to go.

With that said, I was looking at a BMD that could take 1 HDMI input and output it to up to 2 SDI outputs: BMD Micro Converter HDMI to SDI (longb&hlink)

This is so that I can take 1 HDMI output from a computer, and use the 2 SDI outputs to run to the screen on each side from the same box.   It didn't seem like the MD-LX could do that?  Is there another affordable Decimator product that could do this, or is there another good way to do this affordably but also reliably?
You are right in that the Micro Converter will output to two SDI things at once... but to be candid, be redundant. Get an SDI D/A (BMD has a 1x8 that's pretty affordable) to keep on hand as well. Otherwise, what happens when one output fails...

-Ray "raging levels of paranoia" Aberle
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Taylor Hall

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 04:56:17 pm »

We use the Decimator MD-HX. Rock solid performance and the ability to manage them via USB is nice too. Sure it's more expensive than the BM micro or the MD-LX, but it's damn near a swiss army knife as far as converting and scaling is concerned.

You can convert HDMI and SDI in any combo you like, and will also split the output up to 4 ways. They handle audio as well, though you start to get limited slightly in routing.
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brian maddox

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 04:57:19 pm »

Everyone else's comments are well considered, so i won't add much other than that i've used the BMD stuff a LOT and overall the reliability has been pretty good.  The Decimator line is better though, in most ways for most of their products.

I've also had reasonable success with the ultra cheap off brand SDI-HDMI converters that you can find on amazon and elsewhere.  They can often be had for 20-30 bucks.  Good for using consumer monitors at the end of a SDI run. 

Remember to pay attention to how many "G's" the converter will handle.  Some can do up to 4K and will handle nearly anything you throw at them.  Other's top out at 720p.  Just an inconvenient gotcha to look out for.
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brian maddox
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Joris Jans2

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2018, 05:17:30 am »

Thanks all for the great input thus far!  I am definitely more of a buy once, cry once type guy, though I take value into large consideration.  So it sounds like with that in mind, the Decimator MD-LX may be the way to go.

With that said, I was looking at a BMD that could take 1 HDMI input and output it to up to 2 SDI outputs: BMD Micro Converter HDMI to SDI (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1247783-REG/blackmagic_design_convcmic_hs_micro_converter_hdmi_to.html?sts=pi)

This is so that I can take 1 HDMI output from a computer, and use the 2 SDI outputs to run to the screen on each side from the same box.   It didn't seem like the MD-LX could do that?  Is there another affordable Decimator product that could do this, or is there another good way to do this affordably but also reliably?
use a couple of these in some media server applications & they have been flawless for me. heard some issues with the mini-converter (previous, bigger generation with audio) but the micro converter is perfect for what i do (touring theater show)
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2018, 09:02:38 am »

Thanks all for the great input thus far!  I am definitely more of a buy once, cry once type guy, though I take value into large consideration.  So it sounds like with that in mind, the Decimator MD-LX may be the way to go.

With that said, I was looking at a BMD that could take 1 HDMI input and output it to up to 2 SDI outputs: BMD Micro Converter HDMI to SDI (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1247783-REG/blackmagic_design_convcmic_hs_micro_converter_hdmi_to.html?sts=pi)

This is so that I can take 1 HDMI output from a computer, and use the 2 SDI outputs to run to the screen on each side from the same box.   It didn't seem like the MD-LX could do that?  Is there another affordable Decimator product that could do this, or is there another good way to do this affordably but also reliably?

Decimator MD-HX.  Itís got HDMI in/out, sdi in and 4x sdi out grouped in pairs.  It also has an up/down/cross converter built in.

If youíre doing 1080p or higher you get into a more complicated realm of SDI where thereís type A and type B.  Decimator does both.  BMD just does type B.  Itís not a big deal if you stick with everything from the same company but thatís hard to count on.
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brian maddox

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2018, 12:40:56 pm »

...
If youíre doing 1080p or higher you get into a more complicated realm of SDI where thereís type A and type B.  Decimator does both.  BMD just does type B.  Itís not a big deal if you stick with everything from the same company but thatís hard to count on.

This^^

The A and B thing can get pretty infuriating when you're mixing and matching various manufacturer's products, so that's another interesting gotcha.
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brian maddox
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Joris Jans2

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Re: Good Value HDMI to SDI (And SDI to HDMI) Video Converter
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2018, 04:41:16 pm »

Decimator MD-HX.  Itís got HDMI in/out, sdi in and 4x sdi out grouped in pairs.  It also has an up/down/cross converter built in.

If youíre doing 1080p or higher you get into a more complicated realm of SDI where thereís type A and type B.  Decimator does both.  BMD just does type B.  Itís not a big deal if you stick with everything from the same company but thatís hard to count on.
BMD micro converter does A & B, but only switchable with PC software...
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