Wednesday, May 04, 2016

BM UHD/4k converters - some gotchas

I've used a few of these guys recently - Blackmagic's quad HD/SDi input to HDMI 2.0 output for taking the UHD / 4k (either tile or 2SI standard) and making something that will display on a 4k domestic TV.

They seem to work quite well, but here are a few things that I had to get around;

  1. Firmware - I had two identical ones and I initially tested both with Quad-SDi out of Avids at UHD (3840x2160 at 25 & 30P) - all good. But when I started a 4k project (4096x2160 at 24P) only one worked - the other showed nothing on it's HDMI output. Eventually discovered only one of them had current (v.7 as of May 2016) firmware!
  2. Power cycle if colour space wrong - both have periodically decided they are going to mistranslate Y, Cb, Cr -> R, G, B - power cycling fixing it; hopefully the next firmware update will stop this?
  3. Four signals are always interpreted as UHD; if the Avid is running an HD project the four SDi feeds out of the back are all identical and the converter has no way of knowing it's not quad-link. The Tektronix 8200-series and the Canon VP3010 monitor both have to be told (and I set presets for just this) but the BM converter needs to see three or fewer signals to realise it's only a 1920x1080 raster. In the case of this job setting up two macros on the video router (one to route all four, one to send a non-used input to i/p's B, C, & D of the BM).
  4. Glad I'm rocking a MacBook Pro! I would not have been able to update the firmware otherwise as I've yet to move on from Windows 7 - and the workshop PC is still 32-bit Windows 7!

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