Scaler recommendation for ATEM TVS

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Adam Grunseth's picture
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Scaler recommendation for ATEM TVS

I'm looking for a solution to convert PC output to 1080i SDI for use with the ATEM TVS.  I was wondering if anyone here had any recommendations/wisdom they could share with me.

Northwest Event Video - My production company - Providing live production services and support to the Pacific Northwest

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There's only really one

There's only really one choice, mentioned here many times by others and myself....

Datavideo DAC 70.

Almost any PC resolution, scaled to almost any SD HD broadcast resolution, over HDMI or SDI.

I own others from Gefen, Atlona, Startec etc. but the dac70's are king.

A.

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I'll second that.  It's

I'll second that.  It's unmatched in terms of price/performance.  Really nice little box, and rugged, too!  Does i and p, switchable, so works great with earlier models of ATEMs.  Very good scaler, easy to use, and highly versatile.

-- Eric Darling www.ethreemedia.com

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The Decimator MD-HX and

The Decimator MD-HX and MD-Cross converters are also worthy contenders if you do not need analogue coonection types. They are really handy little converters that are great "get out of jail" option to keep in the toolbox

 

http://decimator.com/Products/MiniConverters/MD-HX/MD-HX.html

 

cheers

tom

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A Barco ImagePRO HD is

A Barco ImagePRO HD is definitely the "sure bet" - it's just that it's ~$8k. While I haven't used the DAC converters, everyone here seems to have good success. In our ATEM kits, we use a Grass Valley ADVC-G1 on every computer input. They are similar to the DAC-70 and retail for around $900 USD. They also feature 2x 3G-SDI outputs which can occasionally be a little handier than one.

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+1 for Decimator MD-HX

I'm with Tom,

never leave the office without at least 2 in the kitbag! works everytime!

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What decimator are you

What decimator are you referencing ? I cant see any that would scale a PC's VGA connection ? They all seem to be HDMI / SDI converter and/or scalers ? are we only interested in a PCs HDMI out ?

A.

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VGA? do laptops even have

VGA? do laptops even have that anymore?? 

I can't remember the last time i saw a machine which had only VGA output. Generally cheap machines from the past 4 years have had only HDMI. 

cheers

tom

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  Every presentation power

 

Every presentation power point I've tried to capture as a source from a presenters laptop has been scaled over VGA, if your using hdmi out, Why do you need to scale a display that gives 1080 out ??

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Actually, there are multiple

Actually, there are multiple reasons why you might want to use an HDMI scaler.

  1. The output resolution of the presentation computer does not match the other sources going into the ATEM
  2. The ATEM model you are using only accepts interlaced 1080 signals (computers don't typically do interlaced 1080 output)
  3. You are having HDMI handshaking issues, and the scaler nips the issue for you
  4. You need to put the scaler in-line on a long run to reclock the signal

-- Eric Darling www.ethreemedia.com

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Eric  I'll go with that, but

Eric 

I'll go with that, but you use a cross converter to go I to p,

Or a up / down/ cross converter.

You use a edid detective device to give the correct HDMI data.

There are easier ways to reclock a long cable run, 

Specifically why scale an image that resolves at the image you want ??

Almost all PCs are 1080 out on their HDMI port ! Unless it's a 4k model.

And I don't think the hdmx can scale 4k.

To me you use a scaler with a pc to scale 1024 768 or 1366 768 to 720 or 1080 and I'm guessing the OP was looking at using the VGA port !!! Aka dac70.

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There are loads of

There are loads of reasons. 

 

Many PCs have a hard time outputing 1080i @ 50hz or 59.97hz and the ATEM doesn't like 60p 

You might have a 4x3 powerpoint which you want to pillerbox - outputting 1024x768 via HDMI and scaling to pillerboxed 1080i 

The MD-HX is a cross converter / scaler / SDI DA / Format converter. it is really useful and i've used mine on almost every gig since i have brought it.  The DAC70 is also a useful device, but it's not as versitile as the decimator for the kind of shows that i work on. 

 

Get both, then you have pretty much everything covered. 

 

cheers

tom

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A, the DAC-70 is an

A, the DAC-70 is an Up/Down/Cross converter.  :)  So, there's that.  The DAC-70 also has inputs for SDI, HDMI, and VGA, and you choose which one you want with a dip switch setting.

Personally, I use the original ATEM 1 M/E, which does not do progressive 1080 input.  So, I often need to take 1080p and convert it to i.  Furthermore, I have had very hit and miss success with HDMI sources of all types.  The DAC-70 sees them all, and makes them bend to its will.

Yes, you're right, there are other tools for each of the tasks I mentioned.  But very few do them as well or in the same entirety that the DAC-70 does in a rugged, compact and inexpensive little box.

-- Eric Darling www.ethreemedia.com

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While on the topic, has

While on the topic, has anyone used the Teranex Mini? I ordered one on the release day (April, I think) and have yet to receive. The biggest unanswered question with those converts is whether they scale (like the Teranex Express) or just convert (like an HDMI->SDI converter).

If, in fact, they do scale, it would be a great future-proof option for what we are discussing here (less the VGA input) given that they are 4K capable.

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The Decimator doesn't have a

The Decimator doesn't have a mini display port or VGA inputs but I carry around convertors for every conceivable occasion so VGA-HDMI miniDisplay-HDMI etc and the Decimator takes these as the input with the output always being rock solid for the ATEM.

These days I find mini-display ports being much more common than VGA

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Im not in disagreement, and

Im not in disagreement, i suggested the dac70 earlier in the thread, and i also have to agree the decimator is a great piece of equipment for solving a lot of up down cross issues, sure enough I have a couple.

But the question wasn't aimed at what's a great up down cross, its what scaler to recommend for PC use, PCs have VGA, ( i've bought 3new laptops in the last 14 months and they all still had VGA ports as well as Hdmi  ) and the dac70 handles both Connection types and can up down cross just like the hdmx, and gives SDI or HDMI out just like the hdmx. Im sticking with my earlier statement the dac70 is king. But if you can control the equipment at a venue and knowing you wont need vga ? then maybe use the suggested alternative..

Michael I dont think the mini's scale... I was looking at getting a couple differing types, but couldn't find anything during the "introduction blab" to show they scale. Looks like they convert only. Input res matches output res, but in a different format. My guess their the new mini converters on steroids.

A.

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If you want the king then the

If you want the king then the Barco Image Pro is king. 

 

The DAC 70 is unidirectional and lacks any of the DA functions of the MDHX - again it depends on your needs but the DAC70 is about 1/3rd more expensive than the MDHX. 

 

Neither is "better" than the other, they are just different. It totally depends what you are trying to do with them. For PC into the ATEM there isn't a king as such, if we were going to look for a king then i'd want it to have region of interest support, something which neither the DAC70 nor MDHX have.

Maybe we can draw a line under this MDHX vs DAC70 thing as it's not going anywhere. 

 

cheers

tom

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Tom,   AJA ROI has region of

Tom,

 

AJA ROI has region of interest scaling, but only on DVI. Either the DAC-70 or the ADVC-G1 with a Teranex express would get the closest feature set to the ImagePro while also supporting 4k

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ImagePro 2 supports 4k (not

ImagePro 2 supports 4k (not 6g SDI though, i suspect barco might add this via firmware if SMPTE ever approve 6g as a broadcast standard) 

 

The teranex has a horrible latanecy, i'd not want to have it on any inputs.

 

 

 

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So our answer to the question

So our answer to the question at the lead post of this thread is, the barco imago pro.

Sure looks the part with its high specs,  just the thing to partner your £650 ( $1000 ) TVS.  

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No - there isn't a single

No - there isn't a single answer. 

 

There are a range of different devices which go from the really cheap MD-HX through the more expensive DAC70, AJA ROI, Matrox Convert DVI, Marinda DVIramp, Grassvalley ADVC-G1, Various TVOne scalers, Calibre scalers, all the way up to the ImagePro. 

 

None of these is "the best" option for every purpose. But all of them have there place in live productions. Which one you choose is entirely down to you, but claiming that the DAC70 is the best and only needed converter somewhat misses the point. 

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Lets look at the lead post,

Lets look at the lead post, the guy is asking for suggestions for running a scaler with his TVS, does that sound like the kinda guy whos looking to spend 10k on a scaler ( no offence to the original poster intended )

we need suggest something that can help them, not let our own egos or self grandure stop someone from gaining value from their initial question. Hes looking for realworld suggestions, how many on this forum are spending out on a barco, if it comes to sales units how many barcos, shift in a week ?? Compared to DACs or Decimator.

My suggestion came as I'm super happy with my 70s and to me they are king, as im most probably never going to drop 10k on a barco, and only guessing, neither is the originator of this thread.

I don't need bidirectional feeds, PC to atem, as in the original question

Paying less for the hdmx, then spending out more on plug adapters, lead converters etc, equals false economy. Each additional connection is added db to signal loss ( slight yes, but still loss ) and more additional parts to loose or misplace.

Yes we are all correct there are multiple choices over many price levels but if we must keep it reall, to state PCs no longer ship with VGA is conductive to the start of heated exchanges, luckily I've been around long enough not to take rise as easily as I did in my younger days.. I'm active on abt 30 differing web groups, both production and hobby interest groups, and moderate a few myself and to me the idea is to gain knowledge, each answer will / can be different to every particular posters situation so no one answer is correct, but if it is taken in context of the original questions only a couple answers will hold with the initial poster.

Yes agreed will put this to rest....

A.

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So for you the DAC70 is king?

So for you the DAC70 is king? Fine, nobody has disagreed that it is a suitable suggestion. I don't understand why you want to prevent discussion of other options which might be more suitable for others? Nobody other than you has let ego get in the way of discussion!

To question the presence of VGA on recent laptops is not controversial - I do lots of corporate stuff and have found that many low cost laptops no longer have VGA connections, none of the low end Dell machines have VGA, and almost every machine i have seen in the last 5 years has had some form of digital output be that DVI, HDMI, DP or mDP.  (any of which will connect to the decimators with a simple cable)

Personally I've used MD-HX, MD-Cross,TVOne 1t-c2-750, DVIRamp2 and ImagePros to get PC and Mac signals into various vision mixers including the ATEM TVS. Sorry if you feel this isn't relevent information but just because you haven't used all these converters doesn't mean they are a bad choice or that I would of been better off with DAC70s on every show. 

The purpose of this site is to provide information which is acurate and broad ranging. Not everyone has the same approach when it comes to choice of equipment or style of production they work on. We welcome diversity and discussion of different options. Please don't get offended when other people take a different route to the one you have chosen! We are all here to share experiences and hopefully learn from others methods, when someone says they do something in a different way to you please see it as an opportunity to learn about a different technique rather than a chance to prove that your method is better than theirs. 

Thanks

Tom

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Your missing every point I've

Your missing every point I've made in this discussion, I have agreed that no one is write and no one is wrong. Re-read my posts and they show I agree all the suggestions are correct, maybe with exception on the barco, but the point is answer the question in its context... 10k of slave equipment to connected to a 1k master seems a little out there... 

But if that's what you do then thats fine... But how helpful is that to the original poster, yes we all strive for the best results as possible, and I'm sure using said barco gets great results, but for me I made a personal statement that its a dac70 and you seemed to disagree with that, and had to correct me that the barco is king..you say your looking for open discussion, but you seem to also slap down my question on using vga. Maybe you need look at what you're posting and see if your actions on open discussion follow your words. I've made a suggestion and followed up with reasons for that choice,  hopefully the OP has gained, but for the other circumstances above  it has dragged out way too long,  

A.

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I think you both need to

I think you both need to relax.  The reason this is a forum and not an opinion column is that multiple viewpoints can be shared.

-- Eric Darling www.ethreemedia.com

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Moving on..    I forgot to

Moving on.. 

 

I forgot to mention the Roland VC1-SC  this is a decent converter with VGA support and it's one of the few lower cost converters which can convert between 3g leva A and B. It also has VGA, ;)

 

cheers

tom

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A

A. ☺

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just FYI

Decimator Design now supports 3G SDI level B for 1080p60/59.94/50 in the newest firmware. You can now also use the MD-HX ($295) to convert between level A + B. 

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pc to atem 2 m/e prod studio

wow! every single post ws very necessary for me... thank you

 

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MD-HX vs MD-Cross

Because GoPro has taken over 1.5 years to continue not being responsiv to the need to let users manually select the HDMI output of their Hero4 and Hero5 cameras, we still can't use those cameras with the ATEM units which only accept 1080i -- those cameras seem to only output 1080p and aren't detecting the need for the ATEM to be interlaced.

I got around the problem a bit by configuring the ATEM to use 720p and those cameras can output it just fine... but .. at 720p those cameras don't allow their "Linear" mode to work... and now I need that for some live switches...

 

OK.. long background there... I think I need a down/cross converter to either convert the 1080p from the gopro to 1080i for the ATEM, or scale it to 720p and continue using 720p on my cameras (why I'd do that, I don't know?!).

 

QUESTION:  Why would I purchase the MD-Cross vs the MD-HX?  What are the benefits of one over the other?

 

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Question : why would you

Question : why would you purchase a go-pro in the first instance ?

It's strange that you would want to go to all this trouble, adding additional gear to make this work. When you could purchase Marshall cameras that are created for a professional market and operate at std. broadcast resolutions. They have several lipstick and small form factor cameras connecting over SDI that could work in this same situation and for a similar cost of go-pro. Could be an alternative to the above ??

A.