Convergent Design ships first HDMI to HD-SDI Converter

(Colorado Springs, CO, Feb. 15, 2007) Convergent Design began shipments today of the first HDMI _ HD/SD-SDI (video + audio + time-code) converter box aimed at HDV and AVCHD camcorders/decks and other unencrypted HDMI sources.

mi_topr.jpgHDMI, built on DVI technology, transmits uncompressed digital HD or SD video (YCbCr 4:2:2 or RGB 4:4:4) and up to 8-channels of PCM audio over a single cable at resolutions exceeding 1080p. HDMI, with projected worldwide shipments of over 100 million devices this year, is the new consumer-electronics standard for interconnecting flat panel screens, set-top boxes and DVD players. In addition, Sony, JVC, Canon and Panasonic now (or will soon) offer HDV and/or AVCHD camcorders/decks with HDMI output, thereby bringing HDMI into the professional video market.

The HD-Connect MI converter accepts uncompressed HD/SD video (and digital audio) from an unencrypted HDMI source, retrieves the time-code from the 1394 connection, and multiplexes the video + audio + time-code into an HD/SD-SDI stream (at 1080i50/60, 720p50/60, or 486i/576i resolution). This versatile product also features RS-422 to 1394 deck-control translation which has been extensively tested on Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Quantel and Media100 systems. This deck control translation allows offline / online batch capture to an NLE.

“Regarding the overall performance, we were quite surprised at the improved video quality, as compared to component HD analog video. The HD-Connect MI precisely maps each HDMI pixel into the HD/SD-SDI stream with no loss in quality. The 100% digital processing of the HD-Connect MI showed noticeable better resolution, lower noise and no luma/chroma shifts as compared to the component HD analog solution. Additionally, the MI box offers this improved video/audio quality at a lower price compared to most analog solutions and is far simpler to set up — one HDMI cable replaces 5 analog cables”, noted Mike Schell, President of Convergent Design.

The HD-Connect MI offers professional features, including full dynamic range of video (or clamped to legal limits), color bar output on loss of HDMI input, and configurable deck control (including time-code offsets). Also, the low processing latency (60 uS), and low power-consumption (2.5W), combined with the small size (4.5” x 3.5” x 1”), makes the HD-Connect MI a perfect companion for live-event and studio projects.

When operating in live-camera mode, the user can enjoy the ultimate video quality attainable from a given camcorder, since this video stream has never been compressed (it’s straight off the CCD/CMOS sensor). Furthermore, green-screen applications are enhanced with the full 4:2:2 color resolution from the live-camera capture.

Video professionals can now add HD/SD-SDI and RS-422 deck control to their existing HDV decks and camcorders. For example, JVC BR-HD50 and Sony HVR-M25 users can add these professional outputs at _ to _ the cost of competing solutions. Additional system cost reductions are realized by utilizing the built-in ability to perform 1080i _ 720p cross conversion or downscale to SD. DV tapes can also be played-back as a SD-SDI stream. Finally, tape dubs from HDV, DV or AVCHD _ HDCAM, D5, DVCProHD, BetaSX, or DigiBeta entail only a single coax connection via the HD/SD-SDI cable that carries video, audio and time-code.

HDV and AVCHD editors now have affordable tools to convert long-GOP compressed formats into easily editable I-Frame-based CODECs such as DVCProHD and DNxHD. These real-time conversions can eliminate all the headaches and long render times associated with native-format editing. Rather than changing their workflow, users can simply upgrade their connection.

HD-Connect MI carries an MSRP of $695 (USD) and is available for immediate delivery. More information on HD-Connect MI as well as a technical white paper on HDMI is available at