Thread: SDI to HDMI vs straight HMDI

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  1. #1 SDI to HDMI vs straight HMDI 
    Senior Member Tom Chase's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    San Antonio, TX

    I was at NAB and ended up chatting with FSI about their AM210 monitor which only has SDI inputs, while talking to the rep I mentioned I have the Decklink Mini Monitor running out to an ASUS PA24Q 24" monitor via HDMI. He suggested I pick up an SDI to HDMI converter stating that SDI doesn't tax the GPU and HDMI even tough running through the Decklink Mini does.

    Does anyone have any input on this?


    Tommy Chase
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Never heard of it slowing the GPU performance. But I do know that SDI is better for critical video out when grading.
    "Using any digital cinema camera today is like sending your 35mm rolls to a standard lab. -Using a Red is like owning a dark room."
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  3. #3  
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    Apr 2013
    Montreal - Toronto - NYC
    Quote Originally Posted by Christoffer Glans View Post
    Never heard of it slowing the GPU performance. But I do know that SDI is better for critical video out when grading.
    You don't "know" this. Why is it better, do you think? Some cards have only 8 bit out on HMDI, but 10 on SDI - but that is not always the case. HDMI as a cable standard can give you as much correct image information as SDI. On fact, a single HDMI cable can contain a lot more info than a single HD SDI cable.

    Older people who do not keep up with advancing technology say that HDMI is "consumer" and so this myth is one of many rolling around the interwebz. In fact its only shortcoming vs HD SDI is that the connection is far less secure from being pulled out. An issue on set, but not in a grading studio where nothing moves except you.

    Both HDMI and SDI out from the Blackmagic cards do not touch the GPU, which is another card altogether. If you use the second port on your video card (which you can't for Davinci video out) then yes, you are taxing the GPU RAM, and maybe doing some other form of taxing of GPU resources, but likely not by much (and again, this second port cannot display Davinci video, only interface GUI elements).
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