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What's the best downconverter?


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#1 Rod Calarco

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 11:41 AM

Last night my Red Byte shit the bed and now I need to replace it. I was going to just buy another one but I was wondering if anyone had opinions on the other boxes out there? Is Red Byte the best?

 

Rod


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#2 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 10:37 PM

Decimator 2


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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 11:06 PM

I suppose it could be confusing--Decimator Design used to be called Redbyte Design, so they are one and the same.

 

The Decimator 2 is arguably most popular. Has anyone had experience with the Blackmagic Heavy Duty converter?


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#4 David M. Aronson

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:17 AM

I've really liked the Heavy duty converter, but I'd go with the battery converter if I had to choose again. I haven't had any of the issues that the older models used to have(going poof when plugged into anything more than EXACTLY 12v)

The heavy duty converter is kind of heavy and a bit big to mount, but the battery converter is quite a bit narrower and works better on a rig.


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#5 Tommy Stork

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 01:36 AM

Buy an AJAHD10MD3, you wont regret it. I had a Decimator 2 and it went down after using it only a few times. Total waste of money. Even though it was under warranty the company said it would cost me $100.00 to have it fixed. Horrible. I will never recommend this company to anyone. I then purchased an AJA HD10MD3 and has performed flawlessly since day one. A rock solid piece of gear. Also, the support from this company is amazing!! I purchased a used unit off of eBay that was non operational in hopes of fixing it cheaply and using as a backup. After sending the unit in to AJA they said they would give me a new unit instead of fixing the broken unit even though I wasn't the original owner and it wasn't under warranty. Amazing. I have their Kona video cards and they provide the same excellent customer service with those as well although I only needed technical assistance while setting them up. I highly recommend the AJAHD10MD3 down converter.
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#6 RonBaldwin

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

anyone have experience with this Ajah? I think it's the same size but is stripped down and $300 cheaper @ $700

 

http://www.bhphotovi..._Converter.html


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#7 Rod Calarco

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 08:44 PM

Thanks for all the reply's to my question. After speaking with a few operator friends and listing to the feedback here I decided to pull the trigger on the Aja. Thanks Tommy.

 

 

Rod


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#8 Anthony Pidgeon

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:30 AM

Hi All

 

Disclaimer : Our company is the exclusive Decimator Design distributor for the Americas as well as Europe, Middle East, and Africa (we took over the Americas distribution from April 2013). I appreciate there is always a choice in the marketplace, but I feel there are two things I would like to add here in defence of Decimator Design.

 

1. There are many happy customers using the Decimator 2 with their Steadicam rig.

 

2. I know for a fact that Decimator Design has never charged for a warranty repair. Although the process can sometimes take time (in some cases involving shipping goods back to Australia) they have always repaired or repaired units that are in warranty without charge. Indeed, they have on many occasions repaired or replaced units that have had their warranty invalidated by the customer free of charge.

 

Tommy - please can you email me - anthony@symbiosis.eu with a telephone number so I can call you to discuss and resolve the issue you had with your Decimator 2?

 

Many thanks, 

 

Anthony Pidgeon

MD, Symbiosis

www.symbiosis.eu


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#9 Tuomas Viitakoski

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:40 PM

Hi Rod,
I don't have too much experience with the Decimator 2 so I hope someone else can tell you more about it. So that's why no cons for that device until I've beaten it up myself.


Attached File  decimator_2_gro_.jpg   40.49KB   3 downloads
Decimator 2
+ accepts 5-24V
+ wide range of inputs: 3G/HD/SD
+ has an USB-interface for firmware upgrades
- TBA(?)


Attached File  aja-hd10md3.jpg   53.46KB   3 downloads
AJA HD10MD3
+ lightweight
+ accepts 5-18V
+ good customer support
-/+ the firmware cannot be upgraded. Haven't needed though.
-/+ supports HD/SD (no 3G)
- plastic 2pin powercable connectors tend to break easily. Have tried to fill up the connectors with super epoxy and added strain relief but the mechanical contacts just weren't designed for daily use.
- the power connetors are not commonly used. It might be hard to find these.

Conclusion: the power connector is horrible. (Dear Mr/Mrs Aja, please change it asap.)


Attached File  blackmagic-bm-convmsa-sdi-to-analogue.jpg   15.01KB   3 downloads
Blackmagic Design Mini Converter SDI to Analog
+ lightweight
+ supports 3G/HD/SD
+ has an USB-interface for firmware upgrades
+ powered via 2.1mm DC plug that can be found from the most electronics stores
- accepts +12V only. Regulator can be mounted inside. - Warranty void though.
- BNC-connectors are not well secured. Any hit to the connector may crack the circuit board. Add super epoxy or similar on top of the connector to squeeze it between the top cover and the circuit board (apply the epoxy inside the housing). Also a nuts can be added - like they have in AJA's converters.

Conclusion: with the little mods this is very affordable and usable device


Attached File  Mini_Converter_Heavy_Duty_SDI_to_Analog.jpg   25.89KB   3 downloads
Blackmagic Design Mini Converter Heady Duty SDI to Analog
+ supports 3G/HD/SD
+ has an USB-interface for firmware upgrades
+ powered via 2.1mm DC plug that can be found from the most electronics stores
+ BNC-connectors are more rugged than in the previous model (thicker wall on the housing keeps the connector still)
- New version but still accepts +12V only! Regulator can be mounted inside. - Warranty void though.
- unnecessary large
- "Heavy Duty" means literally that it weighs more. That's pretty much the biggest difference between these two from Blackmagic Design. Oh yeah and the $100 USD for the weight.

Conclusion: with a regulator this can also be used as extra weight on top stage or (as it probably was originally designed to) stay in the video village where it can dropped and beaten up (but still no coffee cups)


"Get out of jail, Free" -card: These are mostly my personal thoughts/discoveries. If any specification is out of date or any other mistake is spotted please take time to share it. Thanks! :)
 


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