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HD upgrades to sleds?


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 06:14 PM

With more and more HD production going on and HD monitors becoming available (Cinemonitor HD for example), seems like time is coming around to be able to direct connect to HD and do away with the downconverters.

Someone educate me - is it possible to use one BNC connection to handle SD, SDI, and HD-SDI? I mean, it's just a wire, right? < this comment probably shows how ignorant I am.

Dan "NAB Surgical Strike Renegade" Coplan
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 07:12 PM

Someone educate me - is it possible to use one BNC connection to handle SD, SDI, and HD-SDI? I mean, it's just a wire, right? < this comment probably shows how ignorant I am.



yes you can use the rigs as wired. The only issue is Video D/A's if your rig is so equipped.
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#3 Philip J. Martinez SOC

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:11 PM

Even if you have a HD monitor don?t you need the down converter to send wireless video to a monitor?
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 11:12 PM

I thought there was an issue sending HD-SDI down the pipe on rigs that didn't have dedicated wiring for same, i.e. BNCS that wire to Lemo connectors internally etc? Eric, are you saying that for instance the PRO will carry the signal but the XCS won't? Did not know this.
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 03:27 AM

I thought there was an issue sending HD-SDI down the pipe on rigs that didn't have dedicated wiring for same, i.e. BNCS that wire to Lemo connectors internally etc? Eric, are you saying that for instance the PRO will carry the signal but the XCS won't? Did not know this.



I'm looking into the Video D/A thing and will let you know.
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#6 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 11:59 AM

OK...in the meantime have you (or anyone else) successfuly run HD-SDI down the existing video wiring of a PRO post? I've never tried it as I thought it wasn't recommended.
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#7 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 01:28 PM

OK...in the meantime have you (or anyone else) successfuly run HD-SDI down the existing video wiring of a PRO post? I've never tried it as I thought it wasn't recommended.



Yes I have run HD-SDI Down the post. It's not a problem with the short run.
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#8 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 02:22 PM

OK...in the meantime have you (or anyone else) successfuly run HD-SDI down the existing video wiring of a PRO post? I've never tried it as I thought it wasn't recommended.


Hey CP,

Not all HD-SDI is created equal. a lot of variables here. Length, connector type, coax gauge, output source. Its not as simple as plugging it in and poof. Both my current rigs will NOT except HD-SDI down the post. I have a highly modified EFP (original video wireing) and an MK-V super post. Neither rig is able to handle HD-SDI, at the moment. A dedicated run must be made with beefed up coax and connectors. You might have success with shorter posts and other manufacturers. I recall a conversation with George about the PRO, NOT being able to handle this need. At least that was last year. Good luck. I have been asking for this feature in rigs for years now. Soon, it's commming.

Jeff
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#9 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 04:29 PM

Hey guys.

I always thought there were issues with HD-SDI going through the post as well. Then, of course, there are the issues of transmitting video, framelines, and the electronic level. And for those of us still having love affairs with our TB-6 monitors.....

While I have always held the position that the down converter is the responsibility of Production, I'm beginning to think it may be the simplest way to make my rig HD compatible. I like the AJA, but I hate the power connector and I hate having to go through the dip switches before I'm off and running on each show. This lead me to talk to AJA at NAB. I'm proposing that they (or maybe one of their dealers - i.e. Abel) modify some units to swap out the power connector to a 4-pin Lemo (0B). I figure this unit would mount nicely under our focus receiver and a short jumper cable would mate to our junction box sending power to the down converter and standard def video back into our rigs. Having all your dip switches & velcroe set the way you like would save a bit of time and you'd never need to worry about production forgetting to add a unit to the inventory.

Obviously, this still leaves the issue of frame delay, but I think the AJA is one of the better ones in this department. Also, I find myself transmitting on many HD jobs for the sound guys, etc. This set up would essentially be an extension to your junction box, eliminating the time of mounting to the camera and making the cabling situation much tidier. In short, it may be a cheap fix to make a lot of existing rigs HD compatible. Let me know if you are interested in such a set up and I will talk to AJA. I suspect the more people that are interested, the more likely they will do this at the factory versus modifying a unit myself.
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#10 Afton Grant

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 05:14 PM

In short, it may be a cheap fix to make a lot of existing rigs HD compatible. Let me know if you are interested in such a set up and I will talk to AJA. I suspect the more people that are interested, the more likely they will do this at the factory versus modifying a unit myself.



Consider me interested.
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:07 PM

Thanks guys.

After having A/B'd the difference on the various Tiffen HD-capable monitors between composite video and the HD signal, I can sense an erosion within myself of the "who the hell needs a high-res image" philosophy, or at least a little voice answering "uh--maybe I do?" Plus since I seem to always have to be cabled on HD gigs, it would actually make more sense to have the SD transmitter based at the engineering tent, where a fixed position, full-wave antennae could be utilized which should enable more reliable transmission anyway for those who need it (and generally the sound guys are running hard line video from this tent to begin with, so maybe the transmission isn't that necessary? the AD's can live without their pocket TV's).
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#12 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:41 PM

" Plus since I seem to always have to be cabled on HD gigs, it would actually make more sense to have the SD transmitter based at the engineering tent, where a fixed position, full-wave antennae could be utilized which should enable more reliable transmission anyway for those who need it "

Yes, I've thought about this too and your logic is sound, but I've also been in situations where the cable needs to be pulled last second and unexpectedly at that. While it is not a big deal to grab the transmitter from the HD hut and throw it on the rig, its one more thing to deal with. The frameline generator and electronic level as well as losing my TB-6 are a bigger deal to me, but there is no question that LCD monitors are getting better and better. Surely the new models from Tiffen are impressive.

This scheme of mine is by no means new or original (implementing a down converter on the sled); I've been on the fence for a long time. I'd still like to know if a small VDA for HD-SDI could be made that boosts the signal enough to survive our Lemo connectors and coil cable. If so, then it becomes more of an issue of monitor satisfactory as well as getting an onscreen level (I assume this is coming soon). If HD-SDI can't be run reliably through the sled though, it becomes necessary - at this point in time - to down-convert for me since I'm otherwise very happy with my sled and don't want to change models or spend thousands of dollars modifying the whole thing.
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#13 SergeiFranklin

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 06:56 PM

On a 6" monitor in SD a pixel is about 0.2mm (less than 1/100") viewed at a distance of 2-3'.
I don't think at those screen sizes there is much to be gained from HD.
What would be of great use would be a HD transmitter the size of the modulus or canatran. Then we could get rid of the cable.
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#14 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 08:57 AM

I still fly my down-converter (AJA MD 10) to hit the transmitter via NTSC for HDSDI gigs 95% of the time. Fiber jobs are the exception for me.

As for using the Tiffen 8" HDSDI monitor?.I actually thought I would not notice much of a difference going from NTSC composite to the HDSDI UltraBright2 but after flying it (Ultra 2) for a week at NAB and then taking a look at the down-converted signal....it is pretty nice using it in HDSDI. Not necessary for sure but very, very NICE!

I talked to Bubb in January about buying a level for my modified EFP rig and as of then he had no plans to make a level work with HD. I have not checked in with him since then about it.

Tiffen has a set of LED lights that is pretty cool that are just below the monitor for their HD level. They could be a bit brighter (and I think they are working on that). It took some getting use to because they are in a different spot and just different than what I am used to in general...but after a week I can handle it. It has all the same settings for sensitivity still in tact. I am eager to get my on screen level back for HD but as of now it only works on the Ultra 2 on screen in NTSC Composite mode. I am pretty sure Frank Rush will sell the UltraBright 2 monitors as a separate item so just call him and ask.

I also stopped by the AJA booth at NAB and gave them a hard time about the power connector. They said they have had a bunch of complaints and they were going to look into it. They said that they did not think a Lemo would fit because of the lack of room inside but for us even a short pig tail with a LEMO would be nice. On my own personal AJA I just hard wired it direct inside. I have not had a problem with it since and I am going on 2 years now.

For anyone interested in buying an AJA, try Kari Hess at Fletcher Chicago. She has taken great care of me and they have the best customer service in the biz. Fletcher 312-932-2700.

Good luck and keep the info coming as I am still updating my EFP with tons of mods.


Steve Fracol
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