How Converters Fit Into Your Larger Solution

A common question that we get when consulting with clients about a new broadcast solution for their studio is always this: “Will I be able to use my old cameras in this new set up?”

Like most solutions, the answer can be as unique as the studio itself. Depending on what a client is looking for can determine on what we recommend. For example, if you’re looking for a full NDI suite then we may recommend looking into some NDI compatible cameras, switchers and other similar devices. 

However, while these types of solutions are wonderful to have, they can often be expensive, especially when first starting out. We totally understand that not everyone can afford a top of the line, full production studio with the latest and greatest cameras, but getting a professional looking broadcast still isn’t outside the realm of possibilities with the use of converters.

Blackmagic Design™ has multiple converter options, such as the SDI to HDMI converter shown here.

Converters allow a type of signal to run through the live production switcher even if that signal is not supported by the camera to the switcher or vice versa.

Due to there being a multitude of models coming from all time periods, there are simply going to be some bits of technology that are not compatible. An example is a switcher that only runs analog but you’re running HDMI cameras. Or a switcher that only takes HDMI but your cameras are all SDI based. 

Amitrace provides a multitude of converter solutions for this, the most notable ones from Blackmagic Design™. Whether it be HDMI to SDI, SDI to Analog, or even Bidirectional converters that are interchangeable.

Bidirectional converters allow the most versatility with HDMI and SDI connections.

Of course, where does this leave NDI? The latest addition to the world of IP distribution? 

NDI stands for Network Device Interface and is developed by NewTek. NewTek announced NDI in 2015, and the protocol was made available for public use early 2016. In 2017, the 3rd version of the protocol was released, adding multicast support, a high efficiency mode called NDI-HX and other features.

Since it is still relatively new, there’s still a limited choice on natural NDI options since most of it is being built into newer camera models and switcher. However there are still options for this new type of connection on audio visual equipment.. 

NewTek™ offers several types of converters in the form of the NewTek™ Connect Spark, which can handle HDMI, SDI, or even up to 4K based on the model.

The NewTek™ Spark Plus is the newest addition to the Connect Spark line and allows broadcasting up to 4K resolution.

There is also Bird Dog™ which has started to come out with their own encoders with the Bird Dog™ Studio NDI.

Nowadays, there’s hardly an excuse as to why you shouldn’t be able to get the type of broadcast you want regardless of the equipment you’re currently running. If you’d like a free consultation, feel free to reach out to Amitrace using the form below. We’d be happy to set you up.

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