HDMI mess

HDMI is really taking hold on the broadcast/film industry and pretty much all the big players now offer it somewhere. Black Magic design, Sony, Canon, Convergent Design and so on now have this as a standard and you see it in monitors, cameras and recorders, transmitters and receivers.

But it seems that an HDMI connector/signal is simply not just an HDMI connector/signal. I’ve been trying to concert a GoPro Hero 3+ black edition camera from HDMI to SDI for a about a week now.
My first try was with the Atomos Connect. It won’t convert the GoPro unless the camera is set to 720/100?!! It will NOT lock in any other picture mode of 720 or 1080. The Atomos receives the signal but won’t lock and it seems to be some sort of “hand shake/protocol” issue.

Then I tried the Black Magic Design HDMI-SDI converter with the built in battery. It worked great on a Sony 17″ OLed but when I tried it on my 5″ Marshall it didn’t work…

I wish HDMI was more like SDI. I think it is a huge problem when something works only sometimes with certain “compatible” equipment. I don’t know if this is an issue related to the GoPro HDMI out but when in doubt I go by the practice: “Don’t assume, test!”


wireless monitor – on the cheap


About a month and a half ago I really started looking at low cost wireless solution for onset monitoring.  Working in a high stress environment in the field and having a HDSDI cable tethered to you is not ideal. I try to stay as wireless as possible. I’ve been looking at Teredek bolt, Paralinx etc etc and they all look like great units. The BOLT is a really nice with SDI and everything but a bit pricy on shoots where I am unable to invoice for this item.  A lot of producers will rather save the rental on wireless and go with a cable… 🙁   After searching the net for a wireless consumer HDMI system I found the Nyrius and ordered on from Amazon.com, not my usual place to buy gear.  😉

After some soldering and custom battery plate work I had a perfectly great wireless solution for about half of what the competitors charge.  One drawback is the HDMI only connection but since I have the Odyssey 7Q on camera, it will do the SDI-HDMI conversion for me.  The V-lock battery plate drives the monitor and the HDMI reciever.

I know, its not a pretty solution, yet. 😉  And no it’s not silly puddy on the side , it’s plastic padding… I need to finish the build and tighten everything up a bit but it works perfectly and that’s what matters.   I’ve ordered a short, thin HDMI cable and with some tie wraps and glue (just kidding) it will be a nice package soon.

The custom V-lock plate with 2 different monitor power plugs, and 1x5V (2A) solution to drive the wireless receiver.