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Thread: AJA HA5 -> SDI Video Input

  1. #1
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    AJA HA5 -> SDI Video Input

    Are there known compatibility issues between an AJA HA5 SDI output and an XD455 SDI input? (The AJA HA5 is an HDMI-to-SDI converter.)

    Our XD455 acts as if there is no video input connected (black screen) when connected to the HA5 (this is within a 720p60 project on the TC); however, connecting the HA5 output to a field monitor shows the video just fine and the monitor reports the input as 1280x720/60Hz.
    All of the TC's Input Settings / Connection Types have been tried.

    The AJA HA5 specifies:
    HDMI input formats:
    525i, 625i
    1080p 23.98 /24/25/29.97/30
    1080i 60/59.94/60
    720p 50/59.94/60 (Our HDMI source is 720p60)
    Output:
    SMPTE-259/292/296, SDI/HD-SDI

    I cannot locate technical specs on the XD455 SDI video inputs. Where might these be found?

    Suggestions on how to proceed/troubleshoot ... ?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    720p60 should be fine, as should most if not all the rest of those formats. I don't think QA would have the AJA unit on hand for testing, but it seems likely that there is something about the signal it outputs that is a factor. About all I can suggest is submitting a bug report, unless someone else has one and has worked through this issue.
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  3. #3
    Is your input 720p/60? Normally the 720p format is 59.94fps and while TriCaster says 720p/60 in the interface, its really wants 720p/59.94 as the format of the video input.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

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    So, which is a recognized SDI input?
    60fps only? 59.94fps only (per Kane)? or both (per Steve)?

    Where is a NewTek doc with specs written down? I have not been successful in locating one?

    (I am checking with the HDMI source equipment manufacturer to get their spec.)

  5. #5
    My understanding is that all of the NTSC video formats that we support are the fractional frame rate versions, not the integer. While the interface shows everything in the integer rate, it is only because most people 'talk' using the integer numbers.
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

  6. #6
    NewTek Engineering ACross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sblanchard View Post
    Are there known compatibility issues between an AJA HA5 SDI output and an XD455 SDI input? (The AJA HA5 is an HDMI-to-SDI converter.)
    We have just got exactly this converter in order to look into this problem for you. We hooked it up exactly as follows :

    850 (HDMI out) -> AJA Convertor -> 450 SDI input

    The 850 was playing a 1080i video clip and the 450 input was configured for 1080i SDI input. In this configuration the converter was working perfectly.

    What is your HDMI signal into the converter ? I am not entirely sure what this box supports, but if it had HDCP (DRM) or was an RGB signal (e.g. from a computer) or was maybe a non standard resolution or interlaced setting, I am unsure that this box will correctly cross covert it into a legal SDI signal.

    Andrew

  7. #7
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    To bring this issue to a close ... We just now have a solution.

    After months of Cisco blaming the AJA converter and the TriCaster, without Cisco ever looking at their HDMI output, we finally purchased a frame syncronizer/converter (AJA FS2) and put it between the Cisco HDMI output and the TriCaster SDI input. It cleans up the flaky HDMI signal very nicely.

    The best we could figure, yet not verify because we didn't have the necessary diagnostic equipment, was that the Cisco HDMI signal was sometimes SMPTE-compliant (as far as frame dimensions and timing) and sometimes it was not. The frame syncronizer forces the SDI signal to be SMPTE-compliant.

    The simple converter could not straighten out the somtimes-non-SMPTE-compliant HDMI signal. It just converted it to a sometimes-non-SMPTE-compliant SDI signal. It took more muscle. (Of course, if Cisco could/would have locked down their HDMI signal, the cheaper solution would have worked.)

  8. #8
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    HDMI signals, but specifically the computer signals coming from it, are a major source of such issues. Resolutions, refresh rates, but also the colorspace of the computersource can cause a lot of issues. We also had our share of issues with HDMI to SDI conversion. The AJA HA5, exactly like you experienced, could handle a lot of the sources thrown at it, but we too had to finally get the FS2 to handle the rest.

    For whoever didn't know it: the AJA FS1 (or FS2) is one of those 'Swiss Army Knife' devices you always should have handy when on location. It converts in all directions (analog/digital, composite/component/HDMI/SDI/SD/HD/...), embeds, de-embeds, swaps/reroutes audiotracks in embedded signals, ... you name it. FS2 is basically 2 processors in one unit, where the FS1 only has one processor. The geniality of the FS2 is it can do some sort of daisychaining of both processors. What can't be done by one FS1/processor in one go, can often be done inside one FS2.

    Get one!

  9. #9
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    Yeah, I bet the FS2 is converting your 60fps to 59.94 drop frame. This is something I've become increasingly aware of when dealing with HDMI equipment - especially computer-based hardware such as laptops or appliances.
    E. Lee Dickinson | President
    Advanced Visual Production | sound.lighting.video.design
    www.avprva.com

    Tricaster 850, 460AE, and TC-1
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  10. #10
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    The strange thing was that the Cisco codec's HDMI output would sometimes be okay and then sometimes not be okay - all during the same videoconference call. It would depend on what was happening at the time - presenting, not presenting, HD camera selected, SD video source selected ... Cisco wouldn't, or couldn't, figure it out.

    Anyway, the FS2 doesn't care what you throw at its input. Its output is rock-solid. Nice device.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like the Codec has a scaler but not a time base corrector. So the camera, which was a native video framerate, worked; but presenting might be an integer frame rate.

    Clearly a problem with how their HDMI output works. Nice job getting it resolved!
    E. Lee Dickinson | President
    Advanced Visual Production | sound.lighting.video.design
    www.avprva.com

    Tricaster 850, 460AE, and TC-1
    JVC GY-HM200u, Canon XLH1, Fieldcast and BMD Fiber

  12. #12
    How does the Teranex 2D Processor compare to the FS2? BM bought these guys out a while back, and it looks like a nice solution.
    http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/teranex/

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