Convergent Design Introduces Low-cost HDMI/DVI to HD/SD-SDI Converter
Posted Mar 22, 2007

Convergent Design announced today their low-cost ($495) HDMI/DVI to HD/SD-SDI (video + audio) converter box known as nanoConnect, aimed at HDV and AVCHD camcorders/decks and other unencrypted HDMI/DVI sources. HDMI, built on DVI technology, transmits uncompressed digital HD or SD video (YCbCr 4:2:2 or RGB 4:4:4) and up to 8-channels of PCM audio over a single cable at resolutions exceeding 1080p.

HDMI, with projected worldwide shipments of over 100 million devices this year, is the new consumer-electronics standard for interconnecting flat panel screens, set-top boxes and DVD players. In addition, Sony, JVC, Canon and Panasonic offer HDV and/or AVCHD camcorders/decks with HDMI output, thereby bringing HDMI into the professional video market.

nanoConnect, built on the highly successful HD-Connect MI, also from Convergent Design, accepts uncompressed HD/SD video (and digital audio) from an unencrypted HDMI source, and multiplexes the video + audio into an HD/SD-SDI stream. This highly versatile converter accepts a wide range of formats including 1080i60/59.94/50, 1080p30/29.97/25/24/23.98, 720p60/59.94/50, 480p/576p and 486i/576i resolutions. Utilizing 100% digital processing, nanoConnect produces noticeably better resolution, lower noise and no luma/chroma shifts as compared to the component HD analog solution.

nanoConnect offers this improved video/audio quality at a lower price compared to most analog solutions and is far simpler to set up -- one HDMI cable replaces 5 analog cables (3 - video and 2 or more audio cables). nanoConnect offers professional features such as automatic color bar output on loss of HDMI input, low processing latency (60 uS), and low power-consumption (2.5W). The small size (4.5" x 3.5" x 1"), makes the nanoConnect a perfect companion for live-event and studio projects.

When operating in live-camera mode, the user can enjoy the ultimate video quality attainable from a given camcorder, since this video stream has never been compressed (it's straight off the CCD/CMOS sensor). Furthermore, green-screen applications are enhanced with the full 4:2:2 color resolution from the live-camera capture.

Video professionals can now affordably add HD/SD-SDI to their existing HDV decks and camcorders. For example, JVC BR-HD50 users can add HD/SD-SDI and utilize the existing RS-422 built in the deck. Editors employing the Sony HVR-M25 deck, on the other hand, can use the 1394 from their NLE for deck control and batch captures. For lowest-cost ingest of HDV/AVCHD material, nanoConnect will accept the HDMI stream directly from the Sony V1U/E, HC7/5/3 camcorders, as well as the new Canon HV20. (Deck control is enabled via a direct 1394 connection from the NLE to the camcorder). Additional system cost reductions are realized by utilizing the built-in ability to perform 1080i/720p cross conversion or downscale to SD. DV tapes can also be played-back as a SD-SDI stream.

nanoConnect is also an ideal companion for HDMI/DVI to HD/SD-SDI conversions directly from a desktop or laptop computer. Users can now affordable stream video/audio out of their PC/MAC into the professional HD/SD-SDI format. Unlike HDMI, which is typically limited to 10 meter cable lengths, HD/SD-SDI cables can typically run out 150/350 meters, respectively. HDV and AVCHD editors now have affordable tools to convert long-GOP compressed formats into easily editable I-Frame-based CODECs such as DVCProHD and DNxHD. These real-time conversions can eliminate all the headaches and long render times associated with native-format editing. Rather than changing their workflow, users can simply upgrade their connection.

nanoConnect carries an MSRP of $495 (USD) and will be available in early April. nanoConnect can be seen at the Convergent Design NAB booth: SL10830. More information as well as a technical white paper on HDMI is available at