Video production requires so many tools for different set-ups. Many of those tools are super sexy cameras, drones, lenses, and accessories. However, there are some tools that fly under the radar but are critical to a fully functional system. One of these very boring tools is the Decimator MD-HX HDMI/SDI Cross Converter, which allows you to take virtually any HDMI or SDI signal and output it to a standard video signal that works with your system into either HDMI or SDI.
Over the years, I’ve used the Decimator MD-HX mainly for live video production operations; however, it works for just about any setup when you have to get an HDMI signal into an SDI signal. The unit ships with an AC power adapter and HDMI cable for $300.
My two primary uses for Decimators has been in (1) signal conversion or scaling (e.g., converting a computer output to a broadcast 1080/60i signal) and (2) HDMI extension (for runs longer than 30 feet or so).
Running HDMI longer than 50 feet can create problems with the signal strength resulting in loss of picture or inconsistent picture presence. I start getting nervous after 25-30 feet. Typically, if I need to use longer than a 25′ HDMI cable for anything other than a temporary solution, I default to using the cheaper $100 version Decimator MD-LX. As long as you don’t have to convert a signal, these are golden and reliable for just about any HDMI extension. There are no settings to adjust for the MD-LX. It’s as simple as plug and play.
I’ve used these on a number of security camera systems where I’m extending the display from a remote NVR to an office or another viewing area. Couple a pair of these with a USB-to-ethernet extender and you have direct input control of your NVR by using some affordable RG6 and Cat6 cabling. They work great for both home and commercial installations.
The MD-HX gives you so much flexibility when working with broadcast signals to getting virtually any video signal into a production switcher. Likewise, you can also use them to split signals to multiple locations in a pinch.
Both the MD-HX and MD-LX have pass-through ability for local viewing of your extended/converted signal so that you don’t need to use additional outputs from your source device.
I’ve tried other brands for HDMI/SDI conversion and just haven’t had the same luck. A colleague asked me to help troubleshoot a broadcast area recently and we quickly narrowed the issue down to a buggy Blackmagic converter. We plugged in one of my Decimators and all was well. These things just work and continue to work for years and years.
The Decimator MD-HX is one of my favorite boring video devices. If you need to run a video signal for 300′ from one HDMI device to another, the Decimator can do it. If you need to get virtually any modern video device to talk to another, the Decimator can do it. If you need to split a signal in a pinch to multiple SDI devices, the Decimator can do it.
The Decimator MD-HX and MD-LX are available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail partner, B&H Photo, at the following links:
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