Thread: HDMI vs HD-SDI

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    HDMI vs HD-SDI
    #1
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    I've noticed various posts showing a preference of HD-SDI over HDMI, especially for using the Ninja with the AF100. Why? How is HD-SDI better? I think this is important as I decide to buy a Ninja or not and which monitor I'll get for the camera. I was originally thinking i'd just get the Ninja and a monitor with HD-SDI. Should I be looking at the opposite?

    Edit: grrrr how do I just the thread topic to fix the typo?



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    Outside of technical specifications, and on purely physical terms, HD-SDI is a durable connection that you can trust in rough environments using BNC connectors. HDMI connections do not have a locking mechanism and are easy to bump out of a HDMI port. An HDMI connection makes a good monitor connector, because you aren't going to lose your shot if the monitor goes down in the middle of a shot. If you are recording with HDMI, you just don't have that durability assurance that the connector will stay in place.


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    Exactly. The HDMI connector is the epitome of amateur/consumer junk, as compared to HD-SDI which is a locking BNC terminal. People used to complain about the firewire connector as used on a FireStore; HDMI is no better and may actually be worse. HD-SDI is exactly what you'd want to rely on.

    Secondly, HD-SDI transports timecode. HDMI doesn't. So any recordings of HDMI material won't have camera-original timecode, which seems like a waste when you consider that the camera itself has the ability to sync timecode through LTC.


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    HDMI is very bad choice is you do constant recording using it.
    It is parralel interface that requires good and thick cable. And good cable do not want to hold it's place in flimsy connector.
    SDI is very high speed serial interface that uses proper coaxial cables and locking BNC connectors.
    You see HDMI to be common interface because some idiots thought that HDCP protection is a way to go and will save them (it is fully cracked now with master key available in open).


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    I have to chime in with everybody to say that HD-SDI is the professional choice.
    Not just for recording out, but as a professional way to montor your images.

    It's much easier to string BNC cable to a monitor rather than using HDMI, and without a locking mechanism, HDMI will always fall out in the middle of a shot, especially hand held or rough environments.

    The AF-100 includes one in its specs. Yay!! And you get the camera for less than $5000? With the YEN as strong as it is??

    BARGAIN!


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    Yes, the AF100 actually has both. If you had to send out two digital outputs, I'd send the SDI to the recorder, and the HDMI to the monitor. If your monitor cable falls out, at least your recorder is still working! Of course, perhaps the best way to go is to use a recorder or monitor with pass-thru, so you could use SDI for both.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike@AF View Post
    I was originally thinking i'd just get the Ninja and a monitor with HD-SDI. Should I be looking at the opposite?
    Yes; I mean, if you're using an external recorder you want the most solid, robust connection to that recorder, and that's HD-SDI. For monitoring it's less important... if your monitor cable falls out, well, yeah, that's annoying, but at least your recording is still connected! But if your recording cable falls out during the middle of a shot, you're pooched -- and ... hey, if the monitor cable falls out you'll know immediately, but if your recorder cable falls out, will you know right away? Not necessarily, right? So I'd definitely want my recorder connected by the most robust means possible.

    Now, the ideal would be to have SDI on both, and a loop-through system on one. Some devices have loop-through, meaning an input and an output, so you could send the SDI cable to your SDI recorder's input, and take your SDI recorder's output and send that to the monitor. That way you'd have robustness on both sides.

    If I had to choose between SDI recorder and HDMI monitor, or HDMI recorder and SDI monitor, there's no question I'd go with SDI recorder and HDMI monitor. But I'd rather have SDI for both.


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    HDMI is bad news for most purposes in the field. HDMI was originally designed for stationary A/V components not for shooting in the field. I just produced a feature in June and I swear I was ready to just glue the HDMI cable to the 7D if it came out again. Even when we were using short cables to go the Ikan monitor we mounted to the 7D, the cable would still manage to become loose or lose connectivity.


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    Senior Member Robert Eldon's Avatar
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    Good information here. Is there a practical limit to the cable length for HDMI and HD-SDI?

    Also, regarding the AF100, when using an external recording device, does the camera also record to the SD cards?


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    Senior Member Wilbur Eddings's Avatar
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    Very helpful thread.
    Thanks guys!
    Happy is the man who finds his passion.


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