The What: Magewell has begun shipping a pair of feature-rich models in its new Pro Convert family of standalone IP encoders: the recently introduced Pro Convert HDMI 4K Plus, and a previously unannounced 1080p counterpart.
The What Else: The latest expansion of the Pro Convert family offers users and systems integrators a flexible choice of input connectivity and encoding resolution. The Pro Convert HDMI 4K Plus transforms sources up to 4K Ultra HD at full 60 frames per second via an HDMI 2.0 input interface, while the newly unveiled Pro Convert HDMI Plus encodes HDMI source signals into full-bandwidth NDI streams up to 1080p60 HD. The Pro Convert HDMI Plus can also accept a 4Kp60 HDMI input signal, down-converting it automatically to HD for encoding.
A third model, the Pro Convert SDI 4K Plus, converts 6G-SDI signals up to 4K at 30 fps into NDI streams. It is slated to ship early in 2019.
"The ability to connect existing HDMI or SDI equipment investments into IP-based media networks is a key to making the new IP production paradigm affordable and practical," said Nick Ma, CEO and CTO at Magewell. "Pro Convert devices are designed to help customers effortlessly connect their current sources into NDI workflows, and we are excited to now be shipping the first models. Our flagship 4K models are ideal for users who are currently producing in Ultra HD or plan to in the future, while our 1080p60 models offer a lower-cost alternative for users who only require HD."
All Pro Convert models feature extremely low latency and are plug-and-play, with automatic input format detection and DHCP-based network configuration, eliminating the need for manual setup. For users wanting greater control of the conversion process and the features of the Pro Convert devices, a browser-based interface provides access to status monitoring, advanced settings, and FPGA-based video processing including up/down/cross-conversion, de-interlacing, and image adjustments.
Power for the compact Pro Convert devices can be supplied via Power over Ethernet (PoE) or the included power adapter. Loop-through connectivity on each unit allows the input signal to be sent simultaneously to additional displays or equipment without external splitters or routers, enabling sources to be easily used in new IP workflows without disrupting existing video infrastructures.
Additional features for live production applications include a 1/4"-20 thread for standard camera-mounting accessories, preview and program tally lights, and NDI-based PTZ camera control. An included breakout cable allows extension of the tally lights and PTZ control interface for increased connection flexibility.
The Bottom Line: Designed to enable users to bring traditional HDMI video signals into live, IP-based production and AV infrastructures using NewTek's NDI technology, the two converters will be showcased alongside other Magewell innovations in stand 8-G430 at the upcoming ISE 2019 exhibition in Amsterdam.