Blackmagic Design Inc. today announced the new DVI Extender, an extremely small DVI to SDI converter that allows computer monitors to be placed long distances away from computers using SDI video cabling to Blackmagic Design’s HDLink Pro monitoring converter.
Because DVI Extender uses an SDI connection for its connection to the computer monitor, the monitor can be extended via SDI distribution or routing. This is unlike any other computer monitor extender product in the market which only use proprietary cable connections. DVI Extender’s use of a standard SDI BNC cables allows more than one monitor to be connected to the computer, and if used with an SDI router such as Blackmagic Design’s Enterprise Videohub, you could even have up to 288 computer monitors all connected from the one computer!
Unlike other DVI monitor extender products, DVI Extender includes a computer audio input and a cable that simply plugs into the computer’s audio output. This audio is then transported down the SDI cable to the HDLink at the other end. This lets customers hear computer audio remotely, so they get the same experience using their computer as if it was right beside their desk.
DVI Extender was designed to help reduce the cost of building post production facilities. Generally there are three costs for building a post production company: equipment, floor space, and cabling.
With DVI Extender all the equipment can be kept in one area, so all video connections are short with only a few long cables needed to be run to each editing room. This reduces cable cost dramatically. Because floor space is also costly, DVI Extender lets you route each workstation to different size rooms, depending on the work being done.
For example you could use a small room or cubicle when there is no client attending the edit, and then instantly route the video and computer monitor to a large elegantly designed edit suite when the client arrives. This lets post production companies optimize their layout in new and exciting ways not possible before. Now client rooms can be larger and more luxuriously designed while non client editing rooms can be reduced in size.
DVI Extender also allows normal DVI to SDI video conversion for incredible quality SDI video output direct from the GPU accelerated 3D graphics engine built into modern computers. DVI Extender simply plugs into the computer’s DVI port and then appears as a computer monitor. If the user selects any video resolution such as 1920 x 1080 (1080i), 1280 x 720 (720p), 720 x 576 (PAL) or 720 x 486 (NTSC), DVI Extender will then output regular SDI Video with embedded audio from the computer. This allows low cost and amazing quality real time computer graphics output.
DVI Extender uses USB for power, and when plugged into any of the USB ports of the host computer, will power on and off as the computer is turned on and off. With USB power, DVI Extender is incredibly compact, and is perfect as a graphics output for laptop computers, as no cumbersome power supply is required and DVI Extender will power directly from the laptop computer’s battery.
“At Blackmagic Design, we love nothing more than lowering the cost of post production. We have worked hard over the last few years on the equipment side of lowering cost, but this is the first time we have gone beyond that and looked at the design of the facility itself. If you look at post production costs, the building cost and the cabling cost are a very big part. With DVI Extender, we have solved that,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Now it’s possible to put all the equipment in a central air conditioned location where all cables can be kept short, and then run only a few long cables for each room. Plus the exciting part is you can route the computer and the video monitor anywhere in the facility. Your clients can choose to watch either your video or computer monitor while you work, and you could even have a video wall of extra monitors in equipment areas so other creative people can keep track of jobs being completed in real time. With DVI Extender, I think the possibilities are endless for facility design and that’s really exciting.”
DVI Extender is shipping in May 2009 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$395.