Multi-rate SDI for Professional AV Systems

SDI & HD-SDI Design Guide

Commercial AV presentation system designs utilizing SDI standards run the gamut from venue-driven installations with a limited number of devices to comprehensive operations centers with a vast number of sources, displays, and satellite locations. The various SMPTE SDI standards were designed to address the higher bandwidth demands of these professional installations, which require transmission of uncompressed, unencrypted digital AV signals.

What is SDI – Serial Digital Interface?

Serial Digital Interface - SDI is a set of video standards for serial transmission of AV signals. The digital signal is transmitted uncompressed and unencrypted, and can carry ancillary data such as time code, embedded audio, and Meta Data in the blanking periods. SDI standards are primarily utilized on professional broadcast and video production equipment, with secondary use in live events, rental and staging, medical imaging, military training and simulation, digital cinema, as well as teleconference cameras and recording devices.

About this Guide

This Design Guide addresses the AV industry’s interest in enhanced and comprehensive SDI solutions for existing and proposed systems. It provides a reference for system designers and integrators seeking to understand SDI standards and practical methods to commercial AV system design.

In this Guide are overviews covering SDI standards as used in typical AV applications. Next are sample system designs that range from a compact studio installation to a comprehensive broadcast operations center. The samples describe the realistic aspects of these commercial AV systems, the type of equipment needed, and signal flow from one device to another. Following the system design section is a condensed catalog of Extron products designed for the integration of multi-rate SDI transmission. At the end of the guide is a comprehensive glossary of terms related to digital video for professional AV applications.

Extron HD-SDI Products

Extron SDI products support all popular SMPTE standards and provide a number of features that enhance functionality and simplify integration. Most products automatically adapt to SMPTE and ITU digital video standards for 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, and SDI, up to 2.97 Gbps, and provide Input Equalization and Output Reclocking which help to eliminate jitter and compensate for signal attenuation over long cable runs.

AV Streaming - Streaming of multi-rate SDI signals for AV and graphics content is common in a wide range of commercial fields, including broadcasting and venue-specific presentations such as houses of worship through sports arenas. Streaming the signal allows the content to be transmitted to satellite locations, regardless of the distance between sites.

Line Drivers & Extenders - Extron Multi-rate SDI Cable Equalizers offer convenient, economical solutions for optimizing digital video signals up to 2.97 Gbps. Most displays and other destination devices do not equalize or reclock incoming signals. Multi-rate SDI cable equalizers are used at the end of long cable runs to equalize the incoming signal and reclock the outgoing signal, thus ensuring the integrity of the source signal as it reaches its destination.

Distribution Amplifiers - HD-SDI distribution amplifiers distribute SDI and multi-rate HD-SDI serial digital video signals up to 2.97 Gbps. They conform to all SMPTE and ITU digital video standards, including SMPTE 259M, SMPTE 292M, and SMPTE 424M.

Switchers - SDI and HD-SDI switchers meet the requirements of serial digital switching applications up to 2.97 Gbps 3G-SDI, and conform with all SMPTE and ITU digital video standards, including SMPTE 259M, SMPTE 292M, and SMPTE 424M.

Matrix Switchers - SDI/HD-SDI matrix switchers are designed to switch multiple serial digital video signals that comply with SMPTE and ITU standards for standard definition and high definition video. They are ideal for AV presentation applications, as well as small video production and post-production systems.

Signal Processors - Signal processors for SDI and HD-SDI convert and process SDI and HD-SDI signals for a variety of applications, such as digital-to-analog conversion for compatibility with analog AV equipment and systems.

Scalers & Scan Converters - Scalers for SDI and HD-SDI scale analog standard definition, HDTV, and computer-video, as well as SDI signals, and can output SDI and HD-SDI signals. Scan converters optimize high resolution computer-video signals and provide SDI output for standard definition video displays.

Test & Measurement - Professional quality test-generator reference tools that deliver accurate, full bandwidth video signal reproduction and high performance audio test signals aid in set-up, performance evaluation, calibration, and troubleshooting of AV systems.

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SDI & HD-SDI Products

SDI & HD-SDI Products

A comprehensive online resource with Extron serial digital video products, white papers, and technical articles

Glossary of Terms

A comprehensive lexicon of words, phrases, acronyms, and abbreviations appropriate to digital technologies, distribution methods, and the products designed for use in digital AV presentation systems

Technical Articles

In-depth explanation of SDI and HD-SDI technology, terminology, and system components