Why are converters so expensive?!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ziggyonice, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    I don't understand this. All they are is a box with some cheap components inside. I've been looking for a way to convert HDMI to FireWire and the cheapest thing I've found is $700!

    Is this really necessary? For a bunch a cheap pieces put together in a box, paying ridiculous amounts seems a little excessive.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Can you point to this HDMI to Firewire adapter?

    Firewire and HDMi are quite different and used for different purposes.

    Why would one want to convert HDMI to Firewire or vice versa?
  3. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
  4. Mernak macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2006
    Kirkland, WA
  5. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    "Video over Firewire" generally refers to DV, which is a very specific type of encoding at a specific resolution, bandwidth, specific compression settings.

    "Video over HDMI" can refer to a whole pile of signal types from 480p to 1080p and anything in between.

    To convert one to the other you're definitely going to need some processing power, it's not a simple conversion by any means.

    Not to mention these might not be strictly allowed (HDMI isn't "supposed to" be decoded to non-HDCP compliant devices) so any boxes you do find are not going to be through mass-market channels.
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Many capture cards have HDMI input and allow you to chose which format and codec you want the incoming video to be transcoded into. This allows you to transcode in real time as opposed to capturing first and then transcoding in software later. AJA, for example, has very good transcoding hardware and can do a cleaner job of it than MPEG Streamclip or Compressor.

    With that being said I haven't seen a FW to HDMI converter. It's usually been FW or HDMI to/from SDI.

    That guy actually converts HDMI into SDI and just uses FW for deck control. the HD Connect SI and HD Connect LE are the ones that will take FW video in and spit out SDI or component.

    FW is just a data pipe. Everything from DV to DVCPro HD to ProRes and Uncompressed can go over FW as long as there is enough bandwidth.

    This only becomes a problem if the signal is encrypted which is not always the case. Blu-ray movie from the store? Yeah. Video camera or deck? No problem. There a number of converters to go between HDMI and component or SDI. No need for the 'black market' here.

  7. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    If we're talking about something like this, the box is encoding the video to the HDV format. That's more than just a conversion between two different connections. The high cost is partly down to that, partly down to it being a niche product. It's a professional device so the features need to match that, and there's no economy of scale for a product that will sell as few units as this.

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