Archimedia Technology announced Archimedia HD-SDI and 4K-SDI cards for the Archimedia Reference Player. The cards, made by Bluefish444, include a Reference Player installer that will flash the cards’ firmware so that they behave properly under control of the Reference Player. By deploying the cards, video engineers and archivists can use a standard Windows® 7 or 8 computer as a high-definition or cinematic-quality videotape player or disk-based SDI video server.
Under the control of the Archimedia Reference Player, the user’s HDTV monitor can display a video file at the same frame rate as the original when in full screen mode, marking the first time that an HDMI monitor and SDI monitor can be faithfully compared up to 4K resolution on a PC. For quality control, the file’s technical metadata can be viewed while the file is playing.
“These SDI cards represent another big step toward a master-quality reference environment for everyone’s desktop,” said Mark Gray, CEO and president, Archimedia. “A traditional HD videotape player costs $40,000 or more, while our HD-SDI card with our Reference Player costs less than $5,000. That’s nearly a 90 percent savings that can make a big difference, particularly for archivists working with very tight budgets. Among their many benefits, the cards allow archivists to view and copy the master files in their care without having to buy a video editor. Likewise, a video engineer can play master files from multiple major vendors in a true comparison without buying proprietary equipment or expanding the development lab.”
With the new cards and Archimedia’s Reference Player, video engineers and archivists in any setting can play video clips and test patterns on practically any professional video device that accepts SDI inputs, including monitors, encoders, projectors, transmission, switchers, routers, editors, videotape and disk recorders, ingest stations, color correctors, standards converters, waveform monitors, and vectorscopes. Both production and development engineers can use the cards to play their video clips and test patterns to configure, set up, calibrate, and troubleshoot an entire SDI signal chain. Archivists can use the cards to view, check, and copy the video in their care — whether they need to ship an archival videotape to a producer on location, encode an archived video file for a news department in a format its station can use, or play their highest quality master videos on an auditorium projector.
Without the Archimedia cards, PC users would have to rely on HDMI-to-SDI converters — most of which are limited to only 8-bit color depths — or high-end SDI cards that lack a matching HDMI frame-rate-controlling player or an integrated technical metadata viewer. Producers, editors, and archivists save valuable time when using the Reference Player to copy only the clips they need, frame accurately, from Archimedia’s SDI card to a recorder without having to load the entire master file into a video editor first in order to extract them. Engineers and manufacturers also benefit from a reliable, full-spectrum SDI stream of master files and test patterns without having to buy dedicated proprietary appliances.
The Archimedia Bluefish444 HD-SDI card plays up to 1080p at 59.94 fps using a Single Link 4:2:2 or Dual Link 4:4:4, 4:4:4:4, or 4:2:2:4 HD-SDI connection. The 4K-SDI card uses four SDI connections in 12-bit 4:4:4 RGB, making it suitable for the highest-quality applications including cinematic production. Both cards use 12-bit video processing and can be installed on a Windows 7 or 8 computer.
“We are very happy to be working with Archimedia and feel that their decoding solutions would be of great benefit to the industry,” said Peter Rowsell, managing director of Bluefish444 Europe. “We look forward to working closely with them in the future.”