Vector illustration of an HDMI/SDI converter

The Best HDMI/SDI Converters (2024)

This is a complete list of throw-down HDMI/SDI converters I use and trust for converting HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI.

These bi-directional Blackmagic Micro Converters will do all the standard HDMI/SDI conversions and do them at a reasonable price.

Notable highlights include...

  • Convert in both directions simultaneously, even in different input formats
  • Get camera/lens control and preview/program tally when used with compatible Blackmagic switchers and cameras
  • Apply a 3D LUT to one or both outputs for creative control of final look (12G model only)

PRO TIP: Skip the Blackmagic power supply. Use the Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter and the shortest USB-C power cable possible, like the Anker Powerline III, for the most reliability.


Pros

  • Price
  • Camera control and tally with compatible Blackmagic switchers and cameras
  • Power from either AC or DC power sources via USB-C
  • LUT functionality (12G model only)

Cons

  • Blackmagic power supplies have a notable failure rate
  • USB power ports are not the most secure solution

Available Models


Blackmagic Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI Specifications

1 Simultaneous HDMI/SDI conversion possible, including for different input formats.

2 If only one input is active, the active input will be sent to both HDMI and SDI outputs.

3 DCI 2K formats cannot be used via HDMI and will be down-converted to 1920 x 1080.

Conversions HDMI to SDI1, 2
SDI to HDMI1, 2
Apply 3D LUT to one or both outputs (12G model only)
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
1 x SDI input (3G-SDI for 3G model, 12G-SDI for 12G model)
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
1 x SDI output (3G-SDI for 3G model, 12G-SDI for 12G model)
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs
Other I/O 1 x USB-C for updates and configuration
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 fps (12G model)3
SMPTE formats up to 2048 x 1080 at 60 fps (3G model)3
Output Formats Same formats as inputs3
Reclocking Yes
Standards Conversion No3
Scaling No
Power 1 x USB-C port (4.4V to 5.25V DC - 5 watts max; models available with and without AC power adapter)

Decimator 12G-Cross

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The best overall 12G-SDI cross converter.

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When this was released in 2019 I was floored.

I'll let the highlights speak for themselves:

  • Simultaneous bi-directional HDMI/SDI conversion
  • Scaling and/or frame rate conversion for the 12G-SDI input or HDMI 2.0 input
  • Supports SMPTE formats including DCI 2K and 4K resolutions
  • Supports 294 different VESA formats via HDMI input
  • Audio pair routing
  • Up to four identical 12G-SDI outputs
  • Independent genlock input
  • Supports Rec. 709 or Rec. 2020 color
  • $495 USD MSRP 🤯

Most of this was simply unimaginable back in 2019 and is even still unrivaled today.

You may be asking, "There must be a catch, right?".

I'm glad you asked.

All of that is true, it really is that phenomenal. But, unfortunately there is still a catch...

You may have better odds at getting attacked by a shark than finding a Decimator 12G-Cross in stock nowadays. 😭


Pros

  • Price
  • Scale and convert between a large list of formats
  • Dedicated genlock input
  • Metal locking DC power input

Cons

  • Finding one in stock
  • Decimator Design's current status (see below)

IMPORTANT: Decimator Design is unfortunately showing less signs of life day by day. While they still appear to be shipping products, albeit sporadically and unpredictably, there have been no new products or website updates since April 2020 and they haven't been appearing at recent major trade shows. All of that to say: If you can find this converter in stock at the $495 USD MSRP, get it. If you can't find it, then don't be surprised if you have to wait a long time for it to arrive. And I would venture to guess there is a slight possibility it may never arrive at all. Although I really do hope that guess is wrong.


Decimator 12G-Cross Specifications
Conversions HDMI to SDI
SDI to HDMI
Simultaneous HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI
SDI to 4 x SDI distribution
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
1 x 12G-SDI input
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
2 x 12G-SDI outputs
2 x 12G-SDI outputs (can be used as reclocked SDI loop outputs or additional regular outputs)
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs only
Other I/O 1 x BNC reference input
1 x USB 2.0 (Type B - Mini) for updates and configuration
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 fps
294 different VESA formats (HDMI input only)
Output Formats SMPTE formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 fps
Reclocking Yes (SDI loop outputs 1 and 2)
Standards Conversion Yes
Scaling Yes
Power 1 x Metal locking DC power input (5V to 32V DC; AC power adapter included)

The Blackmagic Mini Converter UpDownCross HD is an awesome value that covers a wide variety of needs and situations.

Features include:

  • Scale input resolutions up to 1920 x 1080, including 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 1024 x 768 DVI resolutions
  • Convert between all standard progressive and interlaced frame rates
  • Switch between 16:9 or 4:3 output aspect ratios
  • Built-in DIP switches for turning processing on/off, choosing the 3G-SDI level, and selecting conversion standards
  • Reference input for receiving sync from external sources

All in all, this is a great bang for the buck if you need SD or HD cross conversion or scaling.

And it's usually easy to find in stock, which is more than half the battle these days.


Pros

  • Price
  • Reference input
  • Metal locking DC power input
  • Supports more than just SMPTE input formats

Cons

  • Only one input active at a time
  • DVI input resolutions can't be converted to PsF formats

Blackmagic Mini Converter UpDownCross HD Specifications
Conversions HDMI to SDI
SDI to HDMI
HDMI to HDMI
SDI to SDI
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
1 x 3G-SDI input
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
2 x 3G-SDI outputs
1 x 3G-SDI loop output
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs
Other I/O 1 x BNC reference input
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
DVI formats 640 x 480, 800 x 600, or 1024 x 768 up to 60 Hz (HDMI only)
Output Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Reclocking Yes
Standards Conversion Yes
Scaling Yes
Power 1 x Metal locking DC power input (6V to 36V DC - 5 watts; AC power adapter included)

Decimator MD-LX

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Another great bi-directional HDMI/SDI converter.

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No frills or fancy features here. Just rock-solid performance from a trusted brand.

If both inputs are active, it will do simultaneous conversion in both directions.

If only one input is active, it will send signal from the active input to both outputs.

Decimator converters always perform well, especially for their prices. But that is also why it can often be difficult to find them in stock.


Pros

  • Price
  • Reliability
  • Power from either AC or DC power sources via USB

Cons

  • USB Micro port is old tech and can be very insecure
  • Decimator Design's current status (see below)

IMPORTANT: Decimator Design is unfortunately showing less signs of life day by day. While they are still shipping products, albeit sporadically and unpredictably, there have been no new products or website updates since April 2020 and they haven't been appearing at recent major trade shows. All of that to say: If you can find this converter in stock and priced at or below the $99 USD MSRP, then don't hesitate to get it. But I don't recommend paying more than MSRP or making plans around any promised back-order fulfillment dates, because there are plenty of other great options out there. I have honestly seen the same percentage of success from my top pick converters as I have from the MD-LX.


Decimator MD-LX Specifications

1 Simultaneous HDMI/SDI conversion possible, including for different input formats.

2 If only one input is active, the active input will be sent to both HDMI and SDI outputs.

Conversions HDMI to SDI1, 2
SDI to HDMI1, 2
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
1 x 3G-SDI input
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
1 x 3G-SDI output
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs
Other I/O 1 x USB 2.0 (Micro B) for configuration
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Output Formats Same formats as inputs
Reclocking Yes
Standards Conversion No
Scaling No
Power 1 x USB port (Micro B; 4.4V to 5.25V DC - 2.5 watts max; AC power adapter and cable included)

Theatrixx xVision

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The best HDMI/SDI converters money can buy.

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Theatrixx xVision are some of the most robust, cleverly engineered, and impeccably crafted converters I've ever seen.

Not only are they extremely reliable, they are also replete with amazing features and functionality:

  • Integrated power supply with locking powerCON port
  • Locking HDMI ports
  • Loop-thru 10A power output
  • Magnetic stacking system and non-skid rubber pad for tabletop applications
  • Multiple mounting options: C-clamp, wall-mount adapter, LCD mount adapter, and belt adapter

The lineup is also chock-full of models to cover a plethora of conversion jobs, not just HDMI and SDI.

When you want the best, these fit the bill.


Pros

  • Build quality
  • Reliability
  • Loop-thru power
  • Mounting options

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Bigger and heavier than most other converters
  • Currently no scaling or frame rate conversion options

Available Models


Theatrixx xVision Specifications
Conversions HDMI to SDI
SDI to HDMI (Bidirectional models only)
Simultaneous HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI (Bidirectional models only)
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size) with locking system
1 x 3G-SDI input (Bidirectional models only)
2 x 3G-SDI outputs (3G-SDI and Bidirectional models)
2 x 12G-SDI outputs (12G-SDI models)
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size) with locking system (Bidirectional models only)
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs
Other I/O N/A
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
SMPTE formats up to 4096 x 2160 at 60 fps (12G-SDI models only)
Output Formats Same format as input
Reclocking Yes
Standards Conversion No
Scaling No
Power 1 x Locking powerCON input (cable included)
1 x Edison Nema 5-15 loop-thru output

Decimator MD-HX

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The industry leading HDMI/SDI cross converter.

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The legendary red box that brought us the phrase "Just get a Decimator."

The Decimator MD-HX supports simultaneous HDMI/SDI conversions as well as the scaling and/or frame rate conversion of either the 3G-SDI input or HDMI input.

It also offers vertical and horizontal image flipping, letterboxing and pillarboxing, audio pair routing, and the ability to sync to either input or free-run.

Dependable, versatile, and reasonably priced. The Decimator MD-HX reputation speaks for itself.


Pros

  • Reliability
  • 4 x 3G-SDI outputs
  • Scale and convert between SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
  • Metal locking DC power input

Cons

  • First 2 SDI outputs default to loop outputs of SDI input (can be disabled, but is confusing to n00bs)
  • Included HDMI cable can be unreliable
  • Decimator Design's current status (see below)

IMPORTANT: Decimator Design is unfortunately showing less signs of life day by day. While they still appear to be shipping products, albeit sporadically and unpredictably, there have been no new products or website updates since April 2020 and they haven't been appearing at recent major trade shows. All of that to say: If you can find this converter in stock at the $295 USD MSRP, get it. If you can't find it, then don't be surprised if you have to wait a long time for it to arrive.


Decimator MD-HX Specifications
Conversions HDMI to SDI
SDI to HDMI
Simultaneous HDMI to SDI and SDI to HDMI
SDI to 4 x SDI distribution
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
1 x 3G-SDI input
1 x HDMI output (Type A - Full Size)
2 x 3G-SDI outputs
2 x 3G-SDI outputs (can be used as reclocked SDI loop outputs or additional regular outputs)
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs only
Other I/O 1 x USB 2.0 (Mini B) for updates and configuration
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Output Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Reclocking Yes (SDI loop outputs 1 and 2)
Standards Conversion Yes
Scaling Yes
Power 1 x Metal locking DC power input (5V to 32V DC; AC power adapter included)

Apantac Crescent DA-HDTV-SDI

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The best HDMI to SDI converter for HDCP.

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HDCP is a digital copy protection used in HDMI that prevents the copying of digital video and audio content as it passes through the signal chain.

One common complaint is the inability to play HDCP-encrypted content over SDI, even when all the proper licensing and permissions are present.

But, contrary to popular belief, there are ways to do it without HDMI splitter hacks or workarounds!

The Apantac Crescent DA-HDTV-SDI is a simple HDMI to SDI converter that has quite a few handy features. But the major highlight is its ability to pass HDCP-encrypted content to SDI outputs once a small jumper (included in the box) is installed inside the converter.


IMPORTANT: I am not a lawyer. None of this should be considered legal advice. I am only passing on information I have learned from my experiences. Please consult with a lawyer before implementing this strategy, and always be sure to acquire the proper licensing and permissions before using content you do not personally own.


Pros

  • HDCP content available via SDI
  • Built-in test patterns
  • Stereo analog audio output
  • Locking power port

Cons

  • Jumper installation requires opening the unit

Apantac Crescent DA-HDTV-SDI Specifications
Conversions HDMI to SDI
Video I/O 1 x HDMI input (Type A - Full Size)
2 x 3G-SDI outputs
1 x HDMI loop output (Type A - Full Size)
Audio I/O Embedded audio from inputs
Input Formats SMPTE formats up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Output Formats Same format as input
Reclocking No
Standards Conversion No
Scaling No
Power 1 x DC 5V 3.2A (AC power adapter included)

Why You Can Trust Me

I have more than 24 years of broadcast television, international filmmaking, and corporate video production experience. I quickly moved to other roles including jib/crane operator, engineer, technical director, and director. Since then I have designed, built, and maintained hundreds of video systems ranging from small flypacks to large broadcast studios. Additionally, I have spent the last decade running this website and consulting with organizations to help them find the right gear and maximize their results. Learn more about Joel

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