The difference is that an

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AvatarRob
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The difference is that an HDMI enabled graphics card is still a computer graphics card. It’s generating a computer graphics signal, not a true video signal.

The reason why some of the I/Os are expensive is because they do professional quality real-time up/down/cross conversions. So while you’re ingesting or outputting to tape you can upconvert SD to HD, downconvert HD to SD, or cross convert 720p to 1080i/p or vice versa.

Many are capable or transcoding on ingest/output too. So, for example, you can convert HDV tape to DVCPro HD or ProRes if your edit requires it.

Some are also capable of 2K and 4K resolutions as well.

Some also have SD/HD-SDI connections, which is an uncompressed connection and therefore ideal for monitoring. You can also convert your footage to 10-bit or 8-bit uncompressed on the ingest if you want.

You’ll need to do some research and see what it is you need. For example, I have a Mac, so I’d get an AJA Kona LHi. It does all the up/down/cross conversion, but doesn’t do 2K and 4K. That product is only $1200. (The AJA Xena is the PC equivalent)

The BlackMagic Extreme may be all you need, if that’s the brand you are looking at. I’ve heard not-so-good stories about that brand though…just inconsistencies with their products and tech support not being too great. I’ve never heard anything bad about AJA though

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