So what to do with Tezro's Digital Media and VBOB in 2020?

Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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I'm considering buying the missing 2 LVDS cables that are needed for VBOB -- if I there is a use-case for it at all, because they're quite expensive.
From what I understand VBOB has SD and HD analog inputs for capturing video. Now that I don't have any analog videocameras, I don't need this feature.

Then my VBOB has these mezzanine board ("DENALI") with DVI in-, out-, and throughput. Is it possible to capture digital video with this? e. g. using a modern DSLR's output via HDMI-to-DVI adapter and feeding in live video?

I checked all the information there is online, but there is no clear answer to this (or I did not understand the documentation).

Best,
 
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Elf

Storybook
Feb 4, 2019
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VBOB techpub attached just for reference; it does mention DVI as an add-on but no specifics on its use.

I have never had a VBOB nor used any accompanying video capture software. However the presence of the ports does suggest the ability to capture digital DVI (rather than the analog VGA signals that can also be present on the same connector).

Software usage logistics aside, that certainly would imply to me that the output of a HDMI to DVI converter would allow capture of modern camera footage. It should be standards compliant DVI when it exits the other end of the converter.

The converters are cheap, might just be worth a try? :)
 

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dancingfools

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I'm considering buying the missing 2 LVDS cables that are needed for VBOB -- if I there is a use-case for it at all, because they're eypensive.
From what I understand VBOB has SD and HD analog inputs for capturing video. Now that I don't have any analog videocameras, I don't need this feature.

Then my VBOB has these mezzanine board ("DENALI") with DVI in-, out-, and throughput. Is it possible to capture digital video with this? e. g. using a modern DSLR's output via HDMI-to-DVI adapter and feeding in live video?

I checked all the information there is online, but there is no clear answer to this (or I did not understand the documentation).

Best,
Hi, I too am looking for the two lvds cables for the VBob. But every time I see them they cost a lot. Generics cost very little, but I don't know if the signals on the pins correspond to those sold by SGI.
 

Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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Thank you Elf for the pdf! This lead me to another pdf: SGI™ HD GVO Owner’s Guide, which states:
"When you connect [...] to the TMDS connectors on the SGI Video Breakout Box (VBOB), you have a complete High Definition Graphics Video Output (HD GVO) system. With this system, you can use the Onyx2 or Onyx 3000 [or Tezro for that matter] to convert graphics data to both High Definition and Standard Definition serial digital video. Two TMDS cables, a BNC timing reference cable, and a 75 ohm terminator are included with the board."
So imagery produced by the SGI Workstation can then using the video format combiner send to a coaxial serial digital video output. As far as I understand it, DVI-capturing is not the first aim of this solution.
 

Geoman

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Hi, I too am looking for the two lvds cables for the VBob. But every time I see them they cost a lot. Generics cost very little, but I don't know if the signals on the pins correspond to those sold by SGI.
There was a discussion about the cheaper solutions on Nekochan DM3 / DM5 LVDS cable pinout - Page 1, but nobody tried, because as you implied there is the danger of magic smoking the still thousands of $ eqipment.
The higher intellect wiki states here that one could use simple MDR26 cables with 3M part number 14526-EZ5B-050-02C.
So there is Canavan's pin-out measurement shown. But because its male-to-male, pinout would be user-agnostic, because you could plug the cable one way or another, am I right?

Then on the other hand, there is a black cable with white connectors for LVDS A ports on both ends and a black cable with black connectors for LVDS B ports. So there might be the possibility of different pin layouts. On the other hand, wrong-plugging these shouldnot result in an electrical damage either. Perhaps I get myself these 3M-cables and try it out...
 
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Geoman

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web.archive.org gives additional information about these cables:
1. White and black cables have got the same pin-out (so SGI why the color-code?? Edit: of course not to mix LVDS A with B)
2. Canavan did probe a black SGI-cable, that gave another pinout as the 3M-cable
So the conclusion is, that the 3M-cable has to be reworked to match SGIs pinout. But then one would loose the unique electrical features of the cable concerning the high-frequency isolation, at least at the connector's end.

I bought 2 of the 3M cables and 2 male and 2 female MDR connectors to solder 2 adaptors according to canavan's schematic. I'll keep you posted.
 
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Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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My adapter does this: conduct signal from pin 26 to pin 14.

So for example the signal comes from the digital media board's pin 1 of LVDS A and goes inside the stock 3M cable. Then it 'comes out' of the cable at pin 26. But because Canavan measured on the SGI-cable that the signal came out on pin 14, my adapter 'takes' the signal from pin 26 and puts it to pin 14 and so on:

/1 -- 26/ <> 14
/2 -- 25/ <> 2
/3 -- 24/ <> 23
/4 -- 23/ <> 22
/5 -- 22/ <> 21
/6 -- 21/ <> 20
/7 -- 20/ <> 19
/8 -- 19/ <> 18
/9 -- 18/ <> 17
/10 -- 17/ <> 16
/11 -- 16/ <> 15
/12 -- 15/ <> 26
/13 -- 14/ <> 25
/24 -- 3/ <> 24



But nope, no luck. VBOB is not recognized by IRIX:
DM5 connected to port 0
is not displayed. The VBOB posts over serial port:
Initializing DENALI... Done.
and hangs there.

If I remove the 3M-cable completely, at least gfxinfo shows:
DM5 connected to Multilink-Adapter
, because I hooked DVI-cables on.

I also was so crazy and connected the 3M-cables without adapters. Here at least the serial output and the DM5 to Multilink-message appears. So there was no magic smoke but no correct funktion either.

The question is: what did I wrong? The cables have been measured via multimeter against shorts. The 3M cable has 26 pins, but I only connected those stated by Canavan. Should I connect the rest via 3M's ducumentation?

IMG_4106.JPG
 
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3ddoc

New member
Jan 17, 2020
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I'm considering buying the missing 2 LVDS cables that are needed for VBOB -- if I there is a use-case for it at all, because they're eypensive.
From what I understand VBOB has SD and HD analog inputs for capturing video. Now that I don't have any analog videocameras, I don't need this feature.

Then my VBOB has these mezzanine board ("DENALI") with DVI in-, out-, and throughput. Is it possible to capture digital video with this? e. g. using a modern DSLR's output via HDMI-to-DVI adapter and feeding in live video?

I checked all the information there is online, but there is no clear answer to this (or I did not understand the documentation).

Best,
I may still have a pair of the cables, I'll check and post if I can find them
 
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Geoman

Member
Dec 28, 2019
34
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Germany
I'm considering buying the missing 2 LVDS cables that are needed for VBOB -- if I there is a use-case for it at all, because they're eypensive.
From what I understand VBOB has SD and HD analog inputs for capturing video. Now that I don't have any analog videocameras, I don't need this feature.

Then my VBOB has these mezzanine board ("DENALI") with DVI in-, out-, and throughput. Is it possible to capture digital video with this? e. g. using a modern DSLR's output via HDMI-to-DVI adapter and feeding in live video?

I checked all the information there is online, but there is no clear answer to this (or I did not understand the documentation).

Best,
Okay, with DM5 connected via dual-link DVI to VBOB one can output gfx to SDI-video: The VBOB then converts it to analog digital SD or HD and outputs it to the coaxial terminals to the back. That's the use of the DENALI-board inside VBOB and for this no LVDS needed.

Of course LVDS is needed for capturing analog digital SD or HD footage from your Tape recorder or cam to Tezro.

To use this hardware with more consumer-level equipment, one also needs some kind of converter like the Blackmagic micro converter, which I ordered including some cables.
 
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Geoman

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"Camera Link is a serial communication protocol standard designed for camera interface applications based on the National Semiconductor interface Channel-link. It was designed for the purpose of standardizing scientific and industrial video products including cameras, cables and frame grabbers. The standard is maintained and administered by the Automated Imaging Association or AIA, the global machine vision industry's trade group." --Wikipedia

So I bought a pair of them and keep you posted. Don't buy yet, because it can be another canard.
 

Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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Germany
I got a pair of the cables but the VBOB/Digital media does not work. I guess I'm missing the "/etc/init.d/dmdaemon", though chkconfig videod is on.

Then the VBOB can be flashed using /vbob_update1 and /vbob_update2. This is using the DVI connection and not the new LVDS-cables. These are not used at all at the moment.

Update: Don't use vbob_update1 and 2, because it crashed during flash and killed VBOB'S firmware.
Update2: Use "vbob_flash" for updating the firmware, vbob_update1 and 2 are only "for Use with HD GVO (DG5-2/TVO)"
I could write a valid firmware again onto the VBOB - phew.

So back to square one - how to check if the LVDS-cable work...? Do I really need to get Flame to get this dmdaemon running?
 
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Elf

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Feb 4, 2019
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Wish I could help, but I've never even seen a VBOB in person :p

It's interesting that the cable is not straight through, as well... not what I would have expected!
 

Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
34
12
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Germany
Wish I could help, but I've never even seen a VBOB in person :p

It's interesting that the cable is not straight through, as well... not what I would have expected!
Indeed this cable has a wrong alignment:
1<->7
2<->8
3<->9
4<->10
5<->11
6<->12
7<->1
8<->2
9<->3
10<->4
11<->5
12<->6
13<->13
14<->20
15<->21
16<->22
17<->23
18<->24
19<->25
it cannot work, though it was said to be recommended by a german SGI reseller. So don't buy.

BUT: I found my error by probing the wrong cable - I only soldered half of the wires, 14 instead of 28, so my initial adapter is only unidirectional and therefore cannot work at all. So tomorrow I'll get the soldering iron :)
 
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Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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1 -> 14
2 -> 2
3 -> 23
4 -> 22
5 -> 21
6 -> 20
7 -> 19
8 -> 18
9 -> 17
10 -> 16
11 -> 15
12 -> 26
13 -> 25

14 -> 1
15 -> 11
16 -> 10
17 -> 9.,
18 -> 8.
19 -> 7.
20 -> 6.
21 -> 5.
22 -> 4.
23 -> 3.
24 -> 24
25 -> 13.
26 -> 12.

Success! With 2 3M-cables and my adapters I get:
tezro 1# ./vbob_flash
DM5 card installed

With the cables removed from the Tezro:

tezro 1#./vbob_flash
[libvboblvds] Vbob timeout
vbob_flash: Internal Error! vbobReadData failed.
vbob_flash: ERROR: No VBOBs found.
Connect VBOB to the system and re-run ./vbob_flash to update the firmware

in this case the DVI-I cables have been removed on purpose to force the system to use both LVDS cables. So thanks to canavan, the adapter works. To get Video-input I guess I have to get Flame for Tezro.
 
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Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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Germany
Congratulations :)
thank you! so this mystery has been solved once and for all :)

With the DSLR set to send video in 1080i-mode, the VBOB recognizes a signal by indicating a solid LED for "HD 1".

does anyone know on which CD "dmdaeomon" resides? I always get "sh: /etc/init.d/dmdaemon: not found", though the drivers are fully installed from the CD "DMediaPro DM2 and DMediaPro DM3 Software 1.1.3ml"

"recondas: On the odd chance you don't already know, the XT-DIGVID (aka the DM2) won't work with the classic SGI (primarily analog) video tools like videoin or the underlying video daemon (videod). Instead they use SGI's later (digital) video media libraries (aka OpenML).
If you don't already have the software libraries for your DM2, you can freely download them SGI's Supportfolio site or Ian's Depot Resources page.
If a little additional background might prove helpful, this thread might be interesting: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16727126&p=7354470&#p7354470
After you're able to get the DM2 to appear in an hinv -vm , you can try some of the tools supplied in the DM2 software, like xtdigvid_hinv or xtdigvid_confidence"

So all the tools like mediarecorder or shotmaker won't do it, one has to rely on Flame for recording video.

In Flame 9.4 for Tezro there are a lot of options for Sony HD-Cams and Sony VTRs from which I did not find the correct settings.
 
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Geoman

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Dec 28, 2019
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Germany
Thanks to uunix I had correct settings in flame, but no luck.

Both selfmade cable sets fail to import any imagery from the VBOB, which sees a valid 1080i-signal. So I'm quite sure the modification disturbs the shielded and twisted pair characteritics of this connection, which has to transfer with 500mhz.

Therefore I bought a pair of originals LVDS cable for VBOB (white connectors, SGI PN 018-0985-001), LVDS cable for VBOB (black connectors, SGI PN 018-0946-001) because I'm sick of soldering long hours now.
The cable pairs which I made so far are at least good for communicating and flashing the vbob. For video-transfer they are seemingly too noisy.

So please for the moment do not make any adapters for LVDS connections until I tested the originals.
 

Geoman

Member
Dec 28, 2019
34
12
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Germany
Okay now after having rebooted Tezro I have a working live video 1920x1080 50i without any issues and imported frames into Flame. I have to thank the following members for their input (in chronological order):

canavan
uunix
HarryT

What I learned is: putting adapters in front of a pair of 3M-MDR-26 cables does not work.
What works is cutting an 12ft Avid DigiLink Cable in half and resolder the wires.
 
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