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Tutorial: Grass Valley ADVC-G1 Converter

Some video switchers have built-in scan converters for converting VGA signals to an internal standard that you can use in your live production workflow. If you don't have that, then you're going to need a converter like the Grass Valley ADVC-G1 that can convert that VGA to your output. In this tutorial we'll explore how the ADVC-G1 works and how you can incorporate it into your workflow.

Framerate Conversion and Pass-Through

There are two things you might be looking for in a converter that the Grass Valley ADVC-G1 doesn't do. The first is framerate conversion. If your input source is 1920x1080 30p, you can't output 60i or 60p as a framerate, same as if you have a 60p or a 60i input you can't output 30p.

It's also worth noting that the ADVC-G1 does not support pass-throughs, so if you have a HDMI, a VGA, or any of the analog video inputs, you can't output the same input as a pass-through. The only outputs are HD-SDI.

These aren't big limitations, but you just have to be aware that these are in place.

LED Indicators

The Grass Valley ADVC-G1 converter has a variety of different inputs on the front of the unit (as shown in Figure 2), and the active input selection is made from the back.

There are dials and DIP switches to control the settings, but the active setting on the front is indicated by an LED light (Figure 4, below). 

Figure 4. The LED light indicates the active setting.

There's also a light for the upconversion, as shown in Figure 4 (above). There are video input lights and audio input lights that indicate whether the signal is stable, selected but not active yet, and if the upconversion is turned on.

ADVC-G1 Rear of Unit

On the back of the converter Figure 5 (below), there are three things I'd like to highlight. The first is the locking mechanism on the power adapter plug (on the left in Figure 5). You can't unintentionally pull it out, but if you retract the sheath, it pulls out fairly easily.

Figure 5. The rear of the ADVC-G1 features the power plug, audio and video select buttons, and DIP switches. Click the image to see it at full size.

Also found on the back of the unit are the audio and video select buttons (center, Figure 5, above). These are dials that need to be manually turned using a precision screwdriver, and the reason they are here is because the unit does not have an auto-detect or select feature, and there's no external buttons to toggle between the available inputs. The cheat code for the inputs is on the bottom of the unit (Figure 3). This walks you through which inputs are available and which number they correspond to.

Finally, the back of the unt also houses the selections for the DIP switches (on the right in Figure 5, above). The DIP switches allow you to switch signal processing. So whether it's the output resolution you wanted to adjust or the signal processing like image enhancing or noise reduction, those are controlled on the back of the unit.