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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.

VGA Conversion

The last thing I want to do in this tutorial on the Grass Valley ADVC-G1 converter is to walk you through a VGA conversion. (You can watch the process step by step from the 6:53 mark in the tutorial video below.)

In the setup for this tutorial, the VGA output from my laptop is going into the converter using a simple VGA-to-DVI converter. The output is HD-SDI, and that's going into my recorder and monitor. And, as you can see in Figure 6 (below), there's a valid and high-definition digital output that's coming out of there, so that conversion is complete.

Figure 6. My VGA conversion setup. Click the image to see it at full size.

At this point, I do want to point out a few caveats and warnings. It's important in a video workflow to consider all of the video resolutions that you're going to be given and working with, and to make sure that they're compatible with your hardware. This applies to any workflow that incorporates the ADVC-G1 converter. It does support a wide range of video resolutions, but there are some video resolutions that you might be given that aren't specifically supported.

On the HDMI and the DVI-D side, it should be able to handle pretty much everything that you'll be given, because in most cases you're going to be working with digital HD video inputs like 1920x1080 or 1280x720.

But when it comes to the DVI-A standard--otherwise convertible to VGA--there are a variety of resolutions that you might be given from computers that are not supported. Of the supported DVI-A video resolutions there's only one that's widescreen, and that's 1360x768. That's a proper widescreen video resolution. Unfortunately it's not the default resolution that you'll find that most video cards output, including the laptop I'm using in this tutorial, which natively supports 1366x768, rather than 1360x768. That's only a six-pixel difference, but when it comes to conversion and standards compliance, if it's the wrong resolution it just won't work in the workflow. So you've got to make sure that you're able to output a 1360x768 video resolution if you want to maintain that widescreen aspect ratio from computer inputs.

Author's note: When I pointed out my concerns to Grass Valley regarding the limited DVI-A support that did not include common widescreen resolutions, the rep I was working with informed me that Grass Valley is working on a feature update refresh that would add 1920x1080, 1280x720, and 1366x768 support for the DVI-A input.


This has been a video tutorial of the Grass Valley ADVC-G1 video converter for Streaming Media Producer. For more information on this video converter please visit this tutorial's sponsor,