Newtek VT: Working with the SX-SDI

The NewTek VT acts as a fully functional television control center that sits on your desktop. All the digital signals that originate from the NewTek VT devices are uncompressed, and it is the SDI card that passes this uncompressed information to the VT. Because digital signals are lossless formats, you can easily duplicate a digital signal indefinitely without losing any video and audio information, but analog signals will eventually degrade because of cables, or from generation loss from multiple duplications.

The answer to these problems is the SX-SDI. The SX-SDI will transmit the uncompressed video signals along with audio over the same cable. The SX-SDI essentially acts as a network switcher. The following tutorial describes how to set up hardware with the SX-SDI.

Step 1: Set up the SX-SDI Hardware

To record to a device through the SX-SDI card, you just need to attach it to the correct SDI audio and video connections. Before you do this with the SX Breakout, choosing an input is usually a matter of just selecting the input you want. There is, however, a small trick to selecting between composite and component inputs, because they share the same BNC connectors. You will click on the desired Y/C input in the SX Breakout and select a composite input. Verify that the SX Breakout reads Composite over the video inputs. When you right-click in the SX Breakout, a Context Menu pops up. The menu options vary depending on where you right-click in the panel.

When you save a module configuration, you save a link to inputs and outputs that sits on the breakout box. You can then load the configuration later if you set up the breakout box in the same way. You can also right-click on a SX Breakout input and choose Proc amp settings for this input.

Step 2: Set the Proc Amp Settings

VT now launches the Processing Amplifier, which lets you adjust your input video signal. But, remember that the breakout box doesn’t automatically save settings on the proc amp when you save it. You save proc amp settings only when you specifically save an individual proc amp or when you save or close the desktop.

Step 3: Right-Click for the Context Menu

When you right-click on certain SX Breakout inputs, a different menu appears that gives you options specific to that input. For example, the Context Menu for a video input gives you several options ranging from simply placing the input on the Switcher to performing a “Take” between one input and another without the Switcher. This is also a quick way to patch and test an input without the Switcher.

Remember that although you can cut or dissolve between inputs on the breakout box, without accessing the Switcher, you’ve got to work in the Switcher to use DVEs for your transitions.

Step 4: Input Digital Video (DV) to SX-SDI

You may have noticed, SX-84 does not have a FireWire connection. To capture DV, you must install an IEEE 1394/Firewire card. VT will automatically recognize that a DV device is connected once you have done that. In VT, you can control DV decks and Batch Capture from DV sources.