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VIXIA HF R800 HDMI converted to SDI over long distance


This is a REALLY niche question, but here's hoping for the best.


We're a church in need of an HD camera for our baptism. Our baptismal is located in the back of our sanctuary, and we need to run the signal 100+ feet under the floor to our tech booth on the other side of the sanctuary. We were using a camcorder with an analog signal converted to SDI, which was then converted back to analog to run into an analog to HDMI converter in the booth, which ran into our video switcher. (I didn't set it up, and I'm cringing as I write that.)


We purchased a VIXIA HF R800, and I was hoping it would be as simple as running the HDMI out into an HDMI to SDI converter (we're using Decimator Design MD-LX's) and running that into another converter in the booth to convert it back to HDMI for the video switcher.


However, the signal isn't getting to the converter in the booth. The converter at the source is registering an HDMI input signal just fine, but the converter in the booth isn't registering any signal to the SDI input. I know it's not the cable or the distance, because when I run an HDMI signal from an XA-25 I have, we get a signal just fine.


I know the VIXIA is an entry-level camcorder, and the XA-25 is a pro, but does that affect the way the HDMI signal converts? Is there any setting on the VIXIA that might be affecting the conversion? I'm really at my wit's end here, and I'm about ready to ship the VIXIA back to B&H.


Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi there wlantz,


That does sound like a tough one. I don't see anything specific to the R800 which would indicate this won't work, however at that distance it is possible that the Vixia R800 just doen't push out an HDMI signal strong enough to cover the distance of the cable since fidelity can fall and interference can affect a weaker signal easier. Just to check whether or not this is the case, do you have a shorter HDMI cable you can test with your converter box? Something like three or five feet should be well within the camera's capabilities and if nothing else that will tell us whether or not the long distance is a factor with this one over teh XA25.

The cable running to the HDMI to SDI converter is only about 5 feet long. The signal is getting to the converter just fine. I'm having a problem with that signal being carried over the SDI cable to the booth.


I've asked this question on a couple other message board, and an idea that keeps coming up is that the Vixia might be locked at 60p through the HDMI output regardless of the settings I've configured on the camera. Our SDI cable is rather old, so it might not be able to handle that signal. Do you know of any way to get a detailed description of the HDMI signal that the Vixia is sending out? All the built-in HDMI Status option gives me is a really basic resolution.

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