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Review: Matrox Convert DVI Plus

It always seems to happen the same way. No matter how much prep work you do advancing an event. The guest speaker shows up with something other than what was specified. His laptop has a DVI out and the technology gremlins just ran off with the adaptor. Now the tech guys are scrambling like the engineers at NASA trying to get Apollo 13 home. By the event start time the video on the screen is dark, grainy, and has hum bars.

When Northview’s new auditorium was finished, it was a technology playground for the techie. However one thing was missing, the ability to get a DVI signal from a laptop into our system while maintaining the signal quality. Often times we would need to take that signal – convert it to VGA then into a scan converter. The scan converter would then turn the signal into a composite source. Then down in the control room the signal had to be upscaled to 720p and converted again to SDI. All these conversions eventually added latency, grain, and distortion. We needed something different.

The newest tool we have in our bag of tricks is the Matrox Convert DVI Plus. What I thought would be just another scan converter has become a swish army knife to our video needs. The ability to take a raw DVI source signal input and send it out – SDI, Component, and Composite is worth the money. No longer do we have to route the video through multiple pieces of equipment to get it our screens.

Pictured below was where the Convert DVI really helped us. We were able to use it’s DVI thru to get the signal to the on stage Plasma and its SDI out to get it on the large house screens.

The Matrox Convert DVI Plus is small, portable and rugged (I can neither confirm nor deny that it was dropped once.) It requires an initial configuration via a PC, which in a MAC world makes you get creative. However, after the configuration I have never had to plug it in again. I would hope Matrox could create a Mac version of the software. I would like to be able to use some of the devices more advanced features on the Mac.

Here, the Convert DVI helped us project on to the two sets cardboard box screens on the stage.

Bottom line: I use this converter weekly and it has saved me a lot of time “jury-rigging” something together.