URSA Broadcast Main SDI port flickering

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  • Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 3:37 pm
  • Real Name: Bob Zeilstra

URSA Broadcast Main SDI port flickering

PostFri May 17, 2019 3:51 pm

Edit: eliminated the NDI Spark as the issue. The image drops pixels and occasionally drops out completely.

Using a URSA Broadcast and NewTek Connect Spark with SDI. The image drops out. The front SDI ports works great, the rear SDI ports drops image about once per second. Need to use front port for EVF, leaving rear port for transmission.

Camera FW is up to date, 5.1
Front SDI port works great.
Changed from WiFi to wired, issue persists.
Changed to BM Micro studio, issue goes away. Swapped two different SDI Spark units. (implying Spark and network are okay, and issue is with rear SDI only?)
Loop a monitor down from Spark, issue persists, image drops from monitor.
Monitor inline between Broadcast and Spark, issue goes away, or just a monitor plugged in.

I think it's a reclocking issue or something since it works downstream from an inline monitor.
Contacted BM support as well as NewTek support. Neither were very helpful.

Also running a GoPro/HDMI Spark, and the Micro Studio on the second SDI spark. Have great image with both of those, even over WiFi.

What's wrong with the rear SDI port?
Last edited by zeilstar on Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Del Vecchio

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Re: URSA Broadcast to NewTek Connect Spark SDI issue

PostSat May 18, 2019 2:17 am

The Front and Rear (or Blackmagic calls this Main in the menu) SDI outputs are different. The Front SDI port is limited to 3G SDI output (up to 1080p60), while the Rear/Main SDI output is capable of outputting a 12G SDI signal (this suggests that they are likely using different SDI driver chips for each connector).

The Front and Rear/Main SDI connectors also have separate output format settings in the Monitor section of the menu (including the 3G SDI output level, which could be relevant if the NewTek Connect Spark only accepts one 3G SDI format level).

I'm not sure what resolution you are shooting at, but you should definitely check the SDI output settings of both the Front and Main SDI outputs to see if there are any differences. I would also try switching to different video resolutions, frame rates, and see if there is a difference in how the NewTek Connect Spark behaves with each signal format.

Kane Peterson

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Re: URSA Broadcast to NewTek Connect Spark SDI issue

PostSat May 18, 2019 9:30 pm

Also, if working in 1080p50 or 1080p59.94 video formats, make sure you are outputting in a 3G-SDI Level A format, not Level B. All NewTek equipment supports Level A.

Kane Peterson

Tim Schumann

Blackmagic Design

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Re: URSA Broadcast to NewTek Connect Spark SDI issue

PostMon May 20, 2019 1:26 am

Thanks Kane.

To do this go to Menu > MONITOR > Main SDI (page 2) > and check your output resolution 2160p, 1080p or 1080i and then if you select 1080p check that you have 'Level A' selected - this is on the same page.


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  • Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 3:37 pm
  • Real Name: Bob Zeilstra

Re: URSA Broadcast Main SDI port issue

PostTue Sep 10, 2019 5:06 pm

First, thank you for the replies. Second, I've finally had some time to be able to dig into this issue a bit more, so thank you for the patience.

Having 2 cameras made this easier to reproduce the issue, which is dropped pixels or total image.
Let's call my good camera Cam A, the bad one Cam B. All settings are contiguous between the two cameras between various tests. Typically record is set to ProRes 422 1080 @ 29.97, main monitor is set to 1080p.

Test scenarios:
-Either camera directly into BMD TV Studio Pro 4k switcher, image cleans up, no drops or pixelation.
-Using a ghost eye RX/TX, RX output image is clean on both cameras, TX loop out is super dirty on Cam B ONLY
-Using the NDI, loop out is clean on Cam A, loop out is dirty on Cam B ONLY. Through NDI viewer, same results for each camera over the network.
-Various monitors, Lilliput 7" lots of pixel and image drops on Cam B, all through a variety of monitor supported frame rate and outputs. Works fine on Cam A. Atomos Shogun 7", pixel drops are not noticeable, but image still drops on Cam B. Works fine on Cam A.

So something is definitely wrong with my Cam B. I've previously sent the camera back to BMD for service, which was a waste of shipping cost, with no result.

What else can I try? I was hoping to be able to roll back firmware or something, or refresh it at least but I haven't found answers on how to achieve that. I was also wondering if the time code is off and needs to be reset or something, or the SDI is re-clocking for whatever reason? I know there are options for TC in the menu.

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