Is it possible to get HD-SDI video directly out from a Raspberry Pi (via breakout board or something)?

I have seen an Arduino SDI camera controller, but I am looking for video out. I have also found a couple of SDI - USB capture, but that is not what I am looking for at the moment. I know I could just use a Black Magic HDMI - SDI converter, but I am looking for something I could come straight out of the hardware with.

This would replace the HDMI. I do not want to use a converter to go from HDMI to SDI.

Has anyone done this and/or could point me in the right direction?

The application is a video decoder (and possibly an encoder in the future) that would decode RTMP and send out via HD-SDI with very low latency. FFMPEG/FFPLAY gets me real close at ~500ms latency over ethernet (from phone to streaming server in AWS to Raspi player). Not bad for a sub $100 decoder. Stream is 1280x720 @ 1.3 Mbs + audio for anyone interested.

1 Answer 1


There's no way to do this without using an external converter.

The BCM2837 chip doesn't support an HD-SDI formatted output, which is fundamentally different to an HDMI formatted output. There's no way to passively convert between the two, so you'll need to use some kind of active external device to run the conversion.

  • This isn't an answer, but I had no choice since my reputation isn't high enough to comment. The elephant in the room is that HDMI does not support closed captions. So an external device is too late. Maybe the Pi is unable to be the device we are looking for, but hopefully there is some device somewhere that lets us break into the Video Bus pre HDMI to convert to SDI as well as extract and embed the caption data.
    – supposer
    May 11, 2017 at 0:05
  • @goobering I moved the above comment from a deleted question because it seemed to be addressing this answer -- although it's beyond me how closed captioning is significant here.
    – goldilocks
    May 11, 2017 at 12:45

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