Full Screen Playout vs SDI Playout

Is there a difference in CPU/GPU requirements between Full Screen Playout and SDI Playout? In other words, does one require fewer resources than the other?

If you can use a HDMI signal in your setup the Full Screen Playout is way efficient than the SDI Playout: Usually the HDMI video signal comes from the same graphics card in your Mac which also drives your main screen. Because mimoLive processes all the video data on the graphics card the final video frame is stored here too. For the graphics card it doesn’t matter if it needs to output the video frame on the main screen and additionally on the secondary HDMI port.

On the other hand if you use the SDI Playout the Mac needs to download the video image from graphics card into the CPU memory and process it here in order to push it to the hardware device which generates the SDI signal. This cost some CPU performance of cause.

So why would one use the SDI Playout anyways? If your setup is working with SDI only then you need the Mac deliver an SDI signal. Also the Blackmagic Design products are capable of generating video signals with different frame rates. It could be that your Mac can’t generate the needed frame rate with the HDMI port for your production environment.

Excellent information, Achim. This is very helpful. Thank you!

How does the CPU usage increase for SDI play out compare to CPU usage decrease from eliminating cameras in MimoLive? I use SDI play out to output graphics etc to my TV Studio HD, and have all cameras (and switching between them) handled by the ATEM. So effectively my ML is a 0 camera setup.