Blackmagic Design has released the Converter Utility 1.0 software for its Mini Converter line of hardware. It's available for free download for Mac OS X and Windows.

Converter Utility 1.0 adds a HD down-converter in the Mini Converter SDI to Analog model, and support for 1080p/50/60 via 3 Gb/s SDI on the Mini Converter SDI to HDMI model.

Converter Utility 1.0 uses the built-in USB connection on all models of Mini Converters to allow adjustments and settings to be changed. This means all adjustments of video and audio levels can be completed via a simple and easy
to use software interface.

Blackmagic says that other converters use manual adjustments that require opening the converter chassis to perform adjustments with a screwdriver, while its Mini Converters eliminate this problem as customers can plug into the USB port at any time to make changes. The company also claims that software level settings also result in a more stable design that requires less adjustment.

Once this new Converter Utility software is connected to any Mini Converter via USB, an automatic check is performed to see if a firmware update is required. The customer can then update the firmware and receive new
features that were not originally included in the converters.

In Converter Utility 1.0, an update is included for the Mini Converter SDI to Analog model that adds a new hardware down-converter. This down-converter allows HD to be converted to SD in letterbox, anamorphic 16:9 and centre cut 4:3 modes. Analog component video output can be set to directly output HD or, by selecting the bypass switch, will down convert to SD component output. If an HD-SDI input is ever connected to Mini Converter SDI to Analog when the analog output is set to S-Video or composite, the HD down converter is automatically enabled so a picture can always be seen.

Converter Utility 1.0 also includes an update for the Mini Converter SDI to HDMI model to add support for 1080p/50, 1080p/59.94 and 1080p/60 progressive 3Gb/s SDI video formats.