About This Document

A wide variety of audio and video formats and connector types is in use today. A subset of these is supported by the Silicon Graphics Onyx2 and Origin2000 systems and their video and audio hardware and options.

Devices using the same connector types or formats can typically be connected directly without special intermediate hardware. Other devices can be connected through third-party components that bridge the differences between them.

This document gives information on some of the third-party components that solve such connection problems. It focuses on connecting to the DIVO and DIVO-DVC option boards and the DG5-2/GVO option board:

Equipment used with the breakout cables supplied with the HD I/O option board is also covered.

This guide also includes information on connecting to the audio built into the BaseIO (Media I/O) card, which is standard in Onyx2 systems and optional in Origin servers:

This document focuses on the connection problems that are the most likely to be encountered; it cannot cover all possible situations. It provides neither a complete nor a recommended list of useful components, and does not specifically recommend the components listed. Factors such as technical features, availability, or local conditions can determine the connection solutions best for the situation. However, the industry-recognized products listed in this document should perform adequately. Many of the components listed in this document are or have been in use at Silicon Graphics.

Besides the components listed here, other products within the same manufacturer's product lines, as well as products from other manufacturers, can also solve the connection problems. Furthermore, you can use third-party video and audio cards (such as PCI cards) to solve input/output needs. These cards have their own supported formats and connector types. Where the connector types are the same as those covered in this document, the information in this document applies.


This document is written for the person using video I/O hardware, such as the DIVO, DIVO-DVC, GVO, and HD I/O option boards, or audio I/O hardware with Silicon Graphics workstations and servers, such as Onyx2 and Origin2000 systems.

Structure of This Document

This document contains the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1, “Video,” illustrates connections to video equipment, lists equipment, and gives information for equipment suppliers.

  • Chapter 2, “Audio,” illustrates connections to audio equipment, lists equipment, and gives information for equipment suppliers.


The following video standards are mentioned in this document:

CCIR 601 

Serial digital video (4:2:2); supports NTSC and PAL timing on DIVO, DIVO-DVC, and GVO, 8- and 10-bit components


Serial digital video with support for embedded audio

The following audio standards are mentioned in this document:


Open interface created by Alesis Corporation, carrying eight channels of digital audio, each up to 24 bits at 48,000 samples per second on plastic optical fiber.


Also referred to as AES/EBU (Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union). The data format used on the two-channel digital audio input and output BNCs. It includes

  • AES3-1992: the standard for the data format used on the two-channel digital audio input and output BNC connector, transmitting over 110-Ohm balanced twisted pair with XLR connectors

  • AES-3id-1995: transmission method used by the AES3-1992 standard, over 75-Ohm coaxial cable with BNC connectors

  • IEC958 channel coding: consumer-grade channel coding used on optical connectors in two-channel mode

The following terms are equivalent in this document:

  • CCIR 601

  • serial digital video

  • 4:2:2

This document refers to this format as CCIR 601.

Because the DIVO and DIVO-DVC options share most features, this guide refers to both these options at once. Specifically:

  • The options are referred to as DIVO/DIVO-DVC in references to features common to both, such as the I/O panel.

  • The options are referred to as DIVO and DIVO-DVC in references to both options.

Note: Helvetica Bold font is used for labels on hardware, such as the names of connectors.

Other Documents

Many current Silicon Graphics owner's guides, programming guides, and user's guides are available online in the following locations:

  • IRIS InSight Library: from the Toolchest, choose Help > Online Books > SGI EndUser or SGI Admin, and select the applicable owner's or hardware guide.

  • Technical Publications Library: if you have access to the Internet, enter the following URL in your Web browser location window:

    Once you are in the library, choose Catalogs > Hardware Catalog > and look under the Owner's Guides for the applicable owner's guide.