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My few hours with the epiphan DVI2USB 3.0 Converter

By: Stephen Toback


Tom Freeland in OIT Communications Infrastructure loaned us the Epiphan DVI2USB 3.0 converter to test.  The Vaddio AV Bridge is our current tool of choice but it’s large rackmount requirement and somewhat complex interface makes it not applicable to all use cases.

The first thing about the device is its size. Amazing. It’s USB powered, DVI in, USB Out. Our demo unit came with a DVI to HDMI converter so set up was a breeze. We connected the device to our Cisco PTZ camera through a 2×1 HDMI splitter and then connected to my Late 2013 Macbook Pro running 10.9.2. Since they advertised “no software required”, we fully expected it to just work, similar to how the AV Bridge does…. It didn’t unfortunately.

We did some poking around and found there were in fact drivers to download. We first tried the latest production version When we rebooted, we got an error that the driver kernel couldn’t load. So we tried the most recent beta version, That loaded fine, but only QuickTime X  software worked (we didn’t know about the VGA2USB software that was installed with the drivers at that time).

What was interesting that all the apps that didn’t work saw two different Epiphans but QuickTime X only saw one (the one that started with DVI2USB 3.0).

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 3.09.39 PM

I went back to the Epiphan driver page, and a chat window popped up with someone actually asking if they could help me. My cynical self assumed this was some sales tool, but it actually was a really smart and helpful technical support person! The tech support person was great and asked me to reinstall the 0.15 driver. I did and for some reason we didn’t get the kernel error.

We got the following results:

  • Panopto: Worked, only saw one Epiphan
  • WebEx: Worked, Only saw one Epiphan
  • Cisco Jabber Video For TelePresence: Did not work. When selecting the Epiphan (either one, still saw two), the app quits (Version 4.7)
  • YouTube Recording: Still did not work
  • QuickTime X: Worked, only saw one Epiphan
  • VGA2USB Capture Utility: Worked, only saw one Epiphan

The tech support person mentioned of a known issue with 10.9.2 and they are working on a fix. He took my email address and would email when that was ready.

The one big gap is audio support. HDMI embedded audio IS supported on Windows, but not on the Mac. It is being talked about but there is no firm date for that support. Unfortunately without audio support for the Mac, this will be of limited use for our purposes. We’d love to be able to deploy this little device with a little Mac mini as the core connection for Jabber, WebEx, Skype, etc… It’s also less than 1/2 the price of the Vaddio AV Bridge.

Categories: DDMC Info

One comment

  1. Hi,
    Very interesting article. Here at the University of Warwick in the UK, we also use Jabber Video for Telepresence and are looking for more functionality/quality/features than standard webcams offer. We also use software capture for echo360 and have found that it only works with a very limited number of (Logitech) webcams. Something to do with full UVC implementation maybe? So a device like this which appears to take a DVI/HDMI feed from a camera and convert it to a UVC-compliant USB stream could be very useful. As alternatives to the Epiphan box, have you been able to try the Inogeni or IV-HDMI-USBUVC products? We can’t even get them here as far as I can see.
    Cheers, Roger

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