September 19, 2022

Hardware or Software

As you know, there are 2 types of SRT decoders:
• Hardware solution
• Software solution
Representatives of the first group are hardware SRT decoders of well-known world brands.
The representative of the second group is our SRTMiniServer.

Something about the Software solution

We are often asked whether our SRTMiniServer can be used to build a solution that is similar in functionality to top HW solutions, but at the same time with a lower cost of ownership.

In this article, we just want to demonstrate one of these options.
So, let's say our TV channel faces the following task to:
1. adopt four SRT channels (FullHD@30fps)
2. transfer them further via SDI
3. it is desirable that there be additional functionality such as:
          а) source synchronization
          b) the possibility of SRT feedback.
Especially under these conditions, we tried to assemble an inexpensive personal computer containing an SDI card.
You can see the components of our computer in our picture.
As you can see, the cost of components was 1630 EUR, including an additional 500 EUR - SDI card BlackMagic Duo 2.
Thus, the Hardware component cost us 2130 EUR.
Now let's take into account the cost of SRTMiniServer: an annual license for 4 channels will cost you 420 EUR.

Thus, the cost of ownership of this option for 1 year will be:
2130+420=2550 EUR
And the cost of ownership of this option for 3 years will be:
2130+420*3 = 3390 EUR

At the same time you get not only SDI outputs, but also you get NDI outputs.
After we assembled the personal computers and installed SRTMiniServer on it to test performance, we launched SRTStressTool on another computer on the local network.

SRTStressTool is our program for modeling SRT streams from video files.
You can read about it here:,
and the video you can see here:
As you can see, our newly assembled computer easily copes with the stated task.
Below you can see the results of processing of 4 FullHD@30p streams, as well as FullHD@59i.
processing of 4 FullHD@30fps streams
processing of 4 FullHD@59i streams

Something about the Hardware solution

For the above described task (to accept 4 SRT streams and transfer them via SDI), you can easily find Hardware solutions. But the cost of such solutions starts from 7000 EUR.
The undoubted advantage of HW-solutions is the stability of work. But they also have the following disadvantages:

  • rigidly fixed number of SDI outputs
  • difficulty getting firmware updates
  • problem with quick replacement in case of breakage
  • requirements of significant investment upon purchase
  • no possibility of reuse (unlike a personal computer, which can be used for other tasks)


In our opinion, solutions based on Software decoders, such as SRTMiniServer, are much more flexible in terms of functionality and more affordable in terms of budget than Hardware solutions.
Moreover, solutions based on Software decoders are very easy to upgrade. For example, by simply changing the SDI card.


  • Other articles of interest can be found here.

  • Download SRT Mini Server and our other products here.

  • Instructions for installing and using SRT Mini Server help.