The Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Production Switcher is a versatile 1 RU switcher that’s a lot more powerful than you might expect at this price. For instance, live-switch a multi-camera shoot of a concert with a mix of high-definition HD-SDI- and HDMI-output camcorders – the six-input ATEM Television Studio can handle it, even applying a frame sync to each input. That means expensive genlocked cameras are simply not necessary.
The three keyers included in the ATEM Control Panel software allow you to add professional graphics such as logos and keys (the switcher features two media player frame stores). Using a green screen, you can even chroma-key a performer against a graphical background – live. Meanwhile, you can be encoding the live concert to H.264 in real time, producing a high-quality, professionally compressed HD file that will be ready for easy upload to the web the minute the show is over.
Another cost-saving feature is the multi-view output, which allows you to display up to 10 video sources on any HDMI- or HD-SDI-enabled screen. This saves not only money but also space: there’s simply no need to transport and maintain a full battery of video monitors.
For all its ease of use, ATEM Television Studio also accommodates live-production operations with growth in mind. Perhaps you’ll move up from HDMI to HD-SDI camcorders in the near future – the switcher is ready. Or maybe you’ll want a professional hardware control panel – Blackmagic’s ATEM 1 M/E and 2 M/E panels (not included) both connect to the switcher via Ethernet. In any case, the switcher’s operation will be familiar to anyone with an understanding of broadcast switching. This is a professional 10-bit HD switcher that just happens to accommodate lower-budget productions with unexpected finesse.