Blackmagic Design ATEM Overview
Designed for broadcasters and A/V professionals, Blackmagic Design‘s ATEM Television Studio Pro HD Live Production Switcher is an 8-input live production switcher with integrated control panel. Four of each HDMI and SDI inputs are available on the rear of the chassis, with both sets of inputs supporting SD and HD resolution from both professional and consumer cameras. The relatively small chassis fits in a standard equipment rack, allowing it to be installed on a sliding rack shelf or packed into a “fly-away-kit” for use on location.
The control surface is replete with control buttons, knobs, and a fader bar. All this enables selecting camera inputs and controlling transitions, keyers, settings, and the DVE. Inputs and outputs are located on the rear of the unit. PGM output is available via SDI while multiview can be sent via SDI or HDMI. An AUX output lets you send video to an external display, which is great for live events with a projection setup. Four of the SDI outputs have embedded talkback audio for studio setups.
Available transitions include:
- Cut: When you press the cut button, ATEM instantly changes from your current program source to the preview source. Cuts can be performed by directly selecting sources or by pressing the cut button to switch to the next source on the preview bus.
- Mix: The mix, or dissolve transition, gradually transitions from one source to the next by creating a smooth blend. You can set custom timings to manually blend the transition.
- Dip: Just like mix transitions, a dip transition is a gradual blend that includes either a solid color, graphic, or another clip between the two video sources. Dips to black or white between sources are the most popular, or you can use logos or sponsor graphics.
- Wipe: ATEM Television Studio Pro HD has built-in wipe patterns. Choose from circles, diamonds, squares, and more. Shapes and patterns can be inverted, softened, or even have customized colored borders. You can even insert live video into the borders for further customization.
- DVE: With the powerful built-in Digital Video Effects processor, or DVE, you can push, spin, squeeze, or swoosh your live video from one camera to the next with incredible built-in transitions. DVE transitions can be flip-flopped and reversed, giving you even more transition options. With 35 built-in preprogrammed moves, you can get started with advanced transitions. Graphic wipes can also be created by combining a DVE transition with a logo created in Photoshop.
Layer live video over other video sources or graphics with the Upstream Keyer. You can use luma key, linear key, pattern key, or shoot against a green screen and use chroma key to instantly composite the video over virtual sets.
- Luma key: Luma keys are sometimes known as “self” keys because the same video source is used for cutting the key and overlaying the video image. Luma keys work best with high-contrast images, like white elements on a black background, so you can use the contrast to cut the black background and replace it with live video or graphics.
- Linear key: Get clean, high-quality results with linear keying by using two separate sources for the fill and the key to create one video image. The fill signal contains the video to be stacked over the background, while the key signal contains a grayscale mask to cut out, or mask, the area to be filled.
- Chroma key: Used every day for TV weather forecasts, chroma keys are a powerful way of combining live images together in real time. The presenter typically stands in front of a green or blue background and the chroma keyer will remove only that color and combine it with another image, such as a video or graphic.
- Pattern key: Combine live images with any of the 18 built-in wipe patterns to combine live images or graphics with geometric shapes. You get full control over softness, symmetry, size, and position to create unique picture-in-picture effects that can be transitioned to as easily as any live source.