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Old October 2nd, 2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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HD Video Switcher question

Hi. I am looking a cheap video switcher either component or HDMI that I can use for a basic 2-3 camera live shoot. I do not need any fades or fancy effects, just direct cuts. I was wondering if something like this would be worth trying?

STARTECH.COM VS421CPNTA 4-port component A/V switcher | eBay

I know that unpowered passive switchers cause glitches between switches, but would a powered active switcher such as this cause any disruptions or delays in the switching?

Thanks
Mark
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

You need to look for a switch with frame buffering or vertical interval switching to have any chance of making switches without glitches. Since that one doesn't mention either and the price is WAY too low for those features its not likely to produce clean switches.

This one will do what you want with the component video:
Laird Telemedia LTM-4100 Vertical Interval Switcher, LTM4100 B&H
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:06 PM   #3
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

The LAIRD switcher Chris linked to will NOT support HD switching, even in analog component.

PS. My "cheap" HD road rack switcher contains about $10-12k in gear right now with no ability to record in HD yet... waiting for the Ninja to arrive...

PPS. I ASSUMED you wanted to switch HD since you mentioned component or HDMI...

PPPS. And from the thread title...
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Old October 3rd, 2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Absolutely right. That switcher won't do HD.

My mistake. Sorry about that.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

On a low budget you should check out Black Magic's ATEM switchers maybe.

Blackmagic Design: ATEM Models

The ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher - $2,495 sounds like it might be about your speed, the thing being that you run the actually switching through software from a laptop rather than through a control unit. A way to get a switcher that can handle your hardware needs while saving for the sort of control panel you want?

Can't vouch for the units myself, but the concept sounds like it might be something you should look at.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 02:29 AM   #6
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
The LAIRD switcher Chris linked to will NOT support HD switching, even in analog component.

PS. My "cheap" HD road rack switcher contains about $10-12k in gear right now with no ability to record in HD yet... waiting for the Ninja to arrive...

PPS. I ASSUMED you wanted to switch HD since you mentioned component or HDMI...

PPPS. And from the thread title...
Hey Shaun,

Beware that the Ninja can not remove pulldown and has issues with interlace signals. On a side note, after some testing by a friend with a Tricaster XD300 and a nanoFlash, we found that by sending a progressive signal into the XD300 and then recording progressive in the nanoFlash from the Program output, we could get progressive images without any interlace artifacts.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #7
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Someday I will have a Tricaster. I have wanted one for a few years now, but even the older versions in SD are still too much money. They age very well.

I record a local interview show for the web and I would like to get rid of having to record in the cameras and switching in post. I am using a Z1U and 2 x PD-170s at the moment but getting ready for tapeless HD. Also looking at getting some Blackmagic intensity pros and using their software switcher program if it still is a free download for their intensity pro cards. I haven't seen it in awhile though.

Just just assumed that the powered active component switcher would have vertical interval but guess I know what assuming does. Even if it did, would I still need genlockable cameras?

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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:52 AM   #8
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Craig: I DO own the ATEM 1m/e and it IS powerful but NOT for the feint-of-heart.

No input scalers, HDMI as a technology is NOT ready for prime time in terms of live switching due to issues with HDCP, and you REALLY need to understand video signals, especially if working in 1080p, which as Steve alludes to, is encoded into a 1080i stream.

If you have never worked on a REAL 1m/e switcher before, you may be in over your head. As well, you need a pretty new computer/OS to run the software interface OR spend $5kUSD for the BMD control surface.
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Old October 4th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Steve: thanks for the heads up. Ninja arrives this week and I'll have some time to sort things out before we "go live" in a mission-critical situation. Hoping the Samurai solves all this as I'm planning on picking up 3 or more for ISO recording routing.

Ps. First gig is 720p60 so I SHOULD be safe... I hope...
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Old October 4th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Hey Shaun,

While I have your attention, have you used any of the Panasonic HD switchers under $10k? Based on features, they are a better value than Tricaster if you already have an external recorder (like my nanoFlash). Heck, some of these Pannys support 1080 30p and one supports 1080 24p. The Tricaster XD300 only supports 1080 60i and 720 60p and its highest recording setting doesn't work with most NLEs (100mb 422 I-frame).
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Old October 4th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Hey Steve... "demoed" some Panny switcher stuff at NAB and it didn't work FOR ME... would have been a bigger fan of the JVC/Ross hybrids if I was willing to spend over $10k at THIS point...

Nothing WRONG with the Pannys, just didn't "feel" right for me, coming from Ross and GVG 1M/E switchers...
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Old October 4th, 2011, 07:09 PM   #12
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

I've been using the ATEM 1M/E with the Atomos Ninja - works great. The only issue is that the audio needs a delayer or you'll need to offset it in post.
As Shaun mentioned, you'll want to be aware of what the incoming source is and that it all matches. The ATEM will only allow you to do one or the other flavor of HD 1080i or 720p.
We're using a Grass Valley to take in DVI and convert it to 1080i ADVC G1 | Grass Valley

It's a pretty slick system. One of our high-end customers 3 years ago paid over $30k for a similar HD Mixer set-up from FOR-A. I'm amazed what you can do with the ATEM line for 1/10 of the cost.
The $999 ATEM Television Studio just started shipping too. Great for simple switching, although it lacks an analog audio in and additional HD-SDI outs, it is an amazing package for getting going. I'm blown away by the HD chroma keyer for under $1k.

For a basic, really basic HD switcher - Matrox is soon shipping the MC-100 $499 simple two source HD-SDI, glitch free switcher
Matrox MC-100 Technical Specifications

We should also have Atomos Samurai units within the next two weeks.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:20 AM   #13
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Hey Guy. The audio delay is over the HDMI only or out the embedded HD-SDI as well? That will affect my decision to spend cash on the Samurai.

Are you feeding the switcher analog audio and letting it embed the HDMI feed? Don't THINK the Ninja has analog audio in but I have been wrong before... how long a delay (either in ms or frames)?
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Old October 10th, 2011, 11:27 PM   #14
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Re: HD Video Switcher question

Slightly off topic but I drove 2 hours south and crossed an international border to buy the above mentioned Grass Valley Anything-In/SDI-Out converter from Guy and WOW! What a problem solver.

dvestore.com is very aggressive in their pricing and Guy has a unique commitment to sharing what he knows (and what he researches and finds out!) with "the masses". The guy (pardon the pun...) knows his stuff!

Thanks Guy... you saved my butt BIG TIME!
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