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Old October 14th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #1
Telecam Films
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington DC
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BlackMagic Design ATEM Television Studio Switcher

I just purchased an ATEM Television Studio Switcher and here are a few comments following initial testing...

- Despite a few shortcomings on first use, $995 for this piece of hardware and software is a steal. There is no product on the market that offer this kind of functionality and built quality in that price range.

- Audio needs to be fed through the AES/EBU input so, you'll have to spend an extra $400 to $700 to get an A/D converter box + maybe some kind of sync generator to do this. You could theoratically feed audio directly to your recording device (deck, solid state recorder,....) but this will introduced quite a bit of delay due the processing lag introduced to the video by ATEM TS

- The specs sheet says Media Pool is limited to 2 graphics. On my TS, I can load all 36 Media Pool slots so, I am not sure if this limitation was lifted on the final release of TS. Or the limit may just be with graphic w/ alpha channels. Will do more testing today, but if there is indeed a 2 graphics w/alpa limit in the Media Pool for ATEM TS, this would seriously cripple the system even for simple live situations when a few keys need to be rolled in sequence.

- All graphics imported in the Media Pool need to be reimported when ATEM TS is powered off or when quitting ATEM's Control Pannel. I am not sure why but this is a real pain as graphics take a lot of time to reimport and reorganize in the Media Pool. Media Pool does not keep track on any previously imported graphic after a restart.

- When keying graphics, you need to configure keying attributes for alpha channels , I wish the system could automatically handle graphic keys with file that have builtin transparency such as PNGs, TARGA, Photoshop, etc...

- I find the interface a bit confusing when juggling between DSKs and Media Players. We need a streamlined interfaced when access to graphics and keying parameters can be all set in the same place

- Customization of the MultiView display on TS is limited to just labeling sources and choosing from one of the 4 layout presets. This is annoying as there is no way to rearrange or get it off blank, unused source windows. This being a bit critical for the operator confort and precision, full customization should really be made avail to TS as well.

So, looking at the limitations above, potential buyers may consider spending more and go with the next model up, the ATEM 1 M/E which has analog audio I/Os, more Media Pool capacity, DVEs, etc... but surprisingly, this model offers no H.264 encoding. This is a serious oversight from Black Magic to not have offered H.264 encoding accross the ATEM product line. I am wondering if H.264 encoding could be added to the ATEM 1 M/E or 2 M/E models down the road.

Hope this helps.

Take care,
Thierry Humeau, DoP
TÚlÚcam Films
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Old October 16th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: BlackMagic Design ATEM Television Studio Switcher


I am also a ATEM TVS user , and i understand your fustrations with certain features there is a forum for atem users that will answer most of you queries and concerns

Blackmagic ATEMs |

There Can Be Only One
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