The Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K is a live event multicamera production switcher with 10 individual Ultra HD inputs built into a 1 RU chassis. Supporting NTSC/PAL/HD and Ultra HD video formats, the switcher connects to a wide range of cameras and sources, delivering a single program stream in UHD 4K, HD, or SD video. All this is done live and in real time with no rendering required. The switcher features a reference video input for synchronizing the switcher to other equipment using tri-level or black burst sync. Each input also features a frame synchronizer, which allows you to use cameras that do not feature genlock as well as input video from computer sources.
The switcher provides eight video outputs that are always active. It features two SDI and one HDMI program output, both of which deliver UHD/HD/SD, with three pass-through (AUX) UHD/HD/SD outputs that can deliver a clean program feed without any downstream effects. The switcher also features a down-converted HD output for monitoring on an SDI-equipped HD monitor. Multiview monitoring is 1080i only over dedicated SDI or HDMI output, and multiview allows you to view the program, preview, and eight live sources at the same time. The switcher features built-in luma and chroma keyers for real-time effects and composites in Ultra HD, with 10-bit processing. Two downstream keyers allow you to use two graphics/logos/titles/lower thirds from up to twenty stored graphics in a wide variety of formats.
A built-in 12-channel audio mixer handles the embedded HDMI and SDI audio from the 10 active video inputs, as well as audio from the balanced or unbalanced analog audio inputs to provide you flexibility and creative audio options. Audio output is embedded in the SDI and HDMI streams, as well as available via balanced audio outputs. Either a Mac or Windows PC running the included ATEM software controls the switcher's operation and settings. For those who like the feel of a physical control panel, the available ATEM ME 1 and ME 2 Broadcast Panels, connected via the Ethernet port, also control all the features of the switcher. Illuminated front-panel buttons allow you to locally select the AUX output, while a 2" LCD screen built into the front of the unit allows you to see the AUX output for instant confirmation of the correct output.
- The ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher supports Ultra HD 4K video (3840 x 2160), which is four times the resolution of Full HD. The video format is set by the user and must be the same across each input, as the switcher cannot scale different input formats to match the project format.
- The switcher features ten single-link 6G-SDI and one HDMI 4K input, which allows you to connect UHD/HD/SD and computer-based signals to the switcher. However, the HDMI input is shared with one of the SDI inputs, so you can only have a maximum of ten inputs.
- The switcher takes reference video in for sync timing, either black burst or tri-level sync, so it can interface with other post-production equipment.
- Each input incorporates a frame synchronizer, which enables you to use cameras that do not have genlock capability or to input computer sources such as Keynote or PowerPoint presentations.
The switcher includes a built-in 12-channel audio mixer that lets you manually mix sources, or you can set mixer inputs for "audio-follows-video", so your audio crossfades as you switch between sources.
- The switcher features two program outputs for the final video, delivering UHD/HD/SD via two 6G-SDI port and one HDMI 4K connector.
- The multiview output is available via an SDI or HDMI connector.
- The switcher features an SDI AUX output capable of delivering the program out feed with or without the downstream keyer effects in SD, HD, and Ultra HD. Control of the AUX output is by the front-mounted panel buttons and the built-in 2" LCD screen for immediate confirmation of the AUX output.
The multiview output features four selectable screen layouts that show eight inputs or six inputs and the two internal media players, plus preview and program outputs, on one screen at the same time.
The ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher features four built-in transitions:
- Cut: ATEM instantly changes from the current program source to the preview source precisely at the moment you hit the button. Cuts can be performed by directly selecting sources on the program bus or more commonly by pressing the cut button to transition to the next source lined up on the preview bus.
- Mix: This dissolves from one image to another. You can program a pre-set transition rate, or use the included software control panel or available hardware panels to manually transition from one shot to another.
- Dip: This is similar to the mix/dissolve, except it first transitions to a color/graphic or video source and then to the next shot.
- Wipe patterns: With 18 built-in wipe patterns, you can create over 100 different transitions, the patterns can be inverted or softened, and you can customize the color of the border. You can also insert up to three live video streams into the borders.
Key Frameable Transitions
The built-in DVE allows you to create keyframe-based DVE moves, flying graphics, and animated stingers.
- The switcher features four upstream keyers and a DVE, allowing you to layer live video, title, graphics, and animation over live video. You can choose from chroma, luma, linear, and pattern keys at Ultra HD resolution with 10-bit processing.
- Two downstream keyers allow you to add graphics, lower thirds, titles, and logos for a polished live production.
- The DVE allows you to create a picture-in-picture effect.
- The switcher features backlit front-panel control buttons for manual control.
- The ATEM 4K switcher uses an Ethernet connection to interface with control surfaces such as the optional ATEM 1 M/E and 2 M/E Broadcast Panels.
- You can also control the switcher by using the included ATEM Software Control software from a Mac or Windows computer over Ethernet. You can control all production settings of the switcher as well as directly import graphics from your computer into the switcher's media pool.
- You set the format for each project you are working on, from SD to HD to Ultra HD, selecting resolution and frame rate. This is accomplished by using either the included software for macOS/Windows PC or via the ATEM 1 M/E or ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel.
- Using the Ethernet port on the switcher allows you to connect control surfaces directly to the switcher, or you can control the switcher across a network.
- The switcher features a USB port that is used for software updates and to set the switcher's chassis IP address, which can only be done by using a computer running the ATEM Switcher Utility connected to the switcher's USB port.
The switcher is 1 RU in height and has built-in rackmount ears, for mounting in a production road case or a pos-production facility.
The internal redundant power supplies allow you to keep working should one fail.
Buy the Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K from Audiosaurus. The online Pro Audio Specialist in South Africa.