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Richard Cardonna
Atems
on Apr 13, 2011 at 3:24:03 am

Would anybody know if the "atems" are open for independant software developers to make mixer app interface using thhis harware?

Richard


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Luke Maslen
Re: Atems
on Apr 13, 2011 at 5:24:52 am

Hi Richard,

That's a good idea and something the engineers would like to do but at the moment they are just busy delivering on the products we've announced at NAB 2011. They would like to do it but it's not something we've advertized or promised as the engineers have been flat out developing the new Atem products. Once they are all shipping, it's something that they can consider but it's too early to know yet. In any case, I've passed on your idea to Ankit Patel, the Atem product manager, so thank you for posting!

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Tom Bassford
Re: Atems
on Apr 13, 2011 at 9:20:14 am

Hi Luke

Firstly congratulations on getting the ATEM to market again. I'm a little disappointed to see the downgrading of the specs, but understand that your doing the BM thing with price points! (err a 6input HDSDI switcher cost $1000 per day to rent not that long ago, SELLING one for that money is insanity (the kind of insanity which we love BM for!)

Secondly I'd like to know if your going to offer ongoing support and / or crossgrade options to existing Echolab ATEM customers? I'm the proud owner of an Echolab ATEM 1ME and I'd be very interested to know if your planning to honor echolab's support + service commitments? Someone at Echolab did say to me that "whoever buys the ATEM product line will take on support for existing users" So i'd like to know if this is the case and / or if there are any crossgrade options to the new BM version of the ATEM product?

If you would prefer to contact me via email my address is tomATsleepytomDOTcoDOTuk

Thanks
Tom Bassford


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Luke Maslen
Re: Atems
on Apr 14, 2011 at 4:17:50 am

Hi Tom,

Thank you for the kind words and it's great to finally be able to show everyone what our engineers have been working on with the Atem products. The Atem Television Studio, with its 6 inputs, is a whole new product that didn't exist in the Echolab days.

When Blackmagic Design purchased the assets of Echolab, we didn't receive much hardware and had barely enough for our engineers to work on and create the new products. So unfortunately we're not able to support old Echolab hardware as we just don't have spare parts. The new panels contain completely different circuitry and, as you can see, the new switchers have entirely different hardware. The new panels connect via Ethernet compared with the old serial BNC connections. This means the old panels are only compatible with the old switchers even though the user controls on the panels are operated the same way.

If Echolab customers need manuals for the old Echolab products, then please contact our head support office in Milpitas, California and they can check if they still have electronic copies of the old manuals. They have quite a few and can just email them to customers. If Echolab customers need firmware for the old Echolab products, we might or might not have them so again please check with the support office and they will check with Ankit Patel, the Atem product manager, if we can help with any firmware updates. Firmware updates can be emailed if we have them. The new panels operate in the same way as the old panels so there should be no learning curve in using the new panels. We should also be able to answer questions about how the old panels work as they should work the same.

In regards to crossgrade options, I'm not aware of any as we're tried to reduce the price of the new hardware to make it as affordable as possible and the price is much lower than in the Echolab days. However it could be worth checking with your nearest Blackmagic Design sales office to see if any local deals are available.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Tom Bassford
Re: Atems
on Apr 14, 2011 at 8:59:27 am

Hi Luke

That is very disappointing to hear. I had understood that Echolab had sold the ATEM product line and that the buyer would become responsible for the echolab warranty commitment on ATEM products. I understand the issue with components (it is unfortunate that you've redesigned so much of it! IP based control panel does make sense (in a way) but leaving existing users high and dry is not good)

It would be nice if i felt you were a little more open to the needs of existing users, there are not very many ATEM owners in the world (less than 100 maybe? i don't know i'm sure one of the former Echolab employees can tell you just how many they made / sold) And the relative cost of offering us some crossgrade option would be low, or maybe you could make an add on box to convert the old dual BNC serial panel to the new IP standard?

The very serious problem I have if there is no meaningful support (i already have the manual for my product thanks! Latest version of the firmware would be of interest though) is that I need to change switcher to something which is supported. The obvious choice is to upgrade to a BM ATEM, however you've changed the specs to the point where it has lost it's competitive edge. (specifically the lack of supersource and scaled aux outs on the 1ME is a big issue for me) I'd need to get a minimum of the 2ME rack with a 1ME panel. Now this would cost me $10,000 which is a lot of money to spend to effectively gain no new features, and to of actually lost some features that I like.

At this moment the logical conclusion for existing ATEM users is to buy something else from a different manufacturer. The 10K i would have to spend to stay with the ATEM gives me a decent choice of competing products form Ross, Panasonic, Sony, GrassValley, JVC etc etc
Whilst my current ATEM has some serious advantages over these options, the new ATEMs have somewhat eroded this advantage by cutting features.

So its a hard choice where the attitude of the different companies has as much, if not more to do with the choice of what equipment to use in future that the technical specs of the kit. So far BM are not coming up to scratch on the support side which is a big shame as it is likely to cause current ATEM users to switch to another manufacturers product. (as a comparison I recently spoke to Snell and Wilcox about a Magic DaVE switcher, this product was discontinued in the late 90s, but they still offer support on it)

I'd appreciate some direct communication about this matter, if you could forward this post on to the UK support guys and the relevant product managers and marketing people i'd much appreciate it. Or get them to email me directly on tomATsleepytomDOTcoDOTuk

Thanks

Tom


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Luke Maslen
Re: Atems
on Apr 15, 2011 at 3:18:41 am

Hi Tom,

I've discussed your post with ATEM product manager who is at NAB this week. He will make contact with you next week, after he has returned to the office, and I have passed along your email address to him. Ankit Patel was also the ATEM product manager at Echolab so he is a definitive source of information about the old Echolab products and the new Blackmagic Design products as well as ATEM support issues.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Tom Bassford
Re: Atems
on Apr 15, 2011 at 9:06:39 am

Thanks Luke, I look forward to his mail.

cheers
tom


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Tim Harrington
Re: Atems
on Dec 21, 2013 at 8:40:22 am

I'd reconsider buying a BMD ATEM based on them being new to the switcher business. Support and sustainability are a serious consideration in my opinion. Call support, if you can get through in under an hour you're doing great and I'll bet the one man in support is AP just like back in the days of Echolab. Great idea, poorly executed. They may have lowered the price but they also dumped most of the features. Take a closer look and you may find Ross offers a much better product and a similar price point and has the financial backing and support you can count on in the years to come. By the way, anybody need a control panel for the original Echolab ATEM produced in 2009? I have one because our mainframe died after just four years of moderate use. Left us with a worthless $20,000 boat anchor. Longevity is worth the extra $$! Call me if you need spare parts at 406-281-5079, and no I don't work for Ross.


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