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Matthew Petersen
New ATEM switchers
on May 8, 2011 at 11:01:34 pm

My University school is currently planning a small student-operated video streaming facility for Journalism students to plan, record and stream shows to the web via something like Livestream.com .

Up until now, I have been planning on using the Newtek Tricaster device, as I saw it at NAB last year and was blown away by the functionality and usability.

I didn't get to NAB this year, but I'm very curious to know if anyone has some detailed information about the new BM ATEM switchers, especially at the lower end. Inputs will be 3-4 HD-SDI cameras (security style PTZ models from Panny or Sony), and we'd like to live-switch, live-key, run supers and sweepers, record and stream the result to the web in real-time.

So my question is: are the ATEM switchers worth looking at closely as a possible substitute to the Newtek Tricaster models? The prices are certainly great and I've always been a big fan of BM products.

regards

Matthew P


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Bob Zelin
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 9, 2011 at 5:43:15 pm

the incredible new ATEM switchers will outperform the Newtek Tricasters. However, live streaming is part of the Tricaster. The ATEM has the h.264 Pro Recorder built into the ATEM - this means that it can create a live h.264 for your production, which you can post to the web right after shooting, but it does NOT offer streaming software (like Telestream Wirecast). Verizon at the NAB show, demonstrated the Blackmagic h.264 Pro Recorder with their own SDK software to do live streaming, but I do not know how to purchase this software.

The ATEM is a dramatically more cost effective product than the Tricaster, however it currently does NOT offer a live streaming output.

Bob Zelin



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Matthew Petersen
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 9, 2011 at 9:29:35 pm

Thanks Bob, I really appreciate your insight.

If live streaming output is really one of the few ommissions compared to the TriCaster, do you believe it would be possible and cost effective to push a video output from the ATEM either into a computer or some other network capable device and then push to livestream using, say, Adobe Streaming Encoder or whatever?

Matthew P


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Bob Zelin
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 10, 2011 at 1:57:15 am

yes - absolutely. My favorite now is the easy to use Telestream Wirecast ($445) - just run this on any MAC with an AJA or Blackmagic card, and you have live streaming. And of course, the input to this card would be the output of your ATEM switcher. And for $995 for the entry level model - well, you can't beat that price.

Bob Zelin



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Matthew Petersen
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 10, 2011 at 4:44:24 am

ah, starting to make a lot of sense now!

one more question, slightly more detailed: the hardware controllers feature three-way joysticks: can this be used to control remote PTZ cameras (pan, tiltm zoom)?

With the tri-caster solution, I was planning to use a third-party camera controller, but am I right in assuming that I could connect the camera control system direct to the ATEM, and have it all "in one box"? in other words, select a camera, control it, select another camera, control it, etc etc?

cheers

Matthew P


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Bob Zelin
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 10, 2011 at 4:59:22 pm

there is no PTZ in the ATEM line. You can't beat the AV-HS400 or 450 (for a lot more money, and no streaming) for PTZ for panasonic cameras (also Broadcast Pix does this too - also for a lot more money).

YOU CANT HAVE EVERTYHING FOR FREE.

Bob Zelin



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Tracy Peterson
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 10, 2011 at 6:42:12 am

I'm not certain that live streaming is all that the TriCaster does differently. There's live keying and virtual sets as well. Something the BMD switches don't do, I think. Live streaming is probably as simple as adding a driver hook so that AME3+ can use the software as a camera, if of course it doesn't already. It should take them a short bit of work to enable it in software. Hopefully they will be able to support demand for a product like this.

Tracy Peterson
http://www.onetwomany.com


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Matthew Petersen
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 10, 2011 at 10:26:48 pm

Tracy, thank you for your comment, this is exactly the discussion I was hoping to have, in terms of what I would lose or gain by changing the plan to use a TriCaster.

My understanding is that the ATEM's do have inbuilt keying, though I have to read up on how that affects me, and the difference between upstream and downstream keyers.

The TriCaster is certainly an impressive Turnkey solution, no doubt about it. A console switcher like the ATEM might be a bit more "industry like" for the students transitioning into the workforce. I could debate the pros and cons for hours!

Could I trouble you to unpack your comment about the Adobe encoder and a driver hook? I'm intrigued.

Matthew P


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Tracy Peterson
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 11, 2011 at 11:39:40 pm

The comment about the driver hook is that if you use a BMD capture card now, you can select it as an input to Adobe Media Encoder. When you do so, you are encoding whatever is connected to the card.

Since the 900$ switcher has software interface, I would assume there needs to be some kind of virtual camera driver for the AME to recognize so that it could encode the program stream from the software.

Tracy Peterson
http://www.onetwomany.com


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Colin Sandy
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 12, 2011 at 3:10:54 am

I think Adobe Media Encoder (AME) is being confused with Flash Media Live Encoder (FMLE) here. FMLE is what needs to be "hooked into" in order to live stream from a video source.

The decision on whether or not to use a TriCaster is a matter of need. If you need a turnkey solution and don't have a lot of in-house tech support, the TriCaster is your thing. Also, if you need to ingest multiple analog sources, the TriCaster is your thing.

If, however, you are starting from scratch in a fully digital environment and do not need to interact with analog sources, then BMD should be given serious consideration.

I would suggest you make a list of what you need and contemplate needing, them compare it to the feature set of the TriCaster and the BMD devices. Whichever one meets most of your needs wins.

Colin Sandy
Sandy Audio Visual LLC



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Tracy Peterson
Re: New ATEM switchers
on May 12, 2011 at 4:30:12 am

Yeah, my bad, I'm mixing up AME and FMLE. Sorry.

Tracy Peterson
http://www.onetwomany.com


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Matt Drabick
Re: New ATEM switchers
on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:40:11 pm

Check out Rushworks at http://www.rushworks.tv/ They plan to bundle the ATEM switchers with PTZ control.

Matt Drabick, DigiTek Systems, Raleigh, NC


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