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ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?

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Joe Christensen
ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 30, 2011 at 12:40:35 am

I'd love to hear from others that have integrated the ATEM 1 M/E. Any gotchas or stories from the field?

I'm looking into purchasing 4 of them for live event production.

PS: I read Bob's review and enjoyed it.

Joe Christensen
Blaze Streaming Media
LIve Online Productions


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Bob Zelin
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 30, 2011 at 1:34:04 am

I really think you should buy the Grass Valley Kayak switcher.
It's $200,000, but it's a really nice switcher, and I know you can afford it.

Bob Zelin



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Joe Christensen
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 30, 2011 at 3:00:19 am

I was hoping to avoid a snarky comment from Bob.

My current workflow involves Tricasters. I work in the event industry and will often cover multiple concurrent events.

Joe


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Bob Zelin
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 12:04:14 am

we are using it for the Republican Party "Presidency 5" straw pole in Orlando FL third week in September. It will provide the main switched feed for internet coverage (using Livestream as the streaming provider). If the ATEM 1 M/E fails, everyone will know about it. Yes, there is no dual power supply, but we have a hefty APC UPS on the ATEM and it's iMAC computer.

Bob Zelin



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Shane Duggan
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 10:43:38 am

Hi,

Just used it to provide a stream of the Dalai Lama's visit to Goethe University, Frankfurt. Did really, really well. Pictures looked great & the Media Pool is easy to use even in the stress of a live setting. We were using Panasonic AF101's (AF 100 in the US). Pictures really looked stunning. It's a great system for a small production. We didn't have a UPS but I think thats our next purchase.

Oh I used a Mac Book Pro to control it & a Mac pro to send the stream out via SDI to an old Blackmagic Extreme HD2 then to wirecast & then to Ustream & an additional HDMI-DVI going to a mediasite for internal Streaming. We also recorded a clean feed for edit & Archive.

Week after next we have a week of kids lectures in the University to be streamed for local schools, should give the Atem a good try out. Let you know.

Good luck with the Republican Straw Poll gig.

Shane


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Michael Wells
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 30, 2011 at 5:11:10 am

We have one. Bought teh switcher first, then added the control panel later. I can't recommend using a crossover cable directly from a PC to operate the unit via IP. I seemed to be less reliable (needed rebooting every couple of weeks) this way. No problems since we installed the control panel.

First off, it's a nice piece of hardware. The control panel feels just as solid as our Grass Valley 4ME HD Switcher...it is nice. THe multiview is good enough.

Haven't used the tally box yet, but plan to integrate one soon. Overall switcher latency is a bit less than two frames using an un-syncronized source(we developed a pretty awesome in house test pattern and measurement scheme that allows us to test latency with about 10 lines of accuracy). Two frames is about twice what I would like to see, but given that the switcher was automatically frame syncing the incoming signal, it ain't bad. By the way, it was 2 frames whether you wnet in HD-SDI or HDMI via a blackmagic converter, so that is cool. Sometime we will test a timed source and see if the latency is reduced.

DSK and transitions are effective enough, and the still store is fine. Haven't messed with the DVE or main keyers.

The biggest thing I wish it had was a redundant PSU option on the switcher frame. In the future, I will probably buy the 2 ME unit just to get a redundant power supply capability.

All in all, it is a heck of a switcher, and cheap to boot.



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Bruce Colgate
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Aug 31, 2011 at 9:45:52 pm

Hi Michael,

2 Frames is a pretty big processing delay for a "live" switcher, particularly since BMD says it only has "1 line" processing delay.

Have you contacted BMD about this problem?

- Bruce Colgate


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Shane Duggan
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Sep 1, 2011 at 8:11:22 am

I haven't seen any delay on the Atem. We did have a problem with a three frame delay with AF101 coming off either HDSDI or HDMI but this is a recognized problem with the AF101's but there was no delay with the ATEM.

You might want to check if its the camera's you are using.

Shane Duggan


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Matt Drabick
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Sep 2, 2011 at 2:17:52 pm

Any delay caused by the ATEM 1 M/E is the result of the following: using non-synchronized video sources to the 1 M/E and letting the switcher sync everything up . . . which adds one frame of delay. Genlock your video cameras and the 1 M/E to a master sync source and you won't have this one frame of delay.

According to Blackmagic if you use the DVE effects you add one frame of delay. Don't use a DVE effect and you won't add this frame of delay.

If you are using a converter to change component analog video, etc. into SDI or HDMI to feed the 1 M/E you will add another frame of delay.

If you have additional delay I would put it down to other equipment such as a projector or routing switcher, etc.

Matt Drabick,
DigiTek Systems


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Rich Rogers
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Mar 11, 2012 at 8:24:56 pm

Michael,

I would love to know how you developed your in-house latency test. We are working on reducing latency and have just purchased the ATEM 1 M/E and are going a full SDI workflow (genlocking cameras) with the exception of a final conversion at the projectors. I'd love to be able to accurately measure our actual delay with some measure of authority.

thanks!

Rich Rogers


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Michael Wells
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Mar 12, 2012 at 8:17:27 pm

Rich,

Our video engineer developed a test clip that incorperated the following features:

6 frame sequence of alternating primary/secondary colors that repeats every 6 frames.

We overlaid a vertical line of marks on the side of the images every 10 scan lines or so.

We duplicated this for 5 minutes then overlaid a time code display on top of it.

The timecode gives us a frame accurate reference and the color pattern and vertical marks allows us to see sub-frame accuracy in interlaced scanning as you can see when the new color is being re-drawn on the screen and coorelate that along with the vertical line graph to determine teh approx. number of lines of delay.

We took this clip and laid it to HDcam tape. We then played back the HDCAM tape through several different reference monitors along with a direct timecode connection to an ESE timecode display from the tape machine. Then we would snap pictures with a camera of the timecode display and the monitor under test. We were able to compare the numbers on the ESE Timecode display with the Timecode number and scan line transition with the monitor under test to determine the latency of the monitor.

We then built a database of all our monitors so we could use them for comparion testing against other signal patchs without needing a timecode display.

Now we just take a KiPro or other playback device and run it directly to a monitor with a known amount of latency as our reference display. We also run the test signal through whatever piece of equipment is under test, and on to another monitor with a known (or identical) amount of latency.

Then we snap pictures of both displays and calculate the latency difference between them.

Attached is one such photo where we were actually testing the end to end latency of a camera encoded to MPEG2, then decoded and sent to a display.

In the photo, the center CRT is our control reference. The other two displays are testing the relative decode latency of two different MPEG decoders.





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Mike Squires
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 1:02:46 am

Michael,

Cool test clip. What I would add is some pink noise, maybe at the beginning of every second, for 10 frames. That way, you could use a video camera to shoot the monitors, load that footage into a NLE, and you would know the audio delay needed.


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Michael Wells
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 1:24:04 am

That would probably work. We typically will add a signal that has a stronger implulse like a click from a metronome as if produces an audio waveform that is easier to reference than random pink noise.


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Mike Squires
Re: ATEM 1 M/E Reviews?
on Mar 13, 2012 at 2:44:57 am

You're right, pink noise may cause some problems, so I guess a general reference tone would be a better choice.


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