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ATEM Production Switchers

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Darren Lew
ATEM Production Switchers
on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:43:08 pm


We have just posted a new software update for all ATEM switchers with some powerful new features. Because it's such a bit update we have decided to post it as a public beta for the next week or so, to ensure people have time to try it out.

There is some operational differences in this update based on almost universal feedback from ATEM users. The new features include:

• ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher support added and this model is now shipping.

• A/B Direct switching added in addition to Program/Preview switching. This means you can setup on your panel which way you would like to operate your switcher, and A/B direct switching is also very popular. Now ATEM can do both.

• Preview Transition stays selected until deselected by user.

• Media pool file names are visible in the broadcast panel menus. This allows graphics to be selected by name.

• New shortcut allows double pressing the MIX transition button selects DIP on 1 M/E panels.

• New shortcut allows double pressing the WIPE transition button selects DVE on 1 M/E panels.

• New shortcut allows double pressing the background next transition button auto selects on air keyers. For example if you had key 1 and 3 on-air then pressing the background next transition twice will automatically select next transition for key 1 and 3, so the next transition will turn off the keyers that are currently on. This is faster and also helps eliminates mistakes when doing complex keying.

• When selecting a media player as a key source, both the fill and key are automatically selected so you don't have to select them separately. You can always route the key channel separately for total flexibility, however when selecting a source, it's faster to have the key channel automatically selected as well.

Please remember to update both your broadcast panels and ATEM chassis after downloading and installing this update. We hope this update includes features you need!


Blackmagic Design

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Steve Thompson
Re: ATEM Production Switchers
on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:14:42 pm

Sounds like many new useful updates. You mentioned the 2 ME now shipping. When will stock of the 2 ME switcher be available in Melbourne, I have jobs for it ready to.

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Jeff Hartman
Re: ATEM Production Switchers
on Feb 20, 2012 at 5:47:31 pm

I've downloaded and installed the 3.0 beta, and updated the firmware in our ATEM Television Studio. The installation went smoothly and I don't see any obvious bugs; in fact, this seems to fix an issue with the pulldowns to the right of the switcher page. Here are a few initial observations:

1) The switcher app really should inhibit the 2M/E option when it knows it is connected to 1M/E or TVS hardware.

2) In the same vein, it should not allow 2M/E to be selected if it sees that the system screen resolution is too small. My PC happens to top out at 1680x1050, and selecting 2M/E created a situation where I couldn't access the menu to revert back to 1M/E, and I couldn't move the window to get there. The only way to get back was to change my desktop to 1600x1200 temporarily so the top of the app window was visible. Also, the published system requirements should be amended to add higher display adapter resolution for 2M/E users.

3) Although your note refers to A/B direct switching, I see nothing in the switcher app that relates to this -- nor do I see anything in the revised manual.

The remaining points are either ongoing issues or wish-list items:

4) The chroma key still has inappropriate interaction between the target hue and background video phase. Changing this value should change only the desired hue as it is compared to the key source video; unfortunately, right now it also changes the hue of the background video. This is not specific to this new release; it has been a problem going back at least through 2.5.

5) I haven't checked this yet, but earlier versions could not pass closed captioning from SDI inputs through to the program output. This disqualifies the unit for a number of television broadcast applications.

6) It would be extremely handy to add a means to automatically reload the media stores with the last-used files. It's a real chore to get things reloaded manually whenever the hardware is restarted.

7) Adding keyboard hotkeys for other switcher functions -- especially DSK cut and auto, and FTB -- would also be useful.

8) Finally, it would be really good to let the user map GPI inputs from the GPI/Tally interface to different virtual buttons on the switcher. That would allow rudimentary TVS control even without a computer, for example.


Jeff Hartman
Engineering Project Manager
Newport Television, Northeast

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Charles Caillouet
Re: ATEM Production Switchers
on Feb 24, 2012 at 1:19:55 am


I just got a 1 M/E panel in and loaded the 3.0 Beta 1 Mac software and firmware update.

Thanks to BMD for building this unit. It provides a lot of performance in a small package.

Everything seems to work as expected in this rev, with the exception of cuts in the A/B Direct mode.
While Auto transitions keep the same source on each bus and change the color of the active source button, Cut transitions still toggle the busses. It is very confusing to have Cuts and Auto transitions behave differently.

One thing that i miss on the ATEM is the lack of drop shadow on keys. While it is possible to create Media Player graphics with alpha channels, or to feed live key channels along with fill sources into the switcher, the small number of inputs on the 1 M/E makes it difficult to make simple live changing supers (like lyrics from a presentation package) stand out. On the upstream keyers, it is also possible to use chroma keys to create shadows from properly formated graphics on the fly, but not downstream. The best solution that i have so far is a 10% luma level shadow on the incoming graphics and the clipper set tight for downstream keys. Then i can set the gain tight to soften the edge.

A few simple options for outline, thin and thick drop shadow would go a long way toward improving the keys.

Thanks, again.

C. R. Caillouet
Vision Unlimited/LA
HD Production Technical Support since 1987
...searching for the right tool for the job...

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