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ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?

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James Hood
ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:51:12 am

Our church will be upgrading our old video mixer (it's a Videonics MX-1, in case you need a laugh) to an ATEM 1 M/E. We have one NTSC camera that will be connecting via Y/C to input 1 and a couple computer HDMI inputs as well. Our outputs are mostly composite NTSC, with a couple HD TVs that currently showing pillarboxed 4:3.

I was originally thinking that we would run the switcher in SD mode, but then I realized that it might be smoother for us, especially as we transition to more HD input and output devices, if we ran it in HD mode and center-cut the downconverted SD output. I'm assuming that the ATEM will upconvert and pillarbox the S-video coming in from the camera on input 1, but I haven't been able to find confirmation of that in the docs or online. Is this in fact how it behaves?

Does anyone have advice/experience in running an ATEM in HD mode in a mostly SD environment? Is it too much hassle, or does it work fairly smoothly?

Thanks!


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Shaun Roemich
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 3:49:03 am

The ATEM doesn't have any scalers. all inputs need to be the same resolution and frame rate.

Big Dog - Technical Director - Switcher
Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC Canada
roaddogmedia@gmail.com


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James Hood
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 12:45:45 pm

Ah, I see. In HD mode, the analog input video only supports component. The composite, S-Video, and SD component are SD mode only. So, if I wanted to run the switcher in HD, I'd hook an Analog to SDI and an UpDownCross together. So all my inputs (camera and computer(s)) would be HD, but I'd still rely heavily on the permanently downconverted SD outputs.


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Jim Brown
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 1, 2012 at 1:55:01 pm

If you can up convert the sd camera and run the switcher in hd mode you will be more pleased with the graphics . Also, you would be surprised at the performance of consumer hdmi camcorders in most church environments and they are quite affordable. BTW. I have run 60 ft with good hdmi cable. If you need to go further get one of the BMD hdmi to sdi converters and run coax. Works very well and very affordable.

Jim brown
M&M ProductionsUSA


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James Hood
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 2, 2012 at 1:12:31 am

Good to know. At the moment, my plan is to move forward with an SD rollout. If we keep it SD, we don't need any scalers so there's no extra cost (or loss) to make a quick stop at SD on our way to HD. During the installation, I'll put the switcher in an HD mode take a look at how HD computer graphics look through the center-cut SD output on our FOH projector. That projector does have a component input well, so that would be a nice way to improve quality when we wind up running in HD.

The only thing stopping me from whole-heartedly going straight to HD is concern about how overlays would be handled through the center-cut output. I'm assuming that, for example, if we had the speaker's name appear in the lower-left corner it would be mostly cut off on our FOH projector since it's only showing the center. An option would be to letterbox the down-converted output, but I'm not comfortable committing to that until I've seen it.

Thank you all for your input! (And if you have further input, I certainly welcome it.)


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Jim Brown
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 2, 2012 at 9:02:46 pm

I have been somewhat disappointed with the SD out composite quality. You will probably notice quite a difference if you feed the projectors with component. If you have an issue with hum bars try video over cat5. We do that for corporate events and have found it makes video roll a nightmare in the past.

Jim Brown
M&M ProductionsUSA


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James Hood
Re: ATEM 1 M/E — Upconvert SD Input 1?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 11:59:55 pm

I swung by the church yesterday evening to check out the composite quality we already have. The existing composite connection to the projector (100ft) was rather poor quality, even with our camera or a scan converter connected directly to it (skipping the MX-1). I'm definitely going to include a component line from the ATEM to the FOH projector. The projector is new-ish and can handle 1080i, but it only has analog inputs. Running component now would not only get it better signal (as you noted), but we would also be set when upgrade to HD. Thanks!


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