My Church is looking to Upgrade our Video System and expand some of our IMAG capabilities. I'm look at Blackmagic's ATEM 2m/e. I'm planning for the abblity to run 8 inputs (6 cameras and 2 computers). What should I be aware of and what else should I be looking at?
The ATEM can be a wonderful choice due to:
1. Very little delay. If you genlock your cameras you will probably be at less than 1 frame of delay. Better than most out there.
2. Very reliable. No rotating memory!
3. You can operate from a PC if necessary or a 2nd operator is desired. Ie One feed to sanctuary with lyrics and Aux feed to streaming without graphics. Having 7 aux sends is very desirable.
4. The Photoshop plug in for graphics works well. It allows a dedicated graphics person to immediately update or modify a graphic and even take it themselves.
5. Large installed base which means spares, training, operators, etc are in good supply. We have placed a large number of ME1s and ME2s in churches. If you can punch a program on the ME1 you can do it on the ME2 using the capabilities of the ME1.
Watch out items:
1. All devices must be at same resolution.
2. Multi view monitor only shows 8 sources which you have consumed. You can always call up an additional source in the Preview to check it out.
3. X Keys can be a nice third party addition if you do complex setups that would benefit from macros.
4. Be sure to put an ethernet switch in the configuration. It will simplify adding devices. i.e. tally lights, additional operator displays. Do not put the system on your IT network!
5. The 2 PCs you are using as sources must have a graphics card capable of outputting at video resolutions. (1920x1080 if you are running 1080i. Easily done with MACs, can be more difficult with PCs.
We produce two football games a week that are broadcast in HiDef on a CBS affiliate and an NBC affiliate. We use the ME2 to switch those. We roll commercials from a Mac using PlaybackPro software. On one show we use Photoshop for the graphics and the other a Chyron. We have all 16 inputs consumed. We are on our third season with this setup.
If you encounter any problems, this forum is great.