The terms switcher and router are often used interchangeably so understanding the differences between our Videohub routers and our ATEM switchers can be confusing. Here is a short version of the differences :-)
The Videohub routers simply route your SDI inputs to the desired SDI outputs. You can switch which inputs are connected to which outputs and so this kind of device is sometimes called a switching router which just adds to the confusion!
The ATEM switchers allow you to mix and apply effects to the outputs of multiple video inputs and to monitor multiple outputs simultaneously on a single multi view monitor. M/E refers to mix effects. The ATEM switcher could perform a simple task, such as a graphic wipe when switching between two different video inputs, or a more complex task such as applying an animated graphic over the top of existing video from a built-in or external source. While you can route individual inputs to specific outputs of the ATEM switcher, this is not the primary purpose of the switcher.
the new video switcher line from Blackmagic (the ATEM, which is the results of Blackmagic buying the Echolab switcher company) has resulted in the most dramatic pricing restructuring of switchers in the history of the video industry. For the first time in history, you can purchase a top quality HD-SDI switcher, with Frame sync inputs, and multiviewer outputs for under $1000, and run it with your laptop. And if you can spend $4995, you get the same powerhouse switcher offered by other companies for $60 - $80,000 dollars. Now, anyone can own a very high quality video switcher for less than "a piece of junk" or a used piece of gear on ebay. Anyone that required a switcher, but could not afford one, can now own a high quality piece of equipment.
The hidden cost of owning a HD-SDI switcher was owning the monitors, but now Blackmagic offers dual HD-SDI monitors, that can be used as a final program monitor for this switcher for $695 retail. This is in addition to the HDMI multiviewer, to display the program, preview, and individual sources that are going into the swither inputs. You can use an under $200 24" LCD monitor to see this multiviewer image. The price point is beyond great - it's CRAZY.
The introduction of the ATEM line will certainly affect the business of most switcher companies, except those at the very high end like Grass Valley, and Sony. And for those looking at an entry level GVG, like the KayakDD, well, you are better off spending your money on the $4995 ATEM with the $15,000 control panel, as this will blow the doors off the small GVG.
AS for the GVG Indigo - how they will be able to continue selling this product, is beyond me.
Richard writes -
What bastion of self serving greatness will be assailed next?
Richard - this is the future.
Anything that is "fun" or even remotely "fun" will become very inexpensive. All "professional entertainment industry products", from video, to audio, to computers, to photography, to anything you can think of that general consumers think of as "fun" will become cheap. So what does that mean for the future - it means that to make a living, you won't be able to have "fun" - your job that will pay your medical bills will be hard work (whatever that is), and all the "fun jobs" (do we have fun jobs ?) will be able to be done by "anyone" so they won't pay, and "we" will all have to "go to work" to pay our medical insurance.
Grant Petty's children, who inherit Blackmagic one day, will buy the Ferrari automobile company, and sell Ferrari's to the masses for $4000 each - making it impossible for anyone to feel special about owning a top sports car - the Petty heirs will make high end sports cars available to the masses ! How will we ever survive if "we" can't be "special" ??