Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

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Kairei

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Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostWed May 30, 2018 6:19 pm

In his talk at NAB 2018, in speaking about the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K, Grant Petty said:

“This is our most advanced switcher. It’s not our biggest switcher but it’s definitely our most powerful switcher by quite a way.”

This doesn’t seem to be true in my (admittedly novice) estimation. I love the eight 12G SDI inputs and outputs with standards converters and the new audio and chroma features this switcher offers. However, it doesn’t seem to support SuperSource which makes it decidedly less powerful if you need to do any significant multi-window PiP. I had assumed “not biggest” but “most powerful” meant “can do everything the 4 M/E can do and more, just with fewer inputs.” That would have been perfect but doesn't seem to be the case.

It seems there are two lines, the “Television Studio” models, and all the rest. Are they intended for different purposes? I wish there was just one biggest, baddest Blackmagic switcher that had every feature. A true “Most Powerful Switcher.” Can anyone offer any insights into why their intended “most powerful switcher” would not support such a powerful feature as SuperSource?
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Xtreemtec

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostWed May 30, 2018 8:23 pm

Well.. Sure it isn't the most powerfull switcher.. Because a 4ME has a lot more power!! And is really for studio and big productions.. Were you want no delay at all.. (So no delay from internal scalers too!!!! )

This is the best sollution mixer for those that have little to no knowlage about broadcast hardware.. Want to mix sources with different resolutions and framerates without matching anything.. (what is the complete opposite of any studio and broadcast enviroment)..

So yes nice those 8 12G compatible inputs.. But it will never be the big machine that a 2/4ME switcher is..
I also highly doubt if they would make a 20 channel 4ME switcher with All scalers.. As almost every Broadcast company with a bit of sense of Genlock, Delay, Lipsync and stuff will know that if you are not able to kill the Scaler function you will always have a too much delay in your system for real IMAG applications..

So maybe in the future BMD will think off a way to config the ports so you can turn scaling and frame buffer on and off for each channel.. Or even build a 4ME with for example just 4 or 6 scaling ports for those hard to change sources.. But keep clean inputs for your cameras to run low delay cameras for imag..
Daniel Wittenaar .:: Xtreemtec Media Productions ::. -= www.xtreemtec.nl =-
4K OBV, ATEM TVS HD, 1M/E 4K, 2M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, Hyperdeck Studio Mini, SONY FS7 4K, Ursa Broadcast 4K
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Kairei

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostWed May 30, 2018 9:01 pm

Very interesting information, thanks!

I also highly doubt if they would make a 20 channel 4ME switcher with All scalers


Interesting. I was just assuming that would be the next evolution of the 4 M/E but can't wait another year or however long till the next update. I guess the importance of limiting delay for lip sync may mean you're right and I might be waiting in vain for something that never comes.

I guess since I'm just starting out I can focus on keeping all my sources capable of the same format. I only have one BM camera so far and want to add a second. I'm combining that with other sources like HDMI computer and mobile device outputs where delay doesn't matter since they aren't showing live speakers. My concern with something like the 4 M/E was that I've heard of people having issues getting their computers to output the exact frame rate needed and I'm nervous to spend 6K and then find that I can't make some sources work.
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Gary Adams

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu May 31, 2018 12:21 am

Hello everyone. I just wanted to offer some observations about the Television Studio 4K Pro. Switchers kind of tend to be multi dimensional as in inputs, outputs, features, rates and resolutions. So saying the most powerful may have different meanings to everyone. In this case, the internal processing is very powerful compared to all other ATEMs given the magnitude of scalers, frame synchronizers, and Fairlight audio processing up to 12G signals. You will find the SDI inputs more forgiving with that pesky 60Hz frame rate as well. I would say the Television Studio Brand has progressed over the 8 years of development with Blackmagic. While we don't talk about the future, it is easy to see where things are going for other models.

One thing that was very important to me came up in this thread. Latency or delay through the switcher is most important to just about everyone working in a live environment. With the addition of the much asked for scaling as well as the existing frame synchronizers, one would expect there to be an impact to latency. I wanted to test first hand how this was working so we can speak correctly about this functionality. While there is no user selection to enable or disable scaling or frame synchronizing, the ATEM TVS 4K Pro automatically uses these functions when they are needed and does not use them when not needed. So while I can talk quit a bit about the subject, the simple description is this:

If you feed any input the same resolution and frame rate as the ATEM, the delay will be from a few lines to a frame. If the source is genlocked the same as the ATEM, the latency will be a few lines. If this sounds like what we state for all ATEMs, that is correct. For the TVS 4K Pro, if you feed a different resolution or frame rate on an input, then the ATEM automatically will scale that resolution and rate, plus frame sync as necessary to match the ATEM. The scaling process will naturally add a frame or two to the process based on what rate and resolution is being scaled. And as always, if the DVE is used, the image in the DVE will be one frame later than the rest.

So, we feel there is no latency difference for this switcher than the others unless you use the popular new scaling capability. At the risk of talking too much, I would like to offer an important tip for those ATEM users with Blackmagic Studio type cameras. All of our Studio type cameras have the capability of genlocking both to external sync or return SDI video from the ATEM (or any switcher). As you would normally feed the ATEM Program or Auxiliary output back to the camera, I recommend setting the camera reference to "Program". This will match the timing to the ATEM which is what you want specifically. And this is the most important part. The next setting in the camera menu is called "Reference Line Timing". Set this to "-5" or a lower negative value. The purpose of this is to "advance" the camera vertical timing by a few lines so it reaches the ATEM input "ahead" of the switcher vertical. Doing this will insure the frame synchronizer will not delay an additional frame through the ATEM. I have verified this with all ATEM switcher models. This adjustment is in all Blackmagic studio type cameras which include the Television Studio Cameras, Micro Studio Camera, URSA Mini, URSA Mini Pro, and URSA Broadcast.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I trust this will be helpful in your setups.

Regards, Gary
Gary Adams
Blackmagic Design
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Denny Smith

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu May 31, 2018 1:14 am

Thanks Gary, I was woundering if this was the case. Great info, thanks agin for confirming this.
Cheers
Denny Smith
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Pascale Paris

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu May 31, 2018 11:45 am

Prrrrrrfct switch when you on the go.
Only disadvantage for me is havingbthe outputs as a loop through from the input.
Was aiming on using 4 camera replays.
No i need a hd sdi splittet for the 4 cameras.
For what its worth i take it interstate using ky back pack.
Love it...

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David Hutchinson

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu May 31, 2018 11:48 am

Gary that is an incredibly important post - thank you - I've not seen it explained in any of the manuals (hint) :-).

While you never talk about the future can I ask a question. Are the present ATEM 2M/E & 4M/E capable of upgrading to fairlight audio? I'm not asking if you ARE going to do this, just theoretically is it possible?

I'm just upgrading to a from the 2M/E to the 4M/E but also thought about buying the 4K Pro just for it's audio.

Thank you.
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Kairei

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostFri Jun 01, 2018 1:38 pm

Thanks Gary! Very helpful indeed. Any chance you could shed some light on why the Television Studio line doesn't have SuperSource? The sort of diverging of features in the product lines is confusing to me... why have this awesome new powerful beast but leave off such a cool feature?
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Brett Casadonte

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu Jun 07, 2018 2:30 am

David Hutchinson wrote:Gary that is an incredibly important post - thank you - I've not seen it explained in any of the manuals (hint) :-).

While you never talk about the future can I ask a question. Are the present ATEM 2M/E & 4M/E capable of upgrading to fairlight audio? I'm not asking if you ARE going to do this, just theoretically is it possible?

I'm just upgrading to a from the 2M/E to the 4M/E but also thought about buying the 4K Pro just for it's audio.

Thank you.


I had asked one of the BM product guys this at NAB, and they said no. The Fairlight Audio capabilities require some extra compute power that is only in the new 4k Pro.

Looks like, at this point, we will need new hardware for this... (unless the person was misinformed.)

Thanks,

Brett Casadonte


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Brett Casadonte

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Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostThu Jun 07, 2018 2:37 am

Kairei wrote:Thanks Gary! Very helpful indeed. Any chance you could shed some light on why the Television Studio line doesn't have SuperSource? The sort of diverging of features in the product lines is confusing to me... why have this awesome new powerful beast but leave off such a cool feature?


Product line differentiation. SuperSource is a differentiating feature for the higher end ATEM switches that allows BM to charge more for higher end products.

It would be nice to have in the 4k Pro, but I’m not holding my breath.

I am, however, very excited about the next generation of production and broadcast switches, given where the 4k Pro is with its feature set...

Thanks,

Brett Casadonte


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Owner/Operator - RED Epic Dragon and Raven, BMCC, BMPCC, URSA Mini, and Canon C100 Mark II
ATEM 2 M/E, 1 M/E, TV HD, and Studio/Micro Studio Cameras
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Peter Benson

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostTue Jun 12, 2018 2:20 am

Brett Casadonte wrote:
Kairei wrote:Thanks Gary! Very helpful indeed. Any chance you could shed some light on why the Television Studio line doesn't have SuperSource? The sort of diverging of features in the product lines is confusing to me... why have this awesome new powerful beast but leave off such a cool feature?


Product line differentiation. SuperSource is a differentiating feature for the higher end ATEM switche[r]s that allows BM[D] to charge more for higher end products.

It would be nice to have in the 4k Pro...


Hello Fellas.
Kindly explain in moderate detail, what SuperSource [sic] is -- i.e , its function and benefit(s) -- for us initiated newbies?

Thanks in advance.
-Peter

RStudio 14.3...014 | MiniMon. | DTV 10.9.7 | Win8.1 x64 | ROG G751JL, 2.8GHz Intel i7HQ, 24GB DDR4, 1TB HD, 500GB EVO 850, 2GB GTX965M | Mackie MCU Pro | Softube Console 1 Mkii | Shuttle Pro 2
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Brett Casadonte

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostTue Jun 12, 2018 4:50 am

Peter Benson wrote:
Brett Casadonte wrote:
Kairei wrote:Thanks Gary! Very helpful indeed. Any chance you could shed some light on why the Television Studio line doesn't have SuperSource? The sort of diverging of features in the product lines is confusing to me... why have this awesome new powerful beast but leave off such a cool feature?


Product line differentiation. SuperSource is a differentiating feature for the higher end ATEM switche[r]s that allows BM[D] to charge more for higher end products.

It would be nice to have in the 4k Pro...


Hello Fellas.
Kindly explain in moderate detail, what SuperSource [sic] is -- i.e , its function and benefit(s) -- for us initiated newbies?

Thanks in advance.
-Peter

RStudio 14.3...014 | MiniMon. | DTV 10.9.7 | Win8.1 x64 | ROG G751JL, 2.8GHz Intel i7HQ, 24GB DDR4, 1TB HD, 500GB EVO 850, 2GB GTX965M | Mackie MCU Pro | Softube Console 1 Mkii | Shuttle Pro 2


BM has a nice description of SuperSoure on the features page of their production switchers (you’ll have to scroll down the page a bit). Basically it allows you to have up to 4 video sources on the in your program feed at the same time. And if you go deep with macros, you can even animate the video sources around the screen.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/atem/features

Brett


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Brett Casadonte
Cinematographer / Technical Director / Producer
http://www.casadonteproductions.com
Owner/Operator - RED Epic Dragon and Raven, BMCC, BMPCC, URSA Mini, and Canon C100 Mark II
ATEM 2 M/E, 1 M/E, TV HD, and Studio/Micro Studio Cameras
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Peter Benson

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Re: Blackmagic's "Most Powerful Switcher"

PostFri Jun 15, 2018 7:52 pm

SuperSource! Hmmm -- What a most compelling feature there. Thx Brett.


Resolve Studio 14.3...014 | MiniMonitor | DTV Setup 10.9.7 | "Micro$haft Windblows" 8.1 x64 | ROG G751JL, 2.8GHz Intel i7HQ, 24GB DDR4, 1TB HD, 500GB EVO 850, 2GB GTX965M | Mackie MCU Pro | Softube Console 1 Mkii | Shuttle Pro 2
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