Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

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shadebug

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Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostWed Jun 09, 2021 9:04 pm

Hello, first post so sorry if I'm doing anything wrong.

My car got broken into a couple of days ago and all my production gear got stolen. Luckily, I do streams for a community choir that's banded together to get me back to where I was but I now have to make a decision about how to replace my ATEM Mini.

Now, I preordered the ATEM Mini when it was first announced so I never got the chance to think about the Pro and ISO (and I'm pretty salty that they exist in all honesty) which means I now need to work out if either of those is the way to go. I realise the ISO is much more expensive but I had often considered buying HDMI recorders separately so maybe that makes sense.

More importantly though is, do the Pro or ISO fix any of the problems that the original mini had? The big issues for me were the inconsistent latency and only being able to picture in picture from source 1. I mostly stream concerts and rehearsals for my choir so not being able to have a reliable latency means the sound can be dramatically off at times and if one source has a different latency to the others then that source is kinda useless to me. In fact, the last time I used it, there were times when the switching was lagging so much that there would be seconds between me pressing the button and the scene actually changing (though my computer was having a rough time that day for some reason so I'm willing to chalk it up to that).

My other option is a camlink pro in an enclosure where I'd have far more control over what happens to my feeds but if I can get an atem mini that doesn't have the issues then that would make life much easier for me.

Any thoughts?
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Frank Engel

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostThu Jun 10, 2021 12:49 pm

PIP can be fed from any source but you need to configure it in software control; you can't change the source for PIP from the hardware controls on the switcher - I believe that is true for all three of the smaller models (the Extreme models have a physical select bus and thus should allow this to be adjusted on the control surface).

There should not be a significant latency difference between sources unless the latency comes from the sources themselves. For example, many cameras have latency built-in before reaching the HDMI port, so if you are mixing different cameras or cameras with a computer for example, the latency will be different before it even reaches the switcher, so there is nothing the ATEM can do about that, and the same issue will apply to all of the different models.

As to the sound being off, it is not clear to me what you mean by this as there are several possible ways to interpret that and several possible causes.

I am going to assume that you mean that the sound is not in sync with the video, and that you are monitoring both from the same source (either the HDMI output from the switcher or the feed into the computer via USB) as the HDMI port should be instantaneous as far as what is reaching the switcher while the encoding process for the data being sent to the USB output will introduce a delay (but should still have the audio and video in sync with each other).

  • If you are pulling video and audio from two different HDMI inputs, the devices connected to the inputs may have differing latency. There is no way to compensate for this with any of the ATEM switchers; you need to get your input devices in sync before they reach the switcher. Note that if the inputs are in different formats from the output format selected for the switcher (which for the Mini models will always be 1920x1080 at some frame rate or another, configurable via software control), they will need to be converted on the way into the switcher, and the conversion can introduce a few frames of latency depending on the exact conversion needed.
  • If you are pulling video from an HDMI input from a camera that has an internal delay but pulling sound from one of the mic inputs from a mixer (which will have significantly less delay), one of the firmware updates to the Minis added an option to delay the audio from the mic inputs to match them to the HDMI inputs; this was available on the original Mini as well after the firmware was updated. The delay time needs to be set in software control, and you need to manually adjust the delay time to get it in sync with your HDMI input. Note that if the HDMI sources have differing latency, the delay time will only match the mic input to one of those latency values at a time.
  • Some users reported that audio would drift out of sync with video on their Mini and Mini Pro models. Firmware updates fixed this for at least some users, though some still experienced the bug after updating. I'm not sure if this was ever happening with the ISO model or not; there are other threads on the forum discussing this. If your firmware was out of date, updating it would have been the first thing to try. I personally never encountered this particular issue with my Mini Pro.


As to the thought that the computer was introducing additional latency, if this was happening, it should have been happening evenly across all inputs and would only have impacted the feed from across USB. To test this, it is best to monitor from the HDMI port in addition to monitoring over USB, as the HDMI output is fed before the encoder process and there should be zero switcher-introduced or computer-introduced latency to that output, other than the few frames of latency that might be introduced by the keyers/DVE when being used (1-2 frames I think) or by the format conversion process if your input devices are not set to match the output format of the switcher (as explained above).
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shadebug

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostThu Jun 10, 2021 5:22 pm

Frank Engel wrote:There should not be a significant latency difference between sources unless the latency comes from the sources themselves. For example, many cameras have latency built-in before reaching the HDMI port, so if you are mixing different cameras or cameras with a computer for example, the latency will be different before it even reaches the switcher, so there is nothing the ATEM can do about that, and the same issue will apply to all of the different models.


Maybe something's been updated but when it came out there was a very well known issue where the input from at least one of the sources would either start behind or drift as you went along. Maybe it is just a problem with going through USB, in which case the ethernet or hdmi would be the way to go but that webcam feature is such a selling point that it's not really an answer to do that.

Either way, my reading suggests that the Pro and ISO allow for more than two cameras on screen at a time. If so, that makes them far more useful to me.
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Jim Simon

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostThu Jun 10, 2021 7:30 pm

Having used both Mini Pro and now the Extreme, I say give serious consideration to the Extreme. It's sooooo much more capable and well worth the extra cost.

And so far, not once has the audio been out of sync. :)
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shadebug

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostFri Jun 11, 2021 7:50 am

Jim Simon wrote:Having used both Mini Pro and now the Extreme, I say give serious consideration to the Extreme. It's sooooo much more capable and well worth the extra cost.

And so far, not once has the audio been out of sync. :)


Considering the price points, what am I getting from the extreme that I wouldn't from the ISO? Because that being able to record the individual streams feels like a massive bonus to me
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robertsmu

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostFri Jun 11, 2021 9:08 pm

If you need the iso recordings, get the Extreme Iso. Having dual hdmi outputs, dual usb-c outputs and a headphone jack (plus supersource) Make it worth the upcharge.
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Frank Engel

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostSat Jun 12, 2021 2:07 pm

shadebug wrote:Either way, my reading suggests that the Pro and ISO allow for more than two cameras on screen at a time. If so, that makes them far more useful to me.


All three of the non-Extreme models are the same in this regard: you get one upstream keyer and one downstream keyer, but only one DVE. You can use the DVE in combination with the upstream keyer to make one input smaller and layer it over top of the background image (the one selected with the input buttons), giving a picture-in-picture effect. With the downstream keyer, or with the upstream keyer when not using the DVE, you can mask out part of the image and layer it over top of what comes out of the upstream keyer, but without an additional DVE you can't scale it down.

The Extreme models give you four upstream and two downstream keyers with two DVEs; the additional DVE means a second picture-in-picture; plus there are another four in the form of SuperSource which allows for additional inputs to be scaled and layered.
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Frank Engel

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostSat Jun 12, 2021 2:10 pm

robertsmu wrote:If you need the iso recordings, get the Extreme Iso. Having dual hdmi outputs, dual usb-c outputs and a headphone jack (plus supersource) Make it worth the upcharge.


The primary benefit of having two USB-C ports is that you can get the recordings to a USB-C SSD and the webcam feed at the same time. You can't do that with the non-Extreme models, which may actually be the more important selling point for the OP - the ISO recordings tie up the USB-C port on the Pro ISO and you can't use them at the same time as the webcam feed. On the Extreme ISO you can do both at once.
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KerrGM

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Re: Replacing my stolen ATEM Mini

PostTue Jun 15, 2021 9:19 pm

I've got the Pro, then bought the Extreme ISO when it came out. As others have said, if your pocket can stand it I definitely recommend the Extreme. For me the key things I use daily are:
- DSK button
- ability to change inputs for key, PiP etc on the board
- twin usb-c outputs so I can record and use the webcam feature
- two media players
- twin monitor outputs

Having 8 inputs also means that I can replug as required at the camera/device end rather than on the Extreme.

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