Blackmagic Design announces New Atem Constellation HD switchers at NAB 2022
Blackmagic Design has unveiled a new family of live production switchers. The models are a 1 M/E model with 10 3G‐SDI inputs, a 2 M/E model with 20 3G‐SDI inputs and a 4 M/E model with 40 3G‐SDI inputs. All include full standards conversion on every SDI input, four Atem advanced chroma keyers per M/E row, a DVE per M/E row, media players, larger media pool and more.
The switchers are designed as a professional upgrade for Atem Mini customers who need to expand, or for large broadcasters who want to upgrade their studios.
Atem Constellation HD switchers feature a compact rack mount design with a built-in control panel. This allows operation of the switcher, critical during setup or for emergency use. Also included is a large LCD so customers can see program output and change switcher settings via on screen menus. The compact design is suitable for portable live production, with the rear of the switcher including the connections for 3G-SDI inputs, 3G-SDI aux outputs, balanced audio and Ethernet for control. The 4 M/E model even includes RS-422 for serial control and MADI digital audio connections.
In terms of outputs, the 1 M/E model has six 3G-SDI outputs, the 2 M/E model has 12 and the 4 M/E model has 24. All SDI outputs contain program audio, RP-188 timecode, SDI camera control, tally and talkback.
The built in multiview lets customers monitor multiple sources on a single monitor. The 1 M/E model includes one multiview, the 2 M/E model has two independent multiviews and the 4 M/E model has four. All external SDI inputs, plus all internal video sources, can be routed to any view. All multiviews are fully customisable and can be independently set to 4, 7, 10, 13 or 16 simultaneous views. Customers can add the tally border plus source label and VU meters as an overlay on each view. Plus a red and green border will show tally on each view, so users know what sources are on air.
Atem Constellation HD includes a range of broadcast-quality native transitions such as mix, dip, wipe and more. All transitions can be customised in the system control menus with adjustments for border colour, border width, position, direction and more. The Atem Constellation switcher includes a digital video effects processor for DVE transitions, which can be used to squeeze the current picture off screen revealing a new video under it. The DVE can even be used to create graphic wipe transitions.
Atem Constellation HD features lots of Atem advanced keyers for high-quality chroma or luminance keying. The chroma keyer features a colour picker to sample background colours for automatic generation of the key parameters. Customers get precise controls for edge and flare, and there is even a foreground colour corrector so customers can match the look of the foreground layer to the background layer making seamless compositions possible. The keyer can also be used for pattern and DVE keying. Customers get four Atem Advanced Keyers on the 1 M/E model, eight on the 2 M/E model and 16 on the 4 M/E model.
With four upstream chroma keyers per M/E row, customers get a solution for building virtual sets. With so many Atem advanced chroma keyers, customers can use a keyer per camera to create a seamless composition of the camera over the custom background. Even the 1 M/E model has enough keyers to generate a four-camera virtual set. Customers can use external image processors for virtual sets, or build a fixed camera virtual set by loading pre-rendered still image backgrounds from the media players and media pool. Customers can setup macros to change cameras and load the correct background into the media players. With so much flexibility, customers can experiment to try out different studio setups.
In addition to the DVEs in the M/E rows, the 2 M/E and 4 M/E models include SuperSource multi-layer processors with four extra DVE layers plus a background layer, that all appear to Atem Constellation HD as an additional input source. Any switcher video input can be used for each SuperSource DVE, then it’s all layered together over a media pool custom background. SuperSource is described as like having an extra multi-layer VFX switcher built in. The Atem 4 M/E Constellation has two completely independent SuperSource processors.
The SDI inputs will also handle embedded audio and mix audio from all video inputs. Plus the program outputs include talkback, tally and camera control information. That means customers can connect any of the switcher SDI outputs back to the camera for program return, camera control and talkback.
With a built in Fairlight audio mixer, Atem Constellation can handle complex live sound mixing. The internal mixer has up to 156 input channels. Audio is de-embedded from all the SDI video inputs and passed to the audio mixer. The 4 M/E model has extra audio mixer input channels for MADI audio inputs. Each input channel features six-band parametric EQ and compressor, limiter, expander and noise gate as well as full panning. Customers get extra channels for the analogue input, talkback microphone and media players. All this audio power can be controlled via the Atem Software Control Panel or a Mackie-compatible panel.
The Atem Software Control Panel gives customers total control over their switcher and is included free. It also lets customers access camera control, audio mixing, media, macro programming and even control of HyperDeck disk recorders.
All rows of M/E buttons include integrated LCDs for dynamic input button labelling. The 1 M/E model features a single M/E row with 10 input buttons. The 2 M/E model features two M/E rows with 20 input buttons. The 4 M/E model features 4 M/E rows with 40 input buttons per row and four independent system control LCD screens.
“We are excited to introduce these new live production switchers, as many high-end broadcasters don’t need Ultra HD, but they still need to upgrade their studios,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Plus a lot of our Atem Mini customers have been growing and doing innovative work. They are now looking to upgrade and purchase more advanced switchers that can keep up with their work as their streaming channels grow.”