As a dedicated hardware all-in-one HD video switcher, the ATEM TVS Pro HD, with an
MSRP of $2,295, compares favorably to the
previous generation of more expensive video
switchers that offer between six and eight HD
inputs but are limited to 1080/60i resolutions.
There are newer competitors that support
progressive HD resolutions, but most of them
are limited to only four inputs. The Blackmagic ATEM TVS Pro HD is in a class by itself for
hardware video switchers: It has an exceptional feature set at an unprecedented price point.
The $2,995 Roland V-60HD will be its first
real competitor. Although the V-60HD is more
expensive, it offers a different value proposition for those who can live with only six inputs,
aren’t working with Blackmagic video cameras, and want dedicated Aux controls and proper audio pre-amps.
If you’re working with Blackmagic Design
video cameras that support tally, talkback, and
color correction, you will absolutely love working with the TVS Pro HD because it replaces
equipment that would cost several thousand
dollars if you had to get separate tally, intercom, and camera control units.
Like all ATEM switchers, you can mix embedded HDMI and HD-SDI audio with external XLR (or on some models AES-EBU). ATEM
switchers don’t have pre-amps for adjusting
the gain on individual inputs, just volume levels, so unless you have a really strong line-level
input for external sources, I’ve found that it’s
always a good idea to add a small portable
soundboard to give me more control over my
The last thing I want to discuss are the aux
controls. Normally, you use the program output to send your main switch to your recorder, projector, or webcast encoder. Aux outputs
are used when you need to send a second output to one of those devices that is different
from the program output. I often use Aux to
send computer signals to the projector and the
program to switch between the cameras and
the computer signals for my recording and
webcast. Another common signal flow is that
when clients request two screens—one for live
video IMAG and the other for computer inputs—I need the ability to output two different
mixes (Figure 2).
My live switch
on a recent