We did not really need this, but the techie in me could not resist an upgrade / reason to mess around with better tech.
The Blackmagic ATEM Mini video switcher ($300) is a pretty sweet device – 4x HDMI inputs, 2x Aux audio in, lots of bells and whistles. However, the only real confidence monitor is a single preview output. Having worked on the periphery of AV production, I had some serious video wall envy.
Enter the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro – about $600 but you get this amazing video output that provides:
* Program / Preview / 4x Cameras (with labels)
* Graphics / Key
* Streaming & Recording
* Audio Indicators
The inset (picture-in-picture) was part of the base model, but having the full video wall makes it easier to use.
The audio indicators are super useful (we were flying blind trying to troubleshoot audio issues) – with 4 camera inputs, 2 mic / aux inputs, and output levels.
The recording (via USB) is a bit of a let-down, since it only works if you are not using the USB output (unfortunately, how we port to zoom)
However, the ability to livestream makes up for that – we use a web based service – Restream.io – to capture classes automatically. The operator simply needs to press the On Air button and the class streams to the restream site – they hold onto the content for 15 days then dump it. Plenty of time to download it and process classes for use on youtube, vimeo, etc.