Blackmagic Design Launches ATEM SDI – Portable Live Production Switchers

Blackmagic Design has just released a new family of 3G-SDI live video switchers, the ATEM SDI series. It includes three different models that support up to 8 3G-SDI inputs, 4 independent SDI outputs, live streaming via Ethernet, and recording on USB flash disks. Pricing starts at $345.

A few months ago, Blackmagic Design released some new ATEM Constellation HD live switchers with support to up to 40 3G-SDI inputs! These products aim at high-end live video productions and, considering the number of their connections, aren’t exactly portable.

Hence, the company came up with a new family of SDI live switchers that represent a more compact and streamlined solution: ATEM SDI. These devices resemble the popular HDMI-based ATEM Mini products, but offer up to 8 3G-SDI inputs. Let’s take a closer look.

Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI: a family of three

The new ATEM SDI family consists of three models: ATEM SDI, ATEM SDI Pro ISO, and ATEM SDI Extreme ISO. The first difference between them is their number of professional 3G-SDI ports. Indeed, while the Extreme model comes with 8 SDI inputs and 4 independently-customizable SDI outputs, on the standard and Pro models these numbers are halved.

Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI. Source: Blackmagic Design

All inputs support 720p, 1080p, and 1080i formats. Moreover, they are all equipped with standards converters that automatically convert and re-sync the input source to match the switcher’s video standard. However, unlike the ATEM Constellation models, the new ATEM SDI products are mainly designed for online streaming. Therefore, their SDI output ports do not support interlaced signals.

Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI Pro ISO. Source: Blackmagic Design

The I/O interface of the ATEM SDI switchers is quite extensive. On the rear panel of each unit, we can find two 3.5mm jack inputs, a power socket, a USB-C webcam output, and an Ethernet connection for remote control. Moreover, the Extreme model features a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring as well as an extra USB-C port.

Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI Extreme ISO. Source: Blackmagic Design

All models feature built-in DVEs for transitions and effects, Advanced Chroma Keyers, and a full set of Fairlight audio tools (6 band parametric EQ, compressor, limiter, and more). Furthermore, they all come with the included ATEM Software Control, which allows more granular control compared to the simple physical button layout of the devices.

ATEM SDI Pro ISO and Extreme ISO

A major advantage of the Pro and Extreme models is that they offer built-in streaming and recording capabilities. Indeed, their Ethernet interface supports broadcast-quality live streaming to some of the most popular platforms, including YouTube and Facebook. Furthermore, users can connect an iPhone or Android smartphone to the USB-C port to take advantage of mobile data when working in the field. This feature can also serve as a backup in case the main Ethernet connection fails.

The ATEM SDI Pro ISO and Extreme ISO can also record all their video inputs plus the program feed simultaneously onto USB flash disks. And, a USB hub enables connection of multiple disks to extend recording time.

Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI Extreme ISO. Source: Blackmagic Design

All video and audio sources are recorded independently using high-quality H.264 and AAC codecs. This enables users to re-edit and re-mix the live program later on. To facilitate this process, the live switcher actions are automatically translated into a DaVinci Resolve project file that contains an editable timeline of the program.

Both the mid-range and the high-end model support a professional multi-view output (up to 16 views on the ATEM SDI Extreme ISO). Finally, the flagship model in the series supports two independent DVEs and Super-source (a multi-layer processor with four extra DVEs).

Price and availability

The new Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI, ATEM SDI Pro ISO, and ATEM SDI Extreme ISO are now available for preorder from B&H and CVP. Pricing is as follows:

  • $345 – ATEM SDI (B&H / CVP)
  • $795 – ATEM SDI Pro ISO (B&H / CVP)
  • $1,495 – ATEM SDI Extreme ISO (B&H / CVP)

The ATEM Software Control, which is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows machines, is included for free.

For more information, please visit Blackmagic Design’s website here.

Have you been waiting for an SDI-version of the ATEM Mini switchers? What do you think of the new Blackmagic Design ATEM SDI products? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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