Blackmagic’s ATEM Mini Live Phone Reinventing the Future of Switchers
Live video production is taking a new direction, thanks to the innovative technology Blackmagic Design has deployed in the latest ATEM mini switcher. This is particularly well-timed now that everyone from solopreneurs to mid-size to large businesses, have moved online. So, whether it is recording tutorials, attending webinars, or video conferencing, there is more that everyone can tap into from this little device. Professionalism can be experienced at a whole new level.
We researched the benefits and challenges of this streaming product and want to share with you!
- Secluded Streaming While Switching and Streaming Content Simultaneously
The first impression might be overwhelming due to the sheer amount of buttons spread throughout the front panel, waiting for your action. However, that is just a representation of the many built-in functionalities that are available to you. The buttons allow you to switch between multiple video outputs viewed from different cameras, with cool effects and transitions. The device also features two 3.5 mm stereo audio inputs and buttons designed for enabling inputs, adjusting volume, and mixing the audio.
- Compatible With Any Computer via the USB Port
ATEM mini live phone goes beyond the capabilities of typical switchers. Usually, outputs from switchers cannot be integrated directly into the computer video software. But Blackmagic Design knew there truly had to be a solution and they successfully found a way to trick the software into treating it as a normal webcam. So, whether you are using Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, you can interface any computer with the ATEM mini and experience a quality multiview broadcast.
- Easy to Integrate and the Ideal Solution for Small Companies
For configuration, all you need ito do is make the necessary connections to the HDMI, audio inputs, USB, Ethernet, and power ports.The beauty of it is that it comes with a well-detailed manual documenting everything for an absolute novice, including how to operate the buttons. This simplicity means so much to solopreneurs and startups, especially those who are not so tech savvy. It is also a big convenience for experienced AV technicians, and helps them reduce time and increase efficiencies for their event streaming needs.
- Affordable at a Low Price Point
When considering the state-of-the-art functionalities of the ATEM Mini Live Phone, and how the improved streaming experience impacts your audience, prospects, and live sessions; this device is worth every dollar. The great thing is how the different models come at different prices, so you can choose what is within your budget and still have a quality experience.
- Built-in Video Streamer and Encoder
The encoder gives you the freedom to choose whether to stream at low, medium, or high resolution, depending on your internet speed. Better yet, it is compatible with OBS Studio, a software tool that helps boost your uploading speed to combat any possible interruptions while broadcasting.
- Low Latency Lone HDMI output
This port does not work like a typical HDMI port, which outputs to a single display. Instead, it functions like an Aux output which allows you to connect multiple displays from the same port while maintaining efficiency. The low latency feature is particularly useful to gamers where speed is of paramount importance and AV technicians can also help manage complex streaming needs more effectively.
- Supports Remote Control
There is a myriad of tools that you can install on your mobile devices, such as Strata View and Lite, atemOSC, and TouchOSC, to operate ATEM Mini Live Phone remotely. This improves your productivity and keeps your space tidy, especially during presentations. Also, if you use Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema cameras, you can control them right from the ATEM Mini Live Phone software on your computer. For instance, you can zoom, adjust the angle, shift focus and change aperture all remotely.
- Engineering and Configuring the Device Requires Time and Expertise
Without prior experience, you might need a considerable amount of time to go through the handbook to understand the configuration. It comes with a set of challenges even for experienced AV technicians. You also need some experience on how to operate it in real-time without getting off-course from the main agenda.
- Scalers are not Built-in Requiring Additional Purchases
Scalers are devices used to upgrade input video resolution, for a better quality display at the output. For instance, if you use 1080p cameras, you might want to upgrade to 4k, 6k, 8k, and beyond for compatibility with your display. Unfortunately, you have to purchase a scaler separately and this increased your overall cost.
- No Power Button
For whatever reason, Blackmagic decided not to include a power button which does not help the end-user. Every time you want to turn the device ON or OFF, you have to do so from the power strip and that is uncomfortable. This can also drastically cause wear and tear to the cables.
- No Professional Audio Inputs
This product offers audio inputs such as the 1/8 mini which runs small and makes the work challenging and tedious. AV technicians end up neeing adaptors which are an added hassle and cost. It would be great if there were ¼ inch or XLR audio inputs available, so when you encounter a situation where you can visualize the sound but can’t hear it from the speakers, you can plug in headphones directly into the switcher.
Generally, there has been tremendous growth in the world of switchers and it is only going to get better. The ATEM Mini Live Phone offers advanced streaming capabilities where the pros outweigh the cons and with more advanced models coming out, we project great improvements in the works. The AV industry and technicians benefit and will continue to do as the world of switchers evolves.