Article

Studio Build - Step 3 - Switcher and Playback Deck

In this next step of the Studio Build project, I install the cornerstone of the rig, the ATEM switcher. After that, I install the device that we will use for playback of lower thirds and other videos. Both of these will be installed on a single rack unit shelf and installed into our studio rack.

EQUIPMENT FROM THIS VIDEO

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio HD Live Production Switcher https://amzn.to/2WldDMJ

Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio Mini Ultra HD Broadcast Deck https://amzn.to/2MBjwRm

Blackmagic Design 1RU Teranex Mini Rack Shelf https://amzn.to/2Wt4aDd

Video Transcript

Okay, so the next step in our build, you can see here we've got a rack unit, power conditioner, and our two monitors which is the SmartView Duo from Blackmagic Design. We're now going to be building out a little bit more. We're going to be using first of all the ATEM Studio Television Studio HD. This is the core of our unit. This is what's actually going to do the video switching. It's really an entry-level switcher from Blackmagic Design which to be honest is perfect for what I need.

Then we've got something else here. We've got a HyperDeck Studio Mini. Now this unit I think is pretty powerful. It could actually be our main recorder. Now I'm not going to use it that way, and you'll see why in just a little bit. This is what I'm going to use to actually playback things like lower thirds or videos that I'm referencing. These, we actually need to do some special work to prepare them, but then we throw them on SD cards and we drop them in here, and then we can actually control this from the Television Studio HD.

The ATEM switchers now have built-in control to control the HyperDecks. Now this is the Studio Mini. This is the one that runs from SD cards. Then in a minute we're going to look at our main recorder unit which is going to be a different HyperDeck that actually records directly onto SSD drives. But let's go ahead and get started with this part.

Now the first thing I have is I have a 1U rack unit also from Blackmagic Design that's going to house both this switcher, as well as actually housing the HyperDeck Studio Mini. They're going to take up, together they're going to take up one rack unit. Let me open up first this shelf. I would say you probably could find this shelf at a cheaper way other than getting it through Blackmagic Design. But just knowing that I have one that's perfectly suited for what I'm going to put in it, I think is certainly advantageous.

Let's see what we have here. We've got the shelf itself, which to be honest feels super sturdy so I feel good about that. The other thing here, I'm not entirely sure what else is in here. Let's see what it is. Okay, oh, we've actually got some Blackmagic Design inserts. For example, if you weren't using the HyperDeck and you wanted to just use the Television Studio HD, then you could actually put these in place. You could either put just one in place and then put the Television Studio HD, or if you just had the HyperDeck Studio Mini, you could put two of these in place and then have room for that. It's just giving you some other options.

We're going to take up the whole space with this. Here we have some screws we're going to hold on to. I'm going to throw these back in the bag. We're actually not going to use these right now.

Let's first get out the HyperDeck Studio Mini. If I open this up ... Okay, let's see what we got. Okay. Oops. I'm opening it upside down. Okay. So here first of all it actually it comes with the manual and you've actually got an SD card that has a software and manual on it right here. We're going to hold onto that. Then we actually have the unit itself, a little dust on it there. Here you can see it. Again, a third rack unit. This will fit one third and then the ATEM Television Studio HD will take up the other two-thirds. You can see that we do have some areas where we can screw this in so that this actually secures properly to the shelf. Here's that.

We also have, if you're not putting it in the rack unit we've also got these little feet that you can put on it. I don't think we should need to do that in our use case because we have, you can see there's the four spots for the feet. We have two screw points that we'll use, and we'll actually screw those in with these screws that came with the shelf.

Now let's look at the back. Start here, normal power outlet, the same kind of plug that you plug into the back of a desktop computer. Here's the thing that you need to know because a lot of people missed this and you'll see a lot of comments on this. If you go on to wherever you buy your video equipment and you look at these things is that it does not come with this power cable. Now I have a ton of cables. I have a whole tool chest dedicated to cables, and so I know I've probably got like 12 of these cables that I can use. So I'm not concerned with that, but I realized for a lot of you, if you buy this and you say, "Well, of course it's going to come with a power cable," it's actually not.

Another thing here, we've got Ethernet. Now one point is this does support PoE. So if you have a PoE router, you can actually get power through this as opposed to actually having to plug it in. If you don't want to actually use one of those, you can use PoE, power over Ethernet.

Another thing is we've got REF IN and OUT for timecode if we're leveraging that. We have a USB. Now the interesting thing here is that this has USB-C for the plug as opposed to a more traditional USB plug. You might not have that cable. So if you want to update the software on this, you might have to go grab that.

We also have a remote in serial input, we have an HDMI out, and then we also have SDI out. You see, we have two. Now this is actually critical for what I'm planning to do with this. I'm going to use this to, like I said, run lower thirds and other videos. We're actually going to want to run both a key and a fill out. For that to work we're going to need to use both of those outputs into our switcher. It's actually going to take up two spots on our switcher. Then of course we also have SDI in. So if you're using this as a recorder as opposed to as something as a playback device, you would be leveraging that and drop an SDI in and you could record onto both SD cards.

Now one of the cool things about that is it actually uses two different card slots. You have the ability if you're using this as a recorder to use one card and it'll show you which one is active at the time and then switch to another one. Then when it switches over to the other one, you could take the first one out, put another fresh one in and then record all the way and you could just have seamless recording putting in and out those SD cards. So that's one of the nice capabilities of this.

Let's go ahead. In just a second we'll get this screwed in. You guys don't have to watch that part. Then next we have again the central piece of the entire stack which is going to be the ATEM Television Studio HD. Let me open this up. One of the reasons, and again, I'm ... I don't have a massive amount of video background. I've learned it for a lot of the work that I've been doing on digitalparenting.com. I do have more of an audio background. But one of the things that I've found that I really attracted me to the Blackmagic Design stuff first is the price. You can certainly find a lot more expensive stuff. But one of the reasons I chose it over some of the others is some of the ability to control using software, so being able to send out a command just over the internet and actually or over your local network and be able to change for example the settings on your switcher.

Now this one ... Excuse me. This one just like the HyperDeck Mini includes your manual and software on an SD card that's included inside of the box. Here's just an advertisement for some software that you can buy. We also have the feet on this device like we had on the television or the HyperDeck Mini. Here we go. Here is the switcher itself.

Now first of all, let's look at the front panel. One of the great things about this, and this is especially cool if you're not planning on using the software control is you can do most of the controls from this just on the front panel. Got some nice very, very responsive buttons on the front with some good tactile control that allows you to do a lot of the core things you would want to do with the switcher just from the device itself.

Now you also have other options. There are controls, control surfaces that you can buy, and you can also run the software control. You could hook this up to your network and we'll look at the back in a minute. And by hooking up to your network you could run the ATEM software control software on your device, on your laptop, and there's also some great iOS apps that you can get, I believe Android apps as well, that you can get like for example on your iPad to control the settings on this as well. I know a lot of people want to ... that do single man shoots or single woman shoots are actually using those kind of controls to switch between different settings. Again, I'm trying to do it in a seamless way where you don't see me sitting here pushing buttons. This for me is, it's just a great switcher. I'm probably not going to be using the front controls on this a lot, but I'm going to be using the software control capabilities that come built into the ATEM Television Studio HD.

Now a couple things. Again, you've got your input buttons here on the front. You have the ability to do some level of control with them. You have some different options that you can select in terms of you can set your transitions on here. You also have the ability to have both a mic in as well as headphone out from the switcher itself which will prove handy. Then you've got a nice little screen just like you do on the HyperDeck Studio Mini to be able to see what's actually I believe your program output coming from your switcher.

Now let's look on the back. On the back a couple things. We have audio in. We just have two channels. You could do this as your left and right or you could potentially use it differently. We have a MultiView HDMI out. That's going to be an HD out on the HDMI to go to your MultiView monitor if you want to use it that way. You also have a MultiView SDI out, and you have one AUX. In this case we're going to be using our AUX, at least the plan is, we're going to be using our AUX to run the TV that you see behind me. We're going to be using it and so we're going to program that in with our macros as well.

We also have timecode in. We also have a program SDI output. We do not have a program HDMI output. That's something important to know. Now again, you can get some converters if you really want to have an HDMI out for that. Now we have four SDI inputs, as well as outputs for each of those. With that, we also have four HDMI inputs. We're going to be running from our cameras which again are Panasonic Lumix GH4s, we're going to be running HDMI into here. We also have a serial remote, so if you have control surfaces, I believe a lot of them are going to use that serial port. Then we have our Ethernet port. We're going to hook this up to the network as well. That's what gives us the ability to use the software control for working with this.

We have a normal USB to plug in, so, again, a little easier than the HyperDeck Studio Mini that has the USB-C. Then just like the HyperDeck, this has the same type of plug and it does not come with the unit. You're just going to want to know that ahead of time and be sure you have the right plugs or you can order them. If you order them, these things are probably $3, $4, but you're probably going to get frustrated if you don't know that when you get the unit because you're not going to be able to use it in the beginning.

We're going to go ahead, we're going to take, we're going to mount these things in together. We're going to screw them into the shelf, and then after that we're going to get them and mount them in our unit right below the SmartView Duo. Let's jump in and do it.

What I found with this is you want to flip it over and I'm just going to pour out these screws that came with the shelf really quick. You're going to be able to ... These line up perfectly. The lip on the shelf lines up with kind of the front panel on the units themselves and they just line up beautifully for the most part here, and so it makes it, it allows it to be very simple for you to see where these screws need to go. I was initially worried that might be a little bit more complicated than what it is. Does not seem to be a problem.

Next. I've got the two screws in here for the Television Studio HD. Those actually are left to right. They don't have ones in the back. The HyperDeck Studio Mini is going to have one in the front and one in the back and that should be plenty. These are snugging up pretty tight, should be fairly secure. We'll test all of that out here in just a second.

Okay. So we have all the screws in. Let's slowly pick this up and we are perfect. We are exactly where we want to be with this. You can see we have the units mounted other and they're very securely. It's nice and flush with the front. That's one of the benefits you get of using the official shelf that comes with it. Now we are going to throw this in our unit and we're going to throw it in right under the SmartView Duo.

Okay. So now we've managed to get most of our setup in place. We've got our power conditioner, SmartView Duo. Then we have in addition to that our switcher which is the Blackmagic Design Television Studio HD, the ATEM switcher, and then we also have our HyperDeck Studio Mini which we'll be using to run all of our on-screen graphics lower thirds, anything that has motion it because the switcher itself is going to be able to handle images but it's not going to be able to run videos. That's another thing that people get a little frustrated with. You're going to need to have something external. That's why I'm using that.

Now the next thing that we're going to do is we're going to be running through how I'm going to use another HyperDeck unit, the actual HyperDeck Studio to be our main recording unit and hook it up with the SSDs that are going to go in it. So that's what's coming next.