Blackmagic Design Releases New Family of Constellation HD Live Production Switchers

blackmagic design live production switchers

Blackmagic Design announced a new family of live production switchers that include broadcast features but are branded as “affordable.” The new models include a 1 M/E model with 10 x 3G-SDI inputs, 2 M/E model with 20 x 3G-SDI inputs and a 4 M/E model with 40 x 3G-SDI inputs. All include full standards conversion on every SDI input, four ATEM advanced chroma keyers per M/E row, a DVE per M/E row, media players, a larger media pool and more. These new switchers are designed as a professional upgrade for ATEM Mini customers who need to expand or for large broadcasters who want to upgrade their studios to get a modern switcher. ATEM Constellation HD switchers are available immediately from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for $995.

Feature Highlights

ATEM Constellation HD switchers feature a compact rack mount design with a built-in control panel. This allows operation of the switcher, critical during setup or for emergency use. Also included is a large LCD so customers can see program output and change switcher settings via on screen menus. Blackmagic says the compact design is perfect for portable live production, with the rear of the switcher including the connections for 3G-SDI inputs, 3G-SDI aux outputs, balanced audio and Ethernet for control. The top 4 M/E model even includes RS-422 for serial control and MADI digital audio connections.

With a control panel built into the front panel, customers can simply walk up and operate the ATEM Constellation at any time. The front panel control buttons are the same premium type used on full-sized panels. Customers can even control keyers, media and fade to black from the front panel. The front panel LCD and menu buttons also allow almost every single operational feature of the switcher to be accessed.

For news or virtual set work, ATEM Constellation HD features lots of ATEM advanced keyers for high-quality chroma or luminance keying. The chroma keyer features a color picker to sample background colors for automatic generation of the key parameters. Customers get precise controls for edge and flare, and there is even a foreground color corrector so customers can match the “look” of the foreground layer to the background layer making seamless compositions possible. The keyer can also be used for pattern and DVE keying. Customers get 4 ATEM Advanced Keyers on the 1 M/E model, 8 ATEM Advanced Keyers on the 2 M/E model and 16 ATEM Advanced Keyers on the 4 M/E model.

In addition to the DVEs in the M/E rows, the 2 M/E and 4 M/E models include powerful SuperSource multilayer processors with four extra DVE layers plus a background layer, that all appear to ATEM Constellation HD as an additional input source. Any switcher video input can be used for each SuperSource DVE, then it’s all layered together over a media pool custom background. SuperSource claims to be just like having an extra multilayer VFX switcher built in. Blackmagic says SuperSource is perfect for doing picture-in-picture displays for interviews because customers can set up the effect while keeping the main DVEs free for other tasks. The ATEM 4 M/E Constellation also has two completely independent SuperSource processors.

All rows of M/E buttons include integrated LCDs for dynamic input button labeling. The 1 M/E model features a single M/E row with 10 input buttons. The 2 M/E model features 2 M/E rows with 20 input buttons. The 4 M/E model features 4 M/E rows with 40 input buttons per row and 4 independent system control LCD screens.

All features are included in the purchase price. Blackmagic says customers get all features fully enabled. There are no license fees to allow customers to use features and no ongoing monthly costs. Advanced features such as multiview, SuperSource, DVEs or the ATEM Advanced Keyers are always ready to use.

ATEM Constellation HD Switchers Full List of Features: 

  • Advanced design with built in front panel controls.
  • Up to 40 standards converted 3G-SDI inputs.
  • Up to 24 customizable 3G-SDI outputs.
  • Includes up to 4 independent multiviews with multiple layout options.
  • Includes DVE and stinger transitions.
  • Includes up to 4 DVEs.
  • Professional talkback compatible with ClearCom and RTS.
  • Internal media for stills and motion graphics.
  • Includes new ATEM Advanced Chroma Key.
  • Four upstream ATEM Advanced Chroma keyers per M/E row for green/blue screen work.
  • Up to four independent DVEs.
  • Multirate 3G-SDI for all HD television standards including 720p, 1080i and 1080p.
  • Built-in 156 channel Fairlight audio mixer.
  • Includes free software control panel.
  • Compatible with all ATEM hardware control panels.
  • All features are included with no extra customer costs.