Typically aimed at large broadcasting companies, live production chains consisting of a rack-mounted switcher ‘processing-brain’ and separate ‘control panel’ are typically designed with large-scale facilities in mind. Costing upwards of $20,000, smaller enterprises and independent producers requiring an affordable, flexible alternative are often forced to use inexpensive software-based systems ill-equipped to deal with the demands of live broadcasting. **The design challenge:** To consider the workflows of both traditional and emerging applications and use this insight to create an affordable, highly portable ‘all-in-one’ solution incorporating all of the professional features required for broadcast-quality live video productions.
The high pressure nature of live broadcasting demands an ability to react instinctively to unexpected events and changing conditions. Designed for live TV, sports and streaming applications like YouTube and Facebook Live, the ultra-compact ATEM Television Studio Pro HD allows simultaneous shooting and editing, enhancing productivity whether in the studio, cramped outside broadcast van or remote location. Its considered layout of physical controls puts a full suite of technical and creative tools at the user’s fingertips. This eliminates time-consuming navigation of complex GUIs for reliable, real-time camera control, digital effects, colour correction and audio monitoring of up to 8 sources.
The ATEM Television Studio Pro HD has truly democratised professional switching technology. Exceptionally affordable at just one tenth the cost of a typical live switcher chain, it is a fully integrated solution offering all of the broadcast-quality features demanded by industry professionals. Highly portable, it allows real-time editing in unconventional locations, with a ‘plug and play’ set-up requiring just a single video feed and power cable to get started. This unprecedented value, ease-of-use and versatility empowers creative people, institutions and even novice users alike, cultivating new and innovative ways of producing and sharing live video content.
**Functionality** During intense live broadcasts operators must remain focused on multiple feeds simultaneously, continually responding to instructions from demanding producers. Pared back to its essential elements, the top surface is deliberately minimal: a rational, distraction-free workspace. Bespoke, backlit switcher buttons with scalloped caps reduce glare and provide positive tactile engagement for consistent, error-free blind operation. Informed by anthropometric study, the considered control layout is angled at 5° for natural ergonomics, relieving fatigue and long-term stress. Controls are organised into logical work zones reflecting each aspect of the live production process: * Switching * Audio monitoring * Transitions * Digital Video Effects (DVE) * Colour Correction * Talkback **Form** To achieve the most spatially efficient design, mechanical assemblies were rationalised to three main sub-assemblies. The tapered form was optimised to reduce perceived size and ensure uninterrupted airflow in confined spaces. **Thermal management** Switching multiple high resolution feeds simultaneously generates significant heat from dual FPGA processors and internal power supply. Compounded in compact enclosures, a dedicated thermal control module was engineered to ensure optimum cooling to critical components. **Durability** Failsafe reliability in challenging locations and hectic studios is critical when broadcasting live. The CNC machined aluminium chassis facilitates exceptional structural integrity and accuracy for consistent location of controls.