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Blackmagic Design ATEM Constellation HD – Live SDI Switchers Announced

April 25th, 2022 Jump to Comment Section
Blackmagic Design ATEM Constellation HD - Live SDI Switchers Announced

Blackmagic Design has just announced new ATEM Constellation HD live switchers with 3G-SDI inputs and outputs, Fairlight audio mixer, and more. There are three different models offering 10, 20, or 40 SDI inputs to accommodate different-sized live productions. The price starts at $995.

Roughly a week ago, Blackmagic Design’s CEO Grant Petty announced a cloud update to DaVinci Resolve as well as a handful of new products during a live-streamed event. Make sure to check our coverage of the announcements in case you missed it:

Now, the Australian company adds another product, which is being showcased at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Let’s take a short look at the new ATEM Constellation HD live switcher series.

ATEM Constellation HD – SDI live switchers

The Constellation line of live switchers is not entirely new. Blackmagic Design has already been offering the massive 8K version since 2019. The newly announced products are meant to bring a cost-effective alternative for live productions that work with (up to) HD output (which is still the case with most live productions in 2022, anyway). The new ATEM Constellation HD series includes three models:

  • ATEM 1 M/E Constellation HD with 10 3G-SDI inputs, 6 3G-SDI outputs, DVE, 4 chroma keyers, a 16 way multiview, media players, talkback, and USB webcam output
  • ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD with 20 3G-SDI inputs, 12 3G-SDI outputs, 2 DVEs, 8 ATEM advanced keyers, 2 multiviews, and a SuperSource for a total of 6 DVEs
  • ATEM 4 M/E Constellation HD with 40 3G-SDI inputs, 24 3G-SDI outputs, 4 DVEs, 16 ATEM advanced keyers, 4 multiviews, and 2 SuperSource for a total of 12 DVEs
ATEM Constellation HD live switchers. Source: Blackmagic Design

Each SDI input features a full standards converter, and each model has balanced audio and Ethernet for control. The top 4 M/E model additionally includes RS-422 for serial control and MADI digital audio connections. The built-in Fairlight audio mixer includes a compressor, limiter, 6 band parametric EQ, and expander on each input. The free ATEM software is included, plus you can add a 1 M/E, 2 M/E, or 4 M/E ATEM Advanced Panel.

ATEM Constellation HD live switchers. Source: Blackmagic Design

Like the existing 8K version, the switchers feature a rack mount design with a built-in control panel and an LCD panel. This allows operating the switcher during setup or for emergency use. The ATEM Constellation HD uses a “program/preview” style operation, which means you can select a source on the preview bus to ensure it is correct before pushing the CUT or AUTO button to switch it on air.

The built-in media pool stores broadcast quality RGBA graphics and animations that can be played back instantly by the 2 or 4 media players. You can manage all the media using the included ATEM Software Control or download it directly from Photoshop using the ATEM Photoshop plug‑in.

ATEM Constellation HD live switchers. Source: Blackmagic Design

Price and availability

All the new Constellation HD switchers are available for pre-order now. The price starts at $995 for the ATEM 1 M/E. The larger 2 M/E model costs $1,695 and the largest 40-input ATEM 4 M/E model sells for $3,695. As a reference, the existing ATEM Constellation 8K currently sells for $9,995.

Do you use any of Blackmagic Design’s ATEM switchers for your live productions? What do you think about the new ATEM Constellation HD models? Let us know in the comment section below.

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