Echolab Acquired by Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design has acquired all the assets of production switcher manufacturer EchoLab. That means that Blackmagic is now offering the ATEM range of production switchers that include features such as up conversion on inputs, multilayer SuperSource input, Stinger transitions, and built in multi-view monitoring.

“I think the ATEM switchers from EchoLab are the most exciting switchers I have ever seen, and it’s incredibly exciting to add these products and intellectual property to the Blackmagic Design family”, says Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “The ATEM switcher is a fantastic creative tool, and it includes powerful features not found in any other product. Since the acquisition, we have already dramatically expanded the engineering team working on ATEM. This fresh engineering team, which is a combination of new as well as experienced EchoLab staff, will allow us to move faster in adding new features to the ATEM product.

The SuperSource feature is something Blackmagic is proud of acquiring as the separate multi layer engine with 4 x 2D picture in picture DVEs and 4 x keyers that provide the same power as adding a whole extra multiple M/E switcher to the ATEM input. SuperSource can be called at any time, and connects into the switcher as an input. It has four built-in layers of keying, plus four picture-in-picture DVEs, while keeping ATEM an easy and fast to use conventional M/E style switcher.

For connecting to the widest range of cameras, decks and computers, the ATEM 1 M/E model includes 8 SDI inputs that operate at SD, HD and 3 Gb/s SDI, plus 2 switchable HDMI/Analog video inputs. ATEM includes multiple SDI outputs for program, preview, and aux. outputs, plus an HDMI output for the multi-view monitoring output. The ATEM 2 M/E model includes 15 x SD, HD and 3 Gb/s SDI inputs, as well as 3 x switchable HDMI/analog inputs for a total of 18 video inputs. ATEM 2 M/E also includes two multi-viewer outputs, clean feed, aux., program and preview SDI outputs. All ATEM switchers include serial ports for camera and VDCP servers as well as genlock.

ATEM switchers allow previewing of transitions before putting them on air. Users simply select “Preview Transition”, and the preview output of the switcher will show all the elements of the transition, so users can have the confidence to make fast multi layering decisions during live production.

ATEM also includes a built in multi-viewer that lets users see multiple sources on a standard HDMI television or monitor as well as program and preview outputs. When sources are on-air, ATEM multi-viewer displays highlighted borders, and multi-viewer windows can be custom labeled.

ATEM also includes Stinger transitions. Stingers can be loaded into the switcher, and are then available on the two built-in media players. ATEM can hold 32 stills and hundreds of frames of real time clips with alpha channels, so users have a wide range of graphics and clips to play back as animations, supers and stingers. Media players can be selected into any of the four built-in upstream keyers or the transition block for ultimate flexibility and creativity.

ATEM is currently being retooled for production and will be available late 2010 for $19,995 for the 10 input 1 M/E model, and $51,995 for the 18 input 2 M/E model from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

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