In an update that will be welcomed excitedly by low-cost live streamers the world over, BlackMagic Design have listened to feedback from users of its original Atem Mini live switcher and developed a Pro version, featuring both a much-demanded multiview feature as well as inbuilt stream encoding.
The first Atem Mini has proved to be a sales hit for BlackMagic, with units flying off the shelves and for good reason. The tiny box offers a four-HDMI-input live switcher which presents itself to your computer as a webcam over USB-C, enabling extremely low cost and very easy live switching, with extensive additional control from a connected laptop.
But streaming required the laptop to also run appropriate software such as OBS which meant a slight degree of complexity. Plus the Atem could only show one camera’s output at a time on the Program HDMI output – so no “sneak peak” of what each of the three other camera inputs were showing before you switched to them.
In many cases for the unit’s target audience, this wouldn’t be an issue as the cameras would likely be locked off such as for interviews; the operator knew, therefore, what each shot was without needing to see them live.
But inevitably some folk screamed blue murder and shrieked that it really needed multiview to work properly – so that’s now been added, incuding tally indicator, audio levels and stream statistics.
Plus it now boasts an inbuilt h.264 encoder for live streaming so as long as you connect it via Ethernet to an internet-connected computer (that internet being broadband, WiFi, 4/5G or whatever), the Atem Mini Pro will encode and stream the live signal directly up to YouTube, Twitch or Facebook.
The new Pro version will also record the stream to external USB discs for good measure, and if you’re using certain BlackMagic Design cameras, the unit can also be used as a CCU, tweaking the cameras’ colour profiles and so on.
It all sounds like the perfect box at last but the tradeoff is a price hike. The Atem Mini Pro will cost almost double the original device’s fee, retailing at £545 +VAT here in the UK (vs £275 + VAT for the first version, which remains available)