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The NAB Interviews: Blackmagic Design's Stuart Ashton on the ATEM Production Studio 4k

Shawn Lam discusses the new ATEM Production Studio 4K and 6Gb SDI with Blackmagic Design's Stuart Ashton an NAB 2013.

Shawn Lam: It’s Shawn Lam for Streaming Media Producer, we’re here at NAB 2013 at the Blackmagic Design booth. I’m here with Stuart Ashton of Blackmagic. A bit earlier they had their press conference, they did it again they shocked us. They brought out a lot of new products. We’re going to touch on a few of them here. The first one is the ATEM Production Studio 4K (below). Give us an overview of this product.

Blackmagic Design ATEM Production Studio 4k

UltraHD and 6Gb SDI

Stuart Ashton: One of the things that is a big theme for us this year is there’s three distinct areas: the first being UltraHD and 6 Gb-SDI and obviously some camera news, and obviously our DaVinci Resolve news as well. What’s exceptional about Ultra 4K is that we’re talking about a resolution that is four times the size of HD. So UltraHD is basically been seen a lot through some of the new palm-held manufacturers. So at CES earlier on this year, we saw a number of UltraHD screens. People are starting to ask us, what about broadcasting? What about delivery? What are we going to do with regards to actually getting our content together and actually distributing it? We’ve been working quite intensely with other manufacturers to use the standard 6 Gb-SDI.

Shawn: Tell us about that standard. This is a live video switcher that works on 6-gig SDI. What is that for the uninformed?

Stuart: Well what 6 Gb-SDI is it looks identical to current SDI except it’s four times the bandwidth. If you’re working in a 4k resolution there’s no need now to have four independent SDI cables or dual-link SDI cables at 3Gb each. You can now use a single SDI cable, which is 6Gb bandwidth. What’s also nice about that is it also gives you the ability to be able to pull HD and SD video down it, which means you’re not only limiting yourself to one resolution tie. That means that when you’re working in a professional environment, a broadcast environment, you need those long distances, you need a more robust cables, that’s where SDI really has always been prominent in the marketplace. But I think that obviously 1.4 HDMI is also important too because we can now obviously deliver our outputs to monitors, which are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other monitors out there today.


Shawn: Tell us a bit about the I/Os on there.

Stuart: All of our products now which are in the 4k range, we’ve actually incorporated 6Gb-SDI. And that’s the same exactly for the ATEM Production, which are 4k. This is an eight-channel production switcher. It’s got four HDMI inputs and it’s got four SDI inputs. Those four SDI inputs are all 6Gb-SDI. What’s nice about this unit is that this integrates perfectly with our HyperDeck Studio Pro. It works perfectly with our Ultra Studio 4k. It works with our brand new audio monitor. It works also well with our new studio converter. But also what’s important is it works with our new camera, which is our Blackmagic Cinema Production Camera 4k.

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