One of the initiatives that I am currently working on here at UMW is something called the Digital Media Commons Initiative. Part of the purpose of that program is to get people up to speed with some more sophisticated digital video and audio equipment. We are going to have a full-blown studio in the new Information and Technology Convergence Center, so people will use some pretty high-end equipment in that space.

DTLT also has this thing called “The Kit“, which is a portable “studio” that can be set up in a variety of spaces. Mostly we have it set up in our office with a green screen, and we use Wirecast to control the broadcast (live-streaming and recording). Because of the nature of the laptop, it is limited in terms of the number of camera inputs, computer inputs, etc. We need to shift to the next gear.

The episode of DTLT Today (#112) included above, begins to describe what that next gear is. We needed a full-on switcher with true multiple inputs so we can do multiple camera angles, include computer content such as demoing websites, Skype conversations (or Google Hangouts), playing YouTube videos, and so on. The video is pretty rough, but it goes over some of the components that we used. I’ll let the video itself do the rest of the talking, but I did promise that I would list the equipment that we used, so here it is:

  • Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio (rack mounted w/power unit) ~ $1000
  • Blackmagic Design HDMI to SDI Converter (required to do long cable runs with SDI – HDMI will not do long cable runs) – * ~$300 ea.
  • Vixia HDMI Camera (we’ve used HV-40 and HF R400) – * ~$300 ea.
  • Mackie 402VLZ4 Mixer – * ~$100
  • RCA stereo to 3.5mm to run audio into camera
  • XLR audio cables
  • XLR microphones – In the video we use Shure SM58 (~$100), but we’ll also use Shure MX150 (~$300), Sennheiser MKE600 (~$330), and Sennheiser wireless
  • HDMI cables – standard (HV-40), or HDMI to mini HDMI
  • SDI cables – 50 ft.
  • Other inputs – Mac Mini via HDMI (input @ 1080i), GoPro via HDMI micro to HDMI,
  • Mac Mini or other for computer input (Skype, Hangouts, YouTube, etc.)
  • MacBook Pro running ATEM Software Control (switcher app) – connected to switcher via USB and Ethernet
  • iPad running Strata Lite ($10) for ATEM switcher control
  • Teradek VidiU ($700) box for live streaming to YouTube – *
  • Things we plan to add or use on certain occasions – Atomos Samurai Blade ($1300) for monitoring and redundant recording via SDI, Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle Recorder ($345) to include video playback

* – needs an A/C Adapter