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I'm looking for a device that takes a minimum of 18 HDMI-PC (max 36) sources at 1080p60 for a possible venture I'm going to getting in to. I'm going to be taking these sources and using them for monitoring/broadcasting/recording a show. (Edit: Note: Some of the inputs will only support 1080p60 and 720p60. No in-between. (Can't do 720 due to requirements in business agreement))

I know of the ATEM devices by Blackmagic, but, they don't state they do 1080p60 and this may present a problem. Not to mention in order for all 18 PCs to connect i would have to buy a converter for each connection as SDI is not usually a native connection on most PCs.

(Notes: SDI is a completely new connection to me as of today. I have never done anything with broadcasting equipment)

  • Micro converters from black magic are only $85 ... So 85x18=$1530 which isn't expensive at all for what you are trying to accomplish. If you hook up the HDMI output of your computer to the sdi micro converter your pc (for sure I know a Mac will) will recognize the option to go 1080 at 60p or whichever flavor of that you seek. I would go this route with an ATEM. – A.J. Hernandez Jun 12 '16 at 0:14
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I'm going to assume you want to view all 18 HDMI inputs simultaneously on a few monitors, then be able to send one of those inputs to an output for broadcast/presentation? I don't know what sort of effects you need, or anything else like that, but maybe this will get you on the right track. Or if you need the switcher to be seamless (i.e: no momentary signal loss).

Look into the Kramer range of modular switchers: http://www.krameraustralia.com.au/products/model.asp?pid=2455&sf=55&pname=Kramer%20CORE

They're a chassis with slots for cards that you can configure yourself. Buy a chassis (e.g: VS-3232DN) and pop in the cards you need (e.g: five of the H-IN4-F32 HDMI input cards and one H-OUT4-F32 card) and away you go. The chassis is controllable over ethernet so you can use a PC to do all the switching and whatnot. You can also get cards that support HDbaseT, which is awesome if your HDMI cable runs are going to be more than say 10 meters as HDbaseT runs HDMI over Ethernet reliably (not like the crappy balun style converters on eBay and stuff).

This stuff isn't cheap though, you'd be looking at around US$15,000 for the setup with all the cards. That might not be an issue for you though :)

Again, this might not be the most appropriate solution for what you intend to use the gear for - on this chassis there's no seamless switching, no effects, no ability to put graphics on stuff. It's simply a switch with a load of inputs. It might be better to try get the inputs (are they all PCs?) to output 59.94 instead of 60, that way you can build yourself a rig with a couple of capture cards and it'd do everything all in one and be half the price of the switcher.

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Only the 4K models of the Atom switchers support 1080p in 60 fps, like the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K.

Although a software control panel is included, I would prefer a hardware panel. Switching between 18+ input sources will be so stressful, that you don't have time looking where the mouse pointer is. A hardware panel has big buttons and knobs that you can operate without looking at it.

These switchers all work with SDI, because HDMI only works with cable lengths up to 10 meter, whereas SDI cables can be up to 300 meter long. See this comparison.

  • None of the 4k models on their site explicitly state that it does 1080p60. – TrinaryAtom Aug 5 '15 at 14:22
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    They do 1080p59.94, which differs from 1080p60 not in the frequency of sent frames, but only in the timecode counting. Really complicated. But more important is that the BM Mini Converters HDMI to SDI explicitly support 1080p60. – Fred42vid Aug 5 '15 at 23:19
  • To add to my previous comment: of course, before ordering this equipment which may exceed US$ 10,000, you should ask your reseller for confirmation. But I see no problem here. – Fred42vid Aug 5 '15 at 23:36
  • Also should mention that some of the devices that will be connected to the equipment only have two settings in the HD range. 1080p60 and 720p60. Using 720p would actually be detrimental to one of the requirements of the broadcast. – TrinaryAtom Aug 7 '15 at 2:11
  • ATEM needs all devices to be the same resolution, and to use other (lower resolutions) requires a scaler in your production workflow which increases costs tremendously. Also the hardware interface has a starting price of around $4k... Even though we prefer physical buttons, our wallet may not always agree. – A.J. Hernandez Jun 12 '16 at 0:22

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