10.04.19

Blackmagic reveals Atem Constellation 8K

AUTHOR: Apac
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Blackmagic Design announced Atem Constellation 8K, a new live production switcher with 8K capability, at NAB 2019.

The Ultra HD live production switcher has 4 M/Es, 40 x 12G-SDI inputs, 24 x 12G-SDI aux outputs, 4 DVEs, 16 Keyers, 4 media players, 4 multi viewers, 2 SuperSource and standards conversion on every SDI input. When switched to 8K, all the features combine to make an 8K switcher.

Atem Constellation 8K features a compact 2RU rack mount design with a built-in control panel. This allows operation of the switcher. Also included is a large LCD so users can see program output and change switcher settings via on screen menus. The rear of the switcher has 40 x 12G-SDI inputs, 24 x 12G-SDI aux outputs, plus balanced audio, Ethernet, RS-422 control and MADI digital audio extra inputs to the internal Fairlight audio mixer.

It offers PGM/PVW or cut-bus style operation. The buttons are the same type used on full sized panels, and allow control of transitions, upstream/downstream keyers, media players and fade to black. LCD menus also allow every operational feature of the switcher to be accessed.

There are 40 independent 12G-SDI inputs, with each input featuring dedicated up and cross converter. That means it’s possible to convert 1080p and Ultra HD sources to 8K to use them in 8K programs. When used in HD or Ultra HD, customers can connect up to 40 different sources in all formats up to 2160p60. When running 8K formats, connect 10 Quad Link 12G-SDI 8K sources in all formats up to 4320p60.
 
Atem Constellation 8K features 24 independently routable 12G-SDI outputs that can be fully customised. The outputs are similar to aux outputs, but users can route any external SDI input and all internal sources to any of these 12G-SDI outputs. All 12G-SDI outputs contain embedded program audio, and users get mix minus support, RP-188 embedded timecode, SDI camera control, tally and talkback.
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The built-in multi views allow monitoring of multiple sources in a single monitor. Four independent multiview outputs can each be individually customised or transformed into a single full resolution 8K multiview when users switch to 8K. All external inputs and all internal sources can be routed to any view. Each multiview can be independently set to 4, 7, 10, 13 or 16 simultaneous views. Each view also has on screen status including a custom label, VU meters and tally.

Atem Constellation 8K broadcast quality 8K native transitions including mix, dip and wipe. All transitions can be customised by adjusting parameters such as their duration, border colour, border width, position and direction. Transitions are fully 8K native. It also has DVE transitions, suited to graphic wipes and stingers when used with the internal media players.

The product features built-in talkback. Talkback supports a front 5 pin XLR headset connector, as well as a rear RJ12 talkback expansion connector for interfacing with industry standard systems such as ClearCom or RTS. Full talkback control including program and engineering loops, sidetone control for hearing the headset mic into the headphones and program mix is provided. Atem Constellation also supports SDI talkback that uses SDI channels 15 and 16 for 2-way communication with Blackmagic Design cameras. Channels 13 and 14 can be used for engineering talkback.

The built-in media pool stores broadcast quality RGBA graphics and animations that can be played back instantly by the two media players. The media pool can hold up to 24 full resolution 8K stills, or 64 Ultra HD or HD stills. Motion graphics clips for use in animations and stingers can be up to 100 8K RGBA frames, 400 frames in Ultra HD or a massive 1,600 frames in 1080HD.

Atem Constellation features 16 Atem Advanced Keyers for chroma or luminance keying. The chroma keyer features a colour picker to sample background colours for automatic generation of the key parameters. Precise controls for edge and flare and a foreground colour corrector are offered to match the "look" of the foreground layer to the background layer. The keyer can also be used for pattern and DVE keying. When switched to 8K, four independent full resolution 8K Atem Advanced Keyers are offered.

The built-in Fairlight audio mixer makes complex live sound mixing possible. The internal mixer features 156 channels. Eighty mixer channels are de-embedded from the SDI inputs, while an extra 64 audio channels are input via MADI in. Each input channel features 6 band parametric EQ and compressor, limiter, expander and noise gate as well as full panning. Extra channels are provided for the analogue input, talkback microphone and media players. Audio can be controlled via the Atem Software Control, a Mackie compatible panel or Fairlight Audio Console.

The Atem Software Control Panel interface has a visual switcher and parameter palettes. It offers access to camera control, audio mixing, media, macro programming and control of HyperDeck disk recorders. The full state of the switcher can be saved as XML files and all media is backed up from the media pool.