Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher Review

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For those that need a decent live switcher, you will have no doubt have heard of Blackmagic Design. They are a company that has a plethora of different products in their range. If you watch a streamer, we would say that the likelihood of them using something from this company should be pretty high.

Here, we want to give a review of one of their more basic, but still feature-packed products. This is the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher. This product is perfect for those that want something simple and requires very little in the way of learning, but is still more than capable of packing a punch in the live environment.

Features/Design

There are a ton of features loaded into the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher. So many that it is tough to know exactly where to begin.

The big feature is the 4-Channel HDMI switcher. Each of the HDMI inputs (located on the back of the device for ease of access) can deal with a stream of up to 1080p with 60fps. You can easily flick between each of these streams with a press of a button on the main control panel of the switcher. This makes it fantastic for people that need to switch between multiple live sources ‘on the fly’.

There is so much more to this bit of kit than just switching between the outputs, though. You also have a ton of options when it comes to switching between them. This will make your live streams so much better. This includes:

  • Picture in picture mode. Perfect for live streaming online, particularly with a webcam and game console.
  • The ability to store up to 20 different fill and key images to add a bit more of a dynamic to your content.
  • Transitions when switching between outputs
  • Multiple keyers

The transitions are surprisingly good. You never really find that feature at this price point. Of course, you have full control over the transitions, including how long they last. Once everything is set up on that side, you don’t really have to tinker with anything. The transitions are going to be automatic. You only have to focus on your stream.

Output can be done either via HDMI output or USB Type-C. You also have an ethernet port which allows you to easily connect the system up to a network in order to control it remotely, or simply update the software on the switcher.

Those that are streaming online, particularly to platforms like Twitch, will love the 2-Channel Digital Audio Mixer that has been built into the ATEM HDMI Live Switcher. It will allow you to mix two different audio inputs seamlessly for the most exhilarating experience for your viewers.

While this switcher does have a few brilliant features built into it, the simple control panel means that it can easily be used by those new to the world of live streaming and broadcasts. The control panel has a very simple button layout, and it should be pretty simple to work out what you need to be pressing, even if you have never run a live stream before. All of the buttons are backlit to ensure that everything can be read easily, even in the low light situations many live streamers find themselves dealing with.

Connecting it up to your computer should be a breeze too. Once everything is hooked up, all you need to do is detect it as a webcam and you are ready to go. The computer will do the rest of the hard work for. Honestly, you will struggle to find an easier way to stream online.

Pros; Cons

Pros

  • Four separate inputs
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • 1-year full warranty
  • High-quality video streaming at all times (depending on your input)

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide the most audio mix.
  • Controls may be a bit simplistic for serious live streamers.

Conclusion

For those that are just getting started in the world of live streaming, then this option is going to be perfect. While it doesn’t necessarily boast the same number of features as the bigger units out there, it is perfect for those that need to do nothing more than switch between multiple video inputs ‘on the fly’. Once you start to dive into the real features this unit boasts, you will be surprised at how complex it actually is. We highly recommend the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini HDMI Live Switcher, particularly if you are a new or intermediate live streamer.

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