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Blackmagic Product Release Thoughts: ATEM Streaming Bridge

Last week, Blackmagic Design, hardware and software manufacturer of broadcast and production equipment, released a new update to their live production line, the ATEM Mini Pro Iso and the ATEM Streaming Bridge.

Today, I am going to talk about the ATEM Streaming Bridge and my thoughts about the product, both good and bad.

So, I call the ATEM Streaming Bridge. Blackmagic's entering the arena of remote video delivery via IP or internet (i.e. NDI by NewTek, for reference) their full version of NDI infrastructure.

Blackmagic is a member of the TICO Alliance, which means anything they design for IP is not compatible in workflows that utilize NDI technology. This creates some hiccups in workflows of products, such as NewBlue Titler Live Pro which utilizes NDI for a near wireless connection to endpoints, but when it comes to ATEM products, you have to use multiple pieces of hardware to make a connection work.

This isn't a terrible thing mind you, just a hiccup in a workflow to contend with.

Now, the ATEM Streaming Bridge is meant to be a decoder of the network signal being sent out of a Mini Pro. In essence, you can have your Mini Pro in one room on your network, connect it to the ethernet. Then you connect the Streaming Bridge to the ethernet in another room and ding dong, you have the signal from your output of the Mini Pro, outputting either SDI or HDMI from your Streaming Bridge.

This treatment can be effective if you want to run your program output via your network and connect up monitors and projectors. If you want to mix multiple rooms into one feed, you can input into another switcher.

But the coolest feature of all is the fact that this setup can also allow for point to point streaming via internet where someone could be in Miami, Florida and can send their signal to me here in Wenatchee, Washington. All it takes is a generated .xml file and you're on your way.

Now, for the con of this product, and I feel Blackmagic actually failed to address a large segment of their population of customers because they are only targeting owners of the ATEM Mini Pros with this product.

Our studio and systems use Blackmagic products that are not Mini Pros. That means the only use for this product to me is as a decoder to remote in a production that is Mini Pro based.

While that can be useful, why couldn't development have gone into a setup for the other switchers in the lineup. For instance, a workflow that would allow for a program output at one location to be sent through a Streaming Bridge and then connect to a Streaming Bridge here in my studio. This would provide an easy and effective workflow for all of their consumers.

Overall, this is an excellent product and I plan to get one or two in my studio for our workflows. I do feel like Blackmagic missed the mark on the potential of this product.

Below is the video from the Blackmagic Design product rollout:

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