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Need to upgrade switcher
We currently have a panasonic ag-mx70 it works to switch between our cameras and create our dvds. We are looking to upgrade to a new switcher however I can not seem to find one that has the same features but more. For example the current switch has the audio inputs and control sliders. If I upgrade to a AV-HS410, which is awesome I believe in looking at it, there are no audio inputs and no controls for the audio. I looked into several others on this site and again I see nothing with the audio inputs. If someone can help me or correct me that would be awesome. Also looking for camera ideas if you want to throw that in there as well. Thanks for your time as always in advance.
The big difference is the HS400 series seems to be aligning itself more with (the economy end of) the professional broadcast class, while the old MX series was always at (the higher end of) the consumer/"AV" market. Having or not having an inbuilt audio mixer and inbuilt audio-follow switching is a big difference between the pro and consumer classes of switchers. The pro market uses separate dedicated mixing consoles and engineers, so any switcher's inbuilt audio capabilities would never be utilized anyhow.
The one place you do see those sorts of audio capabilities in the broadcast market is in Master Control switchers. But really I don't think that's what you're looking for.
Ditto, when you get in the higher end video mixers, they're expecting you have your own dedicated audio mixer. I recently bought a blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E and love it. It wont do audio but is worth a look if you're upgrading.
I also recently got a canon xf105 and am continually blown away by it. It can keep up pretty well with our JVC gy-hm750 at half the price and a fraction of the size.
Let me know if you have any more questions
Here's the general successor to what you have, http://www.panasonic.com/business/pr.../AG-HMX100.asp. Roland has some options, http://www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/pr...roductlist/480. Sony's offering, http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-swi...product-MCS8M/, and Grass Valley's, http://www.grassvalley.com/products/indigo. I'm sure there are probably others as well.
Probably the biggest factor is the video signals and resolutions you need to support. One challenge for many churches migrating from analog to digital or looking to 'future proof' is that it can be difficult to find a lower cost switcher that addresses both a larger number of analog inputs and outputs for current sources and destinations while also supporting significant digital I/O for new devices or future revisions. With fixed I/O system you tend to get an analog switcher with a couple of limited digital I/O or a digital switcher with limited analog I/O.
The Blackmagic ATEMs are a great example of this as they can be a very cost effective option but they are very limited on the I/O they support and all of your source and destination devices have to be such that everything can work together as a system or you end up with a bunch of converters, adapters, etc. and hoping you can get it all to work together.
What Brad and the others said. I am in the exact same boat you are in - an MX70. We do not use the audio section, though.
I am planning replacement in two to three years, and saving for it now. Our replacement has to support HD, preferably give me alpha channel keying capability, and integrate sources with elimination of conversions wherever possible. Some aux outs would be welcome, especially if one downconverts to SD (for DVD feed.) I want to reduce/eliminate latency and upconverting.
That won't come cheap. What I'll save on a unit like the Atem I will spend tweaking the system so all inputs are identical resolution - something the Atem requires. It is a doable thing - I will just have to see if it is the most effective direction.
This article on production switchers was in Church Production Magazine last month. It focuses more on IMAG, but is still a good place to start looking through what is out there for research, although a few of them are completely out-of-sight in terms of cost.
Thoughts on ATEM line
We upgraded recently to a ATEM 1 M/E and love most of what we received.
The alpha graphic storage is great (32 images on the 1 M/E) however
advancing to the next image is not easily done. Using and external playout
device running a presentation program (MediaShout, Powerpoint, etc) or
dedicated software such as CasparCG works better workflow wise.
Switching sound with the video source is pointless in most church setups
We have had some discussion about IMAG and graphics for our projectors
running through the switcher. 99% of the time we simply use an aux bus
and connect our computer output to the projectors with a scaler. Baptisms
we often IMAG infants for the congregation. If the computer should crash
we can put up black.
We had issues with scaling. We output 720P over HDMI from the computer's
graphic card to the switcher. Aux1 is our output going from HD-SDI to
SVGA. Our original scaler we specified had DVI-D only out and was going
to 1024x768 center cut for our projectors. The image fitted perfectly with
the ATEM's SD downscaler analog video for DVD's and CCTV. We found
out that our distribution device was analog only and could not accept DVI-D.
We located an alternate scaler but does not center cut. So check out
your existing IMAG gear. We may upgrade to HD-SDI projectors in the future
so not all is lost.
New info on ATEM
controller to scroll between stored slides. OK if you can do a service with up to 32 slides.
Awesome advice everyone, thank you so much. We have separate audio mixers however the audio pipes into the mx70 and runs to the dvd to record. So I suppose its not important at all, just have to pipe the separate audio signal and video into the recording device.
Yeah, we love Blackmagic products, but we have found in the past couple of years that they do have some idiosyncrasies and limitations. Roland and Grass Valley are our other go to lines of product. It all depends on what you NEED it to do and what you WANT it to do.
Esoteric Visions Lighting and Video
A/V/L designers, installers, and integrators for churches. 15+ years of industry experience.