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Blackmagic Design Announces ATEM Camera Converter

NAB 2011, Las Vegas, USA - April 11, 2011 - Blackmagic Design today announced ATEM Camera Converter, a new type of converter that allows consumer HDMI cameras or professional SDI cameras to use optical fiber for low cost connection to live production switchers up to 25 miles away. ATEM Camera Converter lets customers get more cameras closer to the live action at much lower cost. ATEM Camera Converter also includes talkback, external microphone input, program return feed, on-air tally and a built in battery power source for only $595.

ATEM Camera Converter will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2011 booth at #SL220.

ATEM Camera Converter is a complete solution for converting cameras to optical fiber for live production. Its low cost means it can even allow low end live productions to get the advantage of optical fiber for long camera distances away from the switcher, and closer to the action.

A consumer or professional camera can be connected to the HDMI or SDI inputs for conversion to optical fiber, and if the program feed is connected back via the optical fiber, the ATEM Camera Converter's HDMI and SDI outputs can be used for local camera or switcher program monitoring. Professional local microphone inputs are included for high quality audio from the camera location. ATEM Camera Converter also includes an internal battery for remote use when your cameras are located far away from power sources, and built in talkback and tally.

Previously placing cameras in live events required expensive cables and was limited to the most high end broadcast productions only. With ATEM Camera Converter, now more people can afford to place cameras long distances from the switcher, so events not normally covered by live multi-camera broadcasts can now be handled at low cost. Cameras can be placed close to the action for dramatic production values. It's now possible to place cameras at the end of drag racing strip, at the starting gate of a horse race, or even at the far end of a golf course.

Even low cost consumer HD cameras look amazing when used with ATEM Camera Converter because the converter bypasses the camera compression so very good results are obtained at extremely low cost. This lets cameras be placed even in dangerous or risky locations. ATEM Camera Converter is perfect for concerts, sporting events or even lecture theaters, houses of worship, surveillance or any remote camera location!

In live production it's critical for camera operators to communicate with the switcher operator so everyone can work as a single creative team! ATEM Camera Converter includes talkback using low cost PC headsets or iPhone-compatible headphones, so each camera can communicate with the director at the switcher. ATEM Camera Converter talkback works by embedding the microphone audio into channels 15 and 16 of the camera optical fiber video output and listening to channels 15 and 16 of the optical fiber input on the headphones. There are also press to talk PTT and headphone level buttons on the keypad.

To assist camera operators to see when they are "on air", ATEM Camera Converter uses an open standard tally packet in the SDI output on any ATEM switcher to illuminate two built in tally LEDs. All that is required is to connect the ATEM switcher's program output to the ATEM Camera Converter via the return optical fiber feed. Then select the camera number via USB software or using the camera number button on the keypad. If there is an external monitor plugged into the HDMI or SDI outputs, then a red tally border can be displayed on the monitor!

ATEM Camera Converter is designed for portable operation and includes a long duration battery built in, so it can be used far away from power, or when moving around. With an integrated belt clip, it can be snapped onto a belt, for easy movement with the camera operator. If the customer is using a tripod, then it's easy to strap ATEM Camera Converter onto the tripod beside the camera.

"One of the biggest problems in a live production is getting those amazing shots really close to the action. With ATEM Camera Converter we have really solved that problem because low cost networking optical fiber cable can be used to extend SDI and HDMI cameras, plus you also get talkback, tally, microphone inputs, monitoring outputs and a built in battery", said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "Imagine getting those close up shots of bands on stage, or around race tracks, even at the far end of golf courses. Now everyone can afford to get those broadcast production values!"

ATEM Camera Converter Key Features

SDI and HDMI to optical fiber conversion, and optical fiber to SDI and HDMI conversion.

Dual balanced jack local microphone inputs, overrides the camera audio when connected.

Headset connections for full talkback to switcher operator via optical fiber.

Full 10 bit design features 3/Gb's SDI technology for a future proof design.

Built in battery operates converter for hours, and recharges via power supply connection.

Built in tally indicators, so camera operator and talent can tell when they are on-air.

Built in keypad for power, microphone level, camera number and more.

Extremely rugged design machined out of a solid block of aluminum.

Availability and Price

ATEM Camera Converter is available July for US$595 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Press Photography

Product photos of the ATEM Camera Converter, and all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world's highest quality video editing products, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post-production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design's DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company's DaVinci Emmy™ award winning color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check