Calling all live video ninjas.
June 24, 2009 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I needs me a good/simple/cheap video switcher for live production.

Every year, I'm part of running a live event (nonprofit fishing tournament) that uses multiple cameras for a live, switched video signal projected on a screen on top of the stage -- like the big screen at a live concert.

We've historically used a borrowed Videonics MX-1 Digital Audio/Video Mixer Switcher, but the borrowed one has developed signal glitching issues with the crossfade slider -- and, we'd really like to have one of our own. I have no idea what brand/type I should be looking for; so many of them seem far more complex than is required. I know what we need:

-Minimum four inputs (five or six would be ideal)
-Multiple outputs (four or five would be ideal)
-*Maybe* text overlay capability

That's it. Doesn't have to be fancy, or need any audio capability or filters/special effects. I can also work around only a single output with a video amp, if I have to.

I'm open to any options, but cheaper is better -- I really like the idea of working used machines rather than new.

posted by liquado to Technology (4 answers total)
If this is a yearly event for which you won't really need a switcher the rest of the year, I'd go the rental route. I've had very good results running presentations including live camera feeds with the Folsom PresentationPlus, which sounds about what you need. Crossfading times are set electronically so you just need to push a button to fade. As I recall, some formats of video will freeze and then fade, but not really noticeable for quick fade times.

If you are near the Metro Detroit area, send me a memail and I can possibly direct you to an inexpensive A/V house.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:33 AM on June 24, 2009

I've become totally enamored with the Tricaster Portable Live Production system. I'm linking to to the low-end version, which I have, but the I love what I read about the Studio Edition. The biggest disadvantage for your concern is that it only features four intputs.

It's got some great titling and graphics stuff (unless you're 100% you won't be needing them at all.)

And I'm not the only one.

It's amazingly versatile, especially at it's price point.
posted by seansbrain at 5:36 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the great answers, as usual. I'm going to look into either (a) having rental gear shipped to us, or (b) finding 5K to buy that awesome little machine.
posted by liquado at 8:44 AM on July 8, 2009

A followup -- this looks awesome:
posted by liquado at 9:21 AM on July 8, 2009

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