Cheap Chromakeyers
March 16, 2011 2:36 PM   Subscribe

What are some older hardware based video effects and chroma-keyers that would be low cost these days?

I tape a public access show and we utilize the in-studio Ultimatte system but we hit some limitations of of keying, specifically if we have live video effects we sometimes mess up and shoot pure green.

I've looked at Amiga based systems with Video Toaster and they might fit the bill but really any old video switcher that can do chroma would do it. Even some older Quantel systems would be great for the price.
posted by wcfields to Media & Arts (6 answers total)
Man, I don't think you are going to find a chromakeyer that will come even close to the Ultimatte's keying performance (depending on the model). Especially anything older.
posted by bz at 5:58 PM on March 16, 2011

Panasonic WJ-MX series and the Videonics MX-1. Neither are really cheap though, despite being 15-20 years old.
posted by tremspeed at 6:58 PM on March 16, 2011

If your Ultimatte cant key it properly then I'm not sure anything else in your price range will. If you can do your keying in post pretty much any current NLE will do a fair job. Pretty sure the old toasters didn't do chroma key out of the box. That being said I had to pull together a fly pack to switch a live show a while back. I ended up pulling out our ~20 year old toaster and it made for a great 3 channel switcher & still store.
posted by jmsta at 7:12 PM on March 16, 2011

Having used vintage hardware keyers (Back before they were vintage) I agree with the above: You aren't going to find better than what you have.
posted by Ookseer at 9:49 PM on March 16, 2011

Yeah, the Ultimatte is great, but for the public access show I do we shoot lives bands and I usually have someone doing live effects (feedback, coloring) into the board and usually key them into the background filling the green. What I'd like is to stick a Chromakey before it hits my switching console so that if the effects cam accidentally hits any green patches it can be filled with some effect.
posted by wcfields at 4:42 PM on March 17, 2011

As an addendum to this question; I shelled out some cash for a used Roland Edirol V4 on eBay. There seems to be a bunch of old prosumer video gear hitting eBay these days with churches upgrading their A/V systems to HD.
posted by wcfields at 12:06 PM on May 26, 2011

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