Finalist 2020

Blackmagic ATEM Mini

Blackmagic Design

The world’s smallest and most affordable live production switcher

ATEM Mini is the world’s smallest and most affordable live production switcher. Costing just $295, it is designed for professional live streaming on Facebook Live, YouTube and SwitchTV.

Typically designed for mainstream broadcasters, live multi-camera production chains are large, complex and expensive. Costing over $20,000, they are virtually inaccessible to independent creators requiring an affordable, yet professional alternative to enhance their live streaming production values.

In the wake COVID-19 and social distancing measures designed to suppress its spread, the ability to achieve this objective would prove vital as broadcasters, educators and small businesses moved to adapt to this unprecedented situation.

Design Excellence

For a fraction of the cost of traditional switchers at $295, the unassuming design of ATEM Mini belies its revolutionary nature. Combining a fully-featured broadcast switcher ‘processing brain’ and ‘control panel’ in an ultra-compact, lightweight enclosure it can be used almost anywhere, allowing real-time control of up to four HDMI video sources.

Typically, multiple crew members are required to execute a professional multi-camera live broadcast. With large source buttons the ATEM Mini can be used by feel alone, allowing a single presenter to switch cameras discretely, even during a face-to-face interview.

Design Impact

The impact of ATEM Mini, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot be understated. Inexpensive, powerful and easy to use, it has enabled mainstream broadcasters to react quickly, with presenters setting up home studios to continue producing professional content indistinguishable from regular programming.

Medical facilities, universities and schools are leveraging ATEM Mini and Blackmagic cameras to facilitate safe, on-going education, broadcasting of surgical procedures, lectures and demonstrations to off-campus students.

It has also ensured the survival of many small businesses, allowing owners to maintain on-going engagement with customers who are no longer able to interact with physically.

Design Transformation

Blackmagic Design’s fundamental goal is to empower creative people with affordable professional video technology. Never has this been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For just $295, the affordability, approachable design and professional output of ATEM Mini has enabled broadcasters, medical facilities, and educational institutions to quickly respond to this unprecedented situation, allowing remote ‘garage’ studios to be set up at a fraction of the usual time and cost.

This has materialised in an unprecedented surge in sales from a range of new customers, many of whom have never before considered the value of live streaming technology.

Design Innovation

The ATEM Mini is the world’s smallest and most affordable self-contained switcher, able to be used discretely by a single presenter. This was achieved through a careful rationalisation of core functions, materials and manufacturing processes.

Traditional switcher buttons, which are tall and mechanically complex, were replaced by a low-profile silicone keypad, fine tuned to emulate the high-end responsiveness of more expensive systems. This reduced costs significantly and enabled the lowest possible profile without compromising performance or durability.

Other Key Features

Function

  • ATEM Mini enables real-time switching. With 4 HDMI inputs multiple camera angles can be set for more engaging live streaming to social media platforms.
  • Backlit buttons are logically organised into clear hierarchical groups, placing core functionality at the fingertips for instinctive switching that is significantly faster than software-based systems.

Form


  • An exercise in restraint, the minimal aesthetics of ATEM Mini are a natural by-product of its functionality.
  • Its tapered form, optimised efficiently around internal hardware, minimises perceived size and ensures uninterrupted airflow.
  • Presented at 5°, the non-reflective black control surface is free from unnecessary distractions.

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