Choosing a Professional Video Switcher
A video switcher is a specialized piece of hardware that's used in a variety of professional environments, including film, television, and live event production. From a simple live video presentation for a corporate meeting or webcast, to a complex television studio setup, video switchers bring the picture to the screen and your vision to reality. For those who prefer a computer-based system, a production switcher software package is a good alternative to hardware-based systems for video switching. Software systems can also be expanded to include professional video edit controllers, allowing you to edit and adjust your content.
Video Switcher Types
Video switchers are called by different names, based on their main attributes. Generally called vision mixers or video mixers, these devices allow qualified operators to select between various video sources. These sources can also be mixed together to generate special effects, or multi-layered on-screen video presentations. Versatility is a key factor to consider when choosing the right switcher for your specific application. A broad set of features will offer you the flexibility necessary to tackle a range of production scenarios. All HD video switchers will be compatible with current laptop and television resolutions, while all-in-one professional mixers will include monitoring and scaling functions. Supplementing your setup with professional video switcher accessories will provide you with storage options, interface panels, and networking capabilities.
The Key Components of Professional Video Switchers
All video switchers will include a certain number of inputs for connecting video sources and usually one main output. Video source inputs could include laptop computers, a live camera, or other types of video players. Audio video mixers will also have the option of accepting audio sources. Video outputs connect to a video projector or television to display the content being produced. The size of the switcher you choose will depend on the number of inputs you require.
Most switchers will contain built-in transition effects for switching from one input to another and keyers for producing layering effects. Sophisticated models will include features such as color correction, logo generation, and built-in multi-view capability, allowing you to preview multiple inputs on one monitor.
Qualities That Professional Video Switchers Need
Regardless of its use, a professional video switcher should possess certain qualities if you want to get the most out of it. Consider switchers built by trusted manufacturers and those with high-quality components. If you're using your switcher in the field, you'll require one with heavy-duty construction and a durable frame. With technology changing so fast, future-proof elements such as 4K resolution support are significant considerations. Video switchers with a rich feature set will allow you to do more with just one piece of equipment. A preview monitor included on your switcher is a great example of an integrated and versatile option.
Whether you're looking for basic HDMI video switchers, a professional video production recording system, or a full-featured production switcher for a television studio, B&H Photo and Video's wide selection will help you get the job done right.