Let’s face it – your choice of video switcher hardware can make or break a successful live production.
So if you’re serious about achieving a successful live video production, you’ll want to select the best live video switcher (or HDMI switcher) that you can afford . After all, the difference between a high-end professional video switcher and a low-quality video switcher is like night and day. And believe me, your viewers can tell the difference in quality too.
A premium live video switcher enables the creation of a quality live production, and a quality live production attracts viewers in turn. Increased viewership empowers the growth of your brand and ultimately helps drive business. And who doesn’t want that?
In our experience, there are five essential factors that embody a powerful video switcher.
Let’s take a look at each of these ideal video switcher characteristics in more detail.
A live production video switcher absolutely must be reliable. Unreliable video switcher hardware puts your live production at serious risk for technical failure – and technical failure spells disaster for the success of your live event.
On the other hand, a reliable video switcher or HDMI switcher means worry-free operation for technicians and a satisfying viewing experience for the audience. You’ll spend minimal (if any) time troubleshooting errors and free up valuable time and resources to put toward other tasks.
What does a reliable video switcher look like?
- Never suffers technical failure.
- Ability to retain recordings even in the face of human error.
- Inputs are properly switched when requested.
- Built to be fully redundant and minimize single points of failure.
- Availability of confidence monitoring tools/interfaces that allow technicians to be proactive in detecting problems.
If you aim to create a professional-level live production, then you need an appropriate video switcher to match. Top-quality live productions delight viewers with high-quality video and audio, often surpassing customer expectations altogether. The result is a highly satisfied group of viewers that are much more likely to become long-term brand followers!
Professional standards also help to establish your brand as an industry leader in quality. You’ll also keep an edge on the competition by delivering best-in-class capabilities.
What does a pro-quality video switcher look like?
- Heavy-duty construction with industrial design.
- Professional-level audio inputs for quality audio.
- Future-proof elements, such as 4K resolution video support.
- Custom picture in picture (PiP) layouts to create a visually engaging viewer experience (and also brand content to safeguard your intellectual property).
3. Ease of use
Time, energy, and costs are incredibly valuable resources when setting up and delivering a live production. An easy-to-use video switcher helps to conserve these resources by streamlining your live production workflow. Operators are quickly trained and spend less time setting up the hardware and controlling the production when live. The result is lowered cost of service delivery.
Easy-to-use solutions are also highly advantageous because they lower the risk for human and technical errors to ensure your live production runs as smoothly as possible. The more complex the video switcher solution, the higher risk for errors!
What does an easy-to-use video switcher look like?
- An all-in-one solution, meaning the system contains everything you need all in one place – no more solutions containing many different pieces.
- Simple and efficient streaming and recording control.
- Operator can be trained quickly (< 10 minutes).
- UI is clearly designed and easy for the admin to use.
A traditional live production solution contains many parts, such as a recorder, streamer, switcher, scaler, and often multiple splitters. In such cases you need to manage all of these separate components, which adds to your overhead costs. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Like a Swiss Army Knife, a versatile video switcher contains everything you need to adapt to any live production scenario, giving you the confidence to meet the demands of new and different projects. This high degree of flexibility saves valuable costs by eliminating the need to purchase, transport, set up, and manage additional equipment.
Versatility is also key when it comes to the features contained within the video switcher or HDMI switcher. A broad and flexible set of features provides all the tools needed to create highly engaging and visually stimulating live productions that exceed viewer expectations.
What does versatility in a video switcher look like?
- Contains everything you need in one box, such as scaling, multi-encoding, live streaming, recording, switching, confidence monitoring, and more.
- Different product models depending on need, such as a portable solution, rackmount solution, or redundant solution.
- Variety of video and audio input interfaces.
- Multiple storage options, such as internal hard drives, external USB drives, and network-attached storage.
A professional-quality video switcher can be versatile, reliable, and easy to use – but those essential elements mean nothing if the hardware is out of your budget.
Cost-effective video switcher solutions yield a powerful return on investment, especially when combined with low training and operation costs.
What does a cost-effective video switcher look like?
- An all-in-one design to save you from the need to purchase separate hardware, such as a scaler, switcher, or recorder.
- Reduced staff training costs with an easy-to-use solution.
- Minimize costly technical errors with a reliable solution.
- Comprehensive online product documentation and a knowledgeable support team help solve any issues quickly to prevent costly downtime.
Pearl-2: An example of a powerful video switcher
Pearl-2 is Epiphan’s flagship live production video switcher system that embodies these five essential factors of a powerful video switcher:
- Reliability – Pearl-2 is a highly dependable system with plenty of confidence monitoring tools to ensure a successful live production, such as HDMI output and front-mounted audio monitoring jack. Pearl-2 even has a model built specifically for redundancy: Pearl-2 Rackmount Twin™.
- Professional quality – Pearl-2 supports pro-level video in resolutions up to 4K and audio with balanced XLR inputs. Custom PiP layouts enable the creation of beautiful, engaging live productions.
- Ease of use – With its simple touch screen control and Epiphan Live mobile tablet interface, Pearl-2 lets operators switch layouts and monitor their live production with ease. Pearl-2’s all-in-one” design means operators are trained quickly and efficiently with centralized functionality.
- Versatility – Live streaming, encoding, scaling, switching and more – Pearl-2 contains everything you need to create a full, professional live production all in the box. Three different models are available depending on need: Pearl-2 (portable), Pearl-2 Rackmount™ (for rackmount use), and Pearl-2 Rackmount Twin (for redundancy).
- Cost-effectiveness – Pearl-2 ensures a very competitive ROI with its affordable price point and combination of reliable, professional, easy-to-use, and versatile traits.
Check out our Pearl-2 demo video to see our flagship “all in one” live production video switcher in action.