Blackmagic Design was gracious enough to loan me two of the new Constellation HD models, the 1 M/E and the 2 M/E. I had just enough time to add compatibility for the new switchers in MixEffect before I had to return them back to BMD.
John Barker from Here to Record has had his 2 M/E Constellation HD for a few weeks now, and he’s just released this 11-minute walkthrough review.
If I were to get one of the new Constellation HDs, I would choose either the 2 M/E or the 4 M/E just for the SuperSource feature (the 1 M/E lacks it). The 4 M/E is tempting for its MADI audio support, but I have questions about its fan noise and power consumption over the long-run.
If you have a switcher from the ATEM Mini lineup, there are still definite benefits for holding onto them and not upgrading. ISO records (ISO models only), saving the Media Pool between restarts, the ability to stream and record, dual USB outputs (Extreme Only), lower power-consumption and more make the ATEM Minis in some ways a more versatile switcher than the Constellation HDs.
For instance, if I were to upgrade to a 4 M/E Constellation HD, I would have to buy several HDMI to SDI, SDI to HDMI, or Bi-Directional Converters, a Web Presenter for streaming, HyperDecks for recording, and more audio gear to handle MADI. Think of the ATEM Minis like a self-contained streaming, recording and switching unit, and the Constellation HDs just one component of an interconnected video production system.