I’ve been using an ATEM Mini Pro in conjunction with my analog gear for about 3 months now. I primarily use it as a capture card to bring my video art and an HD camcorder feed into video calls. I also use the recording functionality of the Pro model to record my video art at a higher bitrate than I could achieve with OBS on my 2014 Macbook Pro with a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle.
There are some limitations when it comes to using ATEM switchers with analog gear and Raspberry Pis that I wish I’d known beforehand:
The UI of these switchers and their software is really geared towards preprogramming all of your transitions, Keys, and PiP into macros, and then launching those macros while you’re live, either through macro buttons in the software or using a macro pad like an Elgato StreamDeck (there are no dedicated macro buttons on the device itself). A lot of the Upstream Key (PiP, Luma Key, Chroma key) parameters don’t have sliders in the ATEM Software Control app, instead you have to type numbers into a box or click and drag on the text label of the parameter (usually the rate of change when you click and drag is either too fast or too slow to be very expressive).
It is possible to remotely control some (but not all) of the parameters using atemOSC, and you can use a MIDI to OSC translation app (OSCulator on MacOS, for example) to use a MIDI controller to get physical knobs and faders. This is a pretty good way to get a physical T-bar since the device doesn’t have one (only a virtual one in the app). Notably, the advanced Upstream Key features (masks, moving/scaling the video, color corrections) are not controllable using atemOSC.
The HDMI inputs are advertised as having scalers on them, but they only scale between the different framerates of 1080p/1080i, not between different resolutions. You will need an HDMI upscaler if you want to use the HDMI output of r_e_c_u_r or any of @andrei_jay’s raspberry pi instruments, since those output at 480p.
I’ve done internal mixer feedback with it using the HDMI output and it’s pretty cool because it’s so much faster than what I could achieve with capture cards in my computer. Like @palomakop said though, it’s digital so it’s static. You can manipulate/process the feedback using the Upstream Keyer by using it as the key fill (chroma key settings give you color correction and brightness/contrast/saturation, as well as xy position and scale) and then layer something else on top using the Downstream Keyer (luma key only). Got some really cool results that way.
A note on cheap RCA2HDMI converters:
- I had one of the really cheap ones (GANA RCA2HDMI) and it stretches out 4:3 video to fill the screen instead of preserving the original aspect ratio. That may or may not be a deal breaker for you but I’d recommend jumping up to the like ~$30 range.
Overall, I’ve found the ATEM Mini Pro to be a great tool at the end of the chain to capture and/or record my video art, but a somewhat poor substitute for an analog video mixer as a tool for the creation of video art, mostly coming down to the limited UI. Based on how you’ve described your use case, I think you’d have a much better time with something like an Edirol V4, since it has a more expressive interface and it’ll play nicer with the stuff you already have (won’t need so many scalers). I got mine on Ebay (less than a year ago) for less than the price of an ATEM Mini, and it’s fairly compact compared to the Panasonic video mixers. I don’t really do glitch stuff so I can’t speak to the TBC, maybe someone else can.
I tried to give as much info as I could think of since there isn’t a whole lot of other info out there, but if you’ve got any other questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.