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How to add 3 HDMI Ports to your ATEM Mini, Mini Pro or Pro ISO!

Photo Moment - February 18, 2021

The ATEM Mini Extreme is here — but you don't want to spend $1,000 to buy one! If you already have any ATEM Mini, I'll show you how to add three more inputs for just $100 each — and how to control them all together!

Products Mentioned

The Story…

The ATEM Mini is an incredible switcher, and with four HDMI inputs, it's a serious bargain way to get FOUR cameras or other HDMI sources into your computer to act as a webcam, whether you're on a Zoom call, hosting a webinar, gaming, or just chatting with friends. But sometimes you want more!!

People have asked me dozens of times if you can simply plug one ATEM into another, to give it more ports. The simple answer is YES, you can! However there's a significant issue with switching when you do it this way. First of all, know that you'll be getting SEVEN HDMI inputs, not eight. But 4+4=8, right? In this case… no! Because you have to plug the output of one ATEM into the input on another, which means that you are losing one of those inputs for a camera. You end up with three camera-available inputs on one device, and four on the other.

OK, that's fine, so you have seven inputs! But the real problem is CONTROL. Inputs ONE, TWO and THREE are all normal. But now to switch to camera FOUR, you have to switch the first ATEM (in my case, an ATEM Mini Pro ISO) to input FOUR, and simultaneously switch the second ATEM (in my case, a $295 ATEM Mini) to input ONE. That gives you “camera 4”. Then, “camera 5” is inputs FOUR plus TWO, and “camera 6” is inputs FOUR plus THREE, and finally “camera 7” is inputs FOUR plus FOUR. As you switch around, to go from camera 2 to camera 4 to camera 1 to camera 6 can require tapping the input buttons on both ATEM Minis simultaneously — and that's a terrible idea! It puts you at a huge risk of getting the switching out of sync, or even worse, switching to the wrong camera angle.

This is where the open source, FREE software, “Bitfocus Companion” saves the day. With some very simple setup, you can make a single button switch multiple inputs on both ATEM devices at once, giving you a one-touch button to change to any camera angle! Finally, if you want to move the switching interface off of your computer, you can run Companion from a tablet like an iPad, or even an iPhone or Android device, or if you want to spent a little money and go with a hardware interface, the El Gato Stream Deck and Stream Deck XL make fantastic physical interfaces with LED buttons that you can push! It's even possible to provide RED feedback on the buttons so you know which camera angle you have loaded. Wow!! Learn all this and more in this detailed video tutorial.

Chapters

00:00 - Introductions
00:23 - Do you need the ATEM Mini Extreme?
00:55 - How to add three more ATEM HDMI inputs!
01:17 - It’s more than just the hardware…
02:08 - Why you can’t do this with ATEM macros
02:32 - Introducing Bitfocus Companion
02:58 - Downloading Companion
03:32 - Adding the ATEM hardware to Companion
03:56 - Find your ATEM’s IP address
05:11 - Set up the first button
05:48 - Renaming your ATEM buttons
07:07 - Testing button 1
07:25 - Making buttons 2 and 3
07:52 - Making buttons 4 through 7 (controlling dual ATEMs!)
09:06 - Testing buttons 2 through 7
09:40 - Accessing the Companion buttons on a web or mobile interface
10:26 - Adding ATEM status lights to Companion

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    Comments from YouTube

    Did you enjoy, or learn anything? Please consider subscribing!! Just click here… https://youtube.com/c/photojoseph?sub_confirmation=1
    @Jason Jolliffe thanks Jason!
    @Politi Kilter I would politely request that you re-watch the video :-)
    Thanks for the detailed info on setting up Companion. I have the same ATEMs and you just simplified my switching for an upcoming gig.
    @PhotoJoseph will do! LOL
    @SailMyWay nice!!
    This was just brilliant - Thank you - I have an ISO & PRO - and intend to get the Extreem ISO but just messing around with Companion really solved a problem especially since we are based in Africa and getting the latest gear on time takes a "little" longer
    That’s awesome to hear! Glad it was helpful.
    Enjoyed the video. After receiving my mini pro, I added a low cost 16 port HDMI switch which I use for my amateur radio (ham) digital ATV station. The HDMI switch does have a LAN/remote control so anxious to see if the Bitfocus Companion software may be use with it. I have not found any sources that won't work with the mini pro using HDMI or SDI to HDMI converters.
    If your HDMI switcher works with Companion, let me know! That’d be huge!
    Yeah I rather spend the extra money and get the Extreme after looking at this video. 😳
    Fair enough! If you have the option then that's definitely a better route. But a lot of people don't want to or can't spend the money, so this is a pretty cool alternative.
    You gotta change the 4-7 sequence around so it selects the upstream source 1st before selecting input 4 to stop the occasional flashframe that may occur if the commands go out at a frame boundary.
    ahh, that's a great point!
    The Atem Mini Pro Extreme announce this features and 2 usb c port !
    Hi, someone knows why I can't access the buttons on my Tablet? I'm a PC user. I'm connected to the same network, by etherneth and by wifi.Thanks for you're help.
    Sounds like the ATEM isn't talking to the network. Connect via USB-C to get it set up; that allows you to see everything regardless of the network connection.
    @PhotoJoseph Thanks Josepgh, I just achieved it changing the GUI interface to ethernet (wired)
    I have a Atem Mini pro that I use in my corporate keynote 3 camera presentations that I do. I am thinking about ordering the extreme in order to get a high resolution copy of the presentation. Because the usbc port is already being utilized by zoom my current setup won’t work. Would just another Atem accomplished what I want to do?
    Thanks
    No. You would need that second USB port. Or, here's another trick which I'll do a video on soon… since you have the Pro, if you're not already using the built-in streaming encoder to stream to YouTube or wherever, then buy a Streaming Bridge https://geni.us/ATEMbridge and an HDMI to USB converter, and stream to your local bridge from the ATEM, looping that back in as a webcam.
    Thank you!
    Add a basic 5 in 1 out HDMI switcher and put the output into input 4 on your ATEM and boom! 4 more inputs for less than $50. you’re welcome.
    but can you control that from the Companion app? That was, after all, the point of this video.
    can i use my atem mini iso the same way with roland v1 HD?
    Sure: physically. Is the Roland supported by Companion though? Check their website to see! If so, then definitely.
    @PhotoJoseph Thank you so much for the quick answer. Waiting for a review of The Extreme
    Most enjoyable lesson
    Thanks. Did you check if there Roland is supported?
    just an fyi you can run 2 consecutive instances of atem software and control the 2 separate Atems
    How? Just by duplicating the app?
    @PhotoJoseph hey joseph love your channel as well as @Aaron Parecki and @johnbarker/ @here to record

    in windows after you open the first instance you shift+right click run as different user and that allows you to have 2 or more instances of BMD software open and working even with 2 sepparate swichers!
    in apple os im not to sure ive heard of sand boxing and some apple apps that will allow this
    oh wow… ok I’d heard that Windows could do that before but I don’t use a PC anywhere. Interesting! Still would require separate controls and you couldn’t build a macro that would work across both interfaces at once, although this is still interesting. I’ll have to try it on my Mac by just duplicating the app; I am often switching between two ATEMs so that would make things easier! Also if you like all three of our channels, then you’re going to love this Thursday’s event: https://youtu.be/JYv_jx-JaOk
    I remember back in <year> you had a dispute with Max Yuryev, and I wrote you off as... well I didn't subscribe to your channel. But now, thanks your collabs with Aaron Parecki, I've re-discovered you and your channel, and you have a lot of well presented info!
    LOL the thing with Max was fun. I’m glad you’re back, thanks!
    What we all want is something that only extreme has.... at least 2 outputs.... :(
    Yeah, that I can’t help with unfortunately.
    What a great video! Glad I subscribed. Love my atem pro and preordered the new extreme so this info is awesome because I can rig them both together! Brilliant!
    Sweet!
    Any chance you can figure out a way to be able to stream and record at the same time on the Mini Pro ISO?
    @PhotoJoseph streaming out of the usb-c to the computer which means I can't plug in an external drive to the usb-c to record
    Do you need to use the computer?
    @PhotoJoseph hmm, is there another way to stream to like zoom?
    Ah, ok. If you’re using zoom, that’s not “streaming”, that’s “webcam”. There is a way but it requires more hardware. Use the ATEM’s stream capability to stream to a Bridge, and feed that Bridge back into your computer with an HDMI to USB converter.
    @PhotoJoseph Perfect will do! Do you recommend a particular HDMI to USB converter?
    In case it's useful to anyone: I've been using a similar idea for awhile - I control 2 ATEM minis using Companion, but I take them both as webcams into OBS, using their separate USB C outputs. Then I have a series of scenes set up in OBS so that I can switch between the two ATEMs or view them both simultaneously - I use Macros in Companion to control the software and hardware switching at the same time.

    The advantage of this is A) you can use all 8 inputs from your two ATEMs since you're not daisy chaining any more and B) by using the PIP function on both devices you can display up to 4 camera feeds at once - which might be a fairly niche use case, but something I actually do regularly in my broadcasts.
    That is awesome! Thanks for sharing!
    Companion is great, but you may want to change how you wire 2 Atems together. If you make the Mini the first device and feed the HDMI out into the first channel of the second device, then you take advantage of the low latency ability of the channel one electronics (intended for gaming), this also allows any source on the mini to be a PIP source in the second unit without having to do any configuration. Another benefit is the ability to have 2 concurrent PIP windows, but you have to do some configuration (directly or in companion) to make it a flexible solution.
    Nice. I wonder if that low latency would make any difference for normal switching.
    @PhotoJoseph It makes a difference when you mix audio sources from both of the Atems as each introduces it's own latency and it's hard to compensate for it if you don't use this feature. Added benefits include retaining the Multi-View, four audio inputs, direct webcam out for one of the units as a back channel if you keep all your main presenter cams there as well.
    Question, will you get iso files for all seven inputs? When I take the project into resolve will it create a multicam clip with all 7 of my feeds? Also will all 7 feeds show up on the monitor?
    No… the ISO will only record what’s happening on the ISO. The ISO’s Multiview will show whatever is feeding into CAM 4, but it can’t see what’s on the other ATEM.
    I've had my studio setup this way with an ATEM Mini Pro and an ATEM Mini for about a month and it's awesome! When I upgraded to the Pro I wondered what I was going to do with my original mini and my brain instantly said, "use it as extra inputs Michael." haha Loved how easy it was to setup the Companion app to run the Marcos and switch the inputs. I call my primary, ATEM Master, and the secondary, ATEM Slave. Great walkthrough Joseph!
    Right on! Yeah this is a pretty cool way to do the switching!
    Excellent !
    Thanks!
    That's very helpful. Thanks for that!
    You’re welcome!
    Great video. Would love to see the stream deck video for sure !!!!!
    Yeah I’ll have to do that once I really settle it in. I’m still playing with the configuration.
    Nice, but i have a better solution! Sell your Atem BM Mini. The. Get BM Atem Mini Xtreme 😃
    Not everyone can afford that. I’m happy I can provide an alternative solution.
    Hi
    solution for 2 red buttons lit.
    camera 1
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    camera 2
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    and so on
    Ohhhhh that’s clever! That sounds like it’d work… you’ve tested?
    @PhotoJoseph send mail to you i haf one atem mini pro
    How about the ISO functions? To record my switchings? 🤔
    Following
    The ISO will only record what happens on itself, not on the other unit. There’s no communication between the two. If you need that level of functionality then I think the Extreme ISO is in your future!
    I would suggest to use video clips and title overlays from the pro and use the mini for cameras as it could get a bit messy with overlays and graphics coming in from the second device.
    Absolutely
    Companion is just an awsome piece of Software :D
    It is!! I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I only recently got into it.
    Very slick trick, Joseph! And nicely produced.
    Thanks Bob! Glad you liked the thumbnail, too 😁
    In regards to having 2 red buttons, I did not find a way to disable the color but you could add instance feedback to the 3 buttons 1,2 and 3 actions that would turn the ATEM 4-7 buttons to preview. You would end up with only one red button with the button on the ATEM 4-7 being green. Maybe not the cleanest way, but would make it easier to quickly figure out which input in active.
    Oh that’s an interesting approach… thanks!
    Palle sørensen
    for 6 sekunder siden
    Hi
    solution for 2 red buttons lit.
    camera 1
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    camera 2
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    and so on
    Could that work: Switch Atem #2 to "Black" with Companion? Then you'd have no physical red button on Atem #2 while the channel is not in use by Atem #1
    @Andreas Wismann camera 1
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    camera 2
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 2 red

    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 1 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 3 black
    atem: Change colors from mixer program tally camera 4 black

    and so on
    Does PREVIEW buttons work when using multiview?
    Yes, absolutely. That’s where it is most handy because you can SEE the next shot.
    Seriously Joseph? That was your tip?? 😂😂😂😂😂
    Considering how many people didnt know that you could do this… yes. Got a better way?
    @PhotoJoseph that was a very easy way to setup. I’ll be considering getting a used Mini since I recently got the Mini Pro but for now I’m good with 4 inputs. Great tip btw 👍🏽
    Awesome I must say!
    Thank you kindly!
    I was secretly hoping for a circular saw and soldering iron....but this works! 🤪
    I’m no Casey Neistat, sorry 😉
    I learn something new every time I watch one of your videos. Thank you.
    Love to hear that!
    While I love the content and explanation.. I do feel a little misled by the title and thumbnail. Your not "adding 3 HDMI ports" to a switcher to make a "7 port atem mini", your chaining two switchers together. That being said, this is still a great informative video because the key is controlling the two devices.
    Especially after seeing all the comments of people wondering if you can chain them together, I'm glad you made this video to clear it up!.. I personally still can't decide which switcher I want lol
    I’m glad you’re not too upset. I don’t think it’s misleading at all… if I was adding three ports with a soldering iron, adding them via a complicated computer/Bridge system, or adding them via another ATEM, I’m still adding them! Three additional ports, $300 switcher; $100 each input.
    @PhotoJoseph none of that lawyer talk!
    What you said is technically true, but that photoshopped 7 port device is not what the video is about. Ergo, misleading. To be clear I'm not upset at all.. just wanted you to know. I always appreciate your content.
    Fair enough! The funny thing is I photoshopped that BEFORE the ATEM Mini Extreme was revealed!!
    @PhotoJoseph that is very insightful! And to be fair.. it was such a good Photoshop I looked closely and then had to watch the vid. Thanks again for very informative content!
    You can do the same with the preview buttons and control it via the elgato streamdeck. Here you can use macros for cut und auto. As this is network based it works any pc in the same ip-area
    I haven’t used the stream deck to control the ATEM directly; only via Companion. Does the stream deck have a dedicated ATEM software module? Either way, the stream deck costs $$ while Companion is free. So I started there.
    @PhotoJoseph The stream deck supports companion and many other apps, included h2r. You can tell by the buttons-colour the state (ie cam2 green for preview) and control any macros of the atem and toggle a downstreamkey as well. It is also useful for editing software like resolve. I have used it live several times and met it first by a clip by John Barker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn95LuF6x6I
    Every once and a while you are so amazing words can't explain....only once and a while 😜
    😂😂 I’ll take it!
    Companion is amazing. I use it along with VICREO Listener plugin to control my Stream Deck when using Zoom (to switch backgrounds / cameras on the ATEM as well as mute / turn on/off video and a few other Zoom options).
    Haven’t seen VICREO… so that’s just to put Companion on the Stream Deck?
    Can I have laptop's?
    If you’re asking if you can plug in a laptop… yes, via HDMI output. If you’re asking if you can have my laptop… no 😂
    Step 1: Buy an atem mini extreme
    Actually, you can do this with two ATEM Mini (originals)
    Awesome video! Is there a way to monitor all seven inputs?
    No, because even if you had two Pro/Pro ISOs, you’d be using the only HDMI out of the second one as the Program out. You would be able to see what it’s set to in input 4 of the multiview on the main ATEM though. Just not all of them at once.
    @PhotoJoseph Thanks! That’s what I thought but just wanted to confirm.
    I did it in the same way. Initially i bought a mini, used it a couple of months and then i bougth the iso. I had the option of selling the mini, but i solved my doubt making a daisy chain and use El gato. Good explanation to tune my configuration. Thank you!,
    Were you using Companion to control them? If not, then hopefully his solves an issue for you!
    I most definitely did learn - that Companion app is incredibly powerful. Wow! Thanks Joseph!
    It really is amazing! Once you go Companion…  ;-)
    Wow, fantastic! Didn’t realize you could connect 2 Atem Mini! Cheers from Japan!
    woohoo, great to hear! Enjoy :-)
    yes!
    Yes! back! ;-)
    Is there another step with the iPad to connect to the URL , I’m on the same WiFi..I’m on a pc do it need to be a Mac ? Thanks great video
    Definitely does not need to be a Mac. Some networks are configured to separate the wifi from the wired network; could that be an issue?
    Great video! I already use the Stream Deck and Companion software to control my ATEM Mini. I have an ATEM Extreme ISO on order, so I will definitely be trying this out. You showed me how to use the mobile interface on the iPad and iPhone! Thanks again, and keep the videos coming!
    Excellent, glad I could learn ya somethin! ;-)
    Excellent video PJ! I just subscribed to you! Question: will my ISO be able to record the added ATEM mini-buttons for Resolve to see?
    Thanks for the sub! No, the ISO most definitely will NOT record the switching on the ATEM Mini. As far as it's concerned, it's just sitting on input 4.
    @PhotoJoseph Thanks for creating the video. I had come up with a similar solution several months ago but I will say yours is more elegant. You also showed me a few things to look at turning up in companion. I am using the StreamDeckXL which makes talking to multi ATEM's a little easier.
    Right on! And yeah the Stream Deck is amazing for sure. I love mine!!
    Learned a lot with this video. You talk fast but explanations are clear and easy to follow. Thanks!
    haha I do talk a bit fast… thanks for watching!
    @PhotoJoseph Not as fast as Grant on BMD, though... ;)
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