[00:00:00] To connect the camera to your ATEM Mini, you of course are going to use an HDMI cable. And HDMI cables come in all shapes and sizes. You can get little itty bitty ones like this, kinda normal size and shaped ones like this, or you can get longer ones like this one here. This is a ten-meter or about 33 foot cable and you can see how big and heavy duty this is. It’s thick, it’s inflexible, and it is expensive.
[00:00:25] This one at ten meters is about half the maximum length. You can go up to about 20 meters which is the maximum length that you really are supposed to run HDMI and that’s pretty much the longest you’re gonna find on the market today, unless you step into the world of HDMI over fiber optics.
[00:00:38] Now, HDMI over fiber optics used to be really expensive. You had to buy a converter box on one end to convert from HDMI to fiber, and then a long fiber run, and then another box for the other end to convert it from fiber back to HDMI — and this would add up to a lot of money very quickly.
[00:00:53] Well, within the last year or so, something new has come to the market, and that is dedicated fiber HDMI cables. They’re a lot more affordable, there’s a bunch of brands on Amazon, you can buy them today for cheap — and I’ve got a couple of them here to show you.
[00:01:05] Now, while this here is a thirty-foot cable, this one right here is 100 feet. This one, 300 feet. This is 300 feet of fiber optic HDMI. I’m kind of afraid to uncoil it but um, but there we go. Now, there’s a couple of really important things to know about HDMI and there’s a reason that I have two separate cables here to explain the differences.
[00:01:29] The thing about HDMI is that it is a two-way protocol. Data can transfer both ways down the HDMI cable. Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but what does it matter? You’re hooking up a camera to a TV, or to an ATEM, you don’t need to talk both ways. But having two-way communication gives you two things. For one, it’s the convenience of not mattering which end of the cable goes in where. You can take either end of the cable, plug them into the camera or the ATEM, and it doesn’t matter. That’s standard HDMI.
[00:01:55] However, fiber optics is one-way communication. With a fiber optic cable, there is an input and an output. In fact, if we look at this one here, you’ll see that it has a “source” and a “TV” indicator on it. So, the source being the camera and the TV in this case being the ATEM. If you connect them the wrong way, then you just don’t get a signal.
[00:02:13] Now, that’s fine and well for most uses. If you’re just using pretty much any digital camera on the with your ATEM, that is perfectly fine. However, if you’re using a Blackmagic camera, specifically a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and you want to be able to control the camera from the ATEM, then you need two-way communication. But all is not lost because there is a branch of the fiber optic cables that are ARC compatible - A-R-C. And ARC is something that you’ll find on modern televisions that is used to communicate with your set-top box.
[00:02:41] It turns out that that ARC communication — that data path back — is enough to control the camera. So, let’s have a look some of these cables on Amazon and we’ll plug it in and see how it works.
[00:02:52] This is the 300 foot cable that I have in front of me. It’s not available anymore for some reason but I paid about $115 for it but you can get a 200 foot one for just $90. So, there’s an option but again, that one does not have ARC compatibility so that one is not going to work with the Blackmagic camera. That said, if you just need a long cable run and you’re not using the Blackmagic camera, that cable is perfectly fine.
[00:03:12] Then let’s look at this one. This is a 100-foot cable that is ARC compatible and this in fact is the cable that I have in front of me here and this cable comes in at just $80. So, about the same price as the 200 foot one without the ARC. So again, it depends on what you need.
[00:03:27] Now, I did actually find a 200 foot fiber optic cable with ARC compatibility and this one comes in at just $90. I have not tested this cable, so I don’t know if it works but it’s good to know that the options are out there.
[00:03:38] Alright, with that said, let’s go ahead and plug this thing into the camera and see what happens. So, here’s the camera end of this. You see it says “source” on it. I’ll go ahead and plug this in. And looking at the Multi View on the ATEM, you’ll see of course we have picture and if I switch away from that camera — let’s say I put it into the Preview Mode — you’ll see it switches over to Preview and the light on the front of the camera goes green, telling me that it’s in Preview Mode.
[00:04:01] If I switch back, it switches over and the camera is now on air, the light goes red and it says “on air” on the back. But it’s not just that communication, I do have full camera control. So, if I jump over to the ATEM software, I can control the exposure by changing the aperture there… I can tint the scene… I have full camera control of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera from the ATEM over this fiber optic HDMI cable. That’s all I wanted to show you.
[00:04:27] It’s a new thing that’s on the market today and it’s exciting that we have this ability now for so inexpensively compared to what it used to cost; that’s absolutely remarkable. Now, this isn’t the only way to go along, you can of course go wireless as well but wireless, while it means you don’t have to have a cable running across the floor does have other issues — it’s more susceptible to drop out and there’s added latency. With this, you get no additional latency. It’s just like a regular HDMI cable.
[00:04:49] So, depending on what you’re looking for, you’re gonna find the right product for you. I’ve got links to these down below and I guess that’s about it. Thanks a bunch for watching. As always, like and subscribe, share, tell a friend, and I’ll see you in the next video.