The 10 Best Production Switchers
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in October of 2018. Whether you're running a television show or are livestreaming to your favorite social media site with a simple multi-cam setup, one of the production switchers on our list will make fast and easy work of all your real-time editing, mixing, and effects. We've included models that serve as relatively basic relays, as well as those that are completely integrated within complex control panels. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 20, 2020:
The majority of the offerings in our previous ranking were confined to HD content, despite some having fast SDI connections. This time around, there are some new models and some upgrades to old ones that bring UHD to the category. The most exciting of these might be the Blackmagic Design ATEM Studio Pro, which features a slew of outstanding controls for adding specific effects and transitions in real time. It's designed to sit on a tabletop, with its reference monitor on a section of the body that's angled up so you can see it more clearly.
Of course, if you're already looking beyond 4K, there's the Blackmagic Design ATEM Constellation 8K. No, the idea isn't necessarily that you'd be broadcasting in 8K, but rather that you could use 6K or 8K content from some recently released cameras and crop in on it from within the frame without losing any resolution for a 4K feed.
Those, like the other Blackmagic Design model that we included in our special honors section, are undeniably professional-grade tools. For bedroom producers live streaming to YouTube and other social media sites, something simple like the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini would suffice, especially since you're probably already using your computer and dedicated software for your stream as it is. This added hardware element will grant you more control and flexibility with your setup.
November 09, 2018:
Having attended a couple of Blackmagic's design conferences over the years, I wasn't too surprised that they had so many capable offerings in this category that are suitable for everyone from novices to pros. The simplicity and effectiveness of some Roland models was a surprise, however, particularly their V-60HD, which is packed with great features.
Blackmagic Design ATEM 4 M/E Advanced Panel This is about as technologically advanced and feature-rich as the category gets, with four rows of 40 inputs each for a total of 160, each segmented into its own sub-switcher with a grip-style fader and a dedicated reference monitor. Buttons even get their own customizable LCDs for clear labeling, but this level of sophistication is prohibitively expensive to anyone but pros working on very well-funded projects. blackmagicdesign.com
Roland Pro A/V 1200HDR While a lot of these tools skimp on their displays, this model features a pair of seven-inch LCDs, both of which are touch-sensitive. You can use one as either your master or your multi-view, while the other serves as an effects and editing interface and data source, ensuring you have total control of the moment. roland.com
Sony AWS-750 This might be one of the most portable options on the market that still boasts a large display, and that's before you realize there are two touch-sensitive surfaces here, one that looks and acts like he hardware you'd see on other switchers, and another that works as a dedicated reference monitor. It opens and closes like a laptop, which not only adds to its portability, it also serves to protect those screens. pro.sony