Computers & Electronics

TV Production 101: Guide to Video Switching

Directing a live event is one of the most exciting and challenging media jobs out there. If you’re about to study a TV production course, you’re really in for a thrill. Don’t let this make you nervous, though. TV production technology can be a little bit intimidating at first. But if you have an incredible presence of mind, then you can easily learn how to use a video switcher.

Nonetheless, learning how to use a video switcher is just one aspect of mastering video switching. To get a valuable insight into the art of video switching, you have to start with the basics. This article will walk you through the basics of video switching:

What is video switching?

One of TV Production’s most vital procedures is Video Switching. This describes how one video source shifts to another. This is made possible by operating a video switcher and multiple cameras.

What is a switcher?

It’s a device that combines multiple audio and video signals. The following are three types of switchers:

1. Video Switcher

This is a gadget that directors operate to switch and select video signals. It can be used to add effects and transitions, too. The sources of those signals can be any of these:

  • Live footage in the studio
  • Live footage from a remote area
  • Post-processed media like photos and clips
  • PowerPoint feed

The devices that displays the outputs are either of the following:

  • Streaming device
  • TV monitor
  • Video recording device

2. Audio Switcher

An audio switcher does the same thing as the video switcher. The only difference is the sources can either be music, sound effects, or voice recordings.

Analog audio switcher – A mono- or multiple channel switcher.

Digital audio switcher – A switcher with a single cable transmitting channels digital sound like stereo audio.

3. Video and Audio Switcher

This device mixes the two functions of the two previously mentioned switchers. It receives different types of signals and converts them into one output. What makes this type of switcher so awesome is its compatibility—it can accept PAL, NTSC, or SECAM.

Tips for Video Switching

As stated above, a presence of mind is crucial when you’re video switching. But that’s not enough. Here are some simple tips for effective video switching:

  • Practice. Spend time on practicing how to use the switcher before the event. Learn how to use the controls, especially the T-bar. This is what you use to transition or “switch” one source to another.
  • Memorise. Knowing the controls, terms, cables, and buttons does help.
  • Label things. And it’s not enough to memorise either. Label your gadgets, cables, microphones, headsets, etc. to avoid confusion.
  • Be on time. As the director, you should be the least likely to arrive unprepared and late. Your crew won’t respect you if this is your behaviour. This makes it hard for you to work together during the event.
  • Test everything. Finally, the most crucial thing to do—test everything. Cameras, microphones, cables, ports, batteries, and so on—all of these affect switching and the program overall.

Final Notes

Switching is an underrated art only production nerds appreciate. Now, if you plan to own a live event production business, one supplier to note is 3DHD Gear. They supply premium audio and video switchers at reasonable prices. Browse them here: HTTPS://3DHDGEAR.COM/COLLECTIONS/VIDEO-AUDIO-SWITCHERS