The Best Video Switchers for Church

Editor’s Choice

  • Support for SDI and HDMI cameras, smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs
  • Easy to operate with hardware controls
  • Compact size

Best Overall

  • Eight video inputs and 12 outputs
  • Multi-view monitoring
  • HD/Ultra HD

Budget-Friendly

  • It doesn’t take too much space
  • It is a plug-and-play switcher
  • It has up to 4 HDMI live stream inputs

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best video switchers for church, then I’d recommend the Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K as the best one.

The demand for video switchers has increased dramatically as the churches were forced into live streaming. Since the pandemic took hold of the globe, most churches are looking to upgrade their video and live streaming capabilities. Hence, the need for honest recommendations and upfront information regarding these products.

Here are the best Video Switchers for Church that we will be reviewing:

What are Video Switchers for Church?

Video switchers are devices used to switch between different video sources. Besides its primary function, video switchers can record videos as you edit. Other tasks of video switchers are mixing video, adding prerecorded footage, and placing special effects on the video as it plays live.

Usually, video switchers are present at film and video production sites such as television studios. But now, churches are using video switchers because of the sudden rise of live streaming due to the pandemic.

Hardware vs. Software Switchers

The two primary video switchers at churches are hardware and software switchers. The significant difference between the two is that a hardware switcher is a separate device that can be plugged into another monitor. In contrast, a software switcher is a kind that can be purchased and downloaded into a computer or laptop. After setting it up, it’s ready to use.

Both types have their merits; whichever you use is okay and depends on preference. If you have a tight budget, go for software video switchers. They are cheaper and do not require additional desk space. But if your church already has video production equipment, go for hardware video switchers. Using the hardware type will be easier because it is already directly connected to the video source.

What is the Purpose of Using Video Switchers at Church?

Using video switchers for the church can make presentations and live streams a breeze. A video switcher allows you to change between different incoming video signals. This means you can switch between the camera and the PowerPoint presentation with a push of a button. Another function that will be useful is that video signals can be chosen to a single output. You can choose to record or broadcast the video signals.

How to Use Video Switchers for Church?

What’s neat about video switchers for the church is that it’s compatible with either a laptop, PC, Mac, or just a separate monitor. Once you have your switcher set up and good to go, you can connect your cameras to the system and start working. From there, you can do a simple setup and only do a single output for your video feed, or you can also use a splitter and duplicate the video output.

Depending on what your church needs, you can learn to use the different functions of a video switcher – procedures such as effects, mixing videos, and adding prerecorded videos at any point of the presentation.

Benefits of Using Video Switchers for Church

Allows you to switch from different cameras easily

One of the benefits of using a video switcher is that you can quickly hook up more than one camera and switch to different angles. With a push of a button, you can now add dimension and depth to your church’s live stream. However, keep in mind that this function may cause lags if your church wants to stream through other platforms like Facebook Live or YouTube.

The video can be edited while it’s going live

Using a video switcher gives you a rough cut of the video feed as it broadcasts live. With this function, the final editing process won’t be as time-consuming. This is because the recorded broadcast doesn’t contain all video feeds from every camera.

It saves space on the memory card

Using a video switcher, you can record the program feed instead of all camera feeds. This function saves you valuable space on your memory card and cuts time editing the stream if your church intends to re-broadcast the service or event.

Things to Consider When Choosing Video Switchers for Church

The durability of the Video Switcher

The product’s durability is not usually stated on the specs; you can check it out in the reviews instead. Nowadays, we are more likely to buy items through online transactions than by going to the actual store. Because of this, reviews from other consumers are beneficial.

How many inputs do you need?

If this is your church’s first time using a video switcher, then two to three inputs are enough. If you’re only planning on using the switcher for church services or small events, at least three inputs are enough – two for the cameras and one for the laptop or computer.

Type of video quality

Most video switchers in the market offer 4k resolution at most. But for church purposes, 1080p or full HD is enough. The video quality of your cameras is also essential. The difference in video quality can cause latency issues when switching from one camera to another. This isn’t that big of a problem, as most video switchers now have a built-in scaler. Built-in scalers can help produce smooth and seamless transitions during live streams.

Types of effects included

There are times when the number of effects included increases the price of the video switcher. So before you decide which switcher you want, research the possible products you will likely use. Simple effects such as video and audio mixing and transitions are usually enough for live church streams.

Ease of use

Getting the hang of using a video switcher takes time, especially if you’re not a ‘tech’ person. But there are video switchers out there that are user and beginner-friendly. Reading the product reviews is an excellent way to know if that particular video switcher is user-friendly.

Does it have additional built-in functions?

Does the video switcher need an audio switcher as well? Other than the basic, what other effects are you looking for? Although you do not necessarily need all the possible functions and results right away, it’s good to have them when you do need them. But do keep in mind that the extra built-in functions will cost you more money. So weigh out your options and think it through first before buying.

Price

If you’re tight on budget, that’s okay. There are simple video switchers on the market that can give you outstanding results. Opt for a simple video switcher for church purposes. First, you must list the tasks and outcomes you know your church will enjoy. Once you’ve got that all sorted out, you can begin searching and narrowing down your choices. The best video switcher for your church doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it gets the job done perfectly.

Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K

The Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K can easily navigate a multi-cam system for your live streams for the church at HD to Ultra HD quality. Although it may seem like this video switcher is only for professional use, Blackmagic’s target users say otherwise. Churches, conferences, and live streams are some of the targeted applications for this video switcher.

You can use the switcher as is. Or you also have the option to connect to your laptop via Ethernet to access more complex controls and customization. Other features you can expect are remote camera control and direct color correction. Despite its small and compact build at under 10 lbs, this switcher is durable enough for travel use.

Pros:

  • Eight video inputs and 12 outputs
  • Multi-view monitoring
  • HD/Ultra HD
  • Built-in control panel with camera controls
  • ATEM Software Control Panel included
  • It can be used both in-house and at outdoor events

Cons:

  • Using copyright music during the video presentation will cause the stream to cut out midway
  • Some operators may experience a steep learning curve

Roland V-1SDI Web Streaming Bundle

The Roland V-1SDI Web Streaming Bundle is an all-in-one audio and video switcher. One of the notable features of this video switcher is mixing different resolutions. With this feature, you can work with cameras of various resolutions and still make an excellent video output. This video switcher is also flexible with other HDMI sources. Besides cameras, you can also connect smartphones, computers, tablets, and Blu-ray players.

The Roland V-1SDI delivers professional results at any event and video presentation. This multipurpose switcher is perfect for in-house events and travel applications. Its easy-to-use hardware interface and backlit buttons make it a breeze to use.

Pros:

  • Support for SDI and HDMI cameras, smartphones, tablet computers, and PCs
  • Easy to operate with hardware controls
  • Compact size
  • Supports up to full HD 1080p
  • Input 4’s scaler now supports a wider range of video and VESA resolutions

Cons:

  • It is not capable of 4K resolution

Roland V-8HD 8-Channel HD Video Switcher

Here’s another all-in-one switcher from Roland. This one has a built-in multiviewer preview monitor. When you don’t have a separate monitor for an outdoor event, the multiviewer monitor comes in handy. Like the previous video switchers, you can quickly connect up to eight HDMI sources with full HD support. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the difference in video quality with built-in scalers that ensure a seamless presentation.

Because of its compact design, the Roland V-8HD requires minimal setup space, and you can bring it anywhere for outdoor events as well. This four lbs video switcher can fit your luggage or backpack and has external battery power.

Pros:

  • Five-layer effects and keying engine
  • Built-in multiviewer preview monitor
  • Technology-assisted automatic video switching
  • 18-channel digital audio mixer with effects 
  • Free iPad remote control app available
  • Ultramobile, lightweight and efficient

Cons:

  • This video switcher is not capable of 4K resolution

Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro ISO

Besides its impressive compact design, the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro ISO is straightforward. It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner; it’s a plug-and-play switcher where you connect all your cables to the device without needing additional software. This video switcher has four HDMI live stream inputs with 1080p60 resolution and two audio ports.

Another notable feature is the ability to use a multiview monitoring output. This feature allows you to view all four video inputs side by side. In addition to that, the ATEM Mini Pro ISO can record and project the live stream via Ethernet to all social media platforms such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Twitch.

Pros:

  • It doesn’t take too much space
  • It is a plug-and-play switcher
  • It has up to 4 HDMI live stream inputs
  • It can record and live stream over Ethernet
  • It has a multiview monitoring output

Cons:

  • This video switcher is not capable of 4K resolution
  • Not user-friendly

Avmatrix PVS0613 Portable Video Switcher

Video Switchers for Church

The PVS0613 Video Switcher gives you video switching abilities, audio mixing, and different transition effects. It is an all-in-one six-channel switcher that has a 13.3-inch full HD LCD so that you can monitor all six cameras side-by-side. It also has a built-in audio switcher that can mix two external audios. This video switcher is flexible enough to accept different formats and video qualities from all six cameras to deliver a final video presentation of 1080i and 1080p quality.

This video switcher also boasts of a widespread application where you efficiently use it for church masses, live outdoor events, and virtual studios. This portable switcher weighs a total of 1.7kg and comes with a handbag, very handy for travel.

Pros:

  • It has up to 6 channel outputs with a built-in audio mixer
  • The switcher comes with a portable handbag for storage and travel purposes
  • It has a multiview monitoring output for all six cameras plus a clock and the menu list on the lower right corner of the monitor
  • Rich interface
  • It can be widely used in various field events

Cons:

  • This video switcher is not capable of 4K resolution.

Conclusion

Because of the rise of live streams and online video conferences, video switchers are no longer limited to big video productions. Using video switchers for churches can make live streaming a breeze. From simple effects such as seamless video transition to mixing external audio, the best video switcher for the church can add a new level of professionalism to your video presentations.

The best video switcher for church I’d recommend is the Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K. This user-friendly video switcher has up to eight individual inputs. With the cameras, you can connect your computer and media player to this video switcher. It offers HD to Ultra HD video quality, perfect for church live streams. Besides the effects on the control console, you can access additional and advanced impact when connecting the switcher to your laptop. Lastly, you get all these amazing effects and functions in a small and compact device that is durable and easy to carry with you for outdoor events.

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.


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