Compatibility with M1 Mac Mini and Blackmagic ATEM Mini Extreme

Our church is planning a video streaming project the major components consisting of 3 plz cameras, a Blackmagic ATEM Mini Extreme switcher and a M1 Mac Mini. We have been using Zoom with very wide acceptance with very few connection issues by the congregation. We anticipate starting with Zoom; and possibly expanding to other platforms in the future. Our first project will be installing a quality video projector and using a volunteer’s DSLR with HDMI output with Zoom until the remainder of the project is complete.

One objective is to create a multi-view screen for sending to the in sanctuary video projector 3 video images: (1) in the top left the minister (2) in the bottom left the “speaker” view of Zoom and (3) in approximately 2/3 of the screen width and full height the “gallery” view of Zoom. We hope to use the Mac Mini to produce the video numbers 2 & 3 so that the multi-view screen can be accomplished without an additional computer. The Mac Mini will be permanently located in the control room.

We plan to use the Blackmagic ATEM Mini Extreme “SuperSource” to produce the 3 video multi-view using 2 HDMI switcher inputs for the “speaker” and “gallery” screens of Zoom and 1 HDMI from one of the permanently mounted cameras.

We are mindful of the limitation of the UD-3900PDZ reading as follows: “Because of how DisplayLink provides video, video outputs provided by DisplayLink technology should only be used to display content like office applications and web browser windows, not games or video content.”

We plan to use for the #(2) video the HDMI on the Mac Mini and for the #(3) video the HDMI 1 (Alt Mode) output from the UD-3900PDZ.

The HDMI 2 (DisplayLink) output from the UD-3900PDZ will go to an HDMI monitor showing, in this application, the “virtual switcher” from the ATEM switcher by way of a USB output from the ATEM switcher to the Mac Mini.

Finally the program output from the ATEM switcher by USB is provided the Mac Mini for the event video and audio to Zoom.

We will be able to monitor the video screens #(2) and #(3) either continually in the Blackmagic “MultiView” output or individually by selecting the HDMI channel of these screens on our “preview” tv monitor.

A key element of the design is that the basic operation of the control room can be accomplished with just the permanently installed equipment. We have been using a Beheringer Wi-Fi based audio mixer which will require an additional computer. Graphics, hymn lyrics and outside video will require yet another additional computer either locally or elsewhere, but the basic operation can be done without personal computers being required.

Questions:

  1. Do you see any compatibility issues as described? I know that we will need to download DisplayLink software. I looked at the very detailed screen images of that process and do not anticipate any problem in accomplishing this task. I suspect the ds i

  2. Is it true that we can use the built in HDMI outlet on the Mac Mini and the HDMI 1 output on the UD-3900PDZ for the 2 video sources we need? The third video source will be the Blackmagic “virtual switcher” page on one of the DisplayLink HDMI outlets. This video stream should be more like office applications or web pages since it is largely static. The last DisplayLink HDMI will not be used.

  3. Does any latency in the system as described look like an issue? We will be using the HDMI output from the plz camera nearest the pulpit, and SDI for the camera in the back of the sanctuary and SDI for the camera on the opposite side of the camera nearest the pulpit with Blackmagic SDI to HDMI mini converters due to the cable distance involved. As far as I know, these converters will introduce only 1 frame latency. The incoming audio from Zoom already matches the computer video. As long as any latency introduced by the UD-3900PDZ is minimal we should not have a problem. We do know that there is a potential for feedback over Zoom and expect that our minister might have to use headphones to hear the incoming audio when a Zoom participant is speaking to the sanctuary at least until experience is gained on muting the pulpit microphone when the Zoom participant is speaking. We anticipate using a separate audio system for the Zoom participant.

I really appreciate the specific responses others have received from Plugable. My hope is that by addressing these kind of issues promptly while the process is still in the planning stage will give us assurance that all of the pieces will work as expected and any problems will have been dealt with before equipment is ordered and installed.

Sincerely,

Stephen M. Shirley

Hello Stephen,

Thank you for contacting Plugable support! I’d be more than happy to assist you.

I will reply inline to your questions below:

"1) Do you see any compatibility issues as described? I know that we will need to download DisplayLink software. I looked at the very detailed screen images of that process and do not anticipate any problem in accomplishing this task. I suspect the ds"

DisplayLink USB graphics are a virtual graphics device and may not work well with devices like HDMI switchers. This is because DisplayLink USB graphics rely heavily on EDID (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Extended_Display_Identification_Data) and this data can be changed when running through an HDMI switcher, or similar device. It may cause problems with the dock outputting video correctly or at all.

We generally recommend to not use DisplayLink USB graphics unless the display is directly attached. So no HDMI switchers, KVMs, etc… While it may work, we cannot guarantee stability.

"2) Is it true that we can use the built in HDMI outlet on the Mac Mini and the HDMI 1 output on the UD-3900PDZ for the 2 video sources we need? The third video source will be the Blackmagic “virtual switcher” page on one of the DisplayLink HDMI outlets. This video stream should be more like office applications or web pages since it is largely static. The last DisplayLink HDMI will not be used."

Yes, the Mac Mini HDMI will function for one video output. Theoretically the UD-3900PDZ would let you have four total displays on a Mac Mini when combined with the Mini’s HDMI.

"3) Does any latency in the system as described look like an issue? We will be using the HDMI output from the plz camera nearest the pulpit, and SDI for the camera in the back of the sanctuary and SDI for the camera on the opposite side of the camera nearest the pulpit with Blackmagic SDI to HDMI mini converters due to the cable distance involved. As far as I know, these converters will introduce only 1 frame latency. The incoming audio from Zoom already matches the computer video. As long as any latency introduced by the UD-3900PDZ is minimal we should not have a problem. We do know that there is a potential for feedback over Zoom and expect that our minister might have to use headphones to hear the incoming audio when a Zoom participant is speaking to the sanctuary at least until experience is gained on muting the pulpit microphone when the Zoom participant is speaking. We anticipate using a separate audio system for the Zoom participant."

DisplayLink USB graphics will have some latency versus a native video output and may not perform as well for some content like HD video. DisplayLink USB graphics will also vary in performance depending on the bandwidth saturation of the 5Gbps USB 3.0 bus.

Unfortunately due to M1 graphics output limitations, some performance loss may have to be accepted since there is no other way to get multiple video outputs from M1 at this time.

Please don’t hesitate to let us know of other questions.

Thanks again for contacting Plugable support and best wishes!

Joshua Henry

Senior Engineer | Product Owner
Plugable Technologies