Video switching, mixing, video effects like keying and tally support are handled by the switcher modules. The switcher modules can be used separately, or they can be docked to form one or more traditional video switchers. The switcher modules are very powerful yet easy to use. Despite their slightly different appearance and naming convention, they work almost the same as a professional video switcher in a television control room. The switcher modules can be controlled by mouse or, using macros, by keyboard or an external controller.

Switcher modules are available in four different flavours, each called a bus: the Auxiliary (AUX), Effects (FX), Mix (MIX) and Program (PGM) bus. The auxiliary bus is a single bus with radio buttons (i.e. only one source can be selected at any time) typically used to drive studio monitors. The effects bus can be used both as single or dual (A/B) bus. For every source an effect can be selected. Multiple sources can be active simultaneously, they are overlaid from left to right. The mix bus is similar to the auxiliary bus but with optional A/B function. Typically used as general purpose bus. Finally the program bus is also similar to the auxiliary bus but with optional A/B function, where the B bus will be named preview (PVW). This bus is typically used for the video stream to be broadcast, streamed or recorded. The program & preview buses also directly control the status of the source modules' tally lights. Each bus has a single video output. Buses share a lot of common functionality, and in fact you'll find that quite often more than one bus can be used for a certain task. 

Right-click a button to open its popup menu. The following additional menu entries are available.

Crop, Position & Scale

The Crop, Position & Scale effect allows you to accurately crop, position and scale a source. Changing any of the values can be done by entering the desired value (%), use the up/down buttons, or click and drag the Crop, Position or Scale buttons. An additional zoom function, which changes both the scale and position simultaneously, is available through the mouse scroll wheel. Hold down the Shift key to improve accuracy when using your mouse. To reset a value to its default double click it while holding down the Shift key. 

Keying > Disabled/Embedded Alpha/Chroma

The FX bus supports keying using either the source's alpha or chroma channel. Note sources are overlaid from left to right, starting with the background.

Chroma Key > Auto Key

When chroma keying is selected, this option will scan the current video frame and compute it's key (average colour of the green or blue screen).

Video Source

You can change the source for the selected bus button here. Except for the source and button caption, all settings will remain unchanged.

Remove Source

Remove the selected source. A source can also be removed by dragging it away from the bus in vertical direction.

Bus Add Source

Add one or all sources to the bus. Note the order of sources can be changed by dragging the buttons to the desired position.

Bus Background

The video source selected here will act as background. Set background to Black (default) is you wish to select the background video source on the bus itself. Available for the effects bus only. 

Bus Option > Alias

Opens a dialog allowing you to enter the FX bus's Alias, which can be a more descriptive version of the bus. Available for the effects bus only.

Bus Option > A/B Mode

Adds the B bus, to be used in combination with the transition panel. Allows for transitions. Not available for the auxiliary bus.

Bus Option > Tally

When set this bus directly updates source modules' tallies. By default this flag is only set for the program and preview buses.

Related videos

A short tutorial on the different types of buses available in VidBlasterX5. This video is created by Jan Akalla in VidBlasterX beta v5.06, by capturing PowerPoint from a laptop via NDI.