The Monarch HDX Dual-Channel H.264 Streaming Encoder from Matrox is well featured, easy to use, and reasonably priced, and produced very good quality output. Those seeking a dual-channel hardware encoder should definitely include the product on their short list. Simple and versatile video encoding appliance specifically designed for broadcasters and webcasters who need a flexible solution that is powerful enough to take on today’s demanding video delivery workflows. Simultaneously record and stream video from SDI and HDMI sources. Expanding on the Monarch HD, the Monarch HDX adds SDI I/O to the already available HDMI I/O and dual-channel operation with independent H.264 encoders. This functionality makes it suitable for broadcast and other professional workflows that require streaming and recording of content, such as houses of worship and universities. This streaming appliance offers 3G-SDI and HDMI inputs with frame-synchronization to correct any discontinuity at the input, and two independent H.264 encoders that can be assigned to individual tasks. By providing two encoders in a single device, the unit can tackle any job; from streaming to two different locations, to recording a proxy quality file while simultaneously recording master quality version for post-event editing, to using one encoder for streaming while the other records at higher quality for VOD downloads. Whether used as a live streaming encoder or video recorder, HDX can integrate seamlessly into virtually any SD and HD installation.
Powerful, High Quality H.264 Encoding Engine
Can share 30 Mb/s of encoding capacity across the two channels. Each channel benefits from a powerful scaling, de-interlacing, and noise reduction engine to ensure only pristine images are sent to be encoded.
When used as a webcasting encoder, it generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocols. You can assign each channel separately to deliver what you need, where you need. Each channel can stream up to 10Mb/s, allowing you to simultaneously stream to two destinations or set the device for up to 20Mb/s streaming quality for a single encoding destination.
Provides a huge amount of flexibility as an H.264 video recorder. Content can be captured in either MOV or MP4 files to ensure that they can be played by your application of choice. Recordings can be stored locally on an SD card, a USB drive, or remotely on a network-mapped drive. Dual channel recording allows the user to simultaneously record content locally and to a drive, which means files are immediately available to anybody on the network, but also provides the assurance that no action is lost even if the network goes down. Furthermore, each recording can be done at a different bitrate should there be a need to deliver the content to devices with varying decode capacities.
Simultaneous Streaming and Recording
The quality of your VOD downloads need never be dictated by the available upload bandwidth. This steaming appliance dual encoders can broadcast a live webstream at one bitrate while simultaneously recording mastering quality H.264 files for immediate availability, such as post event VOD or editing with your NLE of choice.
Selectable HDMI and SDI Inputs and Simultaneous Outputs
Monarch H.264 video recorder can accept signals from HDMI or SDI sources. The input is selected using the web based UI, Matrox Command Center, or directly on the unit itself, allowing for a wide range of connectivity to devices such as cameras, switchers or routers. Additionally, both inputs are complemented by internal frame synchronizers to ensure uninterrupted streaming and recording operations, regardless of the disturbance on the input. The audio is also selectable between the two channels of the embedded video signal or the analog stereo input. Audio may be dynamically muted/unmuted without affecting the video encoding operation.
Regardless of input selection, SDI, HDMI video and embedded and analog audio outputs are live. For SDI workflows, the recorder has an extremely low pass-through latency with a built-in power-loss relay which, in case of power loss, will route the SDI input directly to the SDI output, ensuring signal path integrity and fail safe design options.
Easily Webcast to Your Audience
Whether you’re providing live streaming content to Adobe Flash or Wowza Media servers, to any of the popular CDNs, or directly to a computer, its flexible video streaming protocol support is up to the task. The unit is a certified “Works with Wowza” live video streaming encoder, allowing our users to benefit from enhanced integration with the Wowza streaming engine. As a certified encoder, Wowza Manager can provide an XML file which contains the credentials required for this device to easily connect to the Wowza Streaming engine. The unit also supports XML files generated for use with Flash Live Media Encoder. These files are often offered by CDNs to allow their customers to easily connect to their service. Both XML files are loaded into this device using the Matrox Command Center, a web based UI.
Control from Anywhere
Can be controlled and configured via Command Center using any device on the network that supports a standard web browsing application such as a computer, smart phone or tablet. Designed for operator ease-of-use, master controls provide one-click operation to start streaming, recording or both from anywhere within the user interface.
The device also provides convenient controls directly on the unit itself to stop/start recording or streaming, and an additional button to assign the input.
H.264 Preview Stream
H.264 encoder provides a very useful low bitrate preview stream of the input directly in the Command Center UI. This same preview can be viewed using software players such as VLC or on third-party devices, such as Crestron control panels. This stream is available independently of the two encoder channels allowing you to check your video signal before your webcast goes live.
Profiles and Presets
Ships with a number of typical streaming and recording presets that define all the encoding parameters including resolution and bitrate. Whether preset or custom parameters are used, they only need to be entered once and saved as a unique profile. A profile not only contains encoding parameters but also destination information detailing where the encoded video is being sent. Multiple profiles can be saved if the device is used in different environments. Each profile can be loaded instantly without having to re-enter data.
Robust and Practical Design
Powerful and robust, its offers simple, one touch stream and record push buttons, input selection, and a locking power connector. Its HDMI or SDI outputs makes it easy to monitor what you are streaming and recording, regardless of signal source. All eight channels of embedded audio can be passed from any input to any output. When embedded audio is selected, all eighth channels are passed from input to output. When Analog audio is selected, it is both looped out as well as embedded in video outputs. Its design allows the unit to be just as easily located on a desktop as in a rack—up to two units can fit in a single 1RU tray. The storage and button controls are conveniently located on the front of the unit while the power and I/O ports are found at the back. Finally, its also features a wide input voltage range of 9 to 24 volts. It can be powered using the Matrox supplied power supply or DC sources such as standard field batteries.
Matrox Utils Application
The Matrox Utils application allows operators to remotely scan and find all this devices present on their network. The Utils application will also scan the attached the device and notify the operator if the unit is up to date with its installed firmware version and will also update the device automatically to ensure that it has the latest software release installed. The Matrox Utils application can also be used to reboot devices present on the network.