Mark Hanna's favorite streaming device has always been the Matrox Monarch. With the newly release the of the Monarch LCS he was intrigued to find out more. Check out what Mark has to say about the Monarch LCS below.
One of the most attention getting features of the new Monarch LCS
is the ability for the layout to be viewer-defined. When paired with compatible third-party media players the viewer gets the option to select the layout they want to view. They can even switch layouts while streaming. This is great for those times you have a long verse or a map as part of your pastor’s sermon. The viewer can opt to watch just the pastor, the pastor with the notes next to him or even switch to full screen notes to get a good look at those bible verses or maps. Putting this control in the viewer’s hands is huge, giving people the option to view what they want how they want. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The other feature I find impressive is the store and forward capability. This has some real applications in the church world where you want to archive or upload an on-demand file to the internet. However, you don’t what to try and do it while all the congregation’s smart phones are still clogging your pipe. Once it has recorded files locally to an SD card or USB attached storage it can transfer the files over the network, or via FTP/sFTP protocols to cloud based servers at a later time. This transfer can be triggered manually or automatically at a scheduled preset time.
At the end of the day the new Matrox Monarch LCS is going to get you a lot of bang for your buck. At $2,495 it’s not the cheapest streaming box on the market, but I’m not sure too many other devices can boast the feature set and ability to stream two inputs. I think many churches would love the option to be able to provide notes into a stream completely separate from their main program or camera feed. As a viewer, I really like the option to be able to select how I watch the video. As someone who watches multi-viewers all the time, a two-up window doesn’t bother me. However, I can see other people finding it too busy, so being able to serve both is a real winner.
I am interested to see what would happened if you simply plugged two cameras into Monarch LCS instead of a computer, but nothing in the documentation mentioned it. We’ll wait for the review unit to arrive so we can learn more about this and other features. If the two-camera option were also a possibility, the new Monarch LCS would go from simply “great new technology” to a game-changer for the church production market.
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