Matrox’s new Monarch HD is a portable live encoder that can send a stream to your streaming server and also record a master-quality copy to a network drive, or local USB or SD storage.
The Monarch HD costs less than $1,000, and is available now at Videoguys.com. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to use the Monarch to stream a live event and record a master-quality copy.
Portability and Connectivity
The hardware itself is portable and compact and has no moving parts, so it’s quiet and you can use it pretty much anywhere. On the back, you’ve got connections for power and network. The unit inputs audio and video via HDMI, with an HDMI output for monitoring.
You can also input analog audio via the 1/8” connector, and monitor audio via this headphone jack.
If you need 3G, HD-SDI or SD-SDI input, you can pair the Monarch with the Matrox MC-100, which is available as an affordable bundle for only $1,295.00
On the front, you’ve got status lights, buttons for starting streaming and recording, and two USB ports and an SD card slot for local storage.
Configuring the Monarch HD
To configure the unit, you log into the Linux-based device from a local browser. The four tabs shown below control setup and operation.
Let’s start in the Settings tab. As you can see in Figure 4 (below), you have Settings for Stream, Record, and Audio.
Configuring Stream Settings
In the Stream Settings window, you can set the operating mode to Stream only, Record only, or Stream and record. In the Stream Settings window, you set parameters for the live stream.
You configure the stream in the encoding section, with canned presets providing a starting point.
From there, you can customize your settings and save them as Profiles for easy use and reuse.
In the Streaming section, you insert the parameters for your live streaming server. Once you save these parameters, they’re stored in the Monarch, so you can drive the system via the buttons on the front of the unit.
Configuring Record Settings
In the Encoding section of the Record Settings window, you choose the parameters for your master-quality copy. Again, presets speed your selection, and you can save your customizations as new profiles.
In the Recording section of the Record Settings window, you choose the container format, MOV or MP4, and where to save the master-quality file, which can be local storage or a networked location.
You can even send the file to an editor’s workstation so they can start editing the video once the event is complete.
Configuring Audio Settings
In the Audio Settings window, you choose your audio source and sample rate.
Working in the Device and Status Tabs
The Device tab gives you access to the basic information in a pull-down menu that includes Account, IP Setup, Date and Time and About, while the status window provides a quick look at your overall configuration.
Streaming and Recording in the Control Window
When you’re ready to go, click the Control tab on the far left, and you can start streaming, recording, or both.
If you have more than one Monarch installed, you can control them all from this interface by selecting the Control multiple Monarch HD devices checkbox. If you’re using the Monarch in the field without access to the interface, you can use the buttons and status lights on the unit to control operation.
The blue indicator light by the Stream button tells you that you’re ready to stream; click the button and the light starts blinking to let you know that you’re streaming.
For recording, the red light does the same, lighting up when the media is ready and blinking while you’re recording.
If any problems arise, the yellow indicator under the familiar exclamation-point warning triangle lights up to let you know.
So that’s it. Matrox’s Monarch HD is portable, silent, and the only hardware encoder that can encode a live stream and a master quality copy simultaneously. For many live event producers, that combination will be tough to beat.
For more information about the Matrox Monarch HD, contact Videoguys.com at 800-323-2325