Review: Matrox Monarch HD
Streaming Media by Jan Ozer
The dual-stream use case--one for streaming, one for archive or other production--is very common in live production, and Matrox Monarch HD, a $995 compact standalone streaming/recording unit, appears to be the lowest-cost solution--and a highly competent one at that.
Matrox’s Monarch HD (Figure 1, below) is a live streaming encoder that costs$995. In a video and accompanying article that you can see/read here [http://www.streamingmedia.com/Producer/articles/readarticle.aspx?ArticleID=93316], I demonstrate how the unit works and its most important features. In this review, I tested the unit’s functionality.
I’ll start with a brief overview. The Linux-driven hardware is about the size of a small deli sandwich (5.6”x4.3”x1.22”), with no moving parts, which means it’s quiet so you can stream from anywhere with a cabled Ethernet connection (the unit does not have WiFi). The unit accepts HDMI audio/video input, with a separate jack for analog audio (Figure 2, below). There’s an HDMI output for monitoring and a headphone jack. If you need HD-SDI or other inputs, you can buy the unit bundled with the Matrox MC-100 SDI to HDMI convertor combo kit, or use third-party converters.
You configure the unit by logging in from a computer with access to the unit, configuring streaming and recording compression parameters, and inserting server credentials and stream names. Once saved in the device, you don’t need to log in to stream; you can drive the unit via buttons and status lights on the front panel (Figure 3, below). read more...
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