Magewell to Debut Standalone Streaming Encoder
Expanding beyond its highly-acclaimed strengths in video capture and playout, Magewell will take the wraps off the company’s first standalone, hardware-based streaming encoder in booth SU6324 at the 2018 NAB Show. Making live streaming production simple even for non-professional users, the Ultra Stream HDMI enables customers to record or stream video from a variety of sources with one click using on-device buttons or an intuitive, accompanying smartphone app.
Designed for users who want to stream but may have very little technical knowledge, the encoder is ideal for everyone from church volunteers, teachers and gamers to corporate marketers and live event organisers.
Avoiding the laptop and browser-based interface typically needed for setting up streaming encoders, initial configuration is performed over network or Bluetooth connectivity with the free iOS or Android app. Once security, encoding and destination parameters have been set, recording and live streaming can be started and stopped directly with physical buttons on the Ultra Stream unit or via virtual buttons in the app.
Users can stream to popular services such as Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Live or to a custom-specified RTMP server with a single tap. Streams can be output to multiple target services simultaneously, while real-time video preview in the smartphone app allows easy monitoring. A tablet-optimised version of the app is also available for use with larger mobile devices.
“While the combination of our capture devices with software from our third-party partners continues to deliver powerful benefits, many customers have a need for a compact, standalone streaming device that doesn’t require a computer to configure or use,” said Nick Ma, CEO and CTO at Magewell. “The Ultra Stream HDMI is ideal for these users, particularly those with limited technical experience. Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous these days, making them a natural and intuitive interface for controlling an encoder. Ultra Stream HDMI enhances the role of smartphones in Internet content production and sharing, and anyone familiar with a modern mobile device can easily configure and master operation of the encoder within minutes.”
The first of multiple planned models in the Ultra Stream family, the Ultra Stream HDMI captures, encodes and streams video up to 1080p60 via an HDMI input interface from sources such as video cameras, Blu-ray players and game consoles. The encoder also supports 4K HDMI inputs at 60fps with 4:2:0 colour subsampling, down-converting them automatically to HD for recording and streaming. Embedded HDMI audio is complemented by an analog microphone input and a headphone output for monitoring. HDMI loop-through connectivity enables source signals to be simultaneously sent to a monitor or projector without the need for an HDMI splitter, simplifying workflows.
In addition to outputting live streams, the Ultra Stream HDMI can record video as MP4 files to a directly-connected USB drive or the associated smartphone. Footage can also be recorded in a loop on embedded storage within the unit for subsequent previewing and downloading. The device supports H.264 video compression and AAC audio, with HEVC encoding and recording planned for a future update. Two distinct combinations of resolution, frame rate and bitrate can be specified, enabling simultaneous recording and streaming with different parameters. Still frames can also be captured with the app.
The compact Ultra Stream HDMI measures just 94.2mm square with a height of 28.5mm. The flexible unit offers both wireless and wired network connectivity, with built-in Wi-Fi as well as an RJ-45 gigabit ethernet port.
The Ultra Stream HDMI is slated for release this summer. Additional Ultra Stream models are planned for later in the year, offering more input connectivity options and advanced features for experienced streaming users.