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NAB 2018: Magewell Talks UltraStream Standalone Encoders
Streaming Media's Anthony Burokas interviews Magewell's Mike Nann in the Magewell booth at NAB 2018.
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Anthony Burokas: Hello there, my name is Anthony Burokas for Streaming Media. We're here on the show floor at NAB 2018 in the Magewell booth with Mike Nann. Now, you've got a new box coming out. I know you have made converters for many years, but this new box is very different.

Mike Nann: It is. People probably know Magewell best for the capture devices that we pair with third-party software to do all the different functionality, but one thing is a lot of the customers are looking for a standalone device that doesn't need a computer to operate it, to configure it, and so forth. So that's why we came out with the UltraStream family. The UltraStream boxes are designed as a fully standalone encoder that doesn't need all these other accessories to go along with it.

Now, one of the things we really wanted to do in the first model in this new family is to make it incredibly easy to use. There are a lot of people now who see the value in streaming and want to stream, but have no technical knowledge of how to do it, and don't necessarily have the opportunity to hire somebody to help them with it, or the time to learn it. We're thinking people like church volunteers, educators, corporate marketers who just want to get their stuff on to all the different platforms that are so popular now. And that was the big focus when we designed the new box.

Once it's set up, you can use the on-device buttons here, or we also have an intuitive smartphone app that you can control it with right from the smartphone. So a lot of these standalone encoders need a browser and a laptop even just to configure them for the first time, but we've done away with that.

You know, the smartphone app can detect the device, you can configure it right in the smartphone, so never have to fire up a laptop to use it at all, even the first time.

Once you've got it set up, it will stream to all the popular services: Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch, or your own custom servers. You can even stream to multiple services simultaneously, so it's not limited to one at a time. And sorry.

Anthony Burokas: I think this one is just HDMI in?

Mike Nann: This one is HDMI in. So this is again the first model in the line. We're going to have other options that have different input capabilities and so forth. But on this one you have an HDMI input, you have HDMI loop-through so you can connect to a monitor without an external splitter.

As far as the HDMI goes, this is a 1080p60 encoding and streaming device, but it will take a 4K input signal on the HDMI as well and down-convert it automatically to HD. So you can hook it up game consoles. That sort of thing too for the people who want to stream their games, they can do that directly without any extra conversion boxes.

It's got analog audio for both headphone and microphone so you can do a narration and also be monitoring. And in terms of other connectivity, for the network connectivity, it's got wired and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The other part that you may have noticed on here is a USB port, and you can hook up a USB drive so you can be not just live streaming, but you can also be recording onto the USB drive. And there's built-in storage that will record in a loop so that you can loop-record the whole thing and then go in again with the smartphone app and trim the clips and just pull what you want for on-demand, download, you automatically have your on-demand clips as well.

Anthony Burokas: That is an amazing amount of functionality in such a teeny little box. I can see a lot of people who are interested--let's say a bar, or something like that. They have a live TV night. And it's like, "We want to get stuff on our YouTube channel and I'm not looking at doing a television, I just want to push something.”

Mike Nann: Again, it could be the bar manager, so he doesn't have to have that technical level of expertise to figure out how to use it. Anybody on his staff can easily operate this. Again, you go in once to configure it just to set your servers, your logins for all your different services. Once that's set, hit the button and off you go.

Anthony Burokas: That is very cool. And what's the price point of this?

Mike Nann: This is under $400.

Anthony Burokas: Okay, this is under $400 and I know this is not the only thing you've got coming out at NAB 2018, what else?

Mike Nann: Obviously, this is the biggest new product for us. But as I said, Magewell is more than just capture devices too. And that's one of the things we're showcasing at the show. Last year at this show we launched the FLEX I/O family, which is both capture and play-out. But again, also I mean capture is such a big thing for us. So we've got new things in our capture line as well.

Right before the show, we announced HDR capabilities in our 4K HDMI models, and that's a big thing for people who want to start streaming in HDR now for high dynamic range and the extra visual quality it gives you.

We also have new models. For example, this new model here is our dual-channel 4K model. And where a lot of the multi-channel 4K cards could only do 4K, 30 frames per second. This will do 2 channels a full 60 frames per second, 4K on a single card.

Anthony Burokas: Oh my goodness!

Mike Nann: So, lots of new stuff here that we're showing off at the show.

Anthony Burokas: If somebody needed more information on these products, are these the newest products up on the web?

Mike Nann: The dual-channel 4K card is on the web already. The new UltraStream box is going to be shortly after NAB. Be sure to check it out on the website. That's www.magewell.com.

Anthony Burokas: Thank you very much. My name is Anthony Burokas. You heard it here first. This is NAB 2018 for streaming media. Thanks for watching.

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