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Almost Live from NAB: Matrox Monarch HDX

In this interview from NAB 2015, Shawn Lam and Matrox's Dan Maloney discuss the Monarch HDX, which ships in June and builds on the success of the Monarch HD streaming and recording appliances by adding more flexibility in the 2 existing encoders, and adds a third encoder for preview.

Streaming Media Producer contributing editor Shawn Lam spoke with Matrox marketing manager in the Matrox booth at NAB regarding the Matrox Monarch HDX, successor to the popular Monarch HD streaming and recording appliance, which won a Streaming Media Best of NAB award in 2013. "The Monarch HD really resonated with the enterprise class of customer," Maloney said. "That included houses of worship, government, and education."

With the Monarch HDX, Maloney continued, Matrox has added "flexibility. It has two encoders like the Monarch HD, but each encoder can be used for streaming or encoding. The Monarch HD had one encoder for streaming and one for encoding. The HDX allows both encoders to be cast as the user sees fit." For example, if users want to use both encoders for recording, he explains, they can assign one to record to a network, and one to record locally. "In the event that the network goes down, you'll have a copy of what you recorded locally. Should you want to record at a high bitrate of, say, 25Mbps for editing, you could have a proxy recording at a much-lower 3Mbps to ensure you can distribute the raw footage to viewers without them having to download the high quality 25Mbps file.

"On the streaming side," Maloney continued, "you can use both of those encoders to stream to primary and backup servers... If the primary server goes down, your second encoder is sending the stream to the secondary server. Your audience will never miss a beat. Alternatively, you can use those two encoders to encode at different bitrates... say, one that's suitable for network availability with wired connections, at say, 5Mbps HD, and maybe you'd encode another one at sub-1Mbps for some type of 3G or 4G distribution."

The Monarch HDX also includes a third encoder, designed to be used for input preview. "If you to ensure that the signal is good and that your encoder is ready to go," Maloney said, "you can use the third encoder and embed the preview right into our web UI, or view it in any device that can decode an RTSP signal, such as the VLC player on any laptop."

Other key features of the Monarch HDX include selectable HDMI and SDI inputs and simultaneous outputs, the ability to control the unit remotely using the web UI, and the ability to choose and set recording and streaming presets. The Monarch Matrox HDX ships in June 2015 with an MSRP of $1,995.

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