DMW Awards Finalist

Matrox M264 S4 H.264 Hardware Codec Card



IP Broadcast Solutions - Production

Although H.264 is pervasive across broadcast workflows, PC platforms struggle with the computational requirements of 4:2:2 10-bit encoding/decoding at high-bitrate, high-resolution (4K) formats such as with XAVC and AVC-Ultra. While the highest-end multi-socket PCs labor to encode one stream of 4K AVC, the Matrox M264 S4 codec card is the industry’s only PC-based solution that can encode/decode up to four streams of 4K XAVC Intra, 4K XAVC Long GOP, or 4K AVC-Ultra in real-time.

What Makes it Different?
With the capability to support up to four channels of 4K XAVC or 4K AVC-Ultra encoding/decoding on a single-slot card, the Matrox M264 S4 enables OEMs to provide industry-leading, multi-channel 4K UHD and HDR production servers on a PC-based platform for real-time broadcast production ingest, replay, and archiving server solutions.

Product Features & Benefits
Broadcasters have come to expect their PC-based production servers to handle multiple channels in HD. Using PC-based video production equipment is highly desirable in broadcast due to the inherent flexibility of CPUs. However, CPUs alone cannot meet these workflow demands in 4K—especially with the highly efficient, but computationally expensive, H.264 mezzanine codecs (XAVC and AVC-Ultra).

Designed specifically for high-density encoding/decoding (Baseline Profile to High 10 Intra Profile up to Level 5.2), M264 S4 cards provide the highest density and quality possible when it comes to 4K UHD and HDR implementations. M264 S4 can encode/decode up to four streams of Sony 4K XAVC class 480 @60fps, or 4K XAVC Long200 or Panasonic 4K AVC-Ultra in real-time. The game-changing capabilities of this card are far superior to anything else currently available in the market, which are “high-end” multi-socket PCs which struggle to encode just one 4K/UHD stream. This type of density, quality, and performance support from a single-slot card provides OEMs with unprecedented flexibility to deliver unique multi-channel UHD/HDR solutions—with the same ease and integration process as they do with HD-based platforms. Furthermore, for broadcast organizations who are doing a mix of HD and UHD/HDR workflows, they can still benefit from industry-leading HD performance as the M264 S4 card can encode/decode up to 40 streams of AVC-Intra 100, 40 HD AVC LongG25, or 64 streams of HD at 4:2:0 8-bit.

With onboard multi-channel, motion-adaptive deinterlacing, and up/down/cross scaling, the M264 S4 can repurpose content into any resolution before encoding or after decoding, avoiding costly transcoding—particularly beneficial for real-time production workflows. As a result, Matrox M264 S4 cards are the ideal H.264 accelerators for 4K instant replay system, channel-in-a-box systems, video servers, broadcast graphics systems, multiviewers, high-density transcoding systems, and other broadcast media equipment.

Technological Impact
With the growing popularity of 4K and HDR across the globe comes an increased need for broadcasters to adapt their technologies in order to meet the demands of consumers. What consumers crave is a means of watching their favorite content, such as live athletic events, in stunningly clear 4K. The challenge for broadcasters, then, is to find cost-effective solutions that provide the same functionality as what they are accustomed to with HD.

Matrox M264 S4 can help broadcasters set themselves apart by delivering high-quality, high-resolution, and high-frame-rate content to their audiences. Matrox M264 S4 takes the hassle out of the transition from HD to UHD/HDR—a natural next step for broadcasters—by providing instantaneous H.264-quality and density boost, and offering the pristine quality needed for broadcast contribution, production, and distribution.

Real-World Value & Applications
As one of the few ingest, playout, and replay solutions on the market—and the only one on the market to offer fully PC-based, customizable, multi-channel 4K/HD, and multi-purpose codec support—the Matrox M264 technology is revolutionizing 4K live production workflows. Broadcasters are now equipped with a means to easily meet any encoding/decoding density requirement for the most demanding real-time production workflows, all possible from a single, cost-effective, PC platform.

With its superlative production and post-production technology, the Matrox M264 S4 codec card helps PC-based solutions thrive in major live production events. The Matrox M264 family of codec cards have been employed by broadcast organizations worldwide: in major professional sports leagues, for major global sporting events and competitions such as the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, for internationally-renowned cultural celebrations such as Chinese New Year’s anniversaries, and more.

The Matrox M264 S4’s ability to deliver unrivalled multi-channel 4K, while offering the flexibility of customization all at a highly affordable price point, is why it stands out among its competitors in the production field.