DMW Awards Gold

Matrox Monarch EDGE 4K/Multi-HD Webcasting and Remote Production Encoder


CATEGORY: Streaming - OTT/IPTV systems



Affordably produce live, multi-camera events, while minimizing on-site expenses by keeping talent in-house with Monarch EDGE. A compact, robust, and low-power remote production encoder, Monarch EDGE synchronizes and securely delivers remote camera feeds to your master control room or cloud for production with remarkably low latency. Programs destined for web or over-the-top (OTT) delivery can select the 4:2:0 8-bit encoder version, while the 4:2:2 10-bit capable Monarch EDGE encoder version is ideal for demanding, broadcast-quality productions.

Detailed Summary
Matrox Monarch EDGE is a 4K/multi-HD webcasting and REMote Integration (REMI) encoder capable of delivering live streams up to 3840x2160 at 60 fps to multiple destinations using multiple protocols. Monarch EDGE provides broad¬casters and other video professionals with robust, low-latency, and dynamic H.264 encoding capabilities packaged in a compact, low power appliance. Quality is never compromised with Monarch EDGE’s unique implementation of the H.264 codec, which keeps data rates exceptionally low while minimizing latency. Using a variety of streaming protocols, Monarch EDGE can deliver a single or multiple independent live feeds to cloud or on premise production systems. Each operation benefits from a powerful scaling and de-interlacing engine to ensure only pristine images and audio are encoded.

Easily produce multi-angle live events by extending the production studio to any remote location with a network connection. Monarch EDGE can encode up to four camera feeds from HD or 3G-SDI sources. When an in-studio 4K production requires a remote feed, Monarch EDGE can accept either UHD signals over 12G-SDI, or a quad 3G-SDI to deliver a full-UHD stream. For events that require more cameras, its compact footprint ensures that two units will fit into a single 1RU space.

The optimized H.264 engine powering Monarch EDGE keeps data rates exceptionally low without sacrificing quality. I-frame-only streams reaching 120 Mbps can be delivered if quality is a high priority. Each input can be streamed at resolutions up to 1080p60 using the High 4:2:2 H.264 encoding profile. Furthermore, multiple processes can be performed on each input by powerful scaling and de-interlacing engines. This enables each input to be streamed at multiple resolutions and bitrates simultaneously, which is useful for remote monitoring.

The Win
Monarch EDGE allows broadcasters to produce live, multi-camera events with increased operational efficiency, while minimizing on-site expenses by keeping talent and/or production crew in-studio.

The H.264 codec is the undisputed number one choice in the video codec arena with its innumerable applications and universal availability. In a day and age when interoperability is key, the H.264 codec is uniquely positioned to minimize the challenges posed by a lack of interoperability as it can tackle a myriad of different workflows. Designed for convenience, Monarch EDGE delivers unparalleled, robust encoding power with the wide-ranging aptitude of the H.264 codec.

Monarch EDGE offers flexible, future-proof connectivity with 3G-SDI, 12G-SDI, and SMPTE ST 2110 over 25 GbE network connections. Inputs are auto-detectable and allow for a wide range of connectivity to devices such as cameras, switchers, vision mixers or routers. Additionally, audio can be selected from two channels of embedded audio per video input, or balanced analog audio connectors.

Monarch EDGE provides tally signals and talkback channels to facilitate bi-directional communication between on-site camera operators and in-studio personnel. These provisions on the device help reduce the amount of equipment required on site.

There are a variety of streaming protocols available to Monarch EDGE users. On closed networks, MPEG-2 TS or RTSP streams can be selected for delivery. For cloud-based destinations, or when the network is congested, SRT may be more appropriate. SRT is a new open-source format that provides the reliability of RTMP, while reducing latency, for use on open networks. SRT streams can also be encrypted if security is a concern.

Monarch EDGE was built with reliability in mind. An LCD screen on the front of the appliance allows the user to quickly access its status and configuration settings. A locking power connector safeguards against connection loss during production. Redundant Ethernet (1 GbE) ports allow users to control the device from one port while sending video from a second port. Users can opt to send the same streams from each port while taking completely separate network paths. Finally, Monarch EDGE’s compact design ensures it can be installed in a fly-pack or with a second Monarch EDGE unit in a 1RU-rack space.

Monarch EDGE in Action
New York-based live event production company, B Live, leveraged the Monarch EDGE encoder's ability to receive multiple HD feeds, and composite and encode them into a quad-split stream in order to give fans of the 2019 Vans Showdown skateboarding competition the ultimate viewing experience.

B Live’s camera crew captured each competing skater separately. Four 1080p30 video streams, including three isolated views of skaters and one director’s cut produced on-site by a different team, were sent back to the B Live office. There, Monarch EDGE received the three isolated feeds and director’s cut, and encoded these feeds into a single 4K, 20-Mbps stream that was then sent to the B Live platform. On the B Live user interface embedded in the Vans Open of Surfing official website, fans were able to easily decide which skater they wanted to view from the three isolated feeds available, in addition to the director’s cut – all from their smart devices or desktops.

“Before we got the Monarch EDGE, we were doing things ‘the old way,’” said Jay Kopelman, Director of Digital Engineering for B Live. “That is to say, every time the viewer switches camera angles, it loads a new independent stream. Because we can now do quad-HD streams with Monarch EDGE, it has enabled us to feed a single 4K stream into the player. That is why it seamlessly switches on the B Live interface.”