Expanding beyond its video capture and playout cards, Magewell will show company’s first standalone, hardware-based streaming encoder at the 2018 NAB Show next month. Dubbed the Ultra Stream HDMI, it’s capable of recording or streaming video and audio from a variety of sources with one-click using on-device buttons or a smartphone app. Designed for users who want to stream but may have very little technical knowledge, the encoder is aimed at church volunteers, teachers and gamers to corporate marketers and live event organizers.
The initial configuration is performed over network or Bluetooth connectivity with the free iOS or Android app. Once encoding and destination parameters have been set (e.g., entering Facebook or YouTube keys), 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. It can natively stream to Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Live or to a custom-specified RTMP server. Streams can be output to multiple target services simultaneously, while real-time video preview in the smartphone app allows for monitoring.
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, players and game consoles. The encoder also supports 4K HDMI inputs at 60fps with 4:2:0 color subsampling, down-converting them automatically to HD (H.264) for recording and streaming. Embedded HDMI audio is done 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.
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 3.7 inches (94.2 mm) square with a height of 1.1 inches (28.5 mm). The flexible unit offers both wireless and wired network connectivity, with built-in Wi-Fi as well as an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. Here are the specs.