Production Hardware, Streaming
With the growing number of web-based entertainment also comes the ease in which to do so. Webcasts and podcast shows are becoming more and more popular each day and part of that has been the technology behind it. Companies in this industry quickly realized that many of these productions don’t have the most tech savvy people behind it. Since live streaming media- despite how widespread it is- can still be considered to be in it’s infancy stages, these products had to be easy to use out of the box for the consumer. This can be said for religious entities streaming out their services to congregation members who are unable to attend. An easy solution has been the Matrox Monarch LCS video encoder. Saint Peter and Saint Paul Coptic Orthodox Church in Montreal has been using this device to stream out their services and have been able to do so with ease. This wasn’t the first device they had tried so with trial and error, they landed on the Matrox Monarch LCS to handle what they needed. Matrox has been a major contributor to live streaming media and with their Monarch product line it’s no wonder why their becoming more and more popular.
The set-up consisted of four PTZ cameras located throughout the sanctuary, allowing every event to be shot from multiple angles and capture unique aspects of every ceremony. The cameras feed into a switcher located in an adjacent computer room, where a deacon or volunteer can pan, tilt, and zoom each camera, and switch to provide the best shot for the viewer. The output of this switcher is sent to a nearby encoder, which was intended to easily push the video to the web.
However, due to disruptions in the video caused by switching, the video encoder would freeze and stall, causing streaming to fail. There were also complications around streaming protocols, preventing them from using multiple platforms, and limited them in reaching more people. With Easter—a major holiday in the Coptic calendar—approaching, the church decided that they needed a better, more reliable solution after a year of working around their current limitations.
Ishak learned about the new Monarch LCS, a dedicated H.264 encoder originally designed for lecture capture, offering high quality streaming, and production capabilities. The Monarch’s built-in frame synchronizers allowed it to correct the signal issues due to switching, ensuring uninterrupted streaming. Working with the existing HDMI switcher, the LCS also offered the freedom to transition to an SDI input if needed….[continue reading]