The What: Osprey Video has extended its Talon hardware encoder line with the launch of the Talon G2, now shipping. Like other Talon encoders, the Talon G2 creates live RTMP streams for unmanaged networks such as the internet. It offers all the performance and function of its predecessor, the Talon G1, but with new features designed to boost its utility and make it easier to operate without intervention after it is configured.
The What Else: Designed for AV and broadcast customers looking for end-to-end video-streaming tools for professional workflows, the Talon G2 ingests video from multiple formats, encodes it to H.264, and delivers it over IP. One of the Talon G2's most important distinguishing characteristics is its front-facing LCD touchscreen, which offers one-touch streaming control. Once the streaming profiles are set up on the back end, which can be done remotely if needed, any user can start or stop encoding operations at the touch of a button. Furthermore, the screen displays continuous feedback on the status of all encoders, so users always know which ones are active versus idle.
The Talon G2 also features API-level integrations with both Facebook Live and the Wowza Streaming Cloud streaming service. These integrations, along with one-touch streaming control, bring simplicity and time savings to a process that could otherwise be very cumbersome. For example, streaming to Facebook is a daily practice for many operations, yet Facebook users must configure a new session every time they want to deliver a stream. Osprey Video worked with Facebook on an exclusive interface that makes it possible to configure the Talon G2 for Facebook streaming only once instead of daily. Once configured, users simply press a button. Furthermore, built-in security features make it so that authorized users can start streaming to anyone's Facebook page (such as a company's or an executive's) without needing login credentials, saving even more time while alleviating security concerns over password-sharing.
The Talon G2 encoder ingests video from 3G HD-SDI, HDMI, and composite sources and streams it via RTMP, RTP, or UDP to multiple destinations over IP. The Talon G2 can encode and stream to three destinations simultaneously and save to a .TS file, with frame alignment across all streams for multiple-bitrate streaming.
"Live streaming has become popular in virtually every market, so people need a way to do it flexibly, reliably, affordably, and with high-quality results, whether they're professional video engineers or amateurs who have nothing to do with the technical details,” said Scott Whitcomb, business development manager at Osprey Video. “That's why we're so committed to developing our hardware encoders, which pack a surprising amount of performance and function into a small device that's easy to use.
“We took customer input based on the success of our Talon G1 and added convenient features that make it easier for end users. Some people might never have to touch the encoder, but if they do, the interaction will now be much friendlier. And techies, who are ultimately responsible for the streaming operation, can set it up and scarcely think about it again."
The Bottom Line: The Talon G2's ability to stream from multiple sources to multiple destinations in a set-it-and-forget-it fashion with 24/7 reliability makes it well suited to a variety of applications. The encoder's broadcast-level quality makes it well suited for live-streaming applications in broadcast, AV, house of worship, corporate, higher education, and government organizations, whose users vary widely from the highly technical to the novice.
The Talon G2 encoder is shipping now for $1,890. The Talon G1 is offered at $1,690.