Needing a reliable capture card in a Mini PCI Express form factor for the company’s latest television headend product, West Pond Enterprises selected the Pro Capture Mini HDMI from Magewell to enable high-quality video ingest in its new FlexStream MX-100 Channel Creator devices.
Headquartered in Hudson, MA, West Pond Enterprises develops products that enhance or enable in-house cable TV, RF, and IPTV networks for markets including hospitality, digital signage, and public/education/government (PEG) organizations. West Pond’s headend transmission solutions create new channels—or add HTML5-based media and graphics to existing channels—by capturing, streaming, augmenting, encoding, and transmitting content on customers’ private TV networks.
West Pond’s MX-100CC is an all-in-one channel creation and distribution device that combines multiple live and prerecorded video sources into a single transport stream for delivery to commercial or consumer TVs or IPTV set-top boxes. The MX-100CC can also combine a live video stream with HTML5 media to create a custom channel for restaurants, senior living facilities, hotels, theaters, hospitals, corporate offices, health clubs, and more.
When designing the MX-100CC, West Pond required compact, Linux-compatible capture hardware that would enable very simple HDMI video connectivity for their customers. “For the small size of the MX-100CC, we needed a capture solution in the Mini PCIe form factor with reasonably low power consumption,” said Steve Hastings, president and CEO of West Pond Enterprises. “The video interconnect to our systems must also be as plug-and-play as possible, with users not having to worry about signal formats and compatibility. Anything less blemishes the overall functionality of the device, and could lead to higher technical support requirements.”
Having been very satisfied in using Magewell’s Pro Capture full-sized PCI Express cards in its flagship, rackmount MX-400 headend systems, West Pond found the Pro Capture Mini HDMI to be a fit for the MX-100CC. Customers typically capture 1920x1080 or 1280x720 HD video from devices including cameras, media players, and computers, and the automatic input signal detection capabilities of the Magewell cards helps West Pond achieve its goal of plug-and-play ease of use.
“We rely on Magewell’s products to provide ‘support-free’ connectivity to our customers’ video sources,” Hastings said. “Users simply connect their devices to our products, and our software processes the captured video to meet their needs, without them having to think about the technical details.”
According to Hastings, the company is pleased with the Magewell products' ease of integration, as well as the reliability of the cards. “Our developers are very happy with Magewell’s SDK and robust Linux drivers,” he said. “From a reliability standpoint, we’re 100-percent satisfied, as we’ve never had an issue. And the support we’ve received from Magewell distributor Mobile Video Devices has been exceptional.”
In addition to the behind-the-scenes benefits that the use of Magewell products has brought to West Pond, the customer-facing advantages are even more valuable to the company. “The integration of Magewell capture cards into our solutions ensures our customers experience the superior quality they have come to expect from West Pond Enterprises,” Hastings said. “We are a small company and want to focus on our software, not debugging interconnect issues our customers may have with various devices and video sources. The Magewell products enable us to do that.”