The What: Magewell has announced upgrades that expand the Ultra Stream line of encoders' versatility into more applications and launched a new Ultra Stream model for customers with SDI-based video sources. Magewell will showcase the new features and Ultra Stream SDI model in stand 8.A84 at IBC2019 (September 13-17 in Amsterdam).
The What Else: Headlining the new features is support for 3G and 4G USB modems, enabling users to live stream from anywhere over a mobile broadband connection. Automated connectivity management switches between mobile broadband, wired Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connectivity if the current network link is interrupted, and users can stream to different targets simultaneously over separate connection methods if desired. Meanwhile, a new Access Point (AP) mode enables Wi-Fi-based smartphone control of Ultra Stream encoders in environments that don't have an existing accessible Wi-Fi network.
Rounding out the enhancements is a new web interface, enabling users to control Ultra Stream encoders through a web browser. While the smartphone app continues to provide the simplest way to locally manage the device, the browser-based interface enables customers to remotely control the encoder from anywhere via VPN or access it from a desktop computer over wired Ethernet. Multi-level user management in the web interface allows access to administrator functions to be restricted to authorized users.
Developers wishing to integrate control of Ultra Stream encoders into their software applications also gain important new capabilities, with an API enabling them to leverage the devices' robust functionality in their own branded interface.
All of these updates will be available for both the current Ultra Stream HDMI model and its new sibling, the Ultra Stream SDI. While the earlier configuration features an HDMI input interface, the new Ultra Stream SDI captures, encodes and streams HD or 2K video at resolutions up to 2048x1080 over 3G-SDI connectivity. Support for embedded SDI audio is augmented by an analog microphone input and a headphone output for monitoring, while an SDI loop-through connection enables source signals to be simultaneously sent to a monitor or other production equipment.
"Video streaming has become an essential tool in almost every industry and market, and users who aren't video professionals want to minimize their dependency on IT and AV specialists for their day-to-day streaming needs," said Nick Ma, CEO and CTO at Magewell. "Our first Ultra Stream model has been very popular for enabling them to stream self-sufficiently, and the new features and SDI model we're adding to the family make it ideal for an even wider array of uses and environments."
The compact Ultra Stream SDI measures 4.1 inches (104.6mm) by 3.7 inches (94.2mm) with a height of 1.1 inches (28.5mm), and weighs 5.1 ounces (143.3g). Like its HDMI-equipped counterpart, Ultra Stream SDI offers both wireless and wired network connectivity—with built-in Wi-Fi as well as an RJ-45 gigabit Ethernet port—in addition to the aforementioned optional mobile broadband modem support.
The Bottom Line: Ultra Stream encoders enable users to record or stream high-quality video with one click using on-device buttons or a smartphone app. Customers can stream live to popular services such as YouTube, Facebook Live, and Twitch or to a custom-specified RTMP server, and can simultaneously record video as files to a USB drive or the associated smartphone.
Mobile broadband support and the new Access Point mode are available immediately as a firmware upgrade for existing Ultra Stream units, with the web interface feature and new Ultra Stream SDI model slated for release in August.