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Magewell Introduces 4K M.2 Capture Card with Quad-Link, 3G-SDI Connectivity

Magewell Eco Capture 4K M.2
(Image credit: Magewell)

The What: Magewell has launched the sixth model in its Eco Capture family of compact, power-efficient M.2 video capture cards. Providing input signal compatibility for older 4K source equipment, the Eco Capture QL-SDI 4K M.2 captures one channel of video with embedded audio up to 4096x2160 at 60Hz over quad-link, 3G-SDI connectivity.

The What Else: While recent 4K products often support the transport of Ultra HD video over a single 12Gb/s SDI connection, a lot of existing equipment still utilizes the earlier quad-link approach in which four separate SDI cables combine to carry one 4K signal. Owners of such products wish to maximize the lifecycle of those investments—which may be just two or three years old—and for some specialized solutions, equivalents with single-link, 12G-SDI interfaces may not yet be available. Now shipping, the quad-link Eco Capture QL-SDI 4K M.2 enables integrators and OEM product designers to bring live, 4K content from these sources into their software and systems.

Related: Magewell Expands Live Streaming With Capture Express 3.2 

The new quad-link model joins five existing Eco Capture M.2 models, including two other 4K configurations: the Eco Capture SDI 4K Plus M.2, which captures one 4K source at 60Hz over single-link, 12G-SDI, and the Eco Capture HDMI 4K M.2, which supports 4K video at 30Hz via an HDMI interface. The Eco Capture family also includes dual-channel models that capture HD and 2K video over HDMI or SDI, and a quad-channel HD/2K model with SDI inputs. All six Eco Capture products also support up to eight channels of embedded audio per input.

Eco Capture cards are compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems and support OS-native APIs including DirectShow, DirectKS, V4L2 and ALSA. Stream replication enables each input channel to be used by multiple software applications simultaneously with identical capture parameters, while FPGA-based video processing provides high-quality up/down/cross-scaling, picture controls, and color space conversion without tasking the host system CPU. A comprehensive SDK is also available, enabling developers to directly access the full feature set of the cards.

"Customers who were on the cutting edge of 4K adoption often have significant investments in quad-link equipment that they want to keep using," said Amy Zhou, sales director at Magewell. "Meanwhile, in markets such as medical equipment, where new products often undergo lengthy certification periods, we continue to see quad-link 3G-SDI even on current offerings. The Eco Capture QL-SDI 4K M.2 complements our popular single-link 12G-SDI model by seamlessly supporting quad-link 4K sources."

The Bottom Line: Magewell's Eco Capture cards offer systems integrators and OEM developers high-performance video capture with low power consumption in a space-efficient form factor. The low-latency devices feature a high-speed PCIe 2.0 bus interface with an M.2 connector and measure 22x80mm (0.87x3.15 inches), making them well suited for use in small or portable systems where full-sized PCIe slots are not available.