Magewell kicks off 2021 with the launch of its Ultra Encode line of universal live media encoders

Ultra Encode HDMI by Magewell

Magewell has announced the release of its new Ultra Encode family of universal live media encoders. Supporting multiple encoding formats – including H.264, H.265, and NDI®|HX – and a wide array of delivery protocols, the new hardware offers systems integrators, video professionals, and OEM partners a encoding solution for applications ranging from live streaming and remote contribution to IP-based production and AV-over-IP.

“While our Ultra Stream encoders continue to be extremely popular for users with fairly straightforward live streaming needs, integrators and high-end production professionals may require advanced capabilities such as additional formats or protocols and higher bitrates,” said Nick Ma, CEO and CTO at Magewell. “Ultra Encode delivers these enhanced features in an exceptionally versatile platform that is ideal not only for live streaming, but also for other professional applications such as AV-over-IP and local or remote production workflows.”

Ultra Encode features H.264 and H.265 (HEVC) video compression for live streaming delivery, letting users choose their preferred balance between broader viewing device compatibility and higher quality/bitrate efficiency. The new encoder also supports a range of streaming protocols including RTMP, RTMPS, RTSP, RTP, HLS, and SRT (Secure Reliable Transport, developed and open-sourced by Haivision). Configurable presets enable easy streaming to YouTube™ Live, Facebook™ Live, Twitch™, or custom targets, with select protocols allowing simultaneous streaming to multiple destinations using independent encoding parameters for each stream. Combinations such as H.265 compression and the SRT protocol has been designed for remote production and contribution, enabling reliable and secure delivery of high-quality  live streams “even over unpredictable networks like the Internet”.

For IP production workflows and AV-over-IP signal distribution architectures, Ultra Encode supports second-generation NDI|HX, the lower-bitrate mode in NewTek’s NDI® IP media transport technology. NDI|HX enables it to be transmitted wirelessly over Ultra Encode’s built-in Wi-Fi support, “maximizing flexibility in on-site production and monitoring workflows”, states Magewell. Ultra Encode units can be combined with Magewell’s multi-format Pro Convert decoders for end-to-end, live media transport in either NDI|HX or streaming formats.

Two initial Ultra Encode models – the Ultra Encode HDMI and Ultra Encode SDI – offer a choice of HDMI 1.4a or 3G-SDI input and loop-through interfaces. Both models can encode and stream content up to 1080p60 at bitrates up to 16Mbps, while the Ultra Encode HDMI also accepts 4K HDMI inputs, down-converting them automatically to HD. Embedded audio is complemented by analog, line-level audio input and output connections. In addition to Wi-Fi, the encoder offers an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking.

Ultra Encode’s camera-mountable metal chassis measures 4.2 inches (106.7mm) square with a height of one inch (25.4mm). The encoder can be configured and controlled through a browser-based Web interface or programmatically via HTTP-based APIs, providing systems integrators with deployment flexibility and integration possibilities.

The Ultra Encode HDMI and Ultra Encode SDI are slated to start shipping in early February.

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