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Real-World Review: Matrox Monarch EDGE at Vans US Open of Surfing

By Jay Kopelman, Director of Digital Engineering for B Live

At the Vans US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach, athletes push the boundaries of what is physically possible. In tuning into a live webcast of the event, fans want to experience the look and feel of being at the skate park themselves. The Matrox Monarch EDGE encoder’s ability to receive multiple HD feeds and composite them into a quad-split stream, and B Live’s innovative user interface that allows for seamless switching between multiple camera views of the athletes or director’s cut, provide fans of the Vans Showdown skateboarding competition with just that.

In order to give fans a seamless viewing experience, New York City-based live event production company, B Live needed an encoder that could accept four discrete SDI inputs and deliver a stream as a single quad-split composition. Before B Live purchased its Monarch EDGE encoder, its user interface did not allow viewers to watch multi-camera video with continuity. “Before we got the Monarch EDGE, we were doing things ‘the old way,’” said Jay Kopelman, Director of Digital Engineering for B Live. “That is to say, every time the viewer switches camera angles, it loads a new independent stream. With Monarch EDGE, we are able to feed a single 4K stream into the player. That is why it seamlessly switches on the B Live interface.”

B Live’s camera crew captured each competing skater separately. Four 1080p30 video streams, including the three isolated views of skaters and the director’s cut produced on-site by a different team, were sent back to the B Live office. There, Monarch EDGE received them and encoded these feeds into a single 4K, 20-Mbps stream that was then sent to the B Live platform. On the B Live user interface embedded in the Vans Open of Surfing official website, fans were able to easily decide which skater they wanted to view from the three isolated feeds available in addition to the director’s cut – all from their smart devices or desktops.

Kopelman said that B Live is also looking forward to leveraging Monarch EDGE’s upcoming closed captioning support capabilities in addition to continuing to use the device for live events with demanding quad-stream requirements. “One thing I haven’t seen on anything except Monarch EDGE is the 4:2:2 10-bit encoding. It is a hardened platform,” he said. “You know it’s going to keep working.”

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