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Rambert School of Dance Makes the Right Moves with Matrox

When Ross McKim, principal of London’s Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance, retired after 30 years, the school organized a celebratory tribute. In doing so, the school identified a need for live streaming and recording equipment, as many invitees—past, present and prospective students; staff; potential donors; critics; and other interested parties—would not be able to attend in person.

After a review of available products, the school selected the Matrox Monarch HDX dual-channel H.264 encoding appliance. Providing both the webcasting and recording capabilities they were looking for, the HDX was noted for its compatibility with existing SDI and HDMI cameras, as well as its cost-effectiveness.

Jonathan Aloia, Rambert’s technician and maintenance supervisor, notes, “The Monarch HDX does the job of two units in one. The GUI made setup very quick, and easy configuration makes the unit ideal for streaming or recording anywhere.”

A Panasonic AW-HE2 camera provided a wide shot and two GoPro HERO4s delivered alternate angles. The three cameras were connected to a switcher that fed the Monarch HDX’s HDMI input. Analog audio was mixed separately and fed directly into the Monarch HDX, which kept the audio and video in perfect synchronization. One channel handled HDX encoding and sent an RTMP-compliant stream to a Wowza server for internet distribution, while the other channel recorded the performances, which were offered as high-quality VOD after the live event.

Despite network bandwidth constraints limiting streaming to 700 Kb/s, quality was not compromised, and McKim’s farewell celebration was streamed to absent invitees without a hitch.