An encoder needs to serve the user, not the other way around.  My clients need small files that open on any device, play in any CDN, and transfer quickly between hard drives.  Did I mention they need to be encoded live?  Two-pass transcoding will not cut it in today’s workflows.  Enter the Matrox Monarch HD.


For $995.00, you can buy a tiny desktop device that takes HDMI and munches it down to byte-size H264’s or MOV’s.  You can stream to your CDN through the wired ethernet port.  You can record EITHER to an SDHC card or to a connected USB 2.0 drive (or alternatively to a network attached drive over ethernet).  You can stream and record simultaneously, even selecting a different bitrate/resolution for the stream and the record.  HDMI will accept the first 2 embedded audio channels, and the HDMI loop output will pass ALL embedded audio channels and conveniently provides the capacity for a confidence monitor.

Not embedding your HDMI audio?  No Problem!  Use the analog 3.5mm jacks for input AND output.

Ok, so there are some limitations.  If you are familiar with my reviews you know that I find HDMI less than professional due to its lack of locking connectors.  Also the maximum bitrate is 30 Mbps, but for internet streaming you can’t really ask for much more.  As this device was released two NAB’s ago, I am hoping for a professional version at our next conference with HD-SDI inputs, and next gen interfaces like thunderbolt and USB 3.0.

For now though, the Matrox Monarch HD is currently my favorite encoder!