​VRT Selects Matrox Monarch EDGE For Concert Remote Production

Monarch EDGE encoder/decoder pair provides secure video transport for concert live streams from Belgium’s leading Flemish public broadcast network.

As was the case with many of the world’s broadcasters, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Flemish Radio and Television Broadcasting Organization VRT to reinvent its live media production workflows. In response, VRT began a series of simulations in order to test remote production equipment and ultimately find new ways to share its stories. 

According to Floris Daelemans, production innovation researcher at VRT’s Video Snackbar, “Matrox Monarch EDGE has turned out to be indispensable for in our remote production testing. The combination of SRT connectivity and ultra-low-latency, visually lossless video encoding makes Monarch EDGE a powerful tool that has allowed our live media production team to test with ease.”

Here’s the workflow in detail:

The encoder and decoder pair made its debut with VRT delivering live streams from a concert held at Ancienne Belgique (French for “Old Belgium”), a contemporary music hall located in Brussels’ historic core. Two SDI cameras captured individual musicians and the band as a whole and were input into the Monarch EDGE 4:2:2 10-bit encoding device.

Meanwhile, a stereo mix from the soundboard was sent using the balanced audio input of the Monarch EDGE encoder. The encoder then transported all these feeds using the SRT streaming protocol at 1080i and 20 Mbps over public internet. The feeds arrived at VRT’s production control room – also located in Brussels – and were received by the Monarch EDGE decoding device. The decoded feeds were output as SDI and embedded audio into the live production environment where producers made cuts between the two cameras, added graphics, and more.

From the live production environment, two SDI video signals were input into a second Monarch EDGE encoder; one of these feeds is a produced program feed that serves as the return channel, while the other is a composited multiviewer of raw camera A and B feeds. The encoder then transported these feeds back over public internet to Ancienne Belgique, again at 1080i and 20 Mbps. At Ancienne Belgique, a Monarch EDGE decoding device decodes the two return feeds. The Monarch EDGE decoder then outputs both the return feed of the produced program to a monitor showing what the viewers will watch, and the multiviewer stream of unproduced footage from the two SDI cameras.

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