Introducing Epiphan Pearl-2!


Welcome to our live stream this morning! I’m David Kirk with Epiphan Video, I head
up our marketing group, and I’ve got George Herbert here with me, who leads our technical
support and training group. This morning we want to make a big announcement
we’re launching a brand new product, it’s called Pearl-2 and this is it right here in
front of me. I’m going to talk a little about what this
product is, it is a live switcher, it is a streaming and recording box, and it is meant
to be really an all-in-one: take it into a venue and do your live production anywhere. I’m going to let George walk through some
of the detailed features of the box: This is brand-new today, launching on our website in the next hour or so, and so we’ll fill you in on some of the details. As Dave mentioned, Pearl-2 is a stand-alone,
all-in-one device for live production, recording, streaming. The advantage of Pearl-2 is we can capture
6 video inputs create multiple output streams do recording simultaneously, we also have
video outputs for larger monitoring, for confidence monitoring, to pass on to other systems. Some of the big advantages of a stand-alone
box is that we can do customized layouts for live switching, we can do scaling on the box,
as well as cropping control and a number of other features. to give us a lot of advantages in a live
production scenario. Yeah, and there are a few different ways you
can control this box in a live scenario, or even in an installed scenario. We’ve got a full API that you can integrate
into whatever control system you have today, of course we’ve got a Web UI that’s built-in
to Pearl-2 itself so you can control through that, and then of course there’s a touch screen
on the front that allows you to do confidence monitoring, some live switching, starting
your streaming and recording, all of those basic functions all available right on the
touch screen and then we’ve got a mobile-friendly web interface that you can use on your tablet
or your phone that gives you access to those same kind of controls to be able to do that
confidence monitoring or switching and all of those kind of functions. With the flexibility of the different inputs,
the methods of control, it means that we can see Pearl-2 being used in a lot of different use cases. Live event production is obviously a big one
and extremely flexible with Pearl-2 as a lightweight, standalone box. That also carries over into a lot of different
other scenarios. Education, User Experience labs, enterprise
scenarios, corporate video production, and so on, It means that there are a lot of areas that
can be touched by Pearl-2. Yeah and this product is brand-new for us
but of course it is based on a previous product that we’ve had out for almost two years on
the market now, which was Pearl. And so when we look at Pearl-2 versus Pearl,
there are a number of very major upgrades that we’ve added into the box for this release,
so first and foremost, a new Intel processor inside here that’s much beefier than what
was inside the original Pearl, and of course to take advantage of that we’ve added 4K capability
to this box, so we’ve got 4K encoding and capture 4K output and streaming. That’s both on
the HDMI side as well as the SDI side. So we’ve got 12-G SDI that can bring in your
4K, or you can bring it in over HDMI, so that 4K capability is a real big add to this box. And we see people doing that, we’ve had a
lot of people asking for just a very simple scenario where they’ve got maybe a production
like this, they might have some slides, they might have some live people on camera, they want
to switch between those two, and then stream and record that, and Pearl-2 can do that easily. And other cases where you’ve got four HD streams,
so your sources aren’t 4K, but you’ve got Four of them to contend with, and you want to
multiview them altogether into one larger 4K output. And Pearl-2 can handle that one also. Another case we’ve seen, which is really interesting,
is taking a 4K base shot of a wide shot of your set and then cropping out HD portions
of that, so getting 1080p or 720p segments of that big 4K frame and switching between
those live to make it look like you’ve got a multi camera set up, when really you’re
operating with one 4K camera and switching based in Pearl-2. more and more we’re finding in meeting rooms
and large event venues and things, 4K is really becoming the new equipment standard, it’s
not everywhere yet, but we are running into it more and more and one of the things we
did with Pearl-2 was to add the ability to bring that signal in, but also scale it in
hardware, so the case where you’re walking into a scenario where you need HD or you need
to record and stream at 720p or full HD, but what you’re being presented at the venue is
4K signals, you need to be able to deal with that, and instead of having a separate scaler,
you can bring those directly into Pearl-2 and we’ll scale them in hardware and bring
them down to 1080p and then you can just process them as you would any other HD signal. It is designed to be a very professional box,
with all these features Dave was mentioning, along with audio features. We have XLR inputs for audio, so we can bring
in professional level audio signals. We do also have some auxiliary audio inputs
using RCA jacks for more standard audio signals to come from and MP3 player or a laptop. So a lot of flexibility there. We also have integration, Dave mentioned the
APIs earlier, we also have hardware RS-232 ports on the back of Pearl-2 to integrate
with those APIs. We also have some programmable blocks that will be enabled later for custom
integrations and a lot of different inputs. We talked about some of the 4K HDMI, standard
HD-HDMI, 12-G SDI, so all told, there are 6 video inputs on Pearl-2, and we can capture HD across all of those. They all are digital inputs, in this day and
age, digital is the way to go, and we’re seeing that everywhere now, so there’s no VGA on
this device or any old legacy video inputs, just the HDMI and SDI digital signals. It is a very rugged box, everything is made
out of high-quality metal, designed to be road-ready, it’s going to be very durable,
as it’s being moved around from venue to venue. and then when it comes to offloading content,
obviously as a live streaming and recording device it has gigabit Ethernet directly on
the device, we also have USB 3.0 ports on the front and on the back, that we can use
to offload recorded content. And so that gives us a lot of power and flexibility
for dealing with that content we create. Yeah, Perfect. So, as we mentioned, at the top of the stream
here, this is a brand-new product, it’s being announced today, it will be on our website
today, so you can find out a whole lot more details, brochures, manuals, all that kind
of stuff will all be up there, so you can go digging for all the details that George
has mentioned and more. It is available for order now as well, so
we’re ready to sort of start getting these out the door, we’re into production with these,
and we have a live studio here in our Ottawa office and George operates that studio, and
he’s able to give you a custom demo, so if you’d like to see a lot more of those features
and you want to get sort of a hands-on demo where we’ll be the hands and you’ll be the
eyes, we’ll show you everything about the box You can contact us just at [email protected]
and request a demo for Pearl-2, we’d be happy to show you a whole lot more of what this
little box can do. So we did have a few questions that were submitted
ahead of time from some of our people who saw the announcement a few days in advance. One of the first questions and this definitely
comes from someone who was an existing Pearl customer: “Does it come with a case?” Yes, it does come with a case, so like its
predecessor Pearl, it comes with a heavy-duty road case. This box as George mentioned, is meant to
be taken on the road, we didn’t mention that the hard drive in here is SSD, and that was
feedback that we got from Pearl customers who said, I want to take this on the road,
I want it to be super rugged, so we do have that hard-shell case, and this is meant to
be sort of lugged around and carried on the road. The other question was, and this is obviously
going to be pretty common for anybody productions-based, but what codecs do we support with Pearl-2? We support H.264, is the most common one that
people are using, we support Motion-JEPG, and MPEG-4 as well, but in the future we may
be able to add more codecs to this box, so right out of the gate H.264 is the primary
one that most people are using, but part of that processor upgrade that we put into Pearl-2
was looking ahead to be able to support more codecs in the future. We touched on this a little bit but maybe
we can clarify: “How many sources can we stream and record at a time on Pearl-2?” Ok, how many sources can we stream and record? We can bring in 6 live HD sources at a time,
and we can switch between any of those and between those 6 sources you can set up multiple
streams or channels, outputs that you want to record and stream, so you can set up to
6 of those at HD, and be streaming and recording those simultaneously, switching between any
of the 6 inputs, you can associate them kind of freely between each of those streams that
you’re creating, which inputs you’d like to have, picture-in-picture and branding and
this kind of stuff is all built-in so you can basically create your custom layouts that
you want and switch in-between them, so it’s really 6 HD inputs live, and then 6 HD streams
streaming out or recording at the same time. When we look at the 4K, it’s a little bit different,
We can bring in a couple 4K signals at a time and switch between those, and create one 4K
stream that can be recorded and streamed, or we can bring in multiple 4K streams, we
can bring in four 4K streams and in hardware scale those down to 1080p, so that then you
can bring those in and create multiple HD streams out of those. Another question here obviously from someone
looking at it as a permanent installation scenario: “Can we mount it in a rack?” Ah, OK. Yes, so, the predecessor to this Pearl, had
three kind of flavors, if you want. We had our Portable version that this one
is modeled after, and then it had two Rackmount versions, a Rackmount and a Rackmount Twin. And we’ll be coming out with Rackmount and
Rackmount Twin versions of Pearl-2, you’ll see that later this calendar year, but this
announcement is really focused on the portable one that comes with that carrying case that
you can lug around from place to place. And I guess, another question from a previous
Pearl customer, I guess they’re looking for reassurance, does this product do everything
that Pearl does? Yes, at a high level, I would say yes, it
does everything that Pearl does, it certainly inherits a lot of the features, or ALL of
the features, really, that Pearl had. There aren’t VGA ports directly in, so that’s
one little change, we really focused on digital signals here, as we see the change in the
market from a VGA and an analog world to a fully digital world. So I would say probably the VGA is the only
sort of feature that we’ve removed, if you want to look at it that way, but what we added
were a couple more HD ports that are digital, to replace those. But in terms of all the switching, recording,
streaming, scaling, all of that stuff, it inherits all of those features from Pearl. So it really starts there and then we’ll build
on that as we go forward. And again, we did get that as feedback from
customers, saying really, as time goes on, the need for more HD inputs, digital inputs, as opposed
to old legacy VGA stuff, which is sort of transitioning out. But you could always do a conversion if you
have to, I guess. You can, and that brings up a good point. I mean a lot of the changes that we made,
George mentioned XLR and RCA, and that’s a change for us, the original Pearl had TRS
inputs on the audio side, and we’ve learned a lot over the last few years from the customers
that have been using pearl, and we kind of baked all of that feedback into this next-generation. So there’s a lot of the feedback directly
from customers, embedding the power supply, switching to an SSD drive, the XLR inputs,
there’s a whole bunch of stuff there that we added. Upgrading the USB from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 to
get faster file transfer and all that sort of thing. So it really is a big refresh on the hardware
side. It really is a whole new product at the same
time, we’ve just learned so much. Exactly, and we’re really starting from where
Pearl is today, so it inherits all of those features and then we’ll get some new features
going forward as well. So I think we do have a couple questions live. Let’s take a look. I’ll give that to you to read. So we have a question out of the Netherlands,
which is great! World-wide reach! “Will Pearl-2 be able to support a slide presentation
over USB?” That’s a good question actually, that’s an interesting one. So we’re talking about bringing in a video
input over USB from a laptop or from a computer source, is that right? Yeah, depending on how you look at it. Right out of the box, right today, the answer
is no, so the inputs that we’ve outlined here, the HDMI, the SDI, those are the video inputs,
but there are USB 3.0 inputs on the back of Pearl-2, and we do plan in the very near future,
with a firmware update, to be able to enable those to be UVC and UAC capable, so then you
could connect any USB-based device to be able to bring that video in. With UVC, that could mean a web cam, or even
our own AV.io products, or enable VGA even. Exactly. So whether your slides are coming through
some kind of frame grabber or some other technology, or a web cam, directly over USB, you’ll be
able to bring that video and audio directly into Pearl-2. but that’s a future sort of release, it’s
coming soon, but day one, out of the box, it’s SDI, HDMI, are the video inputs. Do we have any other questions, no? There’s a clarification on that question. He’s actually specifying what about a PowerPoint
File? Ok, so the actual file? Ah, ok, that is on our list of things to add
to Pearl-2 in the future, it’s not something that’s in the box today, but that has been
a very popular request, to have some file-based assets that we can draw on directly from within
Pearl, and that is something you’ll see in the future on Pearl-2 for sure. And definitely having the USB 3.0 ports gives
us the ability to ingest those very quickly from a lot of different points. Exactly, yeah. The hardware is there. That’ll be coming, exactly yeah. So I think that pretty much wraps it up. In summary we’ve got a great new product we’re
announcing today, go to our website, check out all the details, if you want to know a
lot more about it, kind of get a real sense for what the product can do, book a demo with
George, just contact us via our website, there’s a request a demo link there, or you can just
send something to [email protected], and George will be happy to give you a full sort of custom
tour of everything that Pearl-2 can do, and we look forward to getting these out in the
market real soon. Thanks for joining us! Thanks a lot, take care.

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