NEW UNBOXING: Magewell Ultra Stream HDMI Encoder

Because, you can’t go on being your own tech support forever.

In the last several months, we’ve all learned some new tricks. Chances are back in January you’d never heard of Zoom and by now you know all the ins and outs. You might have even figured out how to broadcast your Zoom calls over Facebook Live or YouTube live.

Zoom is great, but…

it’s not the best possible solution for every case. First of all Zoom’s video and audio quality isn’t that great. It’s good enough for a basic meeting and the screen share quality is pretty good if you’re just showing a powerpoint.

Where Zoom fails is as a high-quality streaming service. You may want to use it for performances or to show pre-produced video, because it’s easy to use that way. But at some point you’ll be disappointed. You’ll want to provide high-quality video and audio.

Of course, there are limits. You probably don’t have a complete production studio at your disposal. Even if you did, you don’t have the staff needed to run it. And, as I said at the beginning of this article, you can’t be your own tech support forever.

Enter the Ultra Stream

This is the Magewell Ultra Stream HDMI encoder. It’s a simple black box that connects to any HDMI output, and any audio source, to provide high-quality video that can be streamed to YouTube, Facebook, or most video servers at the touch of a button. It’s compact and simple, so once it’s there and it works, anyone can do it.

What’s in the box

This particular unboxing was a little challenging, and I think you can tell that from the video:

Don’t get me wrong. The product looks awesome. I’m going to be reviewing it as soon as I have the opportunity to test it. I was actually very impressed by the quality of the packaging, although I did find it a little hard to open without tearing any of it.

You’ll want this product if…

This product is really perfect for schools and religious organizations. Those groups don’t always have a lot of “techie” people about, and so once this is set up, it can be operated by anyone, even a kid. It’s a great way to send high-quality video out to the community.

It’s also a great add-on to community organizations that already produce some video. For example, if your city council televises its meetings but does not stream them, this is an easy way to get that done.

It’s also perfect for corporate communications. The video can be streamed to an IPTV server and the video can be viewed on a whole lot of different streaming devices, as well as digital signage players.

Because it accepts an HDMI input, it can be used with practically any video capture device, including most phones and most still cameras. Many cheap camcorders can be used as well. On the other hand you can hook up any video switcher to it and have a lot of control using the latest in PTZ cameras and other technology. It will even stream in 4K. You can even run audio from a mixing board into it.

Setup is easy with an app and I’ll be showing that in a future article. In the meantime, if you’re ready to start streaming quickly and easily, check out the Magewell Ultra Stream HDMI Encoder now at Solid Signal!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.