Matrox Maevex 6150 Quad H.264 Encoder

The Matrox Maevex 6150 is part of the Maevex 6100 family of encoders. The family includes both stand-alone and PCI-based encoders. The 6150 is a stand-alone Quad H.264 encoder. Some of the features are:

  • HDMI
    • Inputs: max. 2x 4k60 (4:2:0) or 4x 4k30 (4:4:4)
    • Outputs: pass through for each HDMI input
  • H.264 Encoding
    • Up to 4x 4k or 16x 1080p
    • 50kbps to 120Mbps
    • H.264 CBR / VBR
  • Streaming Protocols
    • RTSP
    • SRT
    • RTP
    • RTMP
    • MPEG2.TS
    • HLS
  • Recording
    • To network drive / NAS
    • To local storage (USB 2.0 and 3.0)
  • Analog audio connections incl. microphone
  • Control
    • PowerStream Plus software
    • Programmable frontpanel buttons
    • PowerStream Plus SDK and REST API
  • DisplayPort preview output (Tile, Cycle or Single Input)
Maevex’s DisplayPort Preview Output

If you want to monitor the incoming video you can use the HDMI loop-through outputs (1:1, zero latency) or the DisplayPort preview output. The latter can be configured to show a single input or all inputs in a Quad View or Sequential. I used a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter, that worked well. Don’t worry if the DisplayPort preview starts dropping frames, it’s just a preview. The encoding has the highest priority, the processing power that’s left is used to create the preview image.

When I read the specs for the first time and saw the 16x 1080p streams, I thought this was of no use when having only 4 HDMI inputs. But you can have multiple streaming protocols (e.g. RTSP and HLS) per HDMI input. And I learned about the multiviewer capabilities of the Maevex. Video signals coming from the HDMI inputs can be combined:

Two examples of several video layout possibilities

There are lots of layouts to choose from including Picture in Picture (PiP) and Quad View. You could for example combine a Powerpoint (HDMI in 1) and a Speaker Camera (HDMI in 2) to a single stream.

H.265 sounds like the natural successor of H.264, delivering roughly half the bandwidth for the same video quality. So is the Maevex outdated because it only supports H.264? By no means. H.264 works with almost every decoder, H.265 support is more limited. And bandwidth availability is growing day by day.

And will H.265 really become as widespread as H.264 currently is? That remains to be seen. There are many competitors gaining momentum like AV1. And H.266 (VVC) has been released July this year. It’s really a codec battle involving big players like Apple, Google and Microsoft with royalties being an important factor.

The Maevex is designed to create highly compressed streams that can be sent over the internet. So don’t expect to find extremely low latency values, HDCP support or sending control signal along with the video (IR, RS232, USB). The Maevex is all about optimizing video quality at relatively low bitrates, flexibility and compatibility. A simple VLC player is enough to view the streams.

Next page:
3. Connecting

1. Introduction
2. Maevex Facts
3. Connecting
4. Streaming Protocols
5. Start Encoding
6. BrightSign Decoders
7. 4K
8. Quality
9. Verdict