Spanish motorsport timekeeping and graphics production company leverages the Matrox Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder for synchronized video transport at top speeds
No stranger to the winner’s circle, the Matrox® Monarch EDGE 4K/multi-HD encoder and decoder pair has enabled Al Kamel Systems to transport synchronized, multi-camera remote production (REMI) video feeds at ultra-low latencies to cover one of the world’s most iconic 24-hour automobile endurance races. Barcelona-based Al Kamel specializes in supplying timekeeping and graphics – and providing coverage for – internationally-renowned motorsport competitions destined for television and web broadcast. Adding the Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder pair to its all-star equipment lineup has allowed Al Kamel to easily and affordably transport low-latency video between the production studio and the racing circuit over 1,000 km away in France.
Elite signal transport for elite motorsports
In order to supply timekeeping and graphics feeds for high-profile racing events, Al Kamel needed encoder and decoder technology that was capable of sending multiple synchronized, high-quality video feeds across over 1,000 km – all at speeds that would make it seem as though videos were being produced on-site. After receiving Monarch EDGE demonstration from Spanish AV distributor Broadcast Multimedia – who provided equipment and support prior to purchase – Al Kamel found that the encoder and decoder would be the perfect fit for its demanding 24-hour production workflow. The ability of one Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder pair to simultaneously transport four, low-latency HD feeds was exactly what Al Kamel needed to be able to provide titling at ultra-low latencies.
At the racing circuit, the Monarch EDGE E4 4:2:2 10-bit encoding device is fed four 1080i50 SDI signals from various cameras and multiview devices. The Monarch EDGE E4 encoder then sends the video signals via proprietary WAN to the Monarch EDGE D4 decoder installed at the Al Kamel production center in Barcelona. At the production center, the feeds are used to reference the real-time action at the racing circuit, and ultimately be able to embed graphics into the broadcast signal without delay. Graphics are embedded using the graphic servers that are also located on the circuit and operated remotely from Barcelona.
Monarch EDGE's ability to transmit perfectly synchronized signals allows Al Kamel to integrate it into different workflows for other types of sporting events. In other cases, Monarch EDGE is used to send content from the Al Kamel production center in Barcelona to the remote circuit production center. In these situations, the graphics generated by the Vizrt Viz Engine 3.11 rendering engine and the design tool are supplied through two synchronized signals (Fill + Key) at 1080i50 to the Monarch EDGE encoder. The signals are then sent to the Monarch EDGE D4 decoder located at the circuit while maintaining the interlacing of the original images at all times. From there, the signals are connected to the DSK input of the video mixer, which allows for the graphics generated remotely in Barcelona to be integrated into the broadcast signal in real-time.
Monarch EDGE gets the checkered flag
According to Nacho Puig, Managing Director at Al Kamel, the Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder pair has become a key addition to the company’s remote production workflows. “The Matrox Monarch EDGE’s robust feature set has really enhanced Al Kamel’s ability to provide near-real-time video production and graphics for some of the world’s most-watched motorsport competitions,” Puig said. “Being able to achieve glass-to-glass latencies in just a few frames while maintaining superior-quality video has been particularly impressive.” Al Kamel has further said that it plans to leverage its indispensable Monarch EDGE encoder and decoder pair for future high-profile motorsport competitions.