Issue 27

Absolute Pearler

Epiphan’s Pearl hardware encoder line grows with the release of Pearl Nano, a single-channel encoder offering a powerful feature set in compact form.


14 October 2020

“With Pearl Nano, we wanted to give customers a better fit for applications where you don’t need that all-in-one system like a Pearl-2 or Pearl Mini,” says David Kirk, Epiphan’s marketing VP. “Not every event requires many inputs or channels, and then there’s contribution encoding where you really only need one camera and a microphone.”

Users can also add Pearl Nano onto an existing video production setup to leverage the device’s streaming and recording capabilities. Nano’s broad streaming protocol support includes modern protocols like Secure Reliable Transport (SRT), Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), as well as standard ones like RTMP and RTMPS.

Nano boasts several features that are uncommon or unseen in other single-channel encoders. A screen built into the device’s front allows for basic configuration and control as well as confidence monitoring during streaming and recording. Rear inputs include HDMI and SDI video, two line-level XLR ports for microphones, an HDMI program out, and an HDMI pass-through for zero-latency content display on in-room monitors. To further streamline setup, Nano also supports Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) in addition to DC power.

Also unique to Nano is the powerful custom layout builder. This lets users tailor their video program with a single-source or picture-in-picture layout that can include a dynamic background, graphics, text overlays, and other elements.

“We looked at the gaps in the market and let that inform Nano’s development,” says Epiphan product manager Greg Quirk. “You see that in the front screen for confidence monitoring and control, the HDMI pass-through and built-in professional audio inputs, and the modern streaming standards Nano supports.”

SRT encoding and decoding will prove a major application for Nano, Quirk adds. “Nano is a great solution for remote contribution since it’s small and light for shipping and also straightforward for non-technical users to connect their sources and start a stream.”

Adding to Nano’s SRT capabilities is remote accessibility through the Web-based user interface and Epiphan Cloud, a centralised platform for configuration and monitoring of Epiphan devices. This enables producers to remotely manage and control Pearl systems located anywhere in the world, reducing the likelihood of configuration errors and making for an easier production overall.

Like Pearl-2 and Pearl Mini, Nano includes advanced security features like LDAP, 802.1x, and SSL, as well as deep integration with video platforms Kaltura and Panopto, which makes it possible for users to start and stop events right from the front screen. And a first for a Pearl system: an expansion bay lets users install an M.2 SSD for additional local storage. Nano can also store recordings on an SD card inserted into the system’s SD card slot, as well as connected USB or network-attached storage devices.

Epiphan expects to begin taking orders for Pearl Nano shortly, with units shipping to customers before year end.

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