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Meet the Epiphan Pearl

And why Visitec jumped in head over heels.

It’s not often you stumble across a product that rolls up as many applications into one bundle the way the Epiphan Pearl does.  What’s even more unusual is when the company has been around nearly fifteen years and they never crossed your radar before.  At first glance we were intrigued by the packaging of the Epiphan Pearl reminiscent of past products we have represented albeit updated for the digital world.  Given the opportunity to go deeper and learn more, the product elicited even more excitement when we understood its application at a price point that was hard to believe.

So what is so unique about the Epiphan Pearl?  We have seen a number of products from various manufacturers that when integrated may add up to the capabilities of Pearl, but never with as rich a feature set.  Consider that Pearl is a mini production switcher that accommodates the most current and popular digital sources.  Its user interface, touch screen controller and web interface for any device make it easy to switch between sources ranging from SDI to HDMI and even analog VGA with breakaway audio capability.  Pearl allows users to build customized layouts layering and windowing video sources including PNG transparent images.  It even supports H264 IP camera input.  With dual DisplayPort outputs, it is easy to manage preview and program output for local and remote viewing.  Pretty cool for a small form factor live production switcher designed for portability (it comes with a carry case) and rackmount applications.

Looking deeper we explored the content capture capabilities and were very pleased to see you could manage all these video sources, andstore them on the internal terabyte of storage.  When exploring the streaming functionality it became apparent that this is one very flexible appliance.  Pearl creates multiple channels for streaming, with each able to be set up to support different codecs and bitrates.  Not enough? Pearl also supports set-top boxes for digital signage or any other display application for streaming content.  Able to support multiple unicast streams, the Pearl is also ideal for use with virtually any Content Delivery Network (CDN).  And what we really like is that content captured is stored at full resolution for editing or other uses beyond live streaming.  Looking for 4K streaming?  Pearl-2 is coming later this year and will support 4k sources on the input, output and streaming. 

But even with all this functionality the intrigue did not stop there. The Pearl may be controlled by RS-232 or through its API via HTTP interface.  All the sudden it becomes an integrators dream for a myriad of applications.  Pearl features built in functionality to integrate directly into the most popular lecture capture platforms including Moodle, Kaltura, Mediasite and Blackboard.  Pearl is a low cost high performance alternative to more complex and expensive switching, capture and streaming solutions for even the largest educational institutions.  As you can tell, we are pretty excited to be representing Epiphan and their Pearl product.  Who wouldn’t be with a product that performs like this at a price point starting under $5,000 MSRP!

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