From their first all-in-one boxes to the newer USB Capture models, SEG found Magewell's devices to be much easier to use and more reliable than the alternatives they had tried. "Magewell devices were the first ones we used that were truly just plug-and-play, whether on a Mac or Windows system, and stable," said Kachamakov. "They're simply plug-and-go, with no setup required, and their ability to auto-sense the input format means we don't even need to worry about configuring the resolution if we're using a different camera or format.”
Kachamakov also noted that the Magewell devices' cost-effective price point provides excellent return on investment (ROI), while from a technical perspective their built-in, FPGA-based video processing is important for taking the computational load off the CPU on their laptops.
SEG's success with Magewell solutions in their field productions has led them to also begin offering the products to their systems integration clients. "Our systems integration group, Syntegra Partners, resells solutions that have been proven in the field as part of our daily rental and production business," said Kachamakov. "Based on our own great experience with the Magewell devices, Syntegra proposes and sells them for projects such as Zoom Rooms implementations, Skype collaboration, streaming applications and lecture capture installations.”
SEG is also developing a roadmap for implementing IP-based media transport based on the NDI® protocol (developed by NewTek) in their rental projects, with Magewell again poised to be part of that plan. "As CTO, I see network-based transport as providing exceptional flexibility and other advantages," Kachamakov explained. "We can easily go into a third-party venue or corporate building that already has robust CAT6 infrastructure and leverage it rather than pulling our own cables. We have lots of SDI cameras, though, so using Magewell's Pro Convert SDI to NDI converters will allow us to keep using those cameras without pulling hundreds of metres of SDI each time.”
While NDI is on the horizon for the future, Magewell's USB capture devices continue to deliver valuable benefits to SEG in the present. "For me, the important thing is that with Magewell I have devices in our rental fleet that, no matter what I need, I never worry about the video capture – I just plug them in and go," summarized Kachamakov. "I don't need to take care of getting the capture working, it's plug-and-play, so I can just focus on the many other tasks that go into each event.”