Videon’s Hardware Encoders Integrate with Dacast


Here at Dacast, we’re interested in making live streaming easy and affordable. Our service is built around offering high-level functionality to customers at an everyday price. More than 70,000 streamers have taken advantage of our service thus far.

Today, we’re proud to announce a new step forward in partnership with Videon, a great company that produces high-quality audio-video equipment right here in the United States. Their new Empire HD and Greylock HD streaming media encoder/decoders support Dacast right out of the box!

We’ll explain how this works shortly. But first, let’s introduce you to Videon.

About Videon

Videon LogoVideon is based out of State College, Pennsylvania. The company focuses on audio-visual solutions for the streaming, automotive, and aviation industries. Their products and services include:

  • Streaming media software
  • Media encoders/decoders supporting up to 4K resolutions
  • DVD and Blu-ray Disc players
  • Engineering services

Videon is a great company with a really fun culture. Their expertise in the industry has led to contracts with companies like Broadcom, Sony, Medion, and Samsung. They’re professionals and offer some wonderful products, which we’ll be covering shortly. We’re happy to partner with them!

Videon’s Encoder/Decoder Products

Videon’s streaming media product line includes encoders, decoders (players), and dual encode/decode devices. Their products are built around high-quality Intel processors. They’re built to be simple, powerful, and reliable for long-term and continuous use.

We’d like to highlight two of these encoders here: the Empire HD and Greylock HD. These encoders now support a really simple, powerful API integration for Dacast live streaming video workflows. We’ll explain how it works later in the article, but first let’s introduce the hardware.

The Empire HD Encoder

The Empire HD H.264 Encoder is Videon’s best-selling product in this category. This small system—less than a seven inches long and six inches wide—packs a punch when it comes to encoding streaming media.

The system is built around an Intel Atom™ CE5300 media processor operating two cores at 1.2 GHz. This specially designed chip can encode video content at up to full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). It can also handle frame rates up to 60p. One GB of DDR3 RAM and 4 GB of flash storage support this chip.

Bit rates of up to 20Mbps are possible as well. That’s a level of quality suitable for HD television broadcasts. Audio is encoded using the MPEG-4 AAC-LC protocol and supports bit rates between 64 and 320kbps. All this occurs with a latency of less than one second.

For integration with other hardware, the Empire HD has a variety of inputs and outputs. These include HDMI v1.4a, 3G/HD/SD-SDI, USB 2.0, 3.5mm analog audio, and 10/100/1000 Ethernet.

The Greylock HD Encoder/Decoder

The Greylock HD is similar to the Empire HD, but adds another level of functionality. This product also features an Intel Atom™ CE5300 media processor, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB of storage. The Greylock HD also adds decoding abilities as well. The Greylock can playback content at up to 1080p60, with about 250 milliseconds of latency. This makes it ideal for moving any content to any screen.

Also added are a number of new ports to support other playback hardware. The Greylock HD adds a second HDMI v1.4a port for output.

Both the Greylock HD and the Empire HD have many similarities, like supporting transcoding. This means they can ingest a 1080p30 stream, for example, and convert it on-the-fly to 720p30.  Both boxes are able to automatically detect other Videon encoder/decoder units on their subnet, including other Greylock and Empire units as well as Videon’s Washington HD decoder and Equinox HD encoder/decoder.

Both are also controlled using a browser-based user interface. Designed for tablets and desktops, this allows simple configuration for unicast, multicast, and RTMP broadcasts. They also both support DHCP (the default mode) or a static IP address.

[Tweet “The Videon Empire HD and Greylock HD are reliable, affordable encoders for #livestreaming that integrate with Dacast.”]

Encoder Integration with Dacast via API

One great feature that makes us excited about the Empire HD and Greylock HD is integration with Dacast. This integration is baked into these devices, making it incredibly simple to link them to your Dacast video streaming account. Here’s how it works:

  1. Log in to your Dacast account and navigate to “Preferences” --> “API”
  2. Find the text labeled “Videon Key” and click the button labeled “Regenerate.” This will create a new API code for Videon. Copy this code to your clipboard.
  3. Next, open a new web browser tab and navigate to your Videon encoder web interface.
  4. Click on “Encoder Control” and then “Configure.”
  5. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find the section labeled “RTMP Output.” In the dropdown menu, select “Dacast.”
  6. In the “API Key” field, enter the value you copied in Step 2.
  7. Click the button labeled “Get Channels.” This will retrieve a list of live channels associated with your Dacast account.
  8. From the “Channel List” dropdown menu, select the channel you would like to stream to.
  9. Toggle the “RTMP Output” switch to the on position.
  10. Switch to the “Encoder Configuration” tab and choose your settings.
  11. Click “Apply” and then “OK” to begin streaming.

That’s all there is to it! This whole process takes just a few moments. It’s a great integration that ensures Videon encoders work perfectly for Dacast live streams. For users, it saves time and makes a technical process easy.

More features of the Empire HD and Greylock HD

Both the Empire and Greylock HD have a number of other noteworthy features. First, they are highly energy-efficient, pulling less than 15 Watts in total. This is ideal for embedded and mobile applications where long-term costs can be a major factor.

Both also support a RESTful API that allows you to easily integrate these devices with third-party controllers and applications. Additionally, both feature a single prominent ACTION button for starting and stopping RTMP encoding.

To learn more about the Empire HD and Greylock HD, visit the Videon website and check out their comprehensive datasheets.

Feel free to have a look at this help page to support Dacast broadcasters streaming with Videon Empire HD or Greylock HD encoders. If you’re having any issues getting started, read that page and reach out to our 24/7 support team.

Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.