This review first appeared on 3rd March 2022 on the CX Digital Network and is republished here.
Luke Hammonds is the Director of Create Engage, a small team of event professionals specialising in providing online event and production solutions. With over 25 years collective experience in live events and streaming, Sydney-based Create Engage have successfully executed numerous online campaigns and events for their clients by increasing engagement, audience reach, revenue and awareness for their branded content through tailored technology solutions.
At Create Engage, we’ve bought both the 1RU and 3RU Cradle Series frames. For live streaming events, we have stock of REN-1 (NDI) encoding modules and RD-300 decoding modules. We run everything with redundant back-ups, so we like the fact the Cradle Series enable us to have multiple cards for primary and back-up. We also connect to multiple players in our streaming platform, and often output to multiple streaming providers. And both models of Cradle have redundant power supplies, which is essential.
In terms of streaming protocols, we’ll often use NDI to connect other rooms that are running during an event, and connect to remote sites via SRT. Our biggest and most complex events involve multiple encoded streams going to multiple players, with multiple breakout rooms. This will see different cards in the Cradles servicing different parts of the physical event, streaming over the web, all while handling different network feeds and SRT send and receive.
Our 1RU Cradles are in racks ready to roll with lids, wheels, and handles, all designed to get in and out of a venue really quickly. We pull the lids up, connect power, and we’re ready to go. That 1RU of rack real estate can hold four cards, which is all a lot of shows need. For example, we could fit the Cradle with three REN-1 (NDI)s and a RD-300. The RD-300 can do its own switching via a web GUI, and we’ve got a Raspberry Pi mounted in the rack to access it. Other gear in the rack includes a pull-out 4K monitor, hardware switcher, recorder, main processing computer running VMix, and a network switch.
I love the 1 RU with its horizontal card mounting. As it can accommodate four cards, and an RD-300 can take nine inputs, that’s a whopping 36 channels of SRT decoding in, plus all the network and hardware outs. When rack real estate is so precious, that is incredibly powerful. This has taken large event video switching and distribution into one-man-band territory.
For our larger shows, we’ll deploy our 3RU Cradles. They live in a 4RU flyway case, with the other RU holding a gigabit network switch. With the ability to take 16 cards, it’s an absolute workhorse. We have never managed to max it out. We’ve used it to run shows with six rooms, and six different streamers and players. What used to be six individual racks with six operators is now one 4RU case and one operator.
Software and Interface
We use the Kiloview web server and find its GUI to be intuitive, easy-to-use, and powerful. While we normally run a separate hardware switcher, we can use the Kiloview GUI for switching if we wish. For example, we could send input 1 out of SDI 1, input 2 out of SDI 2, or send a multiview out of SDI 1, with the multiview processing happening in the Kiloview card. With the nine NDI feeds available in and R-300, two cards gives us four outs, which could be split outs, a multiview, and something else like a record feed.
While Kiloview haven’t been a name in video for as long as their established competitors, they have nevertheless manufactured affordable equipment that is reliable. We have never had an issue with overheating. We like the fact that the cards are hot-swappable, and the inclusion of redundant power supplies as standard on each Cradle. We’ve put our Kiloview gear through a lot; on-site, in the studio, in our office, and remote locations. If they’re not on a show, we test them daily, so we’re always running them. They behave like they were designed to be on and working 24/7.
Changes and Improvements
As our Cradles and cards work flawlessly and do everything we need, I don’t have much in the way of suggestions for improvements. What I would love to see is a card with an M.2 SSD chip that could record at H.265; that would be a game changer! Just imagine being able to do a back-up recording of nine isos on a card!
Service & Support
Service and support of Kiloview products from Adimex is fantastic. I’ve been dealing with Adimex for over 12 years, and they’ve always been knowledgeable about everything they sell. It’s led to a long professional relationship, and I trust their technical advice.
KILOVIEW CRADLE SERIES – THE SPECS
TThe Kiloview Cradle Series includes 1RU and 3RU rack-mounted frames, freely configurable with four channel (1RU), and 16 channel or 32 channel (3RU) codec modules. Each frame comes with redundant power modules and centralised heat dissipation. The Cradle Series support 3.5mm audio input, H.264 encoding, image and text overlay, video cropping, and NAS network storage.
- RE-1 Encoding Module: SDI in/out, 3.5mm audio input
- RE-2 Encoding Module: HDMI in/out, 3.5mm audio input
- Protocols supported: SRT/RTMP/ RTMPS/HLS/TS over UDP/RTP/RTSP /Onvif
- REN-1 (NDI) 1 Encoding Module: SDI in/out, 3.5mm audio input
- REN-2 (NDI) 1 Encoding Module: HDMI in/out, 3.5mm audio input
- Protocols supported: NDI|HX 1.0 and 2.0/SRT/RTMP/ RTMPS/HLS/TS over UDP/RTP/RTSP /Onvif
- RD-230 Decoding Module: SDI and DVI out, 3.5mm audio out, up to 4 channels of decoding
- Protocols Supported: SRT/RTMP/RTMPS/RTMPServer/HLS/TS over UDP/RTP/RTSP
- RD-300 Decoding Module: Two RJ-45, SDI out HDMI out, 3.5mm audio out, up to 9 channels of decoding
- Supported: NDI|HX2.0/SRT/RTMP/RTMPS/RTMPServer/HLS/TS over UDP/RTP/RTSP
- RMG-300 Media Gateway Module: Two RJ-45, SDI out HDMI out, 3.5mm audio out, 9 channels of 1080P video conversion
- Streaming Distribution: 50 channels of RTSP, 36 channels of RMP/SRT (Not more than 800Mbps)
- Up to nine channels of decoding and video conversion
- Output Protocols: NDI|HX 2.0/SRT/RTSP/RTMP/TS-UDP