How many video input sare can be utilized simultaneously on a Mini?

pearl
streaming
pearlmini

#1

Greetings,
Photo Joseph’s thorough demo shows all three input used –although it appears he only switches 2. Elsewhere though I see reference to “2 inputs”. Can you switch all three (SDI + 2 HDMI)? Is the limit only for things like PIP etc., or are only two of the inputs available at any one time?


#2

I have the same question. The Pearl Mini User Guide (https://www.epiphan.com/userguides/pdfs/Epiphan-PearlMini-UserGuide.pdf) addresses this issue, but frankly I don’t understand what it says.

Here is the text from the Guide:

When using Pearl Mini, we recommend using two video sources in up to two full HD channels simultaneously for best performance. However, you can connect up to three video sources to Pearl Mini in the following scenarios:

  1. One 1080p 30 fps channel configured with three layouts, one for each full HD video source without any scaling and make the video image fill the whole frame.
  1. Two 1080p 30 fps channels: one channel for a picture in picture switched program for HD recording at 1080p30 fps at 8 Mbps, and a second channel with duplicate content at a lower resolution of 720p30 fps at 2 Mbps for streaming that uses the first channel as the video source, see Add video sources or a channel as a source. The switched program can have up to three layouts: two that are picture in picture that includes your main camera and one other video source such as a document camera or a laptop with slides, and a third layout of your main camera.

I find this explanation extremely confusing. What I understand from it, is that if I am encoding only once (option one), I can’t do any picture in picture, scaling, etc. if I want to use three inputs. But, if I am encoding two streams (option two), all of a sudden I can use picture and picture as long as all three video sources aren’t on the screen at once.

But that doesn’t make any sense, so I must be misunderstanding it.


#3

Ahh, I think the example two is a typo, they meant to say one 1080p 30fps channel where you have your switching, then a duplicate of this content into a second channel at 720p 30fps. So two channels total.

There aren’t any hard limitations within the Pearl mini for layouts, inputs, and numbers of channels, these are just guidelines to make sure that you don’t encounter framerate drops below 30fps. For example I could use all three inputs and create 3 channels at 1080p 30fps, but this would be a terrible idea as the framerates would drop as I would have exceeded the CPU resources of the Pearl Mini.

So you can certainly connect three video sources, just only use two of them at the same time and don’t have more than two channels.


#4

Thanks, Adam. With only one 1080p 30fps channel, would it work okay with 3 inputs: 2 1080p cameras, plus a 1080p PowerPoint feed, using a few different layouts with a max of 2 of those inputs in PIP + a background image? Or would that be pushing it too hard?
I’m just trying to get a feel for types of scenarios that might work, and that is one that I could see us potentially using with a Mini if we got one.


#5

If you just have a single encoded channel of 1080p at 30fps, and then in the layouts you only use two of the sources at a time it should be perfectly fine!


#6

This is pretty much the scenario that interests me.