Switchers

Calibre LEDView 530

Calibre UK has further strengthened its LEDView530 scaler/switcher with the addition of new firmware for user selectable and variable picture-in-picture (PIP) flexibility. For all of you LED freaks out there, this ought to be a welcome upgrade. The LEDview 530 has a street price of $10,999 so it’s low-cost insurance for a great image!

From their press release:
“The new PIP function of the LEDView530 scaler/switcher adds the functionality of expensive windowing solutions available from other manufacturers in the market today, but at an affordable price,” explains Tim Brooksbank, Chairman at Calibre UK.

PIP is used for the composition of a single displayed image comprised of background content, plus a second windowed input channel, viewed on one single LED videowall. Typically the background content will be computer generated. The LEDView530supports virtually all sources including Mac and PC and the PIP content is a video feed either direct from a camera or via a vision mixer, typically over 3G or HD-SDI.

LEDView530 angle front 300dpi (white bg) Cliff knob
“The firmware update is considerably important for smaller installs requiring variable PIP sizes and backgrounds, particularly at smaller facilities such as sports grounds where it gives LEDView530 a significant advantage in allowing users to generate a combined image, with advanced features such as pixel-accurate PIP sizing and PIP fade in/out transitions,” adds Brooksbank.

Significantly, LEDVIew530’s PIP is inserted within the defined output pixel area, so once the overall picture size has been set tosuit the LED videowall using Calibre UK’s class-leading per-edge-based left/right/top/bottom sizing mechanism ensuring the PIP is automatically sized proportionately within that defined LED videowall pixel area. This advancedprocessing makes it very fast & simple to adjust the LEDView530 scaler/switcher for virtually any LED videowall.

“Variable PIP size can be used as a main background, so that a display showing a sports event plus scoreboard or advertising data can be composed. An event may be shown in the top portion of the screen with data below and to the right, or either side of that live image.”

The new firmware for the LEDView530 scaler/switcher is available now. Existing users can take advantage of the firmware update immediately by downloading the update free from www.calibreuk.com.

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Scotch and Soda Please!

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And here I thought that was just my favorite bar reply….

Netherlands-based media firm Circus Family combined forces with Jurlights and came up with this huge 360-degree projectionmapping at Gashouder Amsterdam. The gig was for Amsterdam Couture house, Scotch and Soda, for the launch of their 2013 line. Using four Hippo HD’s they were able to pipe content to ten Barco HD20′s mounted in a ring in the center. They used the ScreenWarp feature to cut the roundness and then threw in a couple of Hippo Critters with a 16×16 DVI matrix to finish it off. Technician Menno Broere tells me they didn’t even have to blend the projectors…just masked out some physical attributes. That’s how we like it- simple and clean. So many times this type of technology is ‘over done’ from the production side, so it’s nice to see people keeping to the oldest axiom in show biz- Keep It Simple Stupid.

Scotch&Soda - SS13 - 360° Projection from Circus Family on Vimeo.

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Analog Way Eikos EKS500 Review

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The following appears in the September issue of PLSN magazine. Give ‘em a look for all the latest and greatest in the biz- especially during LDI Week!

Analog Way Eikos EKS500 Matrix Switcher
I have to keep reminding myself that computers really only do one thing at a time and even then, it’s only what you tell it to. It’s like I always tell my technophobe friends, “think of it like a toaster, you can make toast- not lasagna”. Video gear is much the same way, in fact, that’s what I think distinguishes great products from mediocre ones. If it does one thing well- great. Presentation switchers in a perfect world would be the same way. But the live event world is rarely perfect and presentation switchers try really hard to bridge the gap. Does this mean doing many things is not a good thing? No. For more complex presentations, units that can accomplish many things are perfect for rental/staging companies. These units are designed to do a lot, and like most everything, you get what you pay for. There are units that will simply and passively switch two sources -and there are units that try to be full-blown 2 M/E engines of wonder. Somewhere in there is the right piece for your application.

I came across the Eikos EKS500 from Analog Way recently and it seems (more…)

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SmithsonMartin Emulator X

Screen shot 2012-10-16 at 12.12.07 PM

SmithsonMartin users and Mac fans rejoice! The OSX version of Emulator is here but be forewarned- it’s in beta and not really set for show use just yet. I have not been able to procure and test just yet, but I can assure you- this gives me a great excuse to wipe Windows off my MBP. Check it out HERE. While you’re at it, read the Road Test of the KS-1974 and check out Infected Mushroom rocking the Emulator DVS.

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LDI Week

It’s LDI Week! I am supremely bummed out that I won’t be attending this year. All indicators pointed towards going, but alas, the vagaries of life intervened (money, kids, kids….did I mention kids?). While not projection oriented, LDI has morphed into the largest show of it’s kind and projection is quite dominant nowadays. It seems the lampies have ‘seen the light’- way back when someone suggested ‘it’ll all be video one day’…..well, the rest is history. Every major manufacturer has a presence and there are a TON of projection-related classes, seminars, certification trainings, and general jaw-dropping displays of projection wonder……plus it’s in Vegas! Since it’s LDI week, that means the LD will be away and guess who gets to play squint for the next week-and-a-half? You guessed it. Me. Projectionfreak will be ‘EverythingElectricFreak’. Having been in the ranks for quite a few years before jumping ship to video, I actually kind of like being an LD (if only for a little while). You really do have to think a LOT about a LOT. Projection has almost become too easy in some respects and having to wrangle a piece-meal, older lighting rig in a 50-year-old theatre has it’s challenges!

-Look for new products from Analog Way- the Pulse PLS300, Pulse is a 10-input multi-layer hi-resolution mixer/seamless switcher and dual scaler that is suitable for large-screen applications. The unit is capable of displaying up to two live sources, with many live effects including keying and PIP animation. Inputs include two DVI, six universal analog, and two 3G/HD/SD-SDI for SDTV, EDTV, HDTV, and computer formats up to 2K, with full digital in/out processing. Outputs include two analog and digital (main and preview) for computer formats up to 2K, RGBHV, DVI, and HDTV. Having just reviewed an Analog Way switcher, this looks promising! My review of the Eikos will be up on the site this week! Keep an eye out for it…..

-From our good friends at d3 Technologies, The d3 technologies’ d3 integrated production toolkit for video production professionals is now available in a new version, R10. This new release contains all-new projection simulation tools. Auto-calibration headlines these with reduction (up to 75%) in projection setup time and higher accuracy. Keystoning and manual warping are eliminated, allowing much larger projection setups in shorter time frames. Other new features include: Luma and Chroma Key, 8K content, 1080p capture, OSC/DMX/Art-Net input, new visual effects, KiNet support, and increased third party equipment support. I have d3 Designer and as soon as I can fully grasp it’s ridiculous power, I might do a write-up on it……

-From Green Hippo, Version 3.2 of Geen Hippo’s Hippotizer brings improvement to the functionality and user-interface of the media servers. A new Interlayer Crossfade Engine allows for timed or auto crossfading between media or parameters on any layer. Preview of “next media clip” simplifies cueing. The Region Mapper enhances point-and-click functionality, with the ability to create 3D objects without point dragging. Additional features include MA Net2 implementation, Genlock HD with monitor preview, timecode control of media layers without timelines, WatchFolders, direct peer-to-peer uploading, and simultaneous syntax creation and media labeling while copying directly into Media Bank and position. The Advanced Preset Manager allows creation of presets internally and recall without external control source, while MultiSelect allows control of any number of layers at once.

-From coolux, Pandoras Box Version 5.3 media system from coolux delivers media control, playback, warping, blending, show control, interaction, broadcast multi-track audio, and media storage across a wide range of solutions. The ability to absolutely synchronize and composite in realtime large numbers of video, live inputs, and media assets onto any shape screen or surface, with complete control of all parameters from almost any interface allows for screens and surfaces of any size, stationary or moving. This show control solution interfaces to almost any external system via coolux Widget Designer PRO, DMX, SMPTE, TCP/UDP, MIDI Show, WiFi, iPad, iPhone, Web Control, MIDI, projectors, or LED. The latest Pandoras Box version also features the new uncompressed playback SSD Editions.

-From Gerriets, XL Front is a front-projection surface from Gerriets available in extremely large dimensions with no seams. It would be possible to have a seamless screen 328′ wide by 14’8″ high. An opaque backing makes the projection screen suitable for situations where it is essential to have no light bleed-through. Designed for video and HDTV format applications, it is also appropriate for theatre, studio, trade shows, and events. It is also available as XL Rear projection screen.

-From Arkaos, The ArKaos Stage Server, distributed by A.C. Lighting, offers two full HD outputs combined with the ArKaos engine to produce smooth visuals that can be programmed and played from any DMX lighting console. Engineered to ensure rugged reliability and designed for quick setup, the server ships with MediaMaster Express and a library of high-quality digital media from some of the world’s best visual content providers. The fast recovery system by Acronis allows for reset of the server from the boot menu.

-Tait Technologies, Tait developed the Pixel Tablet to form the backbone of landscape video. It is a 3″x3″ RGB unit (135mmx135mm) weighing less than 1.1 lb (.5 kg), and each unit can be handheld by members of the audience, placed in holders adaptable to any environment, or mounted on a netting system to allow coverage of any landscape or architectural façade. Tait recently manufactured 70,500 Pixel Tablets for London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies, where the tablets were placed in holders on every seat in the Olympic stadium, allowing the entire stadium to become the world’s largest video screen to date, while incorporating the audience into the screen and the show itself. The units are CE- and EMC-compliant and IP65-rated.

And there’s a boatload more…..make sure to visit LDIShow.com to see the craziness….there’s going to be a lot of info coming out of this show so stay tuned!

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Arkaos Stage Server

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From Arkaos:
ArKaos is proud to announce the official release of the ArKaos Stage Server at PLASA 2012 (Stand no 2-R23 in the White Light zone) where it will be shown for the first time in Europe.

The new Stage Server is an affordable, easy-to-use media server for creating and controlling video content. It offers the perfect solution for live entertainment, theatre, educational, audio-visual and worship applications.

Easy to operate
Designed for quick and easy set-up, ArKaos Stage Server is probably the easiest server currently on the market to learn and use.

It operates using MediaMaster Express in ‘Simple Mode’ and offers LED mapping over Ethernet and two Full HD outputs which, combined with the powerful ArKaos graphics engine, produce smooth visuals. These can be easily triggered using just a few DMX channels on your lighting desk or notes on a MIDI controller.

The ArKaos Stage Server also ships with a vast library of high quality digital media from the world’s best visual content providers. All you have to supply is your creative imagination!

Safe and reliable
The ArKaos Stage Server has been engineered to ensure rugged reliability for confidence under every performance condition. For extra security, the fast recovery system by Acronis allows extremely simple reset of the server from the boot menu.

Expandable
The ArKaos Stage Server hardware can be extended to support a large range of live video inputs and, for further functionality, can be expanded to run with MediaMaster PRO by means of a simple software upgrade.

High performance, affordable price
Designed to appeal to those with smaller budgets but high standards, the ArKaos Stage Server retains its high level performance and specifications yet at a price that will fit most customers’ budgets.

In total, ArKaos Stage Server offers the ideal combination of scalability and creativity at an unbeatable price, to bring creative media within the reach of all levels of expertise and budgets.
The ArKaos Stage Server and the MediaMaster software are distributed in the UK by White Light Ltd. Further information about ArKaos’ products can be found at www.arkaos.net

ArKaos Stage Server at a Glance
Technical excellence:
• Two Full HD outputs • Fast recovery system by Acronis • LED Mapper included • Kling-Net Mapper included • Professional DMX connectors
Peace of mind:
• Simple to use • Quick to set up • Easy to learn • Professional performance • Unbeatable price
Ideal for:
• Clubs, disco bars, live entertainment • Theatre, education, worship • Audio-visual, conferences

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Barco ImagePro II- Review

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The following appears in the current issue of PLSN Magazine, and many thanks go to the team there- Justin Lang and the entire editorial staff, the web folks, the sales team, and all the other fantastic writers. I couldn’t ask for a better team to work for (when I get the chance) and the quality of the mag is beyond great. Be sure to visit PLSN.com and subscribe! There is so much more with the electronic version as well. If you work in the Biz, than you need to read it. Simple as that. The current issue is chock full of articles from industry experts Nook Schoenfeld, Vickie Claiborne, and Brad Schiller, as well as some great pieces on portable power, the Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800, a tribute to Chip Monck,…..just get there and read! (more…)

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Avolites AI

Avolites has formed a strategic partnership with Immersive LTD and they now manufacturing a suite of products under the name AI- meaning their high end media servers. AVOLITES MEDIA Ltd. will release Ai media servers through the existing AVOLITES international distribution network. Meanwhile Immersive Ltd. will continue in their successful business of event production, experiential design and content creation for an expanding and diverse, high profile market.

AVOLITES MEDIA Ltd. will design, develop, manufacture and distribute the Ai media server range. Immersive Ltd. and AVOLITES MEDIA Ltd have unique businesses, which
complement each other.

They have formed a strategic alliance and are committed to working together. This relationship of co-operation, communication, feedback and support will be channelled into product design and development. In an alliance that is defining the future.
Here’s a product sheet
It looks like the rack mount version is the AIS-T4, with Avolites Media Ai software, Ais-T performs smooth playback of multilayer 4k resolution content with up to six full 1080p HD outputs arranged in a timeline timecode sequencer. Users can build and create their show in a 3D Stage Visualizer and use the powerful mapping capabilities to allow rapid, precise mapping and warping onto any 3D surface. Tightly integrated support for 3D displays, LEDs, moving lights and other visual elements allow designers to merge video and lighting with unprecedented control.

They’re also releasing the Sapphire Media console, the AI-SM, in August, as well as a dedicated server console- the MSC-1. Exciting stuff from Avo and I can’t wait to get some more info. Be sure to check back for an update!

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Vaddio ProductionVIEW Switcher- Review

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The following appears in the current issue of PLSN magazine, and I can’t thank them enough for printing it. But here on Projectionfreak you get some extras….

I use a PTZ camera system at work that is a package supplied by Markertek (outstanding prices and service from these folks….highly recommend them!) ….and manufactured by Vaddio…namely a ProductionVIEW switcher, 3 HD19 PTZ cameras with CCU, a Vaddio 3-way monitor, and a Vaddio 2-way HD monitor. The switcher is at the heart of the rig, providing control over the 3 cameras, a fourth PTZ (Sony EVI-D70), computer input, and DVD input. I should say up front that I am not paid by Vaddio or Markertek, nor do they receive advertising credit or endorsement from me or from Projectionfreak.com.……although ANY/ALL of those options and scenarios are open for discussion! Hint hint- as in “call for a rate card” hint….

I happen to use their gear based on price and performance and I couldn’t be happier. It’s great stuff and the image quality is outstanding- but on with the hands-on review:

Vaddio ProductionVIEW HD Switcher

As the ‘video guy’ I get asked to wear a lot of hats and it’s not just because I’m a nice guy that says “yes”. There’s a lot of factors to keep track of- not the least of which is keeping a decent image onscreen. If you’re touring, you’re usually just trying to keep the gear from being destroyed- if you’re in corporate you have the constant harangue of having to edit presenter imagery- if you’re in trade shows, well- that list is too long. Usually this is all on top of being the switcher. If you are the lucky person that owns/rents the gear that makes all that happen, you need equipment that does more than one thing. So it goes (more…)

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