Pixel Mapping

Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
edited July 2009 in Axon
One big downside I see of buying an Axon is the lack of pixel mapping software within the server...

I see other servers or products on the market such as Hippo critter with this feature and think it is a real shame. I do want an Axon, but I would really like to control things like Colour Web with Axon without the need for external software such as Radlites Pixel Drive. (Can anybody suggest any others by the way..?)

Is it me or does everybody else want Pixel Mapping too? I see this as a major need considering the amount of LED walls and products hitting the industry and the ones which have already proven themselves as workhorses.

Not quite a rant, more of a hint ;)

Comments

  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited July 2009
    Joe,

    You also have to look at the price of the media servers. Yes, pixelmapping would be nice, but when you put Axon up against Catalyst, Hippo, etc. it's better than 2 to 1 pricing. Adding features like this also adds cost.

    I personally use external software if I need pixelmapping and just loop it through. If I'm doing a ton of pixelmapping and need the horsepower, I just go to Catalyst or Hippo.

    Now...would I like to see pixelmapping in the Axon, absolutely. Can it be accomplished and keep the same low price....I'm not sure.

    J
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Joe,

    Keep in mind that AXON was originally created more for use with DL rigs.....both for content "pre-view" and for re-creating DL "looks" on other video delivery systems.

    It just so happens that AXON makes a great stand-alone server for many other applications as well.

    While pixel-mapping could be useful within AXON, I personally wouldn't place a high priority on it.

    There are plenty of other good products out there already for pixel-mapping, such as the RADLite Pixel Drive as you mentioned, or pixelMAD within Catalyst. I'm personally not a big fan of the Hippos at all.

    Most LED video delivery systems have pixel-mapping built in. Color Web is an exception, as it is really a DMX LED product in and of itself. If you've got the budget for it, chances are you've also got the budget for pixel-mapping as well.

    If AXON is going to move more into the stand-alone media server market I personally think things like support for audio files/playback would be much more useful than pixel-mapping.
  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited July 2009
    I agree with Marty....I'd rather see Audio before Pixelmapping (if it ever happens).

    But you can't really add in all of this stuff, without changing the basis for the products was "it's the DL-line media server without the projector." It then starts to become it's own entity and you can't build your shows around the "same" system....

    It will be an interesting thread to watch and see what other opinions are though....
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Would either of you kindly enlighten me on exactly how to loop Axon and Pixel Drive. I have just contacted Pixel Drive for a demo and also have TMB looking for other software reccomendations too. However the guy at Radlite says "As in combination with Axon I am not sure ho wit would work out."

    So I am hoping the UK sales rep he put me in touch with can help me out..

    Considering Colour Web is low resolution, would SDI or S Video out into Pixel Drive work? How would frame rate/speed be affected?

    I can completely understand where you are both coming from in terms of price and what the product is for. However, is Hippo not going to end up in the DMLs? So I assume it is going to be the same thing there, except Hippo already has pixel mapping, so it it the other way round.. You could use the graphics engine from a DML fixture to power a video wall couldnt you?

    Thanks,
  • jxgriffijxgriffi Registered User, DL Beta, Hog Beta
    edited July 2009
    If you do, indeed, want to use the Axon as your drive system, then you need a CAPTURE CARD in your Pixel Drive computer. What this capture card is will determine how to get the video into the system. For the most part, you'll need a conversion system to get DVI into S-video or SDI...it all depends on the capture card of the Pixel Drive system.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Hmm, can you get capture cards with SDI and S video on? What are we talking about price wise? Or could I go straight DVI into the Pixel Drive system?

    Thanks man,
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited July 2009
    DVI and SDI are going to be more expensive.....there isn't much point in such a "high-quality" signal when dealing with such an extremely low-res system as Color Web.

    You are much better off going with S-Video. Most computers have S-Video capture ports now anyway, and if they don't capture devices are relatively inexpensive for S-Video.

    You will also need a scan converter to go from the AXON's VGA ouput down to S-Video in this case.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    I would probably get the DVI and SDI ones, purly for the fact that if I want to use a higher res wall, I can.

    Thanks Marty!
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited July 2009
    It could be the difference between a few hundred dollars and several thousand for something of quality.......keep in mind that a higher-res wall will almost certainly have pixel-mapping built in already as part of the system.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Thanks Marty. I am looking at getting a seperate (but cheapish) pixel mapping computer running RADlite Pixel Drive Pro. I am in talks with thier UK sales rep now. It certainly looks like cool software that I look forward to using.

    As for future of the Axon, I would certainly like to see more layers (no more than 6) and Audio support. I think it is a great little server, easy to use and well priced. Its just a shame it is a pain in the rear end for me to get my hands on one in the UK. I cannot just pop to my local rental shop to play with one... because the nearest guy with an Axon is Cormac, in Ireland! I would have to fly one in from mainland Europe if I wanted one.

    Regards,
  • Zach PeletzZach Peletz Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited July 2009
    Joe, I just want to clarify a few things. Marty did briefly touch on this but be aware that you cannot send video out from Axon via S-Video or SDI. These are for capture only. Only one DVI port on the video card outputs your graphics stream.

    In regards to the Hippo/DML situation; there is a version of Hippo that acts as the DML media server but it is highly limited when comparing to the full versions of Hippo and there is no pixel mapping ability. The DML can be purchased with or without a media server and thus many users get the version without the media server and use Axon instead.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    OK. Thanks Zach. So its a case of DVI out > convert to S Video > into pixel mapping computer?

    Thanks,
  • Zach PeletzZach Peletz Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited July 2009
    Yes. If you want to use anything besides DVI output from Axon you'll have to use a scan converter to go DVI -> S-Vid or other video medium. An example of a professional level one would be the Folsom Image Pro but is probably overkill for your specific scenario.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Thanks for the clarification Zach.

    Regards,
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    It seems that an S-Video capture card is only going to cost me about £50. Do you guys recommend any specific ones?

    Thanks,
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited July 2009
    I highly recommend this device Joe.

    http://desktop.grassvalley.com/products/TwinPact100/TwinPact100.php

    It takes a variety of formats (including VGA and S-Video) and converts it to DV input.

    So as long as your pixel-mapping computer has a Firewire port this will work directly from the AXON's DVI port with the standard DVI>>VGA adapter that comes with the AXON and a VGA cable.

    This box is a very useful piece of gear to have in your kit in general.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Thanks Marty. I think I may invest in Axon for my general Video and DL previewing and a Hippo Critter especially for mapping colour web. I know your not a fan of Hippos (not sure why..) But I think they are OK. I by far wont get a full size, but the critter looks OK for just web.

    Maybe Axon would be wasted as a Pixel Mapping server, so I think more layers and Audio would be better for the Axon users.

    Thanks for all the input,
  • Marty PostmaMarty Postma Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Joe Bleasdale;39395 said:
    I know your not a fan of Hippos (not sure why..) But I think they are OK. I by far wont get a full size, but the critter looks OK for just web.

    Everyone is going to have their own preference Joe.....that's why its' nice to have choices! I much prefer pixelMAD or Pixel Drive.

    I find that as the name "Hippo" suggests....they are just too big and klunky to work with efficiently....but that is just my opinion.
  • Joe BleasdaleJoe Bleasdale Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Marty Postma;39396 said:

    I find that as the name "Hippo" suggests....they are just too big and klunky to work with efficiently....but that is just my opinion.
    Fair enough. I think I prefered the software side of being able to completely change a piece of content with the effects. I didnt really judge it on size. But you are right that everybody has opinion. I would like to go for Axon over Hippo.... But there are none at all in the mainland UK. :angryfire:. Whereas Hippo is a different story. I think Axon is going to be great for my video needs, but not Pixel Mapping. I also understand now why that is. So thanks :friday:

    Regards,
  • cormacjackcormacjack Registered User, DL Beta
    edited July 2009
    Zach,how difficult would it be to have an option much like the SDI upgrade offered with the older axons to have an SDI out available?
    I'm currently touring festivals with an axon and sometimes i have the oppurtunity to feed other display devices like imag screens etc with my axon but i have got to get around this other ways rather than just using the axon direct.
    We are using a folsom but of a cheaper flavour.

    Thanks C
  • Zach PeletzZach Peletz Registered User, HES Alumni
    edited July 2009
    Cormac, I will have to let Matt give you an answer on that one since he is much more on the engineering side of things and can give you a better answer.
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