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- ProVideoPlayer (PVP)
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What is ProVideoPlayer?
Designed to enhance live staging events such as concerts, trade show booths, conferences, or church services, ProVideoPlayer manages an unlimited amount of clips in an unlimited number of playlists. It gives a tremendous amount of control to the playback of these video clips including Hue, Brightness, Saturation, Start/Stop times, and speed, either on a global or per-clip basis. Plus, with the incredible flexibility for cutting up, roating, and resizing individual sections of videos, there is no limit to what kind of visual display you can create. Plus, we have recently added new ways to control ProVideoPlayer from lighting desks (via DMX), musical instruments (via MIDI), or from pre-determined schedules. Whether for special occasions or as a fixed installation, PVP can enhance your productions with video in a manner that will have your audience talking.
For a complete, but concise video overview of ProVideoPlayer and its features, we partnered with Apple to create a brief video walkthrough of the product. This seminar was originally hosted by Apple and is now available to view by clicking on the thumbnail below.
ProVideoPlayer has an uncluttered interface that is simple to use and manage. It runs exclusively on Mac OS X and is a Universal binary, meaning it will run optimally on Macs built with the new Intel processors or PowerPC processors.
ProVideoPlayer (HD) supports any resolution output you may desire. Its limit is based on the resolution of the hardware on which you are running (current Macs support up to a maximum of 4096 x 4096). High resolution support is useful if you desire to present High-Definition content, or if you want to create across multiple screens from a single machine, such as 3-screen presentations with a Matrox TripleHead2Go.
ProVideoPlayer (SD) costs 30% less with the only difference being a limit on the maximum output resolution (up to 800x600) making it an inexpensive alternative if you only need to present lower resolution content.
Our ProVideoPlayer Network Node (NN), like the HD version, supports output resolutions up to 4k x 4k and is half the price of our HD version. The Network Node is meant to be controlled over a network by another ProVideoPlayer machine -- its only limitation is that it can NOT display both the operator panel and the output window simultaneously (you can toggle back and forth between them for setup purposes).
All versions of ProVideoPlayer can be networked and used as a Master controller or Slave-controlled machine.
NOTE: While ProVideoPlayer HD and Network Nodes limitations are the machine limits of 4096x4096, the performance of video playback is directly affected by how the files are compressed. For higher resolutions of HD content, faster systems may be required; call us to talk about your specific needs.
ProVideoPlayer offers the unique ability to synchronize video playback across multiple machines. Each machine could have it's own unique content, or the identical files cut up dynamically by ProVideoPlayer using it's Grid Mapping, Tiling, or Advanced Pixel Mapping features. By putting multiple PVP machines on your network, one Master PVP machine can control the playback of multiple Slave machines. Plugging each computer into its own projector creates a dynamic staging experience that is hard to match. Exapand the capability of each slave machine further by using a Matrox TripleHead2Go.
Gulfstream Aerospace used this functionality to create a seven-screen multi-visual experience in their trade-show booth utilizing a PowerMac G4 and seven Mac minis. For other options or consulting to help you get the best value for an impactful presentation at your venue, contact us by email at email@example.com or call us at (404) 935-4044.
Below is show the Network control panel found in Preferences. Here is where you configure each machine specifically as well as see and attach each slave from the Master machine so they will listen to the commands issued by the Master.
Real-time Image Manipulation
ProVideoPlayer offers a number of tools that allow you to maniupulate your video output in real time. Shift the output videos hue, saturation, contrast, or brightness in real-time. Change the speed of a clips playback on the fly. You can also switch from "Automatic" timed video transitions between clips to a "Manual Mode" that offers a T-Bar control for switching between two clips.
Individual Clip Settings
Do you need to set new in or out points on a video? How about changing a video from green to blue without having to edit it? With customizable video attributes in ProVideoPlayer, you can make changes like this without leaving the application.
You can customize the thumbnail of a clip, modify its in/out points, speed it up or slow it down, scale it, flip it, customize the volume level, and change its hue, saturation, contrast, and brightness.
You can even have mulitple instances of a clip in different play lists and customize each one, so one clip could have many versions. It's also a good place to find details about a clip such as its name, location, size, format, length, etc. This is all done via the clip properties window which allows you to save these settings for the video clip or image.
Individual clip settings become even more popular when used in conjunction with the global real-time effects. For example, you can create a playlist called "Blue" into which you modify a collection of single-color-dominant clips to all be a shade of blue. When you play these clips, the global manipulations are additive to the changes you've already made so all of your blue clips can be instantly changed to another color.
Tiling and Grid Mapping
ProVideoPlayer also offers two simple methods for mapping video in different ways on your output screens - Grid Mapping, and Tiling
In Grid Mapping, the entire video is played, but only the designated portion is sent to the display. This setting is configured on-the-fly in the "Screen" preferences panel. Grid Mapping is useful in multi-screen situations because you can load the same video on each machine. Then configure each system to play only their respective segment. This prevents having to cut up every clip appropriately in post production which saves a great deal of time. For a better picture of what we're talking about, click here.
In Tiling, the entire video is played, but tiled across the display in accordance with its respective grid setting. This setting is also configured on-the-fly in the "Screen" preferences panel. Tiling can also be set on a per clip basis. For a better picture of what we're talking about, click here.
The image below is from a youth camp and depicts both tiling and grid mapping in one, which can be used in conjunction with one another on larger multi-screen configurations. These 23 plasmas were run by 8 Mac minis, each having their own Matrox TripleHead2Go (TH2G) to control up to 3 screens. The center set of screens show a grid mapped image across all 12 screens while the screens arching over them were tiling the image on each screen.
Advanced Pixel Mapping
For maximum image output flexibility, we have an Advanced Pixel Mapping option that literally empowers you with the ability slice and dice videos into whatever size pieces you desire. The principle of a "Pixel Space" is essentially that your image exists in an imaginary box that fills a particular area. A wall is in front of this pixel space and the displays or projection screens are windows in that enable us to the image that exists behind it. Below is an example of the kind of power and flexibility this Advanced Pixel Mapping option gives you.
Here is a random set of six displays configured so that we can create an interesting visual effect. We will accomplish this displays with 2 Mac minis, each running their own license of PVP (1 Master and 1 Slave) and 2 Matrox TripleHead2Go units. The cost for such a configuration is roughly $3,500, not including the flat panel displays.
Here is an image that we want these displays to show, but we only want each display to show the portion of the image that would be seen were the display a window in a wall that has the total image sitting behind it.
Essentially, we are going to do the reverse of what you see here... instead of the displays blocking the image, we want the displays to show the pieces of the image that exist behind it.
This shows the content each display will show based on the larger pixel space.
We create this effect in ProVideoPlayer by thinking of the pixel space as a single canvas with a specific pixel dimension. We then just do some simple calculations to determine the x and y coordinates and width and height of each display within that pixel space (don't worry, we're happy to assist with any project you might have for which you need advanced imaging support).
The resulting output of the calculations being input into two ProVideoPlayer machines that are networked together with identical content.
ProVideoPlayer also allows you to keep track of up to 10 presets of different imaging options and change them on the fly. For example, if we had a simple video wall that was 3 high and 3 wide, you might have one preset that shows each video full screen on each of the displays, and another preset would show a single instance of that video spread over all nine displays. Switching between these presets gives you the ability to create a compelling visual experience.
ProVideoPlayer clips can be triggered remotely via MIDI commands sent across the network or via a connected MIDI interface. MIDI notes can be used to either change a playlist, or to trigger a clip within a playlist. This allows a PVP system to be remotely controlled from a midi device once properly configured
The panel to configure midi assignments is found in Preferences. Playlists and clips can be assigned to different midi values so when PVP receives one of these values over the network, the corresponding clip will be fired by PVP.
DMX commands can be sent through a third party USB device to your Mac and offers the same capabilities as the MIDI triggers, and much more. With DMX, a lighting console can trigger clips, change hue, saturation, contrast, and speed, change the transition time, or even manually transition from one clip to another. If you are working with a network of PVP machines, DMX can control the Master, which will in turn send corresponding signals to the connected slave machines. One operator can effectively do the job of two people with this capability.
The following video provides a great overview of why you'd want to use this feature. Special thanks to Chris Thomas at Willow Creek for sharing his insight with this feature.
The panel below is found in PVP Preferences. This is where you configure all the commands which are received by PVP and what they trigger.
Need a DMX USB hardware interface? This is the one we've used successfully. You can buy it here.
For instructions on how to connect and configure this DMX module for PVP, click here.
Scheduler for Digital Signage
Ever want to just set ProVideoPlayer up to run through a playlist of images or videos for a specific period of time and then change automatically to a different playlist? Need to advertise a special set of events for a weekend and then go back to a regular rotation? The new built-in show scheduler allows you to use ProVideoPlayer as a powerful digital signage tool.
Using the Scheduler panel that can be found under the "Window" menu in ProVideoPlayer, you can set up daily actions to change playlists at specific times of day, and set up schedules for when these actions should become live.