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The ideal switcher (- designed by a camel?)

41 replies [Last post]
brad fisher
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What are the features you like best about various switchers? Imagine all the good bits assembled into a single product; what would it look like?

I'll start the ball rolling with some of my favourites.

CLEAN FEED capabilities.
The Snell and Willcox Kahuna allows you to specify what background is seen on any of four outputs, and which keys are visible. The cool part is that you can specify individual Backgrounds (such as A, B, Utility1 or Utility2), or Transitions (such as the A/B transition, or the U1/U2 transition). You can also specify "no" background, which gives just the keys over Black. You specify any, all or none of the keys on any output. This approach makes it simple to allow one M/E to generate four simple "key + bg" composites. It also allows a "Partially-Split M/E" mode where a keyer can be shared between partitions.

RE ENTRY capabilities.
The Snell and Willcox Kahuna allows any M/E output to be re-entered as a source on to any M/E, including the originating M/E.

PC Control
The Thomson Kalypso allows a regular PC to be used as a Menu PC control. Many features including crosspoint selection can be achieved from the Menu.

INTERNAL/EXTERNAL EFFECTS SEND
The Thomson Kalypso "Classic" could take the source from a Keyer bus, re-direct it through either an Internal DVE or an External DVE (to provide some kind of 3-D manipulation), and bring it back into the keyer seamlessly.

INTERNAL DPM
The Thomson Zodiak has a DPM channel in every keyer. If you had sixteen keyers, you'd have sixteen DPM channels.

PRIMARY CROSSPOINT DPM
The Sony MVS8000 allows the DPM to be used as a Source on a background crosspoint. So if the DPM is providing aspect-ratio-conversion, you don't need to use a keyer.

MULTIPLE BUS LINKING
The Sony MVS8000 allows a buss to control multiple destination busses. So your main program cut can provide a different "mix-minus" to different aux busses (a wide-shot camera not being fed to a projection screen, or a sideline commentator not being seen on a client's feed).

Feel free to add your own favourites to the list.

brad

Bob Ennis
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The electronic black-and white "ink" wouldn't have to take up the entire button surface. It could be in the center of the button leaving room around the outside for colored LED's. Maybe it's time for a company like SONY who makes everything else electronic to start using their own technology from other divisions and build their own buttons. As to the arguement that too many programmable buttons would overload the brain, my response would be that "information management is what we do" and more options are better than less. Every macro that we build or "workaround" that we create is to cover the fact that our current products are lacking in the functionality that we need. If the options are there, a TD who isn't comfortable using the functionality doesn't HAVE to use it or even deal with it. But why "not put in flexibility" because of the fear of confusing the least common denominators? This just artificially handcuffs the more advanced users. If airplance manufacturers felt that programmable buttons and multi-function instrument displays were "too much for pilots", we'd still be flying by analog gauges & not the advanced systems that we have today. And you need look no further than cell phones to see that the "techies" (which is a heading that most TD's tend to fall into) are flocking to phones such as the iPhone where the entire interface is "soft" and programmable. Thomson/GV is starting to implement a small number of programmable modules/buttons in their Kayenne switcher that was unveiled at IBC - so they seem to recognize the need for operator flexibility. When I was working on the project, we circumvented the need for custom buttons by simply adding a small LED label above each programmable button. So I respectfully have to disagree with Rick - while it's easier for a manufacturer to build a system with dedicated buttons & keycaps, from a user's perspective, more functionality is better. Given the choice, I'd like to see each & every button on my switcher be programmable. My feeling is that if this kind of operational mode was "too much for the user to handle", it wouldn't have been brought up by users here in this forum in the 1st place.

Bob Ennis

Rick Edwards
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The issue with putting LCDs or OLEDs into every single button has another down-side.... Most (if not all) switcher manufacturers do not make their own buttons. It's just too expensive for a niche product (yes, even though we all like to think were the center of the universe, switchers are a very niche product. Each product line can only hope to have 1000-2000 units made in its lifetime. It would likely be prohibitively expensive to make custom buttons. Now that being said, maybe there are more prospects now for these kinds of button on the open market. Another issue is processor time to actually run these things.... and power. I know, again, it sounds silly but look how long it took the Russian guys to actually ship the darn OLED keyboard which only has 110 buttons. And it's rife with problems. On a PC, people expect problems (probably not on a $1500 keyboard, I'll give you) but on a switcher one little blip and the TD is on the internet saying what a piece of junk the switcher is..... Also, imagine the brain overload if every single button could change function..... yes there are all times that we'd like to have this or that feature change -- or change what we perceive to be a useless button (anyone actually use the SUPER MIX feature on the 8000?). But there is a lot to be said for a product working a single way with a moderate degree of customization. However if I walked up to a switcher that every single button had a display in it and I had no idea what that function would be from switcher to switcher..... yikes. Then don't get me started on that fact that no one can seem to ever upgrade software at the same time. Just my thoughts and musings ;-) RE
sahonen
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]The one question is could you build a button cap size display that uses this technology??[/quote] I don't see why not, I don't think the circuitry that drives it is all that bulky. The trick I think is lighting it up... I don't think you can light it from behind because e-ink works by having both black and white ink in the same place, you just pull one or the other to the surface depending on what color you want in a certain location... If you try to back light it, the light will shine through both the black and white ink everywhere. Honestly, in terms of button cap lights, LCD really wouldn't be a bad technology to use. We already have switcher panels with boatloads of LCD labels on them, it would just be a matter of moving them into the buttons and adding more of them in other places on the panel. The difficulty of an LCD in a button is putting circuitry in a moving part, you get wear and tear over time. [quote]As for OLED, can you make a touchscreen with that Sony panel?[/quote] I don't think there's anything wrong with LCD for touch screens... The hype about OLED is that it's brighter (at least initially), cheaper to manufacture, consumes less power, and has more consistent color (no viewing angle issues like LCD, and the deepest blacks possible because it's additive instead of subtractive). Also, honestly I'd rather have a button instead of a touch screen wherever possible. I really prefer the tactile feel of pressing an actual button.
- Stephan Ahonen
Mike Cumbo
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I forgot about the e-paper technology. The one question is could you build a button cap size display that uses this technology?? As for OLED, can you make a touchscreen with that Sony panel?
sahonen
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]Stephan, do you remember that $1,500 or so computer keyboard that was shown on the internet maybe 6- 12 months ago?[/quote] Yes, the [url=http://www.artlebedev.com/everything/optimus/]Optimus Maximus[/url]. Too bad it's so pricey, a lot of people (including me!) wanted one or at least something like it... If they'd put more thought into a more cost-effective design I bet they could have come out with something that would have sold more. Using LCD instead of OLED would have been a good start. There is actually a series of low-end switchers on the market that use the LCDs-in-the-keycap principle, the [url=http://www.broadcastpix.com/]Broadcast Pix[/url] Slate series. [quote="Rick Edwards"]The biggest issues with OLED for something like a switcher is that the panel is left on 24/7.... {snip} On a switcher panel, with current OLED lifespans, you could be looking at having to buy new switches every couple of years![/quote] I imagine that by being conscientious about putting the panel to sleep every time it's not in use you can extend its life a bit. Of course this wouldn't work in 24/7 shops like cable news. One idea that just occurred to me is using one of the new e-paper technologies in the keycap rather than OLED or LCD. I'm not sure whether it's possible to backlight e-paper though... The tally lights under the buttons may pose a problem.
- Stephan Ahonen
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]Stephan, do you remember that $1,500 or so computer keyboard that was shown on the internet maybe 6- 12 months ago? The key caps were like an LCD display and each was programmable. Now, imagine a switcher control panel with sections of those switches, all programmable. This would go beyond the Sony 8000 Flexpad/Shotbox concept. Think about being able to assign anything to one of those buttons, a source, macro or a timeline or even a switcher function, such as FREEZE for the internal still store.[/quote] Believe me, Sony I am sure has looked into OLED technology for a lot of applications. They have the only marketable TV that uses OLED. The biggest issues with OLED for something like a switcher is that the panel is left on 24/7. OLED's biggest issue is that it deteriorates, like Plasma TVs and after a certain amount of time, the brightness starts to go bye-bye and, ultimately, the unit fails. On a switcher panel, with current OLED lifespans, you could be looking at having to buy new switches every couple of years! Don't get me wrong.... very cool idea. Maybe the technology will be usable some day.
Mike Cumbo
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Stephan, do you remember that $1,500 or so computer keyboard that was shown on the internet maybe 6- 12 months ago? The key caps were like an LCD display and each was programmable. Now, imagine a switcher control panel with sections of those switches, all programmable. This would go beyond the Sony 8000 Flexpad/Shotbox concept. Think about being able to assign anything to one of those buttons, a source, macro or a timeline or even a switcher function, such as FREEZE for the internal still store.
sahonen
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[quote="tdbeth"]What if you could move keycaps around along with their respective functions leaving it up to the TD to create an ergonomically comfortable experience?[/quote] You think it's a problem when the last TD leaves their stickers on the panel, how about when they leave all the keycaps all over the place and you have to rearrange all of them. That said, it would be a cool idea... As long as TDs made it a habit to put everything back where they found it.
- Stephan Ahonen
tdbeth
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Great ideas. I'd like to suggest software which allows us to move any function to any button. For example, I like where the Kalypso has it's BKD button in the ME's and I don't like where the BKD button is on the Kayak. What if you could move keycaps around along with their respective functions leaving it up to the TD to create an ergonomically comfortable experience?
Bill D
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[quote="Rick Edwards"][quote="Bill D"]Maybe this is in the thread.. I would like to be able to build a timeline on an ME, while running effects on the master timeline. Currently (atleast on a GVG) You cannot insert ME keyframes without using master timeline area. This is important b/c while doing a show there is a need to build stuff up in an ME, like book move or something, etc. Bill[/quote] That feature has always been available on the 8000 clear back to 2001 :-) All timelines on an 8000 series have nothing at all to do with other timelines. RE[/quote] Rick, can you insert keyframes on an ME 3 timeline, while running a timeline on pgm/pst, etc. On kalypso you have to delegate that ME 3 insert and then call up your effect you need while doing a show, not a lot of fun.
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Bill D"]Maybe this is in the thread.. I would like to be able to build a timeline on an ME, while running effects on the master timeline. Currently (atleast on a GVG) You cannot insert ME keyframes without using master timeline area. This is important b/c while doing a show there is a need to build stuff up in an ME, like book move or something, etc. Bill[/quote] That feature has always been available on the 8000 clear back to 2001 :-) All timelines on an 8000 series have nothing at all to do with other timelines. RE
Bill D
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Maybe this is in the thread.. I would like to be able to build a timeline on an ME, while running effects on the master timeline. Currently (atleast on a GVG) You cannot insert ME keyframes without using master timeline area. This is important b/c while doing a show there is a need to build stuff up in an ME, like book move or something, etc. Bill
Les
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[quote="sahonen"][quote="brad fisher"]No, it doesn't tie up the M/E, it simply uses the controls.[/quote] Well, that's what I meant, but I guess I can't take it back now. =D I'm not usually a fan of having to keep track of what an M/E row is currently controlling, too much room for error there. If I use the secondary side of a split M/E, it's for a composite that stays the same for the whole show, or at least something I can use Emems or macros to take care of.[/quote] When you double tap the Aux bus that has been assigned as an aux key(which you can have as many as you like--just need the 4 outputs per auxkey) the ME1 area blinks to let you know you are in AuxKey mode. YOu press that aux button again and it will turn off. YOu can also use Macros to control the Auxkeys. ON the big frame line you can have upto 48 outputs---They will let you have a lot of Auxkeys when you need them, and then turn them off when you don't. They have a neat feature in this--just wish you could apply their internal DVE channels to these aswell.
balloonpilot
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Hard liquor buss & ice dispenser.
brad fisher
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The software "patch" concept is very useful. I want to be able to tell my switcher "with all my E-Mem effects, use VTR A instead of VTR B" like you can on a Kalypso. But I want this concept extended. I want PBus Patching and GPI patching. I want M/E bank control patching, so I can use a particular set of buttons for any M/E. And as far as possible, I want the patching to NOT be exclusive, so more than one control bank can be delegated to the same M/E. Or a GPI Out command (from a memory) can be configured to trigger more than one GPI Out, or a GPI In command can be treated as if two separate GPI Ins were issued. In case you haven't already guessed, I want the ultimate in flexibility. I want to be in control of the switcher, and not the other way around.
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Bill D"][quote="brad fisher"][quote="Bill D"](Kahuna I think is a 40?)[/quote] Yes, Kahuna has 40 crosspoints. If you want to select an M/E, you need to burn one of those crosspoints. So your M/E4 (Pgm/Pst) becomes 37 crosspoints just to have M/E1, M/E2 and M/E3 available. And then you typically would program one to be a latchable "Shift" button, so back to 36 crosspoints. In effect, you're only getting 4 more crosspoints than a "32 crosspoint" Kalypso. brad[/quote] Ohhhh.. did not know that the ME's were not included, even though I did see it at NAB. Now that I think of it, I think the Sony is 32, but when you add the shift it makes it 31? Definitly need more.. Bill[/quote] I guess size really DOES matter :-) I guess it's "how many will people buy?" My Sony contact told me that their original prototype of the MVS-8000 panel had 4 keyer crosspoint rows, mainly becuase people complained about Calypso's having to shift or something to see the other two keyers. However, people complained the panel was too deep and they were forced to "join 'em" and only use two key crosspoint rows with a "shift" for key 3 & 4. I imagine these panels are incredibly expensive to build and figuring that maybe only 500-750 or so will ever be sold in the lifetime of the product, I can see why a lot of things that we think might be cool for a particular application are never made. It also really points out to me the brialliance of Sony's idea of the modular control panel. However, I've got to say they need to come out with some new modules. What's the point of a control panel you can chage when nothing new comes out? For those 8000 or 9000 users, what kind of new module would you like to see in the panel? Rick
Bill D
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[quote="brad fisher"][quote="Bill D"](Kahuna I think is a 40?)[/quote] Yes, Kahuna has 40 crosspoints. If you want to select an M/E, you need to burn one of those crosspoints. So your M/E4 (Pgm/Pst) becomes 37 crosspoints just to have M/E1, M/E2 and M/E3 available. And then you typically would program one to be a latchable "Shift" button, so back to 36 crosspoints. In effect, you're only getting 4 more crosspoints than a "32 crosspoint" Kalypso. brad[/quote] Ohhhh.. did not know that the ME's were not included, even though I did see it at NAB. Now that I think of it, I think the Sony is 32, but when you add the shift it makes it 31? Definitly need more.. Bill
brad fisher
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[quote="Bill D"](Kahuna I think is a 40?)[/quote] Yes, Kahuna has 40 crosspoints. If you want to select an M/E, you need to burn one of those crosspoints. So your M/E4 (Pgm/Pst) becomes 37 crosspoints just to have M/E1, M/E2 and M/E3 available. And then you typically would program one to be a latchable "Shift" button, so back to 36 crosspoints. In effect, you're only getting 4 more crosspoints than a "32 crosspoint" Kalypso. One application for more buttons is in Motor Racing. Typically you have dozens of cameras in sequence around the track, and once you start somewhere, you tend to follow a particular car for a while. Getting to camera 33 usually poses some kind of challenge; either a Macro to set the M/E and its display into "Shift" mode, or cutting upstream on M/E3 (with different button mapping, or with Buss-Linking), or even Macros to replace all the PP Key2 sources with extra cameras. It's the one-off programs that tend to stretch the capacities of the Switcher, and when you win one, the job satisfaction is incredible. brad
Bill D
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[quote="Rick Edwards"]I am told the Sony actaully has a 48-crosspoint module for their panels but they don't push it or really advertize it. I think simply becuase it makes the panel too wide.[/quote] I have actually downloaded a line drawing (with dimensions, etc) of the 48 crosspoint. The few people at Sony I have talked to say they have never made one and not sure if they will do so. 48 is a weird size, not sure of the reasoning on something so large. We could probably cram it into our TD area, it would be nice to have so many sources unshifted. I think like 40 buttons would be a good balance between size and getting more sources. (Kahuna I think is a 40?) Bill
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Bill D"]One thing that hasn't been touched on is the panel.. I would like to see crosspoints that are customized so that you can buy them in groups of 4 and then buy a switcher that has 8 crosspoints or 48. Sony has all of the other switcher components that are configurable, being able to create a switcher that has the number of crosspoints that my facility needs is better then being locked into 32. If I have room for 40 buttons, great, buy 40. Especially with all the internal sources that newer switchers have, add them to the ever increasing sources production wants, this makes a lot of sense. I know trucks have limited space, so why not put some of the other components not used as much during live shows to the side of the TD. Then maximize your crosspoints. Similar to a GVG 4K truck layout Bill[/quote] Very good idea. I am told the Sony actaully has a 48-crosspoint module for their panels but they don't push it or really advertize it. I think simply becuase it makes the panel too wide.
sahonen
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[quote="brad fisher"]No, it doesn't tie up the M/E, it simply uses the controls.[/quote] Well, that's what I meant, but I guess I can't take it back now. =D I'm not usually a fan of having to keep track of what an M/E row is currently controlling, too much room for error there. If I use the secondary side of a split M/E, it's for a composite that stays the same for the whole show, or at least something I can use Emems or macros to take care of.
- Stephan Ahonen
Bill D
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DME's/DVE's.. more the better I know animations rule, but we still need to move things and fly things, I do it ever night with a DVEous and a 4K. I need more power !! Sony is going in the right direction, with their DME setup. You get a fully featured DME, with internal or external capability. DME wipes, etc. You don't need to burn 4 keyers for a quad box. Put a source in preset and hit auto trans to do a dme trans, etc Work off this and make it even more functional, with more channels. No one else even makes a new DVE. Imagine buying a HD kalypso and not being able to mate it with an external HD DVE. You can only get the 6 transform engines and you must burn a keyer for each. If they are optional, give me the option for however many my facility needs to buy for a production. thanks Bill
Bill D
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One thing that hasn't been touched on is the panel.. I would like to see crosspoints that are customized so that you can buy them in groups of 4 and then buy a switcher that has 8 crosspoints or 48. Sony has all of the other switcher components that are configurable, being able to create a switcher that has the number of crosspoints that my facility needs is better then being locked into 32. If I have room for 40 buttons, great, buy 40. Especially with all the internal sources that newer switchers have, add them to the ever increasing sources production wants, this makes a lot of sense. I know trucks have limited space, so why not put some of the other components not used as much during live shows to the side of the TD. Then maximize your crosspoints. Similar to a GVG 4K truck layout Bill
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"][quote="Rick Edwards"][quote="Mike Cumbo"]Regarding the "Primary Crosspoint DPM" Last time I tried that on one of my clients MVS-8000's, it only functions for one channel of DME. I believe Sony calls it "DME monitor".[/quote] Actually, the DME monitor (which only applies to DME that are configured as "internal" lets you assign up to 4 channels. Essentially, the DME monitor "monitors" a single keyer's DME assignments. If you assign 4 channels to a single keyer, then tell the monitor buss to "watch" that keyer you will get video and key for all four combined channels on the DME monitor. However, another way to go about it is to have the DME channels configured as "external." Of course this ia hardware change and your facility may not have that feature. When you have the DMEs as external you get the best of both worlds. All the features of the internals are available (combined attaching to keyers, DME wipes, etc) but you also get primary inputs for each channel. So, you could have all 8 channels on 8 primary input buttons if you wish. Of course you could divide them up any way you wanted, too. For example Ch1 could have a cimbined output of CH1, CH2 and CH3. Of course, externals take inputs and outputs just like "old fashinoed" DVEs.[/quote] Rick, the 8000 I use is one of the older... hmm, sad to say but THREE years old makes a lot of difference in today's world. I'm not sure if there are any hardware upgrades that could be bought and installed to bring that particular 8000 in line with the current production 8000's. Of course, people who bought a Kalypso when they first came out now have what is called the "Classic" version.[/quote] Actually the determination between internal and external is on the DME, not the switcher. Although, the MVS-8000A has improvements in hardware over the original MVS-8000 (only 8RU, half the power, etc) most of the improvements have not been realized yet becuase of waiting for software to implement them. A good example is the Frame Memory. The MVS-8000A has hardware that will hold about 2000 HD stills and about 10,000 SD stills but the software hasn't caught up with the hardware yet. Getting back to the DME Monitor, etc... If you have the older MVS, then you likely have the original 5RU DME. That one cannot accept the SDI I/O card that makes it "external." You have to have the new MVE-8000A (yes, MVE -- Effects) to do that. I wish stuff could be upgraded, too but I guess there's a point where it would cost so much to try to retrofit an older product is just doesn't make financial sense to do it. RE
brad fisher
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[quote="sahonen"]Hmm, having to assign the M/E controls to that function kind of defeats the cool factor. If you're gonna tie up an M/E anyway you might as well just split the M/E and route the utility mix bus out an aux. That makes more sense to me.[/quote] No, it doesn't tie up the M/E, it simply uses the controls. You delegate the M/E to control the Aux Keys instead. It's little different to having a Sony Switcher or a Thomson DD35 that has more M/Es than it has physical Banks with which to control it. Or, it's like delegating a Kalypso between "Primary" and "Secondary" partitions - the same buttons are pressed, but a different destination is being controlled. The cool factor is that you score an extra (mini) mix/effects row for nothing. Think of the times you wanted a fifth keyer on an M/E ... this is one way you can do it. You don't need to tie up an entire M/E with four backgrounds and four keyers just to get that extra one key. And you could program a Macro to add/lose the key at will, so it may be that you never delegate an M/E to control the Aux Keyer once you're on air. You could still select a Key Source on the Aux Controller, if you didn't want to delegate the M/E and select it on the M/E Key Row. But the really neat thing is that the output of an Aux Keyer is timed the same as other primary crosspoints, so it is totally transparent in operation, unlike the process of feeding a sub-mix out of a switcher and back in as a Source, which typically adds one line of delay.
sahonen
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]Your analogy about the Ferrari and paying to use more cylinders is flawed in my book. My thought on that subject is you go to buy a new sedan. Do you want AC or not? Do you want the factory installed sound system? What about power seats? Each of those options is an option. Unless the dealer says price X includes ALL factory options, you know that there will be extras.[/quote] Well, if you're talking about factory options on a car, you're talking about physical pieces of hardware that have to be installed in the car. On a software-upgradable switcher, the hardware's already in there and perfectly usable. Your options are not physical pieces of hardware that cost time, effort and money to manufacture, but software keys that can be emailed to you for next to nothing. It's not like you're paying for actual software, either, just unlocking codes for software already in your switcher. Back to the car analogy, the AC, sound system, power seats, etc. are already in the car. But you can't use them unless you pay the dealer more money to enable them. The car costs the same amount to manufacture either way, but the price you pay in the end does not reflect that.
- Stephan Ahonen
Mike Cumbo
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[quote="sahonen"][quote="brad fisher"]The Ross Hi-Def Switcher has this really cool feature of being able to perform mixes and keys on your Aux Buss outputs.... You need to assign four adjacent Aux Busses to make it happen... When you want to use it this way, you make the controls for an M/E's backgrounds and Key#1 control the Aux Key instead.[/quote] Hmm, having to assign the M/E controls to that function kind of defeats the cool factor. If you're gonna tie up an M/E anyway you might as well just split the M/E and route the utility mix bus out an aux. That makes more sense to me. Going back to software unlockable options, it's like buying a Ferrari and having to pay extra to enable more than 4 cylinders in the engine. Sure, it's cheaper, but what good is a 4-cylinder Ferrari? It only really makes sense to me if you're just trying to spread out the cost of your switcher over time, but I'd rather see that accomplished through a payment plan than disabling features until you pay for them. Of course, I always have to try to keep in mind how expensive television is. If I don't like the switcher I'm cutting on, I tell myself, I should just scrape up a couple hundred grand and buy one I like better. =| EDIT: For floating keyers, the best idea I can think of is to keep all the keyer controls in the same place, just use shifting to access keyer 5 etc. Put 2nd, 3rd and 4th page buttons in the keyer section, hit 2nd to access keyers 5-8, 3rd for 9-12, etc. You already do it for background bus source selection.[/quote] Your analogy about the Ferrari and paying to use more cylinders is flawed in my book. My thought on that subject is you go to buy a new sedan. Do you want AC or not? Do you want the factory installed sound system? What about power seats? Each of those options is an option. Unless the dealer says price X includes ALL factory options, you know that there will be extras.
sahonen
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[quote="brad fisher"]The Ross Hi-Def Switcher has this really cool feature of being able to perform mixes and keys on your Aux Buss outputs.... You need to assign four adjacent Aux Busses to make it happen... When you want to use it this way, you make the controls for an M/E's backgrounds and Key#1 control the Aux Key instead.[/quote] Hmm, having to assign the M/E controls to that function kind of defeats the cool factor. If you're gonna tie up an M/E anyway you might as well just split the M/E and route the utility mix bus out an aux. That makes more sense to me. Going back to software unlockable options, it's like buying a Ferrari and having to pay extra to enable more than 4 cylinders in the engine. Sure, it's cheaper, but what good is a 4-cylinder Ferrari? It only really makes sense to me if you're just trying to spread out the cost of your switcher over time, but I'd rather see that accomplished through a payment plan than disabling features until you pay for them. Of course, I always have to try to keep in mind how expensive television is. If I don't like the switcher I'm cutting on, I tell myself, I should just scrape up a couple hundred grand and buy one I like better. =| EDIT: For floating keyers, the best idea I can think of is to keep all the keyer controls in the same places as before, just use shifting to access keyer 5+. Yes, shifting sucks, but you already do it for background bus source selection, and it's the most intuitive way I can think of to handle it without adding too many buttons. Having to go twiddle controls on ME1 for a keyer that's acting on ME3 would present major problems in terms of confusion factor.
- Stephan Ahonen
Mike Cumbo
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[quote="brad fisher"][quote="Mike Cumbo"]Brad, how would one handle turning the keys on and off in your "floating resources" world? Say I took two keyers from ME-2 and assigned them to ME-1. Would I be turning them on/off at ME-2 or would there be controls or soft buttons on ME-1? What about E-Mem control of said re-assigned keyers?[/quote] Hmmm. If the keyer controls were able to be Delegated, perhaps you enter it in a keypad. For example [M/E1] [Key1] [Keypad#5] [Enter], to indicate logical Keyer number 5, which would actually be any physical keyer available at run-time. brad[/quote] Brad, would you have 16 sets of key mix/cuts on each ME?? Panel size and confusion level are two issues that come to mind. How do you handle key Buses? Maybe move them to the top of the control panel, have four buses each with three level multipliers. Physical bus 1 would handle keyers one, five, nine and thirteen. Sounds OK, here at home but when you are trying to build or modify an effect or timeline in the middle of a show things get more interesting.
Mike Cumbo
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[quote="Rick Edwards"][quote="Mike Cumbo"]Regarding the "Primary Crosspoint DPM" Last time I tried that on one of my clients MVS-8000's, it only functions for one channel of DME. I believe Sony calls it "DME monitor".[/quote] Actually, the DME monitor (which only applies to DME that are configured as "internal" lets you assign up to 4 channels. Essentially, the DME monitor "monitors" a single keyer's DME assignments. If you assign 4 channels to a single keyer, then tell the monitor buss to "watch" that keyer you will get video and key for all four combined channels on the DME monitor. However, another way to go about it is to have the DME channels configured as "external." Of course this ia hardware change and your facility may not have that feature. When you have the DMEs as external you get the best of both worlds. All the features of the internals are available (combined attaching to keyers, DME wipes, etc) but you also get primary inputs for each channel. So, you could have all 8 channels on 8 primary input buttons if you wish. Of course you could divide them up any way you wanted, too. For example Ch1 could have a cimbined output of CH1, CH2 and CH3. Of course, externals take inputs and outputs just like "old fashinoed" DVEs.[/quote] Rick, the 8000 I use is one of the older... hmm, sad to say but THREE years old makes a lot of difference in today's world. I'm not sure if there are any hardware upgrades that could be bought and installed to bring that particular 8000 in line with the current production 8000's. Of course, people who bought a Kalypso when they first came out now have what is called the "Classic" version.
brad fisher
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[quote="Rick Edwards"]The Sony 8000/9000 does this [matte modulation] now.[/quote] I saw a switcher that had four matte colours for Colour Background Generators; the wash went between top-left, top-right, bottom-left and bottom-right, or you could re-position where each colour was centred. The end result gave a very subtle and attractive matte. brad
Rick Edwards
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[quote="sahonen"][quote="brad fisher"]there will be no need to buy licences for each chromakey you plan to use.[/quote] Heck, the whole idea of having to buy licenses for things that are ALREADY PRESENT IN THE HARDWARE is ridiculous. It costs Grass Valley exactly zero more dollars to give you a switcher with 3 chroma keyers than one with 2. The whole license system also unneccessarily complicates the software, and my philosophy is that a mission-critical product should have as little software that can crash as possible.[/quote] Yes, but there is percieved value in the add-on. It costs both the manufactuerer and the customer much more money to have physical hardware options. Take Chromakeyers for instance. Thomson chose to add all the CK's and software limit them rather than have a bunch of plug-in cards. Quite smart I think. Sony did the same thing, but decided to just include all the CKs and not charge for each one. A good case in point is the idea of a HD switcher that is software limited to SD-only until a license fee is paid to upgrade it (Calypso Duo). Imagine a little bit here.....So a manufacturer makes a product for $150 that should sell for $200. So, they sell a software limited version for $125 with the hope that someone will pay them the additional $75 at some time in the future. Catch is, you're losing money (or at the very least not making very much of it) up front and hoping people will pay to upgrade later. Obviouly, Thomson feels this is a better solution that making two switchers. Sony also offers the MVS-8000A in a software-limited SD-only mode with a license key to upgarde to HD. However, Sony still sells the DVS-9000, though, which is much less expensive than both the Calypso Duo and the MVS. Anyway, while we may not like the differences we find from switcher to switcher with software-enabled features I fear they are here to stay.
brad fisher
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[quote="sahonen"]... upgraded their switcher ... had to rebuild everything ...[/quote] When the Video Processing feature became available in the Kalypso, E-Mems simply added an instruction to set the parameters on the feature and turn it on. But existing E-Mems did not contain any instructions to turn Video Processing OFF. The result was that if you turned Video Processing ON for a source/buss, subsequent recalls of old (established and working) E-Mems did not turn it OFF, so the source or buss remained processed. Ooops. Old E-Mems had to be re-Learned under the new software. brad
Rick Edwards
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]Regarding the "Primary Crosspoint DPM" Last time I tried that on one of my clients MVS-8000's, it only functions for one channel of DME. I believe Sony calls it "DME monitor".[/quote] Actually, the DME monitor (which only applies to DME that are configured as "internal" lets you assign up to 4 channels. Essentially, the DME monitor "monitors" a single keyer's DME assignments. If you assign 4 channels to a single keyer, then tell the monitor buss to "watch" that keyer you will get video and key for all four combined channels on the DME monitor. However, another way to go about it is to have the DME channels configured as "external." Of course this ia hardware change and your facility may not have that feature. When you have the DMEs as external you get the best of both worlds. All the features of the internals are available (combined attaching to keyers, DME wipes, etc) but you also get primary inputs for each channel. So, you could have all 8 channels on 8 primary input buttons if you wish. Of course you could divide them up any way you wanted, too. For example Ch1 could have a cimbined output of CH1, CH2 and CH3. Of course, externals take inputs and outputs just like "old fashinoed" DVEs.
Rick Edwards
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[quote="brad fisher"]Every Matte Generator will be capable of washing between a number of colours. You will be able to add modulation to the wash (in fact, to every analogue control: you will be able to modulate the hue, softness, position, rotation, brightness etc of anything). The Ampex Century had modulators that could vary the position of a wipe or the hue of a matte, all those years ago.[/quote] The Sony 8000/9000 does this now. Every single matte generator has a wash (they call it Color Mix). It has a full range of features.... modulation, rotation, angle, etc.
brad fisher
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[quote="Mike Cumbo"]Brad, how would one handle turning the keys on and off in your "floating resources" world? Say I took two keyers from ME-2 and assigned them to ME-1. Would I be turning them on/off at ME-2 or would there be controls or soft buttons on ME-1? What about E-Mem control of said re-assigned keyers?[/quote] Hmmm. If the keyer controls were able to be Delegated, perhaps you enter it in a keypad. For example [M/E1] [Key1] [Keypad#5] [Enter], to indicate logical Keyer number 5, which would actually be any physical keyer available at run-time. [quote="Mike Cumbo"]Perhaps an additional 10 or 12 "Logical ID's" that one can "soft" patch various switcher outputs without going to engineering.[/quote] Kalypso has 90-odd Logical Sources, but only 80 inputs. The extras can be used as you described by going to "Suite Prefs | Source Patch", where you can also access Alternate M/E outputs. But you're right - the ideal switcher would allow at least 200 Logical Sources, which could be made up of your own chosen combination of Physical Source and Device Control info. [quote="Mike Cumbo"]I would like to have three additional "Misc" buttons in the Master E-Mem section. Add Misc A, B,and C. The other day I had six of the seven Misc levels in use, as well as all three ME's, DPM and two of the Still store levels AND PGM/PST. I never thought I would tie a Kalypso up like that for a silly pre-season football game, but I did.[/quote] You could have a very interesting conversation with Mike Krim about this very topic. He'll kill me for mentioning it, but consider the implications of being able to re-assign E-Mem levels from within a Macro... brad
brad fisher
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[quote="sahonen"]I like the idea of floating resources a lot, maybe it could be applied to other areas of the switcher as well. Like if you want to make an aux bus dissolve or wipe from one source to another, it grabs an M/E or a utility bus somewhere that's not being used and does the transition.[/quote] The Ross Hi-Def Switcher has this really cool feature of being able to perform mixes and keys on your Aux Buss outputs. You need to assign four adjacent Aux Busses to make it happen. The Sources on the Busses are used for A-Background, B-background, Key-Cut and Key-Fill. The four Outputs from those Aux Busses would show: 1) Composite Mix/Key; 2) Mix backgrounds (no key); 3) Look-ahead Preview; 4) Key always visible (I think). When you want to use it this way, you make the controls for an M/E's backgrounds and Key#1 control the Aux Key instead. And the output of the Aux Buss is timed such that you can re-enter it as a Primary Source, effectively adding a pre-key Source upstream. Really cool. brad
sahonen
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I like the idea of floating resources a lot, maybe it could be applied to other areas of the switcher as well. Like if you want to make an aux bus dissolve or wipe from one source to another, it grabs an M/E or a utility bus somewhere that's not being used and does the transition.
- Stephan Ahonen
Mike Cumbo
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Brad, how would one handle turning the keys on and off in your "floating resources" world? Say I took two keyers from ME-2 and assigned them to ME-1. Would I be turning them on/off at ME-2 or would there be controls or soft buttons on ME-1? What about E-Mem control of said re-assigned keyers? Regarding the "Primary Crosspoint DPM" Last time I tried that on one of my clients MVS-8000's, it only functions for one channel of DME. I believe Sony calls it "DME monitor". I like your ideas on CLEAN FEEDS. I also would like to be able to re-enter an ME without using an output and another input. Perhaps an additional 10 or 12 "Logical ID's" that one can "soft" patch various switcher outputs without going to engineering. I would like to have three additional "Misc" buttons in the Master E-Mem section. Add Misc A, B,and C. The other day I had six of the seven Misc levels in use, as well as all three ME's, DPM and two of the Still store levels AND PGM/PST. I never thought I would tie a Kalypso up like that for a silly pre-season football game, but I did.
sahonen
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[quote="brad fisher"]there will be no need to buy licences for each chromakey you plan to use.[/quote] Heck, the whole idea of having to buy licenses for things that are ALREADY PRESENT IN THE HARDWARE is ridiculous. It costs Grass Valley exactly zero more dollars to give you a switcher with 3 chroma keyers than one with 2. The whole license system also unneccessarily complicates the software, and my philosophy is that a mission-critical product should have as little software that can crash as possible. I just heard a horror story the other day about a TV station who, when they upgraded their switcher, one of their rather important features stopped working. The reason? Turns out the factory screwed up and gave them the feature for free when they shipped it, and the software upgrade discovered that. They had to rebuild everything that used that feature.
- Stephan Ahonen
brad fisher
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Let me add some other things. The ideal switcher will never REQUIRE you to hold two buttons at the same time, except in the immediate vicinity of each other (so you can use one hand to do it). If there is something like a "Shift" control, you will have to option of the button "latching" so you can press the buttons in sequence. The switcher will have Macros, at least ten thousand, and probably more. Macros can be attached to any button on the switcher. Any button at all. And it will be the Delegated button which is attached (so if there are 16 keyers and one set of Key Type buttons, the system will know the difference between the "M/E1 Key1 - Chromakey" button and the "M/E2 Key3 - Chromakey" button). You will be able to discover which buttons have Macros replacing their normal function, and be able to find out which Macro it is. The contents of the Macro will be able to be listed in a pseudo-meaningful language, and to be edited using a simple text editor. Macros will have a complete language associated with them, including variables, conditional expressions, subroutine branching etc. A macro will be able to find out what Source is selected on any bus, and to use that information to select the same or different Sources. Once such a powerful macro language is developed, there will be no limit to the features available for a Switcher; if you can imagine how it can be achieved, you can program it. The switcher will have timeline/memories, at least a thousand, and probably more. You will be able to recall anything, from an entire Switcher to a single bus of an M/E. You'll be able to override the recall with programmable Holds that prevent specified busses from being changed by the recall, or prevent the on/off state of specified keyers from changing. Keyers will be "floating resources" that can be acquired as part of any M/E. So if you need six keys for a particular effect, you simply borrow two to add to the standard four, and they are seamlessly integrated into the M/E for as long as you need them. And every keyer will be capable of chromakey; there will be no need to buy licences for each chromakey you plan to use. Every Matte Generator will be capable of washing between a number of colours. You will be able to add modulation to the wash (in fact, to every analogue control: you will be able to modulate the hue, softness, position, rotation, brightness etc of anything). The Ampex Century had modulators that could vary the position of a wipe or the hue of a matte, all those years ago.