The Hippotizer V3 media server started shipping May 9. The product launch follows sharp on the heels of worldwide Beta testing on productions including London’s Theatre de Complicité, New York’s Deuce on Broadway and the TPI Awards in London, where a network of three Hippo V3s provided both video and audio to the entire award ceremony. V3 also featured in the World Premiere of Frobisher at the Calgary Opera and Hard Dance Awards 2007 in London. Upcoming productions to be served by Hippotizer V3 include Dancing With The Stars on NBC TV and five networked V3 Hippotizers will enhance the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, broadcast live to an audience of over 600 million and covered exclusively by Live Design on site.
Hippotizer V3’s launch is being seen as a landmark in the evolution of realtime Media Server technology.
A media-server was just another DMX fixture doing what a console told it to: Cue-lists or time-synchronized events had to be composed upon a connected console. Now, Hippotizer V3 includes on-board, timeline-based, programming and control triggered from all major industry protocols.
· Media-servers required extensive and time-consuming preparation, encoding media files to specific sizes and types. Now, Hippotizer V3 seamlessly and optimally manages media file functions including encoding, upload, conversion, naming, and storage, even during programming or the show.
· Multiple media-server installations needed keyboards and terminals for each server, plus complex outboard gear for system synchronization and visualization, etc. Now, Hippotizer V3 features HippoNet™; which gives complete control and overview of a Hippotizer network from any Hippotizer, with drag-and-drop of media to and from any other machine. (Note: An optional accessory software module, “ZooKeeper”, allows any Hippotizer, PC, MAC, or laptop to monitor and control an entire HippoNet.)
· Media servers required complicated setup: Determining which output would drive what peripheral could be confusing. Set up and adjustments required quitting, or even rebooting the server application to run external software. Now, Hippotizer V3’s “Drag and Drop” user-definable interface allows complete set up and adjustment of control centre, monitors and outputs – no external applications needed. Even during a show. No shut down or reboot.
· Presets had to be programmed individually. Now, Hippotizer V3 makes updates and changes of presets faster and easier by copying values from one preset to another and allowing linked presets for global changes in one swoop.
Other applications soon to be released include a Hippotizer Effects Editor and ZooKeeper Offline Programmer. Effects Editor does just that; unlocking almost endless effects editing capability. Offline Programmer runs on any recent laptop PC or MAC. Its programming capability is only limited by the capacity of the computer running it.
Hippotizer V3 also includes upgrades to many of Hippotizer’s industry-leading features: Class-leading video playback and real-time rendering, Frame Blended Slow-Motion, Soft-Edge Blending, Keystone and Color Correction, SDI Input and Audio Capability and powerful, simple DMX Pixel-mapping. Hippotizer V3 is available in true 1080i/720p (HD) and Standard Definition (Stage) dual-output versions.
Like never before, visual creators from many backgrounds can enjoy the immediacy, revolutionary convenience and time-saving efficiency of a real-time media server. As Lighting designer Bob Bonniol says,“The built-in encoding for any digital media file eliminates the need to master an encoding software program. The built-in programming interface with timeline is elegant and flexible; it eliminates the need for additional gear rental (and a premium line item at that) for getting a lighting console to run it. HippoNet allows users to easily control multiple Hippo setups elegantly and simply. In addition, Hippo’s code for warping imagery is superior in minimizing pixel loss and distortion. No other competing piece of gear is doing all of these things, or any of them individually for that matter.”