Green Hippo recently announced the new Hippotizer v4 at PLASA London last week. This is the next installment of the Hippotizer line, which has been on v3 for quite a while. In addition to the new software release, a whole new line of servers was released. This is a huge release for Green Hippo, and it has already generated a lot of buzz.
The new servers have some odd names. Starting with the most powerful and working down, the new offerings are: Taiga, Boreal, Karst, and Amba. Taiga, the workhorse of the new family, boasts six DisplayPort 1.2 outputs, each capable of 4k video. Six outputs of 4k are pushing more pixels than any server currently on the market. The website says the server can push 3x 4k outputs at full frame rate so I’d be a bit leery of six 4k outputs. On a separate GPU, the machine also has two ZooKeeper outputs. That is 53 million pixels on the whole machine. I would put this machine in a new class of media servers, in which it is the second to be released. It puts up specs similar to that of the d3 4x4 Pro, which was released a few months ago. I imagine we‘ll be seeing many similar machines in this new category over the coming year.
The next step down, Boreal, is your typical four output media server. It comes in a DVI or SDI configuration that is set once purchased, and it doesn’t offer any exchangeable cards. It also has the dedicated two outputs for ZooKeeper. After Boreal comes Karst, a two-output device: again, SDI or DVI. However, it has one DisplayPort 1.2 port that supports 4k. So theoretically, it can push just about as many pixels as Boreal. Again, two dedicated ZooKeeper outputs. The baby of the family is Amba: one output, one ZooKeeper, enough said.
The most exciting element to come out of this new release is the software called Shape. This is the video equivalent of MA3D. It is a video visualizer that works in 3D space, allowing you to visualize the show you’re building, either while in production or in advance. As found within other products, such as d3’s visualization tools, this becomes very useful early in the process. The software can function as a standalone solution or tightly integrated with Green Hippo’s offerings. The software is not only a visualizer but can also handle projector lineups, warping, masking, etc.
Hippotizer v4 and Shape catapult Green Hippo’s offerings into the next generation of media servers. Many competitors have yet to catch up. I’m sure we’ll see similar features cropping up in competitors’ products, but for now d3 and Hippotizer seem to dominate the market of these next-generation media servers.