tvONE, a designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge video and multimedia processing equipment, has collaborated with live events staging artist, Toby Harris, helping him to create the *spark d-fuser, a compact and affordable DVI mixer designed for live events.
The *spark d-fuser is capable of crossfading laptops, tablets and HDMI cameras using tvONE's 1T-C2-750 Dual-PIP DVI-I scaler.
Harris, an artist with D-Fuse, a London-based audiovisual artist collective, and an innovator in interaction and visualization, conceived of the*spark d-fuser video mixer to create presentations and effects that no current off-the-shelf mixer could support. "For our kind of theatrical shows, plugging a laptop directly into the projection setup just isn't an option," Harris explained. "We need video hardware to keep a solid feed to the projectors from early sound check to us walking on stage. We need to have a master fade control for our output, and we need to crossfade between our laptops to mix collaboratively."
No off-the-shelf SD or HD hardware was able to handle the video generated by several laptops when rendering multiple screens simultaneously, so Harris set about designing an artist-friendly, DVI, VGA and HDMI mixer capable of processing video at all resolutions from VGA to full HD and of supporting theatre-quality immersive visual experiences.
tvONE's 1T-C2-750 dual-PIP DVI-I scaler provided the ideal video processor for the *spark d-fuser. Its key capabilities enabled Harris to build the innovative mixer utilizing its twin picture-in-picture capability to allow crossfade and fade-to-black of disparate sources, full-frame buffering which ensures consistent synchronization on output even if some inputs are disconnected, and support for full 1080p60 HD as well as custom resolutions allowing dual-head or triple-head resolutions. In addition, the mixer leverages the 1T-C2-750's EDID management to ensure all connected laptops behave predictably.
The *spark d-fuser controller exposes the functionality of the tvONE 1T-C2-750, giving the user hands-on control of the mixing functions and an intuitive menu honed for live events setup. The 1T-C2-750 that comes as part of the *spark d-fuser package runs custom firmware that upgrades the compositing capability of the processor. Inspired by the fade curves in DJ mixers, Harris and tvONE collaborated on a crossfade blend curve that goes from flat blend to full add, so black and white graphics need not dull mid-blend, and rich imagery can be cross-faded together with just the right tonal balance.
"The tvONE 1T-C2-750 was key to achieving a capable, compact and cost-effective solution," added Harris. "Since we built it, many friends in the art world and music industry have said it's exactly what they want. It goes beyond that though, to wherever there is PowerPoint! With its small size and obvious operation, there need be no more lengthy change-overs and desktops shown to the audience. All presenters should try it, and AV hire companies should make it available to their customers."
"It has been tremendously inspiring to work with Toby and D-Fuse as the *spark d-fuser has taken shape," said Alan Greenfield, tvONE Regional Sales Manager for UK & Ireland. "We are delighted that our video scaler provided the best processing platform to realize this completely unique and groundbreaking innovation."