Media Server Magic Using the Right Software Tools For Your Church
One of the largest things to consider outside of determining a budget is what will be the ultimate destination for the video content?
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“Why do I need a media server?” has often been a question I’ve been asked when advocating for the use of a dedicated machine to play back clips and videos.
“But I’ve got (insert any worship lyric software platform here)… why can’t that work?”
It can, that’s not the point.
“But they’re terribly expensive!” Well, you might be a lot better off than you think.
I’ve had the privilege of operating and trying out many different pieces of software that will pixel, map, pixel map, map pixels, map output, put out maps, cue map pixel triggers and trigger cue map mixer pixels—or some combination of all of those things.
When I’m referring to media servers, I’m not looking to talk about clip servers or still store. These are typically devices used to play back simple video or images for broadcast. This is an entirely different, yet very similar, type of technology.
One of the largest things to consider outside of determining a budget is what will be the ultimate destination for the video content? Is the content strictly for a simple video destination, like a standard video projection or other off-the-shelf display?
Does the projection have an irregular shape in not just two dimensions, but does the shape also have depth? Is the destination going to be a series of LED pixel strips, tape, or other LED pixel? How about multiple displays? Does the image need to be stretched across multiple displays? Blending? Do you need to control the software from a lighting console or some other remote source?
You can see that there are lots of things to keep in mind when you consider what software will suit your needs.
Practically every church has some sort of lyric software to help guide their congregation in worship. One of the most popular choices for lyric software is Pro Presenter 6, by Renewed Vision. This software is a very versatile tool for serving content. There are options to apply masks in order to cut out different parts of the projected image, they offer a blending module, and one of my most favorite options is that it supports Syphon.
Syphon is a video feed that can be shared among videos inside of a computer. This is only for computers running Mac OS X. Windows has a similar feature called Sprout. Since Pro Presenter doesn’t offer pixel-mapping support, you can use a Syphon feed to send content to a very powerful tool called MadMapper.
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