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Thread: FB4 speculation and info thread

  1. #1
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    Default FB4 speculation and info thread

    So, the long awaited FB4-SE is imminent (well the announcement is anyway )

    So far we've seen a picture showing what is intended to be a projector mounted unit with ILDA I/O a button, screen and RJ45 (edit: and SD card)

    Also some talk about a later external version (name TBC)

    Swami has speculated people will be dropping their FB3's in their droves (probably not a verbatim quote, but you get the idea... )

    I have queried how estops might be handled as I can't currently see its a step forward for someone like me who already has a cat5 operated stage box with estops over ILDA.

    There have also been various 'game changer' type comments I've seen.



    So....

    What do we really think about it? How might it change/enhance YOUR game?

    I can see how if it is priced well enough that lots of manufacturers can integrate it, it will provide a common standard, and also benefit those manufacturers as their projectors will be more desirable on the hire market (did someone say standards..?). There is also a factor that it might allow enhanced integration with the C506 digi amp too.

    I currently have a box that deals with signal distribution. Using the FB4 would mean I still needed a box to deal with distribution, although it would be a network switch in this case I would imagine.




    P.S. Lets not have Pango bashing, LSX, this that and the other, Edison with his 'world domination' conspiracies. I'm approaching this as an existing Pango user, what does this new development mean to me?
    What does it mean to new users?

    For people with existing Pango and estop and cabling infrastructure I would imagine its a case of reconfiguring from scratch which could be costly, and for what gains?
    For new people it will be easier to adopt a new way of doing things.

    Heart on sleeve, I haven't seen/heard anything yet that makes me think I'm going to change what I currently do (so feel free to sell me your cheap and obsolete FB3s), but by the same token, I haven't really heard or seen a lot (and not compared to the US LEM guys who have had a demo I believe)
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    I have a few guesses...

    I would guess that pins 4 and 17 would come out on pins or headers. This way the proj manufacturer could decide how to integrate it with the projector as they see fit. I would guess that a relay is also included that is enabled by software.

    My guess is it will only work with beyond, not QS...?

    It would really kick ass if the db25 out port could be a complete separate RGB X, Y channel allowing a separately controlled "piggy-back" proj.

    It would be fantastic if all setting were retained on the fb4. This way the proj could go on any system and have optimum scan, color settings.

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    Yes, I had wondered if it could be 2 DACs in one.

    Bill has already said they might be able to go to digital control for the scanners (iirc - I think he has anyway...) but its how you get the bridging tech in place to allow people to migrate from one way of doing things to another.

    The onboard settings is a good one too - I wonder what else could be realised once you have 2 way comms with the projector? Realtime feedback for frame analysis? Load back the palette settings?
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    Yes, I had wondered if it could be 2 DACs in one.

    Bill has already said they might be able to go to digital control for the scanners (iirc - I think he has anyway...) but its how you get the bridging tech in place to allow people to migrate from one way of doing things to another.

    The onboard settings is a good one too - I wonder what else could be realised once you have 2 way comms with the projector? Realtime feedback for frame analysis? Load back the palette settings?
    Seems like it might also have the ability to have the PASS functionality built into it as well.

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    If I can, I'll try to get the video of Bill's presentation at FLEM on the FB4 up on Youtube today and link it here. I'm a little slammed at work but, I'll see what I can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    If I can, I'll try to get the video of Bill's presentation at FLEM on the FB4 up on Youtube today and link it here. I'm a little slammed at work but, I'll see what I can do.
    Please remove the comment about what I will be bringing "truckloads" of to SELEM
    Sincerely,
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    There has been talk of using POE for EStop purposes I do believe, which would make it very neat indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rns0504 View Post
    Please remove the comment about what I will be bringing "truckloads" of to SELEM
    I'm not sure that's in the video so you may be safe but.... DON"T FAIL US!!! We "NEED" truckloads and have been waiting far too long. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    I'm not sure that's in the video so you may be safe but.... DON"T FAIL US!!! We "NEED" truckloads and have been waiting far too long. LOL
    heheheh

    yup!
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    I currently have a box that deals with signal distribution. Using the FB4 would mean I still needed a box to deal with distribution, although it would be a network switch in this case I would imagine.
    Hey Norty;

    Yeah, that's my understanding. You'd have one Cat-5 run from the control computer at FOH to a switch sitting on-stage. From there, you'd have individual cat-5 runs to each projector, terminating at the FB4 that is installed on the back of the projector. Bill mentioned that the FB4 is designed to work with standard, off-the-shelf, consumer networking hardware like switches and bridges.

    Basically it's a similar layout to what people are already doing with multiple QM's in .net boxes. The difference is that the FB4 is going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than a QM2000 plus a .net enclosure. (Bill didn't release prices, but he said it would be "a little bit more expensive" than the current FB3.) My guess is that it will be somewhere between the cost of an FB3 and a QM2000.

    Note that some people have already worked out a way to do something like this on a limited scale with multiple FB3's and a Startec USB-to-Ethernet extender. And I expect that those folks will continue to use that solution so long as they don't need a whole bunch of FB3's connected to a single computer. It may be a kludge, but it works.

    But for people who need 15 or 20 (or more!) controllers on stage, the FB4 does offer some definite advantages. Bill mentioned that they have already run simulations with as many as 20 FB4's on a single 100Mb Ethernet connection without problems, and they think they can go even higher. So if your show uses lots of controllers (like some of the shows Hugo Bunk has done), then the FB4 would be the way to go.

    Also, the integrated screen allows you to access a lot more than just basic correction settings like size, offset, and invert. It can call up stored color palettes, for example. It can also trigger shows that are stored on the MicroSD card. Granted, this is more important for stand-alone installations than for performances that are controlled by computer, but it's still a cool feature that before now could only be done with a CD2000 unit.

    Swami has speculated people will be dropping their FB3's in their droves (probably not a verbatim quote, but you get the idea... )
    I really don't see this happening. As you said, you already have a solution that works for you, and I suspect that many people who are doing shows with 3 to 6 controllers have worked out their own solutions as well.

    Personally, I think I would only jump on the FB4 if I planned to radically increase the number of projectors I wanted to use in a show. Also, if I planned to build a bunch of new projectors, I could see the wisdom in installing an FB4 inside each unit, but this would also drive up the cost...

    But when the external version comes out, I can see me buying one to play with - especially if I needed another controller. After all, it will do everything that the FB3 does right now, and more. But that doesn't take away from the abilities of the FB3 or the QM-2000. (Which is probably why Pangolin will continue to sell those controllers in addition to the FB4.)

    I have queried how estops might be handled as I can't currently see its a step forward for someone like me who already has a cat5 operated stage box with estops over ILDA.
    That is a good question; none of us thought to ask Bill about this at FLEM. But the Pro Light and Sound show in Frankfurt is just 5 days away, so hopefully we will have an answer soon!

    Adam

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