Miranda Technologies traveled to IBC to unveil Kaleido-X, an innovative new product that combines Miranda’s popular multi-image display processing technology, used in virtual monitor wall applications, with a routing switcher.
“It’s the first product to combine the two functions together,” said Michel Proulx, Chief Technology Officer for Miranda, at a press event Friday. “It’s a first for us and a first for the industry.”
The Kaleido-X system can display 96 HD or SD inputs any number of times, in any size, across eight displays of any resolution and orientation, and each output can be controlled completely independently for multi-room environments via remote control panels. The processor offers the highest quality multi-image output without compression for critical live monitoring applications.
As a router, Kaleido-X offers switching of 96 unprocessed inputs to 48 HD/SD outputs for feeding baseband high quality monitors, test equipment and master control or production switchers. The router outputs can be controlled by on-screen menus, a remote panel, Miranda’s iRouter application, and by master control or production switchers’ auxiliary bus controls.
“This product addresses much larger system configurations than we could do before,” says Proulx. “But the most important thing is we combined a router and multi-image viewer at the same time.”
The idea for Kaleido-X came from touring broadcast facilities that were using Miranda’s multi-image display processors to handle the monitoring of multiple signals.
“We’ve been doing these for sometime, and there was usually a router nearby, typically in a rack not too far away,” says Proulx. “Both of these devices would be sharing the same sources, and there was a lot of commonality between those two devices. So those are two products that naturally belong together.”
Kaleido-X also represents Miranda’s third-generation technology for multi-image processing, a product category that has changed significantly since monitor giant Barco launched the first tools to display multiple images on a single monitor back in the mid-90s.
Several technology and business trends are driving multi-image processor development, says Proulx. One significant trend is the drop in the price of displays. First generation plasma displays cost in the $25,000 range, which forced Miranda and others to try to put 24-30 images on single display. As the prices of displays, such as LCD models, have come down, customers are looking for less video outputs to a single display, as they can afford to use more monitors.
On the other hand, Miranda’s customers want to monitor more signals, particularly as Miranda’s business has expanded from broadcasters into the cable and satellite industries.
“The key trend is more and more signals need to be viewed, as there are more complex signals and more signals originating from a single facility,” says Proulx. “So they are seeking systems with many more inputs.”
A third change is that as the resolution of multi-image displays has gotten better, they are increasingly being used in production control rooms in order to make editorial decisions, not just in master control for confidence monitoring. That represents a significant financial opportunity for Miranda and other multi-image display vendors; Proulx says the market for multi-image displays processors is just over 100 million euros per year, and is growing very quickly
“That is the big change that is driving this market to explode,” says Proulx. “In a typical TV station there could be one master control, but three to five production studios.”
Quality, of course, is a greater issue in production applications, and the technology Miranda uses to generate hi-def images for monitoring without blocking or image impairment is patent-pending.
Miranda wouldn’t disclose pricing for Kaleido-X, but Proulx said that the company’s goal is to price it so that a customer looking to buy both a multi-image processor and a router separately would find it a “no-brainer” to buy the integrated Miranda solution instead.
The first customers for Kaleido-X will be taking delivery in October, with mass production slated for the end of November.