BALTAN PLAYER - first sketch
Baltan Player is a HD AV-surround player assembled by Telcosystems / Baltan Laboratories in dialogue with Recombinant Media Labs. The aim of this R&D project is to develop a stable, scalable, frame-synch playback system for digital AV-material.
The initial focus lies on achieving synchronous playback of low-res material by making use of the accuracy of a DSP phasor signal.
The first test-configuration consists of a basic server-client setup with two Macs running Max5. The phasor signal sent out by the server should be able to perform stable 25fps-playback of a simple VGA-clip. Converting a digital audio signal into an accurate frame-number of a movie-clip was the first task to be done. All the commands for play/pause, in-to-outpoint looping and playback-speed of the video-clip needed an equivalent expression in MSP.
All calculations are done on the server side, so that the capacity of the client machines assign all resources on high-precision playback of the material. The server sends the digital audio-signal for the playback, and UDP-messages for the file-handling to the client.
The second test-environment consists of one server running Max5, that controls three clients running a Standalone-Application built in Max. The test-clips are taken from the default media folder of Max and have varying resolutions and frame-rates. The server interface allows to switch between clips located in a certain folder, includes standard video-playback commands and allows jump-to-frame and looping-commands both by inserting a frame-number or a time-code.
The test shows that frame-synch playback with manual looping of video in that configuration worked out fine.
The next tasks include tests with higher-resolution-material with different codecs and compression and developing a solution for synchronous audio-playback.