scobleizer

PDC Dev Team -- Plasma Screen Application at PDC

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If you were at the PDC last month you saw these plasma screens all over the place. They use RSS and the new Windows Presentation Foundation. Follow us along to to the PDC and meet the guys who built the screens and see them in use at the PDC. They even used Flickr to distribute attendees' own photos!

Jeff Sandquist, Ernie Booth, Joe Smith are the ones who did this app. Pretty cool!

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    The Discussion

    • dahat
      I know that you say that there is no editing on Channel 9... I do think that we would all forgive you if you were to yank out everything in that video prior to you saying “take two” around 2:25, still quite funny to see though.
    • RamblingGeek​UK

      Would love to see the code for the display. Scoble can you post a link if and when it becomes available?

      Great stuff.

       

       

    • dahat
      I must say after seeing that video... I’m awed, humbled... and a little afraid.

      When I first heard about the displays, I figured they were using something not unlike a Sencore HDTV996A or VP3340 (two products I built), both of which play an MPEG-2 transport stream (not unlike what you would pick up over the air) and either modulates it to an RF channel (exactly like what is broadcast OTA in the US) or decodes it and provides an HD DVI or RGB output.

      These things are often used for in store advertising and information as well as pre film advertising at movie theaters... Everything that they put out is pre-recorded and schedulable... and seeing the level of detail and dynamic display is... mind boggling and makes me wonder just how far people are going to want to take displays like those shown here and how soon my bosses or one of our customers is going to want something like that built.
    • Tyler Brown
      Amazing application, I truly am in awe. I can't believe that no one else mentioned this while the PDC was going on! I'd love to see this thing in action.. any possibility of the code being released for this, or is it a personal project that the authors would like to keep under wraps?

      I'm peticularly interested in how they went about changing the level of detail for the expanded and collapsed grip displaying the session information. It'd also be interesting to see how they did the grid animation from expanded to collapsed...
    • Ernie Booth

      As for the source code we are going to release it.  We have a few minor tweaks to make it understandable.   Big Smile

    • byron
      ;)I wanted some code driver specs for my plasma.
      HDGas and HDLCD resolution changes.....DVI/HDMI
      Connections...I love the plasma Apps...pretty cool stuff.
      Robert I need a touch...link if poss.
      Love it.........Tongue Out
    • byron
      Im integrating SAT/CABLE/WIRELESS/MOBILE/network and internet.
      Researching CE.NET Win embedded vertical, VS2005,........Tongue Out
    • byron
      I Love this stuff.....Digital Apps.....on digital displays great for all
      Industries, both business and entertainment.......There should be a
      great more interest in this digital area, combining convergent
      integrated technologies.....using delivery method in digital only.Tongue Out
    • Tyler Brown
      Ernie, I didn't quite understand the logistics that were explained during the video. You've got one PC running the application, and all of the screens are feeding off of this one application. Does that mean that you basically have the video-out from the PC going to several splitters/amplifiers to send the signal to each plasma display without any signal degradation? We never went 'upstairs' in the video to see the hardware aspect of it all.
    • Ernie Booth

      Yes the setup was one computer driving the 40+ plasma screens.  The signal was split using a digital switch box and sent over Ethernet cable to all of the plasma screens which then used a video switch to change the Ethernet into some standard video cable which plugged into the plasma screens. 

      We were broadcasting from 304 so if you were seeing a screen by 500 there was some degradation, but that was a result of the signal going to far in non digital form.  We didn't build the infrastructure so I am just recalling what the guys who built it told us. 

    • Tyler Brown
      Thanks for the info. Were there any problems that you guys encountered while implementing this solution? You mentioned using a different Framework element when another one would have normally worked for the given application, something to do with animation. Any problems that you encountered that aren't going to be rectified by RTM?
    • Ernie Booth
      All the problems we had were due to performance.  We used the VideoDrawing class instead of MediaElement for the video, because it has some perf issues in the build we were using.  The WPF team is gearing up with performance tuning so hopefully they will have that working much better by RTM.
    • jmacdonagh
      So basically you have a VisualBrush on a flat mesh in a 3D world. When the cool water effect happens, you raise and lower specific points of the mesh to create a ripple effect? Awesome!

      There's only one problem that I see. VisualBrush is static. It doesn't support playing with the controls that it draws. Although it works great in this situation, it wouldn't work if you wanted the user to be able to select, say, a news item to view more information, or the video to put it in full screen (now obviously, plasma screens do not have the technology to support touch screens, yet).
    • Ernie Booth

      Yes we use a VisualBrush on a tessellated mesh.  We use some spring theory to do the simulation. Here is a pointer to the spring theory we used.  We keep track of the points for the mesh is a separate class and then just update the mesh’s point collection 30 times a second.  Yes the VisualBrush is non-interactive so can’t interact with any of the object’s on the screen that are being painted on the 3D surface, but as you pointed out this isn’t an interactive application so that didn’t really matter.  I hope to see lots of cool physic WPF applications Cool


       

    • brian2k1
      Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?
    • Drexthepimp
      brian2k1 wrote:
      Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


      Indeed, for me this will be the best bit. I will build one of these myself with old monitors and redundant cat 5. We are going to see a lot of new entrants to the world of programming being able to build appz like this. data <=> presentation is now as envisioned.

      I will build one of these.

      Drex
    • Ernie Booth
      brian2k1 wrote:
      Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


      Sorry to say the answer is no.  What information did you want about the setup?
    • ethan

      thanks a lot!!
      It was an amazing video!
      But could you guys post a photo screenshot (with a better resolution than the video) of your application? Because it's so good, we have to see this in good conditions.
      Great job!
      Wink

    • computerpro2
      This is some amazing Stuff guys... also i will take that plasma screen Smiley
    • Drexthepimp
      Ernie Booth wrote:
      brian2k1 wrote: Will there be a Part 2 that includes the mentioned trip to the main pc and video splitter setup?


      Sorry to say the answer is no.  What information did you want about the setup?


      For me I'd like to know how you kept the program running in a kiosk mode while updating? Did the screens go down or was there some backend that could run on a seperate monitor/comp.

      The idea of sending the video out over cat5 is nothing new to me, but i would be interested in knowing about the splitters used. My idea is to add areas to the system. Ie different sections can see different presentations, but then since this is just data driven all screens could amalgamate. It would be a seperate box per section, which wouldn't be too much of a problem.

      Lastly I would love a few specs on the graphics hardware. I'd be tempted to buy a big box to run all of this, especially when i get the idea that the transitions were poor on perf due to pre beta bits, which could be sped up. And finally i may had a touch screen aspect to this for use on smartboards.

      Excellent job. pm me and we can talk. All credit to yourselves of course but i'd love to implement this.
    • brian2k1
      Nothing in particular. I just wanted to see the how it worked. If you have the footage why not show it?



    • jeffsand
      Drexthepimp wrote:

      For me I'd like to know how you kept the program running in a kiosk mode while updating? Did the screens go down or was there some backend that could run on a seperate monitor/comp.


      We had two computers connected to a video switcher both machines were identical in configuration and software.  The switch box allowed us to change the output video signal to the monitors from one PC to another. 

      So when we needed to update the software we'd just switch to the signal to the other PC and make the update.

      Drexthepimp wrote:

      Lastly I would love a few specs on the graphics hardware. I'd be tempted to buy a big box to run all of this, especially when i get the idea that the transitions were poor on perf due to pre beta bits, which could be sped up. And finally i may had a touch screen aspect to this for use on smartboards.


      They were high end DELL workstations with killer video cards. Wink  I don't have the specs handy hopefully Ernie can reply with them.
    • Ernie Booth

      From memory: A Dell with 2 Dual core processors, 2 GB of Ram on PCI-e motherboard,  Dual hard drives and an ATI Radeon X800XL. Is what we used for Scarab.  

      Lots of memory and a good graphics card. Cool

    • RamblingGeek​UK
      Hi Ernie,

      Where will you post the link to the download when it becomes

      available? Any chance of a time frame?

      Thanks, great work!

    • Ernie Booth
      No date set for release of the code.
    • Tyler Brown
      Any update on how the code cleanup is going before the source is released? Or the source no longer being released?
    • mattdotson
      I was looking forward to the source code, but I got so excited I couldn't wait.  Here is my first hack at the water effect for everyone that's as excited as me about this demo.

      http://blogs.msdn.com/494253.aspx

      Matt
    • thefatman.dk
      Something new about the code-sample?

      I was developing a similar app for school use, but then I sair this app ,and its amazing!

      With some minior changes it would be perfect Smiley
    • Ernie Booth
      Update: The code is being updated to the latest CTP now that it has been cleaned up.  Nice job on the effect, do you have a screenshot with an image on it?
    • itprochris

      So has it been released? The way you said "CTP" made it sound like it is out there somewhere.

      Thanks

    • RamblingGeek​UK
      itprochris wrote:

      So has it been released? The way you said "CTP" made it sound like it is out there somewhere.

      Thanks



      I agree with itprochris..... where is it? I want to see this for real....

      Thanks Big Smile
    • jgilkey
      I would love to see some of the code posted.  Any new updates on if/when that is happening?
    • beowulf359
      Did somebody forget about releasing the source for this?  If not, could we get an update?
    • mgemmons

      Bump. Where be the code?

       

       

    • webdev
      Bump any code available?
    • Qanuc
      Hi Earnie,
      You wrote that "the VisualBrush is non-interactive so can’t interact with any of the object’s on the screen that are being painted on the 3D surface". Is that possible anyway? Can I design sort of a VisualBrush that allows me to interact with the basic controls being rendered upon the mesh?

      thanks
        Q

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