When I first heard of Christie buying Vista Systems, I hoped that the combination of companies would lead to better products and more innovation. With the introduction of the Spyder X20, Christie has addressed some of the shortcomings of the Spyder system.
Combining the router with the switching and video processing is a big move. Some of the biggest frustrations with the Spyder were related to router protocols. Sometimes getting them to talk at all was a challenge.
Putting all this in one package with a 20 megapixel resolution looks like it may be a really powerful box.
It remains to be seen if the internal server is XP or Vista, and how much “Windows-ness” it retains.
I recently spoke to some people who went to Vista for Spyder training. They had some time to learn about the X20 and gave me some insight.
For one, even though you have this giant 20 megapixel virtual space, there are some serious limits to how you can use it. You are limited to the half analog and half DVI inputs. You are then limited to the number of mixers based on those inputs, e.g. you have only 8 DVI ins, so you only get 4 mixers. With all those pixels, it would be nice to be able to use them for more PIP mixers.
It does use a USB cable for expansion connection. That is a huge relief after the chronic failure of the SCSI cables used for Spyder expansion … but that only connects control data between the frames. You have to use more router channels to get the video to multiple frames.
I’ll report back with more info.