lightingsoftwareresearchSHARE - Software Research Project...

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Software Research Project February 21, 2008 HORIZON PRIMARY FUNCTION: Control Console COMPANY: Rosco PLATFORM: Any PC REQUIREMENTS: Windows 200, XP; Interface hardware for application *NOTE: Rosco has officially discontinued the Horizon interface line in favor of the Marquee line, which includes conventional consoles as well as PC-based operation, the Marquee software is nearly identical to Horizon (aside from updates pertinent to hardware) so to learn one is to learn both, and Horizon interfaces are still available used at considerably reduced prices. Rosco’s Horizon software was the lighting control forerunner of ETC’s Emphasis software and WYSIWYG’s Perform function. It is essentially a virtual control console that can be run on any Windows-enabled PC. The true difference between it and its contemporaries was that rather than connecting to a console (i.e. ETC’s Insight with Emphasis and WYSIWYG’s WYG-it interface) the computer is the console. To use the free software, one must also purchase the Horizon interface, which connects to the computer’s serial port, and outputs in DMX directly to a dimmer rack and/or moving lights. The Horizon software simulates a last-action tracking console which can be controlled by both point-and-click mouse operation and conventional console buttons assigned to keys on the keyboard. While the basic software is free, there are also silver and gold editions that enable varying intelligent moving light features, unlimited cue lists and cues, and (at gold level) compatibility with WYSIWYG. Upgrades in the core software were free. While the software is no longer being upgraded, Rosco still provides technical support. There are only two real drawbacks to the Horizon line, both of them pertaining to hardware. While not requiring much in the way of processing power, the system is Windows based, and run on a personal computer, and therefore faces the same risk of crashing as any Windows PC. This risk, however, is negligible if Horizon is the only program running. Secondly, the DMX interface cannot be daisy chained, limiting the maximum output to two universes, or 1024 channels. There are several hardware plug-ins available for Horizon. Aside from various adapters and converters to ensure compatibility, there is a panel of submaster sliders that connects to the PC via USB and can be assigned like submasters on a conventional board. The interface can also be purchased with a Wi-Fi adapter, allowing a laptop running Horizon to control the system from anywhere in the theater. This system is an excellent choice for schools, small theatres, and churches because the windows based software employs easy to understand visualizations, while the keyboard configuration will be familiar to those used to a conventional console. When paired with the Wi-Fi, the console acts as its own wireless RFU, but with more control than any conventional RFU allows. All in all, I have found this software to be excellent for lighting control. When
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course THEATRE 619 taught by Professor Archbold during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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lightingsoftwareresearchSHARE - Software Research Project...

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