CPL Invests in d3 Media Server and Training

Technical and creative production specialists CPL (Central Presentations Ltd) continues its investment in the newest and most innovative live production technologies with the purchase of a d3 4×4 media server. This was followed by a comprehensive two day on-site training course at CPL’s HQ in the West Midlands, UK, for CPL’s staff and key freelancers.

CPL’s Simon Haydon explained that it was essential for both core members of CPL’s video division and the company’s regular freelance designers, programmers and video technicians to be included in the session. “To get the most out of the investment, it’s important that a cross section of people are familiar with the system and know how to maximise its massive potential,” he commented.

The d3 purchase follows on from a substantial shopping spree focussed on LED screen in the last six months, so with that and plenty of high powered projection already in the rental inventory, CPL’s increased capacity for widescreen, HD, large-format projections and pixel mapped projects – required a powerful control solution. d3 was chosen as the best, most flexible and stable option, and allows CPL to expand its scope of delivering creative video solutions in addition to the more ‘standard’ conventional options for video packages.

The d3 4×4 offers eight 4K content layers and can be configured for four 4K outputs of 16 HD outputs. This first server one has a combination of VFC cards and display ports and is a feature-packed premium tool with a great reputation for robust and reliable hardware, software and operation. The d3’s visualisation capabilities were instrumental when CPL’s MD Matthew Boyse, Simon and others on the team made the final choice of media server brand.

It uses a 3D representation of a real-world video set up and offers detailed pre-vis of the video playback, including a camera fly-through view – which is perfect for illustrating to clients exactly how any proposed video design or content might look in situ. “The d3 visualiser is hugely more dramatic and realistic than just showing a 2D visual display says Simon, “so it’s great for assisting with pitches for projects as well as developing ideas once the initial design stages are signed off.”

The excellent support and backup for which d3 Technologies is known – which included the product induction and training – was also a factor in the decision to buy d3. The first day of the training saw everyone learn the basics of the system, which progressed to exploring more complex and sophisticated functionality on the second. “The support from d3 is really impressive. The system architecture is very powerful so there’s a lot to get your head around at first, but it all seems infinitely more straightforward after two days of training,” elucidated Simon. He adds that the vast body of additional information and technical support available online is also really helpful.

The first festival project for CPL’s d3 was “Camper Calling” at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire for which CPL was the live video supplier, and it was driving content for a 9m wide by 4.5m high screen on the main stage. It was also used to display footage on a video-wall at the entranceway to the 2016 EGX games expo at the Birmingham NEC.