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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

Controlling Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

Introduction

MagicQ is ideally suited to controlling media servers through its powerful Cue Engine and its
large colour touch screen. The eight encoder wheels enable quick and easy access to the large
numbers of control parameters.

MagicQ has extremely powerful support for media servers. It is possible to connect to up to 50
different media servers or intelligent media yokes each with different media content. MagicQ
downloads thumbnail previews for the media content from each media server independently.

MagicQ supports a special window, solely for controlling media servers, the Media Window. This
window makes it much easier to control media servers. You can select media server, media layer,
attributes and media content all from the same window. You can also see what content is selected
on each of the layers of the selected media server. Open the Media Window by using the Media
Button (was the 5th Spare button – above the Macro buttons).

In addition, there is a Live Preview window, which shows the output of the media server, or the
output of each of the layers. This is transferred is real time from the media server – so that you

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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

can see exactly what the media server is playing. This is particularly useful in situations with
many media servers, or media servers that are remote from the control position.

At present, the Mbox EXtreme is not supported in the Media Window. Support for the Mbox
EXtreme will be added in a future release of the MagicQ software.

Patching Mbox EXtreme on MagicQ

Several personality files are used to patch the Mbox EXtreme on MagicQ. The personalities
should be patched according to the diagram below.

Note that the head numbers for the text and object layers are allocated lower numbers than the
ancillary layers such as the ambient, spots, camera, shutter and keystone. This ensures that the text
and object layers appear before the ancillary layers in the Media Window.

Only one Mbox EXtreme can be patched per universe, however other fixtures can also be parched
on the remaining channels in this universe.

All personality files for the Mbox EXtreme can be found under the Mbox section in the personality
library. If you do not have the personality files, you will need to upgrade the personality library to
a library dated 2nd May 2007 or later. To download the latest personality library and instructions
on how to upgrade it, view the downloads section of our website.

A pre-patched show containing 5 layers and several cues to demonstrate the Mbox EXtreme can
be found on the documents section of our website. This should be placed in the show folder in
MagicQ and can then be opened in the Load Show window, titled mboxdemoshow.shw.

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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

Connect the Mbox EXtreme servers over LAN

Connect the Mbox EXtreme servers to the MagicQ via Ethernet and enable the required Art-Net
universes outputs on the MagicQ (Setup, View DMX I/O).

Configure the Mbox EXtreme servers and the MagicQ so that they are on the same IP subnet - i.e..
2.x.x.x.

To check the IP settings you can try and "ping" the MagicQ from the Mbox.

Configuring a media server

First patch the media server using the normal MagicQ Patch Window, as detailed in the previous
section of this document. Each media server should have unique head numbers.

In the Setup Window, Media View configure the media server parameters.

Set the IP address of the media server. This will be used to locate the media server on the network
and to retrieve thumbnails and live previews. The IP address should be in the format of 2.x.x.x. To
determine the IP address of the media server on Mbox Extreme, check the Network settings in
System Preferences.

Optionally set up a name for the media server. This may help you to distinguish the different
media servers.

Select the type of media server as MBOX Extreme.

Set the number of layers you have patched. For MBOX this should generally be set to 18. MBOX
has a text layer and an object for each of the 5 layers making 10 normal layers and then has 8 other
controls including the Ambient, Camera, Spots, Shutter and Keystone.

Set the head number of the first media layer. This tells MagicQ which patched layer is the first
media layer on the media server. MagicQ expects layers to be sequential head numbers, e.g. set
you head numbers for your layers to 1 to 10.

Thumbnail view

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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

MagicQ retrieves thumbnails from the media server and shows them on the screen for easy
selection of media banks and media images. The media server must be enabled in the Setup
Window, Media View for it to retrieve thumbnails. MagicQ can handle different media on each
media server thus making it easy to program larger configurations of media servers.

Before proceeding it is necessary to ensure that Mbox Extreme has been upgraded to support
thumbnails. This requires a software change and the enabling of web interface on the Mbox.

In the Setup Window, Media View, if Autothumbs is set to Yes, the thumbnails will reload every
time a page is loaded. If Autothumbs is set to No, you can reload thumbnails as and when required
by pressing the Reload Thumbs soft button in the media window. We recommend you leave this
set to No.

To load a bank of thumbnails, select the Media Bank in the Media Window, and press the
RELOAD THUMBS soft button. Change to another Media Bank and then back to the original
Media Bank. MagicQ caches the thumbnails on its hard drive. You may need to change to a bank
a few times before all the thumbnails for that bank have been downloaded.

To force a reload of all the media from the media server, move the cursor to the required media
server in the Media View of the Setup Window and press the ERASE CACHE soft button.

The media thumbnails are also shown in the top 8 preview windows to indicate which media is
selected on each layer. Note that MagicQ shows only 8 previews, so on Mbox previews are only
available for the first 4 layers. Currently MagicQ only supports previews for the text layers, not
for the object layers.

Live previews

At present, the Mbox EXtreme does not support live previews and therefore MagicQ is unable to
provide them in the Media Window of MagicQ. Support for live previews will be added in a
future software release of Mbox Extreme.

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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

Controlling the Mbox EXtreme

To control the Mbox EXtreme in MagicQ, select the camera personality and set the intensity to
full. The camera controls the built in dimmer in the I/O Module of the Mbox and if it is at 0, there
will be no output from the stage output.

Set the intensity of object 1 and the opacity of texture 1 to full (both of which are on the dimmer
channel for their respective personalities) and you should see a white square in the centre of the
screen.

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Controlling the Mbox EXtreme using MagicQ

From here, you can apply media and effects to the first layer. For more information on controlling
the Mbox EXtreme, please refer to the manufacturers documentation.

Crossfading between content on one layer

The Mbox EXtreme supports crossfading between two different bits of content on one layer. To
use this function, you will need to set the crossfade attributes which can be located on page 4 of
the Beam window before changing the media. Set the crossfade type, speed and (if applicable)
rotation and then change the media.

Troubleshooting

If you do not have control of the Mbox EXtreme at all, check:

• The MagicQ is connected to the Mbox EXtreme via LAN or network crossover cable
• You can "ping" the MagicQ from the Mbox EXtreme
• Windows Firewall is not restricting access between the Mbox and MagicQ
• MagicQ is enabled to output Art-Net (Setup, View DMX I/O)
• The Mbox is configured to the correct DMX universe and address
• MagicQ is patched with the correct Mbox personalities at the correct addresses
• The camera intensity is at full

Any comments on how these instructions could be improved will be gratefully received at
support@chamsys.co.uk.

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