Product Overview

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Product Overview

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Product Overview

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The Pandoras Box product family consists of hardware and software for Windows 8.1 / 10 Professional 64bit systems.

Introducing the Pandoras Box License Model

With version 8 we have fundamentally simplified the license structure. The "Pandoras Box Software License" replaces six products, the Server, Player, Compact Player, Software Player, Manager and Educational License.
The new license allows real-time 3D rendering, 8K video playback and support of 10bit color depth whilst offering unlimited Sequences, Video Layers and Effects. In addition, this license can run on any hardware system, custom hardware included. In other words, the full feature set of PB is accessible to everyone.
The Pandoras Box Software license can be started in two ways. The "Client" or "Master" mode.

The Client simply shows a (full screen) rendering window and connects via network to the Master from which it receives all commands and media files. Connect your display, projector, LED wall etc. to the Client. The number and type of physical outputs depend on the graphics card whilst the number of software outputs depend on the number of licenses. For each license you get another Output Layer that you can link to a physical output. Of course, you can always add more Clients to the system. Pandoras Box is a scalable playback system. All Clients communicate directly via TCP/IP with the Master control system. A synchronization process takes care of all connected Client devices to be controlled in sync. Read more about the Master / Client remote setup.

The user interface of the Master is divided into various tabs used for file management, timeline programming and configuration in general. It is a timeline based show control solution, allowing fast and easy on the fly programming and show setup. As everything happens in real-time, interactive show and media control is always possible.
Each Client offers various Layers including Video Layers and Output Layers for example. Read more about the different layer types and their parameters. You can either work with Clients that are connected via network or pre-programm your show and connect later.

The Master has two configurations. Per default it starts without optional Output Layers which enables it to be part of a Multi-User session. This feature allows several Masters to work on the same project. As soon as you add outputs to the local machine, you can use them in fullscreen mode instead of the preview rendering. As above, more licenses enable more outputs. In this configuration you cannot connect as a Multi-User to other Masters anymore, but the connection to other Clients is still possible. However, keep in mind that rendering needs performance. For extensive shows, we recommend to use the Master only for show control.

The Offline License is used for show pre-programming and video editing and looks just like the Master mode of the Software License described above. The major difference is, that it cannot connect via network to any system, hence the name "Offline". Other differences are listed in the product structure table at the end of this chapter.

With the free Demo version, which is valid for 90 days, you have access to the same feature-set as the Offline License. Note that the Preview and audio output contains a water mark.

Project files can be opened and saved with either license / version.

Widget Designer

Widget Designer offers an advanced control surface creation framework, that lets you create dedicated user interfaces and interaction logic. The great number of features, including a dedicated script language, are all based around the idea, that even non-programming specialists should be given the tools to create truly immersive interactive experiences for their customers.

You can add Widgets to your interface, e.g. buttons and faders. The Widget Designer interface is based on HTML-5 and CSS3 styles can be applied optionally. The integrated Web Server can publish all created pages to external browsers on any kind of device which allows to remotely control shows with customized self-designed interfaces from a tablet, smart phone or computer.

In addition, visual node based programming is available to create customized show-control scenarios. With the embedded node programming environment users can route and set up almost any possible control scenario. Easily interact with sensors and data sources to route input data to any other output protocol such as Art-Net, Midi/MSC, TCP/UDP, DMX or RS-232/-422 devices.

Widget Designer comes in three editions: a free version with a reduced feature-set, a regular edition and one offering unlimited Web Clients. The below table gives a rough overview of the differences, the introductory page of the chapter Widget Designer provides a more detailed description.

Hardware and Accessories

As said above, Pandoras Box and Widget Designer can be installed on your custom hardware or be purchased with our hardware. We offer two options. The Server hardware and Compact Player.

The Server hardware is 19" wide and 4 rack units high and includes server grade components built for 24/7 use. There are three Server hardware models, called performance kits PK1 - PK3, which define the amount of hard drives (SSD) and RAM. The number of physical outputs is defined through the graphics card, for which we offer three choices from NVIDIA. A maximum of four outputs can be used per card simultaneously. An LCD interface allows for basic setup of the server such as network, output configuration or to select a test pattern without the need of setting up a network before. The hardware can be additionally equipped with optional boards, e.g. video input cards, Dante audio cards, etc.

The Compact Player hardware is only one rack unit high and roughly half 19" wide. Three performance kits (PK1 - PK3) define the amount of hard drives (SSD). The Compact Player cannot be configured with optional boards.

The playback performance depends on the content format, its resolution and frame rate. The Download-Center includes a performance sheet listing many examples.

Pandoras Box is designed to interact with multiple protocols and output devices. Beside Pandoras Box products, other SMPTE, DMX, Art-Net, serial RS232 / 422, or any TCP/IP devices might be remote controlled from any timeline as well. This allows perfectly synchronized show control.
We offer specialized interfaces for SMPTE I/O, DMX, serial and sensor control.

All accessories and optional features are described in Hardware and Accessories whilst the programming is detailed in Devices and Layer Parameters and External Control.

Additional Tools

The chapter "Tools and Other Software" explains all software solutions offered by Christie Pandoras Box. Amongst others, you may read about the PB Menu which is pre-installed on Pandoras Box Servers or Compact Players. It starts automatically when booting and gives access to the most needed actions. The PB Menu includes another software called the Server Management Application. With that software you can manage various hardware systems in your network and establish a VNC connection to them.

Product Structure

The number of software outputs for the "Software License" is defined with the number of licenses. Multiple licenses can be stacked by combining dongles or they can be applied to a single dongle. The number of physical outputs is defined through the graphics card.
For the hardware we offer hardware editions called "Performance Kits" (PK) which define properties like size of memory and RAM.

In the Download-Center on our web site (under Technical Documents) additional hardware information is offered in the "Technical Specs" and "Performance Specs".

Pandoras Box

Software License

Offline License

Demo Version
runs 90 days

Outputs

1 per license

No

No

Preview

Yes

Yes

Yes (watermark)

Network Sync

Yes

No

No

Multi-User

Yes

No

No

Base Parameters

3D

3D

3D

Video Playback

max. 16K

max. 16K

max. 16K

Video Layer

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Audio Tracks

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Notch Layer

Yes

Yes

Yes

Effects, Particles

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Warping, Keystone, Softedge, Matrix

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sequences *

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Input Recording *

Yes

No

No

Media Encryption

De- and Encryption

Decryption

Decryption

Playlists

Yes

Yes

Yes

NDI Inputs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dante Support

Yes

No

No

Web Browser

Yes

Yes

Yes

Widget Designer

Free

Regular

Unlimited Web Clients

Number Web Clients

1

Unlimited

Unlimited

Asynchronous Web Sessions

No

No

Yes

Built-in Script Language

Yes

Yes

Yes

 - Variables, Macros, Functions

No Editing

Yes

Yes

 - Debug Logger

No

Yes

Yes

Nodes

No Editing

Yes

Yes

Connections
(e.g. TCP, UDP, Art-Net)

Via "Conn.Mgr"

Yes

Yes

 - MIDI Connections

1

8

8

Devices
(e.g. AirScan, Camera, Phidgets)

No

Yes

Yes

Widgets
(e.g. Buttons, Displays)

Limited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Widget Explorer

No

Yes

Yes

Viewer Mode

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hardware Solution

Server Hardware

Compact Player

Form Factor

4U
19" Rack

1U

½ 19" Rack

Performance Kits -
SSD storage

PK1 - 1 TB  
PK2 - 7,5 TB
PK3 - 32 TB

PK1 - 0.5 TB
PK2 - 1.0 TB
PK3 - 1.9 TB

RAID

RAID-0

 

RAM

PK1 - 24 GB
PK2&3 - 48 GB

8 GB

Operating System

Win 10

Win 10

Separ. Storage OS

480GB SSD

-

Processor

XEON

Intel i5

Graphics Card (NVIDIA)

Quadro P4000
RTX 4000
RTX 6000

Quadro P1000

Outputs

max. 4 DisplayPort 1.4

4x HDMI 2.0

LAN

1x 10GbE    
1x 1GbE    
1x IPMI port

2x 1GbE

Power

100-240V AC, 15-7.5A
integ. PSU with 850W

DC 19.5V
exter. PSU with 120W

Optional Boards

see below

None

Video Input

3G SDI, 12G SDI,
HDMI, DisplayPort

DirectShow only

Audio Output

ADAT, Dante

 

Framelock / Sync

Optional

 

10Gb Ethernet

Optional

 

*        Available when running as a Master
Date: Jan, 2021. All information contained in this document is subject to change without prior notice.