Pixel Scientific


Does your new television not quite fit? Have you ever thought about cutting it? Well, that is exactly what the team at Pixel Scientific does, they cut displays to size.

Pixel came to me with a seemingly simple request - create an artistic video wall using their displays for a trade show they were doing. Oh, and it had to be done in a week and for a budget that could not include standard enterprise display software (not that there was anything standard about this project).

They wanted to display videos, images, and dynamic content to show off the brilliant displays, and they also wanted to highlight their brand.

I set to work right away with my team to figure out how this was going to be done. We built a custom media server from scratch that had to have enough power to push a lot of pixels. That was the easy part. The challenges started to arise when we go the specs on each of the displays (some UHD, some HD) and with different actual screen resolutions.

Last we had to create enough content to loop and not get boring, and it had to be engaging.

I decided to do the animations in WebGL, and so I built the entire experience as a web app. That way elements including weather and animations could be dynamic.

My team pushed the limits of the media player and got the product out the door just in time for the trade show

Our development did not stop there. We were on call for support (which was not needed) and while we had some breathing time I was able to create a much more solid player. I was not happy with some of the limitations that the Nvidia card had and unless I wanted to program with the Nvidia API (not for the feint of heart), I was not going to be able to push more pixels. The issue was I was relying on a single system that had a lot of variables.

I came up with a distributed system that would sync the experience and video across multiple processors. I am now working on that system to improve its performance and make it easy for developers to use it in their own projects.