• grandMA2 User Manual
  • grandMA3 Mode2
  • grandMA2 Quick Start Guide
  • grandMA2 Quick Manual onPC solutions
  • MA 3D
  • MA VPU
    • Introduction
      • Help from MA technical support
      • System requirements
    • For your Safety
    • Functions and Features
      • Transition from grandMA video to MA VPU
      • Teaser Mode
      • Comparison VPU plus / VPU basic / VPU light
    • Main Features
      • Installation and Maintenance
        • Startup
        • Software update
          • Service Packs
        • Update of Fixture Types
        • Backup
          • Handling backups with the VPU
          • Start Acronis on VPUs with serial Numbers up to # 86 on
          • Start Acronis on VPUs with serial Numbers from # 87
          • Restoring an image with Acronis
          • Storing an image with Acronis
          • Backup the VPU content after shipment
        • Access VPU via Network
        • Version of grandMA desk or grandMA onPC (off-line)
        • IP Addresses
          • IP Address of the PC
          • Art-Net IP Address
        • EDID Manager
        • CITP / MSEX Protocol
    • Communication with the grandMA Desk Series
      • Connection with the grandMA desk
      • Connection with the grandMA onPC (off-line) software
      • Connection States
    • Data Management
      • Master slave
      • Principle function diagram
      • Layer Properties
      • Layer Reference
      • Virtual Outputs
        • Virtual Output: Configuration of a TripleHead2Go Digital Port
      • Predefined Constellation
    • Several MA VPU applications in one grandMA show
    • Quickstart with grandMA2
    • Program surface
      • Internal Touch-Screen VPU plus
      • Internal Screen VPU light
      • Menu Bar
        • File...
        • View...
        • Render...
        • Help...
      • Toolbar
      • Status Bar
      • Preview
      • Multi Preview
      • Content Editor
        • Content: Image Pool (I-Pool)
        • Content: Text Ticker
        • Content: Eff1 Type...Eff4 Type
        • Content: 3D Objects
        • Content: Mask
      • Warper
        • Warper Fullscreen View
        • Warper Basic Operation
        • Warping
      • File Browser
    • Features Attributes and Functions
    • Order of Effect Execution
    • Softedging
    • Keystoning
    • Pixel Mapper
      • VPU - Pixel Mapper Graphical View
        • Pixel Mapper Toolbar
        • Pixel Mapper Editor
      • VPU - Pixel Mapper Grid View
      • Console - VPU Pixel Mapper View
    • Creation of customized 3D Objects
    • Content Specifications
      • Rovi Total CodeStudio for converting your content into MPEG2
      • Hap Content Converter
    • Warnings
    • Keyboard Shortcuts
    • FAQ and Troubleshooting
    • Supplement MA Lighting
      • Intended use
      • Data
      • Symbols and warning labels
      • Transport
      • General Safety Instructions
      • Electric shock warning on the rear of the grandMA
      • Safety and Environment
      • Quickstart Connect VPU plus
      • Quickstart Connect VPU light
      • Switching the apparatus On/Off
      • Maintenance
      • Conformity
  • Release Notes
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Version 3.9

Transition from grandMA video to MA VPU

This information conforms to grandMA video users changing to MA VPU.

As a user of a grandMA video dongle version (either on MA mediaPC or self designed media server) you will encounter most likely the following situation: grandMA video software is installed on a computer (self designed or mediaPC) with some content likely the MA original content plus additional custom-made content. Mainly this will be any QuickTime coded content. The grandMA video software might be also installed on additional computers like laptops to use it as pre-visualization or control suite stations without any dongles in use.

Now, you can choose from one of the following options:

  1. Leave everything as it is. You can stay with the grandMA video software and your known content. Please be aware that the grandMA video software as known today will not be further developed nor be implemented in future grandMA software releases. The grandMA video software will only work with grandMA 'series 1’ software 6.121 or lower.
  2. Update your MA mediaPC or media server to MA VPU software and benefit from the features of MA VPU plus
    • Performance increased tremendously - at least 4+ layer of 1080p are possible with 60fps.
    • The VPU is more integrated into the network than grandMA video ever was
    • Effects are added per layer and per output - each of them can handle 4 effects at the same time.
    • Colorkeying is built in now - even with a tolerance value for smooth transitions.
    • 3D keystone is possible by adding a 3D model on the output layer
    • Much easier Fixture handling by only 3 fixture types - the output fixture includes keystone, master, softedge and so on…

    The VPU is able to run either with grandMA 'series 1’ or grandMA2 - safe investment. The VPU software comes with a new decoder to ensure best content results. That means - however - that new content is needed and the new one is based on MPEG-2! Attention: All custom-made content needs to be rendered into MPEG-2. All old show-files are obsolete due to the fact that the new fixture types are not equal to the grandMA video fixture types!

Launching the MA Video Processing Units (VPU) there is no more split between software and hardware. The dongles are discontinued - only the full package including dedicated hardware is available, the dongle is “built-in”. For sure, everybody who invested into dongles will benefit of the new VPU functionality by installing the latest VPU release software.

With the MA VPUs there is no “open” operating system with any kind of default driver - they are all improved to serve the best result for the VPU. Also the decoder has changed for best performance results. That means - however - that new content is needed and the new one is based on MPEG-2. With any MA VPU there is some Gigabyte of content pre-installed.

With the MA-Content-Package you'll get a discount compared to buying the clips individually. When ordering, you will receive a voucher code that enables you to download your selection of Showfootage's clips and pics from their website www.showfootage.com

From grandMA video to VPU. How to update your system:

After downloading the software from our webpage you just need to install it. The look & feel will be like the grandMA2 software. Then you need to download a new MPEG-2 decoder from Main Concept and actually pay for it.

Should not be about 50$€. Attention: Keep the key number!! From now on the software is fully functional. Please be aware of the fact that old shows from grandMA video cannot be loaded anymore. Therefore the new showfile is absolutely compatible to grandMA2. All custom-made content might need to be re-rendered into MPEG-2.

As a former user of grandMA video you will easily discover the new functionality of the MA VPU software. Some functionality has changed as well as some naming. Please refer to the documentation like the online manual to learn about it. If you use the VPU software with an external dongle (old grandMA video) you will have the same performance like a MA VPU plus - in other words: there are no restrictions!

Major changes in a rough overview:

  • Decoder and codec has changed! From QuickTime to MPEG-2! You need to buy it (with the VPU it is included)
  • Old shows are obsolete
  • Old content needs to be re-rendered
  • New fixture types for VPU

We hope that this document provides what you need to know about the transition from grandMA video to the VPU software. The grandMA video software ends with the first release of the MA VPU Software. For any further information please get in contact with us - we are glad to assist you!

About MPEG-2:

MPEG is the name of the “Moving Pictures Expert Group” who created a couple of international standards. One important one is the MPEG-1/2 (ISO/IEC 13818-part x) standard which will be used for the MA VPU. As MA uses Microsoft’s DirectShow to render the textures (pictures) it will need a Codec1 to be able to read in these pictures. This codec is the MPEG2 one from MainConcept. There are several formats that can contain MPEG2 videos, below are some well known ones:

  • .mpg (MPEG-1 or MPEG-4 possible)
  • .mpeg (MPEG-1 or MPEG-4 possible)
  • .m2v (MPEG-2 Elementary Video Stream)
  • .m2a (MPEG-2 Elementary Audio Stream)
  • .m2s (MPEG-2 Elementary Data Stream)
  • .vob (DVD Video Object)

The MPEG2 standard allows a couple of variation which are not so important to know but which will influence the quality of the picture. They are defined to be able to run several resolutions like full HD for example. That influences also the bitrate which can vary from approx. 3 to over 80 Mbit/s. As higher the bitrate as more workload for the CPU, RAM & so on.

Codec is short for 'compressor-decompressor', a piece of software that is able to decode and encode a certain format. By this definition, a DirectShow filter is not a codec.

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