FAQ

Below are the most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find an answer here, contact us and ask your own.

General

Why should I choose Scalable Display Technologies?

Scalable Display Technologies is the original inventor and initial patent holder of camera-based calibration for projectors. This technology was patented at MIT in 2002 and we have continued to focus on our core technology ever since. A number of companies primarily out of Europe and Asia have attempted to replicate Scalable’s technology, and generally speaking, the market feedback is that there is no comparison in terms of productization, stability, quality, and robustness. Scalable remains the preferred supplier to the US armed services due to the software’s extremely high threshold for accuracy and reliability.

Scalable also has advantages in our flexibility to place a camera almost anywhere, not to mention a suite of correction features beyond warp & blend, including color correction, black level uplift, real-time perspective correction, and much more. Scalable also has an expansive ecosystem of playback partners, both hardware and software, ensuring there’s always a solution for your project. Speaking for customers who have ‘tried them all’ there’s no question that Scalable is set apart due to a superior software product, as well as a tier one technical team that will ensure your project is successful.

How long does the calibration take?
Scalable calibrations take roughly 30 seconds per projector. A ten projector system would take about 5 minutes to align, a two projector system can be recalibrated in under a minute. Initial configuration time is the longest part of setup since it requires user to input screen information and optimize variables for fast and successful recalibrations.
Where can I buy your products?

Scalable has a global network of resellers and partners who you can purchase the software through. Scalable has offices in US, UK and China, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in learning more about buying Scalable software or becoming a partner.

What Scalable product do I need?
Which product to use is largely based on your application requirements and pixel pipeline, if you’re running primarily Windows applications such as, PowerPoint, Excel, AutoCAD, Video Conferencing etc. with a limited number of external inputs, ScalableDesktop is likely the best product for you. ScalableDesktop warps the Windows OS, so all content must originate on or pass through the ScalablePC or Machine running ScalableDesktop (non-HDCP compliant). If you are setting up a simulator, or a display system driven by a cluster of PCs or a Media Server, then Scalable Display Manager or Scalable Panel Assembly is a better fit. These products are capable of perspective warps for simulators and support multiple ways to apply the warp & blend which are not limited to a single machine for playback. You can learn more about each product here or by contacting the Scalable sales team.
What is the difference between ScalableDesktop and Scalable Display Manager?

There are a few primary differences between ScalableDesktop & Scalable Display Manager.

ScalableDesktop is a single PC solution that warps the Windows Desktop for standard Windows applications. ScalableDesktop is primarily used for ProAV applications such as conference rooms, lobby displays, digital signage or a local exhibit. ScalableDesktop can scale the Windows Desktop up to 16 projectors for a seamless Windows OS experience.

Scalable Display Manager has multiple ways of applying the Scalable Mesh Files. SDM can also support a single PC architecture, or it can support multiple PCs in a distributed render environment. SDM can also export the warp & blend information to media servers or upload the mesh files to projector hardware in the case of Barco Pulse. Scalable Display Manager is mostly used for simulation, visualization, VR/AR, theme parks & attractions and a number of real-time applications

What are Scalable business hours?

You can find our business hours in our Company page.

Can I integrate Scalable’s automatic warp & blend into my application?

Scalable offers a free SDK to customers and partners who are looking to enable their application with automatic display correction. Scalable’s SDK is available in OpenGL or DirectX and is relatively lightweight, proven as a zero latency solution, the SDK provides complete hardware flexibility as all correction is handled on a software layer. Generally the SDK can be integrated within a day of work, there are 5 core function calls and you can find a partial list of applications which have already included the SDK at this link. When using the SDK, the system can run on Windows or Linux, it can use any graphics card that meets the requirements of the application, and software partners can benefit from being ‘Auto-Calibration Ready’ by simply adding this into their render pipeline. Calibrations are still run by Scalable Display Manager, the SDK then reads and renders the files on run-time. If you’re interested in learning more about the SDK, please contact our sales team to discuss further.

My media servers and projectors have built-in edge-blending, do I still need Scalable?

While many new projectors and media servers have built-in tools for edge-blending, it’s important to remember that Scalable’s unique value proposition is the camera. Manual edge-blending can take days or weeks to perfect, and requires a skilled projectionist to setup. With Scalable the camera does all the hard work for you. Additionally the camera ensures that the display is always pixel-perfect, reducing the cost of system maintenance over the lifetime of the display, and guaranteeing that the system is always ready for use. So while your display design may be technically achievable with tools available in a projector or in a media server, Scalable can still be added to the system to automate the setup and maintenance process, saving you valuable time and money.

What file format do you support for camera modeling?

For 3D camera placement we support STP, DWG or DXF file formats. We can also ROM camera quantity and approximate location based on a PDF of a 2D plan model, but 3D models in STP, DWG or DXF are preferred.

How do I prepare for a remote support session?

There are a few things that you can do to prepare ahead of a remote session with one of our support team members. First, make sure that the calibration PC is plugged into a good internet connection and install Teamviewer. We strongly suggest that you have someone phisically present at the system to assist our support team member. Additionally, whenever possible reserve the space to ensure that there won’t be other people walking around and that you can turn off lights as needed.

Capabilities

What shapes and sizes of screens can I calibrate with Scalable software?

Scalable software is designed to be used with virtually any size and shape of screen. There are a number of built-in geometry types such as Domes, Cylindrical or Flat screens, but you can also import an OBJ file of almost any shape and the software will warp the projector pixels to match. If you’re curious about a particular shape or capability, please contact us to discuss in further detail.

How accurate is Scalable's camera-based calibration?
Scalable is the world leader in camera-based calibration of projectors. Our patented algorithms allow for edge-blending that is registered on a sub-pixel level and our geometric warping has subdegree accuracy as measured with a theodolite.
Does Scalable support stacking projectors for brightness?

Yes, Scalable supports both tiled (blended) and stacked displays. Stacked displays are a great way to increase display brightness by combining multiple lower lumen projectors vs a single, expensive, high lumen projector.

Can I do stacking AND blending?

Yes, Scalable supports stacking & blending, where the display is tiled in a blended array, then layered with additional projectors on-top. This is often done for system redundancy, increasing display brightness, and even passive stereoscopic 3D.

Which IGs are SDK integrated with Scalable software?
The majority of SDK integrated applications can be found here.
Does Scalable support 3D applications?
Yes, Scalable supports both active and passive stereoscopic 3D.
Can I really drive 16 projectors from 1 PC with ScalableDesktop?
Yes. Nvidia’s SYNC & SLI technology allows you to combine up-to 4 graphics cards in a single PC. Each Quadro card is capable of 4 DisplayPort outputs, and 4 projectors per card = 16 projectors! It is important to note that Windows has a limitation of 16,000 pixels in any single direction (X or Y).

If your project requires a canvas beyond 16k pixels, you can use Scalable Display Manager (SDM) with a distributed render cluster of PCs or a Media Server designed for high resolution playback.

Requirements

Does Scalable software work with any graphics cards?
ScalableDesktop is compatible with Nvidia Quadro cards (see the full list here).

Scalable Display Manager (SDM) is set up in Host & Client architecture. The Host running SDM does not require a specific graphics card. The Clients may use Nvidia Quadro cards to apply the warp & blend, but for SDK applications or hardware integrations the graphics card on the client machines are not specific to Scalable.

How do I pick the right graphics card for my project?

The graphics card is only specific to Scalable if you are using an Nvidia Quadro to apply the Scalable Mesh Files. This is the case with ScalableDesktop or Scalable Display Manager with Nvidia. If you are applying the Mesh Files through Scalable’s SDK or via external hardware like a warping box or uploaded to the projector itself, you can use whichever graphics card you choose.

The important piece with the graphics card is to ensure that it has enough playback performance for the application of the display. While you can use any Quadro from Scalable’s supported list, their performance varies substantially, and the performance should be selected to meet the requirements of the application of the display. As an example, BIM Modeling and Realtime rendering might require a P6000 while a digital signage display running Windows Media Player could likely get away with a P1000.

What Nvidia drivers are supported?

We actively test each Nvidia Quadro driver release to determine the optimal drivers for stability and performance. Check this link for a list of currently recommended Nvidia drivers.

Do I need a Scalable PC?

Technically ‘No’, there is no requirement by Scalable that you use a ScalablePC as a playback platform. The benefit of the ScalablePC is that it is a turn-key machine that has been tested in-house by Scalable and is fully supported. Customers are entitled to build their own PCs; however, in our experience, building systems based off home-grown machines can be tricky to support and maintain over the lifetime of a system, particularly when building a multi-display system. With a ScalablePC, we are single point-of-contact for the full solution, so you don’t have to worry about hardware & software compatibility and/or support.

Do I need special projectors with edge-blending feature to use Scalable Software or will any projectors work?
You don’t need special projectors to use Scalable software, any make or model of projectors will work.
Does Scalable software work with any camera?

No, you need a Scalable supported camera. There’s a growing list of supported cameras, from DSLR to small factor GigE cameras and webcams. See the full list here. If there is a specific camera you would like Scalable to support in the future contact us. Please check with Scalable before finalizing a camera layout so that we can help validate the design will work well for the calibration.

How many cameras will I need?

Fewer cameras is always faster and easier to set up, technically only 1 camera is required if it can see all projected pixels without obstructions. For complex geometry screens and installations with limited throw distance, we simply add cameras until the entire screen is visible. Our software allows the cameras to be placed virtually anywhere, no requirement for the cameras to be at the center of the screen or co-located with the projectors.

Please check with Scalable before finalizing a camera layout so that we can help validate the design will work well for the calibration. We offer camera-modeling services to assist with determining the right camera layout and best camera/lens option for the project.

What file format do you support for camera modeling?

For 3D camera placement we support STP, DWG or DXF file formats. We can also ROM camera quantity and approximate location based on a PDF of a 2D plan model, but 3D models in STP, DWG or DXF are preferred.

Which IGs are SDK integrated with Scalable software?
The majority of SDK integrated applications can be found here.
If I have the Scalable SDK, do I still need Scalable Display Manager?
Yes, absolutely, the SDK enables an application to read and render the Scalable Mesh Files. A license for Scalable Display Manager (or Scalable Panel Assembly) is still required to create the Scalable Mesh File. SDM or SPA can be thought of as the warp and blend generators, the SDK allows an application to use the calibration files with full flexibility on hardware and system OS.

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