Media Servers

in Buyer's Guide

To download a PDF of the Nov. 2011 PLSN Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE

You know that line between lighting and video? Media servers blur that line — and they are quickly becoming a staple on shows of every size.  They can provide rich textures, digital gobos and moving imagery to help paint the stage. But they’re not all created equal, and comparing them is not easy. They’re like apples and tomatoes — relatively close in size, perhaps, but very different on the inside.



All media servers have a computer, plain and simple, at their heart. But the features and functions vary considerably. Some are simple media playback devices with limited layers and effects. Others are full-fledged machines that can do almost anything you ask except brew a hot cup of Joe.

If you’re trying to determine which media server is best suited to your needs, this  Buyers Guide could prove to be a good starting point. Before making your decision, however, be sure to explore the manufacturer websites (we’ve provided the URLs) for a more exhaustive search.

Another good idea is to download a demo version of the software (or ask a local dealer for a demo) before you decide which media server to buy. It’s the difference between looking at the sticker on the window and taking a car off the lot for a test-drive.