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Device Profile: Roland Edirol RG-100 real-time multimedia presenter

Jul 6, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

[Updated Jul. 7, 2004] — Roland used embedded Linux to power a real-time graphics presenter to launch in August. The Edirol RG-100 creates 3D graphics and presents high-resolution images for indoor and outdoor signs and advertisements on large-scale plasma or projected displays at retail shops, amusement parks, and commercial showrooms.

Roland's Edirol RG-100 is based on MontaVista Linux
(Click to enlarge)

According to Roland, the Edirol RG-100 is the most advanced device of its kind. It offers users a drag-and-drop interface that shares the XGA output port used to present the final product. The interface is used to build dynamic 3D images from still images, text, 2D/3D transitions, and audio (including MIDI) onto a timeline, producing “isntantaneous, pristine XGA graphics and stereo audio,” according to Roland.

The device can also control external lighting devices. Real-time rendering enables users to preview their images in full-screen mode, and replay images instantly. Scheduler software enables daily and/or weekly display rotation, and the device can also be controlled remotely through the RS-232 port or control I/O terminals.

The device comes in a 2U rackmount case, with I/O ports that include a CompactFlash memory card reader, XGA (1024 x 768) D-sub 15-pin video port, RCA stereo audio in and out, and RS-232C control ports. Midi I/O is available through an add-on unit. The device also includes a 40GB 3.5-inch hard disk drive.

The editing software includes a simple interface for manipulation of a variety of multimedia formats. The device includes 3D software based on MesaLib (OpenGL), and the software offers an impressive variety of 3D transitions and effects, according to Roland.

Editing software is included in the Edirol RG-100
(Click either screenshot to enlarge)
Why Linux?

The RG-100 is the first Roland product based on embedded Linux, but won't be the last, according to a company spokesperson, who said the company chose Linux because of “free licensing and open source availability.”

Roland's adoption of Linux was not without challenges, according to the spokesperson. “[It was] hard for us to find out the information we needed.”

Mr. Akira Matsui, executive director of the Roland affiliate that developed the device, adds, “We chose MontaVista Linux for its excellent robustness and scalability. This versatile development platform also offers us a wide array of middleware choices so we can deliver multiple functions on a single platform.”

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