High End Systems Inc. (HES) announced the immediate availability of three new versions of software-only Catalyst packages. The three versions are available for any sized application or budget and enable customers to easily upgrade from one version of the product to the next.

The Catalyst™ media server effectively combines lighting effects with digital media content to create virtual scenery. Using the program, lighting designers can integrate graphics and video and drive output devices such as HES’s Digital Light products (DL1 and DL2) as well as video screens and LED arrays. Previous to software-only versions, Catalyst was packaged with a complete media server system, which included an Apple G5 computer and related accessories.

"This is a natural progression for the product line. Offering software-only versions of Catalyst allows the customer more flexibility in configuring their systems, and it also better serves our international distribution network," says Richard Belliveau, HES chief technology officer.

The software-only packages will allow customers to locally purchase their Apple computer equipment, guaranteeing Apple support and warranty. This also is a benefit for international customers, wherein import tariffs are no longer an issue. Deciding the specific Catalyst software product to choose depends on number of technical and performance requirements. The three new Catalyst software packages are:

Catalyst Pro software: eight layers, two video outputs, MIDI Show Control input, four serial control devices, three RS422 (Sony 9 pin protocol) serial control of external devices, timecode input, presets, and sound output (for playing movies with a soundtrack).

Catalyst DV software: five layers, single outputs, four movie playback layers plus one non-movie playback layer, which can be used for masking or images; two video inputs, MIDI Show Control input, three serial control devices, two RS422 (Sony 9-pin protocol) serial control of external devices, timecode input, presets, and sound output.

Catalyst Xpress software: three layers, two movie playback and one mask layers, single output, MIDI Show Control input, one video input, presets and sound output.

All Catalyst packages ship with more than 1,000 media files optimized for lighting applications. The software-only packages also allow HES authorized resellers the ability to create custom hardware/software packages for specific applications and installations.