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Review: Digital Rapids TouchStream

Even beyond the new markets, though, Digital Rapids had clients who were taking the Digital Rapids installed units (rack-mounted units that were typically about 6" or 3RU high) out of the studio or editing suite and in to field productions.

"One of the things we kept hearing from was that customers wanted to go into the field," Nann says. "We could have built a very robust integrated computer and screen, but the noise factor would make it hard to also use in an interior production environment. We thought this might be a good time to look at the challenge to create a field system that was small enough for the field, but also quieter than most previous systems."

Back to the physical box itself: The front panel sports only the 7" diagonal 840x480 widescreen touchscreen and the blue-ring touch button. This is used to start up or shut down the machine similar to the way that the iPhone’s single button offers multiple functions; however, the blue-ring button also allows the user to force the machine to restart should a problem occur.

Figure 3
Figure 3. TheTouchStream is powered byWindows XP Embedded, but itreveals only brief glimpses ofthe actual operating system.

Upon startup, after passing the Windows XP Embedded screen (Figure 3) and the traditional Windows desktop (in micro size since the touchscreen sports an embedded high-resolution computer display), the primary TouchStream interface appears.

In the software versions I tested, the prerelease and the initial release, the screen displays a series of six function buttons as well as the input video image and volume unit (VU) meters for audio monitoring (Figure 4).

Figure 4
Figure 4. TouchStream's on-screenbuttons include Start/Stopand Setup as well as Fade Inand Fade Out for graphicoverlays ("bugs").

In the newer 1.1 release, which I was able to view via a WebEx session, the number of available buttons can be decreased down to just a single start/stop button if desired, and the audio monitoring now has four separate VU meters, one for each stereo pair.

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