I’ve wanted a simple, compact VGA mixer for as long as I’ve had a laptop. Something I could fit in the same case as the laptop, and something that wouldn’t render my precise computer imagery through the lens of a 1950’s television: a single pixel line should not end up blurred and flickery when projected on a screen. My need is for live video performance, but anybody who has had to put a powerpoint presentation through their laptop’s tv-out socket or seen the chaos caused by swapping cables in and out of computers in front of an audience should have an idea of just how useful such a thing could be.
I wrote this in 2009, when I had cracked how to co-opt a new bit of AV industry kit into a laptop friendly HD mixer. I wanted to get it out to everybody else I knew who was in the same position as I’d been. In 2012, I finally got there: may I present to you the *spark d-fuser, the first product sold by my new trading entity Spark Live Ltd, available here: http://sparklive.net
There’s a nice piece on Create Digital Motion about having got there: The Era of Hardware Mixing for Laptops Cometh: SPARK D-FUSER Available
Rolling back to the beginning, you can see what I set out to do in the original version of this project page. The opening paragraph was taken from it, and its had something like 30k reads, definitely the most popular on this site. http://tobyz.net/tobyzstuff/projects/dvi-mixer-2009
The development of the project has made a fair few diary posts, notably the joy of getting the project out there: ripples around the internet; rebooting the project two years later: pcbs, parts, plans redux; and after the successful pre-order run, taking it retail: *spark d-fuser: to retail
The following video gives a nice overview of the project in a few minutes, recorded as development of the 2012 prototype was getting to the final product.