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Pathway Cognito lighting console

Discussion in 'USITT 2013' started by gafftaper, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Those of you who have been around a while know how much I love Horizon Controls software. It's always been really logical, simple to use, and powerful. Well after years on it's own, being with ET, then Strand (note those were licensing agreements, not acquisitions), Horizon was acquired a year or so back by the parent company that owns Pathway Connectivity. Now you can find Horizon Control software running on the Pathway Cognito desk. I was really impressed with this desk at LDI and even more now at USITT. There were about a dozen of them around the convention center operating displays in other people's booths. Cognito is small, powerful, easy to learn and use, and at a price of $3500-$5500, it fit's perfectly into a hole in the market. Schools, Churches, or small theaters with some LED's or Movers, this is a very slick option for you to consider at a very reasonable price. Check out our demo video.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2013
  2. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Especially for the I-crowd.
     
  3. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I have been using Horizon for the past 9 1/2 years at my venue, and have grown to love it for what we do. When I first saw Cognito a few months back, I thought that it was unfortunate that they really seem to have limited the powers of original Horizon software by placing it in a board with a slower syntax. After after watching the video a few times, I fired up Horizon and found that the number of keystrokes or actions it takes to accomplish the same task is greater on Cognito than on a PC with Horizon software and a Submaster Wing. I am sure this had much to do with meeting a price point, but I wish they would have approached it from a standpoint of designing an interface or two that work with an improved version of the software on computer.

    One of the things I love about Horizon is how fast I can work with it, or how fast a student can pick it up. With such a small screen and lack of an video output to an external monitor, it seems like it would really slow you down. Did you get a chance to really play with the board? can you comment on that aspect of it? If I have to spend half my time scrolling to pick my channels during tech of a theatre show, that is not helpful.

    ~Dave
     
  4. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    I have been working with horizon since 99. I saw that Cognito had a PC dongle version any idea on the price point of that?


    oh it helps if i watch da video
    1900 to 2800 or there abouts
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I didn't play with it much at USITT, but I did at LDI. You are right to some extent that it's a small screen and so it might take a little longer to scroll through some things. But at the same time, It's only a two universe console. You aren't going to be running a huge rig with this because it isn't designed for that. Remember that in terms of price and functionality this fits between a Smartfade and a Ion/Element/or a lower end Strand console. It's not an EOS. It doesn't pretend to be an EOS. It doesn't cost as much as an EOS. And as a result you can't run an EOS sized rig. It's for someone who wants more functionality than a Smartfade, wants something easy to learn and doesn't have the budget for the next level of consoles. So yeah the screen is a little small and it might slow you down a bit in a larger rig. But it's packs a ton of bang for the buck. When you compare it to other options between $3,500 and $5,000 it's practically alone. So adjust your expectations accordingly.
     
  6. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I am directly comparing it to its predecessor from the late 1990's, nothing else. That was my entire point. Even the old version can run dual monitors, which is very helpful. As I said in my first post, I concede it is likely a price point issue. Having an output for an external monitor (possible even a touch screen external monitor) would not likely add significant cost to it. 2 universes on a hybrid rig with lots of conventionals can be a lot to get through on a screen like that.

    Just seems like they made some interesting choices. I want to like it more than I do because, like yourself, I am a Horizon fan. Perhaps I just need to spend some time with the board to see what it is really like. It is odd that they would, seemingly, take a few steps back in certain areas. Perhaps it is time to try and find a demo.

    Thanks for posting the video Gaff.

    ~Dave
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I don't know Dave. Perhaps CB member [user]Pathway[/user] will comment about the company's thoughts behind the built in screen size and why no external monitor port. He's a great guy and dvsDave and I enjoyed talking with him at USITT. I have the feeling it had a lot to do with a desire to be highly portable (think giant Smartfade) and what they felt would best plug into the hole in the market at the $2500-$5000 price range.

    It's definitely worth a test drive.
     
  8. dramatech

    dramatech Well-Known Member

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    I saw about eight of these boards at the Southeast Theatre Conference. Several booths were using them to show off their own products, and weren't dealers for the board itself. One of the booths had an ipad connected to it through some sort of wireless arrangement. Having the large screen of an ipad, helped make it a bit more visible.
    At my theatre, we use consoles that are quite a bit large on our mainstage and consoles that are considerably smaller in capabilites for our blackbox efforts that are in an art gallery.
    All in all I was pretty impressed with the Cognito. It would fit very nicely in several theatres in our area, except all of those theates are use to having a monitor, and I don't think that they would want to do without a monitor, even at the expense of many more capabilities of the Cognito.
     
  9. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I downloaded the PC version and am very impressed, of course, my favorite thing is that the icon for the filter button is a coffee filter.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    There was a lot of that at USITT. The guys from Pathway said that there were at least ten in use there, many of which were hidden under tables so that a certain other manufacturer wouldn't get mad at them.
     
  11. VRommel

    VRommel Business Development Pathway Connectivity

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    We, the Pathway Connectivity team, are so pleased to see this lively discussion about the Cognito console.

    Speaking to the issue of touchscreen interface and the selection syntax, it is true that we are limited by the 7" touchscreen and the lack of an external monitor. At the same time, the console is garnering significant positive interest because of the 7" touchscreen and the lack of an external monitor. Our goal was to be powerful, compact and portable.

    It was necessary with the amount of screen real-estate to split the function of selecting fixtures for control and the function of controlling those fixtures' attributes on to separate screens. This makes the user interface very "friendly" for less experienced users, but can frustrate a power user accustomed to working with large displays and control surfaces.

    The design intent, from the very beginning, was to fill a slot in the market where small to medium size systems are increasingly being populated with LED fixtures and automated lights. Quite often, not always, but quite often the users in such spaces benefit from an interface that is single-task oriented. This is why the UI is divided in to four tasks. You SELECT lights, then you CONTROL lights, then you RECORD what you did with the lights, and then you PLAY the results of what you recorded as memories or cues.

    Thank you for bringing this to the forum.

    Van Rommel
     
  12. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks Van, It was great to chat with you at USITT.
     
  13. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Thanks for participating here on Control Booth Van. I appreciate the additional information. Just curious, is there an absolute reason why no external monitor port was made as an option? I certainly understand and respect designing to fit your target audience, but it seems like such a simple feature that is found on most new boards would take care of the many issues. Does it have to do with the OS of the board, or some other component of the units that would not allow you to just have a VGA out like most computer type equipment? Just trying to understand the board better. As I mentioned before, I am a big fan of Horizon and PathPort. I have 34 PathPort nodes and run Horizon in my building now, and would love to be able to carry that platform over to a new style board. It has the potential to

    After my original post, I did some calling around to my local lighting work well with in transitioning with my students.shops, but most people did not know of the board, and none of them have access to one. Do you know of anyone in the Metro Detroit Area who might have one to demo or rent?

    Thanks again for participating here on CB. It is fantastic to be able to have this conversation.

    ~Dave
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  14. Rob

    Rob Member

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    It had to do with early design specifications which led to the processor we choose. We wanted no fans and the ability to power the entire thing with PoE. The processors available only have one video out which we use for the touch screen. The neato iPad app gives you extended visibility and there will one day be something akin to a LIVE display on neato. Watch this space.
    Robert Bell
    Pathway Connectivity Controls Product Manager
     
  15. Rob

    Rob Member

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    For those interested in Cognito, Pathway now has a YouTube channel
    Check out these videos on Cognito
     
  16. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Thanks! It is always good to know why things are the way they are. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    ~Dave
     
  17. JonD

    JonD Member

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    Just discovered Control Booth. In addition to 25+ years and a producer/director/manager in local TV, I also serve as AVL director at my church. We just took delivery of the Cognito, replacing our ETC Express 48/96. We were running a rig with pretty much only S4 PARs and ellipsoidals. Now we've added LED for wash and some effects, and are using the Cognito to take us into this new level of operation.

    First take - this console is very easy to get used to. Quick and easy to set up, and quick and easy to train volunteers to operate. I am confident I will have some of my operators programming looks for services soon.

    A minor thing - we bought some Elektralite 1018 PARs with this upgrade. The Cognito contains a personality for them, but it does not work correctly "out of the box." Needs some programming work for that personality. Running them as simple RGB for now until that gets sorted out.

    An external monitor would be nice, but between the onboard monitor and the neato iPad app, I am fine with it.
     
  18. pathsupport

    pathsupport Member

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    JonD

    I'm glad to hear the console is working out for you. You definitely represent a market we felt wasn't being served well.

    Please contact us directly for an update to your fixture library. If you can provide us with a copy of your manual, a description of what isn't working as expected, and which mode you'd like to be operating in, we should be able to turn around a new library build in a day.

    That said, for the vast majority of non-moving-head LED fixtures, patching to a generic mode, such as RGB or RGBW, and using the console for intensity, color-mixing, effects and so on, will provide all the same functionality plus the most efficient use of your available DMX channels.

    Robert.

    Robert Armstrong
    Manager - Technical Sales and Product Support
    Pathway Connectivity
     
  19. JonD

    JonD Member

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    Robert, thank you for the prompt response! We did patch them generic RGB 3 channel. But of course we want to eventually access the full color gamut and any on board effects. Channel availability is not an issue for us at this time; we have plenty. What do you mean when you request a "copy of our manual"? And how did you guys fare with the flooding? I am praying for the well-being of you and all your extended families.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  20. VRommel

    VRommel Business Development Pathway Connectivity

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    JonD:

    First of all, thank you for your expression of concern regarding the recent floods in Calgary. The City did issue some mandatory district evacuation orders as well as closing good number of the bridges in the city. As a conseqence, Pathway was not open for business last Friday and operated with reduced staff on Monday. Things are back to "normal", but a good number of normal transportation routes are still impacted. Pathway's building was not flooded and did not lose power, but more importantly, none of the staff or their property came to any harm and for this we are very grateful.

    As for the "copy of our manual", please email the manual for the fixture and a note about the issues you are experiencing and the mode ("personality") you need the console to support to fixtures [at] pathwayconnect.com and Brian will work to get the library of fixture definitions upgraded. (In this email address, replace _[at]_ with @)

    Best,

    Van Rommel
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013

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