I work for a large company and we are looking for equipment that we can use to easily add digital video files for playback during live presentations. We go between using DigiBeta and a computer(ppt) now and it works well, but we want to take the Beta out of the workflow and remain digital (and add HD). I would like to be able to go to the venue for the meeting with a sd card or a thumb drive and stick it in the machine, then be able to cue and playback without rendering or stuttering. Are there any products that do this easily and are reliable enough to not worry about beforehand? It would also be great to scale the video on the fly to an HD output (hdmi). I assume there must be broadcast/news playback equipment that would do this?
I've seen a few staging companies migrating over to GV T2 units to replace aging Beta decks. 1 Record channel and 2 playback channels in one box. It does file based imports. I'm not sure of the range of file types it handles. I know it will ingest an MP4 or h.264 quicktimes. Upconverts and downconverts on the fly. The output is SDI or HD-SDI. It's an all around solid box.
You might also look at Playback Pro. It's a Mac platform based software solution that allows for file-based playback, it allows for setting in and out points and has real-time geometry settings that allow you to manipulate a video on the fly without altering the original video. It runs off a Mac, so you can scale up the hardware to whatever is appropriate for your content. For HD resolutions you're most likely going to want to use a MacPro tower, however I know there are people out there using an external RAID setup with the new MacBook Pros quite successfully. Your milage may vary.