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laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!

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marcbrak
laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 1, 2007 at 6:27:29 pm

Hi,

a very frustrating thing happened last week. I produced a couple of videos for a conference, that were to be played off a laptop and projected on a big screen with a beamer.

So everything worked fine, except... the videos didn't show! The media player was on the screen, but inside it the video was black, even though there was sound. I tried several media players and it was all the same.

And the strange thing is, on the screen of the laptop everything looked fine, so it couldn't have been a codec problem... or could it?

Anyway, we discovered it five minutes before going live, so we had time to use another, newer laptop instead. But it was pretty scary, and to top it off, the audiovisual company that i rented the laptop from told me 'it was normal, that's why they always advise people to make a dvd instead of playing it off a laptop'.

Which to me sounds like a car rental company advising you to take the train instead, if you need to actually reach your destination...

So, how can this be fixed in the future? I hope you guys can help!


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ThomasLeong
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 9:52:31 am

Such incidents are normal...IMO, when the laptop's graphics card is of the older variety and onboard as well, i.e. it can't process video on dual outputs (the laptop's LCD mon and the external out).

Generally, I think when the laptop has a 3rd party graphics card rather than an onboard graphics, the video will play on the external output. Just my theory...don't have enough laptops to test :-)

Thomas Leong



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marcbrak
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 1:14:30 pm

[ThomasLeong] "it can't process video on dual outputs"


so would it help if i set the beamer as the primary screen instead of the secondary?


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ThomasLeong
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 3:02:08 pm

I fear that with a laptop's graphics card, even one with a 3rd party card, the option is not available (to swap primary to secondary and vice versa). This is the case with my ASUS laptop with an nVidia GeForceGo 7700...and I fear it is the same with all laptops. A desktop does not have the option to swap greyed out.

ThomasLeong


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Andy Stinton
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 3:09:00 pm

God I've bought that T shirt . Putting the laptop through to the projector works, however you have no image on your laptop screen. More to the point ( let me be blunt) no proffessional should be playing off a laptop or a DVD , it is a recipe for disaster. Tape or hard drive playback system only preferably a HD playback system with a tape backup.



Andy Stinton
Corporate Video
Live & Stage Events
Business Practices


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ThomasLeong
Additonally...
on Oct 2, 2007 at 3:17:17 pm

The playback software, and maybe even the graphics card's driver, will have a major say in whether video can be played on both outputs simultaneously.

I say this because my Asus, despite its relatively powerful 512MB GeForceGo 7700 will not do it - simultaneously. For DVD movie watching, using VLC or WMP, I have to drag the player window over to the second display for the video to display there. Partially dragged over, with the playback window partly in one and partly in the secondary monitor, one is black, and the other displays the video. Dragged over sufficiently, the displayed video starts showing on the secondary monitor, and the primary displays black.

However, with my dongled multi-display software, Wings Platinum 3, I can enable a special feature it calls 'multihead mode' for the graphics card, and videos (the same or discrete separate videos) can be played/displayed on both outputs simultaneously, even with my laptop. Without enabling this special mode, only one output can display the video(s).

ThomasLeong



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marcbrak
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 5:20:08 pm

Thanks a lot guys, that's some great food for thought.

About using tape or harddrive playback only, any recommendations for an affordable solution?

Oh and by the way more and more people are embedding youtube-ish movie clips in their powerpoints. So in that case a laptop has to be used.

To make sure it works, i'd have to go for a heave graphics card then.

Thanks!


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Andy Stinton
Re: laptop to beamer: everything plays but the video!
on Oct 2, 2007 at 5:47:22 pm

Clients are one thing, we as producers are another. Movies embeded into Powerpoint are also unreliable, but that is client provided media. Edirol makes a nice unit that sells for about $2000.00 that we have used for years with no problems.

A better raphics card may help but their are other factors that come into play . A couple of years ago we found a certain brand of laptops did not work well with NEC projectors. The whole issue of playing back media from a laptop is a crapshoot.


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