Yet Another Multiple Display Question
I admit that I am more or less completely lost when it comes to doing video in a live environment. MY 4 years of experience had rested solely in video productions where I can record the video then edit it and burn it to dvd at a later date. Recently, though, I have been contracted to provide a video system for a high school theatrical production requiring the integration of live feeds and pre-recorded footage into the environment. I have been doing research for many weeks and the only solution I have come up with is software based, out of the budget, and still not exactly what I need. I am positive that someone has some hints for me though.
I am looking to rent hardware to control the following system.
The system is to contain (as specified by the director):
I am hoping that there is some type of switcher that will be able to do this rather than using Watchout and having to install 4 capture cards on each of the 6 slave computers. I recently spoke to a representitive about the Spyder, which seems to do what we require, but as I have never used it I would be unable to instruct a student on how to operate it.
Any and all info that anyone may have would be greatly appreciated.
For simple switching without fades and wipes the sources to different outputs a simple matrixswitcher would be enough.
But the problem starts at the players side. Dependent if you need a frameaccurate playback or not it becomes more complicated. Even with a simple matrix switcher and non frameaccurate you need all players, cameras and matrix to run on the same blanking puls (genlock/ref in) other wise you´ll get glitches during switching.
The only easy and mobile switcher (no genlock needed) I know, if the content of the players must not be frameaccurate would be Grass Valleys Indigo with the disadvantege of only 5 independent outputs (PGM-PRV-3 AUX) but very easy to handle with e-memory and easy to explain
Otherwise (frameaccurate playback) I would ask spyders guy If he or another experienced technician could run your show (the budget I know, but asking is without costs) because I really don´t know of any easy multi screen shows
multimedia and special events
The Spyder would be able to do this very easily. Inserting the cameras onto the individual monitors is easy to do and you could even produce one video source to be stretched across all displays without need of a multi channel sync playout solution.
As mentioned by the other respondent you could use a matrix switcher to hit the budget but the switch would not be seamless and all the sources would have to be converted to a format common to all the display devices. This ends up being a lot of processing gear to get everyone talking the same language and can start adding up.
As far as operation or training it wouldn't be too bad. The Spyder allows you to write a script of moves and you can have a student follow along with the director and advance the script on his cue by simoply pressing the space bar.
Downside... Spyder's can be expensive to rent but it would be a 1 box solution to your problem.
Let me know if you're interested in persuing this further.. it just so happens that I own 2 Spyders