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Sam Chan
Multi-screen
on Aug 6, 2009 at 4:19:15 am

What would you recommend for a small church who wants to start using multi-screen projection? Currently, we are just using a PC running PowerPoint and a single projector for song lyrics.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 7, 2009 at 11:52:48 am

Hi Sam,

How would you envision using the multiple screens? In other words, what sort of content would you like to see on each screen?

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Sam Chan
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 7, 2009 at 9:56:02 pm

1. Background and song lyrics spread across 2 screens.

2. One background spread across 2 (or 3) screens with English lyrics on one screen, and Chinese lyrics on another screen.

Maybe:

3. Do the above with a movie background.

4. Sometimes, just show a movie.

5. Lyrics on one screen, live movie shots on another screen


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cowcowcowcowcow
Mike Golding
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 10, 2009 at 2:09:11 am

this really would be a good use for watchout as it would allow for the spanning across the screens and also for discrete screens on cues depending on the cue. Plus you would be able to stay PC based as you are currently running.

However, with some prethought you could pretty much setup a powerpoint presentation with the required elements and deliver out of a single pc using one of the matrox triple head 2 go cards. this would be a cheaper way but would require preplanning each look where as the watchout production would be easier to create random looks quickly.

of course if you had multiple sources and the correct switcher, you could easily switch the proper source to each screen on as needed basis.

guess it comes down to how much you want to spend and how creative you want to be.

MBP 2.4 4GB Ram/FCS2
Power Mac Dual 1.8 G5/5.5GB Ram/Radeon 9600/FCS2
Aja io hd for MBP/ Aja io LA&LD for G5


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cowcowcowcowcow
Walter Soyka
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 10, 2009 at 2:38:24 pm

I'm not very familiar with either one of these packages myself, but I believe the leaders in this category are Renewed Vision's ProPresenter on the Mac—which will meet your needs with the Advanced add-on— and MediaShout on the PC.

You could stick with PPT on the PC if you got either a Matrox DualHead2Go. Alternately, you could replace your graphics card with a dual-headed graphics card and use PowerShow to control multiple PPT shows over the two monitors.

Watchout is great, but it doesn't have a built-in titler and I think this would create a huge amount of pre-production for you in this case.

I'd also think you'd want a separate switcher downstream from the graphics computers if you want to feed live video.



Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Sam Chan
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 10, 2009 at 5:45:26 pm

Thank you for the very good advice you have given.

ProPresenter seems to be good for multi-screen presentations. They also advertise ProVideoPlayer to be for multi-screen. I wonder if I need to have both or just one of them. But these are only for the Mac. We don't have a Mac yet.

Media Shout does not seem to advertise capabilities for multi-screen presentations. But maybe it can be used for it. I'll need to look into it.

Have you used PowerShow, seen or know anyone who used it before? I tried to look for reviews, demos or user experience descriptions, but couldn't find any.

Could you please explain your comment about the separate switcher downstream of the graphics computer if I want to feed live video please? Does this refer to any specific configuration (ProPresenter, Watchout, Media Shout, PowerShow) or does it apply generally to all?

Could you also comment on whether we should consider switching to the Mac? We are just starting to think about multi-screen. In terms of future availability and cost of the technology, software, hardware; market share, etc. does it make sense for us to change or stay?


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 11, 2009 at 3:24:00 am

A multi-screen software Windows system with built-in text functions is AvStumpfl's Wings Platinum 3.

The Pro version has dual display capabilities from one single PC (but you lose being able to view your Control screen). The top end Multidisplay version operates similar to Watchout and ProPresenter, i.e. Master controlling Slave PCs - and gives you the full multidisplay works. For your purposes of 2- or 3-screens displays, you would only need 2 licences/dongles and 2 PC - with PC#1 as Master/Control Screen on the primary monitor output, and Display 1 from the secondary monitor output of this Master PC, and PC#2 assigned the Displays 2 and 3 outputs. Version 4, due out in Sept, is capable of 4 display outputs from one PC. A Demo download is available.

Thomas Leong



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Thomas Leong
Re: Multi-screen - addendum
on Aug 11, 2009 at 3:43:09 am

Additionally, I forgot to mention -
1. Wings has live video capabilities across multi-screens but you need a video capture card for each PC and a video distribution amp if using more than one PC;

2 Powerpoint file import, but only as a single screen application and only to the Master PC's display output. The computer keyboard is turned over to control the Powerpoint presentation while Powerpoint is active. At end of Powerpoint, the keyboard switches back to Wings' control;

3. Though timeline-based, Wings can be pre-programmed to show a 'Control Panel' of virtual buttons and switches which you can use to control your presentation, i.e. the timeline runs invisible in the background, perhaps an infinite loop of a motion background. So Wings can be a 'software switcher', but one needs to pre-program/pre-plan all the necessary virtual buttons before showtime. Or use external hardware controllers, eg. DMX controllers, to control Wings.

Thomas Leong




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Sam Chan
Re: Multi-screen - addendum
on Aug 19, 2009 at 4:21:26 am

Thomas, Thanks for informing me about Wings. Do you know how much it costs? How does it compare with some of the other like Watchout, ProPresenter, PowerShow?


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multi-screen - addendum
on Aug 19, 2009 at 12:53:30 pm

Sam,

Forget everything else. I googled for "Worship software" and found Presentation Manager, Windows-based, 2- or 3-monitor support, other language support, etc., etc., which IMO seems ideal for you. Costs from $375 up, and being one unit rather than the multiples of Watchout, Wings, Renewed Vision, etc...should be easier to use and maintain.

best of luck,
Thomas



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John Ford
Re: Multi-screen
on Feb 2, 2010 at 3:04:49 am

Hey..

For the last week i have been reading all your, and many others posts on this forum to learn all i can about Wings Platinum 4...

Long story short:

I am in an electronic band, and i also premake visuals for the music in Final Cut, we perform the music with the visuals at our events..

I have decided to up the quality of what we do...

Our next tour will have 3 projection screens (Left - Center - Right of stage) and 4 Plasma Tvs along the front row..

The Tvs will all have the same feed, but the 3 projections will have individual feeds. I have read all about Wings Platinum 4 and spoken with them personally, and i know i can control all i need with that program....

What i need to know is I want, well, HAVE to run it from 1 laptop. As we will be on the road and cant travel with a 4U rack monster hahahah.

So i came across ¨MATROX - TRIPLE HEAD2GO¨ for the Projection screens.

Can i run WIngs Platinum 4, from a laptop using a Matrox Triple head2go smoothly and reliably?

Also, I have looked all over, But i can not find any kind of price for wings platinum 4 or what i will cost me to have this setup..

I will not travel with any projection, Organizers will rent them.

Plus, if you have any ideas which MATROX i should get, They have one with DVI and D-SUB... Whats best for projectors and whats best for Plasma Tvs?


I am a musician, this is gear is new for me, but i make a sick visual ;)

Anyextra help from you and anyother here will be the most helpfull.


GREAT..
Mail me

John


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Thomas Leong
Re: Multi-screen
on Feb 6, 2010 at 1:38:08 pm

Hi John,

I'm afraid I can't answer your question re the Matrox TripleHead2Got as I have not tested one before. My only qualm is that the Matrox unit merely splits a high resolution file to 3 outputs. It still depends on the PC system's GPU to process any high res video file SMOOTHLY, else you will get jerky video.

As for the DVI or D-Sub (RGB/XGA/VGA) question, being on the road and renting, the D-Sub (RGB/XGA/VGA) route is safest as I'm pretty sure most if not all rental projectors, plasmas and the like have that as an available input. However, if you intend to do seamless multi-screen panoramics at all, it is said that DVI reduces, if not eliminates, the banding at the overlap areas (the result of adding the light output from 2 projectors in these areas).

Wings 4 is supposed to cater for 4 screens/outputs from one PC. I have Wings 3 which caters to 2 outputs from one PC and have not upgraded. But you are also correct that to be able to process 4 outputs, it should be a very beefy PC or laptop. Perhaps Alienware, Clevo or Asus might have one.

As for your intended configuration and usage, I don't see one laptop fulfilling your requirements. All in, I reckon you need 5 outputs: one for Master Timeline/Control, 1 to the Plasma TVs, and 3 more for the 3-screen show. If the TripleHead2Go does the 3-screen split from one big output, that would have used up the laptop's secondary output, and leaves nothing for the Plasma TVs. I know of no laptop that has 2 external outputs.

An option is to travel with 2 laptops and 1 TripleHead2Go unit. Having a Master and Slave configuration allows you to distribute the processing a bit. The Master can have the Wings Timeline/Control on the laptop's LCD monitor (designated as Primary) whilst its D-Sub (Secondary) output goes to the VGA-distribution-amp-to-multiple-plasma-TVs. Then via an Ethernet Gigabit hub, the Slave takes its instructions and files from the Master, and outputs the 3-screen show to the TripleHead2Go as one big high res video which the TripleHead2Go will split into 3 outputs. This Slave laptop will probably need to be the beefier of the 2 - probably equipped with RAID 0 and a high end graphics card since the GPU does most of the processing of the high res video. This would mean the cost of 2 laptops, and 2 Wings 4 licences/dongles.

As for the pricing of Wings, you won't find it on the Net. This is because different distributors/dealers in different countries will have various costs to cover, and discounts to offer. You can ask for a quote from the US distributor for the Multi-Display version of Wings 4. You may or may not need the extra features provided by the Show Control Module which is extra cost. You only one Show Control Module for the Master as the Slave will take the same code from the Master (check the Versions Comparison table in the Wings Help file for features).

hope that helps,
Thomas Leong





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Walter Soyka
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 14, 2009 at 8:09:31 am

Julian's suggestion to hire a consultant is excellent—these systems get complicated fast, and having someone with you who's been through it before would be invaluable.

[Sam Chan] "Have you used PowerShow, seen or know anyone who used it before? I tried to look for reviews, demos or user experience descriptions, but couldn't find any."

There's a 10-day demo for PowerShow available for download from their web site.

[Sam Chan] "Could you please explain your comment about the separate switcher downstream of the graphics computer if I want to feed live video please? Does this refer to any specific configuration (ProPresenter, Watchout, Media Shout, PowerShow) or does it apply generally to all?
"


You can mix live video with software-based systems like Watchout and Wings, but I almost always prefer to do it with a dedicated switcher. Both platforms are very stable now, but they both still crash occasionally, and you don't want a computer crash to ruin your event or service. If the computer is the last element before the screens, your audience will be treated to your startup screen while it reboots. If you've got a switcher after the computers and before the screens, you can take cut away to something else.

[Sam Chan] "Could you also comment on whether we should consider switching to the Mac? We are just starting to think about multi-screen. In terms of future availability and cost of the technology, software, hardware; market share, etc. does it make sense for us to change or stay?"

For me, the platform is a non-issue. I use both Macs and PCs in my studio; I think it's a matter of having the right tool for the job at hand. Apple is doing very well financially, so I'm not worried about future availability or market share. You'll have to answer any cost questions for yourself, but you'll want a high-powered computer on either platform for this use, and I don't really see a cost difference on the high-end machines. I'd just pick the software that does what you need and has a workflow you like, and then get the box it runs on.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Mike Golding
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 11, 2009 at 1:58:16 am

Walter,

as usual you are right on this. didn't even think of the titler issues. I guess I am so used to having the correct software, I don't really think of the lack of software. Nice catch.

MBP 2.4 4GB Ram/FCS2
Power Mac Dual 1.8 G5/5.5GB Ram/Radeon 9600/FCS2
Aja io hd for MBP/ Aja io LA&LD for G5


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Julian Williamson
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 11, 2009 at 4:01:29 am

Sam:

At this stage, I think it would be wise to enlist the services of a consultant who can advise you of the various advantages/disadvantages, including weekly time commitments needed to create content for this setup as well of the substantial monetary investment it will take to implement any of these solutions correctly.

Sometimes attempting to "do it all yourself" is the most expensive way.

My 2c worth,


Julian Williamson
http://www.blueslandfilms.com


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Nicholas Rivero
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 15, 2009 at 8:30:04 pm

While not a PC solution, a great offering is Renewed Vision's ProPresenter. With one Mac computer running ProPresenter, you purchase two additional things, a software add on for ProPresenter called the "Advanced Module" as well as a piece of physical hardware called a Matrox Triple Head to Go. This then lets your one computer do a three screen "video wall".

From an operators standpoint, it makes it incredibly easy to load and execute 3 screen video content.

I've installed quite a few of these in churches and I use this same setup at lots of concerts and various other places. I actually used it last night!

ProPresenter info:
http://www.renewedvision.com/propresenter/

ProPresenter Advanced Module info:
http://www.renewedvision.com/pp.php?page=modules#advanced

//nick


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Nicholas Rivero
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 15, 2009 at 9:44:03 pm

Also to say, with ProPresenter, the Advanced Module, and the Triple Head to Go, it allows you to span single graphics across three screens, it allows you to put the same graphic on screen, and it allows you to put text on any of the three screens. The cost is also unparalleled in doing multiscreen video: a iMac $1800-2200, ProPresenter $400, the Advanced Module $200, and a Matrox Triple Head to GO $300 VGA/$350 DVI = $2700-$3200 depending.

//nick


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Sam Chan
Re: Multi-screen
on Aug 18, 2009 at 10:35:58 pm

The ProPresenter system that Nicholas described sounds really good. What would be the closest equivalent for the PC platform?


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Tony McAhren
Re: Multi-screen
on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:55:13 am

You could use a TV One C2-7210 switcher to bring in all your sources. This unit allows dual PIP with a background. The program output would then be fed to a 1x2 DA then going to 2 1T-C2-760 units (one for each projector) that then could be edge blended together. Total end user cost we be less than $12,000.


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chris harrington
Re: Multi-screen
on Mar 26, 2011 at 5:41:11 pm

Has anyone used ProPresenter with audio software like Protools or Logic Pro? My goal is to sync video to multi-tracked audio. ProPresenter says that they support multi-channel audio output, but I'm not sure what that means. Ideally, I'd use their multi screen functionality and run the multi track audio out to a front of house mixing console, so that it can be mix properly.

thanks

Chris


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rich fifer
Re: Multi-screen
on Dec 21, 2011 at 4:43:45 pm

Hello. I work for a production company in New York City. We deal with sound video and lighting. We have a full L-Acoustics 108P speaker system with L-Acoustics SB15P subs, A dataton Watchout version 5 Media Server, and the Matrox triple head and Matrox Dual head as well as play back pro and Arkaos Grand VJ software. Please take a look at our Blog and website below.

http://www.moorepahire.com
http://www.moorepahire.blogspot.com


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