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PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p

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Matt Sturns
PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 17, 2010 at 6:07:59 pm

Hello,

We are presenting at an event and will be using the Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080P. We are looking to go from a PC (tower) to the monitor. We are looking to get the highest quality possible. What are our options. We will have a pretty fast PC. Also what is the best file / type to ouput to this monitor from a PC?

Thanks in advance for your help


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Walter Soyka
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 17, 2010 at 7:26:54 pm

[Matt Sturns] "We are presenting at an event and will be using the Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080P. We are looking to go from a PC (tower) to the monitor. We are looking to get the highest quality possible. What are our options. We will have a pretty fast PC. Also what is the best file / type to ouput to this monitor from a PC?"

Can you be a little more specific about what kind of content you are presenting? PowerPoint? Video? Flash?

Is there an event production company helping you stage the event, or is this self-produced?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Matt Sturns
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 18, 2010 at 5:10:33 pm

The event is self-produced and is for a non-profit and of course we are on a very tight budget.

Again, looking for suggestions, but we are very open to ideas. We are guessing a QuickTime movie (Pro-Res or H.264?). We are hoping to open the movie file and export to the monitor. Does it work like this?

We are trying to figure out the specifics. Also I am guessing we are going HDMI in what would be the best video card will we need?

I hope this all makes sense any information is greatly appreciated.

Thanks


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Walter Soyka
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:19:32 pm

Have you considered video playback from Blu-ray? It will be high-def, it will look great, and it will be plug and play easy -- you won't have to worry about your codec, video card, or computer playback capabilities.

If you have a little more budget, I'd recommend playback from a DDR (digital disk recorder; a purpose-built, computer-based playback system) like a Turbo or DoReMi. If you're on the Mac platform, you could look at Playback Pro, an excellent piece of DDR software for high-spec machines.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Matt Sturns
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 19, 2010 at 5:07:16 pm

Yes, we have considered Blu-Ray but will not work in our workflow. We need to play a file from a computer to a HDMI monitor. Do you know the best way to do this via a PC? For video cards we are looking into either the:

Grass Valley HDSPARK PCI Express Card or
Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI and Analog Editing Card - PCI Express

Any preference on these cards? Also do we need additional software to output to the Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" monitor.

Again we need to play a computer file (I am guessing Quicktime Pro-Res or H.264 or whatever will play best) to the Panasonic monitor.

Any suggestions or help in this matter are greatly appreciated.

Thanks again.






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Walter Soyka
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 19, 2010 at 6:11:36 pm

[Matt Sturns] "Yes, we have considered Blu-Ray but will not work in our workflow. We need to play a file from a computer to a HDMI monitor. Do you know the best way to do this via a PC?"

In general, I think that media playback at a live event from a general-purpose PC is too risky. There are plenty of reliable, purpose-built solutions. Can you tell me a little about your workflow? I might be able to suggest a safer way to meet your requirements.

[Matt Sturns] "For video cards we are looking into either the:
Grass Valley HDSPARK PCI Express Card or
Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI and Analog Editing Card - PCI Express
Also do we need additional software to output to the Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" monitor."


As you mentioned, these are video cards, not graphics cards. The plasma will not appear as a regular desktop monitor, so software like Windows Media Player or Quicktime Player will not see it. You must use the manufacturer's software to drive the display.

[Matt Sturns] "Again we need to play a computer file (I am guessing Quicktime Pro-Res or H.264 or whatever will play best) to the Panasonic monitor."

You'll have to create the file in whatever format and codec Grass Valley or BMD's software prefers for playout. You may need a RAID, too, for the disks to keep up with the video.

Another note -- we always run a redundant, live backup through a switcher for media playback at events; otherwise, a computer crash can ruin your presentation.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Matt Sturns
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 24, 2010 at 2:59:43 am

thank you for all of your help. It seems we have found a setup that is stable and works well for our purposes. Thanks again for all of your help and informed decisions.


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Daniel Brodie
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:45:52 am

I think this is being overthought. The resolution of the TV will be 1920x1080p. The cheapest Mac Mini will be FINE and so will most new computers. Don't buy a blackmagic card. You don't need any fancy capture card, and "graphics cards" are for heavy 3d lifting and processing. You're just playing a movie file! Just render into h264 and play it in quicktime full screen. A standard computer is not too risky at all, it's not miraculous, it's just one video file. Just get a DVI to HDMI cable on Monoprice.com and get whatever DVI adapter you need to connect to your computer.

If you really can't have the quicktime controls and other associated operating system stuff visible during playback, you can use Keynote to play the video fullscreen on a 1920x1080 slide.

Keep it simple.

Daniel Brodie
brodiegraphics.com



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Walter Soyka
Re: PC File to Panasonic TH-85PF12UK 85" Plasma TV 1080p
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:15:13 am

We're not really talking about one video file; we're talking about the presenter's confidence on-stage and reputation to his or her audience.

Of course, just about any modern computer can play a 1920x1080 h264 file; after all, DDRs are really just modern computers. You can certainly use computers for playback; we do it all the time, and I even suggested computer playback with the appropriate hardware and software in my first post. I also agree the Blackmagic card is unnecessary.

Maybe I wasn't clear about why using a "standard computer" is risky for playback. There are simply too many variables to give a blanket recommendation for computer playback. What are the system specs? What software is it running? How well do the graphics drivers handle multiple displays or typical plasma resolutions? What other software is installed and running in the background -- anything that could cause an interruption or dropped frames?

A show computer is be tuned for performance and reliability, and tested in show conditions before it ever goes on-site.

Matt, I'm glad that you've found a solution you're comfortable with. Good luck with your event!

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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