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Tamsyn Reynolds
synchronized DVD playback
on May 27, 2010 at 10:31:39 am

Hi

I am editing (in FCP) a 10 screen video art work: 10 separate videos that need to be synchronized and viewed on 10 separate TV screens arranged around a room.

How can i best display this, and what equipment do i need?

thanks!
tamsyn


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Thomas Leong
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on May 28, 2010 at 6:50:26 am

Depending on how accurate a sync you need between all the players (i.e. frame-sync or not absolutely necessary?), and whether the videos loop since some controllers+players lose sync over a loop, there are various solutions of differing costs -

Software-based (Mac or Windows) -
1. Freeware: Multiscreener from http://www.zachpoff.com
2. Shareware: Syncmaker Pro
3. Dataton Watchout (USB key for each PC required: 1 Master + 10 Display PCs = 11 licences); demo Master is free but cannot output to Slave displays
4. AvStumpfl's Wings Platinum Multidisplay version (USB key for each PC required: 1 Master/Slave + 9 Slaves = 10 licences, or using dual-output from each PC's graphics card, then 1 Master/Slave + 5 Slaves = 10+ outputs = 6 licences); demo Master is free but not capable of multi-display configuration in demo mode
5. Renewed Vision products - I'm not familiar, so some one else can chip in here. Works on similar principle to Dataton and AvStumpfl, i.e. Master controlling multiple Slave nodes in a network

Hardware-based -
1. multiple Pioneer DVD players controlled by PolyDVD software
2. Alcorn McBrides' binloop players
3. Rokulabs' Brightsign compact card-based players in a network - one of the more affordable solutions not requiring a PC/Mac
4. others?

Happy researching!



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Walter Soyka
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on May 28, 2010 at 2:48:01 pm

Thomas, this a really comprehensive list. Thanks for such a thorough answer.

There are only two things I would add: to the direct question of synching DVD players, Dave Jones Design makes hardware controllers for synching professional Pioneer DVD and Blu-ray players.

The second is a question -- what else is going on in the room besides the video? If you have a requirement for interaction or show control (like integrating lighting, hazers, motors, etc.), you might eliminate some of these systems from consideration and add media servers like Pandora's Box or Hippotizer to your research list.

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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Nicolas Servide
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 1:48:52 pm

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the nice list!
I have the same problem. I need to synchronize 3 to 5 movies on different screens.

I have tried to use "Multiscreener" (from http://www.zachpoff.com) but the client application cannot connect to the server. The network between 2 macs seems to be working fine.

Do you have any experience using this software?
Am I missing something obvious?

Thanks a lot!

Best Regards,

Nico


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Thomas Leong
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 4:10:51 pm

Hi Nico,

Sorry, I've not used the software before. Besides I'm on Windows. Since you are on Mac, you can write to zachpoff himself and ask. The Windows version has no support, but I think he'll provide support/answers for the Mac version.

Having said that, multiscreener's README says "The server broadcasts its messages via multicast, so no knowledge of server/client IP addresses are required." I think this means the client is not required to 'connect' to the server. The client(s) merely receive positional info from the server and reacts accordingly. All that is needed is that the network works.

Thomas



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Nicolas Servide
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 5:29:25 pm

Thanks Thomas,

Yes, I should contact zachpoff.

I think that the client should connect to the server somehow, since I get a message saying "no server found" :-)

Have a nice day.

Nico.


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Thomas Leong
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 4:20:56 pm

Hi Nico,

You have piqued my interest and I installed multiscreener on my Windows 7 laptop (no network).

There is a note on the app that says "Make sure any network firewalls are set to allow UDP traffic on port 7474". Have you checked to ensure this is the case with your network?

Thomas



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Nicolas Servide
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 5:38:04 pm

Hi,

I did check the port 7474 in the router that I used to create.
I am using a wireless LAN, that is, an iMac and a MacBookPro connected to an AirPort, which is not connected to the internet.
The iMac is in turn connected to the Internet vie an Ethernet connection.

Would that have something to do with my problem? I mean, should I have a different setup?

Thanks!

Nico.


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Thomas Leong
Re: synchronized DVD playback
on Jul 17, 2010 at 6:00:13 pm

I'd try connecting the MacbookPro to the same ethernet that the iMac is connected to first. If that works (it should), then use that for multiscreener work.

I'm not familiar with the AirPort network type to comment on it.

Thomas



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