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syncing 3 DVD players

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David Jansen
syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 5, 2011 at 8:06:24 pm

I produce 3-screen programs by spitting a 2160x480 video file into 3 separate 720x480 files. I make a DVD for each of the three screens and present the programs by using 3 video projectors and 3 same-model DVD players. I start the program with one remote, triggering all three DVD players. This usually works fine, however it can be tricky at times to get all three to start together, requiring a second or third attempt (pause, chapter back, play) before everyone plays together.

Is there available hardware to sync the DVD players more precisely?

Thanks


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Thomas Leong
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 5:50:31 am

There is PolyDVD from videobotics.com for industrial Pioneer DVD players. Not cheap. Consumer DVD players are not built for multi-sync playback, therefore the hit-and-miss affair you have been dealing with.

A possible alternative (versus the more expensive Master-Slave combinations via Ethernet such as Dataton Watchout and AvStumpfl Wings Platinum) is the Matrox Triple-Head-to-Go or its Chinese competitor, Mviewtech (http://www.dhgate.com/wholesale/products/ff808081237ec04601237fc0330a7c67.html - look for the single units, not the lots-of-ten-units) where the source is a reasonably beefy PC or Mac that can playback a single 2160x480 file smoothly.

If you do this type of work often enough, might be worth investing in Dataton Watchout or AvStumpfl Wings Platinum. With AvStumpfl, you could opt for a combination of software for programming and their hardware for playback using CF cards.

Thomas Leong



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Thomas Leong
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:21:04 am

Sorry forgot another viable alternative - Brightsign CF Players easily synced via Ethernet with their supplied authoring software. Their HD210 is probably your best and cheapest bet.



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David Jansen
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:52:46 pm

Thanks Thomas!

Those Brightsign players look promising. I am going to look into those. Seems much easier and more reliable than the TripleHead2Go option.

Dave


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Walter Soyka
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 3:57:18 pm

Assuming you're working on an installation -- I'll add my vote for the Brightsigns. They are inexpensive, offer pretty good quality, and are very reliable.

If you require live show control, I think you would either need to build and program controllers for the higher-end Brightsign units, or use one of the other solutions Thomas has mentioned.

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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David Jansen
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:24:14 pm

I am not working on an installation. The program travels from place to place (it is set up, shown, then moved on to the next location), and I have twelve (or more) teams that tour with the same program. So, once I find a better solution, I have twelve sets of equipment to build! The only control I need is "start" and "stop."


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Walter Soyka
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 4:58:08 pm

[David Jansen] "The only control I need is "start" and "stop.""

If you're going to use Brightsigns, I think you'll need the HD1010. It's the only model that supports network synchronization of players and GPIO or USB controls.

I haven't used them in exactly this configuration, so you may want to confirm with Brightsign that it will do what you need.

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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Thomas Leong
Re: syncing 3 DVD players
on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:21:26 pm

Yea, looks like the more expensive HD1010 is the only one with a GPIO feature that would allow you to hook up a start /stop remote.

If your traveling show does not need manual control, the HD210, via its scripting feature will auto start on power on, loop all day, and to stop, just power off.

Confer with Brightsign support. They seem pretty helpful and responsive. For 12 sets x 3, perhaps they would consider building a start and stop button on the 12 Master units for you.



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Thomas Leong
Re: syncing 3 DVD players - another alt
on Jan 6, 2011 at 6:46:58 pm

http://www.digitalview.com/products/viewstream-digital-media-players

Viewstream 300 for SD video and the 450 for HD are available for multi-sync. A remote controller is optional accessory. Not sure of price though but hopefully cheaper than the Brightsign HD1010.



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Thomas Leong
Re: syncing 3 DVD players - and another
on Jan 6, 2011 at 7:06:35 pm

http://www.technovision.com/dv75.html for HD, and
http://www.technovision.com/dv66.html for SD

According to an email reply from their Director of Sales for an enquiry I made some time ago -
"If playing back multiple files (that have to be in synch) in sequence, the current firmware for the DV75s will allow them to be synchronized via the Ethernet port. One player is designated as the "Server" with the other players as "Clients" each starting their file the same time that the "server" starts it's file. The DV75, when attached to a network, "pulls" it's content from a network or internet server - you change the content on the server and the DV75s that are set up to look at that server will automatically change.

Otherwise you can also synchronize using the TV66K controller.
."

The price of the DV75 is comparable to the Brightsign HD210, so the DV66 should b e cheaper, but "Multiple [DV66] players can be synchronized using SYNCHT1 firmware."

Happy hunting!



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