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Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?

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Kit Withnail
Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 16, 2013 at 12:15:43 pm

I need to use a Windows workstation for video playback in live events. PlaybackPro is the most obvious solution, it has all the features I need - but unfortunately I can't get it for Windows.
Is there any equivalent available? The closest seems to be very basic PowerPoint style softwares, which won't really cut it unfortunately. I'd rather not have to run PlaybackPro in a VM, because Mac VMs are always so unreliable.
Any ideas?

Thanks!


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Thomas Leong
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 17, 2013 at 12:14:56 pm

You can check out -
1. pixelwix studio from http://www.pixelwix.com/Download.asp
Not cheap.

2. VideoMill from http://www.breakthrusoftware.com/html/products/videomill/index.html
Much cheaper but interface is not that intuitive.



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Kit Withnail
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 20, 2013 at 9:40:51 am

Thanks for those - I'll give them a go!


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Tom Sefton
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 20, 2013 at 12:28:21 pm

Watchout by Dataton


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Thomas Leong
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:14:10 am

Watchout is a great piece of software...for production and projection.

Unfortunately, in the case at hand, one would need 2 USB licences - one for the Production PC to bring the objects into the timeline and program the Aux timelines and triggers, and the other for the Display PC. This also means 2 computers at showtime, one controlling the other. One could get away with only one licence and use it for both Production, and eventually with a simple startup script, for Display to the projector. But on-site changes would be a big hassle.

An alternative to Watchout would be AvStumpfl's Wings Platinum 4 which with one USB licence allows you to keep the controls on one monitor and send the fullscreen output to another. All the versions of Wings can do this - the free Basic version to the paid Starter, Advanced or Pro versions. Choice would depend on one's resolution requirements and other needs. The Help File has a Table comparing versions, and the Demo version can be switched to the various versions as and when for trial purposes (demo has a banner across the output).

As aforesaid, the free Basic version of Wings 4 can send the fullscreen output to a second display keeping the controls on the primary display. However, it is limited to PAL/NTSC resolutions only. Same with the Starter version. To get higher or HD resolutions, one needs the Advanced or Pro versions at a higher price, though cheaper by about half of the Multidisplay version, pricing for which is about the similar to Watchout's single licence.

Both are timeline-based software, and some programming would be required to get the timeline to jump about and/or respond to triggers (MIDI, RS-232, etc). For this kind of price point and indicated purpose, I would still recommend Pixelwix's Studio software for simple management of playback clips via a playlist or click-and-play.



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Thomas Leong
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 21, 2013 at 5:34:23 am

Here's an alternative from Blackmagic Design, their ATEM range, cheapest being the Television Studio software -

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/atem/

Sorry, no experience with them so no additional comment!

Thomas



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Kit Withnail
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 23, 2013 at 11:46:09 am

I wasn't aware that there was ATEM software? I have their ATEM switcher - the media players in that are very basic however.

Watchout seems to be oriented towards multi-screen environments - all I'm looking for really is playback sequencing, pauses & slides with vsync - basically a professional version of a basic player like VLC (which is what I use at the moment). This is why I mentioned PlaybackPro, as I've used it to do just that before.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Playback software for Windows - PlaybackPro equivalent?
on May 23, 2013 at 3:17:31 pm

I too did not know ATEM had software for their switchers either till I talked to a friend based in Hong Kong recently who uses it. From the guff on their website -

New Software Control!

For the ultimate in portability, every ATEM production switcher includes beautifully designed control panel software for Mac and Windows, so you can even use your switcher from your laptop! ATEM software control provides a professional M/E workflow control panel with parameter adjustments in simple to use palettes. You can manage the switcher media pool and set all adjustments, and switcher control includes full keyboard shortcuts! Only ATEM lets you start at a lower cost because you’re not forced to buy a hardware control panel!


I guess since you already have one of their switchers, you are already half-way there.

I like vlc myself particularly because it plays everything. However, the interface for controlling a presentation is not quite there. One can use the 'View > Playlist' to play one's files, but the play/pause/stop controls disappears and to get it back again requires the mouse.

Thomas



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