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For live event: Software for splitscreen playback, or Auto Switch sources

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Chris Detjen
For live event: Software for splitscreen playback, or Auto Switch sources
on Sep 16, 2013 at 8:15:47 pm

We have a client who is prepping their booth for a convention. We would like a more advanced video display at the convention. There are three options we are seeking advice on.

Option 01: Split screen video playback. One half is a live video feed, the other is a pre-recorded looping video. Is there software designed to manage this? Would it be an NLE set up a certain way to accomplish this?

Option 02:
Automatically switch the video stream between a pre-recorded looping promo video and a live video feed. And software that will do the switch at set intervals. For example, it would play the looping video full screen for 5 minutes, then switch to the live video feed for 2 minutes, then back to the looping video. And it would repeat that action throughout the day.

Option 03:
Two monitors fed two different outputs. One monitor is fed the looping video throughout the day. The second monitor is fed the live feed.

Option 03 appears to be the most feasible. But does anything exist to accomplish the goals of Option 01 and 02?

Thank you


Play a video promo loop (say,
One monitor


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Thomas Leong
Re: For live event: Software for splitscreen playback, or Auto Switch sources
on Sep 17, 2013 at 6:11:24 am

Tall order!

Option 01: Split screen video playback
Firstly, how does two 4:3 or 16:9 videos fit into one 4:3 or 16:9 monitor side by side? To fill the monitor, there will be distortion of both inputs. To not fill the monitor, there will be a lot of black 'border' top and bottom. Which solution is acceptable to client?

Secondly, the software that I know of that can do this is about Euro 2,000. And this excludes the capture card and a reasonable PC with enough muscle to handle live video capture and playback of another source simultaneously.

Try googling for 'multiview'.
My conclusion: Probably not viable/cost effective.

Option 02: Automatically switch the video streams
There is one software - VidBlaster, Studio or Broadcast editions - which has an auto switch, but the max duration for the autoswitch seems be 30s for each source input. Maybe you could write to them and ask if this duration can be extended.
I tried (with their demo version) to multiply one source by 6 to give a duration of 5 mins...but it seems to affect the capture rate resulting in dropped frames and jerky output (think: 6 captures of 25fps simultaneously!!). Then again, my pc is old hat. The newer Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, etc are far better and should give a better result. My desktop precedes these :(

Option 3 seems your best bet as you say. More control over each playback system. Downtime with one does not affect the other. Overall, more manageable.

If not for your live video requirement, I would have suggested one of the Brightsign units for booth playback - plug and play, idiot proof to those managing the booth.

Sorry couldn't be of more help.
best of luck,
Thomas Leong



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Jim Brown
Re: For live event: Software for splitscreen playback, or Auto Switch sources
on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:39:14 pm

Your option 1 can easily be done by the Black Magic ATEM 1ME. It is a little expensive for a one off like this, but it would readily handle the inputs from both live feed (HDMI or SDI) and a computer for looping video. There are probably cheaper alternatives, but this is the way I would approach it.

Take a look at blackmagicdesign.com.

Regards

Jim Brown
M&M ProductionsUSA


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Thomas Leong
Re: For live event: Software for splitscreen playback, or Auto Switch sources
on Sep 18, 2013 at 8:44:42 am

have a look at Multiscreener from zachpoff.com, freeware for Quicktime movies only. Haven't tried it myself, but hope there is a feature in there to suit.

Alternatively, if you know someone who can script, perhaps a startup script that loops or counts down the number of loops to make up, say, 5 mins, before it plays the next video file, and then starts all over again may solve it. Or try http://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/

Thomas Leong



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