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Switcher for live events?

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Ben Muehleisen
Switcher for live events?
on Nov 6, 2013 at 5:31:36 pm

We are just getting into doing live event A/V, and I am wondering what type of switcher might make our life easier? We are just looking for a very basic setup, something to switch between Powerpoints, videos, stills, and perhaps occasionally IMAG.

Our current setup just doesn't seem like the easiest way to do things and doesn't provide all the necessary capabilities to really do everything we might need to.

We have 4 60" LCDs, but could also run to a projector. We run HDMI out of our source to a BlackMagic SDI converter. Then to a AJA SDI splitter, then to BlackMagic SDI to HDMI converters at each TV or projector. I guess I'm just wondering if there is a switcher that would make our lives a little easier and standardize the signal a little.

Please feel free to ask any questions if I wasn't clear on any of this.

Thank you in advance.

Sony EX-1
Canon 5d MKII


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Seth Tours
Re: Switcher for live events?
on Nov 18, 2013 at 4:00:46 pm

I would look at the Analog Way Pulse or the Barco Screen Pro 2 with the EOC card option.


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Vince Becquiot
Re: Switcher for live events?
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:28:41 am

Hi Ben,

Boy, that's a lot of conversion:-) It's all about budgets, but you just can't beat DVI fiber for routing.

As far as switchers go, right now, I really like the PDS switchers, you get preview, 4 analog and 4 DVI, that should take care of all your switching needs for your run of the mill corporate events.

The problem is that you are doing some odd conversions from data to video with BM and that's bound to cause issues.

If you need SDI, you can look at the Image pro and presentation pros, but the lack of preview makes the setups and additional monitors that much harder to deal with.

I personally trust Barco stuff, they just work.

Vince Becquiot

Kaptis Media

Indigo Live
San Francisco - Bay Area

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David Eaks
Re: Switcher for live events?
on Nov 19, 2013 at 12:23:41 pm

Here is my setup in a nutshell, FWIW.

Panasonic AW HS-50 compact live switcher. It has 4 HD-SDI inputs and 1 DVI input, dual SDI program outs, a secondary SDI out and 1 DVI out. Outputs are customizable with preview, multi-view and others. More features you can look into.

A Geffen VGA to DVI Scaler Plus on the DVI input for power point or other analog input needs.

Run SDI to AJA Hi-5 to convert to HDMI/DVI for IMAG, Hi-5 has SDI Loop-through for daisy chaining the signal to additional screens.

Mackie 1402 VLZ3 for live-mixing audio, two 19-21" monitors for Program and Preview/Multiview.

2-4 HD-SDI cameras or AJA Ha-5 to convert HDMI cameras to SDI. Record in-camera.

Record switched video signal and mixed audio to AJA KiPro.

Overall a pretty compact and capable setup. I'm currently trying to figure out a good way to record at least 4 individual tracks of audio as well as the mixed feed to the Ki Pro... Hmmm

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Rommie Sebo
Re: Switcher for live events?
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:00:26 am

Ben,I recently purchased the Sony MCS-8M HD/SD Multi-format 8 input video switcher. Here is a breakdown of all the inputs; 4 HD-SDI, 3 HDMI, and 1 DVI. It has 2 DVI outs (1 for a multi viewer display) and 4 HD-SDI. We use Playback Pro Plus on a Macbook Pro for our video playback and Powerpoint slideshows. The only issue I had was trying to run a signal out of the laptop (Macbook Pro with thunderbolt port) into the switcher. The laptop has HDCP so it will block the signal out for protection purposes but we found a work around. We put a Gefen DVI Detective inline between the Macbook Pro and the Sony switcher. Now the switcher has no problem seeing the Macbook Pro laptop. Note; sending an HDMI signal into one of the switcher's HDMI inputs would require Gefen's HDMI Detective as well. Hope this helps.

Rommie Sebo
Sebo Video Graphics

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