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What would it take to make something like this work?

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Scott Holt
What would it take to make something like this work?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 12:15:23 am

I have a question for you that I am not sure if anyone can answer or not. I don't know if I can explain it clearly enough. We have two screens in our gym with projectors that we would like to utilize. I was wondering if you knew of any programs that a person could use on a laptop to show players fouls, points etc. Maybe it is easier than I think of what I can use to do this with but I thought the guru that you are you might have a suggestion. Does this make sense. Sometimes people like to see these types of things instead of just hearing them. We also want to show intros to games which I think I know what to do such as have video done before hand and just play it on our laptop and do different things like this as we go along during the game. My biggest problem is coming up with ideas on how to utilize something to bring a wow factor to the game and let the audience enjoy the breaks that go on during time outs and such. Any suggestions or places to go to look for this would be appreciated. I have Googled but don't really know what to put so I am not finding any leads. Maybe there is a better forum for this also. Thanks.


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Mark Suszko
Re: What would it take to make something like this work?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 3:17:57 pm

So it sounds like you want to do sports stadium type graphics in a high school gym type environment and budget, using two projector screens. There are a lot of ways to do something like this. There are fewer ways to do it successfully on a low budget. I think the key is to start out modestly; Just use the screens as scoreboards and stats boards, and to play a team intro piece for each team, maybe also the National Anthem.

The basic system for this would require some kind of laptop computer to generate the stats screens, and to play back media files, a device to convert the laptop video output to whatever the projectors might need as their standard, and a very basic video switcher, to cleanly feed that laptop and other, future sources, to the projectors and make pleasant transitions like fades and dissolves.

The stats screens could be done with something as simple as Powerpoint or photoshop or windows paint, but fast updates and ease of use would tend to demand actual "Character Generator" graphics programs, preferably one built for sports use, with templates that let you quickly build new screens and update old ones.

So my first suggestion is to find a modest-priced "CG" app that plays on the hardware you already have.

You will see ads on this site for a box called the Newtek Tricaster: this is an all-in-one solution that could certainly do the job for you, but it may be overkill at this stage. See how far you can go with just the character generator first. There are numerous choices out there, in the under-a-grand price range , one is called Cayman Graphics, look it up and see if that's about what you want, or if you need more or less "firepower".


How will you feed the projectors a signal? VGA cable, or long coaxial video cable? Most laptops don't output a TV video signal directly:they tend to need an attached converter box, called a scan converter, to turn VGA signals into composite or component Video. Scan converters sell as low as 90 bucks or as high as 7 grand and up, depending on features needed.

While a video switcher isn't strictly necessary to start with, it lets you operate in a more classy way, by being able to smoothly fade out the screens while you make updates to your scores, or call up a video file to play. Without the switcher, the gym is going to see what your laptop screen is doing at all times, and this can be distracting. There are cheap switchers under a grand that will work for this.

There are also laptop apps like BoinxTV that might be fun, cheap way to get started in this area without committing a lot of money.



Try shopping at these web sites for the things you need:

Markertek
B&H photo-Video
Fullcompass.com
TigerDirect.com (for scan converters)



Good luck!


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Scott Holt
Re: What would it take to make something like this work?
on Dec 5, 2013 at 4:19:25 pm

Wow, thanks a lot. I will start looking at those items. I do have a TriCaster 40 at this time but it is in our studio and all hooked up and we don't want to unhook and hook it back up. I would like to eventually get another T40 but at this time that is not in the picture. I hope I can make this work.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: What would it take to make something like this work?
on Dec 16, 2013 at 7:01:34 pm

Hi Scott,

The beauty of the TriCaster TC40 is its portability...seems a shame to keep it hidden in the studio when it may be ideal for your needs.

Check out the "LT Scoreboards" software from Kris Gurrad. It's a "skin" that works with Newtek LiveText software and makes it very easy to manage live scores in TriCaster.

Even if you just connect one live camera to the TC40, and use the LiveText scores and maybe some clips/still images of players and such from the DDR/graphics players, you'll have a very sophisticated looking program for the live audience. And TriCaster can also RECORD the game to the hard drive.

Unless you have the TC40 seriously buried behind/beneath a desk, shouldn't take more than a couple minutes to connect/disconnect in my experience...

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Scott Holt
Re: What would it take to make something like this work?
on Dec 16, 2013 at 7:26:00 pm

Does yours have a handle for easy handling and carrying?


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