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AV Set up for a Focus Group

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Al Herr
AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 1, 2011 at 6:38:34 pm

Hello all,
Strange gig for me:

A focus group in one room talking and being videoed.
In an adjacent room, 20 people who need to see it and hear it as it is happening/ and being recorded.

I have a Mini DV Camera recording the talkers with these available ports: S Video, AV composite (one port for a cord that groups Audio & Video together into 2 Auido & 1 Video), and a headphone port.

I need to get the Audio & Video to a projector in the monitoring room where I will be.
The projector has only a RCA Video port, an audio mini jack in and out and of course the composite ports for attaching to a laptop.

Video to the projector of course - no prob.
Thinking I should avoid using the audio out from the projector due to limited quality.
I could send the audio from the headphone jack of the camera to a small TV or DVD player or to a small set of computer speakers in the viewing room.

I probably have about 50' or less of difference to cover.
Any advice.
Thanks,
Al


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Mark Suszko
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 2, 2011 at 2:37:46 am

Seems like the projector limits you to using composite video via RCA connector. You're shooting this with just a DV camcorder, into a cheap projector; and the sound quality of the projector is what you're worried about? :-) I'd go with using the amplified computer speakers, placed along the wall where you are projecting. Radio Shack sells a 50-foot pair of RCA stereo audio cables you can zip apart to create two separate 50-foot single audio or composite video cables, btw. But computer speakers usually use a mini headphone jack, so you'll put a headphone splitter on the camcorder's headphone output, so you can still listen on headphones, then take a mini make to male out of the second port of the splitter to the amplified computer speakers. If they are not self-powered amplified speakers, you have a problem. But such speakers are available in any Walgreens or Walmart for $20 or less.


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Al Herr
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 2, 2011 at 12:47:33 pm

Hey Mark,

I consulted an AV person and B&H and both don't recommend sending an audio signal via RCA for 50 feet; saying there will be interference for sure since it is unbalanced signal. They recommend a mixer and XLR to an adaptor to the mini plug to the computer speakers.
The computer speakers are self powered.

My DV is 3CCD and that is my master copy. The live stuff is just so people can view and doesn't need to be super quality. I do a lot of these focus groups but not usually as provider of the AV set up.

Thanks,
Al

alchemyvideo.biz


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Mark Suszko
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 2, 2011 at 2:09:28 pm

Gee, I'd better take apart the similar setup I have in my home then, as it is obviously impossible:-) They are both right that a mixer and XLR's are of course better. You didn't specify you had any, though, so I went with the bare minimum assumption. If you have a budget for a mixer and XLR cables, and an amp, and real speakers, you likely also have a budget that can afford a better projector, that uses a better video input format than composite SD. But the logical extension of that line of reasoning is that if you had all those things in the first place, you wouldn't have posted the initial question:-)

I'm used to working with what IS, not with what may be.


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Joel Servetz
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 3, 2011 at 2:02:44 am

This is the simplest of setups and something I've done literally hundreds of times. Buy or rent a powered speaker with an XLR mic. input. Plenty of choices available from Anchor, Mackie, etc. You don't need a lot of power, 50 - 100 watts is plenty, maybe even overkill, but you can always turn down something that's too loud and these powered speakers sound great for the limited purpose you described. here's a parts list:
The powered speaker
Dual RCA male to single RCA female Y-adapter (out from camcorder)
6' RCA male - male cable (Y adapter to 1/4" adapter)
RCA female to 1/4" phone plug (mono)(plug into direct box)
Direct box (Whirlwind Director or similar)
50' XLR mic cable, male - female (direct box to powered speaker)

This never fails to sound great. If you feed the whole thing through a mixer instead of straight out of the direct box you'll have even more control on the send end, but realistically you'll need someone in the other room to monitor and control the level so the mixeer won't really add much functionality. For the doubters, I've used this over distances of 150' or more without a hint of trouble. BTW, the ground lift switch on the direct box will save your butt enough times to make it worth having in your kit all the time. I travel with at least four.

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com
http://www.rgbmediaservices.com


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Al Herr
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 3, 2011 at 12:32:02 pm

Thanks Joel,
I am working on it right now.

Al

alchemyvideo.biz


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Martin Curtis
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 5, 2011 at 3:43:57 am

[Mark Suszko] "Gee, I'd better take apart the similar setup I have in my home then, as it is obviously impossible"
You split a headphone output and send it 50' over cheap cabling and it sounds OK at the other end?


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Brent Dunn
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 3, 2011 at 7:20:18 pm

Here are many choices from as little as $100

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Brent Dunn
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:14:10 pm

Use a wireless Mic, small PA system in the other room, audio comes out of the PA.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Mark Suszko
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 3, 2011 at 3:29:40 pm

Talk about scope creep:-)


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Martin Curtis
Re: AV Set up for a Focus Group
on Jun 5, 2011 at 4:00:46 am

If it was me, I would use a couple of baluns to run the unbalanced AV as a balanced signal into ethernet for however many metres 50' is, plug the composite into the projector and the audio into powered speakers. You can get cheap unpowered baluns or more expensive ones.

[Al Herr] "I could send the audio from the headphone jack of the camera "
If I tried that and it didn't work, I wouldn't be surprised one little bit. That's a long way to send a volt.


[Al Herr] "Thinking I should avoid using the audio out from the projector due to limited quality.
"

You bet. Those projector speakers aren't worth using. If the 20 people in the room get a so-so picture, they'll live with it. If they can't hear it properly, they won't be happy at all. My $20 5W logitechs are good for 8 people sitting around a table, but that's about it.


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