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trade show video - how best to run this?

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tamtrade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 2, 2006 at 5:01:49 pm

I am producing a 3 minute promo movie which will be show at an exhibitor's booth at a trade show. Doing it in AE7.0, exporting to quicktime, and from there... that's the question. The movie needs to loop indefinitely. What is the best way of doing that: running Quicktime off a powerbook using Quicktime's loop feature; or using DVD player (is there such a thing as looping a dvd??); other suggestions?



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Jon ZanoneRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 3, 2006 at 12:17:43 pm

You could do either. My preference would be to loop the DVD (within the authoring software, you link the video back to the beginning).


"So you want to throw out the old you - but the old you is old enough to know it won't make it better"
Del Amitri - "Make it Better"

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John CuevasRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 3, 2006 at 4:37:53 pm

The problem with running a QT off a laptap is that it's a pretty large size file, it may stutter. I don't like presuming anything, but it sounds like you may not know DVD authoring, if you do then I apologize. A looping DVD is very easy to create if you have a program to do that.

What I think would be the easiest and will play on almost anything would be to render the movie out with a MPEG2 compression. Under the format options on lossless, I would create 2 or 3 compressions, with different target bitrates. Just in case the laptap has trouble playing the movie.

Have the client play the video in windows media viewer, set it to full screen and repeat.

Just my .02 cents
Good Luck

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tamRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 3, 2006 at 4:59:44 pm

Thank you all for your input. The clear conclusion from all I've heard is that DVD is the way to go. But one aspect of that is not clear to me:

Is it really important to create the dvd with the loop instruction in the authoring software? Yes Johnny, you're right, I don't know that much about dvd authoring, my experience is more in After Effects. The only dvd software I have is iDVD on a Mac. If NECESSARY I would buy other dvd authoring software (which do you recommend?).

Would it be okay to make a straight non-looping dvd using iDVD, and then have the dvd player (hardware) make it loop. I was looking at a Pioneer DVD-V5000 player, which has a feature for disc loop.

Thanks again,

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John CuevasRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 3, 2006 at 5:15:03 pm

That would work fine.

My only hesitation on this is if my client wants something to loop, on a DVD, well I'm sure as heck not going to give him the option of screwing it up by not knowing that repeat means loop, or trusting him to find repeat on a DVD submenu. I have learned that idiot proofing everything is just essential in this business(learned most of those lessons the hard way).

If you want to get a DVD authoring program I couldn't reccommend enough Adobe Encore 2.0. Since you are already working with AE, once you get familiar with a few of the concepts you will be estatic with the power it offers in conjuction with AE and photoshop.

Have a great show

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tamRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 3, 2006 at 5:44:07 pm

John - you make an excellent point about "idiot-proofing". I'm going to take your advice. And thank you for the recommendation. I'm taking your suggestion on that too.


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George SockaRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 4, 2006 at 12:37:29 am

Even the free MyDVD that comes with many DVD burners will do a looping DVD - no menu, just first play the movie. The export to DVD in PPRO as well. DVD players are also inexpensive - no need to worry about leaving a PC in the booth to get stolen. And if it dies, get another at Walmart for $29.99 A DVD player will play into anything with a video in, A PC needs a TV/Display that has VGA or DVI in. No tube TV does that. Last but not least, if the booth is busy, a DVD takes no time or skill to turn on. A PC needs someone to turn it on, select the player. make it full screen, make it go out through the external connection. Select the repeat option. Not move the mouse or touch the keyboard. Each of which can and will go wrong and wreck the pesentation.

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mark suszkoRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 5, 2006 at 10:53:21 pm

I agree with George and the rest, DvD off a cheap player is effective and efficient and avoids risking your laptop... but you should be able to author in idvd without any problems since you already have it, it's drag and drop.

Another way you can go is, many (if not all) DVD's let you set up a loop playback at any point of the program. my little Apex at home does thyat: you set an in point and an out point, hi the loop icon, done, it will loop until you kill the power or otherwise interrupt it, and while in the loop, you can use the zoom and pan controls to, I dunno, analyze a golf swing, repeat a gruesome car crash or something similar. Setting that kind of thing up sort of violates the "idiot proofing" rule, because it requires using a remote and pushing more than one button... but it's an option.

In the simplest DVD programs, they sometimes insist on some kind of opening menu screen before playing the loop. This looks inelegant. If settign "first play" doesn't work well enough by itself, you can often use a custom splash screen that's nothing but black. A few seconds of black between playbacks is better than a menu pop-up.

One other thing I've done is loop the actual 5-minute program onto a one or two-hour DVD recording as many times as it will fit, like we used to do on VHS tapes. Then if everything else goes wrong, the thing would only need someone to hit the play button on the DVD unit's front face once every two hours. We use the stand-alone panasonics for this, but no reason it can't be done in any modern authoring program you want.

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Charlie KingRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Mar 6, 2006 at 5:17:53 pm

Another possibility would be to contact Adtec Digital they might give you teh use of one of their mpg players for promotional consideration. Talk to Ron Johnson, tell him Charlie King recommended you call them.

These players are automatic looping. Will run all day and night and keep going, they also will automatically reboot and start playing after a power failure.


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Peter GreenRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Jan 5, 2014 at 4:26:06 am

So if I am going to a trade show in two weeks, and I need both a screen (24 inch or larger) and a player or other thing for my loop, what's the best option ont he market today? Are there any tv's that take a USB stick or a memory card? or what's a decent CHEAP tv and d vd player? thanks - Pete

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Mark SuszkoRe: trade show video - how best to run this?
by on Jan 5, 2014 at 6:17:25 am

Plenty of flat screen LED or LCD TV's now have a USB port on them that will play a slide show off an inserted thumb drive... and some will play a video file that way. If you go shopping, take a thumb drive containing those files with you, and see for yourself if that works.

My gut tells me that you're still better off using an external DVD or BluRay player connected to the screen, though; playback is liable to be more solid and consistent. The BluRay player will also up-rez a plain standard-def DVD to make it look better and bigger on the HD-ready LED TV monitor. If you have a BD player available, and have the time to master the promo to High Def and burn a BluRay, that's going to look great.

There are stand-alone solid-state media file players by companies like DoReMi and others: they can be pricy to own, but may be rentable, if you're in a major market city.

At this point, don't scrimp on the hardware: though you can get a DVD player at the local drugstore for under thirty dollars, consider that the show environment you are going to is a huge investment, with potentially great returns, and also a highly visible place for a spectacular, embarrassing failure... so do you really want to do anything second-rate if you can avoid that? How much money are your marketing people trying to grab in new business, from doing this trade show? And will they invest five percent of that, to help win the business? That's how you talk them into spending for a solid display.

Every city has an A/V services company that caters to trade shows and things like that: they can rent you a decent, reliable playback system and a suitable monitor, plus the accouterments to finish off the booth or table in style. You can ask in the live and stage forum of the COW for hints on such suppliers in your town: those guys are very helpful on stuff like that.

Good luck!

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