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producing video for viewing across multiple TVs

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Clarence Gelwicksproducing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on Jan 12, 2011 at 4:34:57 pm

I have been reading and searching for hours and I may be more confused than before I started. I work for a retail chain and I currently produce all of our TV commercials in house using After Effects with good success. We are opening a new store in a few months and plan on utilizing 3 - 42" LCD or plasma TVs side by side in the store. I want to create content that will play across all 3 TVs at the same time whether it be something that landscapes across all 3 or each one having individual content.

I think I can create the content based on a post here on Creative Cow (http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/designing-content-for-a-multiscreen-video-display) but I'm now seriously confused on Pixel Aspect Ratio and getting the content to DVD and getting the DVD to play it in the correct proportion. Our IT department says they can get the DVD player to play on all 3 screens but if anyone has a easy win scenario for that I'm open for suggestions.

Can anyone give me some real guidelines or am I asking for something that is already posted here?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: producing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on Jan 12, 2011 at 4:40:46 pm

It's pretty easy, actually -- work in 1920x1080. In AE, it's a snap to scale such a resolution down to other HD sizes and pixel aspect ratios.

If you also need to keep old 4x3 SD TV's in mind, simply keep all the essential visual stuff in 4x3 title safe, and you're good to go.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: producing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on Jan 12, 2011 at 5:38:34 pm

[Clarence Gelwicks] "We are opening a new store in a few months and plan on utilizing 3 - 42" LCD or plasma TVs side by side in the store. I want to create content that will play across all 3 TVs at the same time whether it be something that landscapes across all 3 or each one having individual content... I think I can create the content based on a post here on Creative Cow (http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/designing-content-for-a-multiscreen-video-display) but I'm now seriously confused on Pixel Aspect Ratio and getting the content to DVD and getting the DVD to play it in the correct proportion."

With multiscreen, your physical display and creative requirements drive the playback solution, and the playback solution drives your design setup.

In this case, if you want to design for 3 side by side screens, your comp must be at least 48:9 -- probably a little bit wider to account for screen bezels and/or gaps between screens.

I would think that in a retail environment, you'd want three synced HD channels. There are numerous playback options, depending on your requirements and budget.


[Clarence Gelwicks] "Our IT department says they can get the DVD player to play on all 3 screens..."

That would make me very nervous. A single DVD source spread across 3 monitors will be incredibly low resolution. I'd be surprised if it would meet your quality requirements.


[Clarence Gelwicks] "if anyone has a easy win scenario for that I'm open for suggestions."

Multidisplay questions come up all the time on the Live & Stage Events forum [link], so you can find a lot of information there from previous posts.

Honestly, every project like this is a little bit different, and I think the easiest win is hiring someone to help you review your creative requirements and appropriate playback options. It sounds like you have some good internal resources, so it's clear that you don't need full-service production -- but someone like me could help you start your project on the right foot and save you significant time, effort, and frustration putting the system and content together.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: producing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on Jan 12, 2011 at 5:52:18 pm

If you can't pay Walter, then you still need a hardware solution that can display one video file across three HD monitors or play three HD files in sync on three HD monitors. I would look into hiring a company that can provide the playback while you can do the project and render it out for playback. Either as one big file or as three separate HD files.
If you can though, get Walter or someone like him- this way you can get some training and learn a few tricks as well.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Jimmy Francis (9francis@gmail.com)Re: producing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on May 17, 2012 at 9:33:58 pm

Dear Walter,

well i know that this is an old post, but need your help.

i am working on a quiet complicated project of 256 LCD screens devided into 8 videowalls. the client want to put in each of the videowalls a seperate content and an option to put on all the videowalls one content. what i did is that i used a digital signage software, 8 PCs with one HD output to each daizy chained videowall and 1 PC with 8 outputs AMD eyefinity card showing one content stretched into the 8 outputs and linked it into a 16x8 matrix switcher an then into all daizy chained videowalls (kindly find the design picture attached).

will it be possible not to loose resolution? and how the content can be made on 256 LCD videowall, have you done such a huge content?

img_2664.jpg


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Walter SoykaRe: producing video for viewing across multiple TVs
by on May 23, 2012 at 12:56:17 am

So each of the PCs 1-8 is responsible for driving one unique video wall? And PC 9 is capable of driving all video walls via eight outputs?

If I've understood this correctly, your limiting factor here is the DVI link (presumably single-link) from the PCs and router into the wall controller.

I'll quote Wikipedia [link]:
The DVI specification mandates a maximum pixel clock frequency of 165 MHz when running in single-link mode. With a single DVI link, the highest supported standard resolution is 2.75 megapixels (including blanking interval) at 60 Hz refresh. For practical purposes, this allows a maximum screen resolution at 60 Hz of 1,915 × 1,436 pixels (standard 4:3 ratio), 1,854 × 1,483 pixels (5:4 ratio), or 2,098 × 1,311 (widescreen 16:10 ratio).


If your video wall controller will not accept a resolution like this, you may be limited to a more standard resolution like 1920x1080 per wall.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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