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Old November 30th, 2003, 10:54 PM   #1
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Dual monitors PLUS tv monitor? Solutions?

Hello all. I am planning for the purchase of a new editing system. I want to use 2 VGA monitors for extended desktop space, plus use a standard TV set via RCA or S-Video for video preview. I am using Vegas 4.0, and will run on WinXP or possibly Windows 2000 Professional.

I currently have a standard video card in my machine that puts out to a single 19" monitor. For TV preview, I've got a jury-rigged setup where I run my firewire cable from my IEEE card to an extra consumer miniDV camcorder - then I put the A/V output from the camcorder into the RCA inputs of my TV. Problem is, I get choppy playback, and often the sound is not synched correctly with the video when playing.

I have been reading lots of threads about this. One way I see is to use a Matrox G550 or similar card to run 2 monitors - but what about the external TV monitor? Does the G550 put out to 2 monitors PLUS a TV screen? I've seen a few people list this setup, but I don't understand how the signal is actually going to the TV screen.

I've also looked at the Canopus ADVC-100, which looks like a slick little box, and it would basically go in place of my miniDV camera, and should provide very good results - problem is, it's an extra $300, which is going to be a real streatch after I build this new machine.

My main goal of this machine however, is to do it "right" and to have a quality machine I can work efficiently with for the next 2 years or so. What is the overall "best" way to accomplish this setup?

Kevin King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2003, 11:50 PM   #2
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I would go with the Canopus solution.
All the best,
Robert K S

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Robert Knecht Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2003, 01:07 AM   #3
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The Matrox Parhelia and low-end version of it (P750???) should be able to do 2 computer monitors + a TV. However, those video cards are very pricey ($215??? from newegg.com). The lower end Matrox cards have limitations as to what devices can be setup dual head. I think you can only have 2 devices connected at one time. see http://www.tech-report.com/reviews/2...n/index.x?pg=1 (it should list all the various combinations that are ok). You connect your TV with S-Video.

A setup with an analog-digital converter (i.e. camera) and 2 computer monitors is the direction I would go. You usually only need your TV for quality control and color correction. So enable firewire output when you need it. You need to fix your problem with choppy playback though. You'd probably get choppy playback if you're trying to do real-time previews, but you can just preview on a computer monitor.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 06:00 AM   #4
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I use the G550 and canopus advc100, smooth. But I also use Avid XpressDV. Should work for the Vegas setup.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 11:34 AM   #5
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Kevin, your one solution is what Glenn adviced. For 2 monitor + 1 Tv you can go for Matrox Parhelia card set.

Another solution is go for Datavideo's DAC 2 (digital to analog converter) You can have your firewire in and from the DAC 2 you can have Component, Composite, S-video out. You can connect your TV here. It works perfectly with any DV i/o card.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:22 AM   #6
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(Sorry long reply...) Rather than telling you how to set your new system up, here is what I did and hopefully you'll be able to take something from it.

My edit suite has always had one PC that handled editing, encoding, and even email on a separate (removable) hard disk. I have had a few problems having it all on one PC at times and also it wasn't very flexible in that regard so I opted for a new solution:

I invested into two new PCs (mind you I did not do all this at the same time) and that way I was able to set up the suite in a very well organised and effective way.

I have a custom made desk that holds two PC monitors and a TV monitor. The first PC monitor (left) is my "encoding" monitor and is connected to PC1, the second PC monitor (middle) is my main "editing" monitor and is connected to PC2 and finally my TV monitor (right) is connected to my DV500Plus editing card via (RCA).

The original older PC is now sitting at the back of the edit suite and only does email and "office" duties.

All PCs are networked and all have removable hard disk bays, (I use removable bays/hard disks mainly if I have multiple projects started at the same time). Now moving video and sound over the network is no problem, and I use this to "back up" important files and projects (AVIs) that are ready for encoding. As for keyboards and mouses, I have a set for each... PC1 and PC2, so they are totally independent in that regard.

Both the "editing" and "encoding" PCs have multiple hard disks within them and I back up all files internally from hard disk to hard disk which gives you an incredible amount of redundancy incase if a disk or motherboard failure.

Space is cheap and I know some might say that might be a waste, but not if you are working on a big project that has taken you 6 months to edit... I had a loss like that a week after I had backed up to tape, so I didn't loose it all, but if I didn't have a back up on tape I'd be street sweeping right about now.

Anyway, I have basically set it up mainly for redundancy, flexibility and multitasking, and yes you can multitask in windows, but I haven't seen many people edit while something is being encoded or burned at the same time.

Oh and I also have the system powered by a filtered UPS which is handy for power failures.

OK... you are probably looking at a lot of money doing it my way, but I did build this as I went, so when you start leave provisions for "upgrades" and "addons" so that the more work you do in the suite the more you can enhance your suite as time goes by, that's if you want to.

One last point, if you really want dual head, and you have two separate PCs like I have, you can still do it via KVM switchers or monitor splitters. So you could still have the two PCs running and working with two separate PC monitors, but you could also "switch" between the PC1 monitor and PC2 monitor (input 2/second head, for example).

Hope this helps,
Jack Robertson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 2nd, 2003, 09:07 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Debu Gohain : Another solution is go for Datavideo's DAC 2 (digital to analog converter) You can have your firewire in and from the DAC 2 you can have Component, Composite, S-video out. -->>>

I nearly got one of these awhile ago because I wanted to send component video to a monitor. But they were around $500 at the time, so I put it off. The big advantage of this device is that you can capture analog component video and convert to DV (if you need this capability, which I did not).

Another option to consider is getting a standalone DVD recorder with a firewire input. I got a Sony RDR-GX7 which takes firewire in and sends out component, s-video and composite. So this gave me the same capability - to send component video to a monitor - with the added bonus of being able to record DVD's. The Sony is a bit more expensive, but there are other models out there for about the same price as the DAC-2, some are probably even less. The other thing I like about the DVD recorder is that it will output progressive scan to my monitor, which looks really good.

Anyway, this may not be the way you want to go, but just thought I would mention it as a possibility..
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