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Old April 26th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Low Budget Monitors for Small Church

Hello All,

A friend of mine is looking at video taping their church services. He has his own GL2 and the church recently purchased one as well.

The problem is, he doesn't have a way to monitor what the camera operators are doing. He is on a VERY limited budget. I'm looking for advice on the best route for him to go. I mentioned getting two inexpensive flat screens around $200-$250 and running S-Video to the flat screens. He is planning on using walkie talkies to communicate with camera operators. He is using Video Vegas to edit the video.

Is there any other way to do what he is looking to accomplish since most monitors in his budget will only have one input for cameras and no picture-in-picture? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #2
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A little more info about his set-up

Hi,
there are several options, but I thought I should learn more about your friend's situation to know what the best option may be for him. A few questions:

1. What is he using to mix the video and what is the target audience?
I am assuming that this is a 2-camera setup, where both video feeds run to a video mixer, and then he sends the output of the mixer to a projector for IMAG and also records a copy of the output to author DVDs/ or web delivery later. Is this correct?

2. If he is using a video mixer, what kind is it and what type of video is he sending to the mixer - composite, component, S-video, firewire? Is it 16:9 or 4:3?
A lot of mixers have loop-through outputs. If so, what type of outputs are available on the mixer?

3. What is your friend's budget?

If he just needs to monitor the video, one low-budget option is to run a composite (or alternatively S-video) feed from the mixer or cam to a 13" TV monitor (you can get a new 13" color Sylvania CRT TV for $50 on Amazon).

If the video mixer has loop through-outputs that makes it real easy. If not he can run video from the cam to a video duplicator ($40 from Radio Shack, although not great quality) and then run one output to the mixer, one to the monitor. For higher quality he can run S-video from the cam to the mixer, and simultaneously run composite video from the cam to the monitor.

Alternatively, if he wants to do everything on a computer, (the mixer, the monitoring, recording to disk, etc.) you could get 2 of Black Magic Design's Intensity Pro cards and use their On-Air software to do everything on one computer. Here's a link: http://www.blackmagic-design.com/pro...ensity/on-air/
I think this is currently only supported on Macs, but according to their website a Windows version is in the works. Since he's using Vegas, this option probably won't work so well.

I hope that some of this info is helpful to you - there are a variety of other solutions too, thanks,
Matt
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Old April 26th, 2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Thanks Matt

To answer your questions:

1. Yes it is a 2 camera setup (Canon GL2s). He was okay with just one because he could either video it himself or over the shoulder. With 2 cams he can't do that since he plans on having them in separate locations. Currently he is just making DVDs from the video that is captured. It isn't being projected, but I'm sure at some point he will get to this.

2. There is no video mixer.

3. His budget is less than $1K after getting the 2nd GL2.

He is also using a PC since he has Vegas.
I looked online and found a place called Inday http://www.inday.com/#Switchers:_ that appears to give the ability to connect multiple sources to a single monitor and switch between sources.

I almost forgot, he is recording to tape and transferring to his computer at home to use Vegas so he doesn't spend hours at the church after the service is over.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #4
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Cheap CRT monitors probably the way to go

Hi Ryan,

cool - thanks for the info. If your friend is just looking for the cheapest way to go, finding 2 small and inexpensive CRTs is probably the best solution to monitor the video. Also, using Walkie-Talkies can work for communicating with the camera operators, but it's not the best way to go. He may want to look into an inexpensive wireless headset system like the following:
http://www.eartec.com/Wireless%20Wired/24g.html

Hope it goes great for him and his church,

Matt
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