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Old July 28th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #1
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Ok--here are two scenarios where I need some advice

We're a small college in rural Tennessee and so we don't have access to lots of fancy stuff and our budget is REALLY small. One of my friends works for a company that rents out the big 12 foot wide jumbo-tron screens for events and he frequently sets it up for us to use here at the college for our sports games. Input options on the jumbo-tron switcher are BNC component or BNC composite.

I've got up to four cameras on the game: An XH-A1, a GL2, an XL2, and an old VX2000.

What's the best way to get a signal from the camera to the switcher (potentially up to a 200 foot run)?

Second scenario: we hold a film festival in an historic theater in nearby Chattanooga every year. We try to do our film festival up similar to the oscars with bands, presenters, MC's, just have a lot of fun and do a big production. The past two years we've been able to borrow a rear-projection screen and a projector. Two years ago we were able to borrow a pro grade video switcher, but last year that wasn't available so one of the guys bought one for $20 at WalMart--didn't work well.

We've got up to four cameras running different angles (same cameras as above), a DVD player, and a computer with DVI-D or VGA outputs available. Any recommendations on a good (cheap--willing to go E-Bay) video switcher (don't need a full mixer) that we can use? Ideally I'd like to go with component from the A1 and S-Video from the other cameras (here our longest run is gonna be about 150 feet). I'd like something that would allow us to go from camera to camera smoothly without a flash like the Wal-Mart switcher did. Something that could work with HD would be excellent, as I'm hoping to pick up a few more HD cameras for us soon (hoping for HD-SDI, but it's probably out of the budget right now).

Any suggestions for either of those scenarios?
David Beisner
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Old July 28th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #2
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DataVideo is probably manufacturing the least expensive switchers that would still do what you need (component input, graphics overlay). Check'em out at, our sponsor here at DVinfo.
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
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Old July 28th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #3
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You can check out the Edirol V-4 or LVS-400 at B&H or Musicians Friend

Also, you can consider using s-video cables. Pro: Good picture quality. Con: Very fragile. Also, you can consider using coxial cable with a bnc/composite adapter (depends on the type of connections on camera.) The last possibility (actually an option that I am exploring for long runs) is video over cat5 . Google: video over cat5.

I hope this is helpful.
Jack-of-all-trades trying to master one (Videography)
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:45 PM   #4
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When I do long cable runs of an S VIDEO signal, I use the svideo to 2 bnc breakout cable. Granted you need 2 of the adapters and 2 bnc's for one cable run. But bnc or pro race cable are better than standard s video cable, which aren't meant to be run long distances to begin with.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:27 AM   #5
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Check out the Sony DFS 500. It can be found for relatively cheap on some of the auction sites.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:05 AM   #6
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Thanks guys... I've seen on E-Bay (for around $100ish) single rackmount units that use BNC connectors and simply have push buttons for switching from channel to channel. On average they seem to have 6-8 channels each. They look like they've been pulled from broadcast studios or something. Do those kinds of things work on their own, or do they require another controler of some kind? If I were to get something like that, do they make VGA to BNC adapters so that I could include the computer? Or would I need a computer with a video card with BNC output (thinking something by Blackmagic or AJA)?

I'm not necessarily trying to go pro with this stuff, just make it workable and fun. Having to deal with a TON of stuff to set up really isn't an issue either (i.e., I'll be looking for cheap 13" TVs instead of a 2-4 screen rackmount preview monitor for previewing my channels before sending them to the main screen.)

checking out the video over cat-5 now and I'm really intrigued!
David Beisner
Media Specialist, Bryan College, Dayton, TN --
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:19 AM   #7
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your best guess is to find a videonics MX1, 4 input (Y/Cor composite).
switching properly video is almost impossible without complex electronic (frame buffer, TBC).
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