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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #1
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video for a live performance???

hello all!!

i would really appreciate some help on an issue i am having.

i am going to be putting on a visual show for a band during their concert.

my troubles are as follows:

i need to know what software to use so i can play video clips on my computer and have that streamed to a TV hooked up through firewire-to-analog converter or something similar.

what hardware might i need to do this?

i know this is done like every day at concerts but i can't figure out for the life of me what they use to do it.

i want to have a few TVs on the stage that i can send video to during points of the songs to add a little flair to the show or even have band members trigger the video.

any help would be great!

THANKS!

mike
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Old October 16th, 2008, 08:55 AM   #2
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Hi Mike,

You need to get a Scan Converter (Google: Extron Scan Converter) to convert signal. You would also need a DA to distribute signals to your Video Monitors.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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what software would i use and what exactly is a "DA"?

thanks for the reply.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #4
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A "DA" is a Distribution Amplifier. When you split an electrical signal, you're going to lose a minimum of half of it's level every time you split it. A DA makes up for this by essentially amplifying the split signals so they're equal to the one that came into the input.


What TV's are you planning to use? what kind of cable runs? Give as many details as you can and you can be steered in the proper direction.

--Andy P
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Old October 17th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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Alright this is my area of knowdge so here you go:

Software
Windows Media Player on it's own will do the trick
VirtualDJ
PCDJ

Scan Converters

Expensive
Extron 405
Sony 1024

Low Cost
Go to your local computer store and they will have some cheap ones like $40 level which for what you are doing will do the trick and save you hundreds
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Old October 17th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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The other option is if you have DV editing software that will output over firewire (like Final Cut), you can play back the video in FCP thru firewire into a deck, camera or converter that will take the data and turn it back into video and then feed it into the distribution amplifier and into the projectors or screens.

As well, pro level gear routinely has loop-thru capability so a distribution amp MAY not be required. Older equipment will have a switch marked 75 ohm termination on/off (turn it OFF for loop thru) while most recent gear is auto sensing.

It all depends on whether YOU created the media and have it available as an NLE friendly file or whether you are playing back YouTube (or similar) video.

PS. Like Brett, I do this all the time as well. The correct solution is the one that works with what you have at your disposal.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #7
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Music Video

When we shoot concerts we split the video out from the camera one sent to the computer and one to an the amp (in a pinch we use an old VCR) for the TV's.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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He may not even need a scan converter. Depends on the computer. if it's even remotely modern, chances are that it will have some sort of TV out. Drivers these days have full screen output on a second monitor when playing an overlay video (ATI calls this theater mode, dont remember what Nvidia calls it).

Then all you need is your routing and distribution system.

Are these flat panel TV's/monitors or CRT? If they can accept a VGA input then I'd go that route.

Now if you want different images on each screen, that gets a lot more complex and a lot more expensive, but still doable (I do this every day too! There seems to be a lot of us around!)

--Andy P
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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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okay this is all very useful information. here is the exact details of what i want to do.

i want to use old crt TVs and this is what i want to do.

i want to have several TVs up front on the stage. then i want to have at least 2 TVs in the back of the crowd facing the stage. each TV is going to be hooked up from an amp or other audio source through analog RCA composite cables to the TVs. the audio sources will be plugged into the video in of the TVs. what this does is create a static type effect to the beat of the music. this way the TVs will flash static to the beat of the music. the TVs will be cheap so it is not a worry of messing them up doing this.

i also need some sort of switch to stop the audio from getting to the TVs also so that they are not flashing through the entire show.

but what else i want to do is have a splitter at the video in on the TV that goes to a computer. on the computer i want to be able to use some software to send video clips straight to the TVs when i need to during the show.

it would be nice to be able to send separate video clips to the TVs and not just one clip to all the TVs.

the idea is to do this cheap as possible.

also it would be nice to possibly have the band members trigger video through like a keyboard when they are playing.

i hope that clears some things up.

thanks for all the help.

mike
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:31 PM   #10
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i know it is kind of a goofy idea and set up, i just know it would be fairly cheap.

any help is great.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:47 PM   #11
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Hi Michael.

Sorry, but it's NOT going to be particularly easy to do what you want.

Driving VIDEO inputs with AUDIO signals is a recipe for messing up the INPUT stage of the TV's video buss. Then suddenly, you want to switch to VIDEO - then probably switch back to AUDIO - then probably switch back to video.

I've got to assume that the poor old cheap TV's input buss is NOT gonna be happy with facing this mess of non-TV compliant signals and after a while, it'll just pop a capacitor or otherwise penalize you for feeding it something it was never designed to accept.

The smart way to do this is to generate an actual TV signal that has the look and feel of the static image you want - but is, in fact, a TV signal that the input stage of the TV can parse.

There are tools designed specifically to do stuff like this.

DO a google search under "VJ Tools" and you'll find a bunch of relatively inexpensive software that's purpose built to do this kind of thing.

Livid instrument's UNION software is pretty popular from what I hear from my son's friends.

Good luck.
YMMV.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 04:36 PM   #12
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i understand it is not exactly a good way to do it. the TVs i have are all free and old so i am not worried about them dying. i am also having a splitter that feeds video into the video port alot with the audio, so when i only want the static, it will just be pushing black video to the tv and when i want video to it then i just play something.

on a side note, i tried those VJ programs and i couldn't figure out for the life of me how to output to a TV. i hooked my laptop up via firewire and then through a video camera to convert to analog but still nothing.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 06:28 PM   #13
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there are several solutions.

1) you play from the computer screen, so you need to transform the VGA signal to video with a scan converter. you can use dual screen feature to allow managing video on one screen while displaying it on another screen.

2) you play from the computer using available video output. some laptop have a video output so DVD can be displayed on a video monitor. Unfortunately this works usually only with mpeg2 video. You can add this feature with some Pc card if your laptop has no output.

3) you play to a non-video output (USB or firewire) and you still have to convert to video.
canopus makes some firewire converter. this is trickier since you cannot be sure that video will go tho the firewire port without special player. There is a player called video2DV that send any video to firewire port.

you can mix these solutions to get several output with different video at the same time (use media player classic, since the windows media player cannot run several instance at same time).
You can check matrox and its triplehead2go allowing to get 3 external screens.
but you will still need 3 scan converters.
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