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Old October 7th, 2005, 07:00 AM   #1
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Video file queuing system for live projection?

Hi all--again, I'm hoping Boyd or someone else with live theater experience might know what I should be looking for--

I'm working on a digital projection setup for live theater, and I'd like to have some way for an operator sitting at a computer to be able to seamlessly queue video files (and, if possible, transition between them with fades and dissolves) which would then be projected on the set.

I've worked in the past with sound queuing systems that made it easy for the operator to advance to the next audio loop, or fade the current one in or out as programmed, just by hitting the spacebar. I'm looking for something that can do this with full-resolution video clips.

I don't think PowerPoint is capable of what I'm looking for. There always seem to be awkward pauses in PowerPoint video presentations, but I need something that will respond instantly to a spacebar press.

I'm not sure if I might rig up a presentation in Flash that might do what I'm looking for.

I've found a bunch of web sites for products designed for projector control for worship presentations for churches. Are these what I'm looking for?

http://www.presentationmanager.info/
http://www.churchview.net/
http://www.worship-him.com/

I've also found a piece of VJ software, but again, I'm not sure if this is what I'm looking for.

http://www.aestesis.org/mb/

Any guidance as to the best avenue for this project would be much appreciated. Even a point in the right direction!
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Old October 13th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #2
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I don't know what your budget is, but take a look at the Catalyst media server. It comes in various configurations at different price points, and the full hardware/software may be rented from lighting/AV companies:

http://www.highend.com/products/digi...g/catalyst.asp

You can download the software for free which is fully functional, but displays blue bars across the screen(s) unless you purchase the dongle. I'm using this system right now in an opera and it is very cool. The best thing about it from my perspective is the DMX control interface (in fact this is the only reason we're using it). This allows you to control the video from your stage lighting console. So the video cues just become part of the light cues, which is a dream come true for anyone who has struggled to synchronize different media in a live show before.

I haven't used any of those other programs, sorry. For something really simple you could just use FCP on the mac and configure the projector as your second monitor. Personally I wouldn't trust that for performance use, but we're performing in a 3,000 seat theatre...
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Old October 13th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #3
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We currently use MediaShout at our church -- it will allow you to to cue up video files. It is designed for worship services but works pretty well for the price.

http://www.mediashout.com
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Old October 13th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #4
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We'll probably be using three separate digital projectors. Can MediaShout (or any of these programs) control 3 (or 4) separate monitors?
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Old October 13th, 2005, 03:09 PM   #5
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Take a look at
http://www.cycling74.com/products/jitter.html
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Old October 13th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #6
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I should have noted that on the front page of the Cycling 74 site is a link to information on artists using the Max/MSP/Jitter setup that should give you some idea if it will do what you want.

Some of the stuff is "out there".
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Old October 13th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #7
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The catalyst server only supports two screens, however they can be networked.

Another option to look at is "watchout" from Dataton:

http://www.dataton.com/watchout
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