Playback software and wiring for video design in a theatre production

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by zonesix, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. zonesix macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2008

    I'm a theatre director, and am attempting to use as much video as possible for a new production. Ideally, I'd like to have several TVs on the stage, running different video footage, all controlled by the same person. (is this even possible?)

    My questions are:

    1) is there a good video playback software that can cue up video footage and easily switch from one to the other?

    2) can I send multiple video feeds to multiple TVs in the space all from the same computer? or do i need a computer for each TV?

    3) I'm very new to using video in front of a live audience. if anyone knows any resources or websites that has more information, i'd be very grateful!

    Honestly, even just knowing how to hook up one computer to one TV and playing video footage for a live audience would be helpful.

    Thanks so much!
  2. jroad macrumors member

    Mar 24, 2006
    Perhaps video dj software/hardware will fit your needs. Search Versiontracker and Macupdate.

    Yes, a computer can send multiple video feeds to different outputs. For example, if you are using a desktop with multiple video cards with multiple outputs, each output can be connected to a different display.

    Yes, this is possible, but it depends on your setup. The Video Card Output <-> TV interface need to be compatible or converted (vga/dvi/hdmi...)

  3. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2007
    Warminster, PA
    Dude, let me be frank. This is VERY expensive to do if you want to take the high road.

    For this you could use a DVD player and have each piece its own chapter with black at the end.


    For a much more expensive route you can use an Edirol PR-50 Realtime Video Presenter

    I work at Drexel University's TV station and we use it for shot box stuff on our LCD screen for our news promo.

    It's super simple, you just click the video you want and it plays it immediately. You can use only one video output at a time.

    But once again, this is super expensive.

    My vote is for the DVD player. It's cheap, and with a simple sheet laying out what each chapter is, it is mad easy.

    I really would shy away from the computer route. Computers are a total PITA and use a different color space than tv's YUV vs RGB. Cheap VGA to composite converters suck majorly.

    What kind of stuff are you going to be showing on the screens? Graphics, saved video files, or live video?

  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'd contact a consultant in your area and have them work up a proposal for you. There are a number of variables depending on what you want to do, how your theater is designed, etc.,. Is this just for one specific show/event or something you'd use frequently? Does the video need to be sync'd to audio? If yes, will the audio come from the TVs themselves or be fed thru the house sound system? How many TVs do you want to use and where do you want them positioned on the stage? Will the TVs be in fixed positions or do you want to be able to move them around? How far away will the TVs and the controller center be?

    Hooking up one computer, or DVD player, to a single TV is pretty straight forward. But if you want control over multiple TVs showing multiple feeds it gets more complicated depending on how much control you want to have over the TVs and the feeds.

  5. ZballZ macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    I do a lot of theatre-related work, and have been part of several shows containing both projections, live-feeds, live-feeds with greenscreen, several LCDs and other things.

    As mentioned, it is expensive !

    But, too my knowledge, and everyone I know doing this type of work, you need a piece of software/hardware called PANDORAS BOX. It lets you control, manipulate and run several video-signals (and lights)...

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