Setting up screen outside department for video

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by EssentialParado, May 22, 2007.

  1. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    I've started a job as Apple media technician at a school/college here in the UK. I suggested we set up a screen in the corridor outside our department showing a loop of the student films. My boss asked me to make a list of what would be needed and she'd give me the money.

    Was hoping someone might have experience with something similar and could tell me what equipment was necessary and make any recommendations?
  2. VideoTour macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Mexico
    Wow. What an offer!
    Assuming that budget actually IS a concern, couldn't you go with something as simple as an LCD and a DVD player? And simply create DVDs that loop through a collection of student films.
    The real concern might be security, so you'll have to decide on some form of enclosure for the screen (and DVD player, if you can't wire it in from inside the offices.)

    If you're going to go kiosk-style and/or touch screen stuff it would be so much cooler, but can get remarkably expensive.
  3. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Apple TV and a large HDTV? Should work should it not?
  4. Mydriasis macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2005
    I didn't manage it, but we had a big beamer at the University I went to projecting onto the back of a semi-transperent canvas. I think they had a MacMini attached to it that they controlled via remote connect.

    They presented everything from student films, cafeteria menu, special events and announcements on it.

    Pretty cool, everyone always looked at it.
  5. EssentialParado thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    Cafeteria menu! What a great idea! I'll remember to include that :)

    Don't want to use a DVD player as it'll be a chore to make new DVDs all the time. Some sort of server would be nice - Mac mini seems like a good idea! What software can I use to queue up the movies and images and play them on a rotation? The simpler it is, the better.

    Would a plasma or LCD screen be better for a screen constantly on?

    Then I'd just need a secure wall bracket of some kind. Doesn't need to be hugely secure, because it's in the corridor, just nothing someone could yank off the wall in a second.

    Thanks a lot guys!
  6. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    Probably a 42" large LCD screen would be better than Plasma, at larger sizes, cost might become a factor making the plasma better choice.

    Just use Basically, setup a still of the cafeteria menu image, import it along with all of the student movies to iMovie, place them on the time line, re-arrange the order however you like then, export as a Quicktime file using the expert settings. Select .mov as file type, then set the resolution appropriate for your display and so on, then click 'Save' or 'Share'.

    Move it inot the Movies folder in the home directory, and use Front Row to play it. You can set it up so that you can log in to the mini from any other computer using Apple Remote Desktop and a VNC client on the other machine.

    So....Preferences>>Sharing>>Start Apple Remote Desktop, make sure firewall is on, and set the password for access.

    Then put a VNC client like Real VNC or Tight VNC on any computer you want to access the mini with. If it's linux or a mac, then use Chicken of the VNC.

    Then you can open the mini's desktop on your computer, and control it from there.

  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Assuming you don't need another computer, I second the AppleTV recommendation. Use the steps above to create the movie, and then sync with the ATV. Note that the ATV needs to be paused to sync, but that shouldn't be an issue. A mini would be nice, but costs twice as much and doesn't seem to provide any additional benefit to you, as far as I can tell, unless you just can't be bothered to pause the ATV when syncing. You can even set up the sync and then pause the ATV at some point later, at which point it will fetch the new movie.
  8. EssentialParado thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    Thanks Brian, I'll look at 42" LCDs.

    Apple TV could be an option. Once you've synced the Apple TV, does it run completely independently from the Mac? I can't really afford to sacrifice any CPU cycles from my personal machine.

    And assuming it does run independently, how much can it store on the hard drive? Does it work just like an iPod - one sync and then go? Or does it need to stream data on a frequent basis?

    As for Front Row - it won't let you loop videos, will it?
  9. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    Not sure about looping in Front Row, you may need to check the apple site for that....

    Apple TV should let you sync like ipod. 40 GB drive I think. don't have to stream as far as I know. I don't have one, this is just from what I've read around the net. also probably easy to check out on site.
  10. pdpfilms macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2004
    You can dump up to 40gb of video on the :apple:TV and it'll be fully independant. Though I'm not sure it loops... you might have to expand a single video sequence to 40gb by looping it, and then have to manually loop the entire file when it finishes. Not sure how long that would be though, might just be a couple hours.
  11. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Create your movie in Final Cut or iMovie then export your finished movie to quicktime, play it full screen with loop turned on. Simple. You wouldn't need anything expensive to run it on if the hardware was dedicated. Personally, what I'd do is burn it to DVD and set it to loop. Then buy a cheap DVD player to play the media on.
  12. EssentialParado thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2005
    Good point, I don't need Front Row at all. I could probably just use VLC actually. Of course, this rules out using AppleTV, but it's not my money so I'm not too bothered by a couple hundred pounds. I might even be able to buy a 1st gen Mac Mini through ebay… not sure of the school's policy on that.

    But yeah, I definitely don't want to create and burn a DVD every week, so that's not an option.

    It's just a shame Front Row can't loop, because AppleTV would've been ideal.

    Thanks a lot guys!

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