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How to control an amount of old TV's to make display video's on stage Utility Software
Old 8th May 2015
  #1
Gear Maniac
How to control an amount of old TV's to make display video's on stage

Hi All,

I'm currently searching a way to control like 20 TV's to display a video.
Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbiSNE54c30
The idea is to let the TV's display video clips in sync with music (maybe with Midi signals?).
But how do I control the TV's?
I would like to duplicate the tv's , like displaying the movie on each seperate screen and 'extend' the displays like acting like one.

What hardware / software could I use for this? (cubase?) the problem is, I don't want the audience to see us switching songs so when a song is finished the screens have to be black.

This is probably a very difficult question. I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question, but if it's the wrong one, what forum would you guys suggest me to go to?


Thanks!
Old 8th May 2015
  #2
Gear Maniac
Maybe if I can broadcast an Cable signal into the antenna inputs somehow?
Old 8th May 2015
  #3
Old 8th May 2015
  #4
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
the simplest way is to get 16 TV's and 16 VHS machines and playback whatever you want .. if you are looking to put cameras and live sources in these TV's you will need a video switcher of some sort to change the feeds .. best of luck - sounds interesting
Old 8th May 2015
  #5
Gear Maniac
We are an 80's band and I use my Korg Kronos for live sequencing.
Would it be possible to pre-program the video's and start them through a midi signal when I start the sequencer on my Korg Kronos?
But how do I get about 20 tv's to act like one / seperate? I don't have a video card with 20 output signals.
Old 8th May 2015
  #6
Lives for gear
 

You could maybe use something like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heB94f6FHd8
Old 8th May 2015
  #7
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
cold say, 1/4 of the screens have the same signal ?? you would only need 4 sources at that point .. 4 people could hit play on 4 VHS machines .. this is classic .. only at gearslutz .. love it ..
Old 8th May 2015
  #8
Gear Maniac
Plugable comes very close to the idea! But the problem is, we only want the audience to see the clips and definitely no background or program switching just a black screen between the clips. All this has to be linked to the sequencer in my Kronos so that when I press start on the sequencer, a midi signal goes to the PC to start the video clip.
@ jwh , sounds like a good idea but we want to be able to:
- Display clips on all monitors as one clip (so extended).
- Display different colors / scenes on random monitors.
So things have to be mixed. Simplest solution to me would be like seeing ALL the monitors as one screen (one big screen), where you can control seperate ones with pre-made clips when you have the dimensions of the different / positions screens. Hope you guys understand me, can't explain it that good in english.... i'm from Holland :p
Old 8th May 2015
  #9
Gear Maniac
But how can I let for example 20+ old TV monitors act like ONE BIG screen?
Old 8th May 2015
  #10
Lives for gear
 
valis's Avatar
Screen mapping. Either via software or hardware, software is a lot cheaper and will still require some additional hardware for that many screens.
Old 8th May 2015
  #11
Lives for gear
 
valis's Avatar
In addition to music, I also do VFX, 3D animation, and I VJ large scale events with large mapped screen arrays & smaller ones where we do mapped projections. I'm prepping for a big show in 2 weeks in fact, and have festivals booked all summer. I use resolume, touch designer & numerous other tools...

So it wouldn't be hard to solve this, but I would need to know what kind of budget you have and what existing hardware you have, etc.
Old 8th May 2015
  #12
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
valis .. take another read of the OP .. i believe he has nothing to begin with .. looking for advise .. you have very good ideas and i have probably seen your work somewhere out on the road .. maybe there is a poor man's way of doing this .. or low budget .. what hardware box is there that will split up say a computer output into a 1/2 dozen monitors via (VGA, Composite video, SDI, HD/SDI - ok maybe not HD/SDI .. or HDMI these days) ..
Old 9th May 2015
  #13
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
valis .. take another read of the OP .. i believe he has nothing to begin with .. looking for advise .. you have very good ideas and i have probably seen your work somewhere out on the road .. maybe there is a poor man's way of doing this .. or low budget .. what hardware box is there that will split up say a computer output into a 1/2 dozen monitors via (VGA, Composite video, SDI, HD/SDI - ok maybe not HD/SDI .. or HDMI these days) ..
I'm a poor man :-)

Definitely not HDMI, I want to collect one type of old TV's that I get for free.
Old 9th May 2015
  #14
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
thats right .. HDMI is too new .. composite video is your best, cheapest bet .. you can get composite splitters at radio shack or other small electronics store in your area .. fry's maybe, walmart maybe .. Valis might remember some older gear that may be cheap and still available .. probably does not need to be High Resolution .. just some wallpaper with cool images ..

you better post a video when you perform this .. love to see it ..
Old 12th May 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
thats right .. HDMI is too new .. composite video is your best, cheapest bet .. you can get composite splitters at radio shack or other small electronics store in your area .. fry's maybe, walmart maybe .. Valis might remember some older gear that may be cheap and still available .. probably does not need to be High Resolution .. just some wallpaper with cool images ..

you better post a video when you perform this .. love to see it ..
Yeah,
I want to display clips when playing these 80's songs.
Thinking of controlling the clips with a (modern) computer, but i'm still not really clear about how to achieve this.

Let's say X is a video clip. I want to be able to display at full size on every screen like:


or be able to display the clip (X) at full size on ALL screens, like every screen is a piece of the total picture.

like this:




nearly same concept:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xth0Ud8GTpg
Old 12th May 2015
  #16
Lives for gear
This requires the kind of sophisticated control cards used in video walls - i.e. you won't be doing this cheaply!

The only cheap way to do this, is to strip out the TV sets and just have the boxes (or better still, build dummies) and use a simple projector from the rear, masking out the spaces between the sets and putting a rear projection screen material in each TV box.

Once you have aligned the projector with the TV sets and you have created video that targets the individual sets and then sometimes all of them, you can achieve some stunning results with few means.
Old 12th May 2015
  #17
Lives for gear
I've just looked at the old BBC video and that just has two feeds that were split, which is not what you seem to want.
Old 12th May 2015
  #18
Gear Maniac
Hmm, maybe a strange idea but... what if I can make my computer act like a cable source.... like sending signals through analog cable...
ex;
tv 1 = channel 1
tv 2 = channel 2 etc.....

Would this be possible?
Old 12th May 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
An ordinary signal splitter/amplifier (that BBC clip for example) will just show the same picture on each screen. That BBC clip had two separate signals and two separate amps. That is cheap and easy and is used by every TV store that wants to show the same picture across the store.

What you are proposing is to mix the images, sometimes same everywhere and sometimes one large picture.

Using old TV sets, this is almost (but not quite) impossible. It would be very expensive, as all the control boxes that do this are fully digital, so the c.a. $3000 you would need for a 20-screen controller would also require D-to-A converters for each one. You can also get video wall controllers that do one screen each for up to 16 screens, but they cost at least $600 each, i.e. about $10k for a 16-screen display!

If you want to find out more, Google 'video wall controllers'!

And then there is the power consumption of 20 old TV sets!

Also, how are you going to transport 20 old TV sets?

If you do it my way, you use one cheap standard definition projector ($500+) and a single back-drop that is built to look like a range of old TV sets piled up on one another, but is in reality just thin plywood with the knobs from old GE TV sets. You then have to create and edit a set of films to look sometimes like separate images on each screen and sometimes shows one continuous image, as if you had such a massive control system working in the background.

Last edited by The Byre; 12th May 2015 at 01:50 PM..
Old 12th May 2015
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by saken View Post
Yeah,
I want to display clips when playing these 80's songs.
Thinking of controlling the clips with a (modern) computer, but i'm still not really clear about how to achieve this.

Let's say X is a video clip. I want to be able to display at full size on every screen like:


or be able to display the clip (X) at full size on ALL screens, like every screen is a piece of the total picture.

like this:




nearly same concept:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xth0Ud8GTpg
This is not my specialty, but I take a peek at what my collegues do with our VBOX systems for Ventuz. That however is not a low budget solution.

With a single workstation, you can have multiple output signals either as one screen OR as different screens cheaply, just by using a multi output graphics card (AMD W4100 for example). However, more than 4 screens is going to get expensive. Then there is the issue that the software used has to support the screen layout. If it does, it already will allow you to map any part on any screen just like you see at large shows. Some people mentioned some software, then there is also MAX/MSP which has the Jitter video extension. It can be fully programmed to be triggered by anything. There are some options but getting 16 or 20 video outputs is probably going to be the expensive part. If the displays all show one video they need to be synchronized, and that requires workstation graphics cards with an additional sync board... welcome to our world...

But read Valis' post again, this is his job...
Old 12th May 2015
  #21
For the signal on many screens (many of the same image duplicated), perhaps the easiest way for you to achieve that would be to take a VHS player with a composite output into a composite DA. That is fairly straight forward and composite DA's are really inexpensive (but kinda difficult to hunt down).

If you had a digital signal (with your source being a laptop or something similar), your best bet ($$$) would be to have the HDMI output of your laptop modulated into coax and then use RF splitters to reach each display. This is assuming you have tuners built into these old TV's and of course the modulator itself would be the most expensive piece of this equation.

If you want one big image on all the screens, that can be done but it's going to be way more expensive than some RF splitters and a modulator. I would look into digital signage solutions but keep in mind all that stuff is going to need a discreet scaler to bring the signal down to composite to reach each display. That in itself could potentially skew any starting resolutions determined by the device splitting the screens.

A couple thousand dollars in this scenario would be really helpful... maybe with some Blackmagic and Blonder Tongue gear it could be pulled off. Very interesting though and I hope you pull this off.
Old 12th May 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by saken View Post
Would it be possible to pre-program the video's and start them through a midi signal when I start the sequencer on my Korg Kronos?
Midi Machine Control?
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