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monks19 04-23-2011 04:49 PM

Live video projection and mixing software
Hi, I'm looking for a software that can allow me to project (output) films on different monitors (actually 2 tv and a projector). But also, it allow me to add video affects (fades in - fades out especially). I tryed VJs softwares like Arkaos VJ and screen monkey, but no succes for using the sound (from the films).

So I really don't know what to do about this.

One more thing, most of the films comes directly from dvds.

Thanks to answer (and help me).

admin 04-23-2011 05:09 PM

Generally speaking, effects (fade/etc) are done via hardware, for live production work --- not software. For example, I've seen this setup:
  • Two Mac laptops, with what appeared to be Final Cut Pro on Mac A, and some sort of video asset manager for Mac B.
  • Mac B had pre-recorded clips, shown on the screen in the room during the event.
  • Hardware video mixer (with effects). Hardware audio mixer.
  • Live camera.
  • Camera and Mac B into mixers
  • Mixer into distribution amp, for multiple output - 4 total
  • (1) Mac A recording entire production, for immediate processing and streaming conversion upload minutes after event ended
  • (2) DVD recorder as backup recording to Mac A.
  • (3) S-VHS as backup to DVD
  • (4) Big screen above speaker so those in the back of the room could also see.
That was a single roller cart setup, used by a large church. Inexpensive, rather easy to put together, two simultaneous operators. (One monitored/mixed the video, one assisted in video and managed the audio mixers.)

Broadcast production can get quite a bit more complicated.
For example, a Tricaster Extreme:
Only $38.000 !!!

It's not as easy as just having some software.There's a lot of hardware required, too.

And you're easily looking at a budget well into the thousands, even if you go the cheap/used route to acquire everything.

You also have to pre-organize all the assets. Those DVD video clips, for example, need to be pre-loaded and ready to go. This means ripping the video from the discs, and possibly converting to match the required specs of the asset manager. MPEG decoding often has a decode delay, and such a lag may not be acceptable for live needs. At least not a MPEG-PS used on DVD, MPEG-TS may be different.

I don't do any work like this, but I've observed it, and I generally understand all the gear/process in use.

If college courses weren't so expensive, I'd take a live production class for fun sometime. This isn't really the kind of thing that can easily be taught from a book, web pages/guides, etc.

NJRoadfan 04-23-2011 11:29 PM

Software is NOT going to do this, you need hardware that does real time effects. I'm assuming you are dealing with SD sources, so the below applies... HD stuff will be quite expensive.

In high school we created a mobile production cart using nothing more then a Amiga equipped with a NewTek Video Toaster with a "Kitchen Sync" TBC, a few VHS VTRs, and our studio cameras. Audio was run through a separate sound board.

Another option is to pick up a used Panasonic WJ-MX50 mixer (or similar, we had one of those in the studio), it can handle both audio and video mixing and provides a frame sync/genlock for all your sources. I don't know if it does any TBC work, our SVHS VTRs (Panny AG-DS555 + 545 feeders) had them built in.

Both solutions are good for 4 inputs, and both come with plenty of built in transitions. The Toaster can do character generator and overlay graphics functions. The MX-50 can only to character generation with an optional keyboard add-on. For graphics, we used to render out credits and bottom 3rd graphics using Premiere and key them in. A cheap hack, but it worked.

All this with "budget" 1990s TV production technology. We had to improvise.... we had no choice!

admin: I'm surprised you have never taken a TV production course. Do it! Its a lot of fun, some of my best high school memories come from TV class. You are never too old to learn.

admin 04-23-2011 11:56 PM

I knew more about live production 15-20 years ago.
Basic methods are still the same now, but it's the gear that's changed. I'd like to play with some of the new toys (Grass Valley, especially).

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