Multiple Projectors, Multiple Sources.

C

calder

Guest
Hello all -
I'm new to the forum, so hope this is in the right place. I'm really a lighting designer and electrician - and have been providing a design for a car showroom. It has however drifted into the fabulous world of AV.

I'm wondering if a particular product, or selection of products exist.

I would like to be able to control 4 different projectors at the same time. There is exisiting cat6 cable in place so they could all be given a network card.

The images that need to be displayed are a mixture of still images, presentations and video.

For example;There could be a single image displayed from 2 of the projectors for 1/2 a day, whilst a different one plays a looped video

I guess the easiset way may be to use some kind of virtual mixer? Who knows... I open it to the floor, with hope and thanks!!
Calder
 

vex

Well-known Member
If you don't need any audio then you can just send the video signal down the single cat cable and use a video switch / matrix.

Would that do?

V.
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
I guess the easiset way may be to use some kind of virtual mixer? Who knows... I open it to the floor, with hope and thanks!!
Calder

What you need is source dependant what source are you using? 1 PC? multiple PC's? Multiple source PC, DVD etc? the control is the main issue (aaside from all of the othe rissues you will encounter.

I would say best option is likely to be a smart-e SNX4X4.
http://www.smart-e.co.uk/cgi-bin/products/products_detail.pl?SNX-4x4+
with RS232 control of projectors from a Control system like Pronto or RTi.

But you will need expert advice/training and probably assistance to set up and sort the first few.
 
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vex

Well-known Member
Hi HD.

If you don't need audio, I was thinking of a standalone Panorama system.

Nice and cost effective, RS232 and IR controlable.

V.
 
C

calder

Guest
thanks so far chaps...

there is no need for audio at this stage.
The source will probably pe from a single PC. BUt as everything is networked, other people might try and access them.
PRimarily though, it only needs control at one PC with the appropriate software - whatever that may be,

Calder
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
Panorama has no display control where as smart-e has RS232 and will run VGA and component etc for PC and DVD useage you could get away with a none matrix solution for a single PC source but all projectors will display the same data.

Or you could use a none video based solution using only PC connections this is less flexible and limits the choice of hardware.
 

vex

Well-known Member
VGA to component convertor and then a little controlinx to be able to drive the panorama matrix from any PC on the network would work great.

Then you could add up to three other sources as an when the requirement arrises. Freeview for the reception / service waiting area, DVD for screens in the showroom area featuring the car manufacturers adverts, CCTV for the managers office but switched to all the screens at night for added security.

Lots of options to play with.

V.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Since all you need to do is turn the projector on, surely all you need is a (seamless) matrix switcher??

Projector only sees one input so doesn't need input switching or aspect ratio control and the like.

A matrix switcher will give the ability to have more than one PC to go to one or more projectors (rather than a distribution amp which will mean the same image on all projectors all the time).

A seamless matrix switcher will mean you can mix PC, Video, S-Video, Component and have the matrix always output PC resolution.

Finally bolt on some CAT5 extenders point-point from Smart-e which can use a single CAT5 cable easily enough (and also backwire control if you still want to switch the projectors on from the source end). There are some companies who are now putting all of this into one box (seamless matrix switching and CAT5 output), I'm pretty sure Kramers new CAT5 products might include something of this description later this year.
 

hornydragon

Distinguished Member
Finally bolt on some CAT5 extenders point-point from Smart-e which can use a single CAT5 cable easily enough (and also backwire control if you still want to switch the projectors on from the source end). There are some companies who are now putting all of this into one box (seamless matrix switching and CAT5 output), I'm pretty sure Kramers new CAT5 products might include something of this description later this year.

Erm thats what Smart-e do already video input matrix switchers that output on Cat5 and drive (power) the extenders. also carrying RS232 for projector control. Not the cheapest solution tho, They also do a single source to 5 or 6 displays all over cat5 which is a lot cheaper. Source control will be the biggest issue by far regardless of which distribution system you choose.
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Not seamless they don't. Can work around with control of display at source with input switching based on input source signal type, but risk over complicating what should be a simple thing.
 

Gerard Fernand

Active Member
When is the system envisaged to be used? Everyday, one off events (car launches etc) or somewhere inbetween.

Do event changes, either presentation or projector control need to be fully scheduled or will there be an operator to start things off each morning or during events.

Who will be creating the content, i.e do they have a media department and/or are they part of a bigger franchise.

How many Cat6 cables are at each location?
 
C

calder

Guest
Evening chaps and chapesses,

thanks for the inof again - I'm understanding a little more - and let me answer some questions.

The system will comprise of 4 screens, which will be on all day. THe majority of the time, 2 of the screens will display one kind of Logo, and 2 of the screens display a different logo.

(Imagine the show room cut in half - with 2 different dealerships in each end, so the appropriate logo has to be displayed in each end )

As of yet, I have not been told where the images wil be come from - but have been asked to provide a system capable of displays stills (probably for the logos), and video - which I guess the show room staff will run once in a while.

Finally, there are 2 runs of Cat 6 at the moment. Each run will provide 2 projectors - which will not be displaying the same logos. Not physicaaly possible I' m afraid.

Thanks for all your help so far!
calder
 

Gerard Fernand

Active Member
Possible options.

1 - very basic.

All content on DVD, including still images which would be authored to DVD.

Breakout CAT6 cables to allow composte video feed (lowest signal quality but commonly used in commercial installations) to each projector pair and network for projector control and monitoring.
Cores 1,2,3 and 6 Network
Cores 4 & 5 Projector A composite video CAT5 extender.
Cores 7 & 8 Projector B composite video CAT5 extender.

Install small network switch/hub at projector A feeding both projectors A and B from CAT6 cable. Most manufacturers supply network ready installation/presentation projectors allowing control from web browser and monitoring feedback i.e. sending email when lamp replacement time has been reached. Hitachi, NEC, Panasonic etc.

Install 4 DVD players and CAT5 extenders at source end. Use matrix if required to have any DVD on any projector.

Minimum of 2 CAT5/6 cables required at source end. 1 for network PC to control projectors and 1 to take the 4 composite video signals. Asumption has been made that all cables go to a central server room patchpanel and that there is no fibre backbone breaking the route between the two locations. i.e. you can create a copper run between source and projector for video signal.



2 - flexible for content but requires someone to manage the content. Approx £1400 ex VAT per box.

Install a Onelan (or similar) http://www.onelandigitalsignage.com/ digital signage box adjacent to each projector connected to projector RGBHV.

Install small network switch/hub at projector A for connection of Onelan boxes and projectors A and B to network. Projector connection for monitoring.

Author content and playback schedule on any networked PC and upload to OneLan boxes. This would require someone with basic multimedia skills and time to manage content.

An additional software module can also be purchased for the OneLan box to allow RS232 scheduled control of the projector.

The Onelan system can be setup to allow certain individuals access to certain areas of the content so you could have a generic car makers video playing while allowing the sales or service staff to input local text for special offers etc.


You could also combine both of the above options.
 
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SeanT

Distinguished Member
We have a OneLAN box - it's pretty neat, but not cheap as you say - definitely the best solution if you require remote management (preferably with four static IPs to go with the four boxes).

Is this intended to be a permanent solution or not, I'm still not sure.

If I needed to do it temporary, I'd consider one of three methods - the third one could be a permanent solution if you know what you're doing.

1. A single PC (or OneLAN box!) running 2048x1536 screen res and distro'd to all four screens - needs projectors that can zoom into a quarter of the full image, but pretty simple to achieve.

2. Lots more cables, and some gaffer! (aka the roadshow solution!)

3. A dual head PC at each end, running password protected vnc, and software of your choice.

You (we) really need to know - (a) what content and where is it coming from (b) how long is this intended to be used for (is it permanent?) (c) what's the budget!!!
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I'd ensure your plans don't require any (or absolute minimal) intervention by the Show Room Staff - relying on sales staff in a retail environment is a dead cert to end up in Blank Screens.

Running Presentations from a PC that is not dedicated to this task is also a recipe for Blank Screens - or a screen with a Windows error showing for days on end.

If it is a PC based presentation make sure it only runs this app and that it will reboot into the App with a power up routine and you force an auto Power up at least once a day.

If your planning on running a Logo all day every day I'd suggest you install a Light box and forget about AV kit :)

Joe
 

Gerard Fernand

Active Member
If your planning on running a Logo all day every day I'd suggest you install a Light box and forget about AV kit :)

You got there before me, up too late last night.

On the same vein if they do go down the projection route, are they aware of and have they taken into consideration the annual running costs.

Most commercial projectors have a lamp life of 2000hrs. At 8hrs a day for 7 days a week these would need replaced every 35 weeks at a cost of around £300 per lamp plus labour. A lot of the projectors have an eco mode that will increase the lamp life to 3000hrs but reduce the brightness by 25% which may not be an option due to ambient light.
 
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hornydragon

Distinguished Member
Staic logos (even moving logos) are not a job for video equipment seems to be a commercial display solution required rather than a video display solution
 

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