Video upgrades/improvements

Discussions around receiving, originating, and holding Church broadcasts and conferences in meetinghouses including schedules, setup, equipment, and support.
craiggsmith
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Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:10 pm

I could use some advice; here are the basic things we want to be able to do:
1) Send a hi-res image from a computer at the podium to the cultural hall.
2) Display the output from a computer at the podium on monitors on TVs on the rostrum.

I'm assuming HDMI would be the desired technology. First, we need an HDMI splitter, but many have very mixed reviews. What are issues to watch out for regarding that? Second, we need to send the signal 200 ft or so to the video distribution rack, and then another 100 ft back to the cultural hall. I assume converting the signal to run via network cable is the best means, and I see a number of devices to do that, although so far none I've seen claim to be able to go 200 ft. I met with our FM group yesterday and they said they have not yet seen any new buildings that run HDMI and they have not converted any. Is there any standard equipment recommended by the church yet? I see devices out there from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand. (Note that they want a permanently installed solution, not temporary cable run through the chapel.)

Until we get this figured out, I still want to be able to do monitors and ideally send a composite signal throughout the building. I had planned to do both of these using a VGA signal because of the projector's VGA monitor out, but then I realized that it only works with a VGA input. I could use an HDMI to VGA converter, but given that HDMI is taking over and the problems I've outlined with VGA to composite conversion in my other post, I'm thinking I will try the HDMI route. But will it be any more reliable?

Forgot to mention one thing -- we really need to be able to support both VGA and HDMI sources, so we'll need to be able to convert one or the other regardless. Just a question of which way.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

russellhltn
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:41 pm

According to the tech press, "they" are working on phasing out VGA. So in a few years new equipment won't have it. HDMI probably has a longer life, even if it's not supported as well by some equipment you may have now.
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craiggsmith
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:53 pm

I don't think any laptops have VGA anymore, but we only have two projectors with HDMI so kind of stuck in the middle. But I only need one, so here is my short-term proposal:

HDMI splitter - before the projector
VGA to HDMI adapter - before the splitter if needed
HDMI to composite converter - after the splitter

Long term I'd then just have to get HDMI to cat6 converters, and use the other HDMI projector in the cultural hall.

Or I could do the opposite, switch VGA and HDMI above. The splitter could be after the projector though.

Or I could have both HDMI and VGA splitters and converters and no adapter between, but that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense unless the converters don't work well.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

rolandc
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby rolandc » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:09 pm

This thread may give you some ideas.

viewtopic.php?f=151&t=16640&hilit=hdmi#
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aebrown
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:42 pm

craiggsmith wrote:I don't think any laptops have VGA anymore

Oh, sure they do. All sorts of laptops currently for sale still have VGA. See a Lenovo, or Asus, or Toshiba, or MSI. Although HDMI is clearly more common for new laptops, it's not at all hard to find new laptops with VGA (and quite a few have both kinds of output).

craiggsmith
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:20 pm

rolandc wrote:This thread may give you some ideas.
viewtopic.php?f=151&t=16640&hilit=hdmi#

Thanks, excellent thread, I hadn't seen it. (It's under Satellite, might be good to have it under webcasting as well.) The latency issue concerns me; I'll have to look into that. Digital isn't always the magic answer for everything.

I'm not concerned about HD for webcasting and camera/video images at this point; I just need it to display presentations in the cultural hall. There are basically two types of signals we deal with -- video (low res, high frame rate) and still (high res, low frame rate). I guess I could use a different solution for each (wireless might work fine for a presentation), but sometimes there is embedded video in a presentation, so it complicates things. But I could just switch sources, which I'd do anyway once I get a good solution set up.

Or I could get an HD camera and just point it at the screen; that's what I've done so far for videos. Looks fine for video, but probably wouldn't look as nice for a presentation.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

craiggsmith
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:31 pm

aebrown wrote:
craiggsmith wrote:I don't think any laptops have VGA anymore

Oh, sure they do. All sorts of laptops currently for sale still have VGA. See Lenovo, or Asus, or Toshiba, or MSI. Although HDMI is clearly more common for new laptops, it's not at all hard to find new laptops with VGA (and quite a few have both kinds of output).

Thanks. I thought VGA was supposed to be dead by this year, but now it looks like next year maybe. Surprised to see Lenovo, as they were one of the companies that said they wouldn't offer it after last year. At any rate, none of the machines I've seen have had it in a long time. The thin form factor that's most common now doesn't seem to have room for it.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

craiggsmith
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:30 am

Just talked to Sewell tech support. Given that they are in Orem I thought they would be familiar with the our meetinghouses but the person I talked to wasn't.

A couple possible issues with HDMI: all the HDMI over network cable solutions are rated for 200-300 ft, but that's under ideal conditions. That might be OK but is pushing it. Plus there are the potential handshaking conflicts with HDMI splitters.

They do have an interesting HDMI over coax converter that is also rated for 100 m (a bit more expensive), and is tempting because I wouldn't even have to rewire, but he said that's pushing it as well.

He said for long distance analog is still the best; they have a VGA over cat5 converter that is rated for 1000 ft. I don't know if I'll have splitting issues though.

What would you recommend?
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

russellhltn
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Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:53 am

craiggsmith wrote:He said for long distance analog is still the best; they have a VGA over cat5 converter that is rated for 1000 ft. I don't know if I'll have splitting issues though.

I'm not sure what you mean by splitting issues. It would have to be an active splitter (no "Y" cable). I don't think there's any way for the computer to sense more than one monitor to decide on resolution and refresh speed. So it will be up to you to select something that everything can support.

Given the collection of display devices, I doubt if they all have the same native resolution. Sometimes selecting a non-native resolution can result in odd display artifacts. I'm not sure how displays of different aspect ratios would play out. (There's 4:3, 16:9 and I've seen 16:10 computer monitors.) I've never tried stringing together a number of external VGA displays. I'm not sure how big a problem that would be.

OTOH, I think HDMI only has a handful of standards to pick from. I think all devices have to support the lowest (720?). I also don't know as new TV sets would have VGA inputs, so you'd have to have a converter.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

craiggsmith
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:14 pm
Location: South Jordan, Utah

Re: Video upgrades/improvements

Postby craiggsmith » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:34 pm

Yes, that's the splitting issue I'm worried about. I would expect to have to set the computer for the lowest common denominator, but I would like to think that any device would display the image as what it is. But one of the TVs I tested Saturday for example for example took the 1024x768 image and displayed it as 1366x768 and I couldn't find a way to fix that. Not the TV I'd be using though.

So far all the new TVs we've gotten have VGA, but down the road that probably won't be the case.

This whole aspect ratio issue has me thinking -- all computers and TVs now are widescreen, but our camera isn't. I thought about upgrading our camera, but then I realize how I prefer a 4:3 so it doesn't show as much to the side of the speaker. Of course, for the choir shots and wide format is better. To bad I can't change that on the fly. And changing the projector aspect ratio on the fly isn't ideal either.

Might need a scaler as well.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT


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