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General Video Production Editing systems and software, cameras, mixers and more!

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tuesday, March 6th, 2012, 05:24 AM
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Any advice on improvements appreciated

Please see attached schematic

We are a Sign Language congregation so all worship is conduced in sign language and projected on screens. We have ceiling mounted cameras and projectors to show:

Speaker
Signed songs (on DVD)
Audience participation
Scriptures (Sign Lang videos)
DVDs of lessons

The switches and amplifiers are housed in a rack system and it has become an unmanageable collection of gadgets, producing poor quality output.

Why should this produce such poor quality is my first question and are there any glaring faults you can spot?
Attached Files
File Type: xls Schematic.xls‎ (29.5 KB, 29 views)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Tuesday, March 6th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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The sketch really helps but it would help even more if you could identify the actual products. A description of what you are trying to do or achieve would be tremendously helpful. And if known, even factors such as the cabling and signal types and the approximate length of the cables to the projectors would be beneficial.

Even with all of that information there are unknown factors such as are the switcher/scalers set to output the native resolution of the projectors?

I don't see anything that looks absolutely wrong, but I do see a number of areas for the signal quality to deteriorate or that simply have been superseded by new technology. Many composite video based system that were completely acceptable in the past have been rendered obsolete by changing expectations of the video image quality.
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Old Tuesday, March 6th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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OK, I have the spec of all the equipment.
Seems we have two different projectors, 2 different amps and 2 different scalers. Bizarre! Sure makes it complicated. A professor set it up but its us plebs who need to make it work better. Hence please don't use too much jargon :/

Video Desk to projector is about 40 feet.
Projector 1 feeds projector 2 and they are 15 feet apart.

We like to be able to see different outputs on the 2 screens and sometimes the same output on 2 screens.

e.g.

Video Camera output on Screen 1 and camera on audience member on Screen 2.

DVD player output on Screen 1 and Video Camera on Screen

Movie file (.avi) from PC on screen 2 and Camera on Screen 1.

I have used the 40ft cable to check a PC output to projector with nothing in between and the picture is very good. But once it's gone through the "machine of complexity" it's frankly not good.
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 05:39 AM
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I think your "machine of complexity" is your problem. It has all the signs of having mutated over time which is typically never a good thing.

I see WAY too many devices in what should be a rather simple chain: video sources -> switcher -> projectors.

At this point I see two alternatives:
  1. dive into the web personally and learn everything there is to know about church media technology so you can build a new system from scratch using up-to-date technology,
  2. find a Value Added Reseller in your area to design a new system from scratch using up-to-date technology.

Option 1 can save you thousands of dollars, but it costs you every waking moment of every day studying, reading, studying, studying, reading, reading and studying some more. Just imagine joining a monastery where you abandon your job, friends and family and pledge your life to solitary A/V servitude. (Not a perfect analogy -- it's actually far, far worse than that.) And the tragedy of it all is that, in your passion to squeeze every penny from every budget you may end up purchasing the wrong equipment anyway and end up spending MORE money than if you went with Option 2.

With option 2, you get to keep your job, your friends, your family and your sanity, and you make a new friend in the process who saves you months of frustration and thousands of dollars by not buying stuff that doesn't work.

(I chose Option 1. Can you tell?)
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Family Worship Center, Florence, South Carolina
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petereit View Post
At this point I see two alternatives:
  1. dive into the web personally and learn everything there is to know about church media technology so you can build a new system from scratch using up-to-date technology,
  2. find a Value Added Reseller in your area to design a new system from scratch using up-to-date technology.
I would say Item 2 might be "find a qualified Design-Build Contractor or Consultant in your area to design a new system from scratch using up-to-date technology" I am obviously biased on this in terms of Consultants but along with those who do that for a living I also know several engineers and techs at The Weather Channel, CNN, Turner Broadcasting, Crawford Post, etc. and from some large churches that do some consulting design work outside their regular jobs.
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 07:45 AM
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Wise words. Many man-hours have been swallowed up by this thing already and we have more important work to do as you say. Thank you
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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Excellent, so is there anything, Brad that you feel could be surgically removed from this system in the short term to improve things while we get on with consulting and buying something better?
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljk-wxm View Post
Excellent, so is there anything, Brad that you feel could be surgically removed from this system in the short term to improve things while we get on with consulting and buying something better?
Other than perhaps the "brightener", which I am not sure what it is actually doing, I don't immediately see anything that could be removed without affecting the functionality.

I agree with Mark that it appears likely to be a system that grew and morphed over time and that could likely benefit from a fresh look and combining some of the functionality and components into fewer, higher quality devices. That may also be a good opportunity to look at either incorporating or planning for new technologies such as HDMI and/or DVI computer signals and SDI video.
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Old Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for your valuable advice - we will get on with embracing the 21st century.
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Old Saturday, March 10th, 2012, 05:24 AM
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So, ignoring the fact that the "machine of complexity's" creator has reacted badly and is now in orbit.....

....we're considering the Edirol V8. What do you think?

Looks like a whole lot of BNCs.

So the PTZ cameras will connect straight in.
The PC VGA will connect straight in.

But the video out to the projectors - which is best for that?
S-Video or RCA or to use BNC to VGA adapters?

Why do projectors not have BNC connections? (Prob a dumb question!)

Thanks,
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