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New Church Project - Live vision switching
Hi All, I'm new here and to give you a brief introduction I'm the estimator at an audio visual installation company currently working on the boss' mother's new church project. I'm the AV guy at my church among other things.
I'm designing the visual system that will go into the the main auditorium and it looks like this:-
3 x Sanyo VCC-HD5400P Full HD (HDMI out) PTZ cameras, one for stage/speaker and 2 for congregation/band/choir (scaled to VGA with a HD Fury 3)
1 x Onkyo Bluray player (scaled to VGA with a HD Fury 3)
1 x Topfield HD digital set top box (scaled to VGA with a HD Fury 3)
1 x PC with VGA output
Kramer VP-8x8 VGA matrix switch with delayed switching
3 x Sanyo PLC-WM5500L projectors
1 x Samsung 55" LCD in the cryroom
1 x capture PC for DVD & CD creation
1 x Pacom FASTRAX II E PTZ controller
1 x AMX touchpad to control all of the above
Whilst this system will work reliably the issue I have is that the matrix switcher isn't a seamless switching unit so when they go from say a camera feed to the PC feed on one or more screens it will switch over instantly with no transition. In order to create that seamless switching I need to add a $20K - $100K live vision switcher. I've looked at Kramer's VP-747 with the T-bar controller accessory but it doesn't have the necessary connectivity, even the Roland V-1600H doesn't have the necessary input/output mix.
After reading some of the threads here I've discovered the ProPresenter system which I would like to incorporate for the 3 projectors so that they can overlay their words over video etc.
Can anyone contribute any advice etc?
Firstly, whats with all the HD Fury devices? Lets ditch all of them! You want to keep conversion of any sort to a absolute minimum, which means getting devices that output the correct type of signal for your switcher, so everything works together nicely, with minimum latency. That means if your going down the HD route, we'll want HD-SDI wherever possible, and where that isn't possible, Component HD. No HDMI is easier.
Secondly, the VCC-HD5400 is a network PTZ camera, so its primary design is to operate over network protocol, not in a live situation. Its not the correct camera for the job, so i'd be looking for something else. HD capable, with SDI output. The most affordable option will probably be the Sony EVI-HD1, which is a bit over a thousand more than the Sanyo, but is designed more for your sort of situation. Sony & Panasonic also have other models, that sit in the 5k plus range. I'm not a PTZ expert, so if anyone else has suggestions, feel free to chime in.
Now lets talk about switchers. The two that i'd suggest you look at are: 1) Data Video SE-2000 2) Panasonic AVHS300G. These two switchers are reasonably similar in terms of functionality. Each switcher has its pros & cons. The Datavideo is only 5 inputs, so you'd have to drop an input, or put it on an Aux switcher, but its cheaper, contains a built in multiviewer, has audio control, and has Component HD output. The panasonic on the other hand is 6 input, has an Aux bus, and supports input boards for different signal types. You'll have to look at the pros & cons of each for yourself, and decide where you want to head.
The next hurdle is the Blue-ray player and set top box. Its safe to assume that they'll have component HD output. You could use either that, or possible the HDMI output if you wanted to. The panasonic switcher has an optional component input board, but at $1500, its cheaper to purchase external converters. The Blackmagic Design Mini Converters will set you back $500 each, and come in both Component HD to SDI, and HDMI to SDI. If you go with the Data Video switcher you may consider purchasing only one converter, and using an external switch to go between the Blue-Ray and set top box, as I can't see you using them as back to back sources in a live environment.
The PC is super easy, both switchers have DVI inputs, so i'm sure you know what the plan is there.
As for your output devices, i'd feed the capture PC HD-SDI, and use a blackmagic decklink card as the capture card in the computer. As for the projectors, you could feed them either Component HD, or HDMI. With the datavideo switcher, you've got component HD output, but not with the panasonic. If you wanted to go down the HDMI route, then grab another blackmagic converter. You'll also need the converter if you want component HD from the panasonic, as the switcher only outputs HD-SDI.
I know i've pretty much rewritten your plan here, but that should help point you in a lot better direction for doing a good quality live video setup. Happy to answer any question, and i'm sure others in the board will have some great ideas, but i'd suggest investigating the products i've suggest first, so you get a better idea of the plans of put forward.
Component on HD devices isn't necessarily a given anymore. First, 1080p won't work on BluRay players through component at all (no technical reason for this; it's policy). Second, b/c of something called the "Analog Sunset", new devices may not have the ability to output HD (of any flavor) from the component outs. It might be restricted to 480i. Older devices would be unaffected, but new ones could be restricted.
Something to keep in mind.
The "analog sunset" issues deal primarily with AACS protected content for Blu-Ray, although nothing prevents manufacturers from applying it to any content, so how much that may impact you could depend on the content.
As far as the general video system, perhaps it makes sense to start with what it is you are trying to accomplish. For example, are you wanting to do i-mag from the cameras to the screen(s)? Are you wanting the same image on all three screens, an image across all three screens, the ability to have different images on different screens or some combination of these? What are you wanting to record, might it always be one general camera shot or what is on one screen or totally independent of what is on the projectors? And who is going to be operating all this? The answers to these types of questions will establish what types of switchers, routers, processors, etc. are appropriate. And as can be expected, the more flexible you want everything to be, the more you can expect to pay.
Zactommo gave some very good input on the cameras and switchers. One thing to consider there is whether you can achieve the desired images from the proposed camera locations and lighting. For example, the higher end Sony PTZF cameras have twice the zoom capability and can work with half as much light as the EVIHD1 noted, which can be an important factor in specific applications and of no relevance in others.
Is a PC with VGA out a viable long term plan or should you consider also addressing DVI and/or HDMI? What about a computer input at the stage, would that be very useful or nice but not necessary?
You mentioned an AMX touchpanel to control everything but the touchpanel would be just part a an AMX control system and both the touchpanel and control processor would need to be programmed specifically for the application.
And while thinking about all the gear is fun, also start thinking about the practical issues like how you get cabling and power to the cameras and projectors, whether you have enough room and power at the operator's location, whether your lighting needs to be improved to better support video and so on. These issues can also affect what is possible and the quality of the end result.
Thank you guys for the help so far, I'll address a few things that have been said with what I understand to be the case:
1. HD Fury 3 - removes HDCP and converts to HD over 5 coax (can be RGBHV/VGA or HD component - the Bluray & STB will need this to firstly remove latency altogether as the devices are permanently handshaken mode and everything is speaking in the same language (HD signal over VGA)
2. Future proofing through DVI/HDMI - nothing is as yet set in stone with these technologies, Intel are still arguing with major manufacturers about changing their level of HDCP encryption and making even harder and longer for devices to handshake with narrower encryption key possibilities - so speaking from the experience of having successfully commissioned several 6 figure HD distribution & switching systems the word is - leave HDMI & DVI alone if you can because it may work now but may not work later especially if your devices are firmware upgradeable. I have found the best way to distribute HD signals reliably is to convert them to HD/3G-SDI or HD component/RGBHV with a device that removes the HDCP encryption, it's illegal if you plan to copy media which is not what we're doing here
3. The cameras that Zactommo mentioned are great but actually cost $6150.00 each here in Australia, the Sanyo's only cost $2500 and have a direct HDMI output
4. The display possibilities I'd like to offer are - All inputs to all screens in any combination (i.e. full matrix) if that's not possible using production video mixer/switchers (it's not from any of the models mentioned by me or others) I'd be happy to offer a shared image of any available source to the 2 outer screens and a different image from any other available source to the centre screen, I can split the centre screen feed off to the capture PC & cry room as this is all they will need. So far my system will do all of this with the compromise of non transitional switching and reduced image performance from the cameras.
5. Audio is handled independently of the vision system and will be re-embedded and fed as a mixed AV feed into the capture PC
6. Converting system over to HDMI - stop swearing at me, HDMI is for home theatre I always avoid using it in commercial applications as it's too problematic $$$$ worth of rectification experience and Kramer, Magenta, Atlona, Gefen & Crestron training courses to back it up. Converting system to HD-SDI - will work but gets too expensive.
7. AMX is a whole control system that I've contracted out to others, all its peripherals are included
8. Full HD projectors are unfortunately outside the budget as they add at least another $4k per unit if I use a proper brand (remember guys this is Australia where everything AV cost 2x - 2.5x what it costs in the US)
9. I can drop the STB & Bluray player (route through PC) but that's all, I need 3 cameras & PC as a minimum but I can't have an external switch as it all gets way too hard to operate (sound desk, lighting desk, PTZ controller, AMX panel, Video mixer, PC - songwords).
With all that in mind & the fact that I have in now will work, can anyone think of a way to make it better, I have very little headroom left in the budget.
Here lies the problem I guess. Your sources need to be synced at some point, to get the clean cuts you require. The cheapest way to do this currently is the switchers I've recommended with internal time base correctors, but in reality, your either going to need to use HD-SDI, or component HD, because that what even the very low end professional HD switchers use. I know all about your price problems, i'm in New Zealand, where things cost even more than australia.
Given what you've said, my recommendation would be to go with the Panasonic AW-HS50N, http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp...Model=AW-HS50N which mean's you'll need to drop either the blueray player, or set top box, and use either blackmagic mini converters, or their open gear rack converters, to get your input sources as HD-SDI.http://www.blackmagic-design.com/pro...iniconverters/ http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/opengear/
I can't honestly see a more cost effective way of doing it if your goal is HD video production.
I have used/sold/installed a ton of PTZ cameras and I can tell you the Sanyo cameras will not give you a satisfactory video signal. Not to sound harsh but in the PTZ world there is a sharp and strict line between good and horrible. Also security cameras usually have HORRIBLE stepper motors in them. You get a jumpy pan everytime you move them. Henceforth you cannot pan while live and you might have a tough time zeroing in on a certain target. Think about it this way. A normal PTZ camera that I sell has no extra features. Just video out, the PTZF functions, and that's it. Maybe a card slot for different outputs. That Sanyo has oodles of security functions and extras and it's STILL cheaper than even the EVI-HD1 (the price leader in HD PTZ cameras). Somewhere they shaved off some serious money. My guess is that it's all in the optics and motor. Just because a camera shows 1080 lines of resolutions doesn't mean they will be GOOD. It could just be 1080 lines of crappy color.
As for Zactomo's suggestion of HD-SDI I heartily agree. I tried the whole match everything to VGA and it added crazy latency to the system. Your other option would be run it all in component HD. With your budgetary constraints I would look long and hard at going tripod cameras. Good PTZ HD is a very high priced endeavor and it may be best to go Tripod. Case in point, you can get Sony HDR-FX7 cameras for 2k or Panasonic AG-HMC150 cameras for 3k. Both would blow the Sanyo or Sony EVI-HD1 out of the water! You would have to spend 6k in the states to get a camera as good as these on a robotic body.
Well I will get off my soapbox. PTZ cameras are near and dear to my heart but PTZ HD is an expensive endeavor. You don't want to spend 40k on a PTZ system that you will hate, when you could spend 25k on a tripod system you will love. It might just end up being a waste...
I understand the reservations with HDMI and DVI, but we can't seem to ignore that these, or variations on them such as DisplayPort, are the formats we'll likely see in the consumer and computer world for the immediate future. However, I was not necessarily suggesting an HDMI based system but rather addressing accommodating potential HDMI and/or DVI computer sources and possibly staying in the digital realm, maybe HD-DSI, rather than all of the conversion to analog RGBHV.
Do you plan on moving the cameras while they're live? If so then you might want to try the Sanyo models with the controller planned in order to see how well the pan, tilt and zoom functions work for that use. (I see that Steve beat me to this while I was writing the rest of my diatribe)
Removing HDCP is not just an issue with recording. I've run into this before with the HDfury devices and as I understand it the intent of those devices is to allow analog display devices to accept HDMI w/HDCP inputs. They are not intended to strip HDCP or to convert HDMI sources to analog signals for distribution. The HDfury Web site under the "What are the advantages of using HDfury" FAQ states "HDfury can screw directly to your display therefore (unlike the stripper/converter boxes) it remains compliant to the HDCP rules as it does not allow and end-user easy access to the analog decrypted signal. It can therefore be used and sold legally to transform any RGB display into a HDCP compliant display." Using these devices at sources specifically to remove the HDCP restrictions and access a decrypted analog signal for distribution seems to not only not be the intended use but also potentially illegal.
You seem to be creating more a presentation than production system. But there's also the possibility of some form of hybrid system. For example, incorporate a small production switcher whose Program output feeds the matrix while the inputs are the cameras and a couple of matrix outputs. That would seem to allow much nicer transitions, provide the requisite sync functionality and provide a better production in terms of the recorded content. The only thing that it would seem to lose is displaying more than one camera simultaneously. If you wanted to go another step to address that you could DA the sources to both the production switcher and matrix switcher.
Can you clarify the goal with ProPresenter? This is a very powerful option but things such as whether you want to be able to insert live video, to display images across multiple screens, to overall text and graphics over video, etc. via ProPresenter could affect what is required in terms of the software and hardware. For example, if you want to use ProPresenter for downstream keying of graphics over live video rather than just with graphic files from the computer, then the ProPresenter PC (it would actually have to be a Mac to support this functionality) needs to support receiving the live video feed and outputting the processed signal, which requires some additional hardware and getting the video signal to the computer. Similarly, you could use ProPresenter, again on a Mac, to process images across three screens, but that would represent three inputs rather than one input to your matrix router.
That's some really great info, when I originally started looking at this I began to realise the Sanyo cameras were very cheap and started to worry about using them. I'm glad it's been clarified that they will not perform as hoped for.
i now have the info to go to the board and say either you need to inject another $20K to $40 to your budget for proper cameras and switching gear or drop the live vision stream from the spec.
hmmm... I've just stumbled across this: Analog Way SMX100 Native Matrix Seamless Switcher 10:2, it will allow the right number of inputs in a range of different signal types so I can adjust my sources to avoid scalers and using the outer 3 projection screens as a split output I can get the matrix effect I need.
Anyone had any experience with this?
PS. I really should be listening to the sermon but I've completely lost track because of some weird rogue feedback that I can't get rid of...