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Author Topic: Known issues with Barco and Macs?  (Read 6754 times)

Jonathan Schroeder

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Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« on: April 18, 2012, 10:41:46 am »

last year we replaced our video projector with a Barco FLM14 and are having some issues with syncing.  There are little diagonal lines ghosted over the screen dancing back and forth on most of our RGBHV inputs when using a macbook pro as the input.  The lines are most visible over white backgrounds, but they are everywhere.


We called out the install company and they narrowed it down to the input card, which I agreed with because it didn't matter how the computer was hooked into the system (UTP from FOH, UTP from podium onstage, direct into projector) it happened on the card.  We switched slots and the problem followed the card.  We requested a repair on the card and Barco sent us a new (referbed because they don't make the cards/projector anymore) card to try.  With the new card installed, the problem persisted. 


Recently I started noticing it on the last "clean" RGBHV card we have.


The tech they sent out then told me this was a known issue with Barco and Macs "not playing nicely" and we need to install a switcher/scaler between the two to translate into something the Barco likes.  I am not happy about not knowing this until recently, but before I spend the money on a scaler for the space I wanted opinions from here.


Is this a known issue, or are they trying to sell me something that won't solve the problem?
Thanks,
Jon
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TonyWilliams

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Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 10:52:57 am »

Have you tried finding and connecting a different laptop, such as a PC to rule this out? It's hard for me to believe that it has problems with just macs. Mac video cards are made by the same companies as many PCs out there. Also  have you tried a RGBHV isolation transformer in line?


- Tony Williams
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Brad Weber

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 12:25:03 pm »

The tech they sent out then told me this was a known issue with Barco and Macs "not playing nicely" and we need to install a switcher/scaler between the two to translate into something the Barco likes.
What projector and input card?  What Mac and dies it have a discrete video card?  What is the actual output (DVI, HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort, etc.)?  Have you tried different resolutions and scan/refresh rates?  Making sure the projector is on when you turn on the Mac?
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Jonathan Schroeder

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 12:51:42 pm »

Have you tried finding and connecting a different laptop, such as a PC to rule this out? It's hard for me to believe that it has problems with just macs. Mac video cards are made by the same companies as many PCs out there. Also  have you tried a RGBHV isolation transformer in line?


- Tony Williams
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


We did test it out with the service techs pc and the lines weren't there IIRC.  I can bring in my PC from home and see if it causes problems or not.  It was certainly most noticeable on my Macbook pro. 


The projector is the Barco FLM14, and the input cards on the projector are the RGBHV input cards for the device.  The outputs from the macs (macbook pro) are the mini-display port to VGA adaptors.


I have gone through several different settings for resolution and scan rates and have found the ones that seem to be the best, but they all still have the lines in them. 


I will see if I can pick up an iso-transformer to test out and see if it fixes the problem.  I would really like not to have to put a switcher/scaler in-line when the projector has one built in.  Are there any models that are better than others or one I should look for in particular?


Thanks,
Jon
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Clayton Ganzer

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 11:44:07 pm »

Is this a known issue, or are they trying to sell me something that won't solve the problem?

I have heard of this issue before, but I can't "guarantee" that a scaler/switcher will solve your problems. However, I would recommend that you always have a scaler/switcher between your input device(s) and your projectors. You could always rent a scaler/switcher to see if it fixes your problem before you actually buy one.
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TonyWilliams

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Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 12:40:00 am »


 Are there any models that are better than others or one I should look for in particular?


Thanks,
Jon

The only one I know of is the Extron GLI 2000 5BNC. The list price is just under $1000 so it might be wise find someone that already has one to try. I'm sure there are other companies that make a cheaper one.


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Gareth Marsh

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 03:45:25 am »


We called out the install company and they narrowed it down to the input card, which I agreed with because it didn't matter how the computer was hooked into the system (UTP from FOH, UTP from podium onstage, direct into projector) it happened on the card.  We switched slots and the problem followed the card.  We requested a repair on the card and Barco sent us a new (referbed because they don't make the cards/projector anymore) card to try.  With the new card installed, the problem persisted. 


Recently I started noticing it on the last "clean" RGBHV card we have.


I know you state that it worked fine on the "clean" input card, but do you ever have the mac hooked up to any other displays? Is there a possibility that it is the laptop output or adapter that is faulty?

As an alternative to the switcher if the problem persists, have you considered perhaps changing over to DVI? Surely you would have a digital card in the Barco and if you are running over a moderate length UTP setup then you could possibly just change out the ends - this would likely be cheaper than buying a switcher if you have no other need for one.

Only one caveat - Macs are picky with HDCP all the time on DVI so that could be a major catch.


Hope this helps


Gareth
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ben wheadon

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2012, 09:06:42 am »

last year we replaced our video projector with a Barco FLM14 and are having some issues with syncing.  There are little diagonal lines ghosted over the screen dancing back and forth on most of our RGBHV inputs when using a macbook pro as the input.  The lines are most visible over white backgrounds, but they are everywhere.


We called out the install company and they narrowed it down to the input card, which I agreed with because it didn't matter how the computer was hooked into the system (UTP from FOH, UTP from podium onstage, direct into projector) it happened on the card.  We switched slots and the problem followed the card.  We requested a repair on the card and Barco sent us a new (referbed because they don't make the cards/projector anymore) card to try.  With the new card installed, the problem persisted. 


Recently I started noticing it on the last "clean" RGBHV card we have.


The tech they sent out then told me this was a known issue with Barco and Macs "not playing nicely" and we need to install a switcher/scaler between the two to translate into something the Barco likes.  I am not happy about not knowing this until recently, but before I spend the money on a scaler for the space I wanted opinions from here.


Is this a known issue, or are they trying to sell me something that won't solve the problem?
Thanks,
Jon

Have a go with switch resx, you'll find this link helpful.
http://www.madrau.com/indexSRX4.html

As earlier posted the HDCP issue with mac's can be a pain, especially with barco proji's - I've found that Switchres X is pretty cool for forcing the res you want out of the mbp. useful on all apple products. Please also check that the MBp is outputting to a normal monitor ok, it seems to me that the video card on the mbp would be the first place to look for faults. Those babies don't bounce very well.

good luck.

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Jonathan Schroeder

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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 12:22:21 pm »

Have a go with switch resx, you'll find this link helpful.
http://www.madrau.com/indexSRX4.html

good luck.


Unfortunately, this is in an auditorium that I don't always have control over the input device so something specific installed on the machine isn't an option, without adding it to the school-wide build on the next upgrade.  If it is the only option, I can pursue that with the IT folks, but if there is a hardware solution, I would rather go that route.


We have two DVI cards for the projector, so I could use one DVI for the Blu-ray and one for the podium or FOH laptop (leaving one RGBHV card for the other location), but it is looking more and more like getting a switcher/scaler is a better option, if it solves the issue.  I had heard about the HDCP issues when we were initially looking into this upgrade, which is why we went with the RGBHV cards and VGA outs from the computers. I will make a few calls and see if I can get a rental unit in here to test it out and see if that solves the issue. 


I have tried my machine on a regular monitor and it is a clean output.  I have seen these issues on probably 10-12 other macs, so I don't think it is a hardware issue on the display port, unless it is mac wide.


I have a feeling there are only a few of us that even notice the issue, but that doesn't matter to me.  The system needs to work.


I keep on coming back to the fact that if it was a Mac/Barco issue, I would see it on all of the cards.  Maybe it is a firmware issue, but I would assume (I know about assumptions...) that the new card (with the lines) would come from the factory with the latest firmware.


Thanks for everyone's help. I have a workaround (swap the cables from FOH and Podium) but that shouldn't be necessary, and I get nervous swapping the cables mid presentation.
Jon
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Re: Known issues with Barco and Macs?
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 12:22:21 pm »


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