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Author Topic: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link  (Read 17733 times)

brian maddox

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using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« on: June 25, 2012, 12:43:35 pm »

okay, i'm brainstorming over how to solve a problem and came up with a possible solution, but wanted to float the idea to find out why it won't work.

i want to use a smallish [3K lumens or so] projector mounted on our lighting truss to project onto some flat panels for our set.  the computer providing the images would be a Mac running ProPresenter software most likely.  this is an 'architectural projection' situation.  i'm not showing movies or video in the typical sense.  just changing images with a matte overlay.

the truss mounting will make running signal cable to this location a bit of a pain.  actually, a big bit of a pain.  however, i thought what if i use an apple TV as a WiFi receiver, plug it into the projector, and then send the signal via WiFi using AirPlay.  Most projectors come with HDMI at this point, so connectivity shouldn't be an issue.  and power is readily available on the truss already.

So, any reason why this idea won't work?

thanks in advance...
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brian maddox
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Brian Larson

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using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2012, 12:52:20 pm »

Assuming you could get the appleTV to display something other than a video in iTunes, it could work, but there are so many ways it could fail mid-show.

If all you need is a wireless HDMI signal you should purchase something that does ONLY that. A home media player is not the answer.
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Brad Weber

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 03:45:37 pm »

the truss mounting will make running signal cable to this location a bit of a pain.  actually, a big bit of a pain.
I would think the truss mounting would make a hardwired path fairly easy as the truss provides a method to run and tie off the cable.
 
Most projectors come with HDMI at this point, so connectivity shouldn't be an issue.
Apple + iTunes + HDMI + HDCP = not being so sure connectivity won't be an issue.
 
I agree with Brian, you can mirror an iPad 2 or 3 or iPhone 4S screen to Apple TV or send content from iTunes or an AirPlay enabled app to it but without a hack or other software, my understanding is that you'll have to wait for Mountain Lion for Mac mirroring support.  And even then, while something like AirParrot or the future mirroring would mirror the screen out to the AppleTV, you would see what's on the Mac screen and not necessarily the 'program' video output.
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Scott Carneval

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 07:55:38 pm »

I agree with what Brian and Brad have already said...wrong tool for the job.  Apple TV works GREAT for mirroring an iPad, but what's the point of a wireless connection for a desktop computer?  If running wire to the truss is such a pain, how do you expect to get power to it?  An extension cord won't meet code.  Just run the cat 5 and be done with it.  It will be much more reliable and headache free. 
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brian maddox

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 09:26:37 pm »

I agree with what Brian and Brad have already said...wrong tool for the job.  Apple TV works GREAT for mirroring an iPad, but what's the point of a wireless connection for a desktop computer?  If running wire to the truss is such a pain, how do you expect to get power to it?  An extension cord won't meet code.  Just run the cat 5 and be done with it.  It will be much more reliable and headache free.

well, there is already power on the truss [5 20 amp circuits actually], or i wouldn't even be thinking about this.  and yeah, i don't use 'extension cords' for anything other than my weedwacker...

running the signal cable is quite a bit more of an ordeal than one would think.  the only path to the downstage truss that this would go to goes through the ceiling along a barely accessible cable raceway.  i still have nightmares from running the socapex cable out there.  and the run would be a good 150' to the control room, which starts to get a bit hinky with most cat5 solutions.

Still, i do appreciate the cautions.  that being said, i might actually pick up an apple TV just to try it.  they're so cheap, and if it doesn't work i'll find something else to do with it.  i might even try using an iPad to drive it.  planning center online has a new app for the iPad that is specifically designed to do this kind of thing [i.e. use airplay to stream to an apple TV].  might be worth looking into.  i'm getting an iPad for other uses anyway...
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brian maddox
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Brad Weber

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 11:39:59 pm »

running the signal cable is quite a bit more of an ordeal than one would think.  the only path to the downstage truss that this would go to goes through the ceiling along a barely accessible cable raceway.  i still have nightmares from running the socapex cable out there.  and the run would be a good 150' to the control room, which starts to get a bit hinky with most cat5 solutions.
With 150' from the Mac in a control room to the Apple TV, WiFi could also get a bit hinky.  Do you have a wireless network that can reliably support the 8Mbps required for 1080p video or 6Mbps for 720p video at both ends?  This would also seem to apply to using an iPad in the control room.
 
I believe that the Mac version of ProPresenter requires two spanned video outputs for the operator screen and the output screen, I'm not sure how that would work with any WiFi mirroring of the display.
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Ryan C. Davis

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2012, 02:45:23 am »

Both Gefen and Intellix were showcasing wireless HDMI at infocomm this year. We've seen it before but it's much more robust now and MUCH less expensive. I personally know a gal from intellix and asked her the skinny. It's rated for something like 150' in the clear she said the spec is a tad generous but at 135' the picture was rock solid.

The gefen is rated lower in distance but I think either would work in your application.

The both units support HDCP, I wanna say the intellix had an option to turn it off though. The intellix will broadcast to up to 10 receivers which I thought was cool.

http://www.intelix.com/contact.htm

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=10709

and

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=10706

looks like I had some of the quoted
 
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Ryan Davis

Brad Weber

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2012, 08:30:31 am »

Both Gefen and Intellix were showcasing wireless HDMI at infocomm this year. We've seen it before but it's much more robust now and MUCH less expensive. I personally know a gal from intellix and asked her the skinny. It's rated for something like 150' in the clear she said the spec is a tad generous but at 135' the picture was rock solid.
The Intelix products did look nice, but the "good 150'" distance apparently involved here, especially with the one endpoint in a control room and the other on a truss by lighting, power, etc., might be challenging for many wireless options.
 
Looking at what has been presented, it is apparently an installed application and it seems to be a 150'+ distance from the source in a control room to a projector on a lighting truss.  HDMI is apparently an option for both the source and projector but I don't see anything indicating that HDMI is required.  I also don't see any specific requirement for HD video (720p, 1080i or 1080p).  And this is all for a 3,000 lumen projector for environmental projection.  Considering cost, reliability and so on, is VGA over CAT not an option?  You might even be able to add remote control of the projector over the same devices or with a separate network cable pulled at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 12:00:56 pm by Brad Weber »
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brian maddox

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 09:21:17 am »

With 150' from the Mac in a control room to the Apple TV, WiFi could also get a bit hinky.  Do you have a wireless network that can reliably support the 8Mbps required for 1080p video or 6Mbps for 720p video at both ends?  This would also seem to apply to using an iPad in the control room.
 
I believe that the Mac version of ProPresenter requires two spanned video outputs for the operator screen and the output screen, I'm not sure how that would work with any WiFi mirroring of the display.

in answer to your WiFi question...  i had a feeling i should have been more specific in my post above.  if i went the WiFi route, i'd probably put the Mac or iPad at our FOH control position, which makes the distance about 60' as well as totally line of sight with no obstructions.  and i'd probably run it as a point to point WiFi and bypass our existing WiFi structure.  although the existing structure would probably support the bandwidth.

and yes ProPresenter does operate as you say.  but you CAN set it in a mode where it's output is displayed on your primary display.  but, i'm also going to look into using Planning Center Online Projector, which is an iPad app designed to be used with an apple TV.  as i said, i might just buy an apple TV and do some experimenting just to see what is possible.

Of course, the other wrinkle to this was that i was anticipating this would be a temporary installation to be used for maybe 6 weeks.  if it proves to be worth it to leave it up more permanently [and it's looking like it might be], i'll just bite the bullet and run the cable....
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brian maddox
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brian maddox

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 10:45:08 am »

Considering cost, reliability and so on, is VGA over CAT not an option?  You might even be able to add remote control of the projector over the same devices or with a separate network cable pulled at the same time.

yes, this would absolutely be what i would go with if i end up hardwiring it.  although i'll probably pull several cat5s along with some coax and anything else i can think of at the same time.  did i mention the cable run is kind of heinous...  :)
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brian maddox
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Ryan C. Davis

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 01:14:56 pm »

It's always better to run a cable, more robust, more throughput, more options. We've had good luck with baluns for the most part but the couple of times we haven't have definitely pushed me to use them as a last resort. The Intellix ones have always been good though, better than the rest IMO.

Just bite the bullet and run the cables, you'll be glad you took the time to do so. I don't think the AppleTV option is what you want.

You've got the right idea by running a bunch for future use as well. Seeing how you can use CatX for just about anything these days it's a good option. Some baluns are more picky than others on the wire that's used so if you want to hedge your bet I'd make sure to use a good solid copper core Cat6.
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Ryan Davis

Brad Weber

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2012, 05:54:25 pm »

Some baluns are more picky than others on the wire that's used so if you want to hedge your bet I'd make sure to use a good solid copper core Cat6.
CAT 6 for digital and data signals, but CAT 5 or 5e for analog component video or RGBHV.  The greater differential twist rate between pairs makes CAT 6 a better choice for digital media and data, but for longer runs can cause increased skew in component video or RGBHV applications.
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brian maddox

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Re: using apple TV and airplay as wireless projector link
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 09:38:30 pm »

CAT 6 for digital and data signals, but CAT 5 or 5e for analog component video or RGBHV.  The greater differential twist rate between pairs makes CAT 6 a better choice for digital media and data, but for longer runs can cause increased skew in component video or RGBHV applications.

Hmmmm.  Who knew?  Thanks Brad. I love learning new stuff.
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brian maddox
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'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

       ....for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup...'
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