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Author Topic: remote control for video projectors  (Read 4555 times)

Bill Beach

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remote control for video projectors
« on: August 01, 2014, 01:29:27 pm »

my day for posts  ;o)
we have 4 video projectors. 1 is center front and on a wired remote control 'adapter'.  it accepts the infrared signal from the remote and runs it along UTP wire to a unit on the other end to which is attached a mini-transmitter to give the infrared signal to the projector from right in front of the receptor.  I have never had problems with this setup, but others seem to.  (but not the real reason for the post)  (oh, the 4th projector is on the back wall and therefore in close proximity so no need for a remote extender.)
we have 2 'overflow' areas on either side of the main seating area with a projector in each.  these have the remote transmitted via a RCA remote extender unit  (I think it is the D940 that is now discontinued) that takes the infrared signal and transmits wirelessly to a unit on the other end that also has a mini-transmitter for the infrared right in front of the receptor on each projector.  we typically will switch from the computer feed to the video camera feed during the sermon.
the problem:  this setup seems to be very unreliable.  at first it worked quite well.  now we are increasingly having problems getting things to switch correctly.  at first, the problem was only with the projector on the left (identical projectors).  now it seems both are problematic.  sometimes it appears the signal never makes it to the projectors.  oftentimes one projector will switch and the other won't.  we then have to walk to the front of that area and use the remote in close range to the projector.
any ideas for a more reliable method?
keeping in mind we do have 2 different locations where we have a base unit to switch from.  the RCA extenders are 2 identical units, so we use one of the transmitters in one location and the other in a different place to operate both receiving units.  which, again, at first worked OK.
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 08:48:42 pm »

Bill,

For an installation environment, I would highly consider networking your projectors, and even figuring out some of the serial codes (or similar) that you could execute more simply via a computer GUI or command line.
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Jordan Wolf
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Erik Jerde

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2014, 09:15:21 pm »

If I'm reading it correctly you're switching the input source to the projectors?  If that's the case then I'd recommend a different setup.  Get a small switcher/scaler and route all your inputs into that then switch the video there.  It sounds like a single bus system (it'll black out between sources) will be acceptable in your setup.  That's a lot cheaper than a seamless system.  Then you turn your projectors on at the start of the day and off at the end and that's it.

As to running the remote control remotely there's a few options.  The best option is something hardwired.  You can do that with ethernet if your projectors support it.  When you buy new projectors spec that as a requirement!  Otherwise check and see if your projectors support wired remotes or rs232.  RS232 is harder to setup, but once functional it can be very reliable and very powerful.  Wired remote is just that, your remote will have a mini-jack on it to accept the cable.  Use the mfgr specs to get it all hooked up.  You can wire 2 same model projectors together pretty reliably.  Lastly you've got the whole realm of IR repeaters.  I use Xantech distribution blocks at home and a niles sensor in my center channel speaker.  I don't use IR repeater stuff professionally - I find there's too many potential problems. 

Good luck!
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Bill Beach

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2014, 01:32:07 am »

Get a small switcher/scaler and route all your inputs into that then switch the video there.  It sounds like a single bus system (it'll black out between sources) will be acceptable in your setup.
this switcher/scaler idea kind of looks good....
but...
for the main presentation we run VGA cables to each projector.  when we switch to the camera feed for the 2 overflow projectors we have a component distribution amp directly off the mixer.   for this part the camera operator upstairs makes the switch.
often we want to blank out the 3 'forward' projectors and leave the one on the back wall going.  to make this change, this is done in the video projection booth downstairs.
would there be any way to have a switcher that could be operated from 2 different places?  without breaking the pastor's rather small bank?  (has the tendency to not want to spend much for technical equipment)
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Bill Beach

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 10:32:05 pm »

Bill,

For an installation environment, I would highly consider networking your projectors, and even figuring out some of the serial codes (or similar) that you could execute more simply via a computer GUI or command line.
I am very much in the dark for the idea of networking the projectors.  where can I get some good info?
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Caleb Dueck

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 05:08:28 pm »

If RS-232 on the projectors, something simple like a Kramer RC-6ir, or something from URC. 
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Jordan Wolf

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 11:22:58 pm »

I am very much in the dark for the idea of networking the projectors.  where can I get some good info?
Hi Bill,

There is a great primer on networking, etc. here in the LAB. I suggest you read through it and mull it over. Come back with questions :-)

Many projectors have Ethernet jacks on them that enable them to be networked. If you search for and read through the user manuals for your particular projectors, I think you'll find whether or not this is the case.

If you find that your projectors ARE capable, one or more Ethernet lines can be run to each. These lines typically get plugged into a device called a network switch, which will connect to a computer that can access each projector's controls remotely using the network connection(s).

I hope that makes sense...if it doesn't, read through the networking primer again. It took me a while to grok the concepts until I started playing around with things and digging into settings during downtime (not during a show!).

Please post back with updates.
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Jordan Wolf
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"We want our sound to go into the soul of the audience, and see if it can awaken some little thing in their minds... Cause there are so many sleeping people." - Jimi Hendrix

Bill Beach

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2014, 09:53:06 pm »



There is a great primer on networking, etc. here in the LAB. I suggest you read through it and mull it over. Come back with questions :-)

I looked through the linked info and found it to be largely about IP addresses.  can't even do that till I have some idea of what equipment to get and hook up.  I'm really further behind than you guys give me credit for, but thanks for the 'upgrade' from complete doofus to someone who at least has a clue.  (just isn't me, yet)
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 02:52:40 pm »

Telling us the brand and model of your projectors will go a long way towards helping us help you. That will at least help us figure out what interface options you have.
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Bill Beach

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2014, 10:05:25 pm »

Telling us the brand and model of your projectors will go a long way towards helping us help you. That will at least help us figure out what interface options you have.
sorry so slow in replying -- a lot going on.
we have 3 Hitachi CPX-200 and 2 Epson PowerLite 1930 projectors
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Eric Eskam

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Re: remote control for video projectors
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2015, 06:55:30 pm »

would there be any way to have a switcher that could be operated from 2 different places?  without breaking the pastor's rather small bank?  (has the tendency to not want to spend much for technical equipment)
 

I have one of these and love it:  http://www.networktechinc.com/vmtx.html 

8 inputs x 4 outputs.  Handles our front of house projectors, the back wall projector for the stage display as well as our lobby screens.  I wrote up how our system is set up and how I use it here.  It has a web interface so any device on your network can control it.  They make DVI versions too.  For HDMI I'm considering the Just Add Power devices - but they are in a different price range which is why I am still considering them :) 

The only control we use on the projectors is the power on/off - everything else is done on our matrix switch. 
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