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Author Topic: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?  (Read 2378 times)

Stuart Murphy

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Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« on: March 22, 2017, 08:16:34 am »

Hi Everyone,

I'm a pro guitar player of 30 years touring experience with live rock and pop cover bands. I'm currently in a Shania Twain tribute band, that needs a high definition video wall. I've been through every scenario I can think of, including high quality projectors kindly suggested by others in the forum, but they seem to get somewhat blown out by any stage lighting in its vicinity (but only projectors of the 4000 variety - nothing as flash as a Barco etc projector). So I've had to think very laterally, in order to come up with something that looks great, is easy for me to set up at gigs, and that I can afford, as it's my band, so I have to fork out for everything.. :-/

My idea that so far seems really great in theory (but that's why I'm asking you knowledgeable chaps here.. maybe it's not!).. is that I build a vertical wall 5 metres wide x 3 metres high of cheap lcd tv's that I can get from Aldi brand new for 150 each = only 2k total spend. If I only use 13 tv's, and leave a blank space here & there throughout the wall, I end up with a very arty and abstract/cool screen that empowers the subconscious to engage, but though half is missing, it still covers the entire 5 x 3 metre back wall, but doesn't need all 25 tvs to fill it in - just 13 tv's randomly scattered with a few empty spaces. To clarify, I've attached a Jpeg of what I mean - that might explain a bit better.. the white spaces are just gaps thru the tvs to the back wall.

I hope I'll be able to switch about between full screen and multi display.. that would look superb over a 5 x 3 metre area, and wouldn't be affected by stage lighting as the cheap projectors would.

But I really don't know what system I can use to pull all the band's backing tracks, automated lighting rig with about 12 - 14 moving head lights, and the video stuff I might put together for this video wall.. How the hell do I pull all this together to run as an automated show, with no out front operators? I presume a combination of midi and dmx/time coding, but I'd love someone to give me a whole solution to that, if possible?

Any of your thoughtful advices are exceedingly humbly appreciated. I don't even know if my 13-screen split tv idea will work..! :-/

Thank You,
Stu.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 08:18:52 am by Stuart Murphy »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 04:00:21 am »

Hi Everyone,

I'm a pro guitar player of 30 years touring experience with live rock and pop cover bands. I'm currently in a Shania Twain tribute band, that needs a high definition video wall. I've been through every scenario I can think of, including high quality projectors kindly suggested by others in the forum, but they seem to get somewhat blown out by any stage lighting in its vicinity (but only projectors of the 4000 variety - nothing as flash as a Barco etc projector). So I've had to think very laterally, in order to come up with something that looks great, is easy for me to set up at gigs, and that I can afford, as it's my band, so I have to fork out for everything.. :-/

My idea that so far seems really great in theory (but that's why I'm asking you knowledgeable chaps here.. maybe it's not!).. is that I build a vertical wall 5 metres wide x 3 metres high of cheap lcd tv's that I can get from Aldi brand new for 150 each = only 2k total spend. If I only use 13 tv's, and leave a blank space here & there throughout the wall, I end up with a very arty and abstract/cool screen that empowers the subconscious to engage, but though half is missing, it still covers the entire 5 x 3 metre back wall, but doesn't need all 25 tvs to fill it in - just 13 tv's randomly scattered with a few empty spaces. To clarify, I've attached a Jpeg of what I mean - that might explain a bit better.. the white spaces are just gaps thru the tvs to the back wall.

I hope I'll be able to switch about between full screen and multi display.. that would look superb over a 5 x 3 metre area, and wouldn't be affected by stage lighting as the cheap projectors would.

But I really don't know what system I can use to pull all the band's backing tracks, automated lighting rig with about 12 - 14 moving head lights, and the video stuff I might put together for this video wall.. How the hell do I pull all this together to run as an automated show, with no out front operators? I presume a combination of midi and dmx/time coding, but I'd love someone to give me a whole solution to that, if possible?

Any of your thoughtful advices are exceedingly humbly appreciated. I don't even know if my 13-screen split tv idea will work..! :-/

Thank You,
Stu.


The display side would work great the problem is driving it.  You could hack up a PC with a bunch of graphics cards but then your options for playback software get real limited.  The right way to do it is to use a switcher that allows you to map the multiple displays into a single display space (or a few).  You can get a 2x2 processor for under $1000  But you really need something like a Roland V-800HD to put it all together.  That's 8k.  You could play the material and MIDI cues back from  Qlab software. 


Maybe someone can recommend a cheaper switcher. 



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Stuart Murphy

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 05:26:43 am »


The display side would work great the problem is driving it.  You could hack up a PC with a bunch of graphics cards but then your options for playback software get real limited.  The right way to do it is to use a switcher that allows you to map the multiple displays into a single display space (or a few).  You can get a 2x2 processor for under $1000  But you really need something like a Roland V-800HD to put it all together.  That's 8k.  You could play the material and MIDI cues back from  Qlab software. 


Maybe someone can recommend a cheaper switcher.

Thanks very much Scott for the very helpful info. One thing I did think of to get around all the hassle of streaming 13 different MP4 1080p files to (often) 13 different tv's, was that I could just load up a USB thumb drive with the 2-hour MP4 video file for each tv (ie if I wanted multi-screen pizazz, I'd programme a slightly different After Effects MP4 2-hour movie for each TV and put it on the corresponding USB stick - just play them but they'd look 'multi-screen').

So if they are all IDENTICAL models of tv AND identical USB sticks, and I just use one TV remote to control all tellys, then if I just navigate to the USB movie player in the TV's and hit the PLAY button, shouldn't the 13 tv's start up their own files right away? If so, I could cue it up perfectly with a video count-in 10 minutes before show starts, then just pause it til we come on and fire it up.

Yes, this is all asking for trouble I know, but coming up with something awesome at my price point is a nigh on impossible task. And no-one's losing an eye if a few screens lag by a millisecond or two here & there. Even if a screen drops way out or stops playing even.. it's not a mission-critical thing - it's just a cover band tv display.. the real show's us out front I guess? But in any case, wouldn't they all most likely play right through for 2 hours, with not much hiccup?

Sorry to be a tight 'R's, but I'm more broke than the Ten Commandments.. :-/

It's an enjoyable challenge..
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Jano Svitok

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 06:47:32 am »

You may also try PiWall. The idea is that you mount a Raspberry PI behind each TV and command them from a single place.

I guess Plan A is playing from USB sticks. If that doesn't help, PiWall could be Plan B. Plan C is full HW solution...

Note that PiWall authors say that you can't reconnect a TV to a running movie. That's somehow unfortunate. On the other hand, they say they created walls with 300 TVs...
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Stuart Murphy

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 07:07:08 am »

You may also try PiWall. The idea is that you mount a Raspberry PI behind each TV and command them from a single place.

I guess Plan A is playing from USB sticks. If that doesn't help, PiWall could be Plan B. Plan C is full HW solution...

Note that PiWall authors say that you can't reconnect a TV to a running movie. That's somehow unfortunate. On the other hand, they say they created walls with 300 TVs...

Thanks Jano. I did hear a bit about PiWall a while ago when they were working on a commercial release. I'll go have another look!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 10:25:40 am »

Thanks Jano. I did hear a bit about PiWall a while ago when they were working on a commercial release. I'll go have another look!


Why would you need a commercial release?   The Pi community is awesome.  I had forgotten about that app.  Perfect for what you want to do.  I would say try it with a little cluster with some computer monitors you can scrounge up.   Once you feel comfortable with your 3 or 4 cluster than you could invest in the real displays and more nodes.
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Drew Kirkland

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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 11:54:40 am »

Hi Everyone,

I'm a pro guitar player of 30 years touring experience with live rock and pop cover bands. I'm currently in a Shania Twain tribute band, that needs a high definition video wall. I've been through every scenario I can think of, including high quality projectors kindly suggested by others in the forum, but they seem to get somewhat blown out by any stage lighting in its vicinity (but only projectors of the 4000 variety - nothing as flash as a Barco etc projector). So I've had to think very laterally, in order to come up with something that looks great, is easy for me to set up at gigs, and that I can afford, as it's my band, so I have to fork out for everything.. :-/

My idea that so far seems really great in theory (but that's why I'm asking you knowledgeable chaps here.. maybe it's not!).. is that I build a vertical wall 5 metres wide x 3 metres high of cheap lcd tv's that I can get from Aldi brand new for 150 each = only 2k total spend. If I only use 13 tv's, and leave a blank space here & there throughout the wall, I end up with a very arty and abstract/cool screen that empowers the subconscious to engage, but though half is missing, it still covers the entire 5 x 3 metre back wall, but doesn't need all 25 tvs to fill it in - just 13 tv's randomly scattered with a few empty spaces. To clarify, I've attached a Jpeg of what I mean - that might explain a bit better.. the white spaces are just gaps thru the tvs to the back wall.

I hope I'll be able to switch about between full screen and multi display.. that would look superb over a 5 x 3 metre area, and wouldn't be affected by stage lighting as the cheap projectors would.

But I really don't know what system I can use to pull all the band's backing tracks, automated lighting rig with about 12 - 14 moving head lights, and the video stuff I might put together for this video wall.. How the hell do I pull all this together to run as an automated show, with no out front operators? I presume a combination of midi and dmx/time coding, but I'd love someone to give me a whole solution to that, if possible?

Any of your thoughtful advices are exceedingly humbly appreciated. I don't even know if my 13-screen split tv idea will work..! :-/

Thank You,
Stu.

Have you looked at catalyst or Hyppotizer? http://www.green-hippo.com/
https://www2.highend.com/support/discontinued/CatalystMain.asp

you may be able to pick up something second hand
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Re: Large Home Made Video Wall - Advice?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2017, 11:54:40 am »


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