Clock for dressing rooms

carsonld

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Jan 26, 2013
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United States
I was running a show at a touring house this weekend and notice they have a system where there are clocks and a countdown located in the crossover, wings, and each dressing room. Then at the SM podium the SM could set a 15 minute timer and the countdown would show up on all of the clocks located backstage. Does anyone have some information on this system? I am building a new SM console this summer and would love to incorporate something like this in it.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I was running a show at a touring house this weekend and notice they have a system where there are clocks and a countdown located in the crossover, wings, and each dressing room. Then at the SM podium the SM could set a 15 minute timer and the countdown would show up on all of the clocks located backstage. Does anyone have some information on this system? I am building a new SM console this summer and would love to incorporate something like this in it.
@carsonld I've no knowledge of this specific system but try Googling Horita; if you have video monitors in your facility, Horita has, or had, a great many EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE options for inserting real time clocks and up / down timers into your video monitors; You could count down to the beginnings of acts etcetera or up to the end of intervals; many options including some for inserting texts / announcements into your video as well.

A company named ESE was another company specializing in clocks and count down / up timers, primarily for the commercial broadcast industry.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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RonaldBeal

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I was running a show at a touring house this weekend and notice they have a system where there are clocks and a countdown located in the crossover, wings, and each dressing room. Then at the SM podium the SM could set a 15 minute timer and the countdown would show up on all of the clocks located backstage. Does anyone have some information on this system? I am building a new SM console this summer and would love to incorporate something like this in it.
In our auditorium, we used a large monitor and a Chromebit (a Raspberry Pi or other computer could be substituted) together with a simple web page that includes some JavaScript to make a clock that turns into a countdown timer during events. The timer changes color at 5 minutes and 1 minute before the end to help get the presenter's attention. This system could be used with multiple monitors or with multiple computers that are all synced to the same network time source.

I would like to find an affordable way to overlay this on the video (HDMI) that we send to our backstage video monitors, but haven't found anything affordable enough to make that happen yet.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
In our auditorium, we used a large monitor and a Chromebit (a Raspberry Pi or other computer could be substituted) together with a simple web page that includes some JavaScript to make a clock that turns into a countdown timer during events. The timer changes color at 5 minutes and 1 minute before the end to help get the presenter's attention. This system could be used with multiple monitors or with multiple computers that are all synced to the same network time source.

I would like to find an affordable way to overlay this on the video (HDMI) that we send to our backstage video monitors, but haven't found anything affordable enough to make that happen yet.
@Joshua Schoeneck Try Googling Horita; I'll check my records and had more info' momentarily. I checked and here's more info'.
Here's a link for you: https://horita.com/video-audio-test-and-production-equipment
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

RonHebbard

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Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
I took a look at their stuff after reading your earlier reply, but it all seems to be limited to analog composite video. An equivalent product that can do HDMI In/Out would be really handy if you have any leads...
Hello @Malabaristo ; I've e-mailed Horita, referenced their 1990 product line which inserted windows for timers and / or text onto the screens of old fangled CRT's in ye olde analogue composite video and inquired if their product line had matured to include a similar line of affordable and convenient products offering similar features in our current era of flat panels and HDMI distribution. I'll post back and keep you apprised if / when I hear back from Horita.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
I took a look at their stuff after reading your earlier reply, but it all seems to be limited to analog composite video. An equivalent product that can do HDMI In/Out would be really handy if you have any leads...
Something like this should help.... https://www.aja.com/products/hi5

There are a lot of timecode system solutions out there. We have 6 stages all with control rooms that can be individual or synced. Because we're primarily a TV/Film facility we use a very high end GPS clock system, but both our theater and TV/Film stages are all synced with a similar system. It's one of those once you have it solutions you'll forget what life was like without it.
 

Malabaristo

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Jul 11, 2008
Location
Wisconsin
Something like this should help.... https://www.aja.com/products/hi5
Am I missing something? That just looks like an SDI to HDMI converter... What Josh and I are interested in is a box (ideally cheap and compact) that can take an HDMI input from a camera feed and embed a clock and/or countdown timer on top of the video.

I've been using Presentation Timer by @00AVD for a little bit now, and it has the really handy feature of being able to include little messages as well as a clock or timer. Being a school, a lot of our daytime stuff happens around the regular class schedule, so it's great to be able to put a "This class ends at 11:46" message next to the current time as a reminder. It's all odd times like that, so it's hard to remember--and complete nonsense to any outside presenters.

So far I've only used it when I can dedicate the confidence monitor to that purpose, but it would be great to have the option of embedding something similar on the camera feed.
 

macsound

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Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
This stuff is great https://www.da-share.com
Amazing uses of small circuitboards or converting the circuits already in halloween props, windows based programming for audio and lighting, that cool timer as shown above and great photos and youtube videos of his creative work.
Totally fell down a hole looking at this stuff at work
 

urban79

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Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Location
Upstate NY
Does anyone know of a timer app that will work across the internet to allow control to multiple devices at once? It obviously wouldn't sync perfectly, but could be close, and would be much easier if I could have it running on a computer in multiple rooms, or even an idevice...
 

urban79

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Feb 10, 2010
Location
Upstate NY
Multiple computers / apps should be pretty close if they get their time via NTP ?
That would be my hope - I need (would like) something where I can control a countdown timer, preferably with warnings or even messages to be sent - very much like your PresentationTimer, but that would run on multiple machines and update in real time.
 

00AVD

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Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I did write some software for counting laps for a walking event and that had a central PC that sent time or competitor info out to multiple remote PCs to display.
 
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DrewE

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Mar 18, 2019
Location
Vermont
Multiple computers / apps should be pretty close if they get their time via NTP ?
Yes, very much so. For synchronizing together to a time server on the local network, you generally should be able to get synchronization within a several milliseconds of each other; and with a time server on the broader internet, within maybe a tenth of a second of the actual true time (and quite possibly better). The two are not mutually exclusive; if the time server itself gets its time from a good source, you can be both within a fraction of a second of the real time and very well synchronized across your own network.

The latency in displaying the time on a video monitor would probably cause as much error as is inherent in the NTP synchronization, which is pretty amazing really.

Of course, that presupposes one has software to distribute the desired countdowns and other displays to the various nodes, and to display them as desired, and so forth. NTP only covers synchronizing the computer's time of day clocks to reality.