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Setting up the CC TV in a theatre

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by carsonld, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. carsonld

    carsonld Active Member

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    Recently, I have been working on tracing all of the closed circuit TV lines that were installed in our theatre. I really don’t know too much about video but I am slowly learning. I have created a video diagram, which is attached. On the drawing, I have drawn some items in hot pink. These are things I am planning on adding by the end of the fiscal year. Before going to crazy, I had a few question on what will work, what to buy, etc.


    To quickly explain the drawing: I have the camera that goes through an analog to Cat5 balun. The cable goes to a distributor/amp and has eight outputs (seven runs). Each cat 5 output goes to a destination listed on the drawing. The run is probably around 300-500 feet. At the end of the run, that same balun is attached for whatever output source is in that room. Only the theatre room and stage left have a tv currently. I only have four box TVs currently so we convert the digital signal to the analog. Once I buy all flat screens, I might switch to digital depending on the price of the HDMI balun.


    So here is what I would like to do and the questions that come with it:

    • Buy a camera. I am not sure what I need here. I have asked the head audio guy at a theatre in town and he recommended just a cheap security camera that has analog outputs. This is great until he realized that the distance from the camera to the stage is around 100’-150’. I would like a fairly cheap camera (Under $750). It would either need to zoom or have a close-up lenses?
    • Buy flat screen TVs that have analog inputs for the three dressing rooms and stage left/stage right. I would like to purchase an analog to VGA balun to have a computer monitor for stage management. Is this possible?
    • I have two very large monitors in my office but neither have analog inputs. Could I get an analog to HDMI converter? I would then just switch inputs when I want to watch the onstage feed.
    • I don’t have lines dropped backstage or in the pit. My plan is to buy a splitter (any brands?) and split the signal from the dressing room into five additional outputs. Would The cable running wouldn’t run more than 100’. So would I need to buy a distributor and amp like I have upstairs? Or can I get away with just a splitter? I would prefer not to have to buy another model like I have upstairs since its $500. But I’ll get what I need to get to get it done correctly.
    • The previous question is also applied here. I am looking at fixing output 7 (it just doesn’t have a CAT 5 end by the splitter upstairs) and splitting that signal into four signals: one for HL lobby, HR lobby, Box Office, Concessions. Do I need the amp and distro or just the distro?


    I know this is a lot of information. I have about a year to get it all done. Thank you so much for y’alls input and help!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. NickVon

    NickVon Active Member

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    1) a inexpensive PTZ camera that can get you all the throw and zoom you need can probably be had for $750 budget, though 1000$ is more likely give you a better features set. Fancier cameras will have a slew of outputs, both analogue composite, Analogue HD, SDI, and Ethernet (cat5 distro to a network built in)

    A simple HD security cam of great quality can absolutely be gotten for 750$ but you may need more gear to turn it's outputs into the varying analogue/digital distro methods required.

    2) Is the goal of the system simply video monitoring for around the building, or will i need to be used for a conductor to keep time with singers, or vice vera, singers in sync with a conductor. Nothing beats straight Analogue in cost or performance for low latency video.

    It doesn't really seem like this your goal but something to consider. The current stuff you've laid out is bound to create a level of latency that will make it difficult to use for Live conductor/singer work.

    3)Something that I think would be great to from a "privacy point of view" is to run (at least your analogue portion) into a set of disconnect switches on a rack or a wall; so that you can physically disconnect the source input from sending to the various video outputs. Maybe you're doing something in the theater and you don't want those feeds to be live to the other classrooms or locations, if someone just turns the TV on, or changes input.

    Along a similar line of thought, a on/off for your source camera.

    4) there may be some fancy TV/monitors out there that could tap straight into a video over cat5, or LAN connection with Video being broadcast on it. They may be prohibitively expensive for a simple dress-rooming monitor.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @carsonld and @NickVon Writing in full agreement and support to emphasize a few thoughts.
    If you often find yourself working alone in the building, you may appreciate having both audio and video monitoring operating 24 / 7 / 365. Think of the times when you're expecting a delivery, possibly at some unspecified time in the midst of your Equity 'free day' and you've got better things to occupy your time than camping yourself next to your stage door. On such occasions I found it far more convenient to have the security camera monitoring the stage door routed to essentially every video monitor in the building so you've some hope of noticing your delivery person, or significant other upon their arrival. Being able to instruct the overnight pizza delivery dude to stand in front of the camera waving wildly can be useful and develop a great relationship, even more so if you don't leave them standing in cold, wet rain or snow for more than five minutes. It's also useful when waiting for stragglers to arrive when the building's locked and you and your highly paid dozen IA brethren are inside and itching to begin that 4 hour total rehang call.
    As previously posted, there are times when you'll want one or more of your venues or your stage door monitoring ONLY enabled to selected locations, times such as when your two or three Equity stars are napping on their mandatory Equity cots between rehearsals or matinee and evening performances and definitely DON'T want to be disturbed by ANYTHING until their page-override 70 volt attenuator summons them to awake from their slumbers 10 minutes prior to their next scheduled entrance.
    I'm strongly suggesting there are times when and locations where 24 / 7 / 365 monitoring is HIGHLY desirable and there are also times when the ability to conveniently visually and aurally mute such systems in selected locations is also to be treasured.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  4. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Really, you have to decide what your goal is. In roughly ascending order of implementation cost, your goals might be:

    1) Security recording/monitoring
    2) Feed to other rooms/buildings
    3) Recording
    4) Live streaming
    5) Live video in the room - IMAG or Image Magnification

    The first 4 allow the use of compressed video (like MPEG) in the production chain, and this can save you money on equipment choices (which then drive cabling choices).

    IMAG requires no more than a 1-2 frame delay from the camera to the projector; 3 if you don't often have television professionals in the building. :) That generally means SDI, possibly HDMI, and maybe NDI (as opposed to NDI-HX; I think I have them in the right order...

    First define your goals -- what you want to do now, and what you want to do before you spend lots more money -- and then pick gear, and then cabling will present itself.

    If you have to pull cable anyway, you may want to test cat5/6 baluns at distance before paying someone to pull cat 5 instead of, say, coax for SDI.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. carsonld

    carsonld Active Member

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    I guess I should clarify some things:
    Right now I am looking at purchasing a camera. Next I am wanting to know if I should by a splitter or if it needs to be an amplifier as well.

    The camera and its respected output will only be used to show whats onstage. At the time there is no plan to have a conductor cam. Im not too worried about lag. I just dont want a 15 second lag. 1-3 seconds would be okay, i guess.

    I do not plan on rerunning any cable except the onstage monitors. The space is fairly compact as the dressing rooms are located on SL.

    I planned on getting the cheap security camera because this feed is just for monitor feeds backstage. If I get a PTZ wouldn't I need a controller for it?

    As for the power, I have the system connected to a rack.
     
  6. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    You may want to visit this thread. It is about 5 years old now so there are more options today but the advice of @museav and @cpf was invaluable. Don't start with the camera. Solve the distribution problem then find a camera that works. In my case that was RF over coax to HD TVs. Adding more locations involves adding a coax splitter and another TV, at least until signal degradation becomes a problem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
    Jay Ashworth and RonHebbard like this.
  7. carsonld

    carsonld Active Member

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    Maybe I am missing something here. Is the Cat 5 that is currently ran not sufficient for what I want to do? I already have seven lines of Cat 5 ran in the space and they function when showing the onstage camera feed (when I had a camera). If it only becomes a problem when I want to start splitting it, I will skip out on that.

    Honestly, in my head I thought it would be as easy as adding an additonal Intelix AVDA-8-F 1x8 Balun Distribution Amplifier where I would want a connection to split.
     
  8. sk8rsdad

    sk8rsdad Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Your original post talks about switching to HD, which suggests switching all the endpoints to HD. You may find that sending an HD signal over CAT-5 to a device 300-500 ft away is going to be a challenge. The inexpensive HDMI-CAT5 baluns are typically only good to 100 ft or less. When I went through this exercise it was less expensive to upgrade our coax splitters and replace the TVs than it was to acquire HDMI transceivers and signal converters and hook them up to monitors. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary.
     
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  9. carsonld

    carsonld Active Member

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    I think I understand now. In my time, I think all of the lines will stay Cat 5 with the AV balun on the end.
     

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