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T.V. Wall

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Simplybill, May 28, 2008.

  1. Simplybill

    Simplybill Member

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    Found What I needed on other Threads...


    A theater company wants to have their entire set as a still and moving projection coming from a Wall of T.V.'s. They asked me if I knew how to make this work(apparently their set designer is a very flighty). I don't, but I told them I might be able to find out.

    So, T.V. Walls anyone know anything about how to wire, program run and build a T.V. wall? Can old T.V. be used or do computer monitors need to be used? What program can be used to send the signal, and what should I be looking at price wise? Plus any other information you can give would be great. I have been looking and have only been able to find dead end websites. The other TV wall thread, while interesting was not so much one wall of T.V.s forming the same image. I have some thoughts, but would love some advice.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  2. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    Our local university has/had this sort of thing. I remember working on it afew years back for them. They had a 4x4 grid of 27" Dottronics monitors as well as two stacks of 4 on the side. They were all hooked into a video wall controller. The rig was used for performance art. The biggest pain other then the fact that they changed color every few days, was the weight.

    They mounted the whole rig on rolling "carts". The thing was very unstable and top heavy.

    I am told that you can still get the old school CRT based monitors but they are heavy and never hold registration and color.

    If possible, I think I would go with some newer technology. I worked with some panasonic plasmas that would automagically create a video wall. All you had to do is tell it it's place in the grid and it would figure out what part of the signal to use.
     
  3. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I agree. This is the most readily available technology and you can get it from many rental houses. I worked for one and we had Sony LCD monitors that could do the same thing. There is a limit to how many screens could be linked (16 I think) to make one image. Though if you have the budget to rent that many display units, you might be able to find other technology as well. :^)
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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    The answer may have been found already but was not posted here.

    Panasonic 9 and 10 series business displays have an onboard matrix function that lets you stack them 2x2, 3x3, 4x4 etc as well as the option to ignore the physical distance between screen edges or not- use depends on whether its a still image or an animation you plan on showing.
    TH-42PWD6 is a good one to use.

    Kiff.
     
  5. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    maybe I'm ignorant, but why not just use a projector? Are you looking for better quality from TVs? Don't have a convenient place to hang a projector?
     
  6. Simplybill

    Simplybill Member

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    I asked them that...apparently the whole show is based around four kids who's whole perception of life is through TV...So they wanted to use the TV's to show their world...I dunno, I'm not designing, Im just looking for answers for them.
     
  7. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Just don't let them change their minds last second and want different feeds per TV sometimes and one large feed (as we have been discussing) at other times. You will need different content management for that. Good luck!
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I would go back and suggest projection again. I would have to imagine that it would be a lot cheaper to build an RP screen into a frame that looks like a giant TV than to set up and manage (and acquire) all the displays and equipment needed for a video wall. You could even use a projection approach and build it to look like multiple TVs and still only use one projector.

    I am just throwing out ideas, but I would imagine, unless you have a pretty substantial budget just for this element of the show, that you will find that building a TV wall with the appropriate controllers will get very expensive very fast.
     
  9. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Rear projection may be less expensive in many situations, but we might need to know more about the application and conditions to know what would be the most effective solution. With the apparent desire to use the image as the set then factors such as the image size, the affect of lighting on the image, whether there is physical depth for rear projection and so on could affect what solutions are viable or effective.

    I believe NEC was one of the first to do this, however as already noted, a number of manufacturers offer commercial flat panel display products that incorporate 'tiling' a single image across multiple displays without an external processor. But you are going to be limited to the number of displays and pretty much to just the one big image, so I don't know if that fits their vision.
     
  10. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    I did some work for defense command and control centers. If you troll on Ebay, on occasion you will see products from RGB Spectrum, the superview product line. I use them with a projector it give me the ability to use one projector and depending on the model six inputs that can be scaled and placed anywhere on the image space, and again depending on the model have a conputer generated image in the real. The unit I have is a Superview 3000. Initially they were incredibly expensive, now because the older ones only support up 1600x1200 image size and Not 1920x1080 they are starting to sell in the under 1000 dollar range.

    Sharyn
     
  11. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    The current version is the SuperView 4000 and I have always had good results, and good support, with any of the RGB Spectrum products. Just remember that if you have a 1024x768 projector image split into four different images then each one of those images is 512x384 resolution, which may be fine for this type of application but can be a problem for some applications.
     
  12. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    "IF" you can go the projection route "AND" it fits your style, might I suggest just doing something in post with FCP or Aftereffects and creating a grid. That way you are back to one signal that has multiple images and can be made to look like multiple monitors.

    I saw a gig a while back that rear projected onto squares of white (frosted) lexan panels that were in a grid. They tweaked the content to make it appear that the squares were each a separate monitor. Looked really good.

    kw
     
  13. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    There is a subtle problem with trying to use FCP or a video based system to create the quad type image, and that is that you are then creating the "effect" in video space or with video resolution. The solutions like the hardware ones we are talking about take the video inputs and operate on them in a higher resolution space (the old superview 3000 for instance can use s space of 1600x1200 the newer 4000 goes even higher). SO if you were to try to use FCP the amount of resolution you would be loosing in each of the inputs would be quite substantial, similar to the quad processors that are used in security applications. Again might work but resolution of each input would be for instance only 1/4 of standard video
    Sharyn
     
  14. kwotipka

    kwotipka Active Member

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    It didn't sound like resolution was a big issue in this instance. Most of the old "TV"'s only had about 300 lines of resolution anyway. So depending on your grid (how many by how many) depends on the amount of "active resolution" in each area. Given that with 1024x768 you could at least do a 4x4 grid at "normal tv resolution". Add in some cheezy video scan rate effects for flavor and it's an art piece. FCP can operate in a custom aspect mode and does not have to be 16:9 or 4:3. I have worked on a project at 3500x1450. It just becomes a factor of what your computer can handle. In a perfect world, you could split the media and blend two 1920x1080 projectors so you get an active resolution of around 1920x2000.

    Anything is possible with enough time and money. Just look at Vegas...

    kw
     
  15. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah, but you have to pay for it somewhere or else you close. Look at Spamalot. :^(

    But it is nice to have big budgets.
     
  16. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    The problem with your analysis is that in a video editing application it does not have the ability to combine the stream and work in a higher resolution, all the multi screen will be done in TV resolution, the fact that you can project it on a screen at higher resolution does not really help. The high end multi image processors bring in the video, then convert it to progressive and then work in a resolution that for instance on the Superview 3000 is 1600x1200, and then allows you to output. IF you use your video editor for a video feed it will only work in video resolution, dividing up this for instance in to a quad so there is a dramatic drop in resolution. It was for exactly this reason that the Military command and control systems that wanted to use multiple video streams we willing to pay 30 grand or so for these type of systems , the difference in the final display is extremely noticable. Once you have thrown away a lot of the resolution inorder to manipulate the images, the fact that in the final display you have a higher resolution is not a major help

    Sharyn
     
  17. AberNStein

    AberNStein Member

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    I suggest using a projector (or multiple?) and building rp screens that look like tvs.
    I say this because I built a tv wall last year, and as awesome as it was, it was equally a huge pain. We went for a really macgyvered solution (video cameras pointed at a tv), which was the only way to do in with our budget.

    Things I found while researching last year:
    There are boxes that will split a signal up onto three screens (like what they do at best buy) and they can be daisy chained, but each will cost you ~$3000. If you don't need the lo-fi look, there are plasma screens that are made to function as a tv wall -- they just zoom and crop the signal.

    Here's the thing: the above alternatives are HEAVY. TVs or computer monitors or whatever are heavy and cumbersome. Assembling and positioning the tvs was the hardest part. Build some fake tvs out of plywood and rear-projection fabric and save yourself a lot of hassle and money.
    That's my 2c.
     

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