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Video capture and Projection help

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Mark Angel, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Mark Angel

    Mark Angel Member

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    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi folks,

    Greetings from New Zealand.

    Newbie and audio guy here. Be gentle.

    I'm looking for some advice and info regarding USB image capture for live video to projector screen.

    Background: I run a small music school here in NZ and twice a year we put on student shows. They are kinda mini rock shows so we try to make them as rock 'n' roll as possible. The stage is very bland so we've started to get into lighting and set design and the next step is to use video.

    Where we're up to: The last couple of times we've run shows we've projected some abstract video loops on the white background of the stage to give a bit of colour and motion. Loops from www.freeloops.tv dropped into Powerpoint and run in a loop on the venue's data projector.

    The latest step: At our last show we experimented with a camera on the drummer. Many of our drum students are quite young and their supporters, friends and family may struggle to see them behind the kit. We used a domestic video camera connected into one of the projector's inputs. At appropriate times we used the remote control to switch inputs on the projector to show the drummer cam. It works but it's clunky, and not slick.

    The next step: I've been playing with OBS and Vmix. My idea is to have two cameras on stage (again, they will be just domestic camcorders) at present, into a laptop, and use OBS or Vmix to output to the projector. That way we can seemlessly switch between our video loops, a Music School logo, and either of the two cameras.

    Where I need help: I have a cheapo USB video capture interface on a laptop. I've setup OBS and Vmix to display our video loops and a camera. It's really a domestic convert-your-VHS-tapes-to-PC capture device. It's not great quality but kinda works. I'm looking for something better that a) won't break the bank (we have zero budget), and can possibly handle two or more camera inputs. (Or two devices that can both run at the same time).

    Video loops are 16:9, cameras are 16:9, projector is 16:9, but the USB capture card is really low res at 16:9. It's best resolution is at 4:3

    Tech kit is typically 25% to 50% more expensive over here than in the US and Europe and budget is a serious consideration for us. This is essentially a nice-to-have project.

    Thoughts, suggestions, comments, very gratefully welcomed, particularly around video capture devices and/or alternatives to OBS and Vmix.

    Still learning...

    Cheers!

    Mark
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Ultimately you need a switcher for all your sources. Roland makes nice switchers. I have a 4-ex. But there are others out there. If your video loop is PC then put a 1 to 2 vga distribution amp. If laptop just take hdmi out to switcher.

    I'm in USA and I'd love to visit New Zeland some day. I hear it's beautiful.
     
  3. Mark Angel

    Mark Angel Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the reply and your suggestions.

    Yes, NZ is beautiful. I'm British and moved here nine years ago for a better lifestyle (my wife is Kiwi). Fabulous place to live - come on over sometime, it's worth it.
     
  4. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks I'll let you know if My wife and I plan anything.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. NickVon

    NickVon Well-Known Member

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    A little bit of dated software now I believe but you could take a look at "ScreenMonkey" it's free and may give you a sense of what you want verses how much you want to spend on higher level products. A Hardware switchers is great but with 2 consumer cameras and some video loops a powerful enough computer and software switcher like Vmix/Wirecast would work but would require dumping more then some loose change in vendors' pockets.

    OBS is a great piece of software and I think you'd we well served with were you are at utilizing it.

    It might be time to grab some Black Magic devices. They make a number and probably don't run more then 200$ a piece for the little guys. If any of your video cameras have fire-wire out on them, that can be plugged into a laptop with just a firewire/usb card.

    https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/intensity
    Something like Black Magic Intensity my work for you, though I don't know if it/software will recognize more then 1 source at a time connected to it.
     
    lwinters630 likes this.

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