Video Wall Window Management

macsound

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Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
Little bit of back story:
I had a small venue approach me to replace their 27" lobby tv and 3 vertical pinboards with 3 55" vertical tvs. At the time I was working in corporate AV and we used a product called Monitors Anywhere. For the slideshows they ran, this worked totally ok. Then they decided it was more useful to have live video of the show so people in the lobby could see what was going on, either the ushers, people with crying babies, etc.
Somewhat simultaneously, the Monitors Anywhere license they purchased stopped supporting newer versions of windows on the server, essentially breaking the lobby display's link to the server if the PC updated - stupid Windows. I was able to overcome this with a group policy change.
During Covid, they were holding very small meetings and livestreamed events in the lobby, since it had large doors that opened to the outside and they wanted to have a powerpoint on the tvs.

TL;DR, the usecase for this videowall has changed and my solution was to replace the PC server -> Monitors anywhere components with a single Mac Mini with the 3 displays direct connected.

Here's my question:
Does anyone know of a Mac window manager that can create or trigger specific window placement of certain apps.
I've seen this one but unsure if it works with multiple displays. https://rectangleapp.com
Essentially I need to be able to assign an NDI video monitor to span all 3 displays, have Chrome only on the 2 right displays etc.

Any experience with multiple displays being driven by a mac would be great!
Currently windows never open in the same size when I open them that they were when I last closed it.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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Phoenix, Az
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MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Are you maybe ready for a full video wall manager? There are lots of options out there based on your setup, but opposed to a software based solution, maybe you're ready for a hardware encoder matrix?
 

macsound

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Location
San Francisco, CA
Are you maybe ready for a full video wall manager? There are lots of options out there based on your setup, but opposed to a software based solution, maybe you're ready for a hardware encoder matrix?
That's essentially what Monitors Anywhere was. Each display had a hardware mini PC behind them and the server drove them.
We're moving away from that because the request is for this to be more user friendly and multi-use instead of just for scheduled material and advertising.

I'll try this. What happens currently is the window size stays the same but doesn't stay in the same place after quitting the app and reopening.
I'm also thinking of something like a Streamdeck that one logo'd button could open the app and resize for a particular use.
 

MRW Lights

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NYC
That's essentially what Monitors Anywhere was. Each display had a hardware mini PC behind them and the server drove them.
We're moving away from that because the request is for this to be more user friendly and multi-use instead of just for scheduled material and advertising.
I think what you want is to move away from a media delivery platform (Monitors Anywhere) and you want a video wall processor, what Monitors Anywhere wants to grow up to be. I'm talking about an encoder/matrix/scaler that doesn't handle the content only the video. It says put this signal there and make it look like this. We have a Video Wall Manager that routes 34? ish screens some of which have media players, but we can also route any signal in our system to any screen and I can say for each monitor I want this signal to be this size, this orientation and this color.
 
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Chan Xiang Ju

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Location
Singapore
You would probably want a hardware rather than software solution to achieve what you are describing. There are lower cost solutions from brands such as Digibird, Magnimage and Aten. The better quality ones will be stuff like extron quantum and barco S3/E2.
 

macsound

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Location
San Francisco, CA
Now looking into keyboardmaestro.com to deal with window management.
It's just frustrating knowing that many many people have multiple monitors on their desk and now trying to get it to do specific things when mounted on the wall makes it seem like Apple almost always ignores all but the primary display when in certain modes.

The reason that we're moving away from a "video wall" manager, software or hardware, is because they want to be able to use these TVs standalone, like bringing a powerpoint or watching a youtube video. Essentially using the lobby as a conference room when there's no show and then when there is a show, using the screens to show the live video of the theatre.
 

MRW Lights

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NYC
....
The reason that we're moving away from a "video wall" manager, software or hardware, is because they want to be able to use these TVs standalone, like bringing a powerpoint or watching a youtube video. Essentially using the lobby as a conference room when there's no show and then when there is a show, using the screens to show the live video of the theatre.
I would think this is exactly why you want a hardware matrix encoder to do exactly this. You can route any signal from an input to an output(s) and effect it to the limits of the hardware you have... we have a multipurpose room with an AV conference system with a video wall that can route a 4 window feed from the video card out of the computer or be split out to a 6x6 matrix with individual outputs or scaled to a 6x6 display... The right tool for the right job will work every time... the wrong tool might get the job done, but was it cheap, fast or Good? (pick two)
 

macsound

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Maybe I just don't fully understand what a matrix encoder is.
Is it like the opposite of a multiview?
I send it 1 video out and using the encoder's software control, it outputs to x number of displays, but it's just a split of the input?
 

MRW Lights

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This drills down a little more specific, but something you might be interested in from Extron... https://www.extron.com/product/mgp464pro?subtype=553

This is a multi window processor, as long as your physical outputs don't change I would think something like this could work for you. The physical output not changing thing is a bit tricky with Mac as it tends to do it's own thing if your outputs are PCI bussed. A dedicated video card helps A LOT there like a black magic decklink. Granted this is a much more elaborate setup, well beyond Monitors Anywhere, but it might be what you're ready for and allow for future integration and expansion.
 

macsound

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San Francisco, CA
While that looks capable, I think it's a bit beyond what I'm looking for.
Currently, Monitors Anywhere is gone.

Now the setup is a Mac Mini mounted to the backside of a TV, One output direct over HDMI, 2 additional HDMI over a USB interface. So it's just like sitting at a desk with one computer and having multiple desktops.

So while I agree there should be something better to be able to do this, it all needs to fit directly behind a TV that's mounted to the wall with no opportunity for something to go wrong or add complexity for a volunteer working on their own, that's why we went to the single computer directly connected in the first place.

If there was something like a blackmagic multiview in reverse, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But it doesn't seem like anything like this exists. It's all more complicated.
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MRW Lights

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NYC
While that looks capable, I think it's a bit beyond what I'm looking for.
Currently, Monitors Anywhere is gone.

Now the setup is a Mac Mini mounted to the backside of a TV, One output direct over HDMI, 2 additional HDMI over a USB interface. So it's just like sitting at a desk with one computer and having multiple desktops.

So while I agree there should be something better to be able to do this, it all needs to fit directly behind a TV that's mounted to the wall with no opportunity for something to go wrong or add complexity for a volunteer working on their own, that's why we went to the single computer directly connected in the first place.

If there was something like a blackmagic multiview in reverse, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But it doesn't seem like anything like this exists. It's all more complicated.
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AHA! with the right question comes the right answer.... allow me to introduce you to the wonderful problem solvers at Decimator.... https://decimator.com/Products/MultiViewers/DMON-QUAD MultiViewer/DMON-QUAD.html

https://decimator.com/
 

macsound

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San Francisco, CA
I've used decimators before as scalers and converters but I'm not seeing anything here that's different than the blackmagic multiview I posted. What I meant was this theoretical magic box would need the blackmagic or decimator multiview in reverse. 1 Input, 3 outputs. Each output occupies 33% of the total resolution.
 

Chan Xiang Ju

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Location
Singapore
I've used decimators before as scalers and converters but I'm not seeing anything here that's different than the blackmagic multiview I posted. What I meant was this theoretical magic box would need the blackmagic or decimator multiview in reverse. 1 Input, 3 outputs. Each output occupies 33% of the total resolution.
Yes this is why the need fo video wall processors.

Datapath FX4 is one of the possibilities to handle this splicing.
 

Calc

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Jan 26, 2004
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Mid-Michigan
I think MRW is correct- I don't think you're going to like what you're actually asking for. If the TV's are showing a desktop, how do you get your stage view on to the desktop then?

the request is for this to be more user friendly and multi-use
These are usually opposing goals, unless you've got enough money to spend.

What I meant was this theoretical magic box would need the blackmagic or decimator multiview in reverse. 1 Input, 3 outputs. Each output occupies 33% of the total resolution.
With the hesitation to give you enough rope to hang yourself with, the product you're looking for is the Matrox TripleHead2Go. https://www.matrox.com/en/video/products/other#th2go
MRW's suggestions can do this, but also switch inputs like you're asking for.
 

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