Grand VJ, capturing 5 VGA sources with at least 25fps

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Grand VJ, capturing 5 VGA sources with at least 25fps

Postby technicaladvice » Fri May 08, 2009 8:17 pm

Hi There

I have a client that wants to do the following: -
1x Grand VJ
5x VGA Sources (3 PC outputs and 2 broadcast HD cameras)
1x INTEL MAC (high spec)
(all the above x2)
1x VGA switcher
1x Matrox Tripple Head 2 Go (Softedge projection on 3 projectors)
1x Midi interface

My client plans to have two identical systems both controlled via a midi interface, so they run at the same time. With a VGA switcher before the Matrox Tripple head 2 Go, to swap mac signals if there are issues during a show.

My questions
1/ Within reason, what would be a good VGA capture card or box for the mac? Something with compresson built in would help considering 5 units.

2/ Do you still need to use different manufactures capture cards to get around the quicktime limitations?

3/ Will the Mac and Grand VJ be able to handle 5 VGA sources, or will I need to convert everything down to Composite. If so, what would be a good composite capture card / box.

Any thoughts and sugguests would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Postby PhasedMedia » Sat May 09, 2009 1:58 pm

Hi
one option would be to do vga source switching/scaling with a presentation switch and then feed outputs to GrandVJ 1&2 (via vga capture cards, I personally prefer HDMI capture cards like Blackmagic-designs' Intensity pro for this purpose).

Most video switches can be remotely controlled by serial commands. I would use martin lightjockey (free as no DMX output required) to send these commands, and drive LJ from your midi controller
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Im really after advice on the best VGA capture cards

Postby technicaladvice » Mon May 11, 2009 9:43 am

Hey

Thanks for the info, however I am really after advice of reasonable priced VGA capture cards / boxes. Barring in mind I will need 5 per Mac.

I need to know whether I am asking to much or whether Arkaos and a high spec'ed mac can handle 5 VGA capture cards. Also what you guys would recommend.

Thanks
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Postby PhasedMedia » Mon May 11, 2009 12:28 pm

5-10 VGA capture cards is alot of money to outlay for one application. Hiring or buying a hardware solution would be much more efficient and cheaper.
Perhaps using five composite video sources (from scan converters) could be an option?

Anyone else got any ideas?
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Postby nick c » Mon May 11, 2009 12:56 pm

the best dvi/vga capture card on the market is from datapath, vision rgb-e card, and it is the most reasonably price and the fastest, on a pci express connector.

you are going to have to use a vga switcher (well that is what i do) with two outputs, so one can be used as a monitor, so you know you are showing the right feed.

cheers
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Ok, I seem to be getting somewhere, thanks for your replies

Postby technicaladvice » Mon May 11, 2009 4:01 pm

Ok, I seem to be getting somewhere, thanks for your replies so far!

Has anyone heard of the Blackmagic Intensity Pro, a HDMI / component capture card that works uncompressed, so very little demand on the CPU? Only £150 each.

Only down side is the Mac Pro only has 4 PCI express cards, so I may have to buy a PCI express expansion rack for the forth and fith card.

Does Arkaos and Apple together still have a limitation they used to have of only recognising one card even when two or three of the same card are plugged in? I think it was a Quicktime limitation. Which is different on a PC using DirectX

Again still open to sugguestions, thanks again
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Postby nick c » Mon May 11, 2009 5:35 pm

hi technicaladvice

both myself and phasemedia use varrious blackmagic cards.

The intensity/pro is very good range, but i would not go for the cheap one that only has hdmi. you want to get the one with the cable fanout (more connections/ options). alot os media servers use them. and they are fast because of the pci express slot they go in. the basic hdmi card is about £150.00 and the intensity pro is about £225.00, which is worth the extra money.

And yes i believe there is still a problem seeing multiple cards that are all the same. and that is why i have a few different makes of usb capture deveices with my kit.

you really want to kep the number of capture devices to a minimum, and use switchers as much as possible.

cheers
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Postby merchinax » Sun May 31, 2009 7:13 am

How is it possible to use a vga monitor with a dvi-i graphics card? My video card does not have a vga slot, only a dvi-i slot. But my monitor only has a vga plug! is there some sort of converter that can make my card fit?
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Postby nick c » Sun May 31, 2009 8:01 am

A dvi - vga adapter is very comon in computing. they are sold in every computer shop.
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Crosspost from the Watchout forum FYI

Postby laser » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:08 pm

I found the following suggestion on another forum related to using multiple Intensity cards:

> Here is a strange behaviour I had noticed, and eventually led me to a
> workaround: when I installed two cards in a system at the same time, I
> had similar problems to yours.
>
> Thus, what I found worked best, was to uninstall the software, remove
> the cards. Reboot with only one card in, and reinstall the drivers.
> Shut
> down once more, install the second card. Boot up one last time, and
> allow it to install the driver for the second card (already existing
> on system).

Hope this helps.
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Postby nick c » Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:43 pm

personally, i don't think that's any good under show conditions. Long long is it going to take you to get up and running, if you have any type of power failure? Too long!!

And i still think that you should be useing a single capture card and a VGA or DVI switcher.

What ever floats your boat.

cheers
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