Widescreen video wall on the cheap

Do you eye up those HUGE widescreen walls of video
that are so in vogue at the moment for megabucks corporate gigs? Well, here’s
two ways to emulate that style, in a more modest way…

Have you seen them? Those monster,
wider-than-a-very-wide-thing widescreen video backdrops that are all the rage
for big corporate presentations. They have picture in picture, floating
presentations, soft edges to join all the projector images etc etc
etc.

They also need hugely expensive
specialist gear to do.

So here are two
possible ways to achieve a similar effect on the
cheap:

1. Take a fast desktop PC or Mac
and borrow some extra PCI graphics cards – let’s say three for this example.
Install the video cards and extend your desktop to include all three monitors,
but connect them to three projectors, not three monitors (or three scan
converters if you want). You can then take some widescreen content and maximise
the playback window to cover the whole desktop (i.e. all three projectors). You
can use the overscan function of your scan converter to loose the window border
and get groovy widescreen content playing back on three projectors at
once.

Of course you have to line them
all up very carefully, and you can’t really do anything else useful with the PC,
but hey, it’s pretty cheap!!

2. A
slightly simpler option is to use multiple scan converters, daisy chained to the
same PC VGA output, but ZOOMED into different parts of the screen. This way you
can pick 3 adjacent segments of the screen (for example) and have content moving
across them or whatever.

Of course, your
scan converter needs to have a decent zoom function, and you will loose
resolution, as you are only taking part of the image, but hey, it’s pretty
cheap!

DISCLAIMER: I have never
actually been able to try either of these ideas for real, so don’t blame me if
it doesn’t work as well as it seems it should.

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