Finally using the Matrox Dualhead2go for a live event

December 19, 2008

Some of you may recall that I wrote a couple of years ago about the Matrox DualHead2go box that can let you drive two monitors (or projectors) as if they were a single super-wide screen.

Since then they have expanded the range to include analogue VGA units, digital DVI units and also a 3-way unit called (unsurprisingly) the triple-head2go

Well I finally got hold of one on ebay (if you wait long enough, everything becomes affordable!!) and tried it out at a recent live event. It pretty much worked exactly as you would expect.

Projector setup was two Sanyo XP100 6500 lumen projs back projecting  onto two 10’x7.5′ screens cable-tied together.

dsc00010

We were then driving the Matrox box from a MacBook Pro which was quite happy dealing with a single 2048×768 screen, and running VGA cables to the two projectors. It was important that the two projectors were the same make and model so they matched pretty well without too much tweaking.

We used Apple Keynote as the main display software, dropping pre-rendered 2048×786 quicktime h.264 movies into Keynote and playing them back to the VGA output.

Movies were created in Apple Motion, using a combination of custom motion graphics and also some HDV video and high res stock photos from iStockphoto.com  cropped to fit the screen aspect ratio. For ‘sing-a-long songs’ we put words up on both halves of the image (i.e. both screens) to make sure everyone could see them.

It all worked remarkably well. The superwide movies played smoothly and we even keyed song words over the top of movies in Keynote which looked very slick. We got lots of positive comments from audience members.

Here are some shots of the stage showing how it looked.

 

large still used as backdrop

large still used as backdrop

 

big closeup still on back screens

big closeup still on back screens

We had no real issues, except that we were using a longer USB cable for the power to the matrox box and got a little bit of banding on the screens at times, so for again I might look at getting a separate power supply for it.

So there is a super-cheap way to get a widescreen effect for graphics.


Understanding Video-over-Cat5 cable

February 13, 2007

 There’s a growing trend in live and installation video circles to move towards the use of Cat5 twisted pair networking cables for long video and VGA runs.

As with many new technologies, it’s easy to get caught out, so read on for a quick primer from an engineer’s perspective…

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How to go ‘widescreen’ with 4:3 gear

July 19, 2006

With the increasing popularity of widescreen TVs and DVDs, it’s hard to find an LCD or DLP projector now that doesn’t have a ‘widescreen’ or 16:9 aspect ratio mode.

Coupled with this is the increasing number of cameras and camcorders that are either true 16:9 (HDV) or have a widescreen mode, and the idea of ‘going wide’ can seem quite attractive.
So how can you get best use of these features for a VLOBLIVE gig?

Read on to find out…

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Is there a place for HDV in low budget live video?

June 23, 2006

HDV is the new buzz in video circles – it seems to offer the impossible; High Definition video at the price (and datarate) of Standard Definition. Great for low budget video production, but what about VLOBLIVE gigs? Should you care? How can you make use of all those extra pixels?
Read on to consider some of the issues raised by this new video format…

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Choosing cameras to use for IMAG at VLOBLIVE gigs

January 12, 2006

In the kind of budget range most VLOBLIVE gigs are operating, your camera choice is going to be limited to pretty much whatever you can get your hands on. However if you do have some choices, or if you are
looking to invest in purchasing some cameras, here are some pointers to help you choose.

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matrox dualhead-2-go – superwidescreen support for projection.

January 10, 2006

Here’s a great idea – an external box that looks to your computer like an extra wide display, but in fact it splits the signals across two displays.

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New budget analog video mixer from Datavideo

November 17, 2005

Something of a rarity – a new well featured analog video mixer that would be ideal for VLOBLIVE gigs. This one is from
Datavideo – the SE500.

Read more for some of it’s unique features…

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