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.

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