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nedb
10-12-2012, 10:34 PM
I have a TriCaster 855. I use a MacBook Pro to play video or PowerPoint to my TriCaster without using iVGA.

My workflow looks like this: I hook up a Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter to the MBP. Then I connect an HDMI cable from the Mini DisplayPort adapter to a Black Magic HDMI to SDI mini converter (http://blackmagicdesign.com/products/miniconverters/models/). I run a coax cable from the Black Magic HDMI—SDI mini-converter to the TriCaster, plug into one of the 8 camera SDI inputs. Works great!

What is the problem you ask? Using the same workflow with a PC (brand new Toshiba i7 with HDMI port), I can see the desktop of the PC as my video source but when I click on the PowerPoint presentation (or video) to play, it goes to black. Tried the same workflow on two other PC's. Problem persisted. Is this a Microsoft PowerPoint issue? It did play on the MBP using PowerPoint.

Any suggestions would be appreciated

djozy
10-13-2012, 02:53 AM
Try turning off Hardware Acceleration
http://www.deskshare.com/resources/articles/dmc_turnoffhardwareacceleration.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiu2vop-10o

nedb
10-17-2012, 12:58 PM
Try turning off Hardware Acceleration
http://www.deskshare.com/resources/articles/dmc_turnoffhardwareacceleration.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiu2vop-10o

Let me think about this.... there are 400+ conference attendees and the speaker walks in moments before his presentation and you want me to hack his computer? I don't think so!

PS I tried to listen to your youtube video. Couldn't understand a word because of the background noise. I suggest you record in a quiet room next time and use a microphone!

Lee-AVP
10-17-2012, 07:20 PM
Let me think about this.... there are 400+ conference attendees and the speaker walks in moments before his presentation and you want me to hack his computer? I don't think so!

I'm not saying it will work, but come on. Turning off hardware acceleration is no more time consuming or "hacking" than changing the resolution to anyone who has even a passing familiarity with graphics settings. Seems like it is at least worth a shot.

That said.

I'm having issues with an i7 machine and a BMD mini converter, too. Works fine on my BMD TVstudio, but no signal at all on the Tricaster. Which is *weird* because the Tricaster should be much more forgiving of various resolutions and frame rates.

Heavy testing tomorrow, and I'll let you know what I find. I'll definitely try djozy's suggestion. :)

nedb
10-17-2012, 11:11 PM
I'm not saying it will work, but come on. Turning off hardware acceleration is no more time consuming or "hacking" than changing the resolution to anyone who has even a passing familiarity with graphics settings. Seems like it is at least worth a shot.

That said.

I'm having issues with an i7 machine and a BMD mini converter, too. Works fine on my BMD TVstudio, but no signal at all on the Tricaster. Which is *weird* because the Tricaster should be much more forgiving of various resolutions and frame rates.

Heavy testing tomorrow, and I'll let you know what I find. I'll definitely try djozy's suggestion. :)

Did you try turning hardware acceleration off?? LOL Again, I say... I do not want to be responsible for someone else's computer. Most presenters bring a USB stick but I am seeing more and more wanting to use their own computers. I will not be responsible for their machines, especially when they drop it at the tech table 15 minutes before they need it.

Lee-AVP
10-18-2012, 07:53 AM
Interesting attitude. Every time someone drops a computer on us, I do the following:

- Adjust the resolution to match switching and monitors
- Turn off the screensaver
- Turn off the power saving modes
- Turn off the notification sounds
- Enable the secondary monitor output
- Enable "presenter mode" on their presentation

All of the above takes maybe 2 minutes.

Time permitting, I do the following:
- Run a spell check on their presentation
- Click through slides looking for font issues
- Click through slides looking for title safe issues
- Add a dead slide to the end of the presentation so it terminates gracefully, if there isn't one
- Add audience Q&A instructions to their Q&A slide - ("Please wait for a microphone", or whatever)

To my way of thinking, I was hired to provide technical experience and expertise to assist them in delivering their message. So yeah, if there is a settings change that will get their content up on the screens, I absolutely want to know about it and make that change if it is required in service to my customer.

Lars Borg
10-18-2012, 08:05 AM
This is of course the right attitude:) will print your answer...great work!!!

nevmoor
10-18-2012, 08:23 AM
Interesting attitude. Every time someone drops a computer on us, I do the following:

- Adjust the resolution to match switching and monitors
- Turn off the screensaver
- Turn off the power saving modes
- Turn off the notification sounds
- Enable the secondary monitor output
- Enable "presenter mode" on their presentation

All of the above takes maybe 2 minutes.

Time permitting, I do the following:
- Run a spell check on their presentation
- Click through slides looking for font issues
- Click through slides looking for title safe issues
- Add a dead slide to the end of the presentation so it terminates gracefully, if there isn't one
- Add audience Q&A instructions to their Q&A slide - ("Please wait for a microphone", or whatever)

To my way of thinking, I was hired to provide technical experience and expertise to assist them in delivering their message. So yeah, if there is a settings change that will get their content up on the screens, I absolutely want to know about it and make that change if it is required in service to my customer.


Excellent!! I do so much PPT support that I do a some of the same things. If they insist that they use their PC I let them know upfront "I NEED to change settings to make sure YOUR presentation works properly". If they tell me I can't make basic resolution changes, I emphasize that I can NOT be responsible if their presentation does not display properly. Some PCs have weak graphics cards that wouldn't clone and show video playback on both screens if you had hardware acceleration on.
I had this happen in a very large medical conference. The Dr. would not let me change anything. Of course, when things went wrong the presenter blamed the AV company for the problem over the PA. SMH.

ZachSchuster
10-18-2012, 10:08 AM
Did you try turning hardware acceleration off?? LOL Again, I say... I do not want to be responsible for someone else's computer. Most presenters bring a USB stick but I am seeing more and more wanting to use their own computers. I will not be responsible for their machines, especially when they drop it at the tech table 15 minutes before they need it.

Might I suggest, then, using your own laptop for the powerpoint at your tech table and installing a copy of the presentation on that machine. Assuming the presenter's laptop is run in to the conference IMAG, use the projection for reference for when you change slides.

If it's a situation where IMAG is being supplied by the Tricaster, that can be a little more difficult. Perhaps clone the presenter's laptop screen via Cat-5 to your tech table and display it on a generic LCD monitor. Then use your laptop to supply the "real" Powerpoint feed.

ZachSchuster
10-18-2012, 10:10 AM
Let me think about this.... there are 400+ conference attendees and the speaker walks in moments before his presentation and you want me to hack his computer? I don't think so!

PS I tried to listen to your youtube video. Couldn't understand a word because of the background noise. I suggest you record in a quiet room next time and use a microphone!

Easy, man. You asked for a suggestion, he gave one. You'll find you won't get very far in the future here if you reply to suggestions with attitude. We're all a pleasant group of individuals looking to help each other out.

The audio in the video is a little hard to hear at times, but I could follow it from start to finish.

I'd recommend taking all suggestions in the spirit they're intended.

joseburgos
10-18-2012, 12:15 PM
And to add to this, I always ask for the Power Point or Keynote file before hand just because of these same issues as a prerequisite before getting to the venue. Of course I ask for a lot of things and if I'm lucky, I get half (external drive not Mac formated) but like you, I end up doing much the same thing on site because its what I bring to the table as do many people I know. Like you, I learned a very long time ago its going to be your fault for not consulting the client correctly even when its out of your hands on occasion :)

joseburgos
10-18-2012, 12:23 PM
Interesting attitude. Every time someone drops a computer on us, I do the following:

- Adjust the resolution to match switching and monitors
- Turn off the screensaver
- Turn off the power saving modes
- Turn off the notification sounds
- Enable the secondary monitor output
- Enable "presenter mode" on their presentation

All of the above takes maybe 2 minutes.

Time permitting, I do the following:
- Run a spell check on their presentation
- Click through slides looking for font issues
- Click through slides looking for title safe issues
- Add a dead slide to the end of the presentation so it terminates gracefully, if there isn't one
- Add audience Q&A instructions to their Q&A slide - ("Please wait for a microphone", or whatever)

To my way of thinking, I was hired to provide technical experience and expertise to assist them in delivering their message. So yeah, if there is a settings change that will get their content up on the screens, I absolutely want to know about it and make that change if it is required in service to my customer.

I was referring to this post from our esteemed colleague :)

nedb
10-19-2012, 10:36 AM
Might I suggest, then, using your own laptop for the powerpoint at your tech table and installing a copy of the presentation on that machine. Assuming the presenter's laptop is run in to the conference IMAG, use the projection for reference for when you change slides.

If it's a situation where IMAG is being supplied by the Tricaster, that can be a little more difficult. Perhaps clone the presenter's laptop screen via Cat-5 to your tech table and display it on a generic LCD monitor. Then use your laptop to supply the "real" Powerpoint feed.

Zach... We do use our own equipment the majority of the time. Two macs and two PC's on a switch (so we can set up each presenters PPT) but as I was saying earlier, we are running into the odd presenter that insists using his own computer. All our computers are preprogrammed with the proper settings. The only issue is HDMI conversion to video via a BMD HDMI to SDI mini-converter. All the suggestions above are nice but irrelevant to the original question except the gentleman that suggested manipulating the presenters machine. A suggestion that is contrary to company policy and the owners wishes. As I mentioned, the Mac's work with the BMD mini-converter but the PC's don't and I require a solution that doesn't involve manipulating someone else's equipment, especially when that presenters shows up 10 minutes before showtime!

nedb
10-19-2012, 10:42 AM
How do you figure that Zach? Does using bold indicate attitude. I think of it as emphasis. That my reply in the spirit it was intended.

jmmultex
10-19-2012, 11:03 AM
An alternative may be to use a scan converter like the Matrox DVI. This will take a DVI signal and re-encode it as a 1080i or 720p SDI signal. It is a bit smarter about things then the BMD converters (which don't adjust format - only the signal) I've used this to capture both Mac and PC screens and haven't hit a problem yet (but my experience is far from an exhaustive representation of equipment).

Something to consider...

-john

Lee-AVP
10-19-2012, 11:05 AM
Sorry I haven't had a chance to test over here, yet.

If you aren't willing to change the customer's display settings, how will you make sure you're outputting a proper HD resolution? How do you turn on the HDMI output?

If you can't make any settings changes, you're probably going to need a real scaler as opposed to the BMD converter, as it doesn't do any time base correction or scaling, so if the framerate or resolution is wrong, you'll have a problem.

Did you happen to notice, when you plugged in the HDMI cable or started the PPT, did the resolution or color mode change? Often when you plug in an HDMI output, you will see Windows automatically change to "movie mode" or something similar; some software will change the theme to "windows basic" in order to save video memory. There are a lot of potential problems that you just won't be able to solve without being able to adjust the video settings.

All that said - I'm not sure why any of those things would be a problem for Powerpoint but NOT for the desktop, with the exception of hardware acceleration.

Are you primarily a Mac person? It might just be that you could stand to gain a little more familiarity with PC settings changes. I, for one, almost always have to have someone remind me where the resolution settings are on a Mac. I just don't use them enough.

The other question I have for you: What do you do when a presenter's laptop has VGA but no HDMI? Go back to iVGA? It's not really a related question other than that your VGA solution -whatever it is - may be a good backup solution when you have HDMI problems.

I promise to test some things on my side soon; I actually suspect that our HDMI -> SDI mini converter is broken. I had to pull out a different converter at the last minute on a production on Wednesday, as we were having similar problems and couldn't get it working.