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nelsonm
02-11-2006, 12:26 PM
Hi all,

I did another live switch for a musical in Detroit this week using the VT3.

Although it went great, I have to admit that it would have been better and more convienent to have VT-Vision preview windows for all active video sources. We had four camera's.

It's not a problem with just two camera's since NT allows for one preview and one program. But with three or more camera's, it's a pain to have to keep looking back and forth between the source monitor rack and the VT screen to perform the switch. Having to do so increased our switching time and error rate. Because of the increased time and error rate, we decided to have another person act as director to tell me which preview source to cue up and take. That setup went much better.

Having VT-Vision windows for all active sources on single or dual screens makes for much improved efficiency, lower cost (by allowing just one person to select the next camera, cue and switch) and little or no errors. In fact it would be even better to allow one to click right on the desired VT-Vision preview source window to switch it to program out.

Well thats my take and wish on the subject.

Jim_C
02-11-2006, 12:34 PM
I believe this is all hardware limited right now. I don't think there is much Newtek can do until PC busses get thicker.

Having a Technical Director and a Director has been the norm for switching since the beginning for just the reason you discovered.



Hi all,

I did another live switch for a musical in Detroit this week using the VT3.

Although it went great, I have to admit that it would have been better and more convienent to have VT-Vision windows for all active video sources. We had four camera's.

It's not a problem with just two camera's since NT allows for one preview and one program. But with three or more camera's, it's a pain to have to keep looking back and forth between the source monitor rack and the VT screen to perform the switch. Having to do so increased our switching error rate. In fact we decided to have another person act as director to tell me which preview source to cue up and take. That setup went much better.

Having VT-Vision windows for all active sources on single or dual screens makes for much improved efficiency, lower cost and little or no errors. In fact it would be even better to allow one to click right on the desired VT-Vision preview source window to switch it to program out.

Well thats my take and wish on the subject.

nevmoor
02-11-2006, 12:37 PM
We have our 4 source monitors mounted directly under 2 monitors for preview/program. I know this is a VT4 option thru software though. VT3 didnt allow for a real preview out. remember you could unlock you key bus and use it as another preview monitor too.

jsanfilippo
02-11-2006, 05:21 PM
Ironically, Tricaster CAN preview all three camera's on the VGA monitor! I know - it's only 3, which may or may not be enough for VT users. It would be a nice little feature if hardware could support it.

Either way, we'll always use our monitor wall of source monitors, but having the option would be very sweet.

Newtek - any comments? Is this within the scope of possibility down the road, or not something that's on your radar of improvements?



It's not a problem with just two camera's since NT allows for one preview and one program. But with three or more camera's, it's a pain to have to keep looking back and forth between the source monitor rack and the VT screen to perform the switch.

Why were you having to look at the VT screen everytime? Were you not using an RS-8? We usually have a TD, but at times we do without, and our directors (myself and a couple others) call three cameras and use the RS-8 with great success. It makes all the difference, because you don't need to look at it... keep your eyes on the monitors and your hands on the RS-8 and you are set. If you don't have it, I would greatly advise it for live switching! We then have a CG operator that runs the VT desktop to fire all graphics. It's a good setup.

Jim_C
02-11-2006, 05:31 PM
Ironically, Tricaster CAN preview all three camera's on the VGA monitor!


So can VT now. As stated above with the new card you can unlock the key bus and use it as an input.

jsanfilippo
02-11-2006, 07:01 PM
But that's not exactly the same thing, Jim.. unless I don't properly understand. That gives you, basically, another VT Vision window that you can switch inputs to preview.

So with a three camera shoot, you could be looking at Cam 1 on the Key Bus, and Cam 2 on preview, while Cam 3 is live in program.... is this correct?

If so, let's say you decide to take 1 instead of 2. Unless you switch your key bus (which requires the desktop, as you can't do this with the RS-8), you now have Cam 1 in Key Bus AND program, and 2 in Preview.

It's not the same as having all three (or more) sources in a dedicated VT Vision window.

I can imagine that if Newtek were able to implement this, monitor walls would start to look different. Originally, when I *thought* VT4 would be able to do this (before I bought it), I was thinking of making my monitor wall simply a 1 LARGE VGA monitor and dedicating it to VT Vision windows.

now that I've setup actual broadcast monitors of cam feeds, plus pgm and pvw, i do like it. But having VT visions in addition for each feed (or when taking offsite for a quick setup), it would be nice.

kltv
02-12-2006, 12:18 AM
It's not the same as having all three (or more) sources in a dedicated VT Vision window.


This is a hardware limitation. The VT[4] Pro card can digitize only 3 channels of video. Since the VT can switch up to 24 inputs it can't bring them all into the computer at once. TriCaster gets around this by limiting you to only three inputs anyway, so you are always digitizing each input. I suppose if you imposed some sort of software limitation on selecting other video inputs you might be able to provide that feature for 3 input setups. Maybe just a modified TriCaster skin or something? But it might end up being just confusing since you couldn't do it with larger setups. Then people would want to know why they couldn't do it with 4 or 5 camera setups, etc.

Kris

Jim Capillo
02-12-2006, 04:25 AM
Every *real* hardware switcher has this limitation, too. You must have a dedicated monitor for every camera. Any camera you are about to switch to you'd want to see on a full size preview monitor anyway so you can check the framing, composition and even the lower thirds, etc.

Anyone with any TD'ing experience would have no trouble switching this way - punching up the next shot on preview.....

If I were a live guy (I'm not), I would get a rack of two or three lcd monitors and mount them below my VT monitors. Loop them thru and you're all set. The VT has a hardware limitation and there's really no way around it other than implementing the above solution.

JReble
02-12-2006, 08:43 AM
True enough. I don't know why this demand keeps coming up. Why in the heck would you want so much PCI bandwidth dedicated to simply generating a computer interface and display for numerous signals that may be connected to the system? You need to see program and preview. Anything beyond that should be outboard as with any other switching system. It would be a complete waste of PC resources and wouldn't be practical until CPUs are considerably higher horsepower. Even then, ya'd think the horsepower would be needed for the critical processing especially with HD signals being used in the future.

jsanfilippo
02-12-2006, 08:49 AM
Wow - you guys do like to get fired up around here! :D

It certainly isn't a necessity! Personally, my point is that it would be COOL if it were possible - but really nothing more. I wouldn't even mention it if I hadn't once worked with a Tricaster and saw it's ability to preview three sources plus program and preview. Although, they were too small to be all that much useful - I used CRTs in addition.

But in terms of priorities, it's the LOWEST on my list... and I wouldn't want to bog down processing power with it if we'd take a hit on performance. Wait - I'm not even ASKING newtek to implement this - I just said it would be cool and asked if they were THINKING of doing it.

Jim Capillo
02-12-2006, 11:51 AM
Wow - you guys do like to get fired up around here! :D


LOL ! I'm sitting in the middle of a blizzard here, so there's nothing to do.....

This well known limitation of VT keeps popping up on the request list all the time. I'm with Jeff, I don't want precious bandwidth going to something that can be simply remedied by purchasing external monitors. I'd rather see the resources going to improving the product (read: keeping up with the competition).

Jim_C
02-12-2006, 12:24 PM
An elcheapo monitor and a quad split gives you 4 cam previews in a small footprint. And Markertek now has a $180 version as well as the $320 one.

And Jamie, yea you're right about the bus unlock but wrong about getting fired up..... All the above PALES in comparison to some threads... but even more so go over to the LW boards and mention LW is priced a little too high...... ;)

Jim

nelsonm
02-12-2006, 03:48 PM
Hi all,

I realize that everyone is going to have a different take (no pun intended) and preference on live switching.

For me... the whole idea of computer based live switching is for it to be done with one person, one keyboard and one screen. The more efficent and intuitive the interface and workflow is, the more likely a single person could manage the whole process. Thus - more profit for me.

Obviously, there will be circumstances where you may end up having a separate TD and switcher operator. In that case it would be better to have a separate source monitor rack (with tally lights) that the TD could look at and bark cue/take commands to the switcher operator from. I would prefer to have the TD look at a second screen with VT-Vision panels (with tally lights and camera numbers displayed on each) for all preview sources. The difference would be about 10 to 15 pounds compared to 100+ pounds for a separate source monitor rack.

If you also required CG, then it would be prudent to have the RS-8 for the switcher operator in order to free up the VT keyboard for the CG operator.

However, for many events where there is nothing to do but switch or where everything is canned ahead of time, the VT4 with the ability to create a canned program for a live event on the edit line or just have all active preview sources viewable on the same screen along with the program output, switcher and other functions- is a great asset. It allows you to stay focused in one area with a higher level of concentration. Every time you have to look away to another area is a distraction.

And yes i know that currently its not possible, but it would be cool.
And yes i know i can use an external quad splitter and a single monitior.
And yes i know i can put 3 or more external little monitiors under the screen.

In an ideal world for a totaly live put-it-all-together-on-the-fly system, I would prefer to have a VTx live switch system that allows all necessary operators; switcher op., cg op., audio tech., and TD to sit in front of their own 24" widscreen LCD monitors, keyboards and mice controlling their part of a single VTx system.

Or at least just like with the RS-8, someone should create a separate keyboard input device to control the CG.

Ok, enough you guys... go home! :D

wvp
02-12-2006, 05:43 PM
I've spent many years t/d'ing as well as directing. Certainly directing with a t/d is preferable - Director looks at the sources, the t/d punches up whatever for program.
However, another thought if you really want all the cameras inside the VT... Use a quad box combiner (i've used one for security systems that cost maybe $100-150) then send THAT signal into the VT & put it on the key bus. Now you can set up a VT Vison to see all 4 camera's.
I just wish that NT had incorporated "loop-throughs" for the video on the SX-8 / 84.

jsanfilippo
02-12-2006, 06:34 PM
Use a quad box combiner (i've used one for security systems that cost maybe $100-150) then send THAT signal into the VT & put it on the key bus. Now you can set up a VT Vison to see all 4 camera's.

Now that's a helluva good idea!!!!

Jim_C
02-12-2006, 10:07 PM
Unless I used the 2/3 width, which would take up too much desktop, trying to watch a quad split within a VT-Vision would send me running for the Exedrin.

But it is a nifty idea.

nelsonm
02-13-2006, 09:06 AM
HI wvp,

Thats one way of doing it - great idea!

I have two dell 24" widscreen LCD monitors connected to the VT3 - more real estate less clutter. The monitors has composite, component, DVI and D-SUB connectors. I also have a Panasonic WJ-MS424 quad color splitter. :)

I can either:
1 - just move the Key VT-Vision panel containing the quad split signal to the second monitor and still have the opportunity to have other VT function panels up. I'll have to try it...
or
2 - as i have already done... run an analog signal from the quad splitter to the second monitor's composite video input jack.

I would still like to be able to click on one of the four quad sections displayed within the key VT-Vision panel as a command to take it to the program bus. I think NT or one of you guys could create a modified VT-Vision panel to allow for that. :D

LMSD
02-22-2006, 07:22 AM
If I were a live guy (I'm not), I would get a rack of two or three lcd monitors and mount them below my VT monitors. Loop them thru and you're all set. The VT has a hardware limitation and there's really no way around it other than implementing the above solution.

We just installed a Marshall 4 LCD monitor (4 inch monitors I believe) in a desktop rack system under our Taoster and preview/Program monitors, this you feed the SVIDEO into a DA then output SVIDEO to the SX8 and a composite feed to the monitors. Gives you a great little Camera preview without relying on the Toaster VT monitors. Is what I was used to doing 20 years ago 8-)...

For a live setup, you need the RS-8 and an external monitor set-up. Put it in a nice Half-Rack with a slide out shelf, and you are all set 8-)..

-Mike

LMSD
02-22-2006, 07:25 AM
Now that's a helluva good idea!!!!

Or better yet, purchase an AV monitor like the Samsung 930MP, get a Quad unit and feed the input into the Video input of the monitor then use PIP to put it in the corner of your screen, and put the VT tools around it 8-)

-Mike

Jim_C
02-22-2006, 08:12 AM
Honestly, has anybody actually viewed a quad split INSIDE a VT-Vision? Can you really tell what is going on? I guess you can see framing but I wouldn't imagine you're correcting focus.

Jim Capillo
02-22-2006, 08:42 AM
Honestly, has anybody actually viewed a quad split INSIDE a VT-Vision? Can you really tell what is going on? I guess you can see framing but I wouldn't imagine you're correcting focus.

I agree, Jim. With the lag and shrunk images, I wouldn't chance it under any circumstances..... too much can go wrong.