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About mbrownell

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  1. Rob, i'm very interested in what codecs you(or anyone else) use for video transparency. a completely different project using signage software where we wish to have video slide across other content and be transparent. my video guys haven't had good luck finding a reliable video codec that supports transparency. the software has some limitations (can't remember which but may include inability to play MOV files...but MP4 is fine). on another note, we installed a different exhibit with five 1080p monitors, landscape mounted, stacked on top of each other. total rez of 1920x5400. single machine, no problem. did another with six 1080p monitors, all portrait mode but stacked 3x2. total rez of 3240x3840. again, single machine. no prob. btw, i try to make these single-video as much as i can but due to some rendering issues, the 3240x3840 is actually two videos. when we build the above machines i've used two approaches: 1) HP Z420 w/ six-core, 16gb ram, AMD W7000 vid card (or AMD W600 card when needing more than 4-outputs). 2 SSD drives: one for OS one for storage/watchout. 2) same config as above, just put 3 SSD drives, one for OS, and 2 striped-raided for storage/watchout. lately, mainly due to i now have our tech-support group manage the machine building (i didn't like getting all the troubletickets sent to me), they've forgone the custom raiding and sometimes left the OS on a standard drive vs. SSD, though still have a single SSD as storage/data. our computer utilization is still under 50% on processor, drive use is minimal, memory is low, etc. never needed the extra oomph of RAIDed SSDs. to be fair, we're playing back single videos vs. adding transitions or affects that can seriously tax a machine (like color tweens, size/shape tweens, etc.) when i tested flying in videos and scaling them; playing multiple 4k vids and moving them around, i destroyed the machine playback -- even with my RAID'd SSDs. hope that helps a little. i'd like to hear what computer specs you end up building for the multiple-4k wall when you solve that problem. thanks everyone for the input on this. Matt
  2. ah...i misunderstood. your comment is exactly as you just referenced. the cross-reference to the other posting (comments by ShowSage) are "By default, both Windows Media Player and QuickTime will use the graphics card's hardware accelerator for assistance decoding movies. WATCHOUT on the other hand will not use the GPU assistance. To adjust WMP or QT to more closely approximate WATCHOUT behavuor, you can change WMP or QT settings to disable the hardware assistance." i read this to mean the hardware wasn't used. i'm glad to hear there is some support -- and primarily windows DirectX implementation. we've been spending fortunes on great cards for specific installations. thnx, matt
  3. Rob, that sounds like an interesting (and somewhat similar) project we just installed in our new wing. we have a Christie Microtile wall with a Vista Spyder (x20) upstream doing the image management. i'm running at DCI 4k (4096x2160 -- though the wall is physically 4096x2127, other magic involved) from a single computer. doing dual output 2048x2160 into the spyder which stitches back together to form the single 4k image. btw, the content is a single 4k video playing in watchout. works perfectly -- or has for months, now. as for my original problem for this posting...i'm realizing that AVC is a consumer codec mostly related to Handbrake conversions and intended for AppleTV and other iOS use. it does work on some systems but just not my display computer. i guess my description of my problem wasn't clear enough as some of the responses are suggesting things i thought i described doing. basically, to test the AVC MP4 file on the display computer i tried several things. 1) i ran Watchout Production on the display computer and loaded and played the file in the timeline. so, hardware is NOT the problem in this comparison. only how Watchout Production differs from Watchout Display and the scale of the video on the screen (which, of course, could be hardware related, etc.). in Production, it worked fine, meaning the video was smooth and not skipping/jerky. 2) i ran Watchout Display on the same display computer and loaded the show. the video skips and jerks. to be fair, it's in full-screen mode while running Display. ultimately, we converted the file to ProRes Proxy, as that is one of the few conversion codecs that our video guys can find (other than AVC using Handbrake) that will allow unusual video sizes (1080x3840, in this case). i'd rather not do multiple videos as it tends to 'rip' the videos apart unless i have very fast hardware driving it, and i don't in this case. i think i have to delve more in to some hardware upgrades but minor ones for this particular problem (better graphics card, etc.) btw, just a question to Dataton folks...from Jonas' cross-reference, you say Watchout does not use hardware acceleration. also it does not use Quicktime to play back MP4 nor WMP to playback WMV files. what does it do instead? and why would video cards help if it doesn't use hardware acceleration? i assumed since i had to install Quicktime with the Watchout installation that it was using QT for playback and such...obviously, i have not searched the forums for an answer to this. i'm more curious than needing a solution so any other cross-references are welcome. thanks, matt
  4. I'm glad you remember sending it to me in Oct. 2012. i must not have needed it then as i have no recollection of it. probably a different problem or internal question where i was digging for configuration info. however, this time i needed it and appreciate the thoroughness of the docs. unfortunately, it didn't completely work for me. here's the setup: - i stripped out all the codec packs and extra players i tested with earlier and cleaned up the registry - i went through the tech doc and did the settings as described - once completed (including multiple reboots) i opened Watchout Production on the problem-computer and created a new test show with the video file in it. i added the file to the timeline (which used to immediately cause a crash). the timeline took the new file and allows me to play it back reliably and at full-speed (no skipping frames, etc.) - i reboot the problem computer which starts up running Watchout Display in full-screen. - i go to my licensed Production computer and push my real show that contains the video file. then use Watchout Remote to start it up and play it. the program plays (which again before it would crash the display software so this is also a good step). however, the video does not play back a t fullspeed. it hesitates, skips, pauses and jumps. what i noticed before and continue to see is when i play the MP4 video file (which uses AVC codec) in Quicktime 7.7.5 (newest, i think), it performs the same way -- hesitates, skips, pauses and jumps. when i play the file in Windows media player, it works just fine. Also, as i stated earlier, it works fine in the Watchout Production software on the display computer. at the moment, we're just going to reconvert the file, but its a step that will introduce recompression issues (which i'm fine with for the immediate future). i'd rather figure out if it should work, and therefore what's wrong with my setup, or if it's not supported and i go back to contractor to re-export the film into something different. this usually isn't a problem except for several of my most recent projects i'm working with unusual rez's. in this case it's 1080x3840. in another one, 1920x5400. we've been having problems rendering to those rez's in MP4 and such. trying to find the right flavor of file-type and toolset that allows unusual non-standard rez's is time-consuming.
  5. wow, that tech spec is...thorough. i haven't gone through that before (we've been running Watchout since ver. 3.?? and have up to now had very stable machines). thank you very much for the reference. i'm going through it now, and finding lots of things we haven't been doing on our computers. i'll post back after completing with (hopefully) it working for me. thanks again! matt
  6. Morning! i'm seeing a new problem with our Watchout 5.5.0 installation. i've been given an MP4 video using AVC codec (i ahve details from mediainfo app, if needed). when running WOProduction on my desktop, it loads and runs. i push it to a fresh installed computer and the Display software will crash when i attempt to load the show. when i run WOProduction on that computer and attempt to add the video into the timeline, Production crashes back to the desktop. i can play the video back just fine from the problem-computer's desktop using built-in windows media player or VLC. i test-installed VLC (2.2-something) and one of my codec-packs (K-Lite-Codec v995). that computer had Qucktime 7.5 and now has 7.5.5 (newest?) on it. still crashes. any ideas? is there a way to 'force' WO Display to use Windows Media Player to playback files (i thought it did that already on windows). any help is appreciated. thanks, Matt Brownell
  7. Just another product to add to the mix. we've successfully used an HT|Omega eClaro 7.1 sound card (~$180 from newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271006&Tpk=eclaro) in a theater. we run 6 tracks of audio and one of LTC to lock our lighting and some other devices. it uses unbalanced RCA connections on the output. been working for a year in this mode. have to use EX-WAV files as Jonas and others defined earlier. we have found some issues where the driver will 'crunch' all the tracks into the left/right channels every so often -- which is highly annoying when one of the tracks is LTC! to work around it, we simply make the playhead never leave the audio track (never unload from memory) and do reboots with a tech team able to listen and fix it before the theater is on-line with the public. Matt Denver Museum of Nature & Science
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