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garrettherzig

VNC Control of Production Computer

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Hello,

I am doing a theatrical production (using Watchout 4.5.1) where the production computer is in the lighting booth, but we are still teching the show, so I would like remote control of the production computer from the house without having to move the production computer up and down from the lighting booth every day.  

I know that installing VNC software on Watchout machines is not a good idea, since it interferes with Watchout's built in VNC capabilities, but I am wondering if there is a way I can connect to the production computer as a vnc server from my laptop plugged into the Watchout network.

Thank you,

Garrett

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Hello,

I am doing a theatrical production (using Watchout 4.5.1) where the production computer is in the lighting booth, but we are still teching the show, so I would like remote control of the production computer from the house without having to move the production computer up and down from the lighting booth every day.  

I know that installing VNC software on Watchout machines is not a good idea, since it interferes with Watchout's built in VNC capabilities, but I am wondering if there is a way I can connect to the production computer as a vnc server from my laptop plugged into the Watchout network.

Thank you,

Garrett

 

Do not install VNC on ANY WATCHOUT computer.

You may be overcomplicating things.

If you have a laptop plugged into the WATCHOUT network,

just shut down production and run the display computer directly with WATCHOUT Remote.

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My issue is that I would like to be able to make changes to the show remotely, not just run the show.  The show is being triggered via midi, so I do not need to actually trigger anything, I just want to be able to change fade times, media, etc... while rehearsals are happening without moving the computer up and down from the booth every day.

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You want your cake and eat it to?

No matter, DO NOT INSTALL VNC on ANY WATCHOUT COMPUTER.

And you do not want to run production over a wireless network either,

production is the timing master when present, and WiFi will muck with the timing.

Either move your production computer and hard wire it, or punt.

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There was never any question of running anything over wifi, I realize that that is a bad idea.

I get that I am not supposed to install VNC, but is there no way I can access the production computer remotely?

I don't understand why something so simple and frequently done with other software is not possible to do with Watchout installed.  It does not seem like an unreasonable request for a software that is being used more and more in a theatrical context.

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There was never any question of running anything over wifi, I realize that that is a bad idea.

I get that I am not supposed to install VNC, but is there no way I can access the production computer remotely?

That is correct.

I don't understand why something so simple and frequently done with other software is not possible to do with Watchout installed.

Because VNC conflicts with the software installed by WATCHOUT.

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Hi garretherzig,

Many Watchout users have VNC installed on their Production PC and use a remote laptop for geometry correction (via wireless AP to the Watchout network). May I suggest that you use VNC for your pre-show tweaking and uninstall it afterwards?

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a KVM is really the best solution here. This is what I typically require in this situation. If you use one that works over ethernet, and you have a patchbay for the ethernet in the theatre, it's a pretty simple setup.

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Hi garretherzig,

Many Watchout users have VNC installed on their Production PC and use a remote laptop for geometry correction (via wireless AP to the Watchout network). May I suggest that you use VNC for your pre-show tweaking and uninstall it afterwards?

 

Ken,

 

When un-installing VNC, there are still parts left, like registry keys etc that will potentially interfere with stable WATCHOUT playback.

Only way to remedy the issue then, is to to a Windows re-install...

It's up to the user to choose, as always, if it's worth it.

 

I would always hardwire the Production for running a Show. For Geometry correction a wireless AP is my choice, no VNC.

 

There may be other solutions, not based on VNC technology, that might work, but this is not tested by us, yet.

 

/jonas

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Garrett,

 

I've not had the budget to try one of these yet but they look very promising for just this environment

 

http://www.techatplay.com/?p=85

 

http://www.adder.com/products/adderlink-ip

 

 

It is essentially a KVM client with VNC front end. So you have full keyboard/mouse/monitor control over a network, without having to install anything on the production computer. 

 

Shane Stevenson

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For what it's worth, we do 20+ Watchout shows per year, many very large and complex with lots of outputs and multiple machines. We have VNC software installed on all our production and display machines, and have for years, and have never had a playback problem that we traced to VNC. It's especially useful for tradeshows where I can VNC over wifi into any machine around the booth, since usually the machines are crammed in a corner or closet someplace and a hardline is not practical. I can also use the VNC viewer from my Mac and iOS devices, which is super handy, since the production software is obviously PC only.

 

We also prefer a standalone VNC option to the built-in Watchout VNC option, since it allows us to keep a connection to the display machine even if we need to close or restart Watchout on that machine.

 

I will agree 100% that in a live show environment you should operate the production machine directly and it needs a hardline connection to the display machines. 

 

Just some practical, unofficial experience.

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I too have run a lot of VNC applications on production and display machines and also have never had any issues related to VNC.  What are the conflicts that this could create?  What issues have been witnessed before?  I am just curious so that I know what to look out for.

 

Thanks!

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The main issues we've seen is on display computers where the VNC "hook driver" have caused problems. Even without this driver, VNC puts a significant strain on the system, which may lead to degraded performance and stability issues. But as long as you do your own testing and are happy with the results, "whatever floats your boat", I guess.

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

can you explain which problems exact you have noticed and how you found out the relation to vnc?

I used tight-vnc for years but never had a problem which I related to vnc, or maybe I didn´t checked it.

 

No I use teamviewer in network mode, what do think about this solution?

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I don't recall which exact flavor of VNC that used the "hook driver" (aka "mirror driver"). I also believe this was an optional component, intended to improve performance. The problem we saw with this driver installed were random crashes, if I recall correctly.

 

Mike

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Hello all.

 

(I apologize for going back to an old version :wacko:).

I have Display computers with WO 4.2.2 on XP SP3 / ATI Radeon HD 5760 and the built-in VNC 4.0; when I vnc them I have no problem, I see the WO contents even when it is in full windows mode.

I installed new (different) Display computers with W7 SP1 Pro, the same video card (with updated drivers), the same WO 4.2.2 and the built-in VNC 4.0: when I vnc them I have no problem when WO is in "normal window" mode but I get a black screen when WO is in "full window" mode. I tried with other versions of VNC and got the same problem.

I'm really puzzled to not read in the WO forum that anybody has encountered this problem some years ago.
Anybody has a clue ?

Thanks in advance.
Marc

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