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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are upgrading our video equipment in our worship center at church and am trying to research video switchers. I would like to have a seamless video switcher that will allow us to switch from camera 1, camera 2, computer and dvd player. I received a quote from a local AV installer and he recommended the Kramer VP727 but that is way above our budget. I would like to spend $1000 or less if possible and don't mind buying good used equipment, I just don't know what brands or models I should be looking at.


Current Sources:

Canon GL2 Camcorder (will use S-Video to switcher)

Canon GL2 Camcorder (will use S-Video to switcher)

Sony DVD Player (will use component video to switcher)

iMac Computer with ProPresenter Worship Software (Will use XVGA to switcher)


Switcher will be output to our projector using Cat5 with a Gefen EXT-VGA 141LR to go from the switcher to the projector. Basically XVGA to the Gefen converter, then Cat5 to the other Gefen converter, then XVGA to the projector.


I need some suggestions/recommendations for a descent, but budget video switcher.


If this is the wrong forum, please point me in the right direction.


Michael
 

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youthman, I recently went through the same process as we were looking to add multimedia capabilities to our sanctuary. Our goals were primarily to be able to run a dvd player and presentation computer, while also leaving open the possibility of adding cameras or other sources. We ended up going with a Kramer VP-728. It's expensive, I'll admit, though I've been fairly happy with it. I suspect that you'll be wanting something from either Extron or Kramer, the two major players in this realm. You can probably don't have to get something as high as the vp-727 or 728, it's a question of what features you feel you need.


One thing I would mention too is that I purchased our VP-728 from an online company called *******. Their price is currently a ways under $1000. They are an authorized dealer of Kramer products. Their return policy stinks (33% restocking fee), which gave me a bit of pause, but I had a perfectly fine experience, though it wasn't exactly the quickest. You have to decide if you want to take the risk of buying from an online vendor.


One other thing to mention is that I don't know what you are currently running, but if you are wanting to run live video directly from the camera, you may be looking at some lag. Each component (the scaler, your converters, and even the camera) add a little bit of delay. The question will be whether it's enough to be annoying to you. I've found our delay to be pretty subtle, though noticeable, and we're using a scaler and HDMI to Cat5 converters and an HDMI splitter. Anyway, hope that helps! If I can be of help, let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info drrick. Is the VP-728 seamless, meaning it fades from one source to another or does it fade to black and then fade into the 2nd source? I'll do some research on it. I have a buddy in the AV business that can get me gear at his cost. He is going to look up some info for me tonight as well.
 

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Kramer calls it "fade-thru-black". I guess it actually fades to black and then back out, but I would call it seamless--there's no glitching during the switch. In their most recent firmware, they've added a fast switching option that allows the switch to occur in about a second instead of about three seconds. They say that it can cause some glitching during the switch, but I've not had that problem, so I've left it on fast-switching. Hope that helps. Hopefully your friend in the business can give you even more information (and get you a good deal!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just called to speak with a Kramer rep and told him our situation and he recommended the 728 for our budget. Said it is has a great engine and he mentioned the possibility of lag as you did. So your information was spot on with what he said. They sent me a quote and as you said, it's just under $1,000 ($976.00). I emailed her back asking if there are any additional discounts for non-profit churches. Never hurts to ask.
 

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If you want 'seamless' switching/dissolve capability you need to be able to genlock your cameras or provide a genlocked framesync on each input. Sony has some small switchers with frame syncs built in that will accomplish this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thx duvetyne. From what I have read, the Canon GL2 does not have the ability to genlock the camera.


There is a guy that was selling this Kramer VP-723DS emailed me the following:


"If you are interested, I have another seamless

scaler switcher that I will be putting up for sale

for about the same price. It is a Knox branded

scaler made for them by TV One. I tried it out

and it outputs beautiful 1080p output along with

all the capabilities of the Kramer. Here is a

link to specs.

http://www.knoxvideo.com/filebin/pdf/VS200specshee

t.pdf


and the comparable scaler on the TV One site:

http://www.tvone.com/c2-1200-1250-main.shtml


Let me know of your interest."



My guess is that it is not a good deal if he is selling it close to $500 since this one recently sold New on Ebay for $75.
 
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