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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. New here. My boss asked me to look into how we could setup a few lcds in our waiting area that would play a slide show. Basically, just images. So, I know they have those little picture frames that are 5x7 or 7x9 or whatever, but they're looking for more along the lines of 15" or 17". Maybe as high as 19". The key is that they have some way of playing either via SD card or cat5e connection. They're trying to prevent having a pc dedicated to running them. Only for the space req'd. We have space about 25' away from the location, but DVI at that length x 4 or 5 is prohibitivly expensive. Cat5e or self contained. Any ideas? I actually suggested they contact an AV vendor for help.
 

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Monoprice has relatively inexpensive DVI cables in that length, though VGA might be a better choice for those distances.


You could also use a DVD player to serve the images, since most will play JPGs off CDs and DVDs. Some players may even have card readers, which would save wear on the DVD drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Chris. I'm looking at that now. Component isn't bad either. Now I need to find out how to send 3 different images or video etc to 3 different monitors/tvs. I guess I could use 3 cheap dvd players? I'm sure they're going to want to drive this from some sort of software interface. I think they want to be able to coordinate the graphics display on each of the 3 monitors. Any ideas there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does anyone know if it's possible to output 3 different videos from windows each one displayed on a separate monitor? I'm used to setting up multiple displays in windows, but I've never tried outputting different video to each screen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlight /forum/post/0


Does anyone know if it's possible to output 3 different videos from windows each one displayed on a separate monitor? I'm used to setting up multiple displays in windows, but I've never tried outputting different video to each screen.

I think it could be done, but that's a much more sophisticated setup than simply running slideshows on each display.


You could probably do this with two video cards -- one dual head card plus another card to drive the third monitor. When you say videos, do you mean actual videos or just slideshows? Running three videos from the same PC would be tough, though possibly doable. You may run into issues where the PC can only output video on one screen, not even taking into account the CPU power needed to render three videos at once.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlight /forum/post/0


Does anyone know if it's possible to output 3 different videos from windows each one displayed on a separate monitor? I'm used to setting up multiple displays in windows, but I've never tried outputting different video to each screen.

Depends on the video cards and OS. The simple solution is to start three different instances of the program to display images and move them into each monitor, if the monitors are combined as one big monitor... You may want to ask in the HTPC section...


Note also that you can go wireless with video also, I think monoprice has them also...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisherbert /forum/post/0


I think it could be done, but that's a much more sophisticated setup than simply running slideshows on each display.


You could probably do this with two video cards -- one dual head card plus another card to drive the third monitor. When you say videos, do you mean actual videos or just slideshows? Running three videos from the same PC would be tough, though possibly doable. You may run into issues where the PC can only output video on one screen, not even taking into account the CPU power needed to render three videos at once.

I tried explaining that this is not as easy as a dual monitor setup, but one of my bosses is the type to think he knows everything and doesn't. When I told him that playing 3 different graphics on 3 different monitors and running it all from one PC was a real stretch without some custom software/hardware, he looked at me like I didn't know what I was talking about. He said "oh, there has to be some simple solution". ARGG. No, there doesn't.


I figured if anybody knew of a hack to make something like this work, it would be you guys. I've been looking in the digital signage world, and I think that's the only solution. From past experiences with running audio from a pc through a phone system for hold music that unless the two are engineered to work together, there are constant crashes, and instability. I think a hack would cause more trouble than it's worth.


Let me know if anyone knows a good digital signage company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
no, that's the kicker. They want to run a video on one, a slideshow (flash maybe?) and another video on the 3rd. I'm playing with AV Manager from viscom, which looks promising. It would require us to connect each monitor to it's on PC, which isn't ideal, but doable. We have machines laying around with enough spec power to push each LCD. So, each monitor has it's own IP on the network. The AV Manager software allows you to mix media on each display and create a schedule to display your different content. It's actually fairly nice, and only costs $500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipnotiq /forum/post/0


call me crazy, but why not just buy 3 $40 DVD players?

Well, I was thinking about it, but I'd be a little worried about mechanical wear on a cheap dvd player that's expected to spin for 8-9 hours a day. We've got a budget of about $5000.


As of now, I'm going with 3 Dell 2407WFP screens, 3 wall mounts, 3 sets of dvi cables, 3 oldish pcs, 3 new PNY GeForce graphics cards with component out and AV manager to drive it all. For $2900.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I responded via the contact us page. I should add, that we've been running the 3 dell monitors off 3 old dell pc's with basically powerpoint presentations. It's actually been working great, but we're entertaining a more complete solution.
 
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