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Controling Multiple Distant Video Screens

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#1 punisa


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Posted 13 September 2008 - 06:52 AM

Hello, I have a rather tricky task to complete, all help is appreciated.

(hope I'm putting this in the right forum, please correct me if I'm wrong)

We'll be installing plasma screens in several cities which will provide news, info and video advertising.

What needs to be accomplished:
- if connected to wireless internet, how would one control the media? (plasma screen is connected to a small computer)
- should we approach a simple method like having a full screen web browser display the info and control it with PHP? How stable would it be anyway?
- or should we go for some more advanced methods?

- how would you create uninterrupted video flow when adding new files?
- ideally, could you upload all the video files from the main base to remote locations and just loop them without the need for extra downloading (to save bandwith)
- should we try and develop a script that would check if the playlist changed after each video file? How would you do that?
- what type of video files should we go with? FLV and display them via browser or MPEG2 and display via desktop?

- how to be safe that freezing wont occur and what to do to prevent it?

- are there any software solutions that would be able to do that? One company offered us a software solution, but the price was way too much for us (over 15,000 $).

Thanks for reading and do feel free to ask me the questions and/or clarifications !


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#2 The G Bomb

The G Bomb

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:26 AM

We have considered something similar although not across several locations, but I think it all boils down to how much cash do you want to throw at this.

If you can afford an all singing , all dancing solution and want to spend the money then you could get a database solution that has a backend to manage all your content and outputs it through a front end that is displayed at each location.

A simple low-cost solution may be to use power-point or similar to slideshow the video content. The presentation could be emailed to each machine on a daily/hourly basis as required and the presentation updated on each machine, locally.

What you wouldn't get is syncronisation of displays, and ad-hoc changes would take time to update etc.

A full screen web display may be the happy medium, database solution at relatively lower cost, especially if you have developers on staff. A mysql database can hold the information or links to it and php manages switching from one video to the next.

Then any other machine could upload new content through a form which would be slotted into place when the cycle came round again. That would require each display machine to be connected to the internet and it would require some kind of video streaming, ie video downloaded each time it was to be displayed. PHP could be configured to automatically skip files that it had a problem downloading to prevent freezing.

If you do a search for AV companies in your area and get them in to give you quotes, you will find that you will be able to get a price that suits your budget if it is an off the shelf solution you are looking for at a price you can afford.

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