Media servers for video playback

Hey all

We’ve got a job where we need to play a ~2048x2048px video out onto 4 projectors, each 2048x1024.

We’re weighing up between using 2 computers or 1 computer with 3 gfx cards (+1 for monitor)
Anybody got any experience doing something similar at these resolutions?

Also looking at doing all the mapping in VVVV, then baking the mapping out as texture coordinates stored in textures.
Then either running the playback in a tex distortion shader in vvvv or a simple openFrameworks app.

Then we also need to take live video input (1080p DVI capture) onto the same output resolution. This is for interactive elements which will run on a separate computer. Thinking EMS XtremeRGB (1 or 2 channels of video)

So we wont be making any generative or interactive scenes on the fly on the playback computer. Just remapping video onto the outputs


I think 2 triple/dual heads to go on 1 gfx card is the smoothest solution, it means you can have 1 spanned output so have 1 video playing over all the outputs other wise it means syncing to filestreams, which while it works involves inevitable occasional stutters or sync issues. A 2nd gfx card can edit the patch.

Which comes back to my repeated request to Joreg that we can have video textures on multiple devices, Please Joreg!! <3
Even a way to split a video texture, with obviously some performance loss and copy it to the other device rather than have to read the file twice or playback multiple files, both of which involve more performance loss than a simple memory copy, ie disk accessx2, decompression x2 etc.
This is the problem I come up against most in vvvv.
The other option I suppose would be, could this be done in a filestream plugin that outputs multiple identical textures, or can we still not have texture output in plugins yet?
Been on my wish list since vvvv got video playback in the first place!
I could bring you a bottle of the nicest Gin to node…?

Nice media servers for video playback
Thanks for this information
i am new in this forum site so please guide me

Isnt this SharedMemory Stuff supposed to do that? Like sharing textures, videostreams by setting a pointer to one memory range, which can be taken by different GFX, Applications or nodes.
(Never managed to got it running)


I already project with this kind of resolution, even higher.

What i would suggest to you is using 4 computer and 1 server.
Each computer would play a 1024x1024 file.(H264, AVI, 5-6000kbp)

If your original file of 2048x2048 is a whole file, the idea is to cut it with something like Fusion, Adobe stuff …

Then you can use a UDP player which makes the sync over network.
I already used that patch, the original version is from tonfilm.
I made a new one also.
Both versions are running nice.

You don’t need expensive computer even powerful GPU.
A SSD in each client computer is useful for lots of things.

Then you can apply your mapping on each client.

Look at this project we used :

4+1 Computer / Playing video file of 1280x720 on each with mapping on each one.
We were using the UDP video sync player I mentionned.
We were also unsing a 4+1 computer in order to switch in case of troubles.


Hey DigiS

I saw that job on barco’s site. nice work!
how was the brightness of the HD30’s like over that much wall space?
the production company we’re allied with on this job is speccing an army of those for a much smaller building.

the client is the one coughing the cash so we’re not entirely averse to overkill.
but we dont want to actually kill anybody



The rendering of those HD30 was not so bright.( Lamps were new ones !!)
The lenses were 1.4 for the bottom. ( 3 projectors)
The top was using a 2.8 if I correctly remenber.
The surface was a marble one with strange reaction to the beam.
We had a constrast shader and color tweaking to make tehe rendering better.

I would say that Christies projectors render color more nicely.
Especially in term of contrast.
It is just my opinion.

MSberger could tell you more as he is a strong specialist in projector.


For this job, we’re projecting onto roughly a 20x20m surface
The projection hire company are suggesting that we use 9 Barco XLM HD30’s for this
It seems like overkill. We’re recommending 6.

So i get the impression that these XLM HD30’s aren’t all that bright…
But is this insane? 9 30k projectors on that much space?

And if it is overkill, then what’s the worst that can happen?
It’s still not going to be anywhere as bright as floodlights.

Our client’s paying for the projectors.
So we dont have a life and death incentive to reduce the number
And since the projector hire company say they’ve tested 4 and it’s not bright enough, so much that they recommend 9 instead of 6… well it’s better to take the extra kit now rather than find out that we’re wrong later on.


Seems to be strange ! 9 HD 30 !!
Anyway it depends on the distance and lenses.And of course of city lights pollution.

But I would say that 2 stacks ( 2x2 projectors, where 2 projectors broadcast the same picture) is quite enought.

Be sure of the usage of lamp. If higher than 400 hours , can be too old.

Finally give some more informations about distances, but 9 pretty too much for 20x20m without being a special case.


theoretical advantages of the usage of 9 HD30:

*burning permanent ornaments into the wall :)
*more than redundant redundancy
*increase color-resolution on vvvv-side



Stacking projectors gives you less contrast and is possible only on a flat surface (i mean with no depth difference).
Im constantly experimenting with playback of huge resolutions and today i finally managed to play 3840x2176 MP4 in vvvv. Needs a cheap Core-AVC decoder for nice multithreaded playback and Adobe media encoder cs5. +ATI Eyefinity 6 and then you can finally forget matrox resolutions.