Basic MacBook Pro playback question..
mark_m last edited by
I am not a Mac person, so forgive this basic question...
I have a gallery installation coming up in Norway. It's two full HD video files encoded as H264 .mp4 files 16Mbps VBR which need to be output to two separate screens. The playback of the two needs to stay within a couple of seconds of sync over the 10 hour gallery day.
What's the minimum spec Macbook Pro that I would need the gallery to get to make this happen?
Can I make this happen in MacOS or would I need Isadora or QLab to output them to two seperate screens?
Would it be better to have the two HD streams, or to make one 3840 x 1080 file which can be chopped down the middle and assigned to left and right screens?
Thanks a lot
Mark (currently in glorious Glen Esk, Scotland)
jfg last edited by
I think the best solution is to use two Raspberry Pi and sync them. https://learn.adafruit.com/raspberry-pi-video-looper?view=all
If you cannot deal with this kind of program you can buy some configured RPI for that purpose. It's still cheaper than a Mac Pro or mac Book Pro. https://www.pocketvj.com
If you absolutely want/need to use a Mac, it's doable with a not-so-complicated Applescript. https://markmcb.com/2012/07/19...
Unfortunately, for some time now it has not been possible to show a wider video on two screens with Quicktime. One of the screens goes black or continues to show the desktop, depending on the configuration.
Multiple displays through an M1 MacBook Pro is a bit limited in comparison to earlier models. link "While the M1 MacBooks natively support just one monitor, the M1 Mac Mini does natively support up to two external monitors - one via the HDMI port and a second via USB-C. But the latest models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro support only one external display." link "The only way to setup multiple external displays with M1 MacBook Pro and Air right now is to use an official DisplayLink docking station." This would suggest an Intel MacBook Pro model is an option but the spec will still require adaptors for video output from the thunderbolt 3 ports.
In terms of running the sync of the two videos over many hours a good solution is to - as you say - combine into a single video file and split in Isadora.
I love @jfg suggestion of the Raspi. However, when I have used them in a day over day gallery exhibition they have not lasted the distance. So my experience with them is being not as robust and suffering from overheating and fragility. Otherwise the small form factor and accessibility to integrated solutions is great. I believe there are units available that have enclosures that might mitigate some of the issues I have experienced using raspi in a gallery, so they need not be the wrong solution.
Fred last edited by
@mark_m if you are going outside of the macbook setup, then look for some second hand brightsign units, thats what they are deisnged to do, you can even have frame synk all day long, no overheating. The HD models are avaialbe for about €180 second hand, by the time you got 2 raspberry pis and cases and cards and heatsinks to try keep them cool you would be down €100 in my neighbourhood and thats before the work. Brightsigns are amazing.
Kathmandale last edited by Kathmandale
lots of good advice above. I found this about support for 3840x1080 playback from a Raspberry Pi 4. Looks like it will split the output to separate displays as well, could be ideal. I've not tried it myself yet though...
Personally I'm a big fan of one video being split rather than two videos being synced. Less things to go wrong.
If you wish to use Isadora with two screens;
- Make one big movie and split that into two screens.
If you wish to use a less expensive setup go for BrightSign hardware, they are amazing for this kind of setup.