Need help building a computer with 5-7 outputs
I'm in a bit of a pickle with a projection consultation gig and I'd love to get some input. The theatre has an upstage Cyc, a downstage Scrim/rolldrop, and 2 FOH TV screens on a separate system used for pre-show announcements.
What they want is a new show system/computer (probably PC) with outputs to all projectors/surfaces and TVs. Their current system is not equipped for that, and I've narrowed down the first phase of what I think is possible. I think i'm able to get 2 projectors to cover the US and DS surfaces blended, which makes 4 projectors (1920x1200) total, plus a GUI means the computer needs at least 5 outputs. I'm not planning on incorporating the TV screens in this first phase simply because I dont think it makes sense to add a ton of complication yet to the system if I cant find a computer to handle all those outputs and playback. The end goal is possibly to move them to Watchout, but Isadora seems like a very solid playback that gives them lots of flexibility.
I'm not the most tech-savvy when it comes to purchasing computer parts, besides knowing faster=better to an extent, so I'm really looking for some advice on where I can get a computer built for me at a decent price, or advice for building multiple-GPU computers for Isadora in general. Much appreciated!
First, do the US and DS Screens/cycs ever have to be filled in parallel? It's just a suggestion, if you don't have the projectors yet. There are several projectors by Panasonic and Epson, which support remotely controlled lens positions and preset recalling for those. I used them in several, even in two long term shows with high accuracy. This way you could cut 2 outputs and spare the money. This money could go for some datapath fx4 which can be positioned and configured anywhere, like a stagebox and offering more Outputs.
As blending on movable (espacialy on fabric) is often very tricky and not working very well I would even suggest to go with one propper projector, unless the aspect of the screens isn't totaly off the projectors.
I spec-ed out a system for a show that needed 4 projectors a couple of years ago and found 3 options:
1: (the one I eneded up going with) AMD GPUs at the time seemed to offer more outputs than their Nvidia counterparts. I ended up going with a radeon RX580 which has 2 display ports, 2 HDMI ports and 1 DVI. I used the DVI for my monitor and bought 2 display port to HDMI adaptors. meaning that I could set up the 4 projectors.
2: in theory you can use a GPU card with only 4 ports and still have 5 displays. this only works if your CPU has some sort of integrated graphics and your motherboard has a video output (probably HDMI); essentially you can configure your PC to use its onboard graphics for one of the displays. I didn't look into it too deeply as I decided to go a different route but I was assured that it was possible.
3. triple/quad head 2 go: these are adaptors that take either 3 or 4 video inputs and send them through one HDMI port. the software lets you choose weather your computer reads it as one extremely wide screen or 3/4 individual screens.
those are basically your options: a chunky Graphics card with lots of ports, a bit of tinkering to get the motherboard's HDMI working, or that dongle life.
also see: https://community.troikatronix...