Projector x2, both show same image from a laptop (HDMI) (1 Viewer)

StanDarsh

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So...this may not be the best place to find out, but i am pretty sure there's a guru here for this.

Local church contacted me because i'm the "computer guy" for the area..and I'm already setting up their fiber when it is finished installing this week...they have a problem with a 10 year-old projector system they have been using. The laptop that they used with the projector quit, so they purchased a new laptop. All components worked on the older laptop (which had VGA and recognized the device that plugged into it to display on the projectors)

Basically, they want to display powerpoint on both projectors at the same time. Not doing different stuff on them, just have the same thing shown on both at once. That is whatever is on the laptop.

These are mounted in the ceiling and it's higher up..so I couldn't get model numbers. They do have LAN ports, and are Panasonic projectors...
The laptop has HDMI.

The projectors also have HDMI...

So ...I'm wondering if I can daisy chain proj 1 to proj 2 with LAN (does it just run regular ethernet ..no crossover cable or fancy stuff needed??)then, from proj 1, run out with HDMI to a HDMI - CAT6 box, then CAT 6 to the laptop, then back to HDMI??

We wondered about wireless, but having 2 with some sort of wireless adapter, how would you connect to both wireless devices at once with 1 laptop?

I believe they run SDI cable from the projectors to some sort of box that combines them, and out of that is S-video to the box that plugs into the laptop which needed a VGA to HDMI converter to be able to plug into the new laptop (the old laptop had a VGA port, new laptop doesn't).

So..any ideas here?

Laptop to proj 1 + proj 2, same img on both, currently not daisy chained, each one is separately ran to the sound booth, into a component, which outputs S-vid to another component, which plugs into laptop.
 

Magic Static

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I would not use a laptop for that task. A cheap tower with a proper video card would do the task. With the laptop you have to manage three displays on one video card. You will likely need an add-on appliance to share the video between the projectors if available. I have two projectors and the big screen TV plus a 27" monitor connected to my desktop with two video cards.
 

StanDarsh

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the laptop isn't doing anything. It's displaying a powerpoint..not even playing videos. They've already bought what they wanted, I'm just asking for a solution to the problem they have. They've used a laptop since it was installed 10 years ago.
 

KaptainRandom

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With old laptop they were using VGA to projectors,
New laptop only has HDMI...

Get a good quality HDMI to VGA adaptor/converter for/at the laptop,
Keep the rest 'as it was'.

Check monoprice.com for adaptor/converter.

Sent from my SM-G986U using the SatelliteGuys app!
 

harshness

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As Magic Static points out, modern laptops typically require a lot of extra gear to run multiple external monitors so an HDMI splitter somewhere in the chain is likely the answer.

How far apart are the projectors?

Wireless is an option but I'd do it before the split to save on wireless pairs. If there is a lot of consumer-grade wireless stuff (including audio equipment) in the facility, this can be a problem as most of the cheap gear uses the 2.4GHz band.

The existing system sounds like a bit of a Rube Goldberg jumping between connection formats. An SDI system would work, but again, I'd recommend not having combinations of adapters and converters.

Artificially limiting the system to only being able to display a single image doesn't make sense if you don't have to. If you're willing to live with the limitations of what you show on the projector, KaptainRandom's recommendation is sound but I'd recommend something that preserves HDCP just because it doesn't cost much extra and offers considerably more flexibility. VGA cannot pass HDCP so if someone wanted to play a DRM protected DVD or web stream, they couldn't.
 

StanDarsh

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I'm assuming where they come together in the ceiling (the projectors are maybe 30ft apart and face opposite each other, so one shows on North wall, one shows on South wall). they have something like VGA to SDI? Maybe...I'm not sure. They are Panasonic Pt - vx420u LCD projectors..both the same model number.

This isn't my decision on how things are being done, They said they just wanted to show the same powerpoint image on both screens at once. And that's all they want to be able to do. They said they've never needed to use them for anything else and don't care to have other options...so I am just going by what I was asked to fix. The device they currently have (the one that worked on the old laptop) has had a VGA to HDMI converter added. When I plug it in, the laptop makes the sound like something is plugged in ( like the USB sound)...but doesn't show a display available. I can't manage to find a device in the device manager either..so I'm not sure what it's seeing. Probably just doesn't recognize the format or device.

So if I do a wireless solution..can I have 2 projectors using a wireless casting device, then both able to connect to the single laptop and share it's screen? And what else is available?

I did see where Panasonic has some sort of Digital link for like $1500.00...
Seems more likely that it's for a huge stadium or auditorium venue. Not a small, rural church filled with elderly folks. They would gladly spend that, but I don't want to have them do it when I know there is a much cheaper and better option..and just need some research and help to find it.
 

Foxbat

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Would it be possible to take pictures of the installation? You mention S-Video, I can't imagine mixing in S-Video with HDMI in this scenario.

Getting the output to the projectors could be made easier if this ViewSonic dongle does what it says it does. But it requires WiFi be present and their might be issues with unauthorized users if the WLAN isn't locked down.

If there is already SDI coax run, BlackMagic Designs has the SDI Micro Convertors for $40-$45 that convert from HDMI to SDI and then from SDI to HDMI with an SDI-Loop out so you could daisy-chain the two projectors. They are powered off an available USB port.
 

StanDarsh

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I am unsure of the exact setup. I just know that from the projectors, there is SDI ran into a component (2 SDI cables..one from each projector I believe). This component has RCA, S-Vid outputs plus the SDI inputs. Out of that, there are 2 S-Video lines ran into another component which is what the laptop plugs into (has a VGA output, then they had to add a VGA to HDMI converter on that).

The RCA jacks on the 1st component goes into 3 devices. A DVD recorder/player, an old VHS recorder that they no longer use, and I don't remember the 3rd device.

That's why there's so much different tech involved. So many converters and adapters.
 

harshness

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Based on your reports, I'm betting that the system was set up to be able to show different content on each display. This would explain the independent cable runs (though not the paired cables). I'm wondering if the cables aren't very, very long Y/C connections rather than SDI. If this is the case, it is likely that one of the cables could be re-terminated with BNC to support an SDI system.

SDI is a single-cable daisy chain technology based on 75 ohm coax and BNC connectors. I'd use an SDI to HDMI converter at all three devices, test it and go home. Daisy chaining allows you to run a single coax from the source HDMI to SDI converter to one of the projector's SDI to HDMI converter and then another coax from that converter to the other projector's SDI to HDMI converter.

The fact that there are other devices connected to the source box is what I was talking about earlier. If they decide that they want to use a DVD player or streaming box, the non-HDMI connections on the converter stand an excellent chance of not working because they cannot pass HDCP (this includes VGA).

As for why the laptop doesn't seem to be putting out a signal, try using it with an HDMI connected TV or monitor first and make sure you understand what it takes to make it output on the HDMI port. Somehow this process gets more complicated with each passing decade. Be aware that some manufacturers have shortcut the HDMI standard and demand that all sinks (destination devices) must support HDCP -- even on non-DRM content. If the projectors aren't connected with HDMI, this may be why the system didn't work out of the box.
 

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