Advice for mutliple projector setups

#1

I’m trying to budget out a project that would involve projecting 4 separate video streams through 4 separate projectors.

Does anyone have any advice for hardware?

Is this something a Mac Mini could handle or would I require 4 Mac Mini’s?
Or perhaps a mac tower would be a better choice?

Sorry to be such a noob, but whats the biggest factor with vdmx performance. Ram, gpu, processor?

Any advice appreciated!

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#2

Broadly, vdmx uses the graphics card to do most of the heavy lifting. The Mac mini doesn’t have a dedicated gpu.

I think someone else might be able to speak to your specific set up. But I believe people are able to do 4 projectors from newer MacBook pros. Will likely depend on what you are projecting - if you want to add effects etc.

If you have a specific need to use a computer thats not a laptop, maybe a used 2013 Mac Pro would be a solution? If you were to go this route I would be sure to go though a reseller that can warranty the work. While working at a video post house we had a few of the 2013 Mac Pro have one of their two graphics cards die. Getting those repaired were difficult at best. Apple wanted to wait until both cards died and now those machines are so old …

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#3

thanks! @cmatts
really great to hear from someone who has some experience with these things.

I’ve heard an eGPU us an option too… Anyone have experience/recomendations with those?

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#4

@doublebee I have not done multi projector output before, but remember seeing it mentioned elsewhere in the forum. Mainly wanted to point out the lack of gpu in the Mac mini.

I didn’t think of eGPU. Ive seen reviews comparing Mac mini + eGpu vs iMac/Mac book pro built in gpu - seem to say that its lower performance and higher cost. Unless you have access to Mac mini(s) already vs having to buy new hardware.

think there are others on the forum that can help you more than me.

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#5

You really have to tell us your budget and your desired quality outcome.

Otherwise there are a few discussions in this forum already. Having 4 seperate outputs is possible for years. But in which resolution and how many and what FX is another thing. Also you need to tell if you need frame-accurate sync between those 4 outputs etc. pp.

So … it really depends on your customer’s demands of quality and budget.

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#6

So the client is asking me to provide the budget and I’m trying to figure out what the best approach is.

They want four 4k projectors at around 24fps. But the projectors don’t really need to be synced because they’ll all have different feeds. So 4 separate video feeds with fx.

Could a new macbook pro handle all that? Or would I want a separate machine for each output?

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#7

Possible. But think about a backup.

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#8

My preferred solution would be to use the advanced fullscreen mode in VDMX to composite the 4 feeds into a single 4k output > Datapath Fx4 > 4 projectors. I do this often with my MBPs which are mid-2014 and newer. The Fx4 is pricey (~$1800 new) but ideal for a standalone set and forget type of installation. Once configured it’s rock-solid stable and has multiple inputs that would allow for a hot swap backup solution without needing a matrix switcher.

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#9

That’s a cool idea! Although it looks like hdmi outs are hd only. Ever try multiple 4k outs using the Datapath loop through?

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#10

not sure that this will help - but found these relevant forum threads

https://discourse.vidvox.net/t/2018-mac-mini-and-intel-uhd-graphics-630-gpu/517

https://discourse.vidvox.net/t/6-8-hd-outputs-for-exhibition-egpu-options-with-vdmx/876

Sounds like the Mac mini isn’t as bad of an idea as I originally thought (for simpler 1080p set ups), but 4x 4k streams streams w fx will be a lot to process. Not sure of the specifics of the project but if budget permits sounds like a good reason to get a new Mac Pro w Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB ram. Could be over kill. Think best plan would see if you can either rent or borrow a machine(s) to do testing.

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#11

If you need 4k output to each projector the only way would be with multiple machines, unless you had the budget for a Hackintosh with Quadro card.

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