Few questions

I'm evaluating OpenLP 1.9.4 for our church to replace a home grown system that leaves a lot to be desired (and the guy that wrote it left us also).  Here's a few things we do at the moment, I'm wondering about how to compensate/do in OpenLP

 


  • Print handout sheets with the words for the team.  The current application just outputs the "service" to an RTF.
  • Project to 2 locations.   The application was custom designed to work over the network, I'm not 100% sure how he did it, but the 2 projectors are on 2 machines, one controls everything, the other is a slave more or less I think.  We can turn off the display to front projector and leave the back one on for when the choir sings, that way the choir ahs the words in back but the congregation doesn't see them.

Comments

  • edited February 2011

    The ability to print the service has recently been added to the development version of OpenLP. Therefore you will find it in the next version (1.9.5). If you want to check this version out, read the wiki on how to test the development releases.

    We have no immediate plans to support multiple monitors, although one day we would like to, but that could be a long time away!

    I think there may be two options for this:

    1. Use a monitor splitter to output the same thing to both projectors. Some projectors have the option to be controlled remotely over the network or a serial cable, so you might be able to use this to blank the choir projector.

    2. The other option is to install some software like VNC which can mirror the output of one computer on another computer's display.

  • edited February 2011

    Not sure if it'd be an easier task to manage, but our current solution works in a kind of client/server type set up.  The primary computer has the "minipoint server" which houses the song database and the service details, it also runs "minipoint presenter" I think he called it, which does the display.  For the back projector, we have a 2nd computer hooked up, running the presenter that is controlled over the network by the server.   Not sure of how he did it, and he wrote it in VB, so I don't know if his code would help, if I could get it, but if we can control the presentation through a web interface, I'd think the raw ability to do similar would be present.  May even be a more attractive solution to the need, because you can probably get an adequate 2nd computer to drive a 2nd monitor cheaper than the cables and boosters needed to power two projectors 100s of feet apart from one signal.

  • edited February 2011

    OpenLP 1.9.x has a web interface in the Remotes plugin.

  • edited February 2011

    I think UltraVNC has dual monitor support, so I still think that's an option to investigate, since you have the two computers and they are networked.

    Also someone with a bit of HTML/JavaScript knowledge might be able to hack the Remote Web Interface a bit. Change it from an remote interface to a remote display, enlarging the font etc.

  • edited February 2011

    True, and I've played around with it for testing purposes, but that doesn't solve the problem, it will still require two interactions, however, I can probably create something in PHP that will accomplish the needs now that I Think about it,  all I need to do is write a script that can "push the buttons" on both installs.  IN theory it shoudl work, in practice, my PHP is rusty so not sure HOW, but should still be possible.

  • edited February 2011

    Sorry I've misunderstood, not sure where the second interaction is required.

    Computer 1. Runs OpenLP and projects lyrics to congregation view on dual screen. Runs VNC server.

    Computer 2. Runs VNC client, displaying Computer 1's second screen on the choir projector. This is just setup before the service and doesn't require further interaction...

    But if you want two separate installs, then as Raoul suggested use the Remote Web fucntionality of OpenLP and that allows you to operate the OpenLP on Computer 2 using Computer 1. However this is only OK if the order of service doesn't change during the service!

     

  • edited February 2011

    The biggest issue with VNC is that, thus far, I've not seen that Video (as in movie files) play over the connection at all, we use VNC to control the primary computer from the sound booth, and video shows fine on the main view, but we never see it on the remote view, just a black box and occasional stills.

    Another one is efficiently blanking out the congregation display and leaving the choir display active.

    That is the one thing I do like about what our guy did with the home grown system, since it's a client server setup, we can kill the feed to one of the clients and leave the other live.  He just never got around to implementing any image/video features before he left us.

  • edited February 2011

    Well OpenLP is probably never going to replace a customised bespoke version. And yes Video is going to be a problem, it's going to be quite hard to keep two videos in sync in a client server model whatever you do. It's going to be very unlikely that we attempt anything like this in OpenLP any time soon!

    Only thing I can suggest about blanking is seeing if your projector can be controlled over a network so you can blank it from the PC. Or do what I did for a while.. buy a Remote Control Extender so you can blank the projector via the remote control from the operator desk.

    But by now you've probably got a complete Heath Robinson affair, and might decide it was better to stick with your original system! ;)

  • edited February 2011

    No, sticking with the current app is not an option.  As I used this project to give suggestions to the kid that was developing ours, I'm looking at what WAS good in his and giving suggestions back.  The video is a minor point, but one that will come in play for when video backgrounds are used.  What I'm going to look at is ways to control 2 web interfaces from one page, in theory it can be done with Javascript or even using Wget probably, just a matter of troubleshooting it.

     

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