More than one output screen

Hi, (I've had a hunt around for this topic but haven't seen it exactly as I'm asking here.)

Our church has been using OpenLP for years (and love it). Since starting to live stream in 2020 we've modified our themes to provide a lower thirds format for song lyrics being pushed out on a very PINK background for chroma key purposes. This is serving us pretty well to overlay lyrics from OpenLP onto video with ATEM hardware. Now that people are returning onsite we are putting up with a projector show that is mostly pink with a bar of lyrics that use less than a third of the screen.

What I'd like to know is if there has been any discussions about a screen 1 theme and a screen 2 theme being developed. So a computer with 3 video outputs can send out the same lyrics (and movie clips) with 2 different themes. ie, theme 1 sends to the room projector and theme 2 sends to our ATEM input - theme 1 displays full screen lyrics etc, while theme 2 sends a lower-thirds format to be used by the ATEM to overlay on video.

If there is another solution, I'm keen to hear.

PS - I know about the stage monitor and, in theory, other html output settings but I'm after a solution that will handle full screen graphics and movie files too.

I'm currently considering getting a second computer and work out if we can mirror the service plan coming out of two computers.

Thoughts, responses, questions?


  • edited March 2021

    I have briefly looked into it myself, and while it is pretty easy to get two displays, two different themes is an issue. This is because the theme decides where the page splits are. For example, your lower-thirds screen will only show 1 or 2 lines, but your other screen with a different theme might be able to fit 4 lines.

    It could work if you don't mind have the exact same lyrics on screen, and there are some possible ways to split up the text so that is works for both screens, but of course that requires some programming time that I don't have right now.

    Your two computer idea could work, but would likely require two operators. Another option, would be to set up your lower-thirds in a stage monitor. Then in OBS, setup 2 scenes; one with the lower-thirds web view, and the other, a mirror of the main display that you can switch to for videos. Although this would still require your OpenLP theme to only have as many lines as the lower-thirds in the stage view can fit.

  • I have this same request. We also use an Atem switcher and I don’t want to change to OBS. (Plus, I haven’t been able to get the custom stages in OpenLP/OBS to work, anyway.)

  • @bahett What version of OpenLP are you running and what is not working on the custom stage?

  • edited March 2021

    @JohnM thanks for reaching out! I'm using the most recent version. The stage view that is provided with the product works fine, but I downloaded the one referenced in the user manual and then a few others from tutorials on youtube, etc. and can't get them to work. I'm not a programmer, but I can usually fudge my way through stuff like this so it has been a bit frustrating that I can't figure it out.

    I'm really trying to solve for how to get words on the big screen and lyrics in the live stream using one source, one operator. I need to keep our environment as simple as possible because we don't have super technical volunteers. I was evaluating whether we could introduce OBS into our environment and use the custom stage views without adding too much complexity, but kind of hit a wall when the stage views wouldn't work for me.

    What we're trying to achieve is aesthetically very simple and we're going for a very similar look/feel between big screen and live stream. We want the big screen to be white with a gray box in the center with the lyrics in it. On the live stream, we want the background transparent with the same gray box (but kind of semi-transparent) in the middle with the lyrics in it. Seems simple enough, right? ;-)

    We use ProPresenter 6 right now and do a chroma key on our atem, but I do not find ProPresenter to be very user friendly. I'd love to switch to OpenLP (it would also save us some money).

  • @bahett When you said you are using the latest version, is that the latest released version, 2.4.6, or the Beta version 2.92? it really makes a difference! The manual was updated for the Beta 2.9.2 version recently. The beta version custom stage should not work on the released version of the software(2.4.6).

    I think we can help you with getting setup, we just need to be sure where we are starting from. I know you can use the Latest Beta to show custom slides with words and you can use any color you need as the background. I send the live display to a projector and to OBS as white letters on a black background. I also use a second custom slide to control OBS so it can switch between multiple "scenes"....One of just the live output, one of the full church, one of the pulpit, one for the children's message and one for when songs are being sung.

    There are other users that are doing the green screen work with the OpenLP output and overlaying it on the image of the church from the live cameras.

    Let us know if your on the beta or not and we can help get the custom stages working for you.

  • @JohnM I am using version 2.4.6.

    I'm still a little leery of using OBS and introducing that additional level of complexity. I was hoping to find a way to do it using our ATEM. I was able to create a theme for the big screen and a theme for the live stream using a green screen (same as the first person who originally posted). I'll use a chroma key on the ATEM to overlay the theme on my video for the live stream. For the short term we may just have to choose between big screen and live stream.

    That said, I would still like to get a custom stage view working with OBS so I can evaluate the complexity and maybe consider it for the future.

    Thanks again for your help.

  • @bahett On 2.4.6 the custom stage screens are different than they are on the Beta version....and the manual was updated to support the Beta can't use the Beta custom stage files with 2.4.6. Don't worry there is another set of files already part of the 2.4.6 install.

    Download this file. Then follow the instructions in the manual, but use the files in this zip. In fact you can extract the directory and files into you openlp/data/stages directory.

    Next go into OpenLP settings and copy the link to the stage view. Open a browser and paste the stage view link into the address box, but before you press enter, type /phil at the end of the line. now press enter and you should see a normal stage view with the color of the next verses being yellow.

    If this works, you can edit the files to do a lot of different things, but you have to get this first step to work. When it does, do a search of the forums.....someone posted how to do some of what you want to do with the green screen.

    Keep us posted and we can try to help if you get stuck.

  • Thank you, @JohnM! I’ll try again with these new files and will keep you posted.

  • Hey, just saw this.

    I have made some Custom Views here.

    I made them for OBS but they will work for what you want too.

  • My approach to this is slightly different, and I've not fully implemented it yet, but did test it and it worked.

    I set openlp to display on output 3 of the pc, and duplicate that display onto output 4 in Windows display settings. Then 2 hdmi into the ATEM (we have just got the extreme so have 8 inputs) on input 7 & 8.

    The lyrics are formatted as white text on black background, 2 lines of text centred on the screen.

    7 is used to send full screen lyrics to the projector.

    8 is then used for lower thirds. I key it over whatever camera is being used, and using the settings in the ATEM software crop it down to a central black bar with text, and then reposition it near the bottom of the screen. This will be saved as a macro. Can be triggered from the macro buttons on the extreme or from companion.

  • @theharvestisready and @Chippie , thanks for the additional content and ideas!

    I had an idea about this that I'm not sure will work and I don't have the equipment handy to test it out. We have an older Apple running OpenLP projecting to the screen in the sanctuary and an ATEM mini pro for the live stream. I'm wondering if I can have a laptop connected to the ATEM displaying a custom stage view (white text on black backgroud, for example), then use the luma key on the ATEM to remove the black and display it over my camera? I haven't been able to test this out yet but wondered if it would work? (Or I suppose it could be a chroma key, too, so I could use the button on the atem to turn it on and off.) Do you think this would work?

  • We have been using an ATEM Mini Pro (now upgraded to a Mini Extreme), and use templates in OpenLP that define a screen screen for the keyer in the ATEM for graphics overlay, *BUT* send the ATEM's program output to the projector so the in-church congregation see exactly what the at-home livestream congregation sees. Using a PTZ Optics NDI|HX camera and Magewell ProConvert NDI-to-HDMI convertor does add a few frames delay, but not too much as to make it uncomfortable for the in-church congregation.

  • The conversation and thread above is really helpful and encouraging to know that I'm not alone! My slow response shows how time flies when you're busy!

    I did play around with stage views a little and I think the solution I'll land on will be with that. Some hardware limitations ATM means I can't share my success story yet.

    Thanks @theharvestisready for your files and I have seen your video in my research.

    Thanks @ninjakiwi - Having the same amount of text in lower supers and on the screen is not a problem and is preferable. 2-3 lines is perfect for both formats.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm excited to get into the new release and see what difference that makes.

  • But using the custom stage views has one big problem: Normally, I have a mix of songs, bible verses and images - for each, I need a specific stage view (lower third for songs, whole page for Bible verses or images). But I cannot change the URL for each element during congregation.

    Could OpenLP add a configuration to each element in which I can define the design (for main view), the custom stage view (to be used if no other custom stage view is requested via URL) and a specific background for this element that will overwrite the background of current design (otherwise I have to create tons of different designs because we adapt the background image to the content). In best case, I can define this for a whole element (e.g. a song) but can overwrite it for a singe part of this element (e.g. a verse) - with this, we would get a "hierarchy" of designs: default design could be overwritten by element design could be overwritten by verse design.

  • Honestly, from our experience, you're better of replacing the ATEM with OBS. That will allow you to get exactly what you want, with no hacks and much less complexity than trying to work around the ATEM's limitations.

  • Maybe I'm making a mistake. When I need more than one projector on the output from the HDMI, I simply use an HDMI splitter that gives two outputs for one HDMI input. They are cheap.


  • Thanks @JohnnyFowler . That is a clear solution when you just want multiple screens showing the same thing. The complexity comes when you want each display doing something a little different. The stage views allow for a stage monitor and even a lobby or cry room alternative but if you read back over the issue it is a little trickier.

  • I've done my training with OpenLP 2.94 with OBS Studio and it works great. I also can train on the OBS Virtual Camera output to Zoom.

    Yep. You can use the Remote for Stage to do that.

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