HOW TO: "Gang Start" multiple outputs simultaneously

There are multiple ways to start multiple playlists simultaneously in OnTheAir Video, for example if you have multiple screens with different video signals and want to have just one button to push and start them all.

Here are the different scenarios, first without any additional hardware needed, just by using some software features in OnTheAir Video (not with OnTheAir Video Express as it does not have the features). Also will work best if used on just one computer. Won't be as precise if you are outputting from multiple computers. And then the last 2 will require some additional hardware.

Only with OnTheAir Video, without hardware needed:

  • using AppleScripts
  • using the Scheduler

Then, with some hardware needed, and only with OTAV :

  • using MIDI devices

And finally the following option will work with OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir Video Express:

  • using GPICommander

 

Note that you can also start multiple playlists simultaneously with OnTheAir Live. Check this article: https://softron.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207694827-HOW-TO-Gang-start-multiple-playlists-simultaneously-

 

About the accuracy

We can unfortunately not guarantee that all outputs  playback start will be frame accurate. If all outputs are properly genlocked, the outputs should remain in sync after the start, but mainly we can not guarantee the exact time at which they will start. For the best result, it is recommended to first cue the clips and then start them all.

As usual we recommend you to test and see if the precision will fit your need. 

 

What you'll need

 To be able to control multiple outputs, you will need:

  • multiple licenses for OnTheAir Video or OnTheAir Video Express
  • multiple video outputs. You can achieve this either:
    • by using multiple devices
    • by using video devices that have multiple outputs. Check the devices that have multiple outputs here: https://softron.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207695607-How-many-inputs-and-or-outputs-do-you-have-on-a-single-video-device-

Then you can do that all on one Mac, or on multiple Mac. All the options explained here will work on both scenarios, but using just one Mac will make things easier to configure and more accurate.

Of course download the appropriate version of OnTheAir Video that you need depending on the number of outputs that you'll have on a single Mac. Download the DUAL version for 2 outputs, and the QUAD for 4 outputs.

 

The workflow explained

Using AppleScripts

Here is a "generic" article that explains how to control OnTheAir Video using AppleScripts https://softron.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/114094186234-HOW-TO-Control-OnTheAir-Video-with-AppleScripts

Then the idea is simply to create AppleScripts that will tell all the OnTheAir Video application to cue and start playing the clips. There is one Script attached to this article to cue and start playing on 2 outputs simultaneously. Of course the script can be adapted, and for example create 2 scripts: one to prepare and cue the clips, and the other one to start playing out.

 

Using the Scheduler

In OnTheAir Video, you can schedule the playout for unattended 24/7 playout. But you could use that feature to have multiple OnTheAir Video to start playlists at the same time. Note that if you are running on different Mac computers, this will be the less accurate option, as the schedulers are based on the Mac clocks, and these clocks can drift between 2 computers. If used on the same Mac, this should be quite accurate.

 

Using MIDI

You can control OnTheAir Video with MIDI devices. Here is an article that explains how this works: https://softron.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/207696557-HOW-TO-Control-OnTheAir-Video-with-MIDI

The idea will then be to have all the OnTheAir Video applications connected to the same MIDI device, and assign the same MIDI note to perform the same action on all Applications and playlists at the same time.

If all the OnTheAir Video applications are on the same computer, it's easy, you just need to connect the MIDI device to the computer, either directly in USB, or with a MIDI to USB adapter.

If you are running the OnTheAir Video applications on multiple computers, as MIDI enables the "broadcasting" of notes to multiple devices, the only requirement is to get 2 USB-MIDI interfaces (one for each Mac) and cable the keyboard so that it goes to both MIDI inputs (there is a loop-through connection on most MIDI interfaces).

 

Using GPICommander

Here is an article that explains how to use OnTheAir Video or OnTheAir Video Express with GPICommander: https://softron.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/114094533173

The idea here is roughly the same as with MIDI, and get all the OnTheAir Video (Express) applications to perform the same action when an input on GPICommander changes status.

As GPI is just a "on/off" signal, it is very easy to build a "push button" box that will change the status of the inputs.

If all the OnTheAir Video applications are on the same computer, it's easy, you just need to connect the GPICommander device to the computer. 

If you are running the OnTheAir Video applications on multiple computers, you will need one GPICommander per computer and cable the push button box to the same inputs on all the GPICommanders.

 

 

 

 

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