HyperDeck Studio Mini to play video clips in continuous loop

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Jordan Vinson

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HyperDeck Studio Mini to play video clips in continuous loop

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 11:21 pm

I really need help here. Basically we're setting up a type of a 'local access channel' to be operated by our tiny broadcast station for a small population in the Pacific. I need to achieve this end goal: continuous looping broadcast playback of, say, six hours of video clips (.mp4s, for instance). And I need to be able to change up the clips or 'lineup' each week, adding new clips and removing old ones on a regular basis. Will the HyperDeck Studio Mini be able to broadcast a long list of clips in a continuous loop without someone 'operating' it 24/7 and telling it which clip to broadcast at any given time? If so, how do we tell the HyperDeck which clips/media to play, and how do we connect the media to the video player?

*We're looking at pairing the HyperDeck Studio Mini with the ATEM Television Studio HD video switcher and dedicating this 'setup' to the new 'local access channel.'

*And, no, I don't have any experience in broadcast engineering. This is just something that I've been asked to help manage on a managerial level.

I really appreciate any help.
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Denny Smith

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  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: HyperDeck Studio Mini to play video clips in continuous

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:37 am

do not think this is going to work. At the station I worked at, we had a video server which could be programmed from a computer via LAN and play the video sequences for broadcast. Their is a CableCast setup for doing this. I do not think the Hyperdeck Mini would hold up playing its tracks for 24/7 either.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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MattMac

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  • Location: Arlington, VA
  • Real Name: Matt MacPhail

Re: HyperDeck Studio Mini to play video clips in continuous

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 2:07 pm

Since the HyperDeck Studio Mini uses SD cards for media, there are no moving parts involved (but the units do have fans and put out a decent amount of heat, so there’s that...don’t overlook ventilation). So would it stand up to being on, 24/7, with no downtime? I have no idea, but if it’s going to break down you could probably do a lot worse than relying on solid state media.

As to whether a group of clips can be made to play in a “playlist,” the answer is yes. It’s not documented very well in the manual, but if you look at the developers guide towards the end (page 47 in the English version) for the list of TCP commands you can use to control the deck, there’s a couple of commands dealing with adding clips to a timeline or polling the device to see what’s there (e.g. “clips: add”, “clips: count”, “clips: get”). So you can definitely set up a series of clips in a particular play order, and have the device play all of them in order, in sequence (using, I believe, “play: single clip: false” to have it play all the clips on the timeline one after the next rather than just a single clip).

As to whether you can get it to start again at the end of the timeline, I haven’t tried this, but I believe that’s the point of the “play: loop: true” command. But I’m not sure (again, I haven’t tried this — others may know) whether that’s getting the deck to loop a single clip over and over again, or whether it’s getting it to loop the entire timeline over and over again.

Again, assuming that’s what you’re wanting to do, works, you’d need some kind of an external control source to add/remove/manage clips on the timeline, and get the whole thing resumed again after you’ve added a new clip to the timeline. Some of this can be done in the ATEM’s software controller (since the ATEM supports control of the Hyperdeck), but the major downside of this approach (which is a bummer that I really hope BMD will fix someday) is that when the deck is connected to the ATEM’s software control panel, the deck will not listen to other commands you may want to set it. So while you may be able to do all the clip management in ATEM’s software control, if there’s any other manipulation you’re wanting to do via TCP, Applescript, whatever, you’re out of luck. When the HyperDeck and the ATEM are connected, they only have ears for each other. ;)

For what it’s worth, the HyperDecks can be set to be very chatty with their replies over TCP. So if you’ve got someone who can help you with designing some sort of a small listener application to set up a TCP port with the device, you could send “play” commands from the application, and listen for a “stop” command or a change of status from the deck when the clip or timeline is finished, then start it again. But if the “play: loop: true” command will allow you to loop the entire timeline, you wouldn’t even need that.

I hope that’s helpful. It sounds from your question like you’re looking to do this on the cheap. I suspect it can be done, but it may involve a little more DIY software programming than you’d be hoping for.

Cheers,
Matt
Undisclosed Location Studios • Arlington, VA
http://www.undisclosedlocationstudios.com/

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