Mobile realtime video in projector out -- options please

    Jul 09 2013 | 8:24 pm
    Hi all,
    Hopefully this isn't covered somewhere else. I am trying to summarise my understanding of the current state of play with Mac laptops, Jitter and realtime video so i can get advice and options.
    I am using a MacBook Air with only a single Thunderbolt port and two USB ports and want to get input from a camera (ideally not a webcam) and then send to a projector. I need to be able to move around a room with the camera ideally up to 5-10 meters from the computer.
    As far as I understand things there are a few Thunderbolt devices about (perhaps the best offering is the Blackmagic Intensity in terms of economy and latency) however all of these are 'end of chain' devices and none allow you to play out to a projector through the device at the same time as capture.
    With only one Thunderbolt/minidisplay port this leaves me with no way to get the images to a projector.
    Based on what I read on the forum it seems I need two Thunderbolt ports (read as upgrade to a rMBP). I then have the option to capture the video using the Blackmagic and either go out HDMI or use a mini displayPort to DVI adaptor to get to the projector.
    So is a new retina MacBook Pro what I am going to have to get or can this be done some other way? It would be nice to be able to solve this using USB but I am unsure about USB devices and also wonder if there is a physical limit with the length of the cable...
    Of course another limitation in all this is also the lack of processing power of the MacBook Air but I'd like to see what options may exist independent of that issue.

    • Jul 10 2013 | 10:08 am
      Hello Reesa,
      there exist reliable USB camera solutions, also for lengthy applications (USB to network cable extender for instance) but it all depends on -the camera resolution and framerate you need in your project (and if black/white is ok for you) - do you want to add video processing to the camera stream before you send it to the projector?
    • Jul 11 2013 | 8:58 pm
      I'd be very interested to hear about the USB solutions.
      And yes, there will be some mild processing, either simple xfades or compositing with existing footage. Also some frame blending at low speeds.
      The frame rate doesn't need to be high and I could probably live with black and white. The current resolution in testing was a very mild 640X360!
      I'm going to borrow a 2011 or 2012 MBP for the project so will try doubling the resolution as it has a bit more power (no SSD though).