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Third Video Screen
Old 24th January 2013
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Third Video Screen


I'm contemplating buying a big LCD screen for my video/movie playback. As of right now I have a dual monitor set up on a Mac Pro, which has two video outputs. I was wondering, what's the best way to go about it.
Either an additional graphic card or some dedicated video device (not sure what's all out there...).
Thing is, I kinda like the way you can have logic analyze the cuts, when the video file is in logic, in case I need to hit a special frame or cut.
So in case I'd go for some external video device, how would that integrate?
What's out there?
What do you guys use or how do you have your audio/video set up?

Thx in advance

Old 24th January 2013
Lives for gear
charlieclouser's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 10 years
For many years I've used a separate computer as a video playback slave. First, running VirtualVTR (which is a bit old and very expensive), then a couple of years running a second copy of Logic (a little more clunky, workflow-wise), and recently I've switched to using VideoSlave (which I helped develop). Here is their website:


These days I use a mac mini as a slave - send MTC from the main daw over to the slave via hardware midi interfaces or network midi, and you can also use MMC for slave chasing while dragging and scrubbing in Logic. With VideoSlave you can have a bunch of separate movies (one for each reel of picture, each set to start at different smpte hour points) all loaded at once into a bin and the correct one will play when the appropriate incoming timecode hour is received - this is smoother than using a second coy of logic as a video player as you don't have to touch the slave as you move between reels on your main daw. My Mac mini has a second video output on hdmi which goes to the big screen. Audio comes out the headphone jack on the back of the mini.

I still keep the movie files handy on my main machine so I can import them into logic to detect cuts and check the sync on my slaves, but then I remove the movie from my logic projects as this makes everything respond quicker and leaves me more disc and CPU headroom for audio.

Recent Mac pros come with a three-output video card, but mine only has two and I have no free pci card slots for a second video card. For a while I used a Canopus ADVC-100 FireWire video convertor to output directly to composite video and analog audio, but these don't support h.264 and other recent video formats, so they are on the shelf now. The new BlackMagic thunderbolt video boxes look good and are only $300 - I will be picking up some of these soon, once VideoSlave has support baked in, which will hopefully be soon.

If you still want to do it all on one machine you'll need to tread carefully as you select a secondary video card for the Mac pro as not every card will work with every Mac.
Old 25th January 2013
Gear Maniac
๐ŸŽง 5 years
I don't know The specifics for Logic but I use Pro Tools with a Black Magic Decklink via HDMI to The third monitor. You have The option in pro Tools to send video through FireWire or PCI-E and set The apropriate video frame offsync.

But you could also upgrade your videocard to one that has 3-4 monitor outputs (usually mini-DVI) and use The third screen as a third monitor

its also worth mentioning that h.264 Are not frame accurate and is really cpu intensive with The processor having to decode all The time.
So DV stream (Big file, Crap quality) or ProRes is The best way to Go imho.
Old 26th January 2013
Gear Head
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Thx for the info guys.
Btw Mr Clouser i dig your work.

I also played with the mac mini idea, but since the Blackmagic stuff keeps reappearing and i do have a seperate Pci slot, but no Thunderbolt (MP 4.1) and as i'm still holding out for a revamp of the Mac Pros i was wondering if it would make sense to get one of the Blackmagic devces as Pci, since it seems much cheaper then the mac mini route?
Sorry but i have no clue about video...
Old 30th January 2013
Gear Nut
Brian Ralston's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I second Charlie's recommendation for VideoSlave. It is truly great...and affordable. Yes...I do run it on a MacMini slave with internal SSD drives...but I also have some of my Virtual Instruments running on that same MacMini Slave through Vienna ensemble Pro 5. So...the MacMini is getting a lot of simultaneous use which further justified its purchase. For me, it is not just for driving video.

As for what do I see video on...I have a Vizio Flat Panel HD TV on the wall and HDMI from the MacMini to the TV. But...on my MacPro...I have an ATI 5870 that has 3 video outputs and I also run one of those outputs up to the same Vizio on a different input. So I technically have 3 monitors on the MacPro if I need them...and then I just use the TV remote to switch inputs on the Vizio and I can then see the MacMini desktop up there for either VideoSlave full screen or for interfacing with VEPro5.
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