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Setting up Video Inputs

ZionWorx 2014 provides a panel for making use of video inputs, either as backgrounds to other playlist items or as standalone Live Video items that can be used for fading between multiple input sources.

 

The simple approach to setup

The basic configuration for a video input starts with plugging the camera in. This may be via direct USB, Video Capture Card, Firewire or even a third party hardware option that you plug an RCA or S-Video connection into and then a USB plug goes into the PC. An example of this approach which we've used successfully at an exhibition is a Pinnacle "Dazzle". The aim of any of these approaches is to make the camera available as a DirectX device to ZionWorx.

We've prepared a video tutorial covering the setup and usage of a live video input that in most cases will be sufficient to get you going using this feature.

ZionWorx Tutorial - Setting up Live Video

 

When "simple" doesn't work

If there is an issue with accessing the video camera an orange triangle will appear. This may simply be the video camera is being used by another program however it may also be occurring because ZionWorx is detecting a stream error, even though the device is available and configured correctly. This is currently happening on some capture cards/devices which have more than one input type/format. The problem is that the underlying video libraries ZionWorx uses (FFmpeg) don't yet have 'crossbar support'. This is one mechanism that DirectX video input devices use to select which input type to use. As a result the video stream produces an error.

The workaround we've discovered is to install another piece of free software called 'AmaRecTV'. You can find the website here:

And here's a direct software download link (1.75MB):

This software allows you to setup a stream from a video capture device and then re-broadcast it live through a virtual device called 'AmaRec Video Capture'. In ZionWorx 2014, rather than selecting your video card device, you then choose this virtual device and create a video input configuration from that.

We've personally managed to get this working with an AVerMedia TV Capture card that previously only showed the warning sign in ZionWorx 2014. There are at least 3 other users who have got it working successfully with their various devices so we are confident it is a successful solution for this secnario.

Step 1: Unzip the downloaded file. There is no installer. Just run the AmaRecTV.exe file

Step 2: Configure the video card capture in the AmaRecTV application

Step 3: Configure the live output options in the AmaRecTV application

Step 4: Make use of the AmaRecTV video input source in ZionWorx

 

Important points to note are:

  1. The program does not have an installer, you just extract the ZIP file and launch it from AmaRecTV.exe
  2. You need to run a separate installer for the Live Video Capture Device: live_setup231a_en.exe
  3. There is a helpful tutorial about AmaRecTV here:
  4. We found that it necessary to restart the AmaRecTV application after changing some settings for them to take effect.
  5. In normal operation you need to run AmaRecTV before you run ZionWorx in order to make use of the live video capture
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