How does one play back 2-channel video?
April 8, 2009 10:27 AM   Subscribe

It's becoming increasingly common in the art world to see various forms of multi-channel video: works or installations in which video plays back on more than 1 screen at a time. If I wanted to create a 2-channel video piece, what technical means would be available to me to play back both video channels in sync with each other?

Creating 2 synced videos is not a problem for me. I would edit each video separately, but working with a common soundtrack. The mystery is how to play them back together. Anyone know how this is typically done?

I imagine there may be a computer-based solution. Many computers will now support 2 displays; perhaps the right software would be able to send a separate feed to each video output. But I don't know what that software would be, or even what file format would be involved. Perhaps 2 separate conventional files played simultaneously? Or 1 file with a double-wide aspect ratio, split in half down the middle? (If the latter, how the hell would I produce such a file?) Hive mind, clue me in if you can.
posted by Artifice_Eternity to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Previously on AskMefi.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:31 AM on April 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, infinitewindow. I searched for previous relevant answers, but didn't find that one.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:44 AM on April 8, 2009

The people I know who do a lot of Arty Video stuff all use Max/MSP or a similar environment. And are often doing stuff like this with Video.

You may get better answers on a A/V forum than Metafilter.

It seems if you had a Computer with a few video cards in it that were all being recognised by MAX/MSP then it would be pretty straightforward to send the different Video streams to seperate "video Output" devices. And the would necessarily be in Sync.

Those sort of patching/programming environments give you a much more direct interface with the hardware.
posted by mary8nne at 10:57 AM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, Max/MSP/Jitter. I've avoided tangling with all that stuff till now, but maybe I'll ultimately go down that road.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:16 AM on April 8, 2009

You can do it yourself with Max/MSP, but a much simpler solution is to use MultiScreener, a great free download here. DVD synchronizers used to be the way to go, but Multi Screener is much, much easier to use. I highly recommend it.
posted by Izner Myletze at 3:05 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, Izner! That looks cool. I'll play around with it when I have a chance.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:33 AM on April 9, 2009

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