FAQs: Capture and Playback

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Capture and Playback

Q: Does your solution support multiple HDMI capture cards? What is the upper limit on the number of simultaneous inputs?

Userful supports the Blackmagic DeckLink and YUAN line of HDMI capture cards. The Userful system can handle multiple input cards, limited only by the number of PCIe slots you can fit into your Userful host. You should contact us with details of your project if you intend on using multiple cards ahead of time.

Check our list of supported Blackmagic capture cards and YUAN capture cards.

Q: Can I mirror my laptop to a video wall in a conference room?

Yes. However, if you are switching between different laptops throughout the day, this is not a recommended use case as HDMI capture settings may need to be changed with each laptop due to variances in output resolution and color space.

Q: My media player does not have an HDMI output, how can I run it to a video wall?

While the vast majority of modern media players support HDMI output, contact us with your needs and we may be able to advise on the best approach. It is also possible with some Content Management Systems to integrate their player software directly into Userful.

Q: How can I connect an external media player (PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Chromecast, Laptop) to the video wall?

Install a supported capture card, configure the session container and connect any non-HDCP source directly to the capture card.

Q: How can I update firmware for the Blackmagic Capture Card?

To update firmware:

  • Open the terminal and type in the following command to check the firmware version (sudo or root privileges are required through out the procedure):
  $ sudo BlackmagicFirmwareUpdater status 

The output looks something like:

 0: /dev/blackmagic/io0 [Intensity Pro 4K] 0x85 OK 

Status "OK" represents latest firmware. If the command returns “PLEASE UPDATE”, type the following command and reboot the system:

  $ sudo BlackmagicFirmwareUpdater update 0 

where "0" represents the capture card number

Q: Is there any lag time between capture and playback?

There could be a negligible lag depending on source media type. However, it can be minimized by lowering the refresh rate of the individual displays.

Q: Do you support external Apple / Windows / Android / DVD / Playstation players?

A broad range of external devices can be connected to the Userful system via a capture card. Either plug the device directly into the capture card or use an intermediary HDMI splitter to remove HDCP.

Q Can I connect an existing matrix switch to the video wall?

Yes, simply plug one of your “output” HDMI cables into the HDMI capture card in the Userful host. The video wall would then become one of your switched outputs. For new installations, it is worth considering building a Userful Host with multiple capture cards and using the Userful host to replace your matrix switch altogether.

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