Question regarding minimal CasparCG setup

I have a small video flypack setup, based on a Blackmagic ATEM switcher, and am exploring the possibility of adding a small Capsar CG server for video and graphics playback. For some reason, I was under the impression that to achieve key and fill playback with a Caspar server, a decklink card or similar was required.

However, recently, an acquaintance informed me that this isn’t necessarily the case. They argued that as long as a PC has two HDMI outputs available, it is possible to configure the Caspar server to use one HDMI output as the fill and the other as the key. If this is true, it would be wonderful, as it seems like I could get away with using an inexpensive mini-pc with dual HDMI outputs.

So, what I am wondering is am I correct in my assumptions? Is it possible to use an inexpensive mini-pc with dual HDMI outputs and configure them for key and fill playback, or will this not work?

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This is possible, by using the <sbs-key> setting. Have you also considered using a PC with a Thunderbolt interface and a Ultrastudio HD? Or using a DataVideo TC-200 with only one HDMI? These are both ways to get a “real” fill & key out of inexpensive and compact laptops or small PC’s.

Thank you so much for the info!

I have considered the Ultrastudio HD, but I have to admit that I thought that the DataVideo TC-200 was specific to DataVideo’s CG program.

My goal with my setup is to keep it as lightweight, compact, and quick to deploy. Many of my smaller clients have very limited time at the venue, which necessitates very quick load-ins and load-outs. To facilitate these kinds of clients, my flypack system is extremely compact. Everything is in a sing 6U flightcase and pretty much ready to go. Setup only consists of plugging in cameras, audio, and connecting a laptop via a single network cable.

If possible, I would like to keep the flypack setup exactly the same. This is why I was looking at using a mini-pc for the CasparCG server, that would be mounted internally in the flypack, with the client software running on the laptop.

There are a couple reasons why I am exploring if it would be possible to do this without something like the Ultrastudio HD. First, the Ultrastudio is one more device, which is going to take up even more space in my already compact flypack. My flypack is built around the ATEM TVS HD switcher, and all the SDI inputs are dedicated to cameras, so if I used the Ultrastudio I would also have to use converters to go to HDMI, which is even more devices inside the flypack. The other reason is cost. I can get a reasonably powerful mini-pc with dual HDMI ports for around the cost of the Ultrastudio by itself. If I can configure CasparCG server to output key and fill signals via those HDMI ports, then I would rather not spend money on something like the ultrastudio unnecessarily.

Everything you say makes sense. In your case the side-by-side key modewould probably be the right solution. There is a setting for the Screen consumer called sbs-key. It can be set to true and the screen window shall be positioned on the two screens, that coresponds to the two HDMI outs.

That sounds fantastic, thank you! I’ll be trying to set this up in the next week or two, and I’m sure once I get going with it I’ll likely have more questions, but it is comforting to know that the setup I envision at least sounds possible.

Is there any additional source for information where I could read more about configuring the screen consumer, especially in regard to this sbs-key setting? I’m not finding a whole lot on the wiki.

No, I am afraid there is not too much. You just need to find out by yourself. The tricky part will probably be, to find a way to correctly position the screen consumers window, so that it fits on the two outputs. Maybe there are some tools to position windows on the desktop. Google is your friend…

If you want to keep it really simple then go old school. Output just one HDMI from Caspar the graphics with a green or blue background and do chromakeying in the ATEM. Not pretty but works in most cases.

…I just relized, that the screen consumer also has these settings for x, y, width and height. They position the window, so that it goes where you need it. Together with borderless true you should be able to place the window with the sbs-key on your two outputs precisely.