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Discussion Starter #1
I have been looking for an inexpensive digital video player that can be started by a controller to replace DVD players.
I bought this player for 37.00 with shipping. I chose this one because it has HDMI out and most importantly, because it has buttons on the box that are ripe for hacking! It has good playback quality and works fine so far. To trigger a video I set it to play once only mode, and it uses a still for a screen saver, then starts the video when the trigger circuit is closed momentarily. I am using Pico Boos for controllers, and DMX. This type of dry contact trigger works with both.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006LEYQK4/ref=pe_385040_30332190_TE_M3T1_ST1_dp_1

I soldered wires to each side of the play button so it can be triggered by a prop controller.
The wires are connected to a jack where you can plug in the trigger input.



 

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The problem with these "cheap" common players is actually 2 issues with the firmware. The first is that there's usually some type of on-screen icon that appears whenever the video is started or switched. The second issue is there's usually a momentary black screen when the video is started, switched, or looped. Either of these problems completely ruins the effect for any type of video prop.
 

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The problem with these "cheap" common players is actually 2 issues with the firmware. The first is that there's usually some type of on-screen icon that appears whenever the video is started or switched. The second issue is there's usually a momentary black screen when the video is started, switched, or looped. Either of these problems completely ruins the effect for any type of video prop.
Even" fright props" video player ($139 version) does a black screen between being triggered, and when resetting. For $299 you can eliminate it. For a home haunter on a budget, I think they could live with paying $37 for having a blank screen pop up between triggers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Even" fright props" video player ($139 version) does a black screen between being triggered, and when resetting. For $299 you can eliminate it. For a home haunter on a budget, I think they could live with paying $37 for having a blank screen pop up between triggers.
J Man is right about there being some drawbacks, and it is good to point this out.
1. There is an icon when a command is given that shows on the corner of the screen. The good thing is that it is small and out of the main viewing area. This can be disguised in some applications.( You do not see it if loop mode is on.) You do see it when triggered.
2. You can turn the screen saver off and have a still of the video as a splash screen. I haven't seen a black screen between videos on this one. When looped they start seamlessly.

Still its a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Pete
 

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J Man is right about there being some drawbacks, and it is good to point this out.
1. There is an icon when a command is given that shows on the corner of the screen. The good thing is that it is small and out of the main viewing area. This can be disguised in some applications.( You do not see it if loop mode is on.) You do see it when triggered.
2. You can turn the screen saver off and have a still of the video as a splash screen. I haven't seen a black screen between videos on this one. When looped they start seamlessly.

Still its a pretty good deal if you ask me.

Pete
And I agree. Pointing out the "draw backs" was good to do. I was only saying that the "cheap" media players can still be used just as much as the more expensive ones. Could also have it so it triggers before people even physically see the screen to avoid seeing any icons. I would still rather pay the $37 vs $139 to deal with the same issue,, or pay even more to eliminate the icon/black screen. I stand by a great find and deal, and good hack.
 

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regarding the "splash screen"
so this is a frame from the video?
is it the same proportions/ aspect ratio

so if it were used for the axe killer door prop. you could have a home image of the vacant window before the "Killler" shows up????

that would be much better than just having the black screen until the video is triggered. which is how it works now.


got a screen shot of that icon that shows up?
or better yet a short video of the idle screen being triggered
I know on dvd players there are ways to get the word "play" "FF" etc... not to show.
wonder if it is possible with this unit. maybe just not easy to find.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Fred, the splash screen(menu) is on the video file not the player. I use DVD Architect to finalize a DVD and include a still from the video as a menu page.
This works good for AX Killer/ Nurse or any where you want a still to start with, then trigger the start. There may be a way to get rid of the icon, I am still messing with the remote controls commands. Here is a vid of the Idle screen and start of video.
Pete
 

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Trust me on this guys, there's no way to turn off the on-screen icon, it's part of the firmware. How do I know this?, because I developed my own Solid State HD Media Player with firmware that doesn't have these 2 issues, no icons and no black screen when a video switches or loops. They can be triggered via your own microcontroller or they can play in a loop. If anyone is interested in one these just shoot me an email, $120 plus shipping.
[email protected]
 

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Hi Fred, the splash screen(menu) is on the video file not the player. I use DVD Architect to finalize a DVD and include a still from the video as a menu page.
This works good for AX Killer/ Nurse or any where you want a still to start with, then trigger the start. There may be a way to get rid of the icon, I am still messing with the remote controls commands. Here is a vid of the Idle screen and start of video.
Pete
That's all the time the icon stays up? That's not long at all. A couple quick was to avoid seeing it.
1: Quick and dirty version is to frame the screen so you won't see the icon
2: Have the still image stay on for a couple seconds or so longer and have it triggered before it is visible to guests. This will allow the icon to be gone and not seen.
3: Spend extra money on one that doesn't have said icons or black screens as it resets.
Personally, I would go with option 2. Timing and video editing to save some money. Being a home haunted and not making any money off it at all, let alone a profit, I need to get the best bang for my buck. Now if I was turning a profit or at least breaking even, sure I'd go for a "better" player.
 

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Originally posted by Icepick
Being a home haunted and not making any money off it at all, let alone a profit, I need to get the best bang for my buck. Now if I was turning a profit or at least breaking even, sure I'd go for a "better" player.
I am all for saving money when it comes to home haunts, I'm a home haunter myself (not for profit). Cost is a relative term and really depends on what you're building. I suppose for some applications the "cheap" Media Player would suffice but if you're building an Axe Killer Door or something of that caliber, you're gonna spend around $700 on electronics, materials and parts, not a cheap prop by anyone's standards. To cut the corner on the Media Player wouldn't really justify the end result in this case. Of course this is just my opinion on this and I don't expect everyone to agree.
 

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To bump an old thread, is this still working for you? I bought the Micca Speck player and it does not have a trigger input. I am now looking for something else and ran across this
 

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Google Falcon Pi Player - a few guys in the Christmas arena took a Raspberry Pi and turned it into a E131 DMX / audio/video show controller. The software is freely available and runs on a $35 dollar Raspberry Pi. I used it for my Christmas Show and it is also now controlling my skulltronix skull routines.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have had a chance to test it during our mini haunts at summer festivals. It works fine even 12 hours straight in 100 degree heat!

The icon is annoying, but I was able to position the image where the icon is out of view.

I had some res quality issues, but that may be from converting some files to WMV.

I actually switched to a DVD player on one prop due to the low res of the file.

Overall it works find and is handy
To have for various uses

Pete
 

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Good to know. Hopefully with a good quality file it will play well. The "HD" they advertise doesn't mean crap if it can't process it well. I bought a micca speck but it is not trigger able and I'm using this for the elevator ride which timing is key. I'll have it Friday and report back then. Thanks pete
 

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Good to know. Hopefully with a good quality file it will play well. The "HD" they advertise doesn't mean crap if it can't process it well. I bought a micca speck but it is not trigger able and I'm using this for the elevator ride which timing is key. I'll have it Friday and report back then. Thanks pete
I bought two of mine off ebay and paid labout $25 less than what they were on amazon. Amazon also sent me one without buttons on it that i had to return and get a refund for it. Ive got my triggered soldered in and am playing with it now. The Icon is a bit annoying, and it is in an area I dont think i can cut out of the screen. (Capt Pete Im using this for my elevator ride)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I also found a Phillips DVD player( DVP5982/37) at Goodwill for 10 bucks that has a USB slot. You can play .avi direct from the USB memory stick, like a media player.
The icon is smaller on this one, and may be able to turn off, although I do not have the original remote so I can't acess the menu.

I have used DVD architect to produce the video to include a title screen( still from video) with an invisible button. This will give a stand by screen of your choice and will start without an icon.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
DVD authored with the still shot as a menu screen. Worked well for the most part. I had two identical players in case of failure of one.
Pete
 
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