All Monitors Going to Black Intermittently

Oct 14, 2019
Glenn Perreira wrote
We have Mediashout 6 running on a Windows 10 machine. Our setup is the program operation monitor, a confidence monitor and two display monitors at the front.

We are experiencing the various monitors going black at different, seemingly random times. Sometimes it is just the monitor displaying the program, sometimes the confidence monitor, sometimes both. Less frequently the display monitors, either one, goes black. It only lasts for a second before returning. It does not seem to correspond with interaction with Mediashout, i.e, it happens whether or not frames are advanced.

This only happened before when we had updated the PC to Mediashout 7, which we rolled back to 6. The problem did not immediately present itself again for weeks after the rollback. However, this Sunday, during an hour long service, it occurred between 6-12 times. It happens whether frames are advanced or not.

Don’t know if it is related, but there is a slight video glitch that appears very infrequently on the Mediashout operation monitor. It is only a flicker that occurs perhaps 3 times per service.

This is NOT a video splitter box related problem, I believe, as the monitor for operating Mediashout is hooked directly from the PC running the software via HDMI.

Any insights or fixes you can give us to fix the issue would be appreciated.

Glenn Perreira









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9 Answers
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Oct 15, 2019
MediaShout Support agent wrote
Hi there. I would be happy to help you. Have you tried updating your video card driver? Make sure to do it from the manufacturer website and not the Windows device manager (although you can use that to look for the date of your driver). Also, what type of connections are you sending to the screens besides the computer monitor? Are they HDMI as well, and is there any other hardware in between/converters?
Oct 19, 2019
Glenn Perreira wrote
Hi David, Thanks for the reply.

First, I tried to reply directly to my ticket via the email sent to me, and I was told I don't have permission to view it. Is there some way to make sure the ticket does not expire while we are attempting to fix the issue? I do not find a ticket under my account either.

Second, I am not the tech guy for the system, so I will have to await someone certified updating the video card drivers as you suggested.

In regards to the connections, I am not positive of the complete set-up regarding video feeds to the various monitors. I will inquire or check myself this Sunday. All I can say is that that the monitor for the PC used for Windows and to operate Mediashout is connected directly to the computer, and that the other 3 are likely to have a splitter or the like.

I will get more definitive answers this weekend.

Thanks again.

Glenn

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Oct 21, 2019
MediaShout Support agent wrote
Since this is a forum, it should be accessible here and not really have a resolution like a ticket. Although it may email you reminders as such. We should be able to remain in communication as long as you could like. I hear you on the information-- just keep me posted when you get that info and when the tech person tries the updates suggested, etc.
Oct 26, 2019
Glenn Perreira wrote
Thanks, David!

Well, the pastor updated Windows and the set-up seemed to be behaving for 45 minutes or so. There were NO blackouts for that time, and then one popped up, followed by another. I do NOT know if the video card driver was updated. The person who usually handles the PC has been away for a few weeks.

I am told there is a splitter that involves at least 3 of the monitors.

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Oct 29, 2019
MediaShout Support agent wrote
Gotcha. You'd definitely want to look at updating the video card driver as well. And then after a Windows update you always want to uninstall reinstall video codecs (mediashout.com/codecs) for MediaShout's video playback performance. But that won't affect the black screen issue. Just a note.

On that, a lot of the time it's outside of MediaShout and even outside the computer itself. You may look at the video hardware like connections, cables, and splitter box. If it's HDMI cables, they can't be over 25 ft long or else it will be intermittent and always cause issues. You'd have to do something like a HDMI to CAT5/6 converter box that uses network cable for the length of the run, then another box at the other end back to HDMI.
Dec 05, 2019
Lance Smith wrote
Hey Glenn. Did you ever find a solution to your issue? I’m having the exact same problem. I had Mediashout 4 on a laptop and had no issues. However, the church took my recommendation and bought the Dell bundle from MediaShout, and we’ve had this issue ever since. I’ve ruled out equipment issues as I’ve changed out all of the cables as well as the HDMI splitter, and I updated the video card drivers. Sometimes the service goes off without a hitch. But there are days when the worship team is dead in the water, just waiting on the screens to comeback on. We’re using Vizio TVs, so when the flicker occurs, they have to reacquire the signal. I just saw your post this morning and I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one experiencing this. Please let me know if you were able to solve the problem. Thanks!
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Dec 05, 2019
MediaShout Support agent wrote
Hey Lance! So sorry to hear the trouble you're having. We've found unfortunately in some cases, more updated computer systems and video cards will bring to light issues that for whatever reason, older systems were more resilient to. It's even possible on the old system, you were running a lower resolution/a lighter load being sent through the video system, and the new one could be adjusted to be more similar in what it's sending out. But usually when we see these issues, it means there's some kind of issue in the system like an HDMI cable that is too long. If it's longer than 20 ft. for instance, it will cause what you're seeing exactly. If the run is longer than that, it needs to be done via a HDMI to Cat5 or Cat6 converter box, then the network cable runs the distance, and another box at the end converts back to HDMI for the TV's or projectors. If it's just VGA over a long run, this is typically not a problem.
Dec 05, 2019
Lance Smith wrote
Hey David. Thanks for you input. The HDMI cables are 70 feet but have built in boosters. We’ve used them for the past few years with no issue. We play HD videos on it all the time with no issue as well. Even had a 20 minute HD video play through the windows video player with no flicker at all. The only time the flicker occurs is when MediaShout is in use. I’m guessing the issue will be with the output. I didn’t check the output settings as I thought factory would be fine. Thanks for giving me some direction. I appreciate it.
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Dec 06, 2019
MediaShout Support agent wrote
Gotcha. There may be something to looking at video card drivers and stuff like that. But I'm still convinced it has something to do with the HDMI and at least the resolution settings used, etc. As a note- unfortunately you will see very different results from testing with Win Media Player or just the basic Windows desktop output vs. a program like MediaShout which utilized DirectX to route signal to the screens. Since MediaShout functions more like a video game instead of a desktop computer application, it by nature uses more resources than a consumer video player like WMP, as it's sending video down the line. This can cause digital video connections like HDMI to freak out a little bit. To give an example- it's kind of like talking to another person through a PVC pipe. When the pipe is pretty short, or the words are very simple, it's easy for the other person to understand what you're saying. But if you increase the length of the pipe, it gets harder to understand what you're saying on the other end, even if you speak louder (like a signal amplifier would do). It is also more difficult to hear at the other end if you speak in more complex words (like running at a higher resolution). And with HDMI, it's a "smart" or digital cable/connection, so that means instead of still working but looking bad on the other end (like when there used to be a bad svideo or VGA cable, it would look grainy, blurry, or the color would be reduced), it just doesn't work at all, or looks perfect but then intermittently stops working/goes black. That will even in turn crash MediaShout, because it's like the display is being hot swapped, or unplugged during use, and it wasn't really built to handle that.

I've seen the same thing happen with screens blinking and going black on a church I served at that had ProPresenter on a Mac running about 100 ft up to two TV's. They had to replace their fancy expensive HDMI cables with a converter to network cable for the distance run, then back to HDMI at the TV end, and things shaped up pretty well.

The FIRST thing I'd try if I were you is make sure you're running at no higher than 1280x720 on the Windows desktop output to the screens (not your PC monitor, that can stay whatever you want), and make sure MediaShout is matched to that in it's cue setup settings, to 1280x720. (more detailed info on www.mediashout.com/screens). That will at least be sure you aren't overwhelming the system with too much video information. Lower resolution signal can go further with less issues. If that doesn't work, I'd look at changing out the cable runs, at least maybe get something temporary and run it up there to see if it fixes the issue before running it in the ceiling, etc. Or just bring the screen back to the booth with the computer and connect with a 6 ft HDMI and see if there's a difference.