David Andre

Selective HDMI Splitter for jury blackout

5 posts in this topic

I need the ability to split my Trial Director feed on extended desktop to a multiple monitor setup.  The catch is, they want to show exhibits to the Judge, counsel, witness first, then to the Jury after it's been identified and published. 

While writing this I have realized that I just use and HDMI splitter and run feeds to Judge, Counsel and witness, then run another output to an HDMI switch, THEN to the Jury monitors.  Then when I want to black out the jury, I just switch to an empty input.

I figure there is probably an HDMI splitter that has buttons that will let me disable certain outputs. That would make this a little easier.  Anybody know?

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Hey David,

You can do exactly what you describe which is essentially chaining HDMI switches connecting your sources to HDMI Switch #1 which would feed the "private" monitors (counsel/judge/witness) along with HDMI Switch #2 which would feed the "public" monitors (project/jury monitors/etc.). HDMI Switch #2 would have your input from HDMI Switch #1 and then a blank input so that you could send a blank signal to your public monitors.

Obviously, you will need some splitters in line as well to feed the separate outputs and take care to ensure that your monitors will not automatically shut off if they don't have signal for a period of time.

This setup isn't too bad if you are the only person presenting or the only person that needs control over the switching, but it gets really messy if you need to be able to allow more than one person to control the switch (IE: if there is a hot seat on the other side as well).

The other option is to use a matrix switch which has multiple inputs and multiple outputs, but each input is assignable to each output and a single inputs can be assigned to multiple outputs. This combines the chaining of HDMI switches into one box as opposed to multiple devices. You'll still need splitters, but you will cut down on a number of devices in the chain.

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Posted (edited)

Exactly what I was looking for.  For an added bonus, they want to have the witness annotate on a document on the stand, so I'm thinking an iPad using TrialPad as one source, just for that witness, and just switching back to Trial Director after.  Have you used other methods for live witness annotation?  For reference, this is probably a 2-3 day trial, not a huge budget.

Thanks again!

Edited by David Andre

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Glad to help!

TrialPad or TrialDirector for the iPad will probably be the easiest solutions for that. The only downside is that you lose control over what the witness is doing and the only way to assist is to physically approach and help over their shoulder. There are other methods, but they are all very costly.

Another app (but it is subscription based) is Lexcity. It allows for introduction/presentation of exhibits through Apps on iPads in combination with their cloud backend. Using two devices, you can "pass" control to another user who can then make markups/annotations and then you can take back control from them so that you can continue to mark up or save the document. We resell the product at Opveon and have used it in a number of scenarios.

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I had planned to strongly suggest a little "witness prep" with TrialPad.  That is however, a very interesting use of Lexity.  I think I'm going to find a place to post on paperless exhibits platforms next!

If I had a bigger budget,  is there a solution with a touchscreen monitor or something similar?  Nothing that I can think of is particularly easy, especially if they want to mark the exhibit once the annotations have been made.  Thanks again.

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