pobalopalous
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:29 pm

The Raspbian Jessie distro published at the end of September should mean that a more recent version of OpenLP can be easily installed. https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspbi ... e-is-here/

I have a similar requirement to yours, so will give it a go and report back.

pobalopalous
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:39 pm

Here's an update on using Raspbian Jessie distro running OpenLP 2.0.4 on a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B...

On Saturday we ran a one day worship conference (i.e. the seminars were about the biblical, spiritual and practical aspects of a creative response to God's goodness) in one of our medium sized meeting rooms (seats approx 80 people). The planned content to display was words for the songs being sung, as well as ppt presentations during the seminars. Since this was a trial run, we did have a laptop as a backup. We ended up using the laptop at certain stages.

The setup (note that this was what we had our hands on):
HDMI output from Pi to projector DVI input.
Projector is mounted on the wall with a VGA cable running to the lectern.
Windows laptop connected to that VGA cable.
Pi was placed directly beside the projector, powered through a wall socket (projector does not have HDMI or USB port)
Pi had wifi internet access
Pi had wireless mini keyboard & mouse.
OpenLP Android App running on a phone connected to the same wireless network

The installation was simply Raspbian Jessie on a new microSD card, and 'sudo apt-get install openlp'.
Connected to the wireless network, accessed a shared drive to import the openLP songs from and copy over the PPT files.

Pros
1. Fast setup from scratch. I ran the install, went with the basic minimum options, and then ran 'openlp' on the command line. Started up without a hitch. Note that if you are familiar with OpenLP installation you will know that choosing to download bibles, sample songs and themes can take an age. I always skip those, but definitely go with the Remote Access plugin.
2. Very responsive and smooth transitions between songs. I have seen videos of OpenLP running on older Pi models and it was not pretty. The Pi 2 Model B definitely has the right spec. However, it did take ~20 seconds to launch openlp from cold boot.
3. The remote access through the OpenLP Android App was also straight forward to setup, just like our windows config.
4. Raspian Jesse comes with LibreOffice which meant that the PPT files could be used (mostly - see below)
5. OpenLP songs exported from a more recent version of OpenLP on windows imported without hassle.

Cons
1. This setup meant that we did not have a dual screen arrangement with the Pi. Therefore the projector was the primary display. Not very professional, but attendees understood that we were doing some road testing. However, I believe you could run a second screen off the DSI port and that's something I will look into. This is one reason why we did use the laptop as there was some 'unplanned' presentations and videos we ending up wanting to show. It was just easier to search and dig those out on the laptop while the Pi was running through the projector and then switch the projector over to the VGA input when we were ready.
2. The openlp.desktop file has an empty 'Path=' entry. This meant for an 'File or directory not found' error when trying to launch from the desktop. This was clearly for the working directory that openLP should use. I'm a command line person, so it didn't bother me, but a quick edit to point to a directory that exists did the job.
3. The openLP plugin for LibreOffice Impress was disabled and I could not get that working. I read in one forum that this may be due to the python version being used. I have not looked into it in more detail. We could have the PPT files open in LibreOffice Impress and switch between those and OpenLP as needed so it was an inconvenience rather than a show stopper. Having only the live projector as our screen meant that others got to see behind the curtain for those transitions.
4. LibreOffice Impress worked well, but didn't like one of the PPT files, so we had to revert to the windows laptop for that.
5. An OpenLP service files are not backward compatible. Service files created on our windows machine, running OpenLP 2.2, could not be imported to the Pi running OpenLP 2.0.4.

The Pi & OpenLP setup was used for the most part. For me, the bottom line is that although there have been great improvements recently, the Pi with OpenLP & Impress combination is not ready for the big stage yet. The incompatibilities between platforms for both OpenLP and PPT means there will be unnecessary hoops to jump through that most users just would not be bothered with.

However, I really like the potential of the Pi as a barebones lyrics presentation device for all our worship leaders (young & old, tech savy or not). As in, to walk into one of our meeting rooms, turn the projector/tv and pi on, OpenLP starts automatically, use their phone to connect to OpenLP on the Pi, select the songs they plan to use for the schedule and then get started. No keyboard or mouse to use. We regularly introduce new songs, so import and/or synch will be important. Even without that, OpenLP on Pi does potentially allow us to make more of the A/V equipment in our smaller meeting rooms in a more cost effective way.

Anyone else tried something similar?

java
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:41 am

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:19 am

Thanks for your post, I am looking at using a RPi 2, for our community - installed Jessie on a new SD card last night.

Next step, get version 2.2 onto the RPi, even if it means compiling from ssorce code.

Will check out the Android app, might help not having to run TightVNC on the RPi 2 to get a second screen ...

pobalopalous
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:19 pm

java wrote: ...
Next step, get version 2.2 onto the RPi, even if it means compiling from ssorce code.
...
I should have also mentioned I disabled a lot of the plugins (media, bible, etc) so that the search screen is only searching for songs. No other content.

Getting the latest running on RPi is a project I'm leaving until next year (which is only a few weeks away). Building and running OpenLP from source on Windows 10 was surprisingly straight forward. If you get started soon, let me know how it goes.

sputniki
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:54 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:12 pm

I'm interested in using the RPi for worships too. I didn't know openlp and was thinking about coding a little online tool that creates a html5-slide with reveal.js or dock.js which could easily synced with the RPi and start from bootup in any browser.

But if OpenLP is an easy to use alternative... :D
How could the Pastor create a slide and run this in church without much technical knowledge?
I think a second HDMI output would be much more professional to operate without public viewing... ;)

User avatar
Kratos
Posts: 394
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:41 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:20 pm

gkreidl wrote:You can also export your presentation as PDF (from a lot of different programs) and use XPDF in full screen mode as viewer.
+1

This would probably be the easiest way to get nice graphics with little effort. Plus, if you are used to using Microsoft, you don't have to figure out how to make Power Points with a Pi. Good luck! :D

Kratos
I have posted mostly with a Pi 2 running either Ubuntu MATE, or Raspbian.

User avatar
B.Goode
Posts: 8860
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:29 pm

Prior discussion about Presentation or Digital Signage tools for the RPi here: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=150277

pobalopalous
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:03 am

For song lyrics, OpenLP on RPi does the job. Even on a RPi Zero although it takes 5 minutes (including boot from cold) to start up. It does it even better on the RPi 3. Stage view, searchable song database, automatically opening last saved Service are all great for songs. I install it by getting the latest debian package from https://cloudfront.debian.net/debian/pool/main/o/openlp and then running these two commands (assuming the package filename is openlp_2.4.1-1_all.deb):

Code: Select all

sudo dpkg -i openlp_2.4.1-1_all.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
Adding new content is the challenge (and not just with OpenLP). Plugging in a keyboard and mouse is necessary to type in the lyrics for a new song, or to import a song from USB. This may not be an issue for places that only do the occasional new song. As for presentations, I have found that it is easier and more reliable to have the presenter bring their own device (laptop, tablet, RPi or phone). When someone authors a presentation in MS PowerPoint or Keynote and then it has to be displayed by Impress there can be unanticipated behaviour, such as animations or transitions not working.

Bottom line, going completely RPi may not be the right thing to do for everything you want to achieve. However, it's worth exploring what can be done.
sputniki wrote:I'm interested in using the RPi for worships too. I didn't know openlp and was thinking about coding a little online tool that creates a html5-slide with reveal.js or dock.js which could easily synced with the RPi and start from bootup in any browser.

But if OpenLP is an easy to use alternative... :D
How could the Pastor create a slide and run this in church without much technical knowledge?
I think a second HDMI output would be much more professional to operate without public viewing... ;)

java
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:41 am

Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:44 pm

Thanks for you folks input - have not gotten far with this, much blood pressure has been buggering around - reasonably stable at the moment - so hopefully I will be feeling up to being adventurous and RPi hacking again.

Intention is to use it for our own presentations which do not change much once loaded tho being able to load an extra song or two at short notice might be handy.

I agree, that if at all possible, visitors should bring their own laptop - i.e. it is setup to their preference and are used to it. Seen people thrown by slightly different setups - such hiccups are not helpful to smooth services.

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