java
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RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 11:27 am

Hi,

I have an RPi 2 B, on the way for use as an Audio Player. But after a discussion with or Pastor, we have a need for Church Presentation Tool, and I am now wondering how a RPi could be use for this purpose. Is there software, available, can the RPi be used to display on a projector, in the first place?

Any other obsticles or bonus' es?

Heater
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 12:01 pm

If your projector has an HDMI video input there should be no problem, just plug it in like any monitor/TV.

If it only has VGA input then you will need an adapter. That will cost more than the Pi. I have no experience with them.

What kind of presentations do you have in mind?

For simple text and images I would go for creating your presentation as HTML, web pages, and display them with a browser on the Pi in kiosk mode. This has the advantage that the same material is now viewable from any machine with a web browser.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

andrum99
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 12:03 pm

The Raspberry Pi can be used to display a Powerpoint presentation using LibreOffice. It will not be particularly fast thought. I would expect that the Pi 2 would probably be fast enough for displaying Powerpoint presentations, although I have not used it for this myself. Other software is also available - others would better advise you on that. It depends what you want it to do which software will suite best. Note that software designed for the PC or Mac will not normally work on the Raspberry Pi, although there are often suitable alternatives.

The Raspberry Pi has both composite video and HDMI outputs, but can also be connected to a DVI or VGA display using an adapter. HDMI to VGA adapters are not expensive - they are available for a few pounds and are certainly not more expensive than the Pi. The Pi can be sited far away from the projector using special extension cables, or can be placed next to the projector - it's up to you.

The bonus is that the Raspberry Pi is a lot cheaper to buy than a PC or Mac.

gkreidl
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 12:14 pm

You can also export your presentation as PDF (from a lot of different programs) and use XPDF in full screen mode as viewer.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

rotwang
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 12:44 pm

I would suggest getting the latest version of the LibreOffice suite, the repository version is several steps behind, and developing your presentation using Libre Office Impress, using Powerpoint software and then converting to Impress I've always found to be less than satisfactory. Preview your presentation using a Rasberry Pi, and check which transitions work best for you. Simple fades and wipes work well, as do sequential reveals on the same slide. Given their low cost, you might also consider locating one Pi with the projector, and uploading presentations to it from a second Pi which is used to edit and preview presentations.
I haven't got around to using it myself, but PiPresents might be worth looking at, as its intended for running presentations and stuff.
Good luck, and remember to share your experience with others
andrum99 wrote:The Raspberry Pi can be used to display a Powerpoint presentation using LibreOffice. It will not be particularly fast thought. I would expect that the Pi 2 would probably be fast enough for displaying Powerpoint presentations, although I have not used it for this myself. Other software is also available - others would better advise you on that. It depends what you want it to do which software will suite best. Note that software designed for the PC or Mac will not normally work on the Raspberry Pi, although there are often suitable alternatives.

The Raspberry Pi has both composite video and HDMI outputs, but can also be connected to a DVI or VGA display using an adapter. HDMI to VGA adapters are not expensive - they are available for a few pounds and are certainly not more expensive than the Pi. The Pi can be sited far away from the projector using special extension cables, or can be placed next to the projector - it's up to you.

The bonus is that the Raspberry Pi is a lot cheaper to buy than a PC or Mac.

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Forrrge
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 2:32 pm

I know that this doesn't solve what to run on the RPi, but on windows the church my wife goes to uses software called songpro
http://www.creationsoftware.com/

There is a free open source alternative that runs on linux called OpenSong which could maybe be compiled to work on the RPi
http://www.opensong.org/

another is OpenLP, linux also looks to be available and appears to do a lot more than opensong including the handling of powerpoint slides, but then I guess the overheads will be greater.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/openlp/

EDIT
You could probably also use Pi Presents, which was originally used to create interactive multi-media display applications, but I can see no reason why it couldn't be used for your purpose.
https://pipresents.wordpress.com/features/
viewtopic.php?t=29397

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 3:52 pm

A lot of ideas, thanks for your input.

HTML pages, could work for most of the content, do you still get HTML, WYSIWYG editors?

Will look at PiPresents ...

Have seen Openlp which looks usable, but also have no idea whether it runs on a RPi.

Will have to get a HDMI, to VGA adapter as that is what the projector has for input, not sure but it might even have a composite video input.

The LED board "died" and as a stop gap, we are using the Pastors laptop and Power Point, which as good as it is, is proving to be a rather unwieldly beast in the current application. Using the projector, increases the scope of material, that can be used, and how it is presented.

Am expecting my RPi to arrive Wednesday at the latest.

Heater
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 4:54 pm

java,

Do forgive my ignorance, I have not seen the inside of a church much for a very long time. So my idea of an information display in church is that wooden board on a stone column in the corner into which one slides cards indicating the hymns to be sung during the service.

Your LED board sounds like an electronic equivalent of that wooden display board. Less reliable though :)

Given that as a starting point I would not worry about WYSIWYG HTML editors, just invest a few hours in investigating how to write some HTML and CSS to make such a display.

I see from another thread that you have a web server running on a Pi so you you are most of the way there already.

Starting with such a simple thing could lead to all kind of developments. Perhaps this could become a bit of a community effort thus fostering such skills in the congregation. All useful stuff.

Perhaps you could say more about what you actually want to display?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

andrum99
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 5:00 pm

java wrote:Will have to get a HDMI, to VGA adapter as that is what the projector has for input, not sure but it might even have a composite video input.
Bear in mind that the picture quality with composite video will be quite poor, particularly if there is a long cable run. VGA will be fine over long-ish distances (up to 25metres) if you use a decent cable. There are some things to watch out for with using an HDMI to VGA adaptor. Also, if you have a long cable between the Pi and the projector then the Pi will not be able to communicate with the projector to ask it which video modes it supports, so you will need to configure this manually using entries in a text file. Sometimes this is a good thing though, as some devices get this horribly wrong.

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 7:40 pm

General idea, so far, is to display the weekly news bulletin, with suitable backgrounds for different groups/activities, then words for the praise/worship singing. A bonus if the scripture being quoted could be presented on the screen via the projector. Also if the scripture being quoted, could have comparisons between different Bible editions ...

For a start, as I am sure that as time goes by, someone's needs will "evolve" ... , and that will change ...

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morphy_richards
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 7:59 pm

I've never used this so no experience with it or real idea if it would be useful but PiPresents often gets mentioned here.

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pluggy
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 8:15 pm

From someone who has seen inside a modern church and how a presention tool would typically work, (Typical use is displaying notices, sermon notes and the words to hymns - saves on Hymn books) I'd say the Pi is far from ideal. There is a large selection of church presentation software, which does the job admirably well and almost all of it is for windows. Our church uses Songpro
http://www.creationsoftware.com/ running on a fast PC with Windows 7. Dual screen capability a distinct advantage. (So the operator has a control, screen that the punters don't see on the projector.) The songpro intergrates with office so powerpoint stuff works within the main software.

Definitely not Pi territory.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

Heater
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 8:48 pm

pluggy,

Did you just refer to worshipers as "punters"?

Being old fashioned I have to say I'd rather not see screens and projections in my church. We are surrounded by them, wall to wall, every day, everywhere we go already. We work with them, we play with them, they intrude on us as we do our shopping, visit a museum, pretty much anything.

So, my feeling is that if there has to be one keep it subtle and simple. Sure the Pi can do that.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

KenT
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Sun May 31, 2015 9:37 pm

Sounds like your main requirement is scrolling and static text displays. Pi Presents is not good for that, its direction is multimedia controlled by buttons and PIR's etc. in stand alone kiosks or cows, or scarecrows. What you need is specific functionality for Church use. I've not seen anything remotely like this the Pi. You could write it all yourself, a big job. The main technical hurdle will be smooth scrolling text as you will need to use the GPU.

Open LP is written in Python and Qt4, there is a distribution for Debian so there is a reasonable chance it will work on the Pi 2. However I think I would take the easy route and run it on a windows laptop.
Pi Presents - A toolkit to produce multi-media interactive display applications for museums, visitor centres, and more
Download from http://pipresents.wordpress.com

ProDigit
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:13 am

Just buy a 720p smartphone, and a mini USB to HDMI cable and you're set.
Some 480p phones you can get for like $50-$80 (LG Realm)

lightwing
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:59 am

I've used OpenLP on a v1 Model B, the initial one with only 256M RAM. It worked. It was a bit sluggish, but it totally usable. I imagine the RPi2 would work a whole bunch better.

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:24 am

When I got the Smartphone and cable - how am I supposed ti usefully make use if it?

fruitoftheloom
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:04 am

java wrote:When I got the Smartphone and cable - how am I supposed ti usefully make use if it?
I do not think that this suggestion has any merit :roll:
Retired disgracefully.....

ame
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:19 am

java wrote:When I got the Smartphone and cable - how am I supposed ti usefully make use if it?
Plug the cable into the smartphone and into the HDMI input on the projector.

The projector will show a copy of what's on the smartphone screen.

Find a program that will display powerpoint slides, or something, on the smartphone display, which will then be visible on the projector.

If you can't display powerpoint then you could convert the powerpoint to a video then display that.

This might not be the best solution. You probably want a laptop.

scotty101
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:38 am

Just pray.... I'm sure the lord will provide.

:twisted:
Electronic and Computer Engineer
Pi Interests: Home Automation, IOT, Python and Tkinter

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:31 am

From the general concensus, here cost wise as well as software, we would be better of with a celron laptop and openlp or similar ...

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pluggy
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:09 pm

Heater wrote:pluggy,

Did you just refer to worshipers as "punters"?

Being old fashioned I have to say I'd rather not see screens and projections in my church. We are surrounded by them, wall to wall, every day, everywhere we go already. We work with them, we play with them, they intrude on us as we do our shopping, visit a museum, pretty much anything.

So, my feeling is that if there has to be one keep it subtle and simple. Sure the Pi can do that.
Punters is probably a little heretical ? ;)
I can't say I disagree with not having projections, but it wasn't my call. The projector is mounted on the ceiling and it projects on a piece of plain wall, so its not too 'in your face'.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

yoodoo2
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:56 pm

Also Quelea

Or use Google Slides, which would allow very easy group editing/colloboration and if no network connection is available, the file could always be downloaded as pdf or PPT then shown through LibreOffice as long as you don't go overboard with the transitions)

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:34 am

scotty101 wrote:Just pray.... I'm sure the lord will provide.

:twisted:
The Lord always provides, but he expects you to lift your rear end, and give him something to work, with ... :D

java
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Re: RPi as Church Presentation Tool

Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:39 am

Opensong it seems will not work on the RPi, due to it being coded in RealBasic. - for which there is no tools for ARM architecture ..

OpenLP will work, ( installed, but there is a missing directory - will troubleshoot later ) - but the pastor has gone for Opensong in the mean time ...

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