Control Section

PLAYDECK Professional Video Playback Playout Software for Windows * Playlist Control
The control section of PLAYDECK contains previews, control buttons and timers

In the control section there is a preview window for each of the two playlist channels with adjacent buttons for operating playback.
Above these buttons you will find several timers that help you to keep track of the timing of your show.
In the middle are the buttons for recording start and stop, for opening the SmartClips window and for SYNC operation of both playlist channels.

Channel Previews

PLAYDECK Professional Video Playback Playout Software for Windows * Playlist Preview Channel Name

The Channel Previews always show the currently playing video signal. Next to it there is a VU meter with a clear indication whether the audio output is muted or not.
Left mouse click on the green field Audio is ON will mute the audio output and the display changes to a red field Audio is OFF.
Right-clicking on this field leads you to the audio settings in a very easy way:

Mute in Windows disables sound output via the default audio device defined in Windows. If playback is done via a dedicated playout card, e.g. from Blackmagicdesign, then this sound output is not affected by this setting.
Settings opens the menu item “Audio Settings” (see chapter 2.1.6).

If you want to assign a Channel Name to the preview window, as shown in the picture above (“Giant Screen“), please right-click on the preview window. The following menu will open:

Please select the menu item Show first and then change the displayed default name to the one you want.
If you want to hide a displayed channel name again, you can do this via the same right-click menu using the menu item Hide.
The channel name is also displayed in the corresponding preview window in the Production Window. Of course it is not visible in the actual video output.

Control buttons

PLAYDECK Professional Video Playback Playout Software for Windows * Playlist Control
PLAYDECKs playback control buttons

STOP stops the current playback and displays the content you selected in the menu item Background under Settings – All Settings – Playlist Output – Channel 1/2.

FADE fades a clip in or out of the background. The clip to be faded in must be selected in the playlist, but must not yet be in the CUE.
Right-clicking the FADE button opens a menu where you can set the effect duration for fade-in and fade-out for both channels:

JUMP is particularly suitable for rehearsals: If you don’t want to view the entire duration of the clip in progress, you can use JUMP to jump to any point just before the end of the clip.
Right-clicking on JUMP opens the menu where you can set the jump time:

Alternatively, you can switch the JUMP button to a real NEXT button to jump directly to the start of the following clip. The controls then look like this:

PLAYDECK Professional Video Playback Playout Software for Windows * Playlist Control

If you want to use both the JUMP and NEXT keys in parallel, please use keyboard shortcuts or remote control.

The CUE button prepares a selected clip for playback and waits for the PLAY command on the first frame of the clip. If there is a clip in the CUE, this button is filled in green.
However, CUE does more than that:

  1. If you put the first clip of a block into CUE and this block has been assigned a scheduled start time (see 3.1 Block Header Functions), the countdown timer is automatically displayed.
  2. When you put any clip into CUE, PLAYDECK waits for remote start commands to arrive, either from connected tally interfaces or directly from connected Blackmagic ATEM mixers (see Playlist Remote Connections).

The PLAY/PAUSE button toggles between playback start and stop. During playback, the button turns orange.
If you want to start a clip from the playlist without putting it into the CUE first, you can simply double-click on this clip if you have set this function (see Settings – All Settings – Workflow – Playlists: Double-click on playlist item).

Block Timers and Countdown Timers

Block Timers

In the area above the control buttons you will find the Block and Countdown Timers.
The grey coloured Block Timer shows you from top to bottom

  1. the time at which the block will end (as long as a clip is in the CUE, this end time is continuously updated)
  2. the remaining duration of the currently played block; and
  3. the remaining duration of the clip currently playing with a separate Clip Timer. Within the Clip Timer, you can jump to different positions within the clip with a single mouse click.

The block and clip timers can take on a signal color and can also play a warning sound when a preset remaining time is reached (see Settings – All Settings – Workflow – Playlists: Show Colored Alert).

Use the small clock icon in the lower left corner to toggle between the remaining and the elapsed clip runtime.

The left and right arrows move the playhead one frame back and forward.

Countdown Timers

If you use the Schedule Block function (see 3.1 Block Header Functions), additional Countdown Timers are displayed:

When you put the first clip of a block to which you have assigned a scheduled start time into the CUE, the upper larger countdown timer will appear. This counts down to zero and then automatically starts playback (shown by a triangle next to the clock icon), or it counts down to zero and then up again (depending on the setting made in 3.1).

The countdown timer may change to a signal color if a certain time is reached before the scheduled start time (see Settings – All Settings – Workflow – Playlists: Show Colored Alert). It will always turn red as it counts up.

If you have provided a block with an autostart command that should be executed in any case regardless of the current playback status of the playlist, you will receive an additional, smaller countdown timer as a warning.

SYNC Button

If you activate the SYNC button (it turns orange), you control both playlist channels together.
To prevent unwanted synchronous operation, an orange border is displayed around all control elements when the SYNC function is activated:

PLAYDECK Professional Video Playback Playout Software for Windows * Playlist Control Sync

If you do not see the SYNC button, you have either not activated the second playlist channel or you have deactivated the display of the button under menu item Settings – All Settings – Workflow – Additional Views.

REC Button

In the Studio version of PLAYDECK, the Edit-while-Ingest function is available. By pressing the REC button you start recording an incoming video signal (the button turns red). Pressing the REC button again stops the recording.
If you right click on the REC button, a menu opens where you can program the automatic recording start and enter the recording settings:

Edit Button

Pressing the Edit button opens the SmartClips window with the Edit-while-Ingest function.
For more information on the SmartClips functions, see chapter 6 Working with SmartClips.