Show Control with VLC and node-red


Montrose Makerspace created some custom-made show-control software (ShowDynamIX) to help the 2016 San Juan Independent Film Festival host a seamless theater production at Montrose Pavilion this year.

San Juan Independent Film Festival is a benefit for Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans, and this year it’s packed with adventure-themed films to get your adrenaline pumping!

Here’s a screenshot of our projector control dashboard:


Continue reading to learn more about our software project!

We used node.js and node-red with javascript functions to control a custom-configuration of VideoLAN (VLC) player, via a TCP socket command line, which sends video to the projector system connected to x11 in “zaphodheads” configuration.  Node-red-ui helped us build a custom control panel, built around the script for the show.

Node.js allows easy creation of “Nodes” (modules or components of javascript) which can  interact to create a versatile system of functions, inputs and outputs that work together to make up the software application.

Node red makes it easy to quickly “wire” nodes (buttons, functions, timers, inputs, connections) together using visual flow diagrams!

Here’s a view from “under the hood”

noderedsjiff noderedsjiff2

By putting this software together with the Montrose Pavilion’s top-of-the-line audio/visual equipment, we’re making it easy for our projectionist to become The Wizard of Awesome for this big show.


Special features of ShowDynamIX include a script-based dashboard, real-time status monitoring (so our projectionist can see what’s playing, how much time is left) As well as custom control of the volume, video transport, and playlist selection.


Chuck couldn’t be more at home in an action-packed control-booth!


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