Computers
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Liverpool Basketball Club

Local Development for National Success

Laptops/Notepads

Any laptop or notepad to be used with such an HD TV should have a screen resolution of at least 1920*1080. With a greater laptop screen resolution you could reduce the resolution to match that of the HD TV.

Toshiba brought out a small touch-screen notebook (the Satellite Click Mini) with a screen resolution of 1920*1200 - which was being sold in late 2015 for just under 200 at John Lewis.

For other uses, the touch-screen of this particular notebook could easily be removed from the keyboard to provide you with a touch-screen notepad. The notebook ran Windows 8.1 but could be upgraded to Windows 10.

These two photos show one of the Toshiba notebooks (with ruler to show small size) both closed & open with the scoreboard software running on the touch-screen at a reduced resolution of 1920*1080.

It has been used with a 24” HD (1920*1080) monitor connected by HDMI cable for Wirral local basketball league games. Powered speakers were connected to the sound (earphone) output socket.

The Toshiba has a mini-HDMI display output socket, so you need either an adaptor or a mini to full HDMI cable to connect the monitor/TV. Although the touch-screen could be used to set the time & scores, because of the small size it was found more convenient to use a USB wireless mouse.

This notebook is no longer in Toshiba’s current product list.

Other Computers

If you don’t want to use a laptop or notebook, you could build a custom PC around one of the Intel Core processors (which incorporate HD [1920*1080] graphics) and a suitable motherboard providing HDMI output for said graphics and an integrated sound “card” & input/output.

Using an HDMI splitter box the HDMI output can be used to connect to both a monitor on the score-table and an external display monitor/TV. In fact, using HDMI splitter boxes, multiple screens could be connected because such splitter boxes can usually be ‘nested’ up to 3 deep.

The sound output can also be connected to an external amplifier, in turn connected to external speakers.

When not in use for the scoreboard, the PC can be used to run visual displays – for instance a slide-show of photographs, or adverts or announcements/news, etc - and to play music through the external amplifier & speakers using the PC’s DVD/CD drive (if fitted) or internally stored play-lists.

The photo is of a custom PC which ran an LBC display showing individual Player Fouls (an Excel workbook with one page configured as a display page to fit 1920*1080 resolution screens when running under the Libre Office software), but which has been replaced by one of the Dell Inspiron Micro PCs.

Dell Inspiron Micro PC

Rather than building your own, you could buy one of the Inspiron Micro PC’s announced by Dell in 2016.

Within a very small box no bigger than a stack of CD’s, Dell have built a fully functioning Intel powered PC that runs Windows 10. It has full-sized HDMI and Displayport output sockets, 3 USB 2 and 1 USB 3 sockets, an SD card socket, a Gigabit network port, WiFi and an earphone/external sound connection socket. It is powered by an external power supply/transformer, uses an internal SSD for storage and has 2GB of memory. It comes complete with a USB keyboard and mouse and, if you wish, you can order a Dell monitor at the time you place an order for the PC. Without a monitor it cost 199.99 in 2016, including delivery, from Dell’s online shop.

The photos are of the Dell Inspiron Micro PC which now runs the LBC time clock/scoreboard used for National League games.  There is a copy of a review of this micro PC on PC Pro Review

For LBC use, a USB keyboard & mouse are used via a powered desktop USB splitter, which also connects the USB cable from a touch-screen monitor .

The Micro PC currently runs 2 No. 22” HD monitors, a 24” HD optical touch-screen monitor (Timekeeper), a 50” HD LED TV as main time/score display and 2 No. small HD LED TV’s as information for the announcer & for the video operator. These displays are connected to the micro PC through 3 No. HDMI splitter boxes.

The sound output goes to a small mixer deck, then to an amplifier and out to twin speakers.

LBC’s current Home court is equipped with several self-amplified speakers located at high level on the walls. These are normally used directly by the DJ/Announcer, but can also be connected to the Micro PC via the mixer deck.

If the DJ/Announcer is not present, previously downloaded music can be played from a laptop/notepad via the mixer deck. Likewise, announcements can be made using a wireless microphone via the mixer.

Typical game set-ups are given on Installations

 

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