The minimum that you would need to use the virtual scoreboard at a basketball game is as follows:-
- Laptop with an external screen connection port (this is usually provided, but may be vga, dvi, hdmi or displayport – depending on how old & what make the laptop is) and an internal sound “card” & output socket (ie for earphones, etc).
- External screen sufficiently large to be seen from the court (suggest at least 19”), with an input connection port to match the external screen connection port on the laptop and a display resolution to match that of the laptop screen.
- Video cable to connect external screen to laptop.
- External powered speaker or speakers (sufficiently powerful to ensure that the buzzer is clearly audible).
- Cable to connect speakers to laptop (cable may be integral with the speakers).
- Power extension cable to reach nearest mains power socket in the sports hall/gymnasium, equipped with at least 3 sockets (to take the plugs on the power cables to the laptop power supply, the external screen and the powered speakers)
- Laptop power supply, power supplies for external screen & external speakers (usually integral with speakers).
- You could use the laptop’s touch pad, but may find that a mouse is more convenient – in which case you would also need one (type of your choice to suit the ports on the laptop, but there is normally an external USB port available for a USB or wireless mouse interface)
- The laptop would be setup on a table facing the operator (timekeeper). The external display screen could also be setup on the table (if big enough) but facing the court. Wherever it is located, the cable connecting it to the laptop would need to be long enough to reach without causing a safety hazard – ditto its power cord.
Once connected to the external display, the laptop’s display configuration should be changed so that the laptop’s display and the external display show the same desktop (desktop mirroring).
The powered speakers could be setup wherever convenient & within cable reach of the laptop & the power extension cord sockets.
More Advanced Use
Once software and computers are involved, there is great flexibility as to what & how complex a setup is used.
Obviously, the more comprehensive and complex the setup, the more costly it gets – but, for instance, new 50” HD (1920*1080 resolution) LED TVs to which a computer can be connected by HDMI cable are now (2015) being advertised for under £500, with 48” ones for under £300.
As larger screen TV’s come out, people upgrade & get rid of their older, smaller models – there is thus a cheaper second hand market as well.
A look at some suitable computers is on the next page Computers