Control ProPresenter 7 Video Playback from Ross Dashboard- Cue/Load, Play and Stop Video

What you need:

A Ross Switcher with the Pro7 machine as an added “server” device.

-Dashboard computer should be on the same network as the switcher and Pro7 machine

-A MEDIA playlist on Pro7 with less than 20 videos in it. (Not a regular playlist)

-This uses the AMP protocol, and the Ross devices consider Pro7 to be a Server.

-This is for playing back video, not controlling lyrics or other presentations. ( I suggest a separate lyric machine)

Media Playlist

Renewed Vision has added Rosstalk to ProPresenter 7 (Pro7). That’s great. But Pro7’s Rosstalk feature only talks to Ross devices, it does not listen. You can control certain functions on a Ross switcher. There are many ways that can be helpful. But you can’t control Pro7 from the switcher.

But what if you specifically wanted to use Dashboard to fire videos from a Pro7 machine? 

It is possible, if you have a Ross Switcher that allows you to add devices like Media Servers, We have a Ross Carbonite (The older one, not the Black series.). 

Add Pro7 to The Ross Switcher

To add the Pro7 machine you need to add the device on the switcher panel, not Dashboard. Go into the menu and add a device, choose a server and put in the Pro7 IP address when prompted. Remember what slot you used, that will show up in Dashboard. Make sure to set the device up to “roll clip” when you switch to it.

Configure Pro7 to talk to Dashboard-

On the Pro7 machine, configure the preferences to communicate using the AMP protocol. This article will help: If your switcher is set up, when you hit Connect it will change to green. Right click the media playlist and “select for communication.”

Now your Dashboard can talk to your Pro7 machine. The Dashboard software can send a few commands, like cue, play and stop. Here’s how to set up a macro to load a play a particular clip.

In Dashboard, Custom Controls, pick the control button you want to use.  Go into the shot editor, find the bank and button. 

Load the clip-

Modify Event list, select devices, server. Then select Cue. The settings should default to your server and slot for the Pro 7 machine. If not, select those. Channel 1. Then type the exact file name of the video clip you want to load. Insert command.

Play the clip-

Modify event list, device, server and select play, server and channel 1. Insert command.

Now, hit record in the custom control editor, put your Pro7 machine in preview and hit auto trans. Stop recording. Name the command and hit done. Switch back to the shot box and test the macro.

When you need to change videos, just edit the custom control and change the name in the Cue and hit Replace Item, Done.

You can also set commands to stop and play the Pro7 machine. It will only play a clip that is already loaded.


You can only fire videos from this machine on this one media playlist. You could set up another Pro7 machine the same way and load it into another slot on the switcher, but you would need an entire extra Pro7 machine.


ProPresenter is presentation software, not a professional video playback solution. It plays video fine. but it can glitch, and need to be restarted. Contrast that with the Grass Valley K2 device we had been using. For all its quirks, it played video every time. The 2nd week we were using the Pro7 set up the audio on our service intro video was just a square wave. I thought we had gone back to dial up internet. Restart Pro7 and the problem was fixed. So, restart each week. Listen to the playback (don’t just watch meters) and don’t think you have to keep updating a solid machine. Only update the video playback machine when you need it. Run lyrics and other presentations off another device.


When Tech Fails

break computerThis morning I really wanted to kick a computer. Doesn’t matter if it was the computer that was malfunctioning or not, I just wanted to kick one.

You won’t have work with technology long before something, somewhere will fail. And it’s always at the most inopportune time. At church, you arrive to find a power surge has blown an amp, or the computer you use for lyrics won’t power on. Maybe someone let the magic smoke out of that video scaler. (You know, the magic puff of acrid smoke that lets everyone nearby know that this piece of gear won’t be turning on any time soon.)

This morning we were launching a major project, one I have personally been invested in for months. It’s awesome, you should check it out, get involved: #wearewitnesses First service went off without a hiccup. So far so good. That means that the video venues also get their video feeds without issues.

Near as I can tell, sometime in the 2nd service (maybe multiple times?) something spiked through our network, and caused some disruptions. Now, I’m not an IT guy. I can make my home network function, and get most computers online, but when it gets much beyond that I’m done. Don’t ask me to spoof a MAC address or explain the numbers in an IP address. I just don’t know how it works. But about 30 seconds before the key video piece was to roll in the 2nd service our ProPresenter machine lost it’s link to Planning Center Online.

Linking Planning Center Online and ProPresenter saves tons of time. And most weeks isn’t an issue. But this particular Sunday, the presentation software locked up, and when restarted, it wouldn’t let us access anything past the song portion of the service. Restart the program, reboot the machine, nothing mattered. Later we couldn’t even re-link the entire service. The final solution was to rebuild a new playlist that wasn’t linked to PCO for the last service. But in that moment…

That moment when the lights go dark and the video doesn’t roll, and then the pastor gets up and apologizes for technical failure that no one could have prevented… You just want to kick a computer. I finally just grabbed the sermon notes and the video for playback and threw them into a part of the ProPresenter playlist we could access. That got us through the service, and the video was shown, and the pastor was able to introduce the project.

So, breath deep, service over. Presentation rebuilt and fixed. Network issue bypassed.

Except our main projectors are also on the network. It’s how you power them off and on, and tweak settings. Whatever was happening in the network wasn’t done yet. And in the first couple of songs of the last service the projectors kept shutting down. Our lighting technician had the brilliant thought to rip the network cables out of the machines, and then they both stayed on and passed signal. So two major issues in two separate services. Both probably caused by the same network issue, whatever that might have been.

It’s just a horrible feeling knowing that gear you are trying to operate is causing disruptions in worship. I’ve seen videos that look like Max Headroom recorded them playback in service. (That’s telling my age) Had audio fail to start with video playback more times than I can remember. Had lights burn out, projectors bulbs go out right before services. Had what sounded like thunder go off through a sound system when a DSP died right in the middle of a sermon. These weren’t operator errors, just machine malfunctions.

Here’s the bottom line: In every situation- God was praised, the word was preached, and people’s lives were changed.

God doesn’t need fancy tech stuff to speak to his people. Yes, we use it to enhance and communicate, but technology isn’t required for church. It’s so frustrating when tech fails, but I try (am still trying today) to rest in the knowledge that God is bigger than that, and he speaks in spite of any issues. And then I try to figure out how to prevent that failure from every happening again.