ProPresenter Text Stream

Continuation of Part 1 – Poor Man’s Lyric Overlay

There is a significant limitation to the “Poor Man’s” Lyric Overlay discussed earlier.  When the lyric overlay is enabled, any shots other than wide full-stage views suffer from having only the lower 2/3rds available.

Closeup with Overlay

This is the reason lyric overlay typically is only the words without the background fill.  Separating the text from the background is accomplished on the switcher by inputting both the text (on any background) and a second input of the alpha cutout mask.

ProPresenter 5 can provide these two outputs for the switcher with the Alpha Keyer Module.  But… it’s a $500 add-on, requires a $1,000 UltraStudio 3D or DeckLink HD Extreme 3D, and needs a more capable computer.

ProPresenter StageDisplay App

Renewed Vision has an iOS application (iPod/iPhone/iPad/etc) that provides a text-only display for people on the stage to see the lyrics without having to look at the projection.  This is available on iTunes for $10.

Their app is getting the lyrics, as plain text, from the computer running ProPresenter.  A custom application should be able to receive the same information, without having to purchase the app.

Their documentation refers to the information on the screen as the “text stream.”  With the text of the lyrics available, images representing the text as foreground and an alpha channel can be generated without depending on ProPresenter.

Network Connection

Access to the text stream needs to be turned on in ProPresenter.  This is done in Preferences, on the Network tab, called “Remote Stage Display Server Settings”.  Enabled it with a check.

Remote Stage Display Server Settings

With the Remote Stage Display Server on, a TCP connection can be established with the ProPresenter computer.

telnet hostip port

No response will follow until logging in.  ProPresenter structures the data in the TCP packets in XML.  This makes it very easy to work with.  It also expects to receive communication in XML.  To log in, send the following:


After successfully establishing the connection, you will begin receiving <DisplayLayouts> and <StageDisplayData> information structured nicely in xml.

If you found this information helpful, would you consider helping me?  I’ve invested time and money doing this research.  Perhaps you could help cover the cost of the $10 app.

One Response to ProPresenter Text Stream

  1. […] Continued on Part 2 – ProPresenter Text Stream […]

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