Syncstarter – alternative video playback syncer


In the video art field there are many artworks requiring the real-time synced playback of audio/video.

We develop free and open source digital video syncstarter software to distribute and exhibit multi-channel video artworks requiring synced playback of multiple videos on multiple screens.

The tradition of syncstarter development was initiated by René Coelho in Amsterdam (Montevideo, 1980); Since 2005 digital syncstarter solutions are developed in the Artlab to continue the artisanal tradition of syncing videos using computers.

We emphasize the freedom to share and re-use the digital code we produce: all our software is licensed as free and open source (GNU General Public License), packaged and published using readable and well established standards, running on publicly available and affordable hardware.

Our digital video syncstarter software is used to exhibit video installations of Linda Wallace, Calin Dan, Peter Bogers, Erwin Olaf, Sami Kallinen, Lydia Schouten, Julika Rudelius, Magnus Monfeldt, Broersen & Lukacs, Semiconductor and other artists distributed by NIMk.


The digital video syncstarter software development is lead by Denis Jaromil Roio with reviews and contributions by Wiel Seuskens, Robert De Geus and Ramon Coelho.




This software comes AS IS, in the hope it will be useful but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY (see GNU General Public License): you can download, study, modify, setup and use it as you wish.

Our staff offers support, ad-hoc setup and shipping of video installations packaged in easy and solid “one button” ON/OFF PC solutions or assist the installation of your own sync-starter.

If you are interested in hiring us for such a support, contact Jaromil via e-mail with details.

High Definition (HD)

HDSync provides sync playback on HD (1080p) hardware decoders.

Development of this software just started and it is still in alpha stage.

This software so far runs on WD TV Live devices customised with B-Rad’s firmwareWDLXTV-live.



We’d like to support more devices in future, you can help us with hardware donations!

HD :: Features

  • Easy to use (just put files in a USB stick)
  • Low cost (each device approx. 100 EUR)
  • scalable UDP based network sync of multiple PCs
  • minimalist GNU design, POSIX.1b portable C code

HD :: Requirements

In order to prepare HDSync for usage on WDLXTV you need to use a MIPSEL toolchain (likethe one provided by Western Digital) and use it to compile this software.

If you are interested in helping with development, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Once this project will reach a stable stage of development, we’ll be able to provide support for its usage.

HD :: Downloads

Software releases are published as free and open source software (GNU GPL v3) free to download from

A setup manual is provided for those who like to try out the early releases of this software,download here the HDSync Setup Manual

HD :: Specification

Here below a flowchart describing how we syncstart multiple devices, this document is subject to changes as development progresses:



Standard Definition (SD)

IvySync provides such functionality for Mpeg2 supported hardware decoders (full PAL/NTSC up to 16/9) , with fail-proof precision, continuing Montevideo’s historical activities in the video synchronization field.

Software releases are published as free and open source software (GNU GPL v3) free to download from



SD :: Features

  • frame accurate sync of DVD quality video (up to 16/9)
  • syncing up to 4 videos 8 audio channels from each PC
  • scalable UDP based network sync of multiple PCs
  • S/Video and composite output for audio and video
  • smooth playback of videos from harddisk or LAN
  • remotely controllable thru XML-RPC commands
  • multiple playlist scheduling via simple text files
  • minimalist GNU design, POSIX.1b portable C code
  • based on a the well stable Linux driver IvyTV

SD :: Requirements

The following requirements are applicable in case you are going to set up a IvySync syncstarter on your own, which requires some computer skills and understanding of GNU/Linux systems: much less is necessary if we assist you in the task (see the “Support” section below).

In order to operate correctly the IvySync software, one needs to have a PC installed with aGNU operating system and a real-time patched Linux kernel.

In addition to that also a video card supported by IvyTV and capable of playback is necessary (beware not all of the models listed in the hardware support page have a MPEG decoder on them).

At last, some hand-crafted configuration is necessary to start the ivysync process directly from init(8) and take care of autostart options: we use ad-hoc configurations of our dyne:bolic GNU/Linux liveCD distribution for the purpose.