Setting up Karaoke (KTV) like an actual Karaoke place at home using JetKTV

As many people are aware, Karaoke is popular among Asian people.  Generally, people go to a Karaoke establishment to enjoy it, but it can also be done at home.  Current methods involve juggling a bunch of VCD’s, DVD’s, or even LD’s to get the wanted song.  Karaoke establishments have all set up systems for people to use a computer to choose a song from a database (by artist, name, gender, etc.) that will be played on the TV.  This set up can be replicated at home.

This guide presents how to mimic the system used in professional karaoke establishments at home.  The software this system uses revolves around a Taiwanese program called JetKTV.  Much of the content from this guide was drawn from Chinese language websites discussing the usage of this program (scroll all the way down for References).    There is little literature on this subject in English and so this guide presents basically an English version of the reference sites plus a few added notes.

The program used is in Chinese, so people who are not fluent in Chinese may have a hard time navigating through the software.  Those who are brave enough to continue or have a basic knowledge of Chinese with better English fluency may find it helpful to see English instructions.  The Chinese sites on this subject are also written for older versions, and the setup procedure for those older versions are slightly different.

jetktv

Contents

Proposed Setup

The proposed setup of all the hardware (TV’s, amps, computer, etc.) is in the diagram below.

ksetup

The computer will play the chosen Karaoke videos and transmit the video signal to the TV (via extended display like in a dual monitor set up).  The computer’s audio will go to an amplifier or a mixer, which is then transmitted to a set of speakers.  Microphones are plugged into the amplifier/mixer is well so that the speakers can also play the sound picked up by the microphones.  Depending on the hardware, the cables could be different (some TV’s may not have HD output etc.)The  computer is the source of all the signals transmitted to the other devices and must be set up with the Karaoke software.

Setting up JetKTV2010

The PC will use the following software:

  • JetKTV2010 (link)
  • SongMgr (link – optional – not helpful on English language PC’s and downloading it requires an account – more on that topic later)

It is helpful to set up the software using a dual monitor setup.  That way, it is easier to test without having to go and plug the computer to the TV each time.

Unzip the contents of the JetKTV2010 program in a folder and open JetKTV2010.exe.  The GUI buttons are for searching through the database (by looking for the artist, song name, etc.) to find the wanted song. Once a song is selected, it will be added to the list of songs to play just like the software at actual Karaoke establishments. The video will play in full screen on one monitor and the song picker GUI will say on another monitor.  To close the program, click on the top left corner of the GUI (hidden button).

Some of the software features in addition to searching and adding songs:

  • Skipping songs
  • Fast forwarding, pausing, etc.
  • Switching from one audio channel to both audio channels (alternating between vocal on/off)

This program reads from a database that contains the song names, artists, language, etc.   Therefore, it does not come with songs.  Songs must be downloaded separately and added on.  These can come from existing DVD’s or YouTube.  The next section will explain how to populate the database.

Populating the Database

The SongMgr program mentioned above can add/remove contents from the database, but there are problems with it when using it on English language PC’s due to problems in encoding some of the Chinese characters.  Even Microsoft AppLocale fails to rectify the problems.  The solution is to use Microsoft Access to open up the database file directly and make changes.

Adding one song can seem like a lengthy process at the first try, but it will get easier as one becomes more familiar with the system.

Inserting A New Song

To insert a new song, one must navigate to the table where the songs are stored and then add an entry to it.

  1. Open Song.mdbin the JetKTV program directory
  2. When prompted for a password, input “tmwcmgumbonqd” without quotes
  3. Navigate to the table Tbl_Song.  This is the table that records all the song entries.

Below is an explanation of each column:

  • Song_ID: numerical identifier for each song (the program lists them as 5 digit numbers starting at 10000)
  • Song_Title: song title
  • Song_Singer: each singer has a unique number associated with them (see next section)
  • Song_Singer (2nd one): the name of the artist in text
  • Song_Word: number of characters in the song name
  • Song_Type: a number representing a language (Mandarin,Taiwanese,Cantonese,Hakka Chinese,English,Japanese,Movies,Cartoons,Other  in that order starting from 1)
  • Song_Volume: song volume, but not sure what units they are in.  Default value is 70.
  • Song_Channel: the audio channel that does not have the vocal track. (1-Left, 2-Right, 3-Both)
  • Song_FileName: filename of the video without the directory
  • Song_Path: the directory to the file (could use absolute pathing only, but unsure of whether relative paths work)
  • Song_Create: the time that the song was added in
  • Song_Count: the play count of a song
  • Song_Juyin: the Zhuyin characters representing the song title
  • Song_Stroke: number of strokes in the first character of the song name

Some of the columns can be left out, but that means that it will not be possible to find a particular song using the omitted information.  For example, Song_Juyin can be left out for those who dont use the Zhuyin system, and that feature won’t be used for song searching anyway.

To add a song, fill out the following information at the minimum on one row:

  • Song_ID (must be a unique number and should have five digits)
  • Song_Title
  • Song_Singer
  • Song_Volume (70 is the default)
  • Song_Channel
  • Song_FileName
  • Song_Path

For the Song_Singer information, refer to the next section.

Inserting A New Artist

Artist information is stored on a different table called Tbl_Singer

  1. Open the table called Tbl_Singer
  2. Fill out an entire row to add a new singer (see below for the reference for each information column)

Below is an explanation of each column:

  • Singer_ID: unique identifier for each singer (this is the unique ID that is to put inserted in the Song_Singer column in Tbl_Song)
  • Singer_Sex: singer gender (0-Female, 1-Male, 2-Group/Band)
  • Singer_Name: artist name in text
  • Singer_Juyin: the Zhuyin characters representing the artist name
  • Singer_Stroke: number of strokes in the first character of the artist’s name

Testing

One a song or two has been entered into the database, one can test it by opening up the JetKTV program and trying to pick a song.  It is working when one screen shows the video playing and another screen showing the JetKTV GUI.

One can also try clicking the button labeled “導唱” to test if the audio channels are set up properly (toggling it turns on and off the vocals).

The next step would be to plug in the computer with all the television components and then trying it again.  Once everything works, the system is ready.

References

All reference sites are in Chinese

[1] 動手打造窮人 KTV <http://www.jetktv.ktvdiy.com/>

[2] [影音相關] JetKTV 輕鬆打造免費 KTV 點唱機 (進階設定篇) <http://www.soft4fun.net/video-related/%E5%BD%B1%E9%9F%B3%E7%9B%B8%E9%97%9C-jetktv-%E8%BC%95%E9%AC%86%E6%89%93%E9%80%A0%E5%85%8D%E8%B2%BB-ktv-%E9%BB%9E%E5%94%B1%E6%A9%9F-%E9%80%B2%E9%9A%8E%E8%A8%AD%E5%AE%9A%E7%AF%87.htm#doublescr>

[3] 峰網誌 JetKTV-DIY電腦點歌機..軟體篇 <http://www.wretch.cc/blog/Linpy/4853370>

Posted on January 2, 2012, in computer stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. So I have to download the songs seperately?? Will I be able to have cantonese or english songs also?

  2. Will I need an amplifier/mixer? Will I need speakers? Where do i connect the audio and video chord?

    • Yes, the songs are separate. You will be able to play any language song you want, provided that you have added them to the database.

      You only need hardware to play sound. You can typically use whatever hardware you have so long as you are able to connect the audio output from the computer to the speaker.

      • Thanks for reply. So where do I get the songs from and add them into the database? Looking forward to get it to work!

      • You can find the songs from YouTube. Just make sure to get the video with the karaoke subs. This software doesn’t add them in and isn’t designed to. Also, you can also find KTV versions, which have singing on one audio channel so that you can turn the channel on and off to toggle the human singing track.

  3. Hi. Thanks for the explaination. I got everything set up. But now need to add songs into database. I am not sure how you fill it in from song.mdb. Would you kindly make an example and explain through it. Appreciate it. Thanks!

    • You edit it like an Excel sheet, but it is just that you have to follow a particular format for entering artist names. There is a section on adding songs on the database just above. But if there is anything unclear, feel free to ask.

  4. May I ask what is “Song_FileName: filename of the video without the directory” and “Song_Path: the directory to the file (could use absolute pathing only, but unsure of whether relative paths work)”…can I use youtube videos in the excel system? I just fill in the info and it will be added automatically??

    • You first have to download the video from YouTube using a program such as VDownloader. Once you have it in mpg format somewhere on your hard drive, you will be able to fill in those sections. Song_FileName is just the name of the video file and Song_Path is just the directory for where the file is located. Hope that helps!

  5. Thanks for the guide. It was really simple to follow! I’m so glad there was an English guide or else I wouldn’t be able to setup this karaoke system for my father. Do you know how to put KTVs from DVDs? Do you need to rip them to mpeg first? Thanks!

  6. Hi, I followed above steps to add songs by using excel, what type of excel file should I save as: excel worksheet or excel binary worksheet? Thanks

    • The file to be saved should be the format used for Microsoft Access databases. The database file is intended to be edited with Access and not Excel, so there might be some issue there.

  7. I used Microsoft Access to add songs, and singers to databases. I tried to input song path as D:\ (where I saved my songs) and tried to input song path as D:\name of song. I downloaded KTV version Karaoke video from youtube and they are mp4 files. Unfortunately, as soon as I enter song ID number, it keeps saying “unable to locate file”. Did I input my song path incorrect? Kindly regards.

    • I’m not sure if the program is able to view mp4 files actually – I haven’t tried. Assuming the paths or correct, that might be the problem. I’ve been using the old mpeg or dat formats (like the old school VCD’s).

    • Hi, andrew. I get the same problem like yours “unable to locate”. How did you solve the problem?

  8. Hi, I am wondering if anybody else have this problem. For some tracks, I noticed when I pick the non vocal song channel, I no longer can toggle to the vocal track. For other songs, I can toggle the vocals to be on/off. I know for a fact that the song does have a vocal and non vocal track because I can select them manually if I input 1,2,3 for song channel in the MDB. I would appreciate if anybody can help me work around this. Cheers!

    • That’s interesting. Have you been using this system in practice a lot? I haven’t so I haven’t encountered that issue.

      Could it be because the vocal/non-vocal track setting in the database is incorrect? There is a setting for left side vocal and right side vocal. The information I have in the blog post worked for me for the songs I tried, but there might be bugs in the program that is preventing this from working.

  9. I’ve got the song to play, only problem is that my JetKTV screen is blank

    • Probably the video uses a codec that JetKTV doesn’t support. The vast of majority of my videos are mpg’s. Maybe that will work better for you?

      • I am using mpeg, I’ve got everything linked, it’s just the small screen on the top right hand corner doesn’t work well when I played a song

      • Oh so it is playing in the fullscreen mode but not in the top right corner of the GUI? Maybe there is an issue with the video encoding. Where did you get the video from?

  10. Hi,

    I love your method! Thanks alot! However, there were 2 things i found problem with.

    1) There is no screen extension function on the JetTV you provided in the .rar document
    – I installed the full version and copied the ExtScreen document to resolve this issue

    2) The toggle for 導唱 is not working no matter what methods i tried.
    – I have to manually adjust the left/right volume control of my Windows system to resolve this issue as a temporary solution
    – Is there a solution to this as i understand from your previous feedback there could be a bug on it? Please help.

    Thanks!

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. Good to hear that you got the screen extension working via an alternative method. It has been a long time and I can’t remember anymore what I did. Regarding the other feature, I recall it wasn’t very robust. Is it not working at all for you? EDIT: sorry I forgot that you mentioned that it’s not working at all. Are you sure you have the vocal channel column filled out in the database entry?

  11. i followed the above instructions, but i only able to see the name of artist, cannot see the song

  12. Hi, do I need BOTH mixer and amplifier? Or an amplifier will be all right? Thanks!

    • You pretty much can use any audio output! Even the default computer output can work so you can use pretty much anything that can interface with your computer that is running the KTV software. You also need a separate output for the microphones

      • thx. so m trying to use the exact same set up you have shown on the diagram,and I am wondering if I can get some karaoke effect with mic connected to amps? (I got confused cuz somebody told me I have to connect mic to both amps and mixer)

      • I am not sure about that as I am not really knowledgeable in that area. Sorry!

  13. Thanks for this article! I can’t figure out how to display the GUI on my desktop monitor (VGA) and the full screen video on my TV (HDMI). I am using the extended screen option and have tried with the TV as the main monitor and the desktop monitor as the main monitor as well. Every time I play a video, it displays the menu GUI on the TV and the full screen video on the desktop monitor. I am using the most current version of Windows 8. Can anyone please help?

  14. No problem. Thanks anyways!

  1. Pingback: Karaoke: How to set up KTV at home | JC's Musings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: