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Wireless Live Video View Anyone ?

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#1 mattflastro

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

There seem to be some real options out there nowadays for doing wireless live video feed from the camera attached to the scope out to the happy camper sitting comfortably in his home nearby .
Given this group is geared toward using non-computers(or should I say no PCs/Macs , because in the end, the little video cams and digicams all have embedded computers insde and so do the wireless servers and video standard converters ), what solutions are people using ?
I'm interested in any solution complexity level, be it a simple M4/3 camera with embedded Wifi being accessed on your ipad from your car parked next to the scope, to analog video cameras feeding some video sender , to anything else in-between .
Not so much interested in any camera feeding a frame grabber + computer next to the scope and then networking or VNC or other complex form of sending the video that would involve PC's/Macs .
I've even seen a Toshiba wireless Wifi dome camera (Sony Exview CCD) being astro modified and attached to a scope and being accessed via smartphone over the web.

#2 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

Matt,

RF analog video transmitter has been a discussion topic before in this subforum. The major issue on that is most of the design is not using ISM band and the Tx power exceeds the guideline thus is a FCC violation. <-- big fine

If not using that approach, a common solution is to use a blackbox: "IP camera with WiFi transfer" approach.

That method digitize video (or directly using the digital video signal in video cam's DSP) and compressed it down (MPEG4 is most popular nowadays) to stream over 2.4GHz ISM band (sometimes using IP, some just direct modulate.)
Drawbacks are: video signal is compressed, send over ISM which is already congested, and higher cost to manufacture (thus high price tag).

IMHO,
although many first joined this camp initially did not want to use many technology oriented products (i.e., wants as easy as possible), the nature of the beast (remote control the mount, focuser, video cam control, and send video to far away) will eventually train people to understand the technology better. With all these needs combined together, I think the best option is to use an inexpensive laptop near the mount, then use VNC/Splashtop/TeamViewer etc. in the PC/Android/iPad in the living room linked by WiFi. Much easier and cost-effective that way.

In another word, I don't want to underestimate the human potential. VAA may help people to get warm up fast, but there is room to grow.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#3 mattflastro

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

Matt,

RF analog video transmitter has been a discussion topic before in this subforum. The major issue on that is most of the design is not using ISM band and the Tx power exceeds the guideline thus is a FCC violation. <-- big fine

If not using that approach, a common solution is to use a blackbox: "IP camera with WiFi transfer" approach.

That method digitize video (or directly using the digital video signal in video cam's DSP) and compressed it down (MPEG4 is most popular nowadays) to stream over 2.4GHz ISM band (sometimes using IP, some just direct modulate.)
Drawbacks are: video signal is compressed, send over ISM which is already congested, and higher cost to manufacture (thus high price tag).

IMHO,
although many first joined this camp initially did not want to use many technology oriented products (i.e., wants as easy as possible), the nature of the beast (remote control the mount, focuser, video cam control, and send video to far away) will eventually train people to understand the technology better. With all these needs combined together, I think the best option is to use an inexpensive laptop near the mount, then use VNC/Splashtop/TeamViewer etc. in the PC/Android/iPad in the living room linked by WiFi. Much easier and cost-effective that way.

In another word, I don't want to underestimate the human potential. VAA may help people to get warm up fast, but there is room to grow.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

You are right, until recently the situation was the way you describe it .
However, now there are a multitude of products on the market now that stream video wirelessly (and multimedia in general) to HDTV's . They mostly migrated in the higher 5.8GHz leaving the congested 2.4 .
At 5.8GHz things are more line of sight and less prone to interference due to various reasons beyond the scope of this post .
I've seen such devices on shelves at major retailers such as Best Buy and similar.
They all carry FCC ID tags that are legal .
Bandwidth is plenty and HDTV signal quality requires more than our astro video cameras, so if these devices have even a passable quality for the living room wide screen TV's, they'd be more than good for us.
As a matter of fact watching one of these systems at my local Best Buy prompted my question .
The device was sold for less than $200 for a pair of point to point but expandable to multipoint .
It did use Wifi technology but with no computer or user configuration needed. Just HDMI plug and play out of the box . Small size and powered off small wallwarts.

#4 Dwight J

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

For web cams like ToU and others, I have used the iCam app on my iPod to view wirelessly. Part of the app is a small program on your computer that takes the webcam output and sends it to the iPod. Very helpful when focusing as I can see the image while I am at the scope, especially for solar. It can "see" up to 4 cameras at once and is designed to monitor security cameras. I haven't tried it with anything other than a webcam but this gives me an idea to try it with other cameras.

#5 mattflastro

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:11 AM

I was thinking of stuff like the Pixel Expert wireless live view and remote .
It is legal, has a current FCC approval issued on 15/2/2012 with the FCC ID X5SEXPERT-402RX .
The LCD unit is a "remote viewfinder" and also a camera remote .
The camera unit is not only controlling the camera but also sendng video to the "remote viewfinder" from the camera it controls , plus a small wide field camera that is embedded into the camera unit . I was thinking that this smaller camera could be attached to a finder scope while the main camera that is on the bg scope would be controlled by this remote . One could have a wide field feedback while the scope is slewing to targets from this smaller camera and then a live feed from the main camera/main scope.
The view is not restricted to the portable LCD unit , because it has A/V outputs to be connected to a DVR and/or larger remote screens .

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#6 ccs_hello

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Similar comments as in my post in another thread:

Back to the original topic, for this class of devices, I'll ask few questions:
- what is the codec used in video compression
- what is the data rate
- what resolution is retained
(Worse case, if all three are in the combinations: MPEG4, very low data rate, and QVGA format)
If the mfg does not publishes it, I'd say it's a consumer grade, bet your luck situation.
- what is the LCD display resolution (e.g., the device might be QVGA 320x240 <-- I wouldn't like it, unless its a 2.5" or smaller format)

Then I'd like to ask two additional questions:

1. if your house is full of 2.4GHz gears (WiFi, some cordless phones, some security monitoring devices, Bluetooth, some computer mice, and other ISM gears), and do not forget your neighbours', how much you can tolerate about the collision and throughput degradation?
2.4GHz ISM band is congested and current 5.8GHz ISM is less congested, but who knows when... With 5.8, the higher frequency is now more like a light beam which is also not good.

2. With this type of money spent, (sorry talking about price, but who has unlimited astro budget?), I'd rather go for a refurb high-end Core-2-Duo laptop at less than $200 price tag to address almost all tasks. (Worth more than that $320 device.)

If the mountain will have to be conquered, why not starting from today?

This is just my 0.02 thought process and you are entitled to have your own opinions.

Clear Skies!

ccs_hello

#7 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

When doing wireless transmission. You have to ask yourself one question first. “Are you willing to bring out a laptop, table, and cords in order to accomplish this or do you simply want to transmit wirelessly directly from the camera”.

The two answers to that question(Yes or No) will lead you down two entirely different paths.

Right now I am not willing to bring out a laptop. The wireless transmission from my Panasonic GH3 is just about the best thing I have come across so far. If you have a large screen phone or tablet it produces a great image with almost no lag at all.

And best of all it allows you to transmit not only the near real time video feed but it also allows you to transmit and post the images the camera captures. It is great to be able to stack images in camera and post those full resolution images to the internet in near real time.

I have shot a video demonstrating what it is capable of. However, I just haven’t had a chance to edit and post it yet. I will try to do that in the next couple of days.

#8 Rat8bug

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

I'm desiring the same thing. Been playing around with a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera. features include wifi, time-lapse, HDMI out, wireless remote. weather here is too bad for outdoor tryouts, but potential is there. Here is shown a wireless tranmission via wifi to an iPad3, using a GoPro Hero 3 App. I have a Samsung Smart TV, and it has wifi; so here is a means to scan skies indoors during very cold weather.

http://www.cloudynig...ipad_questar...

Ciao...Barry

#9 mpgxsvcd

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

I'm desiring the same thing. Been playing around with a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera. features include wifi, time-lapse, HDMI out, wireless remote. weather here is too bad for outdoor tryouts, but potential is there. Here is shown a wireless tranmission via wifi to an iPad3, using a GoPro Hero 3 App. I have a Samsung Smart TV, and it has wifi; so here is a means to scan skies indoors during very cold weather.

http://www.cloudynig...ipad_questar...

Ciao...Barry


I have the GoPro 3 Black as well. Its wireless capabilities are not very good when compared to what the GH3 will do. Also there is no way to control the shutter duration with it. You are always in Program Priority mode with Auto ISO.

Basically, I can’t fathom how the GoPro 3 would be useful for AP. However, I am all ears if you figure out a way to do it.

#10 mattflastro

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

I'm desiring the same thing. Been playing around with a GoPro Hero 3 Black camera. features include wifi, time-lapse, HDMI out, wireless remote. weather here is too bad for outdoor tryouts, but potential is there. Here is shown a wireless tranmission via wifi to an iPad3, using a GoPro Hero 3 App. I have a Samsung Smart TV, and it has wifi; so here is a means to scan skies indoors during very cold weather.

http://www.cloudynig...ipad_questar...

Ciao...Barry


I have the GoPro 3 Black as well. Its wireless capabilities are not very good when compared to what the GH3 will do. Also there is no way to control the shutter duration with it. You are always in Program Priority mode with Auto ISO.

Basically, I can’t fathom how the GoPro 3 would be useful for AP. However, I am all ears if you figure out a way to do it.

While the Gopro 3 Black Ed might be cool for sports, it has a major drawback in the image sensor .
It uses a Sony Exmor IMX117 that is very very tiny, 7.8mm diagonal and has 1.5 x 1.5 micron pixels .
Sensitivity is only 200mV , which is less than 1/10 the sensitivity of the Super HAd 2 CCD's .






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