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Equipment Discussions >> Electronically Assisted Astronomy

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Mini DVR's Revisited
      #5645266 - 01/26/13 11:13 PM

Not too long ago the market was full of all sorts of flash card or HDD based DVR's from a multitude of brands .
Cowon, RCA , Archos , etc to name just a few each had several models .
Today there are numerous portable video players , much slimmer , with larger screens and longer battery life but almost all lacking the analog video inputs needed to connect an astro-video camera.
There is the Orion DVR , which is a relatively know quantity , used and liked by many. It's expensive for what it does, whch is essentially a portion of a point and shoot camera without the CCD itself.
There are some other less known devices.
I personally have bought a Chinese DVR , model Angel eye KS-650M , which is doing its job just fine so far. It was cheap where I bought it but I've seen it sold for more than the Orion by some retailers.
I've also seen a JinXing (or something) JXD990 and its smaller brethren .
I'm curious what other options are out there, especially if combined with other features, such as wireless live view and/or remote control for the camera . Or even wired but remote live-view and remote control for the camera.
At least for standard rs485 controlled cctv sens-up cameras , there are such options .


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5645882 - 01/27/13 11:32 AM

The Orion is right in line price wise with most of the small DVRs on the market. Do I wish it were cheaper? Sure. I wish everything were cheaper.

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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: rmollise]
      #5645953 - 01/27/13 12:19 PM

Quote:

The Orion is right in line price wise with most of the small DVRs on the market. Do I wish it were cheaper? Sure. I wish everything were cheaper.



This thread is not about Orion prices , let's keep it about what OTHER devices are out there and used by astronomers.


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John59
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/06/11

Loc: Round Rock,TX
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5645984 - 01/27/13 12:36 PM

I too have the angel eye and although it does well, the date time stamp which cannot be turned off can be annoying.
I am thinking about the JinXing JDX 951 but would like to find a US distributor.
The older Archos were great too and I wish I had kept mine. Oh well hind sight is always 20-20


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5646113 - 01/27/13 01:49 PM

Quote:


This thread is not about Orion prices , let's keep it about what OTHER devices are out there and used by astronomers.




Then you shouldn't have mentioned the price factor...

More to the point:

WHEN you become the moderator here, you can decide what I can or cannot post. Till then? Not so much.

Edited by rmollise (01/27/13 04:25 PM)


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Jamie
member


Reged: 05/08/05

Loc: Cortez, FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5646148 - 01/27/13 02:16 PM

Mat,
Pretty hypocritical if I say so!
You spent a lot of words bashing Rock about price, and now you say this - WOW!!!


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: Jamie]
      #5646529 - 01/27/13 05:45 PM

Quote:

Mat,
Pretty hypocritical if I say so!
You spent a lot of words bashing Rock about price, and now you say this - WOW!!!



Damn if I do, damn if I don't ???


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: rmollise]
      #5646602 - 01/27/13 06:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:


This thread is not about Orion prices , let's keep it about what OTHER devices are out there and used by astronomers.




Then you shouldn't have mentioned the price factor...

More to the point:

WHEN you become the moderator here, you can decide what I can or cannot post. Till then? Not so much.




ok, then keep posting at each step that Orion this and Orion that . You should ask them for a commission , I'm sure people buy that Orion overpriced Chinese DVR (built like a tank??? maybe a holding tank ) because you praise it at every opportunity .


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rmollise
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5646675 - 01/27/13 06:45 PM

I tell it like it is. If you don't like that, sorry, but the answer is simple, don't read my posts.



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MisterBill
super member


Reged: 09/18/10

Loc: Geezerville aka S.FL, MILE 264
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: rmollise]
      #5646734 - 01/27/13 07:15 PM

Matt,
Sounds like you could use a Snickers.

BTW: "It's Damned if I do and Damned if I don't"

Also, out of the 10 times "Orion" is mentioned you did 6. Maybe you should get the commission.

Bill


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Knuklhdastrnmr
Fumble feet


Reged: 02/24/05

Loc: Beerpuddle, Colorado
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: MisterBill]
      #5647604 - 01/28/13 08:54 AM

I am the new moderator here. Let's keep this civil. Thanks.

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ccs_hello
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: Knuklhdastrnmr]
      #5648900 - 01/28/13 06:26 PM

Folks,

Price, quality, and effortless to have/use, can only pick two.

So IMHO, there is no absolute right or wrong. Let's keep an open mind and we all might be surprised if we listen.

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 one additional question

1. With the money spent (about $83), (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 and better.

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


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jambi99
sage


Reged: 08/14/10

Loc: Québec, Canada
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5649435 - 01/28/13 10:58 PM

Well, i kinda agree with Matt. We should welcome initiave like this. Astronomy is not a cheap hobby. I'm young and i have debt. If i can save 127 $ on a DVR , i would be more than happy to listen to other persons for finds like this. One must be hypocrite for not recognizing and promoting such practice.

Yes, the orion DVR is overpriced

If its not expensive enough for you, just don't buy it!.


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: jambi99]
      #5650017 - 01/29/13 10:42 AM

Kind of in the dark here on exactly we are talking about, and as always CSS is talking wayyyy over my head,, .. From what I gather this is more than just viewing thru a DVD player but is instant recording? From what I can gather CSS is saying a computer with DVD burner can not only record as the Orion can but has more options to it as we'll??? But just be aware of the pixels and resolution rate of it ,,, Am I in the right ballpark, ?Kasey

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mclewis1
Thread Killer
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: dragonslayer1]
      #5650152 - 01/29/13 11:57 AM

Kasey,

I think you've got it.

These little memory based DVR units record while they display video images ... a nice feature so you can store and later review what you've been looking at during the night.

Orion sells a nice self contained unit as part of it's astronomy/imaging product family with a premium on it's price. Orion has been around for a while in the astro community and is therefore a well know commodity.

There are other online sources for similar self contained DVRs. The folks selling these have little or no astronomy knowledge but have cheaper prices.

A laptop PC with a video frame grabber can also be used to capture and display video images in the field, and if you already have a suitable one or purchase a reasonable used PC you can save yourself a bit of money. A PC also gives you quite a bit of flexibility as to how you store your images (direct to disk, wifi back to another PC, burn a CD/DVD, write to a memory device, etc.).


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mclewis1]
      #5650485 - 01/29/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

Kasey,

I think you've got it.

These little memory based DVR units record while they display video images ... a nice feature so you can store and later review what you've been looking at during the night.

Orion sells a nice self contained unit as part of it's astronomy/imaging product family with a premium on it's price. Orion has been around for a while in the astro community and is therefore a well know commodity.

There are other online sources for similar self contained DVRs. The folks selling these have little or no astronomy knowledge but have cheaper prices.

A laptop PC with a video frame grabber can also be used to capture and display video images in the field, and if you already have a suitable one or purchase a reasonable used PC you can save yourself a bit of money. A PC also gives you quite a bit of flexibility as to how you store your images (direct to disk, wifi back to another PC, burn a CD/DVD, write to a memory device, etc.).



Using the PC is the usual approach. It gives countless options and flexibility , more than any stand alone device.
The reason I am trying to get away from Pc use in the field is that video astro does not require such accurate guiding if at all, therefore no PC needed for that function. A stand alone DVR or a modern DSLR that can do live view and record video would work on their own internal batteries and not require the tangled mess of wires and cables for this and that to cconnect, and they wouldn't require deep cycle batteries to be hauled around. Makes a grab and go setup really more grab and go .


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5650604 - 01/29/13 03:37 PM

Ok, so I'm still waiting for suggestions. Has anyone tried anything other than the little Orion recorder? I, too, am trying to avoid the complexity of dragging a PC into the field. I just want a self-contained, battery powered gizmo that will display and record a video image from a composite or s-video source.

/Ira


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: Ira]
      #5650707 - 01/29/13 04:37 PM

Quote:

Ok, so I'm still waiting for suggestions. Has anyone tried anything other than the little Orion recorder? I, too, am trying to avoid the complexity of dragging a PC into the field. I just want a self-contained, battery powered gizmo that will display and record a video image from a composite or s-video source.

/Ira



I personally tried (and still own and use) the KS-650M device .
I started this thread to find what other altenatives are out there.


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ccs_hello
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 07/03/04

Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: mattflastro]
      #5650894 - 01/29/13 06:30 PM

Interesting device using Zoran ZR36494 compression engine/SoC. The menu page shows 800x600/640x480 (more appropriate)/320x240 and 10/20/30 FPS.

I would say if it is doing MPEG2, 640x480 at 30 FPS, then it's a winner.

Matt, can you use "Format Factory" or "Media File Info" to know the detailed recorded video file info (e.g., MPEG1 or 2, which profile, data rate, etc.)?


P.S. this toy is using a Zoran which is a good indication .

Also, many inexpensive fleabay units are using MPEG4 (MP4).


Clear Skies!

ccs_hello


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dragonslayer1
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/25/12

Loc: SLC, UT
Re: Mini DVR's Revisited new [Re: ccs_hello]
      #5651903 - 01/30/13 09:40 AM

Thanks Mark, you Canucks sure have a lot of info What I have now is the VVS+ with remote controller, i.e. no computer needed. I do have a HP laptop with several apps on it for Astronomy, SSGA, Celestron nextstar5, etc. I also have an I pad with the Sky Safari Pro. For frame grabber I just need the cables and the program for it, does it come with the cables?

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