I pulled the pin and order a Teradek Cube 255 (digital video transmitter).
It uses dual band 802.11n wifi, an whilst they quote 100m, I'm hoping to get 200m using a high powered Ubiquiti Networks Nanostation M access point.
I will post results when I receive it.
$1,990.00? Ouch! You must be pretty serious about something!
If you get a chance to crack the case please take some pictures and write down what chips it's using. It sure would be nice to have an open hardware version.
Good luck and be sure to post back your results and some video!
>If you get a chance to crack the case please take some pictures and write down what chips it's using. It sure would be nice to have an open hardware version.
Jake, that would be unethical, illegal, but most importantly unlikely to have good results. And it will definately void Hai's warranty:-)
We've invested close to $5M R&D to get Cube to the point we have it now; with the Cube-255 being one of the best. It's not a simple problem to solve (there's ~60 man-years of s/w dev in there), and not cheap to solve it well (we're using machinen T6061 chassis, OLED not LCD, and the best Li-Ion you can buy). There are competing products that offers less, some cheaper, but most comparable ones are far more expensive. There are cheaper Cubes too - it starts from $800, but the one Hai selected is top of the line. It really is cheap compared to it closest rival, and much smaller and lighter.
BTW, with some attention to details, it should get you more that 100m as is (check this guy's video http://teradek.tumblr.com/post/24159064729/live-broadcast-from-a-ci...), even more so if you add boosters and or directional antennas. We have guys in sailing streaming WiFi back from the yachts as much as 10km offshore.
Hai, enjoy your Cube! Please share results.
Not sure what country you are in, but I've never heard of anywhere where it is illegal to look inside a product you own.
Perhaps you misunderstood my comment. I wasn't suggesting he copy the PCB and all the components to make a carbon copy. Or even reverse engineer it somehow. I'm just curious what sort of processor and/or chips it's using.
I haven't yet seen any good single chip solutions for digital video, so I'm interested to see what is being used in those expensive units. There's nothing unethical about that.
As soon as some manufacturer starts making a single chip solution it's going to be easy to make these sort of devices and the prices will become reasonable. It seems kind of strange to me that this hasn't already happened despite the millions of digital TV devices being produced.
Depending on what state Hai lives in, opening the case may not void the warranty. Having a provision like this in a warranty is called a "tie-in sales provision". You are trying to force the customer to use your brand of replacement parts or use your repair service rather than service or parts from another company. This is illegal or unenforceable in many states.
You have to love that "your rights may vary from state to state and certain exclusions may not apply" line in every warranty. That's there so they can make up a bunch of bullshit so you think something isn't covered under warranty when in fact it is.
Jake I didn't mean to come across as a dick, just as a proud member of the Teradek family not wanting to be ripped off, and trying to explain why the cost is so high. Certainly he can take it apart, and take pictures - I was just pointing out that copying the design is copyright infringement, and since the assembly is tricky he might damage it, which will void the warranty in any state.
Actually I don't even mind sharing what chips we use - it's a Maxim MG3500 H.264 codec, and a Realtek 802.11abgn WiFi radio. It not the newest chips there is, but still the lowest power which also allow us the smallest size. That 2 of about 1000 pcs in there, but the rest fulfill smaller roles. Like I said the hard part is the software.
And FWIW, we've helped a few Heli guys take it apart before, since it's a community that loves to tinker and need to save every once, we get that. If I had a penny for every Cube that was taken apart.., but I digress.
So far there are no simple/cheap single chip system, except for WHDI, but that has huge power consumption, limited applications and very short range (but lower delay). I share your desire for a smaller cheaper commodity solution, it will allow us to address a much bigger market than what we currently can. Players like Broadcom is going there, hopefully we'll have something feasible soon. Until then, Cube is the badass'est solution out there.
Thanks for the reply. The Teradek lineup looks WAY too complicated for a DIY type project. Lot's of nice features, but must be damn complicated. As you mentioned, the firmware/software alone seems like a huge task.
But it would be nice to have some rudimentary digital video in the general price range of analog systems at some point. It's frustrating to have everything go digital, but not have nice little single chip solutions yet.
Hardware video encoders used to be a very specialized marked, but smartphones has changed that drastically. Today you will be hard pressed to find a new phone without hardware based realtime mpeg-4/h.264 HD encoding.
So get a small single board computer using one of those chips. This is my favoritte at the moment - http://www.toradex.com/Products/Colibri/Modules/Colibri-T20.
Then design a video interface using one of many available single chip solutions. Add or make a small wifi router and a write some Linux/Android code reusing existing streaming functionality and presto, you have a working realtime'ish HD video streamer. The big difference from such a system and the specialized Cube-255 would most likely be latency and stream robustness when you have signal degradation.
Very nice indeed
I have also gone a similar route but i'm using 2 bullet M5s with a High res IP camera. (I haven't purchased the camera yet)
I do have the luxury of a little more space though :0) I have no experience with ubiquiti products so will be spending some serious time nutting them out when I get home. Haven't even had the time to open the boxes yet!
Are you using the 1080i output of the go pro through the Teradek It looks to be a very compact solution!
What frequency do these units operate at?
I'm planning on outputting 1080P from my Sony NEX7 dSLR to the Teradek. Looking at providing live video for sporting events and commercial filming from an octo.
I'm looking forward to getting the Teradek. I'm hoping that with the Nanostation M 5.8Ghz wifi access points the range will be in the 150-200m range LOS.
John, Cube is 802.11abgn WiFi, so it's 2.4 or 5-5.8. Under your control.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.
I've just received my Cube 255 encoder and 450 decoder. I should start with a positive, but I'll start with a negative (as its shorter).
I think the power fly leads that were sent to me was not what I ordered. It connects to the 255 (which already has a built in battery), but it doesn't connect to the 450 which doesn't, so we had to test with the help of an inverter running off a car.
OK for the positive.
Ground test: We got 280 metres range using the stock antennas with about 300ms latency, it was noticeable but almost real time and maybe fast enough for FPV multicopter for filming or still photography, driving the car down a straight road until we hit the end of the T intersection. We were located in a light industrial area. We did have some frame freezes that lasted between 1 and 3 seconds a few times, and we only got a blue screen when we turned off the road and was NLOS. Given that the application is to stream from a multicopter at a max altitude of 121metres and range of 250m, I think that we can see that test # 1 is a PASS. It was night time so we haven't done a flight test yet but we are very pleased so far.
Our current setup:
Cube 255 encoder setup as an access point on 802.11n 5GHz band
Bitrate set at 500kbps
Cube 450 decoder setup as wireless client outputting HDMI to Lilliput 7" monitor
We are planning on trying the following to see if we can get better results:
Setting intra refresh mode to get latency down from 300ms to 100-130ms
Putting a high gain omni on the decoder for better range
Putting a patch antenna on the decoder for better range
Connecting to the encoder using a Ubiquiti Nanostation M in bridge mode, and connecting the UTP to the decoders wired port for better range.
Putting antenna extensions and positioning the two antennas on the Cube 255 further apart.
Bearing in mind, we do not see the need to operate any further that 250m, so if we could get low latency, interference free to 250m, it would be fantastic!
Thanks for the update.
Anyway you can post a sample of the video as received in real time on the ground?
I don't use the Teradek for recording on the ground (don't see the point), as the NEX7 records at 1080P 50fps.
I bought the Teradek to get interference free live video on the ground. So far so good, all the ground test show that we can get 300m no problems with no latency using standard antennas.