3G Video Stream

What is the status of video streaming? I believe the Dronecell is not 3G, so a 3G cellular board (like those available from Sparkfun) must be used? 

I was looking into the cellular video streaming problem a year or so ago, and I concluded that to get decent quality, H.264/MPEG4 compression should be used. The problem I ran into is that the encoder chips seem to be tightly controlled by the suppliers--none of them even seemed to release a datasheet without signing an NDA, and requiring the potential for high volume purchasing. 

Does this problem still need a solution, or has somebody already achieved efficient, low power, low weight, compact H.264 encoding for 3G?

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  • Do you mind if I ask what module this is? I'm trying to find a similar module for use in the EU.

  • Hi,

    I do stream my video and my telemetry over LTE network and it works very well:

    - under 100ms delay

    - with a very good quality

    I stream the raspberry camera module over to my base station.

    I have tried different transcoding techniques and different camera and this is my best combo so far.

    I use raspivid and netcat on the Raspberry Pi to do it:

    raspivid -hf -vf -w 800 -h 600 -fps 15 -t 0 -o - | nc -l -p 1234

    I use netcat and mplayer on the base station:

    nc drone_ip 1234 | mplayer -fps 60 -nosound -cache 1024 -

    This solution has pros and cons. One annoyance is that the video stream and in a TCP session, but since that in altitude there is no obstacle, the bandwith is very good and makes up for it.

    I am curious if somebody has come up with a better solution.


  • Hi Jonathan

    I'm using a Raspberry Pi with a USB video capture device connected with my Hero2 to transcode the SD video into 352x288 10fps at 500kbit and it works very good over 3g network. I have a wifi adapter in my Raspberry Pi and connect this to a 3g wifi router onboard. I also connect to APM2.5 via the same link. I'm working on a blogpost to describe mye setup :-)



  • You could also use an android smartphone for video over 3G/4G. I 've described my setup in this post.

  • http://www.diydrones.com/m/blogpost?id=705844%3ABlogPost%3A1132168

    I think this is the easiest way, and Kevin is quite capable. Maybe you can join me in the effort of politely requesting an andropilot app meant for using onboard.
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