How to run a MAV-Link Heads Up Display on Android or Windows with HD video

This is a new Android App for running a Heads Up Display on a SmartPhone or table computer or Windows. It's available on the Google Play store at

If you want to side-load, I have posted a free version on dropbox at

There is also a windows version available at

This app will overlay the HUD on a video stream using GStreamer, or you can run the app without video with a normal HUD.  

The App will automatically listen for a MAV-Link data stream on UDP port 14550, the default UDP port for MAV-Link. You can also configure the app to use TCP, and on windows you can connect directly to a serial port. 

If you want to display data on a ground station PC and the App at the same time, you can use MavProxy to split the UDP stream, and then connect to your UAV using Mission Planner. 

Here is a sample command that I use to split the data stream with MavProxy:

mavproxy --master=COM5,115200 --out= --out=

The ground station PC is at, and the SmartPhone is at (on my wifi network).  You will have to configure the IP address according to your own WiFi network. My WiFi network in the field is a Ubiquity Rocket M5 configured as an access point, and a second M5 is on the UAV, so I can get live video from the UAV over the same network that connects the smartphone. 

For the windows version, you can run the HUD on the same PC as MissionPlanner (or APM Planner), and use MavProxy with a different UDP port for the HUD.  

If you want to use the video overlay, you will need to have a valid gstreamer data stream running, either over UDP or TCP.  For my setup, I am using a Raspberry PI streaming H264 over UDP using this command on the PI:

raspivid  -t 0 -w 1280 -h 720 -fps 40 -b 4000000 -o - | gst-launch-1.0 -v fdsrc ! h264parse config-interval=1 ! rtph264pay ! udpsink host= $1 port=9000

The "$1" argument is the IP address of your GCS or SmartPhone/Tablet PC.   This command is for 720p, but you should consider the resolution of the device and adjust accordingly.  It makes no sense to send a 720p video to a phone with a 800x600 display.

In the HUD, configure the gstreamer pipeline with this string:

udpsrc port=9000  buffer-size=60000 ! application/x-rtp,encoding-name=H264,payload=96 ! rtph264depay ! h264parse ! queue ! avdec_h264

Do not include a video sink element, as the App will add this dynamically.  You can change the port to whatever you wish as long as your PCs do not have a firewall blocking the port.

Another thing to consider is the processing power of your device. If you see a lot of pixelation, your device is too slow, so you will need to change the resolution of the transmission and/or the bitrate. Some smartphones are just too slow to display the video at full resolution. I have tested 720p on my Google Nexus 6 and it works fine, but on a cheap tablet PC, I had to slow it down and switch to 800x600.  

The App is easy to setup, however if you have any questions or issues, please send me feedback.

Happy Flying!

Views: 12241

Comment by criro1999 on February 16, 2015 at 10:10am

very good application. but I would suggest to add some video tutorial, your post is good as technical information, but for people not being in IT would be somehow difficult to follow.

good tool, thanks 

Comment by Patrick Duffy on February 16, 2015 at 10:26am

@criro1999, I am working on that video. I'll have a You-Tube link in a couple of days. 

Comment by RogerCon on February 16, 2015 at 1:55pm

"... is not a valid Win32 application"

On Win XP SP3

Comment by Patrick Duffy on February 16, 2015 at 2:02pm

@RogerCon,  could be the upload to dropbox got corrupted.  Let me check it. 

Comment by RogerCon on February 16, 2015 at 2:16pm

Workd on my W8 machine. Ive read that it may be the compiler u are using is not compatible.

Comment by Patrick Duffy on February 16, 2015 at 2:17pm

@RogerCon,  I downloaded the windows version and it worked ok on my windows 8 machine. I would try downloading again and let me know if it still fails. Make sure you get the msi version and not the apk (android) installer.

Comment by Patrick Duffy on February 16, 2015 at 6:40pm

@RogerCon,  it would appear that it won't run on XP.  I'll see what I can do to fix this. It's not the compiler but the platform toolset.  

Comment by Vladimir "Lazy" Khudyakov on February 17, 2015 at 12:05am


Comment by RogerCon on February 17, 2015 at 5:45am

Patrick: If it is not too much hustle it would be great!, otherways ill have a reson to upgrade:)

Comment by Patrick Duffy on February 17, 2015 at 7:10am

@RogerCon,  It's no problem to build an xp version.  I just needed to download the platform toolkit for VS2012 to support xp.  I'll post it later as soon as I can build/test.  


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