Potential to capture and broadcast FPV video through phone

My friend and I just set up our Easy Star following Chris's recommendations (brushless, ESC, and lipo). We wanted a cheap way to grab some FPV footage to show to our friends and family. We decided to cut a hole in our Easy Star fuselage cover to mount my Blackberry Curve so we could use it as a video camera. I bought a 2 Gigabyte SD card from Rite Aid for $19.99 and we we're set to go. Although the video quality is rather poor we think the smartphone serves as a cool platform to broadcast FPV in real time through its data channel. The mobile app Ustream could help us and others broadcast live video streams to the internet. Now I just have to convince my friend to mount his iphone 3GS onboard and we'll get some better quality!

This flight below was filmed with the Blackberry. We were flying RC but will be integrating attopilot into our easy star as soon as it arrives.

UPDATE: The new Motorola Droid phone has the capability of broadcasting 720 X 480 video live through Qik. See an example video here.



Views: 916

Comment by Arash Joorabchi on November 23, 2009 at 5:01am
Hi Colby,

It might worrth experimenting with video calling for real time FPV instead of broadcasting the video over the Internet because using the video calling service you would be relying on the network provider to do the data copression and streaming. It also might be also cheaper this way since some network providers offer free video calling services between their customers. In both cases having an opensource mobile phone might become handy becuase they make it easier to manipulate the video programatically. For example if you use a google phone you might be able to add you telemetry data as OSD to your video.

Best of Luck
Arash Joorabchi
Comment by sid on November 23, 2009 at 5:34am
COlby,
Another point to be noted. Cell phone networks do not work beyond certain altitude. I hav emyself tried with Cell phone based GPS tracker.. When you ring that no. it feeds you back with sms of it's location. It did not work over altitude of 100 Mtrs AGL..

SID
Comment by Colby sts on November 23, 2009 at 9:45am
I've personally gotten cell reception in a private plane 6,000 feet AGL. That's strange your setup didn't work above 300 feet.
Comment by Colby sts on November 23, 2009 at 10:50am
Arash,

The Motorola Droid runs Android OS and can capture video in 720 X 480 lines. What is OSD?

Moderator
Comment by Sgt Ric on November 23, 2009 at 11:06am
OnScreen Display.
Comment by Arash Joorabchi on November 23, 2009 at 1:02pm
I doubt that the current 3G mobile networks can handle the large volume of data required for real-time streaming of video in that resolution even when the handset is in the stationary position and also a substantial drop in the bandwidth is expected when the handset is attached to a moving vehicle.
Comment by Colby sts on November 23, 2009 at 1:09pm
This video documents a stationary stream through what I assume is a 3G network. You right through, while moving their may not be enough bandwidth to stream videos of such high resolution.

Moderator
Comment by Sgt Ric on November 23, 2009 at 1:48pm
We have had similiar threads here on the topic of bandwidth requirements for streaming video.

I do not recall if 3G/4G networks were brought up, but the consensus was that the framerate just wasn't there using cellphones.

A separate conversation about using sat phones dealt with the method that the providers package the data in bursts, which while not actually being defined as lag, does introduce results that are inconsistant with acceptible video use.

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