Project Possibility: Component/VGA/RGB/HDMI to GigE/Firewire/USB2 recording? at

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Old July 25th, 2006, 02:52 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,761
Project Possibility: Component/VGA/RGB/HDMI to GigE/Firewire/USB2 recording?


I have an idea, that might be suitable for a project if anybody wants to volunteer. I have been looking around for converters, that will take an uncompressed component/VGA/HDMI signal and convert it to a GigE/Firewire/USB2 data signal that could be read by a laptop, or a Ethernet Hard dive caddy, as a uncompressed/compressed stream or a file. In effect, a component capture device for HD cameras.

All I can find so far is VGA/Component and HDMI through Cat cable extenders :(. I take it that these either use the cable fro analogue, or convert it to a non GigE readable format.

So, does anybody know of such a beast fro GigE/USB2/Firewire, that a laptop can read?


If there isn't any available, and if anybody is interested, it would make a good project. You should be able to fit basic 1080p and 720p through it (USB2/Firewire 720p). With some just minor compression techniques, even 10 bits should fit, or you can go dual GigE cable for even higher formats and bit depths, or 30p/50p shooting. The footage would be able to be compressed once dumped to a computer also.

If you could program it with a cameras specific component data timings/format, or to auto sync and remember the, more can be done, as I hear some cameras have have custom formats that require less space (allowing more bit depth and 4:4:4) but can be processed into normal footage.

You can literally use a ADC and little FPGA with GigE conditioned back end. Costing might be $100 on a DIY basis (+drives +portable mini computer/drive caddy etc). If you put a full lossless/near lossless FPGA in there it is might cost less then $500.

Just one of the FPGA compression codecs (unfinished, not really lossless):

In the converter, we could configure each shot as a file through the normal Ethernet protocols, which the computer/drive caddy can automatically recognise and stream to disk, with little extra programming on the computer side.

You might have noticed that one 100MByte/s GigE cable does not go into one 50Mb/s sustained hard drive, therefore two drives, and a caddy that does this would be needed. There is also the possibilities of compression, but at the moment the FPGA situation is a little bit primitive, but next year could spell something substantially different.

These exiting cable extenders might have parts that might be useful in making something without FPGA.

This is not a project for me, but I am looking for people that might want to do it for us?


Wayne Morellini is offline   Reply

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