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Old October 7th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #1
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Help with setup for a project

Hello all, I am currently involved in a project that requires a special set up and I am unsure as to how to approach it.
Here's the deal. During the project we will have between 3 and 4 video cameras acquiring video. We would like to take the output of those cameras and combine them into one screen as if it was a grid (just like video surveillance). The system would then take that composed image and create a digital file on a hard disk, preferably a windows media file. We are not interested in doing any post production, we are more interested in simplicity. It would be nice if the cameras could be controlled from the console, at least their zoom length and power on or off.

Anyways, I know that there is equipment to get this done, I just do not know where to start. We plan on procuring everything from the cameras to the wall mounts for them etc so we need everything.

Well, how would you do this and with what equipment?

thanks in advance,
Jim
Jimmy Devarie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 7th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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Hi Jimmy........

You have, actually, answered your own question.

Simply drop into your local electronics warehouse and purchase one of their el cheapo video surveilance camera controllers with multi screen video out, feed that to an NLE as a composite signal, job done.

Can't get much simpler than that.


CS
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Old October 7th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #3
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1- Some consumer cameras can be controlled via LANC. (I've never gone down this route myself.)

Some tripods can also be remotely controlled.

2- Windows media encoder can encode video in real-time.

For the video input device, you can either go through video for windows or firewire. Watch out for (VFW) drivers not working. I would suggest going firewire. A device like the Canopus ADVC can convert analog sources to DV/firewire.
*WME might support other video input now... I haven't used it recently.

3- What's your budget and what are your needs in terms of quality?

And why avoid doing this in post? If you are strapped on cash, it's not hard to do at all and not any more complicated than setting up equipment to do it live.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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That isn't hard post work at all. Just do it then. It won't take much time to learn.
Regardless, compressing on the fly is incredibly stupid, IMO. You get a compressed result... no full quality copy? Why...
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Old October 7th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #5
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Thank you

Thank you all for the suggestions. Daniel, I misspoke in my post. I just want an electronic file that can be easily viewed on a PC, an AVI file will suffice. I pretty much want to capture to this file and either burn a CD or provide the file to someone for viewing. I want to avoid having to do post as I would with premiere or FCP.
Glenn, thanks for the reply, please read my response to Daniel.

Chris, as Homer would say, duhh! thanks very much.

Thanks all for the responses. This project is driven by upper management in my company (medical device manufacturer) so this is way out of their league. I do not want to tie myself to doing any processing for this project. The quality of the video is not too important. Any *.AVI file will do. I would like this to be a "set it and forget it" kind of thing that someone just would come, flip a switch and it is up and running.

I will post more details once this is underway. This site is awesome!!
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Old October 7th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #6
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Hi Jimmy.

Glad to be of service.


CS
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