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Thread: General camera questions

  1. #1
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    General camera questions

    I am thinking of adding a camera to my car for recording purposes. My questions are in regards to both hardware and software:

    Question #1: Software

    What software is there that can record video with both GPS and OBDII data overlayed? Searching the forum, I found MiniCam (http://curioustech.home.insightbb.com/dsgpscode.html) which seems like it would do the job, but I was just wondering if there was anything else out there.

    Question #2: What camera

    Should I get a USB webcam, or a composite video camera with a USB TV tuner? I would like it to have reasonable definition, however this will be done on the same computer that is running my frontend and will be saving data on the same hard drive (Asus EeePC, 1.60Ghz Atom CPU, 1GB DDR, 160GB HDD), so obviously I am worrying about overloading the computer. Would it be possible to get a composite video cam (like the one that is out of stock in the MP3car store) and set it up to log with a reasonable frame rate and resolution (with speed, GPS coords overlayed and whatnot) while playing music and using navigation? I will probably add another GB of DDR, but I wouldn't imagine that that would effect the performance of my eeepc too much.

    Can anyone recommend one (whether it be a webcam or composite)?

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    i have been also thinking about adding cameras to my car, and have been thinking about it for a while on the best implemetation of it--

    i also happen to work for a smaller camera company, so i have access to different things

    so far, with the software that the company uses(no, i won't name the software, or the company...) we have alot of issues with users running the camera software, and other applications at the same time-- mostly because the other applications take away precious resources from the recording software, usually resulting in random loss of recordings...

    most software that i have looked at runs very similar-- it buffers a certain amount of video, and then writes it to the hdd-- in some software, the video buffer is adjustable in Mb, others, it is only adjustable in the amount of seconds it buffers-- so depending on the amount of cameras, it can vary widely.

    the best solution that i have come up with for myself is either to build a dedicated video recording unit, or use a standalone dvr, most of which have very poor interfaces, and recording options...

    for the gps info, i have decided that i will be using a external gps overlay device like this:http://www.blackboxcamera.com/pic-osd/gpsspd_5HZ.htm

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    i have been also thinking about adding cameras to my car, and have been thinking about it for a while on the best implemetation of it--

    i also happen to work for a smaller camera company, so i have access to different things

    so far, with the software that the company uses(no, i won't name the software, or the company...) we have alot of issues with users running the camera software, and other applications at the same time-- mostly because the other applications take away precious resources from the recording software, usually resulting in random loss of recordings...

    most software that i have looked at runs very similar-- it buffers a certain amount of video, and then writes it to the hdd-- in some software, the video buffer is adjustable in Mb, others, it is only adjustable in the amount of seconds it buffers-- so depending on the amount of cameras, it can vary widely.

    the best solution that i have come up with for myself is either to build a dedicated video recording unit, or use a standalone dvr, most of which have very poor interfaces, and recording options...

    for the gps info, i have decided that i will be using a external gps overlay device like this:http://www.blackboxcamera.com/pic-osd/gpsspd_5HZ.htm
    Thanks for the reply soundman98!

    So do you think the performance problem could be fixed by saving the video data on an external hard drive? And perhaps adding more DDR? The camera Ive been looking at is: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m_guide:1&rd=1

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    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    the performace issue is actually related to how many tasks the computer is doing at the same time(taking up memory, and cpu power), external drives will actually cause even more problems as they can turn off to conserve power at random, and can cause even more loss of recording! i have only have had to deal with external drives when the internal drives are not holding enough recordings, and the externals will turn off while the software is using the internal hdd(though i have not had to trouble shoot them far enough to determine if it is the OS, the usb controller, or the external hdd controller that is actually turning the drive off).

    most of the software that i have used is very touchy, and does not work well with other programs running at the same time, and also needs to control all of the drives all of the time(when using more than one drive, the software will switch drives as needed-- while it is clearing older footage to make space on one drive, it will be recording to the other, and then will switch, and repeat the process...), making dedicated systems, and internal drives the only foolproof methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by soundman98 View Post
    the performace issue is actually related to how many tasks the computer is doing at the same time(taking up memory, and cpu power), external drives will actually cause even more problems as they can turn off to conserve power at random, and can cause even more loss of recording! i have only have had to deal with external drives when the internal drives are not holding enough recordings, and the externals will turn off while the software is using the internal hdd(though i have not had to trouble shoot them far enough to determine if it is the OS, the usb controller, or the external hdd controller that is actually turning the drive off).

    most of the software that i have used is very touchy, and does not work well with other programs running at the same time, and also needs to control all of the drives all of the time(when using more than one drive, the software will switch drives as needed-- while it is clearing older footage to make space on one drive, it will be recording to the other, and then will switch, and repeat the process...), making dedicated systems, and internal drives the only foolproof methods.
    So then should I even bother? Even if the camera recorded relatively low quality video?

  6. #6
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    imo, it is not worth trying to combine everything in one unit (as per murphies law, it will only record properly when you don't need it, and will lose recordings when you really do need it...), but can be worth while as a standalone unit.

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