Sony EVI-D70 Camera Control

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
Paulbb1
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Postby Paulbb1 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:19 pm

troywo wrote:In our installation we use a cat 5e run with punch down female jacks on each end - a standard network run. We then use a short cat5e patch cable with to an rj45 to db9 (female) adapter on each end. We run about 100' and control it from a computer serial port running the Sony EVI demonstration software. Sometimes we get an error where the camera misses one command - this is not a problem however as it always has caught a repeat of that command.
Troy



We are going ~150 feet. Would there be a balun or booster to help the missed commands. We used the baluns for s-video over Cat5 using the same punch downs connectors. Works great.

Is there any needed to match up the wires? Camera RS422 port to std Ethernet/cat5 port in wall to cat5 cable to Cat5 port in satellite cabinet to PC port USB or DB9 serial port

Did the software support the preset positions like the remote? Will it pan and zoom?

rory-p40
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control software

Postby rory-p40 » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:49 am

davidgil wrote: Has anyone succesfully used this camera by interfacing RS-422 cable with a computer? Any other suggestions on controlling it (low cost)?
Thanks very much,
David


I've used this great freeware software (BDLCAM) with a Sony EVI-D30 camera. As long as you get the serial connection made to a control computer, this software may work for you.
http://www.bdlcam.com

mkisaacs
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Postby mkisaacs » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:27 am

robm wrote:We have an EVI-D70 camera that we use for our webcasts.
...

I have downloaded some free EVI-D30 control software on the internet ...

Cable -- search Ebay for "Sony EVI-D30 VISCA control cable"
Software -- search google for "evi-d30 software" or visit the following link:

http://www.elims.org/evi-d30.htm and download the "Camera control program from Sony" -- I have no affiliation with this website. This is the software that I have been using.



I also found two sets of software provided as demo software for the Sony D70 and D30 cameras. We have been using these with our group for the last 2-3 years, but found that it was a bit clunky and also a bit buggy, in some cases not responding to commands and requiring a reconnect, and in other cases we would end up with a pan that would not stop until it reached the end of the camera range - not great during a live broadcast.

I've decided to create my own software for simple functionality required for our stake conference use in the Hillsboro, OR stake (and recently some separate live concert use). Our Stake presidency has mentioned I should let others know about this software so that others can benefit from my efforts. Let me know if you have questions - I'm more than willing to share this information with the church.

Our setup - 1 D70, 1 D30
- video is RCA -> coax (for ease of run) -> RCA into switcher at our satellite cabinet location
- camera control is currently via RS232 serial cable (VISCA) -> RJ45 (ease of run) -> RS232 into a control computer. We have utilized both physical serial port and USB to Serial devices successfully over 200+ feet. We control both cameras from the satellite cabinet location, and control the video output to satellite buildings, or alternate room viewing areas via a switcher. We can change the views by modifying the location of the standby camera, then fading to the new view during the transmission. This works great to avoid jerking the camera view around on the live camera to switch from the speaker view to the choir view and provides a much better viewing experience. Our tech group provides assistance for two stakes that are currently using same building. Each has now purchased their own D70 cameras and then shares them during the conference sessions to get the two views we utilize.

We have also now tested this software with RS422 and are creating a standard set of equipment that we'll use for our uses. I've been trying to figure out what features to throw into this and how to make this easier to use for church units, and would like to get this out to people to test out and get some more feedback.

toma-p40
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Postby toma-p40 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:21 pm

mkisaacs wrote:...This works great to avoid jerking the camera view around on the live camera to switch from the speaker view to the choir view and provides a much better viewing experience.


Mkisaacs, can you please elaborate on the "jerking" of the camera? Is it possible to use the software with a single camera and allow for "slow pan"? Or do we really need to fade between 2 cameras?

We have the D70 and the IR Remote has proven to be bad for fine control especially during a live session. We only have 1 camera and tried using the IR Remote and found: (a) It is extremely difficult to get the right shot when zoomed in on say the speaker. In other words, you can't pan slowly in small increments. (b) The IR Remote in certain circumstances will cause the camera to freeze. I.e. If you select a saved setting and quickly press an arrow key followed by a zoom key, the camera will stop receiving the IR and we had to cycle the power to get it to work. I've not been able to reproduce the behavior consistently but by fussing with it can get it to freeze. (This behavior was found with a different camera we borrowed from our FM group.) (c) When moving between saved scenes, the camera moves very fast, we just couldn't get slow-smooth transitions.

I am trying to determine if I can purchase a hardware controller (recommended by Sony on their site) or some software controller that will allow us to use a single camera and smoothly pan from one saved scene to another. Or if I need to have 2 cameras and some sort of live video switch to fade between shots because the D70 simply can't be controlled smoothly.

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:16 pm

There are postings earlier in this thread discussing the serial (RS-232 or RS-422) controls. I recall reading that the serial control path would give smoother and more precise pan/tilt than the IR.

mkisaacs
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Postby mkisaacs » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:34 am

Jerky nature explanation -
We have decided to place our cameras in an unobtrusive (and non-distracting) place by mounting the camera on the ceiling, directly behind where the curtain opens into the cultural hall. We have wired our building so that there is a drop for the control cable and the video cable directly at that spot. Because of the distance, the optical zoom on the D70 has to be pushed pretty far up, and so the slightest movement is accentuated which makes for the "jerky" feeling that I was describing in a previous post. When adjusting the camera, the software I've created allows for the slowest pan possible with the camera (speed 1) and unfortunately there is no ramp up/down speed to make the pan very smooth. It just starts moving and abruptly stops when you release it from the pan. It is a bit distracting. I also have a feature that allows you to move the camera head one increment at a time, allowing for very fine adjustment after the camera is in a good general position using the pan buttons. Again, this causes the camera to jerk in small increments and the picture to jiggle a bit from the small momentum of the camera head. We have two cameras to get around this, but it would not be a requirement if you are OK with the slight jerk, or if you are mostly using the camera for 2 views (speaker, choir shots) and the view change would only occur during normal breaks anyway.

I have considered pushing my camera controller work out as an open source project, or continuing my work and providing the basic version for free to church units. I haven't decided what to do with it. If anyone wants to give it a try to see if it might work for them, I'm willing to send you a copy to play with, if that seems appropriate. Right now I've added features as we have needed them for for stake conferences and concerts that our group does. It has ability to do brightness, pan (with speed adjustment), 'nudge' movement for slight increment tweaks, set/restore saved positions, autofocus on/off, and zoom. I'm looking to add additional features for manual focus and certain lighting settings that may come in handy, along with infinite saved positions. I have found that it would be nice to have a walk-in shot of the chapel, a rostrum shot (for use when switching speakers), a close in speaker shot, a wider speaker shot, a choir shot, a chorister shot (for the congregational hymn), and a presidency shot (for use during the sustainings). This is more complex than stakes need, but those of us involved are also part of an audio visual company so we end up doing a bit extra.

This ended up being a much longer answer than I expected, but I hope that it helps people out there.

toma-p40
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Postby toma-p40 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:27 am

Thanks for the detailed information, it was very helpful.

We too have been considering mounting our camera from the ceiling. I know this thread is about camera control but can you please share more about your camera mount? Pictures would be swell. :) Also, is there anything you would do differently with the mount?

Tom

Paulbb1
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Camera control hdw details and Software

Postby Paulbb1 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:55 pm

I am very interested in getting the details of the RS422/232 connection down to the pin outs. I plan on running Cat5e to camera RS422 connection.

Would like to use your software because it will be for our exact needs.

How do we get the file and details?

Arlan

rubantin
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Postby rubantin » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:08 pm

I realize this is an old thread, but I need to know... I built a nice computer with Vidblaster and Broadcam software to both stream and record our church services. Two years ago some wiring was being done at our church, and they installed CAT5 and coax along both sides of our church for future camera installation.

I am trying to figure out what the best configuration would be for the cameras. I intended initially to use the S-video out along with the RS - 422 for control. I was simply going to use the pinouts to wire directly from the camera to the capture card and serial ports via the CAT5. However, that would require nine conductors and the CAT5 only has 8.

So, with your experience, do you think I would be better off running the composite out through the coax and using the CAT5 for the controller?

I am looking for optimal video quality. Is there anyway to pair one of the grounds from the VISCA and the S-Video to only need 8 conductors?

Could I use the coax for the ground (9th conductor)?

I really don't want to have to spend more time and money in running another cable if possible.

Any help or advice on this would be appreciated..

Thanks,
Russ

rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:54 pm

Are you planning to run individual wires from the S-video on individual wires on the CAT5 cable? If so, I don't think that would work well. As I understand it, the S-video has two grounds and two signals lines (luminance and chroma)--the old Commodore Amiga signal scheme. Those signal lines are 75 ohm and need to be constant impedance down the line for proper signal transfer. There are 'balun' devices for sending composite over CAT5 with proper impedances and such, so I suspect there may be such devices available for sending S-video over CAT5. Most likely, they require at least two matched pairs.

If you're lookin at five wires for the RS-422 control, that's most likely RX+, RX-, TX+, TX-, and ground. If so, you could use the COAX for that ground (and not use the COAX for anything else). Just make sure to connect the ground before connecting the signal lines (and disconnect in reverse order) and put each direction (RX vs TX) on one pair to avoid crosstalk with any analog signals in the CAT5. You might also look into running RS-485, which is a half-duplex (and more) protocol on top of RS-422, if the equipment is friendly to that arrangement.

Combining analog signal and control in a single CAT5 _MAY_ introduce noise from the control bit stream into the analog signal, especially if any of the signals is not properly balanced or is not properly paired. Combining digital and analog grounds makes it very likely you will see noise injection. You might be lucky and find a combination that works for your installation, but YMMV.

Eventually, and probably not many years distant, cameras will likely switch from analog output to IP output. If you can find a high enough quality USB camera, you could also consider a USB camera, a USB-over-IP device for the video signal, an RS-422-over-IP adapter for the controls, and an ethernet switch at the camera location. If needed, you could run class-2 DC power over the coax or maybe use POE (power over ethernet).

Hope that helps.


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