Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
JJK

Cctv

Recommended Posts

JJK    0

I am looking into the possibility of setting up a video link using a small LCD display and camera, preferably connected via wireless, to allow me to monitor progress of bridal entry, offertory etc, as well as for following a conductor. I'm quite keen not to have it built into the organ, but easily removable. I can see that this could be done quite easily with a webcam and monitor, but I am worried about delay. All the systems I've seen have a small but significant delay in the video transmission,which would rule it out for following a conductor. Does anyone have any experience of this? Any tips gratefully received.

 

JJK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolsey    0
This is what we bought just over a year ago from a company called Y3K. The company recommendation came from Nigel Allcoat, and the system serves our needs. The three (fixed) cameras provide pictures of the West Door, conductor, and High Altar. The cameras' infra-red capability is useful on occasions when there is little or no light, e.g. a candle-lit service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JJK    0
This is what we bought just over a year ago from a company called Y3K. The company recommendation came from Nigel Allcoat, and the system serves our needs. The three (fixed) cameras provide pictures of the West Door, conductor, and High Altar. The cameras' infra-red capability is useful on occasions when there is little or no light, e.g. a candle-lit service.

Thank you for this - it looks good. So the delay is OK on this system is it? I wouldn't want to be any further behind the beat than I'm told I already am ... :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wolsey    0
So the delay is OK on this system is it? I wouldn't want to be any further behind the beat than I'm told I already am ...

It would be difficult to blame any perceived shortcomings in ensemble on the CCTV. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
innate    0
It would be difficult to blame any perceived shortcomings in ensemble on the CCTV. :P

In the West End, many pit musicians watch the conductor via CCTV. Suspicions are sometimes raised that there is a delay that causes problems with the ensemble. If there is any conversion from analogue to digital then it is likely that there will be a perceivable delay, as there is on digital TV and radio signals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bombarde32    0

I have used a small B/W door entry camera (B&Q - about 20 quid) mounted on a microphone stand with an existing old computer monitor for this very job. Works a treat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for this - it looks good. So the delay is OK on this system is it? I wouldn't want to be any further behind the beat than I'm told I already am ... :rolleyes:

 

I use this system (and bought the cable version for St John's Oxford), and it is immediate. I have checked in my occasional mirror when having to play an improvised film score and what I see is exactly what is being shown on the screen. However, sometimes a rather stuffed Positive might make a little difference to the signal - but it is only a difference in the quality of picture. This does not bother me in the slightest.

Best wishes,

N

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul Morley    0
In the West End, many pit musicians watch the conductor via CCTV. Suspicions are sometimes raised that there is a delay that causes problems with the ensemble.

TANGENT ALERT

When the theatre of the Liverpool Instutue for Performing Arts was created (within the superstructure of a school hall, of course), there was no room for a pit. Orchestra and conductor play in a room a couple of floors away. All communication between stage, audience and instrumetalists is achieved though audio visual links

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
innate    0
TANGENT ALERT

When the theatre of the Liverpool Instutue for Performing Arts was created (within the superstructure of a school hall, of course), there was no room for a pit. Orchestra and conductor play in a room a couple of floors away. All communication between stage, audience and instrumetalists is achieved though audio visual links

This was how all the musical productions worked for the RSC when they were resident in the Barbican Centre, including the original Les Miserables and The Wizard of Oz. It normally requires all the musicians to wear headphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bombarde32    0

I remember MD-ing a production of Little Shop of Horrors in a small theatre with abosolutely no room for the band. We eventually found a place for the keyboards, timps and trumpets in the bar which was good, come curtain down! It worked well though, and those musicians didn't have to dress up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul Morley    0

My most disconcerting experience as a pit musician took place whilst playing for a week at the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe (pre-restoration and the tidal wave of H&S legislation that has since engulfed us all). The bass player and I spent most of our non-playing time trying to prevent the water that was running down the pit walls from coming into contact with the mains socket into which his amplifier was plugged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JJK    0
I use this system (and bought the cable version for St John's Oxford), and it is immediate. I have checked in my occasional mirror when having to play an improvised film score and what I see is exactly what is being shown on the screen. However, sometimes a rather stuffed Positive might make a little difference to the signal - but it is only a difference in the quality of picture. This does not bother me in the slightest.

Best wishes,

N

Thank you all for your helpful replies. I will have to find out what - if any - the budget is. It's good to know there are some options with little delay.

JJK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you all for your helpful replies. I will have to find out what - if any - the budget is. It's good to know there are some options with little delay.

JJK

 

Is there a 'budget' system available or anything less expensive?

 

We need one at a church where I'm DOM, as the console is in a loft and viewing the conductor is not easy. We did have an old black and white CCTV system but the previous organist (an odd chap apparently) ripped all the wires out and smashed the cameras.

 

Sam Austin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sbarber49    0
Is there a 'budget' system available or anything less expensive?

 

We need one at a church where I'm DOM, as the console is in a loft and viewing the conductor is not easy. We did have an old black and white CCTV system but the previous organist (an odd chap apparently) ripped all the wires out and smashed the cameras.

 

Sam Austin

 

I wouldn't have thought you could get much cheaper than Bombarde32's suggestion at Post 6. Don't forget ebay. Have you got an electrician in the congregation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bombarde32    0

I found the system at Portmouth cathedral (Anglican) very good when I played for the services the other Sunday. Having not played the organ before the day, I found the system most congenial ( and the instrument, too, for that matter) with a good range of pan/tilt and zoom. It didn't matter exactly where the choirmaster had positioned his stand, as I could 'navigate' easily to it. The monitor (which 'flips' down from above your head) is clear and neither too small or large. Easily the most sucessful permanent installation I have used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sotto    0
Is there a 'budget' system available or anything less expensive?

 

We need one at a church where I'm DOM, as the console is in a loft and viewing the conductor is not easy. We did have an old black and white CCTV system but the previous organist (an odd chap apparently) ripped all the wires out and smashed the cameras.

 

Sam Austin

I have one of these (wired) systems which I bought from Maplins for around £130 and which I use for concerts at church. It does a good job for around £130

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have one of these (wired) systems which I bought from Maplins for around £130 and which I use for concerts at church. It does a good job for around £130

 

This is exactly the system we use at St John's too- it's been excellent and far better than the previous set up. There is also the option of adding camera into the system fairly inexpensively. I seem to recall we spent £160 on two cameras, the screen and 40 meters of extra cable. There is one caveat that I discovered last week: the batteries to the remote died last weekend and so I was forced to operate the different cameras by going behind the console and pressing the buttons in the dark. After the I'd finished conducting anthem the new organ scholar came round white as a sheet and explained I'd pressed the wrong button and the screen scanned between the two cameras every 5 seconds. As it was the first time he'd played for part of a service he thought it was a practical joke on the new boy! I also like the setting where you can make the conductor hang off the ceiling or appear back to front.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David West    0

I wonder if anyone can help? I need cctv for the organ in my church but since the above postings all the models now available seem to have a delay - no use for following a conductor! I have drawn a blank at Maplins who say they don't have anything without a little delay. Also, many of the models have security facilities which we do not need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not trying to be funny, but that's where mirrors are superior to CCTV: they work at the speed of light!

 

Seriously, though, I'm surprised that there aren't CCTV systems that are capable of working without any appreciable delay. They seem to manage at King's College, and no doubt at many other places too. Perhaps Maplins are not the best choice and I shouldn't be surprised if someone with the right experience on here will come up with a better source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
innate    0

The issue of delay on modern CCTV systems is because of digital technology, I think. It’s a problem for live events where the performers are shown in close-up on big screens too. The delay is getting shorter and, surprise, it’s shortest on the most expensive systems. Apparently there are timing issues between audio and picture on many modern widescreen TV sets too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the old analogue TV days a few years ago one could get time of day on-screen (e.g. when viewing teletext) accurate to far better than one second - you could see the seconds counter 'ticking' away. With the move to digital TV this is no longer possible, which is why time is displayed only to the nearest minute. The amount of time delay is undefined, and is especially uncertain if there is an internet- type (packet switching) protocol somewhere in the transmission chain because the receiving element (your TV) has to wait until it has assembled a whole screen's worth of info in its memory before it can be displayed. And there is indeed a difference between the audio and video delays, which is sometimes compensated for but sometimes not.

 

This does not help solve the problem, but merely confirms what others have said. However it might assist to know that the term for this which most tecchies will understand is 'latency', next time you are dealing with firms such as PC World, Maplin, etc, etc! (And if they didn't know what it means, they will be dead impressed with your smartness as a customer).

 

CEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David West    0

It would seem so. I am hoping now to find something second - hand perhaps. Presumably if you pay enough you can have anything. I am sure that a director in a TV gallery has instant feedback on monitors from the cameras on the studio floor!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is really interesting - an example of how something that in many respects is an advance in technology (digital over analogue) can come back to bite the unwary.

 

It's a recognised problem in concert halls around the world, so much so that many professional settings and TV broadcasters (Broadway theaters, Sydney Opera House etc al) have analogue video cameras of the conductor feeding to analogue CRT monitors. And a shed full of old CRT tellys round the back as a space for when the monitors break down (I don't even know if anyone still makes new CRTs). Samsung and probably other companies do still make analogue CCTVs for this reason.

 

You can get professional broadcast standard monitors for a price (a few thousands of pounds) which boast typically less than 1 frame per second latency - but at 25 frames per second that still amounts to admitting up to 40ms latency!

 

This is a real problem for avid computer gamers too as they need the picture on the screen to update as soon as they move their joystick. Gamer forums are full of discussions about which monitors have the lowest latency. Interestingly it can sometimes be the cheaper ones (since they have less advanced video processing to articificially "improve" the quality of the image being received from the camera). Some monitors have a "gamer" mode that disables the processing. (Conversely some upmarket audiovisual amplifiers have a built in adjustable sound delay so that you can slow your sound down to synchronise with the delay caused by your expensive TV's built in video processing that slows the picture down - an expensive solution to an expensive problem!) Some gamers advocate connecting a source directly via HDMI as digital out (in your case from a camera with HDMI out) to digital in should mean no additional processing of analogue to digital images (especially if the onboard processer is disabled). Others say use VGA or component out for certain monitors since if they can detect an HDMI signal and assume you want it to have additional processing!

 

If you use off the shelf monitors there are additional considerations. There are two common types of LCD monitor, TN and IPS. TN is cheaper and has a faster response time (which is quite different from latency - it's how long an image persists for on the screen after the source has changed). So TN screens are better for gaming - fast movement can appear blurred. However, they have quite poor viewing angles other than viewed from head-on. If you are sitting at an organ bench and moving your head around, the colours of the screen will shift depending on which angle you are looking at it from. That's not the case with an IPS screen - but it might be slightly more blurry when the conductor is waving their arms around. Ideally you would want an IPS screen with minimal latency and minimal response time - but they come at a hefty price. OLED screens are a third type but are also in the very high price bracket.

 

Frankly your cheapest "best bet" is perhaps to look for secondhand ex-broadcast equipment on Ebay. Failing that if you have the time to try out or seek out off the shelf combinations of camera, cable and monitor that work for you great, or pay for an expensive pro-grade set up. Make sure if you go for professional shopping advice that you explain why you need as close to zero lag/latency as possible. And if the shop assistant doesn't know what lag is, or confuses it with response time, go to another shop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted the question on another specialist site and received the following response:

 

"The recorders are digital. But the inexpensive cameras are still analogue, surely?

The cameras use a digital imaging chip same as CCTV cameras have done for the last 30-odd years. The output is on a BNC, and the signal is basic composite video. Whether there's any inherent delay in the camera's own processing is hard to say if the camera has processing (image enhancement, iris control etc), but with a simple cam I wouldn't expect it to be any different to basic CCTV cams from 20 years ago.

The area with the most significant delay will be the monitor. LCD TVs have inbuilt processing time that delays the picture anything up to 120ms. The answer is to buy a secondhand CRT portable TV. They have no significant delay at all."

 

I hope this may be of some help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×