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Restructured my UI for CCTV purposes

IVB

Senior Member
Well, i've redone my screens in 3 ways for a variety of reasons.
1) Add a CCTV shot to the wrapper (less stable screens, but addresses one of wife's major issues)
2) Switch to a floorplan view as the default and eliminate a/v control on wrapper
3) Eliminate all menu screens, just the one menu popup.

I actually did this 5 days ago, but wanted to wait before posting to see how it would work out.

So on to the details:
1) CCTV on wrapper: this change that will make them slightly less stable, but potentially much more functional. One of my wife's biggest complaints was that it took too long to pull up the CCTV on the touchpanel, hence greatly diminishing the value of a front-door camera. I redid my screens to put a small web browser right on the wrapper, and pointed it at the CCTV. Unfortunately, it looks like that diginet web browser app does something funky graphic-wise and interferes with SageTV/TheaterTek/other apps, so I cannot use this on my regular PCs. But, for the touchpanel, this has been working out just fine.
The instability is that whenever there's any hint of a network issue or slowness, the diginet web browser app will lose the connection temporarily and throw a popup. A few times when we've tapped the touchpanel after not using it for a while, we'll see 10-15 popup error messages from it. No big deal, we just keep hitting the "ok" button with our finger until they're all dismissed.

I can only put one shot on the screen at any one time - the user can either use the scroll bars to navigate (we never do) or hit the button to switch out the overlay to one where all the cameras are shown.

So far, the wife likes the rapid viewing of the CCTV more than the irritation of those popups, but obviously she gets irritated at having to press that "ok" button 10-15x. I'll let this sit a while longer to see how it goes.

2) Use a floorplan default view where both lights & a/v is visible, with just the volume control on a popup. Still tinkering with this bit, screens are clearly denser content, so far everyone has picked up quickly after the initial shock and 60 seconds of staring at it to figure out what the hell the screen means. But, so far it's looking like after those first few mins, people like having all the buttons on the screen so that they can immediately do that which they most commonly do.

3) Eliminated all menus. yes, i know the screenshot below is ugly, but before spending too much time on the aesthetics I wanted to see if this would actually be usable. So far it's working out well, but it's one of those "i need to let it sit for a few weeks and burn in" before I can really ask the wife what she prefers.

Here's the screenshots:

wrapper_touch.jpg


popup_menu.jpg
 

Sendero

Active Member
Are the lights in the floorplan clickable? Do they bring up a popup to change the settings? Are the yellow dots the lights that are on?
 

IVB

Senior Member
Yes they are clickable and yes the yellow are the ones that are on. Right now they just do on/off because that's much faster than loading another screen. However there's no reason I couldn't make it to do that.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
I love it! Thats the kinda stuff I'm here to see. :^D

EDIT:

Have you tried modulating your monitor out from the CCTV card to a channel that you can enroll in your SageTV lineup. I have heard but never really tried it, many say you can switch inputs on the same encoder. So if you have say a Hauppauge 150 or 500 and you currently use Svideo from a STB you can gain the use of that OTA input. I use BeyondTV and there may well be something inherent that prevents Sage from switching inputs on the same tuner due to the channel lineup. Obviously it works between the two tuners as many have analog cable and a DSS box and view all their channels in one lineup.

That might make it easier to directly access the video without interfering with anything else. It just depends on if you keep the Sage UI going or if it has to startup.
 

IVB

Senior Member
I don't have Sage on my 3400 as it's too weak for regular usage of it. Interesting thought, but the question would be whether it's web UI is any less wacky than the diginet UI.

Thanks for the thoughts, i'll have to figure this one out. I'd hate to have to abandon it for stability reasons as the wife really does like it.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
I don't seel any diginet products, do they have an FTP server application? Most of my products do, you will be limited to still pictures but you can have the FTP server stick them wherever you like. Then you can use the stills as a linked background in your UI. You can have the FTP server upload a still image automatically, obviously it won't be a live video though.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Yeah, I'm going to have to dig into the Diginet app and see how to do stills. Or, rip it out and put in a Geovision or other card.

Turns out that if you don't clear the failed dialog boxes near daily, it's too much for the 3400 to handle and it kills off the CQC IV. This means that the current setup with the web browser on the wrapper page is going to have to be ripped out.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
You can do crazy stuff with Geo and something for IO like an Elk.

The FTPed stills aren't as fast as I though. :( Only about 1 per second or so.

Geo also has viewers for alot of slim devices, you mentioned it 3 times but I have no clue what a 3400 is. :)

The main remote interface it ActiveX and a few people have hacked it for special purposes.

Another option is using a loop out or TV out into a conventional MPEG2 encoder, then you can use something like VLAN to stream it. It might be easier if you seperated the two some. This would also allow you to keep the Diginet software if you really like it.

Either way if you need parts let me know I can get you anything you might want. Due to this thread I have been playing with it to see what I can do. How many ways can you play video in your UI? I guess I haven't read much of anyone using ML that had function video on the touchpad.
 

IVB

Senior Member
The Fujitsu 3400 is a cheap, discontinued, tablet PC that I wallmounted. I have pics of it here.

The sticky wicket for me is how to display this from inside a CQC viewer (i use that, not ML). It's totally fine if I want to temporarily do this, ie the below screens, but it's the leaving it up for extended periods of time that are posing the problem. I believe Diginet also uses ActiveX for control, but given that kodicom sells dedicated DVRs and that this is a clone-card and software, I don't know if it's the hackjob or an ActiveX fundamental that is resulting in these issues.

The only way I can currently think of to display live video from inside a CQC viewer is via a web browser. I'll have to ask Dean about that one.

I'll also have to think of other ways to skin this cat - the value in having CCTV constantly displayed in a subset of the screen is just too powerful, and I can't walk away from it easily.

Here's what works totally fine, but just takes too long to come up hence defeating the concept of a front-door camera. These are 800x600 screens.

overlay_camera.jpg


overlay_camera_single.jpg
 
I downloaded a small program that views Geovision remotely off the network here It connects to my geo rather quickly, say one to two seconds and doesnt need a web browser to work. Whats nice is there is no password sign on.

This or something like it could be embedded on your touchpanel. Im pretty sure the developer would help customize it.

Otherwise someone else could reinvent the wheel again...it just seems like this has been talked about for several years with geo and no one has managed to get the ActiveX to work right.

Paul
 

IVB

Senior Member
yeah, I think a custom-level solution might work out best. In my particular instance, I already have 3s to load the above screens. but my wife is unhappy with that time for front-door applications. She's looking for 1s max.

Perhaps leaving that app on 24x7, and having the CQC screen minimize itself and have that one come up would work; then I just need to figure out how to restore the CQC screen. Now there's a thought. Not *nearly* as elegant as an integrated UI, but right now i don't even have that as I just pulled that web browser off the wrapper page cuz it crashed again.
 
You can configure the viewer to load only one camera and leave it on 24/7 so you could have instant access...this would be easier on the network than leaving all cams on all the time. You would have to have a second instance of the viewer to open all cameras with the delay.

Or you could use I/O on the doorbell to open the viewer. In geovision you can trigger on motion and define the area, so you could use motion at the front door to trigger the viewer.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
IVB said:
The only way I can currently think of to display live video from inside a CQC viewer is via a web browser. I'll have to ask Dean about that one.
Is this full blown IE web browser or does CQC have an internal browser?


Do you have any extra encoders? Software, hardware anything that you can get windows to recognize.


Have you ever played with VLAN? You can set it to stream from most encoders, some browsers can play these streams.


I have chatted with the guy who wrote GeoView several times, I have asked for some custom work like this in the past but I don't have anything to show for it.


VideoInsight IIRC has provisions for this from the factory, it's hidden in the SDK but you can call specific camera streams by URL.
 

rory

New Member
I downloaded a small program that views Geovision remotely off the network here It connects to my geo rather quickly, say one to two seconds and doesnt need a web browser to work. Whats nice is there is no password sign on.

This or something like it could be embedded on your touchpanel. Im pretty sure the developer would help customize it.

Otherwise someone else could reinvent the wheel again...it just seems like this has been talked about for several years with geo and no one has managed to get the ActiveX to work right.

Paul

Hi Paul, I realize this thread is quite old, but I am the developer in question.
If there is still any custom work you would like done, please let me know.

Thanks, and nice forum :p
Rory
 

brotsten

Active Member
Hi Paul, I realize this thread is quite old, but I am the developer in question.
If there is still any custom work you would like done, please let me know.

Thanks, and nice forum :)
Rory
Rory, I have played with your application in the past. Having only used the demo version, is it possible to start the program, connect to a server and display the user interface without any intervention? Are there any command line switches?

Thanks,

Brian
 
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