Capturing PAL camera signal issue & wireless camera question

  • I'm based in Canada and first time working on a show in China, so this is the first time I've encountered this issue. I'm trying to do multiple camera (CCTV cam) input into izzy (using Canopus ADVC 110), the video image becomes chopped in half and totally offset, i've tried 2 cameras already realized it's a PAL to NTSC issue. I've tried changing the live capture input setting in Izzy from DV NTSC to DV PAL, but it hasn't changed the image at all. I'm not sure if anyone has this experience and know ways to fix this. It should be a pretty common issue... 
    also, I've been researching for wireless cameras, but haven't got any luck yet. I've been using iPhone apps such as PocketCam as wireless cam, it gives me a standalone video channel and 640 x480 via wifi, which isn't too bad, quite stable but I haven't tried in a big theatre yet . I'm hoping to have another one either as backup or additional wiresscam, anyone knows any good wireless cam like works like those USB cameras (such as Logitech C27 usb camera, works like charm for Izzy, also recognizes as its own video channel)
    I'll be working in a theatre with 1000 seats.. it's gonna be difficult to wire so far. yet i'm also a bit worried if wifi or wireless camera would work or not. we're not too concerned about small noises or glitches, but the video feed needs to be somewhat stable...
    thanks very much in advance

  • Dear Chimerik,

    On the ADVC-110 there's some switches on the bottom of the unit that allow you to select NTSC, PAL and (I think) SECAM. They are hard to read due to the white case, but I have this unit and I know they are there.
    Regarding the reliability of wireless IP cameras in a big theater: as they saying goes, YMMV. (_Your Mileage May Vary_.) But I reckon if you've got your own WiFi router and you place it near the stage, you should be OK. You may want to get a 5Ghz band router, as that frequency is less commonly used and might suffer less interference. (It certainly helped when I switch to 5Ghz in my flat, due to the millions of routers in nearby apartments.)
    Best Wishes,

  • Thank you so much for this, Mark! I had taped over the bottom for so many years didn't realize there's such tiny switches hidden there. You rock. Totally solved this issue.

    Also, thanks for the 5Ghz band router suggestion. I'll get one at least for backup.
    Do you have any favourite wireless cameras? especially something that can mount (or tape) on the dancers.
    Thanks very much,

  • Remember that although the 5ghz band is much much less crowded the range is also dramatically less. Often looking at channel use and picking a 2.4ghz channel with fewer but still strong signals can give you good results. If there is overlap the wifi signals need to negotiate with each other. If the other signal is too weak negotiation is slow. If the channel centre is offset by one it will also be difficult to get a good signal, using something like inssider (free for OSX) look at the frequency distribution of wifi signals in the surroundings and pick from channels 1, 6 0r 11 (these are what the industry has decided- picking others will give you worse results even if they seem less crowded- if you have very bad wifi interference in your house it may be because one of your clever neighbours tried to use channel 5). Getting larger antenna  and making sure they are pointed in the right direction (the signal radiates out in a circle from the base of the antenna perpendicular to the antenna itself) will also help.

    In a performance ask your guests to turn their phones off- not silent but off. I have been taking wifi on stage for a while and 100 smartphones can really do some damage, as the audience walk in you see the latency go way up and connection strength go down, when they turn off their phones things get better again.

  • Hi Fred,

    Thank you so much for such useful suggestions. 
    So in your experience, you think I should probably go for 2.4Ghz and ask the audiences to actually turn off their cellphones instead of using 5Ghz, right?
    the theatre that I'm performing will probably get around 800-1100 audiences... boy, I hope they will actually listen. I'm getting weird frame delays already today at rehearsals. 

  • Well it depends on the range you need and how many other wifi networks you can see when you are in the theatre. You get a lot more headroom with 5.ghz as far as throughput goes, but less range, of you don't need the range then you can use 5ghz, but this wont help much if you camera is not 5ghz capable. What model camera are you using? Is it a 2.4ghz wifi camera (IP) or 2.4ghz rf? If you get the right person to ask the audience to turn them off then it works (I found waiting for everyone to sit down and then make an announcement including something like "we are using sensitive equipment and leaving your phones on will ruin the show"