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More than 4 video inputs?



  • Hi everybody,

    sorry if there is an answer yet: I've searched the forum, but I didn't found anything about it. 
    I've got two tricky question:
    The first question is: is there a possibility to have more than 4 live video input into Isadora? I'm looking to a way to use up to 5 live video inputs and low video quality and a limited delay it is not a problem, because this inputs would be used just in order to detect colours...  And the related, more difficult question is: if it is possible, how about using a macbook pro, with only two usb port?
    sorry if there is an answer out of there, and thanks for answering :)
    Stefanino


  • Any computer will have trouble using more than 4 video inputs. You would be better splitting the work over a few machines and using OSC to send the results across.

    Isadora has a limit of 4 inputs. I have made a multiple ps3eye to syphon app (you can search the forums for it). It will take as many cameras as you can run. Warning though, even the best designed USB bus (and this is not present in the macbook pros) will have trouble with this. Also using hubs, especially low quality will also give you trouble, as will running long extenders- all these things are possible but most manufactures dont really meet the spec so dont expect just and extenders and any hubs to power up and give you 5 cameras.
    A better solution would be to use a single input and a video mixer feeding a capture box to control which camera is coming into Isadora, blackmagic make some great capture boxes and you could uses a kramer 8x8 matrix to plug in up to 8 cameras and this can also be controlled by serial form Isadora.
    When I have needed 4 inputs simultaneously for tracking in the past I have used a quad splitter - it takes 4 cameras and outputs a tiled video stream over analogue (well depending on what you buy), you can then use chop pixels to isolate each quadrant and do your tracking.
    If you take any of the routes that use 4 simultaneous inputs expect your computer to have a lot of trouble keeping up.


  • Thanks Fred!

    I will try your solution, I know your disclaimer about performance and unexpected results... :)
    I also looking for solutions to have more than two live video in on a macbook pro (up to four): of course in this case the problem is hardware, cause the limitation of only two usb ports. Any suggestion? Do you know any quad splitter for USB cameras? 
    thanks
    Stefano


  • You can try a usb hub. However the usb bus and any hub will probably overload from the bandwidth (and it wont give you more than4 inputs). Honestly if you want this capability with reliability I would switch to Analogue cameras and or a faster computer. If you are worried about cost you can use cheap security cameras (I assume as you are using webcams you have no control over the camera settings), and 2 analogue quad splitters with 2 capture boxes and 5 security cameras will get you 5 inputs (you could go to 8). You can use cheap low quality USB capture devices to grab the video.

    Trying to achieve this with USB cameras is impossible with isadora directly and especially with your computer. If you have a tower (mac pro) you could easily add more USB inputs and achieve this with the ps3eye to syphon app I mentioned above.
    You will have to buy hardware to achieve this and if this is your job it is worth investing in flexible hardware you can re-use and that is rock solid on stage.


  • Hi everibody

    Will you please tell me wich usb capturer are you using to plug the cameras? I've tried with several USB video capture devices as NPG with out success.
    All my best

  • Tech Staff

    Mac, PC?

    What specs are you after? SD/HD? 

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