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Old Jan 7, 2008, 7:23 PM   #1
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After reading reviews I decided to buy the Vupoint over the A-HD. The camera works great (for what it is) but I was dissapointed with the video line input performance. It seems this camera will only do 640 x 480 at 20FPS! There does not appear to be any way to change the frame rate or resolution on this model. The video quality with the helmet cam is poor, due to the low frame rate. I wish they listed this in the specs for this model, you will not find any mention about it.

Has anyone been able to change this setting, or is there a firmware fix for it? I have emailed the "tech support" at Vupoint and did not get a response.

If there is no fix for this camera what models in the Aiptek lineup have the best "line input" picture quality? I do not care about other features, so cheaper is better if the input quality is the same. Thanks!
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 1:36 AM   #2
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I know why you are only getting 640 x 480, but I am not sure about the 20fps. Any NTSC (or PAL) for that matter only has a set resolution. Usually 640 x 480, but some are smaller resolution. Reason is they are intended to be displayed on a TV. I am sure there will be HD NTSC and PAL cameras on the market soon, if not already. But for now, almost all the low end helmet cams and such will only output that resolution. You will never get HD quality video using NTSC and PAL inputs, no matter what the video recorder type you are using.

The only thing I can think of that may cause the 20fps is with a composite camera input, the video from the camera must be decoded before the video processor can process it. Using video from an external camera is not as efficient as getting the video directly from a digital CCD or CMOS sensor. So, I imagine this additional processing bandwidth may be the limiting factor.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 10:20 AM   #3
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Well, it gets more confusing than that..

For starters, your typical "security camera" (or helmet cam,etc..) is measured in "lines of resolution" and you will see them advertised with numbers like "380 lines" or "480 lines" For the longest time I was confused because I thought that meant the vertical resolution, which makes no sense because NTSC and PAL both have a set defined number of lines on the screen. But what these resolution numbers are really referring to is the horizontal resolution.

Most are your cheap NTSC cameras are going to be 320 lines or less. Which means that capturing at 640x480 pixels (the 640 is corresponding to the "lines of resolution" that the camera advertises) means that you are actually getting far less detail than that from the camera.

It gets worse. When I had the Aiptek MPVR, I did some experimenting and found that it actually cuts out 1 of the fields of an NTSC frame. I suspect because the MPEG4 compressor can't handle interlaced video. So what it was doing was essentially cutting out every other vertical pixel so that you get a progressive-scan. That means half of the vertical picture information is lost. So then the camera interpolates it up to 480 pixels vertically to make up the difference.

So the fact of the matter is, you'll only get 320 horizontal pixels due to the helmet-cam's own limiatations. And you'll only get 240 vertical pixels due to the Aiptek's limitations.

So, I've said all that to say this.. Don't expect any more than 320x240 resolution from that video input. Even if the resultant file shows to be 640x480, I can guarantee you that there is no more detail in the image than if it were 320x240.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 2:31 PM   #4
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I would be thrilled to get 320x240 @ 30fps. I do understand the NTSC video is far lower res than 640 x 480. It is frustrating to read specs for these cameras and find out the line input frame rate is completely different from the camera's own pickup will do. I cannot select any other res than 640 x 480 @ 20fps with the Vupoint. I wish they would publish this info along with all the other specs. All they tell you is it "has a video input to record TV signals". "Fantastic".



So I have to find a camera that has a video input that will do at least 320 x 240 @ 30fps. The only "review" I have seen is in this forum comparing the MPVR with the A-HD. The A-HD had a higher quality picture but more muted colors. The MPVR had a lower res picture (1/2 frame only) and better color saturation. I still don't believe anyone stated that both of these cameras will do 30fps however.

Has anyone verified the A-HD will do a consistent 30fps from the video input?

Anyone want to buy a low mileage Vupoint DV-DA1-VP??? :sad: thanks
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 4:36 PM   #5
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Well, I don't have the MPVR anymore, and I never did any specific tests to confirm the frame-rate. However, I think I would have noticed if it only did 20 fps because there would have been a certain jerky-ness to the image. Now, this wouldn't be the case when capturing video from the actual camera because the frames would be evenly spaced at 20 fps. But if you capture NTSC video at 20 fps, then it will be jerky because 1/3 of the frames are missing and the other 2/3 won't be evenly spaced.

So.. My guess is the MPVR will achieve 320x240 @ 30fps. However, it interpolates them up to 640x480 and saves them as an .ASF file.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 4:50 PM   #6
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Has anyone uploaded a file captured through the video input on either the MPVR or A-HD? I would like to see an original, untouched file to see if the frame rate and picture quality is good enough to justify the purchase of another camera.

Youtube and similar video samples do nothing to judge actual video quality......
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 11:11 PM   #7
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I just checked, and I don't have anything. The only thing that comes close is I do have the original edited file from my MPVR review (the same one I uploaded to youtube) only this one is in 720x480 DVD quality. Unfortunatly, the only input video it shows is from a $15 security camera, so it really isn't a very good test. If I still had the MPVR, I'd make a sample for you. Maybe somebody else on here can upload something.
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Old Jan 9, 2008, 11:31 PM   #8
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Thanks Adric, I appreciate it. I will keep digging around to see if I can find a decent video sample. Many people have helmetcam videos on youtube, maybe someone has a link to the original file.



Its a shame, I really like the Vupoint camera. It takes good still pictures and the ccd pickup has none of the "waving" distortion seen on the Aiptek models. Mp3 player function works well. I have even been able to upload some movies to it, but with some video pixelation and distortion. It claims to use xvid, but the Divx codec is the only one that itseems toplay.



For anyone else interested in this camera, Sandisk 2 gig SD and the newer 4 gig SDHC cards work fine, even though they only claim 1 gig models work in the specs.


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Old Jan 10, 2008, 3:32 PM   #9
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I have the MPVR+ CB. The only original footage I have at the moment is a 51 megabyte file which was actually originally recorded on my MiniDV.

I could shoot a short clip through my MiniDV connected to the input on the MPVR and upload that if you're interested.
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 7:43 PM   #10
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That would be great! See if you can record a few minutes of video showing a moving subject in the picture. If you have no online storage available, you can signup for free space at www.4shared.com (or similar). They give a low res preview window and a link below to download the original file. File size limit on the "free acct" is 100mb.



Sample 640 x 480 clip shot directly with the Vupoint Dv-DA1-DV on a overcast day:

http://www.4shared.com/file/34068036...hillclimb.html

Download link will appear after a minute BELOW the preview window. 21mb size

A sample video shot with helmet cam and old Sony Hi-8 camcorder (imported to PC with ATI All in Wonder card): http://www.4shared.com/file/27576981...town_clip.html

Download link will appear after a minute BELOW the preview window. 78mb size
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