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Author Topic: Recording camera video on a PC  (Read 44006 times)

Don N

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Recording camera video on a PC
« on: January 18, 2007, 07:44:49 PM »

I sent the following email to techsupport at X10.

When the video from a camera is being recorded onto the PC, what determines the length of the recorded video?  It seems that the recorded video is always in increments of 1 minute. 

My setup is as follows.  Motion sensor delay set at 1 minute.  When recording macro is setup for a 2 minute delay between start/stop recording, I get two 1 minute recordings.

When I change the recording macro setup to a 3 minute delay, I get three 1 minute recordings.

If I change the motion sensor delay to 2 minutes (or any other delay setting), I still get the same multiple 1 minute recordings.

If I just use my motion sensor on to start recording and motion sensor off to stop recording ... I still get multiple 1 minute recordings.

Is there a change/setting that would give me a continuous video recording on my PC?


This was X10's answer.

Greetings!

ActiveHome Pro will always fragment recordings to prevent hard drive
fragmentation. These files will play back seamlessly in AHP or if
enqueued in a media player. If you have any more questions, please reply to
this email. Thanks for choosing X10!


I'll be very honest ... I don't understand X10's reply.  I was expecting a reference to some parameter in the ahp_config file or the Preferences file.  Maybe, I'm wrong and X10's reply actually gives me the answer (albeit hidden in their message).  I don't understand their first sentence.  In reference to their second sentence ... I click on Video under Media ... so I'm assuming that's the only method for viewing videos.  Has anyone experienced this situation and/or found a solution?  Or is this as good as it gets?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2007, 07:46:52 PM by Don N »
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2007, 09:56:19 PM »

Don N:
  I have had extremely good luck with the macros I posted
http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=11477.0

  My videos are all exactly what I have set them to.
  The response times are very good for camera/record turn on time less then 1 second.

  I know its not done in hardware but what do you expect from a software engineer.  ;D

  Sounds to me like the support person doesn't understand their own product.
  I have been recording 8 minute videos as one big video file for a long time now.

  I was getting the same results as you were before that.
 
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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2007, 10:44:33 AM »

ajleduc -- yes, I looked at your setup before.  As I mentioned in that thread our setups are very similar.

You say you've been recording 8 minute videos as one big video file for a long time now.  But yet, I only see in your Recording Control Marco a delay of 2 minutes.  But, even at that I would be happy with a continuous 2 minute video  Anyway, I'm going to duplicate your setup (exactly) and test it this weekend and see what happens.  Currently my response times are good.  All my Macros work fine.  My whole setup is very reliable.  I just want to be able to record continuous videos instead of multiple 1 minute videos when motion is detected.
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2007, 06:36:12 PM »

Don N:
   It just happened that the delay was set to 2 minutes the day I created the post.
   I have set it as high as 10 minutes and got a 10 minute file. 

  When duplicating the macros its really important that the Recording Control macro be stored in the interface.
  Things didn't start working well until I did that.

  Anyway best of luck trying the macros.
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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2007, 10:46:22 PM »

ajleduc -- well, I'm really puzzled now.  I duplicated your Macros exactly.  I duplicated your Preferences setup too.  There were no changes in the results.  I still get multiple 1 minute videos.  There must be something different in our ahp_config.xml file.  Well, it's time for an adult beverage this evening ... maybe that will help.  Anyway, I'll spend some more time on it tomorrow and see if I can figure it out.
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2007, 09:12:23 AM »

Don N:
  Sorry to hear it didn't work for you.  Could it be AHP version I am running 3.206 came with OnAlert.

  Another note - When I get home every day I check the videos and delete them, that said.
  I wanted to record a video sort of as proof I am successfully recording longer videos.
  Then post a picture of the size. 
  Today for what ever reason I am unable to record any video so I have to work that out first.
 
  Last night LATE! I made the antenna modification to my interface.
  It appeared to work ok but I may have messed up something.

  Anyway I will check it out and get this thing working again and post a result.

  As I was testing this morning I noticed a bug in my logic.
  I use the sensor to turn on the camera....
  I never changed the turn off delay to greater than 1 second.
  So it would turn off the camera after 1 minute.
  Recording would still go for the full length of time though.
  I never noticed it in the video because I seldom view a video.
  I just check that only the ones I expect to be there are there.
  Not much happens around my house during the day (WAY back in the woods 1/2 mile off the main road)
  Got DSL though  :D.
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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 10:55:11 AM »

ajleduc
I appreciate your diligence in helping me.  I have AHP version 3.204.  I looked for information on what fixes (if any) were incorporated in version 3.206.  I couldn't find any information other than OnAlert was added.  So I'm assuming the other aspects of our two versions are the same.

In a wild stab at fixing the problem this morning ... I changed my motion sensor's delay to two minutes instead of my usual one minute delay.  But I still get the same results (multiple one minute videos). 

In another test, I bypassed my macros and just recorded video by activating the camera manually.  Again, all I got were one minute videos.  So I'm pretty convinced that either the Preferences, the ahp_config file or your (djleduc) AHP version 3.206 holds the secret.  I just need to figure out which one holds the secret for recording continuous video.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2007, 01:37:00 PM by Don N »
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2007, 06:49:54 PM »

Don N
  Here is a picture of video I recorded today its not 8 min its 3 min but its more than 1 min.

 
 
  It was recorded from another camera using basically the same macros.

  I still haven't got my test camera to record anything files are all zero length?

  This is what bugs me about AHP, everything works fine, one day you look at it cross eyed then nothing works.

  I am betting that there is a difference in the version I have that you don't
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007, 09:31:31 PM »

Don N
  I finally have my Test system working again.
 
  Even though I am sure I have recorded a bunch of 8 minute files.
  I have no way to prove it and I cannot reproduce it.
   :-[  Sooooo.

  The latest is - I can record 3 minute videos -
  If I set the delay to 10 minutes I get 4 video files 3 at 3 minutes and 1 at 1 minute +-.

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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2007, 11:49:06 AM »

ajleduc
With your latest post, I think you convinced me there is no difference between our versions of AHP in regards to the multiple videos. 

Let's look again at X10's response at the beginning of this thread; "ActiveHome Pro will always fragment recordings to prevent hard drive fragmentation".  Perhaps another way of saying this is; AHP's video files will be recorded, on disk, in multiple segments thus preventing fragmentation of one large disk file.  It's not clear to me why this is important ... but it does help explain why we get multiple videos.

Now, if we look at the second sentence of X10's response; "These files will play back seamlessly in AHP or if enqueued in a media player," I think this is the part that's not working.  Ideally I shouldn't have to worry about where the videos are recorded as long as I get the seamless playback.  But how do we get that seamless playback?  Is it possible that you were getting that seamless playback at one time?  The method I use to playback my recorded videos is; 1. click on the pulldown menu VIEW, 2. select STORED MEDIA, 3. select VIDEO.  It's here that I see the multiple videos.  I can only play them one at a time.  I don't get a seamless playback from one file to the other.  I have to individually click on each video segment  So where do we go from here?  I guess I will explore X10's comment of a seamless playback and contact them on Monday.  Unless you have some other ideas.   
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ajleduc

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2007, 07:39:51 PM »

Don N:
  Sounds like a plan.
 
  I am still trying to reproduce the 8 minute video - as long as I have ideas I never give up.
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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2007, 10:28:51 AM »

Well, two additional email messages and one phone call has not yielded much information regarding X10's earlier email comment that; These files will play back seamlessly in AHP or if enqueued in a media player.  I had hope to get clarification on their comment as well as a "how to do it."  I've gotten no responses from the two additional emails to X10. 

The technician at I talked to on the phone said initially that playback is seamless.  He directed me to the Preferences pull down menu for proper configuration.  After he "stumbled" guiding me through the proper settings (there were none), he placed me on hold to talk to his supervisor.  He eventually came back with the comment; " that software development is working on that now."  I think what he meant was, you won't be able to get seamless playback currently and perhaps sometime in the future it .........

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Akasonny

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2007, 11:24:21 PM »

I'm not sure I fully understand your configuration but something occurs to me:

If you actually turn on a cam when the sensor turns on, the video recording will cease when the sensor times-out after 1 minute (default time)...then, depending upon how you are set up, may turn back on (instructed by the macro) which will repeat the process.  If this is the situation, there are at least a couple ways to deal with that.

*   Alter your sensor to a period longer than 1 minute;
*   or....delete the SENSOR OFF macro and, in the SENSOR ON macro, after the sensor trigger, allow the macro to run for 2 minutes or however long you desire.

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Tuicemen

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2007, 12:12:43 PM »

Don N:Sorry I missed this post earlier!
can't catch them All the first time ;)  :(
It seems your sensor is not your problem!
You don't say what the addresses of each are( or I missed it!)
This should be done regardless Set your cam to a different address then the motion sensor and macro!
Under "Preferences" go to "Video Settings" and change the Codec Settings or try a different one.
 Many users have noticed improvements just changing to a different Codec
Just because one codec works on Akasonnys setup doesn't mean it will for you!
If your still having problems and if you have the SmartMacro Plug-in [/color]: Set and clear a flag in your macro as well as use it as a condition!
eg:
trigger is motion sensor b2
Condition if flag 2 is set

Turn on Cam C3
clear flag 2
Start video record
Delay 10 min stop video record
Turn off Cam C3
Set flag 2

A work around (which I use) is to do Auto stills every 5 sec, not streaming video but close! ;) :D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 12:19:22 PM by Tuicemen »
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Don N

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Re: Recording camera video on a PC
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2007, 11:35:29 AM »

Tuicemen/Akasonny -- thank you for your interest in trying to help me solve this problem.  And yes, Tuicemen I know the workaround is doing auto stills.  But at this point I'm still stubborn enough to try and figure this out. (lol)

This is what I'm trying to do.

Motion sensor E1 is triggered
Sensor E1 trigger is on and camera C1 is off, turn camera C1 on, start recording
Sensor E1 trigger is off, stop recording, turn camera C1 off

The Activity Monitor shows.

9:20:50 pm  Receive  E1 (Front Sensor)
9:20:51 pm  Receive  E On (Front Sensor)
9:20:52 pm  Transmit  C1 (Front Camera)
9:20:53 pm  Transmit  C On (Front Camera)
9:21:02 pm  Receive  E1 (Front Sensor)
9:21:02 pm  Receive  E On (Front Sensor)
9:21:14 pm  Receive  E1 (Front Sensor)
9:21:14 pm  Receive  E On (Front Sensor)
9:21:26 pm  Receive  E1 (Front Sensor)
9:21:26 pm  Receive  E Off (Front Sensor)
9:21:28 pm  Transmit  C1 (Front Camera)
9:21:28 pm  Transmit  C Off (Front Camera)

Everything works great, except I always get multiple one minute recorded videos on my PC regardless how many minutes the E1 sensor is on. 



« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 04:52:53 PM by Don N »
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