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Author Topic: Interfacing with x10 camera's  (Read 5683 times)

Bloodari

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Interfacing with x10 camera's
« on: August 10, 2011, 12:17:19 PM »

Hey Guys!

I am an application developer who is getting into home automation.  I was looking at doing some neat things with some camera in and around the house but am a little worried about the lack of information around x10's camera systems.  I would like to setup some of their wireless cameras to the point where some of my own software could directly receive the video feed and run code against it, but it kind of seems like they don't allow for this.  From what I have gotten from sales reps you basically can only access the video feeds on your pc from their software, and that's it.  If so how does one go about recording video, and if I wanted to say host the video feed from my home pc so that it is accessible from the internet is that possible without buying more software?

Also what do you guys think of their new package(http://www.x10.com/promotions/xx32a_ed_6cam_0721.html?EM), a good deal for what I am looking to do?

Any opinions around the quality in the wireless xcampro lowlight cameras would be appreciated too!
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ITguy

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2011, 05:16:24 PM »

Hi Bloodari,

Quote
From what I have gotten from sales reps you basically can only access the video feeds on your pc from their software, and that's it.

Not true!  If you want to access the feeds from within their software, you must use their adapter (VA12A).  But there are other options.  Check out the open-source program call iHouse.  www.ihousehomeautomation.com  You'll probably be especially interested in the info in this post http://www.ihousehomeautomation.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=73

You may also want to search for "adapter" and read about the inexpensive chinese video capture devices.  They don't work at all with the AHP software, but they work fine (at least on XP, not sure about Win 7) with other software (like BlueIris and iHouse).

You'll also find info about recording that video - and since iHouse is open-source, you can download the code to see how recording is handled in iHouse.

Regards,
ITguy
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Noam

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2011, 09:32:31 PM »

I have to agree with ITguy.

The X10 wireless cameras transmit to a receiver, which has an RCA output jack for the video.
To use the video with the X10 software, you would plug a cable from the video receiver to a VA11A or VA12A video input adapter, which would feed it into the computer.

However, you can take that video, and feed it into a different video capture adapter, and use it with other software.
I don't have a specific one I recommend, but I'm sure there is one out there that is developer-friendly.

You can still use the X10 SDK to send the commands to turn the cameras on and off, and switch between them.
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Bloodari

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 12:08:14 AM »

Great feedback!  That's just the answer I was looking for.  Now if I could just find a microphone that would pickup from an entire room without costing as much as my car I will be set!
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Brian H

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 05:53:06 AM »

Only one wireless camera can be transmitting at a time.
So if you are going to be using more than one. You will have to have a way to send X10 power line signals. To the addressable power supplies.
They work in groups of four. Same House Code and Units 1-4,5-8,9-12 or 13-16. Turn one On the other three go Off.
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Bloodari

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 10:55:33 PM »

wait what..?  Now I am confused why would you want a 6 camera package when only one camera works at any given time?
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Brian H

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Re: Interfacing with x10 camera's
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2011, 06:29:37 AM »

Why a six camera package?
Maybe to selectively look at six different areas of interest.

If you look at the Whats Included Section of the sales page. It will show six cameras and one receiver.

More than one wireless camera transmitting a signal. Is asking for interference and a garbaged video signal.
Let alone sharing the 2.4GHz band with things like wireless networks and cordless phone.
Even with four channels. Finding one of the four that does not have competition from another source can be a challenge sometimes.
The new Pro line of cameras, video senders and receivers. Only use one  921MHz channel. So two sending would also cause interference.

If you need six feeds maybe wired with some video processor card or a system made to do multiple cameras would be better in your case.
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