Hi all, quick background, I am volunteer fireman, I have very little experience/knowledge of video, but I am a computer guy.
Situation, we have a system in our fire house that has output that would be extremely useful to dispatch down at the sheriff's office. So I thought I'd buy a few components and stream it over the web. I do not have access to the server this system is on, but there is another PC in the office that has internet.
This is what I thought I could do. Buy a Y splitter to put on the server's VGA output, one side going to existing monitor, other side going to the office PC. Buy a scan converter to switch from VGA to svideo. Run s-video into capture card on office PC. Use VLC media player to broadcast a live stream. Easy right.
I did all this but when I display the signal from the scan converter on the office PC all I get are test bars. If I take that cable off of the scan converter and hook it up to the office PC's monitor I see exactly what I see on the server's monitor, so the splitter and cable going to the scan converter are working, but why I am seeing only test bars coming from the the scan converter?
The scan converter is:KWORLD PCTV1600
The capture card is: Hauppauge WinTV 881
If anyone has any advice on where I went wrong I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
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There is a switch on the KWorld PCTV1600 for the outgoing video connection. It is on the same side of the case as the S-Video port. The switch should set to "CVBS" to use the S-Video or RCA composite video port for output. Have you tried that?
Thanks for the response.
Yes, I have tried all 3 positions on that switch and only the CVBS presents anything on the PC (albeit test bars), the other 2 present a black screen.
Have you tried connecting the scan converter to a TV using the composite or S-Video connection to determine if the TV can display the output from the scan converter?
No, I thought about that but we don't have an easily accessible TV down there at the firehouse.
I just had a thought (which unfortunately will display my ignorance). Are VGA Y splitters one way? The scan converter came with a Y splitter and I had to use it on that end (between my VGA cable coming from the server and the scan converter). The connector on the "bottom" of the 1 said scan converter so I plugged that into the scan converter. Leave 1 side of the "top" for the input from the server and the other side of the "top" available for another monitor. But that's backwards isn't it. The "bottom" of the Y needs to be the feed from the server.
I don't know why I never thought about this was so foolish to hook it up backwards. I will try it out on my way home tonight and post back if that's what the problem is.
Not to spoil your fun, but did you consider installing something like UltraVNC on the server and letting the Sherriff's system look in on the screen. You can set VNC to disable user inputs from the viewing machine so that it becomes just a viewer (and not a remote controller like the default install settings). It can also be set up for viewing access via a web browser, so nothing would have to be installed on the Sherriff's computer (or could be viewable from multiple computers).
I don't understand you have a camera system in the headquarters and you want to stream this to the sherrif's office ? What could be of interest that's happening in the firehouse ? Wouldn't that be considered spying and require the approval of your peers first ?
Thinking a little more about this, the scan converter outputs a standard definition picture, and text on the server screen may become unreadable. Software that would allow the screen to be seen in its original resolution is a better solution, if installing it is an option. If not, it may be ncessary to eliminate the scan converter and look for a VGA capture device.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Aug 2012 at 15:48. Reason: left out a word
Thanks for all the responses. I did not get a chance to try switching the Y splitter, so I have nothing to report.
In regards to "themaster1" talking about a camera system and permissions and all that, I am not sure what you are referring to or where you got that idea, but that is not what I am doing at all. You may rest assured I am doing this project via a request from my battalion chief, so it's all good.
In regards to "usually_quiet" talking about the quality of the video, that is a very good point. I had considered this and I think I will be okay. As long as dispatch can see that text exists is all that matters, they really don't need to be able to read it. I know that probably doesn't make sense, so if you are curious I will explain. Before this new system, when a call came in every first responder going to the seen would respond on the radio so that dispatch would know our response level (we are a volunteer dept.). This new system is phone based, we respond via our phones. This is great for us at the fire house b.c we have a monitor in our apparatus bay were we can see who is coming, their rank, etc. But, no longer does dispatch know our response level, so they don't know if they need to send out a second page or call for mutual aid or what. So if I can stream the video we see in our bay over to dispatch then they can see that we have a sufficient response. They wouldn't need to see the names, they would just need to see that the names exists, and based on the way it is displayed I think that would be possible, even if blurred from the scan converter.
Thanks all, I have to go down the fire house tonight so I will try it out and post back tomorrow.
And in regards to prouton, the reason I am doing video capture is because the server that this phone response system is not accessible. We cannot install anything on it, nor is connected to the internet. But thank you for your response, if it were available that would be a perfect solution!