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Andrew Reid

Inogeni 4K HDMI to USB 3.0

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12 hours ago, gsenroc said:

I've got the VS-2 FineHD monitor. But I think at the moment it's not very usable. The image on the screen is way too contrasty, even with the contrast dialed down, no details in the shadow, it's crushed to totally black. Color is wrong too. I am able to adjust the RGB settings to make it close to the LCD of the camera or other field monitor, but it's still not very good. I hope they can fix it with firmware upgarde, but I'm not sure.

Thanks for the info!

Yeah the reviews say it's got some color and contrast issues.  I would be using it just for framing and focus.

My camcorder is a JVC HM150 with a pitiful 2.8" low-res screen.  I usually drag around a 20" computer monitor when I shoot... but a 7" field monitor would be much easier! :D 

The Neway CT710HO that was posted earlier looks good too.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I work in all production scales and the best monitor I've ever laid an eye on is a 7" SmallHD model called Bright I believe. Just, perfect. Perfectly calibrated colours and luma all the panel is visible 100% clearly under harsh daylight, super large to nail focus and perfectly small lined peaking. Next in quality is the SmallHD 501 it's name I think, the little very-chunky -Iphone-like one. Perfect colour 5" display to put on any camera size and has the best user interface ever with that extremely neat swiping between luts with your finger. It solves the monitoring issue of all cameras if budget allows, ou can think of it as an integrated articulated LCD on top of the camera. Next is the Q7+ display, a beaut. Really accurate. Waay ahead of the Shogun screen even though it's 720p vs 1080p, even in pulling focus sharply and seeing detail. Odd. The shogun screen is extremely nice too if you're in a black room. Then I used the very low-end of the monitor world which is the VS-1/2, I have one somewhere and it really is a massively useful piece of gear to shoot video with. Not colour calibrated or best in wow-factor, has a sluggish old UI, but on my 60D/T2i/5D/7D/D5300 it was a major help to frame and focus and expose vs the internal micro-monitors fixed to the camera. Not pretty to look at but performs the monitoring job for low-end line uses. Then I got an Atomos Ninja Blade, which has an ever better and smaller form factor with a better display & UI so that Apurture one got left somewhere since then. I was going to buy a Ninja 2 but looking at the blade panel next to the ninja 2 and shogun sold me on the blade. Even better in feel than the shogun to my eyes and the ninja 2 is significantly inferior, yet also fine for framing/exposing/focusing cheap shoots vs the 3" fixed LCDs. Some of us do not need to see a colour accurate image when monitoring or a very high resolution display like the final output and just know how the camera's colours look and want to focus and expose (zebras/wf/falsec) and frame with a bigger display. It's not a grading monitor, some don't need to see a 100% accurate colour/res. representation of the final image. Just a monitor to see. The higher-end monitors are SUPER helpful and really make you immerse into the real final output but the very low-end are capable of ''monitoring'' on small productions. Very capable.

My point is there's no need for Samsung/Apple/Microsoft to make their devices significantly bigger to implement an HDMI IN on their phones/tablets with the cooling system and dedicated encoding processors to make them usable for this use (tethered/plugged as none of these batteries would work) with scopes and all that complicated work, simply because there are good cheap monitors made with hardware and powering system (LP-E6 is very cool for ex) just for that purpose at a low cost that work. 

Would I want my note 5 LCD to have a Micro-HDMI in that can be used perfectly for an hour+ with a charge and a scopes app? yes. Problem is the technology did not yet reach that ability to make field monitors that are usable with the size/thickness/power of my tiny note/iphone. It NEEDS bigger hardware components, 5x bigger at least vs a Note (in thickness) I want an SL1 sized 1DC too. The smallest current technology can go is the SmallHD 500 5" monitors, that's a sad hard fact for those got excited by this. 

I tried getting the tablet to be streamed via otg cable from a Canon with an app, but even that overheated the Ipad and caused a ridiculous battery drain, and it's just the 720p low quality choppy signal Canons sends via USB to Canon Utility, runs max at 14-15fps. Not usable. I can't imagine what it will do if the signal is 1080p/4K 25/30p coming in the USB port, definitely over its power so will overheat and drain a full battery in minutes, dropping frames. hardware that it needs isn't there. Even the apurture VS-2 lowest-end monitor will be a MUCH better and cheaper device to perform this task vs this 400$ converter to an incapable small phone. It takes LP-E6s, runs long, has the focus aids/ histogram/punch-in/full fps display, just made for it. 

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9 hours ago, Michael Scrip said:

Thanks for the info!

Yeah the reviews say it's got some color and contrast issues.  I would be using it just for framing and focus.

My camcorder is a JVC HM150 with a pitiful 2.8" low-res screen.  I usually drag around a 20" computer monitor when I shoot... but a 7" field monitor would be much easier! :D 

The Neway CT710HO that was posted earlier looks good too.

I think for framing it's nice, the screen is quite easy to use. For focusing it can sometimes be tricky because of the contrast, very little detail in the middle to shadow area so it's a bit hard to see whether it's in focus sometimes. If feels to me that the monitor degrades the image quality for some reason, looks like the effect of compression or something similar.

If you only need it for framing and focus, maybe the VS-1 FineHD is more cost-effective though.

The Neway looks good!

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On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

I wouldn't count on this being a usable solution.  Here are the potential problems I see in no particular order:

1.  Android device must support USB 3

Yep.  Only a few tablets support USB 3, such as the new Asus  ZenPad S 8.  I imagine for 1K capture USB 2.0 should be sufficient.  One can buy a ton of HD webcams on Amazon that use only USB 2.0.

 

On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

3.  Assuming the requirements specified in Number 2 are satisfied, the OTG cable must support this capture device

The OTG cable probably just needs to support USB: its like saying an Ethernet cable must support Skype.

 

On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

5.  Assuming the requirements specified in Number 4 are satisfied, the solution must not require the Android device being rooted (for obvious reasons)

This device is dependent on Web Cam (aka UVC)  support built into Android so there definitely no obvious need to root the device.

 

On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

6.  Assuming the requirements specified in Number 5 are satisfied, un-rooted Android devices currently cannot simultaneously function in USB Host Mode and be charged at the same time. Currently, you get to choose only one -- an Android device is either a USB device, a USB Mass Storage device, or a USB Host device.

The Android tablet would just run in Host mode.  People have been able to plug in webcams to Android tablets for a while now.

 

On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

7.  The latency of the entire signal chain (capture device, data transmission, device-based app processing, device-based display output) will likely be unacceptable for real time applications.  Of course it's impossible no know, but I would 'blue sky' estimate the latency as being somewhere in the ballpark of the Sony A7x PlayMemories Android app.

I've actually researched the feasibility of this setup a few weeks ago.  There is no reason why a wired system wouldn't work reasonable well.  The issue with WiFi based systems is not so much latency, which does matter, but the time outs and drops due to poor connectivity, radio interference and what not.  Basically, this device is fancy web cam except that the built in camera is replaced by a HDMI cable input.  There should be zero connectivity/drop out issues.  Latency should be minimal.

Companies actually sell silicon chips that are called web cam processors.  These chips handle all the USB interfacing to the "computer."  All the board designer needs to do is wire in a video camera.  All webcams have this chip built inside.  This particular adapter is just reading the data stream from the HDMI connector, writing this data into a memory/frame buffer and then shoveling that into the web cam processor.  Pretty simple actually. Not $400 simple, more like $100 simple.

 

On 2/12/2016 at 2:36 PM, blafarm said:

There is a reason no one is doing this -- it's just not practical.  Generally speaking, Android devices are architected as media consumption devices -- not content creation.  Over the years, I have run into a couple of Canon-based apps that display Live View with minimal latency.  And, there are small number of Android devices that have HDMI inputs -- but their form factor would not satisfy this need.  As much as I would like a solution like this, I've concluded that a dedicated monitor is the only viable approach.

 

Practicality is quite subjective.  I think many people once thought shooting video on a DSLR was neither viable nor practical.  Also, Canon Live View is proof that this idea is feasible because its basically doing the same thing. Also, I am not aware of single Android device that HDMI input.   People already have tablets and huge phones.  It would seem desirable to at least non-professionals to be able to reuse a nice 8" tablet for for framing if they already own the device and are probably carrying it anyway.  That said, $400 seems crazy expensive.

Storing video is another issue. Most tablets don't have SD slots.  Also, micro SD media capacities aren't so great nor can you generally easily swap out a SD card on an Android device easily without rebooting the system.  More of an annoyance.  

I would be concerned with really mundane stuff like does it handle 24p, 30p, 60p frame rates and 3:2 pull down properly.  Even a "big" company like Black Magic is having issues with its Video Assist with HDMI out from Sony cameras.  

More importantly, is how is this video being recorded.  The latest UVC 1.5 standard supports H.264 at best.  Since Inogeni isn't supplying the software, what software does one use to record the video?  Is it any good?  Does it support a H.264 stream?  

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1 hour ago, stuckat1 said:

The OTG cable probably just needs to support USB: its like saying an Ethernet cable must support Skype.

Not sure you are speaking from experience.  However, as the owner of 8-Android devices (combination of phones and tablets) and 11-OTG cables from various manufacturers, I can tell you that not every USB device, works with every OTG cable, on every Android platform.  And in fact, I currently can't get any OTG cable to work on my Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (which is a USB 3-based device).

It's actually quite vexing, and it becomes even more complicated when the power consumption requirements of the attached USB device are factored into the equation (which would certainly be the case with this scenario).  And this performance inconsistency is not necessarily resolved through the use of OTG cables that offer a separate Micro USB power leads.  

Unfortunately, Android was never developed with any emphasis on the ease of connecting external USB-based devices -- and years later, it is still an afterthought.  For this reason, Windows-based tablets will likely have a leg-up in this realm.

1 hour ago, stuckat1 said:

Also, I am not aware of single Android device that HDMI input.  

Here are two one, but there are others.  You just have to look for hybrid devices that function as both tablets and external screens ...

Wacom Cintiq Android Tablet

Acer Aspire Android Desktop

But the bigger fundamental issue, which you already mentioned, is that tablet screens were never manufactured to display the frame rates that emanate from our cameras.  They were designed as a closed ecosystem -- optimized for one function (and that function is clearly not video assist).  Whether you use a capture device -- or jack-into a tablet that has an HDMI input, frame rates like 23.976, 29.97, 59.94 will either cause unacceptable motion artifacts -- or it won't be displayed at all.

 

 

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I've used the qDslrDashboard application which basically does what you want over a direct USB connection. You connect via WiFi or USB with the OTG cable to your Android device and then you can monitor and control the camera from the device (works for Canon DSLRs, Nikon DSLRs, etc.). I've used it on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

It's a perfect solution for landscape photography, timelapse, etc where functions aren't time critical or then can work automated (e.g. bulb ramping). That said, it's completely unusable for video work. I'd estimate you get like 15fps, colors are bad, resolution is not good enough for quick, critical focus and it sucks your battery empty like nothing.

As others have said, there's a reaosn field monitors are that big and have big, exchangeable batteries. I don't see potential to buy a super expensive adapter to get a lackluster low-end monitoring solution.

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On 2/14/2016 at 3:54 PM, blafarm said:

Not sure you are speaking from experience.  However, as the owner of 8-Android devices (combination of phones and tablets) and 11-OTG cables from various manufacturers, I can tell you that not every USB device, works with every OTG cable, on every Android platform.  And in fact, I currently can't get any OTG cable to work on my Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 (which is a USB 3-based device).

It's actually quite vexing, and it becomes even more complicated when the power consumption requirements of the attached USB device are factored into the equation (which would certainly be the case with this scenario).  And this performance inconsistency is not necessarily resolved through the use of OTG cables that offer a separate Micro USB power leads.  

Unfortunately, Android was never developed with any emphasis on the ease of connecting external USB-based devices -- and years later, it is still an afterthought.  For this reason, Windows-based tablets will likely have a leg-up in this realm.

Here are two one, but there are others.  You just have to look for hybrid devices that function as both tablets and external screens ...

Wacom Cintiq Android Tablet

Acer Aspire Android Desktop

But the bigger fundamental issue, which you already mentioned, is that tablet screens were never manufactured to display the frame rates that emanate from our cameras.  They were designed as a closed ecosystem -- optimized for one function (and that function is clearly not video assist).  Whether you use a capture device -- or jack-into a tablet that has an HDMI input, frame rates like 23.976, 29.97, 59.94 will either cause unacceptable motion artifacts -- or it won't be displayed at all.

 

 

Great comments!!!

I do think all keyboards and mice using standard HID configurations that don't draw too much juice should work with all Android tablets (that have intact USB stack implementation) with USB host support and with a OTG cable.  I imagine its completely possible that devices get shipped with little or no USB profiles other than mass storage.  This is probably most likely for cheaper devices, under $100.

Wacom and Acer Aspire devices are very interesting.  Never seen them before.


The Acer Aspire is so physically large and inexpensive that I think they just literally built an internal video switcher inside so the video isn't being processed by the OS.  I watched a promotional Acer Aspire video that shows that the OS screen just vanishes when a HDMI cable is plugged in.  A switcher probably only costs $5 to manufacture but you cannot record video from the source.

Wacom is an interesting device but it does cost $800+.  Wacom obviously designed special hardware to display the video feed inside its apps.  This could definitely record video but the problem is that Wacom probably has no interest in making those APIs public.  This means no third party support. Also this device is 13.3"!!!

Also, the Wacom is designed to communicate with a PC using DCC, so it probably supports one or two display modes/resolutions.  The tablet and PC negotiates bidirectionally how to display the best resolution/frequency.   When you plug a monitor to a camera, the camera doesn't negotiate. :) It forces a resolution and refresh so if your HDMI recorder device can't support it, your S.O.L.

Finally, when I meant frame rate support what I meant that USB/HDMI device needs to have a proper HDMI processor that supports a reasonable amount of video modes that most cameras output.  The actual tablet device display frequency is independent of the HDMI feed.  In terms of data plumbing, if your tablet can reasonably display YouTube videos using H.264 then the Inogeni device should work because UVC 1.5 protocol at its best resolution supports H.264.   Again this assume you can shovel the HDMI bits into the tablet correctly and fast enough.

The sad thing is that an 8" to 10" tablet with HDMI input will never be built.  Its just too esoteric/ specialized.  Large companies who make commodity devices with razor thin margins cannot afford adding such features.  Look at the demise of Colby.  However, a small company with a niche product like the Inogeni can gouge video enthusiasts with a $400 device.

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@stuckat1

I agree with all of your comments above, with the possible exception of the one having to do with display frequency.  A video assist monitor that is being used for critical evaluation purposes must be able to lock onto the frequency of the incoming HDMI signal -- otherwise the viewer will see cadence errors -- or, more likely nothing at all.  

In the US, even lower-end consumer monitors will lock onto 1080p / 23.976, 24, 59.94 and 60.  As closed ecosystems, Android tablets have no such demand, they are purpose-built to display only their own graphics output -- and nothing else.

Even in a scenario where an external video capture solution allows for real time ingest of frequencies not fundamentally supported by a tablet's display, unless its signal processing capabilities are on the order of Teranex or Alchemist, cadence errors will significantly undermine its usefulness.

The hybrid monitors I linked are interesting products -- if you have the specific need.  There are also a number of small, portable, HDMI-based "second screen" products that are intended to increase screen real estate for laptop users.  However, none of these products are designed to support common camera output frequencies. 

At the end of the day, it makes more sense to just purchase a dedicated video assist monitor.  There are plenty to choose from -- some quite inexpensive.  However, like everything else, you get what you pay for.  

 

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I dropped a question on B&H to ask on android use so maybe have look and like it to drum up more information on using it on mobiles but as been hunting for more information and a store that would supply this device to the uk or europe i found this http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1105735-REG/magewell_xi_100_d_usb_hdmi_one_hd_hdmi_usb.html  

its easier to buy from as there are uk suppliers for me as an alternative

i searched for UVC , UVC hdmi , grabber >>> a universal standard for web cams

bums me out people are overly talking that this cant possibly work on phones and talking about other devices ... i can get freeview tele working on my phone via radio/antennae signals seen  ive phones stream live analog tv . our phones have quad core and dual core processors im sure some clever guy can figure this out like this guy below and make it more stable but the guy below does not seem as credible and the brands mentioned --- http://febon.blogspot.com/2013/10/febon168-uvc-usb-hdmi-grabber-card-user.html

anyway i would love to know if i can use my note 4 as a monitor so i can do improvised things like MacGyver

 

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So I've been looking at all the Chinese cheap tech sites for years to see if Android tablets with HDMI in would ever be a thing just out of curiosity and I found a few Android DVR boxes with HDMI in and out with 4K playback and USB 3.0 and H.265 from about £80 - £150 NOW before anyone starts No I wouldn't use it on a production, They may not even accept 25/24p BUT it is a step in the right direction and I'm sure someone will slap a screen on one of these things before long and give us a nice monitoring tool with endless app possibilities.

  

 

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