What is the market problem users are seeking to address?
Small broadcast quality HD cameras with wide angle or fisheye lenses have become prevalent in use in live sport – goalmouth views, cricket stumps, tennis, NBA, Formula One – covert wildlife image capture, medical, forensics/security, ENG, Reality TV shows, online gaming, the list goes on. The requirement for physically small or covert application of such cameras necessitate the use of wide field of view lenses which give rise to lens distortion and curvilinear perspective image artefacts resulting from camera positioning. For high quality applications, there is a requirement for producing corrected undistorted images that can be broadcast live, in real time.
There are many software applications that can correct image source lens distortion why can’t these be used?
Software processes require rendering of images, an offline process, so such solutions do not work in real time with live streams – crucial for sport applications for example. However, forensic/security and reality TV applications may or may not require realtime solutions depending on the application. Our analysis has determined there is an opportunity for a realtime lens distortion processor to address the live stream applications. This has driven the development of AlphaEye, which provides such a solution.
How does AlphaEye address realtime lens distorted live stream feeds?
AlphaEye incorporates a hardware geometry engine that can be pre-configured via USB connected laptop or tablet device before use to provide lens distortion for a designated single camera feed. An internal interlace/de-interlacer facilitates the use of Progressive and Interlace HD SDI feeds, 1080P, 1080i and 720P supported formats. Importantly, the AlphaEye incorporates a Genlock input, removing the need for an external synchronising device. As an option, a Fibre SFP can be added where source cameras are located at remote distances up to 1000m such as at sports stadiums/live events.
What is the image quality?
AlphaEye has a high quality sub pixel geometric image processor that exhibits no visible artefacts at all operational HD resolutions and is suitable for all high bar broadcast applications.
Does the AlphaEye unit need to be co-located with the camera?
The AlphaEye unit’s location is governed by industry standard 3G co-axial cable length limitations, but as an incremental cost option, AlphaEye has a fibre SFP connection that supports fibre connections up to and beyond 1000 metres.
How is the AlphaEye configured and set up for a particular camera feed?
Configuration requires the one time connection via USB of the AlphaEye unit to a Mac or Windows laptop or hand held Windows based Microsoft Surface Tablet to set up and save the correction parameters of the distorted image source feed. Once configured set up is saved to the AlphaEye unit, external USB device can be disconnected.
What image correction parameters are available?
Available image correction parameters:
- Strength of lens distortion correction. Separate X&Y or X&Y Ganged correction
- Zoom. Separate X&Y or X&Y Ganged correction
- X axis projection (x axis tilt)
- Y axis projection (y axis tilt)
- X axis offset
- Y axis offset
Additional user defined input selection, output progressive/interlace, x axis flip, save/discard settings, indicators for input presence and genlocked on/off. There is also an offline mode where no input feeds are present.
Once an AlphaEye/camera pair is configured, will I ever need to change the settings?
Where a particular AlphaEye/camera setup parameters include changes to X & Y projection (tilt), offset and rotate, any significant change in camera position may necessitate recalibration. If the setup parameters are limited to changes to distortion correction and zoom only, they will not.
Can an AlphaEye be used with moving cameras?
Yes, but AlphaEye/camera setup parameters should be restricted to distortion correction and zoom changes only.
What’s the AlphaEye form factor and I/O specs?
- 3cm(H) x 12cm(W) x 15.5cm(D – including connectors)
- Weight 400gm
- Inputs: 1x 3G HD SDI, 1x Genlock, HDVI, optional Fibre
- Dual link support
- Outputs: 2x 3G HD SDI, HDVI
- Fan cooled <40dbA
- Operating Temp <30°C
- External power block supply (supplied).
- 100-240v AC 1.5amp max 50/60hz
- IEC 60320 C13 power cable appropriate to international region
- Power block to AlphaEye DC cable length 1m.