Corner Geeks 12: Mobile World Congress 2012

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Mobile World Congress 2012

It took us a while to get back in the groove but we’re back and covered some Mobile World Congress 2012 news.

HTC

  • new HTC One series unveiled
  • Superfast photo capture: 0.7 seconds to take a photo , 0.2-seconds autofocus
  • Capture a photo in the midst of recording HD video
  • 25 gigabytes of free Dropbox space for two years
  • All devices: Android 4.0 (ICS), HTC Sense 4, Bluetooth 4.0, Beats Audio
  • One X & One XL
    • 4.7″ (1280×720) HD screen
    • X:
      • 1.5 GHz, quad core
      • 32GB storage, 1GB RAM
      • UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
    • XL:
      • 1.5 GHz, dual core
      • 16GB storage, 1GB RAM
      • UMTS
        • ATT: 850/1900/2100 MHz
        • Asia/AUS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
      • LTE
        • ATT: B4/B17
        • Asia/AUS: 1800/2600 MHz
    • 8 MP camera (1080p video)
    • F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens,
    • 1.3 MP front camera (720p video)
    • NFC
    • No microSD slot
    • microSIM
  • One S: midrange
    • 4.3″ (540 x 960) screen
    • 1.5 GHz, dual core
    • UMTS: 850/900/2100 MHz
    • 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM
    • 8 MP camera (1080p video)
    • F2.0 aperture and 28mm lens,
    • VGA front camera
    • microSIM
    • No microSD slot
    • UMTS: Europe/Asia: 850/900/2100 MHz
  • One V: budget
    • 3.7″ (800×480) screen
    • 1 GHz CPU
    • 5 MP camera (720p video)
    • 4 GB storage, 512 MB RAM
    • Expansion slot: microSD slot
    • UMTS: Europe/Asia: 850/900/2100 MHz

Sony

  • Xperia S companion devices: Xperia P (mid range) and low end (budget)
  • Overview: Reasonable screen size, dual core but Android 2.3 with ICS supposedly coming in Q2
  • Sony Xperia P – mid range
    • 4″ (960 x 540 pixels) Reality Display
    • 1 GHz , dual core
    • Android 2.3 (Upgrade to Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, planned in Quarter 2 2012)
    • 8 MP camera  (1080p video)
    • 0.3 MP (VGA) front camera
    • 2D and 3D panoramic images.
    • 16GB flash storage. 1GB RAM
    • NFC
    • UMTS: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
  • Sony Xperia U – budget
    • 3.5″ (854 x 480)  Reality Display
    • 1 GHz dual core
    • Android 2.3 (Upgrade to Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, planned in Quarter 2 2012)
    • 5 MP camera (720p video)
    • 0.3MP (VGA) front camera
    • 4GB storage, 512MB RAM
    • UMTS
      • 900, 2100 MHz (Global except Americas)
      • 850, 1900, 2100 MHz (Americas)

Huawei

  • Press release: Huawei releases their own quad-core CPU said to be better performing and lower power consumption
  • Overview: 4.5” 720p phone screens with ICS
  • Ascend D Quad
    • 4.5″ (1280×720) screen
    • Huawei quad core 1.2GHz/1.5GHz
    • Android 4.0
    • 8 MP camera (1080p video)
    • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
    • 8GB storage, 1GB RAM
    • UMTS: 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz
  • Ascend D Quad XL
    • 2500mAh vs standard 1800mAh in Ascend D Quad
  • Ascend D1 
    • 4.5″ (1280×720) screen
    • 1.5 GHz dual core
    • Android 4.0
    • 8GB storage, 1GB RAM
    • UMTS: 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz
  • MediaPad 10 FHD
    • 10” (1920 x 1200) IPS screen
    • 1.5 GHz K3 quad-core processor
    • Android 4.0
    • 8 MP camera
    • 1.3 MP front camera
    • 2G RAM

Viewsonic

  • Dual SIM phones
  • ViewPhone 4s
    • 3.5″ (640×960) screen
    • 1GHz processor
    • 5 MP rear camera
    • 0.3 MP (VGA) front camera
    • Android 4.0
    • Dual SIM
  • ViewPhone 5e
    • 5″ (800×480) screen
    • Android 4.0
    • Dual SIM
  • ViewPhone 4e
    • 3.5″ (480×320) screen
    • 650MHz
    • Android 2.3
    • 512MB of RAM
    • 3MP camera
    • Dual SIM

Samsung

  • Galaxy Note 10.1
    • 10.1 1280 x 800 TFT LCD
    • Android 1.0
    • 64GB storage
    • 3 MP camera, 2 MP front camera
    • Pressure sensitive S-Pen
      • Preloaded with specially designed versions of Adobe Photoshop Touch, Adobe Ideas and other graphical software items, users can draw graphics and sketches and edit images on the device
    • Split screen option: , users can ‘break’ the 10.1-inch display in two, with S Note on one side, and a live web-browsing or video playing window on the other side.
  • Galaxy Beam
    • 4″ (800×480) display
    • 1GHz dual-core processor
    • Android 2.3
    • TI DLP nHD (640 x 360) Projector built into phone

Nokia

  • Nokia Lumia 610
    • 3.7″ (800 x 480) LCD screen
    • 800MHz + 256mb memory
    • Most affordable Lumia smartphone yet
    • WinPhone 7.5
    • UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
    • No microSD slot
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    • 4″ (640 x 360) AMOLED screen
    • 1.3GHz CPU
    • 41 MP camera sensor
      • Typical 5 MP photos utilizing 7 pixels to 1 ‘superpixel’ for better image quality
      • Lossless video zoom: 1080p 4x, 720p 6x
    • Symbian, S3 Belle
    • UMTS: 850/900/1700/-21001900/2100 MHz
    • NFC

Corner Geeks 9: Live Streaming setup for Ran8adidas

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Show Notes

What we wanted

  • Live streaming of the event
  • Video
    • multiple cameras if possible
    • perhaps one overview shot
    • one on-the-go camera following events like the Twitter hunt. Follow contestants around “Amazing Race” style
  • Sound
    • clean sound from the mixer for opening ceremony / speeches
    • also want to capture atmosphere/sound around the camera
  • Internet
    • need for streaming
    • simplest of them all. 3G dongle
  • Master control at the laptop controllilng the stream / switching audio and video accordingly

Mobile video

  • DSLR / camcorder approach:
    • Possible but need wireless transmitters making it cumbersome
    • DSLR sensor limited time
  • Keep-it-Simple-Stupid approach:
    • Use smartphones with Wifi and cameras
    • Small, simple, only need wireless access point if needed
    • Possible to attach external microphone to device for interviews
    • Advantages
      • Can move around freely
      • Requires no additional hardware for video capture hardware on computer.
      • Fairly cheap and easy to setup if you already have the devices (more people have smartphones now)
    • Disadvantages
      • Latency
      • Lower quality?
      • Potentially unreliable connection vs wires? Wireless inteference. Network going down?
      • No zoom!
    • Mobile Video apps

      • IP Webcam
        • Android
        • Free
        • Starts a webserver on camera device. Accessible from any computer on the network. View and listen in a browser
      • PocketCam (Desktop software)

        • iOS / Android
        • US$4.99 / BND$6
        • Windows or OS X software to be installed on the host
        • Creates video and audio device driver on host. Once connected access like a webcamera and USB mircophone
        • Audio lag!
      • WebCamera
        • iOS / Blackbery / WinMo / Symbian
        • US$2.99 / US$19.95 / US$19.95 / US$9.95
        • Works similar to PocketCam: Windows or OS X software to be installed on the host
        • Used iOS version that can take video and photo from camera and it will send it to host computer
      • There are other apps for Android and iOS but many do not provide audio which is what we wanted
    • Multiple Camera feasibility study
      • IP Camera: separate VLC instance for each video and each audio for each camera. Gets complicated very fast
      • Pocket Camera / WebCamera: only one PocketCamera / Webcamera host software allowed to run at one time on one machine
      • Not possible to use multiple cameras using only one app. Mixer and match is possible
      • Needed proper communication between in-the-field camera user and master control

Sound

  • Input from mixer via line-in on laptop (not don’t have get a USB sound card)
  • LadioCast for audio mixing and piping of audio. Can even monitor sound without sending it to live stream

Internet

  • Needed wireless coverage
  • Used iPod Touch as a WiFi signal monitor. Activated voice control, tap the wireless signal to hear the strength level (probably there is an app for this but did not explore)
  • To forgoe a 3G router: OS X Internet sharing (Connetify.me for Windows)

Other things we used

  • Phone holder to tripod mount
  • Tripod: can place camera in certain places. Can extend tripod to get different angles
  • Charging cables! Must remember to charge mobile devices. iPod Touch 4G lasted about 2 hours of streaming

Final Setup

  • iOS Webcamera easiest to work with
  • CamTwist to add overlays
  • Ladiocast to pipe audio. Connected to mixer when needed. Add microphone from the mobile cameras when interviewing / asking questions
  • Tripod to place camera so no need to be there
  • uStream to send out stream and record it

Other Considerations

  • Phone upgrades:
  • Have a sign that says, “we’re streaming live”. While recording I was thinking of the implications of this for privacy
  • Have a dedicated chat room to interact with the viewers. At least had a screen of some hashtag that we could sometimes show on twitter.
  • Get better upstream for better video and audio
  • Have a dedicated screen / projector / laptop on our booth showing what’s streaming.

Podcasting Setup in OS X – Version 1

Podcast Setup v1
This is the first version of my podcasting setup that I’m relatively happy with as it is clean without too much things going on. I’ve used this for Corner Geeks and some Tech Talk Coffee Shop episodes.

If you’re curious of what podcasting is, it is the production of podcasts. Podcasts are basically recorded shows that are downloadable off the Internet. Do listen to Simply Geek #8 – Podcasting where they discuss it in further detail. Those interested in podcast production check out Simply Geek #17.1: Podcast Production Part 1 and Part 2 that I had to opportunity to play guest in

I explain the process of my setup in the Youtube video below

Setup includes the following:

  • Zoom H1 – bought off Ebay for about US$100
  • Steel Series Mobile Devie Adapter – bought at Chong Hock in Kiulap for about B$26. This is needed as the MacBook Pro has a headset jack instead of individual stereo out and microphone in jacks
  • A regular headset
  • LineIn – a free software utility of OS X

An alternative to LineIn is Audacity (enable “Software Playthrough” in the Transport menu and click “Start Monitoring” in the input device) or LadioCast but LineIn is the simplest method for this setup. For Windows and Linux users, the Audacity method should work just fine.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @thewheat and in the mean time listen to some Brunei-made podcasts: Corner Geeks and Talking Aloud

Live Stream Setup for Ran8adidas

So a couple of weeks back we had the honour of live streaming of Ran8adidas (the 8th year anniversary celebrations of Ranoadidas.com) at the International Convention Center (ICC). We share with you how we managed to get mobile video in the field with the ability to add overlays and mix the audio source with any audio source while at the same time live streaming and recording it.


(Watch on YouTube)

Watch the recorded video from this setup at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ran8adidas

Our Setup:

  1. WebCamera for iOS (US$2.99) running on an iPod Touch or iPhone to act as video and audio sources out in the field
  2. Mobiola WebCamera (free) on the streaming computer to retrieve video and audio from the iOS device (they show up as webcam video and microphone audio devices)
  3. 3G modem used as an Internet connection
  4. OS X’s Internet sharing to ensure the iOS device and the computer are on the same network
  5. CamTwist (free) to add overlays and text
  6. MacBook Pro line-in port to receive sound from the mixer
  7. A USB sound card to be used as audio out for monitoring
  8. Soundflower was used as extra audio devices to aid the transfer of audio from audio sources to audio outputs
  9. LadioCast (free) for audio mixer/switching between mixer and iOS device audio
  10. uStream.tv (free) to stream and record the live video and audio

Other notes:

  • The video quality wasn’t great and it was a trade-off between faster frame rates vs better image quality and resolution which were limited factors of the WebCamera application (192×144 vs 480×360, but I’m not sure to measure the frame rate). We decided on better image quality as it would be made worse by the spotty 3G connection
  • We tried using uStream Producer (free) but it was inconsistent as it dropped after 30 seconds. I wonder if this could be due to the 3G reception.
  • If you have an Android device you can use IP WebCam (free) to stream the video and audio from the device to a computer. I used 2 different instances of VLC (free) to play the video and audio. The video could then be captured using CamTwist and the audio controlled with LadioCast
  • We experimented with PocketCam for iOS ($4.99) paried together with the PocketControl (free) client software but the delay in video and audio was too great, ~10 seconds.
  • Alternatives to CamTwist (OSX) are ManyCam (Windows / OSX) and WebCam Studio for GNU/Linux (Linux) but CamTwist has quite a few nifty features and would recommend it