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Author Topic: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...  (Read 12616 times)

Offline Fabio

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 01:46:33 PM »
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The remotes that are included suck.. Making connecting initially difficult

are you talking about connecting for the first time or do you have to set them up every time?
Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2016, 05:06:11 PM »
To your question about when it will be released - I generally avoid publicly posting a release date, as I then feel I'm under a deadline... and I won't release it until I know it's perfectly stable and ready for heavy use.

In the case of the 8.0, there are some other considerations that may delay a release. I really don't want to put anything out there until I know it's totally stable and ready...

As for the other considerations - I don't like talking about personal stuff on here, but Next Generation Software, Inc. is *me* - completely a one-man operation. And this one man *might* need to have another (minor, hopefully) heart surgery... I had 2 last year, including a pacemaker implant, and there's something wrong with the pacemaker leads now and my new cardiologist is very concerned.

All this and I'm only 41... all caused by a doctor mistake. I can't go into detail because of a pending suit, but let me just say that Indiana is the worst state to have a malpractice case in... the laws protect the doctors, and I'll be in courts for years before I see a dime from any of that...

So anyway, I started 8.0 as a nearly complete rewrite, because after I recovered from the first surgeries I felt fine and thought I was done with hospitals and all that for a while. Internally, VDJ really needed a good rewrite. Mind you, some of my original 1997 code is still perfectly fine, but some of it needed updating pretty badly in order to take advantage of new OS features (touch screens, awesome multimedia/video support, etc).

Plus I've learned quite a lot in the 18 years since I started VDJ - hell, I only had 16 years of programming experience back then! (Yes, I started in 1981 when I was 6 on a Commodore VIC-20)...

So anyway, 8.0's main internals are pretty much overhauled, and it's mostly the cosmetics and finishing touches that need to be completed at this point. At least the 7.x version that's out there is stable for the most part - it just feels outdated (at least to me... lol).

As long as I'm not too drugged up, I should be able to sit up and work while I recover... I can't just sit still and do nothing :) But we'll just have to wait and see. If this surgery is as minor as I'm hoping, and recovery is quick, I am still hoping to have it done by the end of the year (so roughly 2 months). I also want to roll out the www.mydjsongbook.com mobile site offering a ton more features than VDJs built-in app server (like customers' ability to upload selfies, save favorite requests, etc)... big plans, but gotta take care of me first...
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2016, 05:35:46 PM »
Oh man that sounds like serious stuff.   Is this surgery happening soon? Hang in there Justin!

-Fabio
Fabio Q.
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Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2016, 07:42:59 PM »
I won't know for sure until I see the cardio doc on Thursday... for now I'm hoping the Cubs pull it off tonight and then game 7 tomorrow... taking my mind off the heart stuff :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2016, 08:28:42 PM »
I've been working on "test patterns" of course with the new video support... but here's a test pattern I did NOT want to see today!!! Right after a home-run hit by the Cubs, securing our lead, I saw this... not sure if this was only on the web feed or not (I'm multi-tasking) but together with the loud "BEEEEEEEEEP" it was quite annoying... was only a few seconds, and I backed it up and it happened in exactly the same spot (so it wasn't just me), also gave me time to hit PrtScr :)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2016, 08:30:25 PM by Justin »
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline vcationguy

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2016, 04:48:43 AM »
Good luck Justin!  I hope all goes well for you in your surgery and your law suit.  ;)  I'll be praying for you.  Have a speedy recovery and get back to work!  lol  Hell, I'll even root for the Cubs if that helps.  lol
Ron

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2016, 11:44:06 AM »
Thanks guys. I go to the doc first thing in the morning and will find out for sure what the next step will be. But I want to get onto another topic now :)

So... my cheap HP "HD 720p Webcam" came in. And my suspicions were totally correct:

Almost all webcams are of the 4:3 aspect ratio. The software crops the video to 16:9, and up-samples the video resolution. That's it. The actual CCD inside is capturing, at most, 640x480 (in many cases it's only 320x240). Internally (as in, when I query the actual video camera about its capabilities), this one does 640x480 at 15 frames per second. The $4 webcam I had been using is 320x240 at 15 frames/second. Both garbage really but just fine for my purposes.

The built-in webcam on my little HP on the other hand is 640x480 @ 24 frames/second. Just slightly better.

Since most software crops the video anyway, most people never know that the camera itself is just an off-the-shelf CCD from Malaysia or some such country, packaged into whatever housing and branded, and using software in the driver, up-sampled to mimic whatever they want to stamp on the box.

Anyway, I was thinking of adding a simple "video switcher" tab, where all live video sources would show up. You could "enable" as many as you have, and then instantly switch camera angles. Like a little video production studio :)

I know this would be useless for the most part but hear me out: Suppose you want a camera on the main Karaoke screen, to capture the singer. Then your built-in webcam could be switched to while you (the DJ) make announcements. Then you could switch to a video loop or remote camera feed (still working on that possibility) or something else...

This would be a feature I'll add *later*, not in the current phase, and it would likely be a separate "advanced" tab. For now it stays as is - a drop-down of available image files, video loops, and cameras. You can switch between them but cameras take a second or two to "initialize" so there would always be a blank delay from one cam to the next (that would be avoided in the new idea, by having them always "open" and previewing)...

Anyway I finally implemented seeking within video files, and time display. Sounds simple but I just hadn't gotten to that part yet. Next up - the audio. I think I found the answer I've been looking for in how to take the audio from a video that's playing, and manipulate it as I see fit (EQ, AGC, mixing with other sources, and of course routing to the "headphone" output). That's kinda the final piece of the puzzle before I am comfortable putting out a BETA test version :)

So... let's see what happens tomorrow. If they don't admit me right away I'll probably have some time to work on this... meanwhile today I'm gonna relax and watch the Cubbies win :) :) :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Fabio

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2016, 01:09:29 PM »
Yup...cheering for your Cubbies, even though they're the ones who knocked off my Dodgers.... :(

Quote
Almost all webcams are of the 4:3 aspect ratio. The software crops the video to 16:9, and up-samples the video resolution.

How do you verify this?  I recently bough a middle of the road camera for Live Streaming on FB, but have yet to implement it. I'm not sure if this is possible, but I'd love to give this a try. It would be nice to live stream my shows.

Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2016, 01:49:57 PM »
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How do you verify this?

Well there's this (see attached) blatant false advertising. On the other side of the box it also says "Live Video: 1280x720 at up to 30 frames per second". Technically that's what the software gives you - after scaling up a 640x360 cropped version of the already only VGA quality CCD. But that's like saying an army Jeep or Hum-V can go 800 MPH - but only when it's inside a cargo plane during transport! (best analogy I could think of at the moment...)

Probing the hardware is the only way to know what it truly puts out, and that's what I did (well, that's what I have to do to use the video feed in code). Any notion of "widescreen video" is just cutting off the top and bottom, then scaling it up to fit the screen or advertised output pixel depth. Any notion of "HD" is simply bilinear interpolation (or as I call it, "inventing pixels"). An algorithm that certainly has its uses (smooth image scaling, I use it all the time) but in this case it's used to deceive the consumer.

But - for a $10 camera that literally was Plug 'n' Play, I really can't complain :)  I knew what I was getting. It's slightly better image quality than the $4 camera I had been using, and this one actually has an HP logo on it (the other is a no-name).

A side note about the $4 camera - it has six super-bright LEDs on it that are utterly useless for anything other than blinding the subject... I have several of those little $4 guys, and you CAN replace the super-bright white LEDs with IR LEDs harvested from remote controls and the like... instant night vision, works surprisingly well. Still 640x480 at 15 frames/second but good enough for a live feed or hidden capture (I'm thinking of starting a security camera Windows app as a next project, down the road...)

So anyway I attached a side-by-side (or top and bottom) of the HP camera box, vs what I actually get. I shaded the non-wide parts for clarity on my pic. But almost all USB cams do this so it's nothing new and nothing to worry about. Just zoom it in and you've got "widescreen"... I just hate that the image on the box implies that it's natively widescreen and that you would be cropping it by going 4:3, when the opposite is true.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2016, 01:59:59 PM »
The side of the box has me wondering something: Do they just package the SAME camera, and change the Height and Width variable in the code, to sell the "better" HD models? And 4 megapixel is just plain not true. Inexpensive CCD cameras don't have a separate Red/Green/Blue subpixel for every pixel, so they are just alternated RGBG (G is more light sensitive being in the middle of the spectrum so it's used twice). So 640 X 480 = 307,200 pixels. Even if it were true RGB subpixels it would be just under one million. The "Megapixel" number they give is after software scaling invents a few million pixels using some simple math :)

Too bad it's not like on TV where you can take a low-quality camera feed, then "Zoom in and enhance"... that always bugs the heck out of me :)

By the way, the pics are from where I bought it - the box mine came in was surprisingly in better looking shape... I just didn't feel like digging it out of the recycle and taking pics :)
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline chaz

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2016, 07:15:41 PM »
Quote
The remotes that are included suck.. Making connecting initially difficult

are you talking about connecting for the first time or do you have to set them up every time?

Yes when setting up new tvs or connecting new receivers to transmitter.. They made a new version and I couldn't purchase the older ones anymore I had to reinvest in $600 new .. Im a pro now setting em up though.

Offline Justin

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2016, 07:34:18 PM »
Saw heart doctor today, definitely have to have a surgery to replace the lead. It slipped but not the normal way (normally the lead would pull out of place). It worked its way further in, pushing through the wall of the heart and to my lung.... shouldn't be a major deal once we get it scheduled, it's been this way for over a year so it's not like it's time critical...

So back to VDJ: I figured out the correct way to word that 4:3 option: Anamorphic. It's a term for when you squeeze wide-screen content into a non-wide format. DVDs are not wide-screen by initial design (remember DVD came out way before HDTV and the 16:9 standard wide format we use today), so for wide-screen movies they store an anamorphic "squeezed" version into a 4:3 frame; the player knows to letterbox it (or if on a newer TV, display it properly). So basically you're using "non-square" pixels.

The only time this option is useful or necessary is when you're (for example) connecting flat screens via Composite or S-Video - some DJs still do that. And end up with a stretched-wide picture. This setting will squeeze my 16:9 picture into a 4:3 output making it look correct (actually it already does it, I just couldn't think of the proper word to describe the feature).

Anyway, I've been testing the "Force 720p" option on a variety of computer/screen combinations with great success. I've been finishing up on video playback support, and once I get the audio portion done, we'll have something... :)

Attached is just the config screen; when you choose to adjust the screen the red box shows up so you know you're in that mode; when you choose to change resolutions, the "Keep Setting" button flashes and counts down 15 seconds and reverts back if you don't click it. However, unchecking the "Adjust" box or selecting one of the other tabs also locks in your setting and stops the countdown, so you can do all this in just a couple clicks.
-- Justin Nelson, CEO
   Next Generation Software, Inc.
   http://www.vdj.net/

Offline chaz

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2016, 10:51:40 PM »
I really like the looks of that pic.. That should cover any hookups .. I still do composite at times.. mostly home use. Issue I came across this past week.. 2 tvs had hdmi.. (no issue there) but bar wanted an old school big screen hooked up.. coaxial.. I didnt have enough supplies to do it..I would've needed to take one hdmi and switch back to coaxial ... which i have done before.. but took awhile.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Solution to Screen Resolution issue...
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2016, 01:45:03 PM »

Good to know!...right now this is not an issue for me...all the bars where I host already switched to TVs that take HDMI.

Also, glad to know the pacemaker issue is not a big issue. :)


Fabio Q.
Shooting Star Karaoke