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Unread 03-11-2010, 07:23 PM
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Match Recording Idea

Hi all,

Seeing the threads about people recording matches and remembering how painful it was for me to do a few years ago gave me an idea.

For one, the main reason people record regionals is for the matches, which probably end up on the Blue Alliance. So, whats the point of recording the entire day, including the 5 minute patter between matches and 1.5 hour field delay?

Although this relies on the field allowing us to get data, it would make recording so much more efficient. At the AV output table, you would have your video/audio outputs for you to plug in your desired recording device. I know some teams use DVRs, but this would require a laptop/computer. There would also be another board/box that has some type of connection which you connect to the computer. From this box, you get a signal when a match starts with its associated number and when a match ends. Recording software on the computer would then start and stop recording and perhaps rename the match video file with the correct match number. Thus after a regional is over, it makes it much faster to go from the regional to the Blue Alliance.

Note I don't know what people are using now-a-days, the only time I've had experience in recording matches was in 2008.

Thoughts?

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-Tanner
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:32 PM
AustinSchuh AustinSchuh is offline
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Re: Match Recording Idea

A year and a half ago, I implemented something that would be able to do what you are suggesting. Once you have a system like this, provided it has internet access as well, you can easily upload in real time. I worked with Brad Miller some to try and get the start/stop signals you are talking about, and that's where we had trouble and the project fell flat. I was meaning to try again this year to get some start/stop signals, but got overwhelmed with school and didn't get around to it.

I don't think FIRST will change anything at this point in the season, but if someone wants to work on it for next year, I'd be willing to send them the code I have and help out some. As you have pointed out, the hardest part is working the politics to get the stop/start signals.
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:38 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

I'd love to see something like this happen.

If we can get FIRST to implement some sort of signal that gets pushed from the FMS (the best source to get start/stop info from, IMHO), then I'm sure the community can pick up the rest.
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:39 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

If you really wanted to do the signals, and FIRST went along with this, my bet would be to take the signal and have it embedded with the FMS. When the match is started, then the start signal is sent, and then it is automatically stopped when the match timer cuts off.

EDIT: Wow...I posted this at almost exactly the same time as synth3tk. Oh well, at least it's come from two people.
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:40 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinSchuh View Post
A year and a half ago, I implemented something that would be able to do what you are suggesting. Once you have a system like this, provided it has internet access as well, you can easily upload in real time. I worked with Brad Miller some to try and get the start/stop signals you are talking about, and that's where we had trouble and the project fell flat. I was meaning to try again this year to get some start/stop signals, but got overwhelmed with school and didn't get around to it.

I don't think FIRST will change anything at this point in the season, but if someone wants to work on it for next year, I'd be willing to send them the code I have and help out some. As you have pointed out, the hardest part is working the politics to get the stop/start signals.
How exactly did you try to get the start/stop signals? I know it'd be hard to do that without any official signal from the FMS (which would be uber-nice and make everything easy).

It'd be really nice if the FMS set up a server that teams could plug into if they wished and query for whatever information they wanted - teams, ranking, matches, or current matches.

-Tanner
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:47 PM
Tom Bottiglieri Tom Bottiglieri is offline
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
How exactly did you try to get the start/stop signals? I know it'd be hard to do that without any official signal from the FMS (which would be uber-nice and make everything easy).

It'd be really nice if the FMS set up a server that teams could plug into if they wished and query for whatever information they wanted - teams, ranking, matches, or current matches.

-Tanner
Historically the people who make decisions about the FMS have been pretty conservative with allowing people to access their data stores. Remember SunDial? There's a reason it doesn't exist anymore, and it has everything to do with the FMS.

From the other point of view, if you look at how much effort it would take to securely open up the FMS to outsiders vs. the amount of people who would take advantage of it, it doesn't make sense to sink the time and money into it. Unfortunately, that small subset of people's usage of such a system would have broad implications for the program. (TBA's millions of page views per season tends to agree with me)

Right now it really seems like the best way to do this is with one of those Pinnacle video recording things, or using VLC + some scripting (How TBA archives Boston every year).
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Unread 03-11-2010, 09:58 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

I would think that the match start and stop sounds would be consistent enough that you could write a program that would detect the trumpet and buzzer and trim the recording appropriately. You could train the program from FMS Lite.
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Unread 03-11-2010, 10:28 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

I personally don't think it'll ever happen, just like we'll probably never be able to kill commercials. It's all about advertising - on the feeds they like to have info about sponsors and such, when all you really care about is the game itself.

I somewhat solved this for my team by just having a camcorder connected to my laptop recording match video with a LabVIEW VI. Of course, we have a person pressing the buttons, but I bet with a little work I could automate it. You know, like keep a 10 second buffer of video and process the SOUNDS from the field (the sound and vibration toolkit in LabVIEW is awesome, if you have access to it) - if I hear the start sound I can keep the previous 10 seconds of buffer and keep recording, and when I hear the buzzer I can stop recording. Of course, I personally don't have the time to do this, but it isn't unreasonable - I hate the video done by the venue, by the way, since it zooms in and you lose action on the field. It would be nice if they'd just leave the camera alone and capture the whole field...

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Unread 03-11-2010, 11:16 PM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
How exactly did you try to get the start/stop signals? I know it'd be hard to do that without any official signal from the FMS (which would be uber-nice and make everything easy).
All I did was request some sort of start/stop signal from FMS that I could use. I didn't specify any implementation, as long as the implementation had the signal in it, trying to make things as easy as possible for FIRST. As Tom said, FIRST is pretty conservative about allowing people access to their systems and things didn't progress past that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomBot View Post
From the other point of view, if you look at how much effort it would take to securely open up the FMS to outsiders vs. the amount of people who would take advantage of it, it doesn't make sense to sink the time and money into it.
All it takes is a RS232 output from FMS that sends a simple character string saying "go" and "stop" or something like that. Any more data embedded in the command would be gravy, but not needed to do the heavy lifting. Cut the write line so it's read only, and it's pretty secure... I'd guess that it would only take an hour or so to implement it this way on their end, and would be all that's needed. Maybe next year.

Last edited by AustinSchuh : 03-11-2010 at 11:23 PM.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 12:51 AM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinSchuh View Post
All it takes is a RS232 output from FMS that sends a simple character string saying "go" and "stop" or something like that. Any more data embedded in the command would be gravy, but not needed to do the heavy lifting. Cut the write line so it's read only, and it's pretty secure... I'd guess that it would only take an hour or so to implement it this way on their end, and would be all that's needed. Maybe next year.
I'm not saying I don't think it's easily feasible, I'm just making a guess as to why this doesn't exist already. Seems like a pretty cheap way to add a bunch of value.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 03:03 AM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Personally, I don't think the hardest part is editing the video after it has been recorded, but instead to find a team/person at each regional who is willing to setup a DVR or recording device to capture them.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 06:34 AM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

I was considering archiving the video feeds from a few of the michigan events this year but never got around to getting things fully setup. I may still try and catch a few of the later events. What type of output is provided from the field video and will they allow you to leave a powered device near that output or do you have to run your own video cables back to someplace else.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 06:59 AM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Perhaps this would be a good role for a volunteer team member at every event in FIRST. If you had a program where the volunteers controlled the recording, and had prompts to input match number, it should work ok. This is obviously to the benefit of FIRST, especially since TBA is a major potential recruiting tool for new sponsors and partners, so I don't know why they haven't been more supportive.
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Unread 03-12-2010, 10:32 AM
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Re: Match Recording Idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahecht View Post
I would think that the match start and stop sounds would be consistent enough that you could write a program that would detect the trumpet and buzzer and trim the recording appropriately. You could train the program from FMS Lite.
You probably could do that, which might be a way of reverse engineering the start/stop of a match.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagar Vyas View Post
Personally, I don't think the hardest part is editing the video after it has been recorded, but instead to find a team/person at each regional who is willing to setup a DVR or recording device to capture them.
It might not be, but the hard part to me is wondering what the heck I do with two days worth of video? Uploading via FTP to TBA is ok, but still takes forever and half to do it if you don't have a fantastic internet connection.

If the process can be made easier, especially with a specific list of "this is what you need and here's how you do it" I bet a lot more people would be willing to record matches especially if at the end of the day we say that they can look back through the day at a specific match in a few seconds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ,4lex S. View Post
Perhaps this would be a good role for a volunteer team member at every event in FIRST. If you had a program where the volunteers controlled the recording, and had prompts to input match number, it should work ok. This is obviously to the benefit of FIRST, especially since TBA is a major potential recruiting tool for new sponsors and partners, so I don't know why they haven't been more supportive.
You probably could do that. I would think this would be a second option after listening to the match sounds, but I'm not sure how long it would take until the volunteer goes "why isn't the field doing this for me?".

-Tanner
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