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Im wondering if its possible for an ESP-WROOM-32 dev board to take ntsc video as an input and then stream it over wifi to a seperate server on the network. The video would be in ntsc format over a single wire from an fpv drone camera.

My main specific uncertainties/questions are:

  • A. Wether or not the ESP32 can take a video input from a camera like that.
  • B. What video processing would be necessary to make that signal good to send over wifi and then be saved to an hdd in the server.
  • C. Would that processing need to be on the server side or the ESP32. I have access to more hardware like fpga's and arduinos if those are more applicable to the task. I also have a raspberry pi but im hoping for these esp32/cam packages to be smaller/more inexpensive than that would be.

Notes;

Im coming here after not finding anything conclusive in searches besides information on the ESP32-CAM module and some other projects, which is an option but i would prefer to do this project with parts i already have on hand. Sorry if this question has an obvious answer, im still new to this side of things.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You first say NTSC camera, then you claim a 720×480 VGA camera was similar. It's not. Anyways, you can interface neither with a microcontroller, as they deliver a high-bandwidth analog signal. You want your camera to do all the conversion to digital, and the compression, itself. Unless you have years to spend on building experience, an FPGA in itself doesn't help, either. You're out of your depth here, sorry. \$\endgroup\$
    – mmmm
    Apr 2, 2021 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry for the confusion, the camera says ntsc in the description & video output settings, but it also gave that in the specs so i figured i should include both. I see tho, ill keep looking but thankyou for the straight answer. Looks like i might just go with the esp-cam module rather than custom. \$\endgroup\$
    – kadytoast
    Apr 3, 2021 at 4:56

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The NTSC analog video signal needs to be converted to digital. Something like a TI TVP5150 would do this. The ESP32 I2S interface might be able to accept the data generated by the 5150, but then we have the question of whether there is sufficient data rate over the WiFi and then converting the data to something viewable at the receiving end. Without doing some in- depth research it would be difficult to give a conclusive answer, but on the surface, it looks ‘doable’. Maybe someone else has done this, otherwise you’ll have to figure it out yourself. My suspicion is that it would be better/faster/easier to use a suitable camera module rather than try two marry to seemingly incompatible devices. It would be an interesting project though - much to be learned even if it failed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Aight, well thankyou for the info. I think ill get some esp-cam modules to learn more with but ill keep that in mind if i do try and come back to it. To add on to this, the cameras im using are originally meant for fpv drones, so maybe i could connect the fpv vtx to the video reciever (which usually just outputs to an lcd screen), and then pull that signal and send it over wifi? i imagine it would be digitizing the signal somewhere in that process. \$\endgroup\$
    – kadytoast
    Apr 3, 2021 at 5:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, there will be digitising, but the devil is in the details. Usually some form of compression is required. You could probably fet a RasPi with a usb frame grabber dongle (some have a TVP5150 in them) and the RasPi probably has enough compute to do the mpeg compression in real time. Downside is size, weight and power consumption. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kartman
    Apr 3, 2021 at 7:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ yeah i was hoping not to use a RasPi for those reasons, but could still be a cool project. Either way, thankyou so much for your help with this, and ill update if i end up making any breakthroughs lol. \$\endgroup\$
    – kadytoast
    Apr 4, 2021 at 7:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ The camera is much of the problem. components101.com/modules/esp32-cam-camera-module Next link. ebay.com/itm/385508815466 I find the esp32 camera for $5.00 to $25 depending on where you get it and what glass comes with it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user338146
    Nov 1, 2023 at 2:39
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As @Kartman mentioned, you need an additional IC to process the analog signal and provide it to the ESP32. I found a project on Github, that apparently has achieved exactly this: https://github.com/wooky/esp32-analog-video-over-wifi

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see any evidence that the creator of that repository ever "achieved" anything at all. There are lots of header files and one actual c++ source file with "Your code goes here". \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2021 at 12:29

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