DIPOL Weekly Review - TV and SAT TV, CCTV, WLAN

No.17/2011 (April 26, 2011)

M2M - let's play for 650,000 USD, then for billions.

In mid-April, the Vodafone Americas Foundation and mHealth Alliance handed out the third annual Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project awards and the second annual mHealth Alliance Award. Kathy Calvin, CEO, United Nations Foundation, hosting the mHealth Alliance, said: "Our goal with the mHealth Alliance Award is to spur wireless innovation to solve global health challenges, especially in developing countries", which means promotion of the most imaginative and pioneering applications for remote monitoring of patients. The role of expensive, stationary equipment operated by specialists would be performed by micro-devices, acquiring data and sending the information via GSM networks to computer systems. In most cases, the tasks of human health services could be limited to diagnostics and interventions. The devices would be able to operate around the clock, monitoring the health of the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic diseases or vulnerable to sudden attack of illness. The solutions should be simple to use, and cheap enough for large-scale use.
The $300,000 first prize from a prize pool of $650,000 went to MIT Media Lab, the originators of the NETRA mobile visual testing tool. This clip-on eyepiece is put on top of a mobile phone. The user looks through this device and interactively aligns the displayed patterns by clicking the buttons. The solution creates an inverse Shack-Hartmann sensor, replacing a traditional Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor used in expensive laboratory equipment. Using interactive software components, it is capable to determine many parameters of the human eye, such as the refractive errors, focal range, focusing speed, lens opacity. The diagnostic information processed by software in the phone can be sent to an ophthalmologist or optician. Quick and cheap testing will enable significant progress in the fight against visual impairment which affects about 700 million people in the world. Mobile phone is one of the most widely used electronic devices in the world, whereas in many countries the access to ophthalmologists is still very limited. The cost of the NETRA eyepiece will be only about $2.
The second place Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project and additional mHealth Alliance Award winner was Smart Diaphragm from University of California, San Francisco. This wireless monitoring and early warning system has been designed for high-risk pregnancies. Detecting decreasing levels of collagen in the cervix (the indicator of impending pre-term labor) - it transmits the results to a cloud database monitored by physicians. Another finalist was a small wireless device to monitor people with sleep apnea and infants at risk of SIDS.
The applications are based on M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology, based on communication between devices and use of central hubs for processing and analysis of telemetry data. Vodafone has long recognized that wireless M2M technology can significantly improve human lives, especially in developing countries. This year, there were about 100 entries for the project. Many of them came from scientific centers. Thanks to the growing cooperation between Vodafone and the mHealth Alliance, there were more applications in the field of healthcare.

Mobile phones supported by M2M devices can integrate people with computer systems. They can manage many aspects of daily life: to adjust the alarm clock of the user, taking into account the traffic in the city and the expected route, control home management systems so as to help prepare breakfast etc. In the course of the day such an organizer can be updated on an ongoing basis, providing an optimal schedule of tasks, taking into account all foreseeable factors.

How will M2M services change our lives?
(source: Vodafone)
M2M (Machine-to-Machine) technology is based on the ability of devices connected to the network for collecting, processing and exchanging information without human intervention.
The technology has its origins in production management systems and monitoring of manufacturing processes. At the moment, thanks to the development of mobile technology, the share of the M2M market in consumer electronics has been increasingly growing for over a decade, at the estimated rate of 20% per year. By 2015, the number of M2M connections will probably triple (from the current 80 million). At the same time, the revenue generated from the services will at least double, to an estimate of 6.7 billion dollars, making M2M services the fastest-growing market segment of wireless technology. The development will go hand in hand with the expansion of 4G/LTE - high speed wireless Internet technology.

Tin anniversary of the "Engagingly about Antennas" contest.

This year's edition of the of DIPOL's photo contest starts on June 1, 2011.
What could be interesting in antennas? The pictures sent to the previous editions show that both the antennas and the world seen around them can be really intriguing. We encourage you to take up the challenge which, in addition to a sense of aesthetics, requires some wit and invention...

The rules of the competition and pictures sent to previous editions
Agnieszka Sienkiewicz
Ola Wasag
Barbara Sieja
Tomasz Kozlowski
Tomasz Kozlowski
Ryszard Literacki
Some pictures sent to the 2007 edition

Service Information (SI) in DVB systems.

Since the vast majority of DTT receivers have the ability to sort channels according to a number of different parameters, such as ONID or LCN, it is important to know the meaning of these and other abbreviations.
The document which defines service information in DVB systems is the EN 300 468 standard.
DVB streams have individual identifiers to ensure the correct operation of receivers and notification about changes in programming, without a need for users to perform a regular search. In particular, they support the following functions:
  • automatic detection of all available services in the installation process of the receiver;
  • after the installation - notifying the user of new, moved or ceased services;
  • creation of the list of channels.
The list of channel identifiers:
  • Original Network ID (ONID) - descriptor specific for a country, e.g. 0x20FA in France, 0x2114, 0x2268 in Poland;
  • Network ID (NID) - descriptor specific for a region;
  • Transport Stream ID (TSID) - descriptor specific for a multiplex;
  • Service ID (SID) - descriptor specific for each channel in a multiplex,
  • Logical Channel Number (LCN) - logical number assigned to each of the channels.
DVB-T Receiver Signal HD-507 (MPEG-2/4, PVR Ready)
Sorting the list of channels according to LCN in the Signal HD-507 A99250 DVB-T receiver
The receivers that do not support LCN (guarantying the order of channels in accordance with the scheme of the service provider) sort channels using the SID parameter.

Management of hybrid systems based on Hikvision DVRs for free!

The NVR Server application designed for Windows computers records images from IP cameras, IP megapixel cameras, DVRs and video servers.
The recording can be performed on a continuous basis or can be triggered by motion detection events. Access to the video data is possible using the iVMS4000 application.
Its functions include the configuration of network devices and remote monitoring over the network.
Network DVR: HIKVISION/ULTIMAX DS-8108HDI-S H.264 (8-ch.)Network DVR: HIKVISION/ULTIMAX DS-8108HDI-SE H.264 (8-ch.) H.264 IP Camera: ULTICAM DS-2CD892PFIP camera: ULTICAM DS-2CD852F (2.0 Mpix)IP Camera ULTICAM DS-852MF-E (2.0 Mpix)Video Server: ULTINET-701 (H.264)
Diagram of a hybrid monitoring system, based on Hikvision DVR(s), Ulticam cameras and Ultinet video server(s)
The iVMS4000 and NVR Server applications are free, powerful tools for building professional hybrid CCTV systems, ensuring exceptional flexibility at every stage: designing of the system, its configuration, and everyday operation.

Advanced image analysis.

Welcome to the video demonstrating some capabilities of the Digifort software for image analysis.
Digifort - advanced image analysis
Practical use of image analysis

Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio in CCTV cameras.

One of the parameters determining the image quality provided by a camera is the S/N ratio. It is defined as the ratio of useful signal to the noise produced by electronic components of the camera.
The measurement of this parameter is performed without using any of the functions modifying the output video signal, such as AGC, BLC, HLC etc.
The noise generated by any camera cannot be completely eliminated, only minimized. Its level depends on the quality of the image sensor and electronics, also on the amount of heat generated by these components and the ambient temperature. Lower temperature means less noise. For example, cameras used in astronomy are specially designed to work in temperatures below -50o C.
The detail of the image is dependent not only on the resolution, but also on the signal-to-noise ratio.
The image on the right is much more noisy and does not provide such clarity as the image on the left.
S/N ratio higher by 3 dB means the reduction of noise amplitude by 30%. Therefore, when comparing cameras with S/N of 48 dB and 51 dB, we can notice a distinct difference in image quality, especially evident when the cameras work in low light conditions.

Biometric fingerprint security system.

BioPass K3084 integrates with Digifort K3001, K3002, K3003, K3004 IP video surveillance systems. It allows the identification of users and access control to the CCTV systems using biometric method - fingerprint scanning. Biometric login eliminates the possibility of unauthorized access and problems associated with managing passwords and remembering them, such as leakage or loss of passwords, password breaking etc., which significantly strengthens the security of the CCTV system.

BioPass - Digifort biometric identifier
Capturing of fingerprints

A home wireless N network.

Modern 802.11n devices enable users to create simple to install and very efficient wireless networks with data transfer speeds of up to 300 Mb/s.
Wireless 802.11n USB Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN821N (300Mbps)Access Point 802.11n: TP-Link TL-WR841ND(300Mbps, built-in router and 4-port switch) High Gain Wireless N USB Adapter: TL-WN822N 300Mbps  Wireless-N 802.11n PCI Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN851N (300Mbps)
The components of modern wireless home network
  • TP-LINK TL-WR841ND N3250 - provides access to the Internet and allows users to connect multiple computers via WiFi and wired network
  • TP-LINK TL-WN821N N3221 and TL-WN851N N3271 - wireless adapters allowing access to the network (via the TL-WR841ND wireless router)
  • TL-WN822N N2926 - due to a high transmission power, the card can be installed over 10 meters away from the router, still enabling full-speed and reliable transmission
New products offered by DIPOL:
Wireless Pan-Tilt IP Camera: TP-Link TL-SC4171G (0.5 lx, VGA, IR, 30fps, MPEG-4, 4.3 mm)
DVB-S Receiver: FERGUSON FK-7000
Wireless Day/Night IP Camera: TP-LINK TL-SC3171G (0.5 lx, VGA, IR, 30fps, MPEG-4, 4.3 mm)
WLAN Directional Antenna: TRANS-DATA KGZ15 (2.4GHz)
Pan-Tilt IP Camera
DVB-S receiver
IP Camera
WLAN Antenna
KGZ15 (2.4 GHz)
Worth reading:

Design rules for MATV systems. The diagram below shows an example of the antenna system in a building. The table contains signal levels for selected three antenna outlets (marked as "1", "2", "3") at 862 MHz, assuming that:
  • signal level measured at the amplifier input is 75 dBuV,...
Choice of equipment in order to meet EIRP compliance. Are we allowed to use antenna with extremely high gain, not breaking the law? It should be stressed that there are no rules on limiting the gain. So, why one obeys regulations having antenna with 15 dBi gain, while another one breaks them using a 10 dBi antenna?
The answer to the questions follows directly from regulations concerning maximum level of Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP). In many countries, without special license, the maximum EIRP = 100 mW, i.e. 20 dBm in 2.4 GHz band and 1 W (30 dBm) in 5.47 - 5.725 GHz band. The same level of EIRP may be accomplished by many means...
19" RACK adapter for ULTIMODE media converters. The ULTIMODE L5215 adapter has been designed to house and power up to 14 ULTIMODE media converters. The housing is fully compliant to 19" RACK standard. Due to double power supply (redundancy) and forced ventilation (fans), the adapter ensures trouble-free continuous work of the media converters.
The 14 slots allow to mount any ULTIMODE media converters, which greatly facilitates the construction and management of FTTH (Fiber to the Home), FTTB (Fiber to the Building) or FTTC (Fiber to the Curb) network...
Panorama IP Camera: PIXORD PD636E (2MP, H.264, Fish-Eye)