This year spring has sprung early and we are currently enjoying some rather pleasant weather. This has prompted birds to start exploring potential nesting sites and this year I have had some interest from a pair of Great Tits in this blog I go though how these wonderful pictures get to your screen.
List of Equipment Used
To start with lets take a look at all the equipment I use in my wildlife camera live stream setup:
The Transmission Chain
In order to get pictures and sounds from the nest box to your screen involves a transmission chain and we start in the nest box.
Inside the nest box there is a 1080P HD nest box camera which provides great picture quality it has inferred for night time so you never miss any of the action.
A daylight LED light strip provides natural looking daylight inside the nest box during the day which means we can get colour images from the camera.
It has a light sensor which is outside the box this detects if its daytime or nigh time and when it gets dark outside it turns the light off.
In addition there is also a microphone to allow us to hear what is going on inside the box.
On the outside of the nest box is an IP44 rated box which houses the connections.
There is a 3-1 cable that comes to this box which has 12V DC power, Audio for the microphone and Coax for the Video signal.
I decided to choose this particular camera from Spy CCTV because it provides an uncompressed 1080P25 signal albeit analogue but with a decent coax cable it produces a fantastic HD picture.
The camera can operate in 4 modes I choose to run mine in TVI mode as it produces the best picture.
You can of course get IP cameras and wireless models which can make setup easier & cheaper but for my application I needed an uncompressed signal as the final output will be compressed having the highest quality input helps produce a better output (garbage in garbage out!).
It also integrates nicely into my existing CCTV system which saves on costs.
I also have this brilliant PTZ camera which again like the nestbox camera is 1080P25 TVI.
It produces a great picture both in day and at night thanks to its bulit in infrared lights.
The camera is PTZ which means Pan, Tilt , Zoom this enables me to get the shot I want and follow the action!
It has a 20x optical zoom which means i can get in real close to the action and i can operate it remotely even using my phone!
The camera will enable me to bring you shots of the Great Tits outside of the nest box and thanks to my Atem Mini Extreme I can provide a side by side shot meaning you wont miss a thing.
I picked this up form SpyCCTV on a clearance deal for £79 I wish i had bought more of them!
From the cameras to the Garage...
All the cables from the varies cameras all come into here my Server cabinet which at the back houses all the patch panels.
the one on the top is a BNC patch panel where all the camera feeds plug in and outputs on the back go to the CCTV DRV’s and Coax to HDMI convertors.
For more on my home network setup as a whole checkout my video tour
Getting the pictures from the nest box camera and PTZ camera into the ATEM Mini Extreme should be as simple as plugging the incoming camera feeds into this convertor box using the loop out to plug into my CCTV system for local recording and PTZ control and HDMI out to the ATEM.
While the PTZ camera works ok using this method unfortunately I found the all important nest box camera produced a substandard flickering image when running via one of these £60 convertors where as the feed on the CCTV DRV was perfect!
This has meant I have had to add some more complication to the transmission chain in order to get decent pictures for the live stream.
Enter this lot!
Now I could have just left the nest box camera fed into my existing CCTV system made that camera full screen and used the HDMI output from the CCTV DVR for the live stream.
While I can get a pretty clean feed from the DVR there is no way I could find to turn off the motion alerts overlays which would be visible on the live stream.
There is also the risk the view may reset/change which would mean my actual security CCTV camera feeds would be live streamed to the world which is not great!
Luckily I had a spare CCTV DRV lying around (as one does!) and have put it into use pictured above on the bottom.
The camera feed got picked up by the DVR and still in TVI mode and looked good but when I went to use the HDMI output into my ATEM Mini I had no picture.
Turns out this particular DRV outputs a computer resolution video feed 1920×1080 over HDMI rather than a TV standard 1080P and the ATEM Mini does not accept computer resolutions.
Again luckily I had a cheap HDMI multi viewer lying around pictured in the middle which converts the signal into one the ATEM accepts.
The HDMI signal then goes into a HD-Base-T sender unit which sends HDMI 1080P Video+Audio and USB down just one Cat6 network cable.
I have 4 Cat6 network feeds between the garage and my office which is very handy for sending the uncompressed HD signal back into my office.
I have another HDBase-T unit which is used for the PTZ camera feed.
Here is the back of the boxes:
From the Garage to the Office aka transmission / gallery area:
Between the garage and my office in the house is 4x Cat6 network cables and 2x OM3 Fibre cables capable of 10Gbs each!
The Fibre feeds carry my data network and two of the Cat 6 network cables bring the uncompressed HDBase-T 1080P signals of the camera feeds.
These come into the receiver units and the HDMI feeds into my ATEM Mini Extreme and USB into my Keyboard and Mouse switch allowing me to control the CCTV DRV remotely.
The Atem Mini Extreme is a HD vision mixer and live streaming unit in one and is what I use to mix all the inputs together, add graphics overlays and output to YouTube!
You can see a full video tour of my transmission suit here
As I write about in my upload speed blog I am currently limited by the upload speed of my current FTTC connection which max is 6Mbps. I was hoping I would have got my Full Fibre connection by now which would allow me to stream more reliably and at a much higher quality its looking like it will now be June.
Lets hope the Great Tits nest successfully this year in my nest box which will allow me to share their journey with you and you will find my Live Streams on my YouTube channel so get subscribed so you don’t miss any of the action!