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fpp-videoCapture overwhelms F16v3

Started by PT, March 09, 2023, 05:57:00 PM

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I'm currently trying to create a live video display with an FPP RaspPi receiving live HDMI video input, and feeding it into an F16v3 pixel controller. I'm trying to have this be something robust, that can run outside throughout the day.

I am not sure if this is the best means for this use-case, but I'm currently using the fpp-videoCapture plugin. When I test this outside, when I turn on the videoCapture plugin, I do get a flash of the proper HDMI image, but then the f16v3 controller falters & keeps restarting, so no feed.

This issue didn't arise when I was testing with a different f16v3 controller indoors, so I'm wondering if it either has to do with temperature (it's cold outside) or workload (the outdoor controller has 4x more lights to deal with than the previous one -- 1600 vs. the indoor 384).

Just wondering, would anyone happen to have any "Well obviously, you're not supposed to do it that way..." things that come to mind?


The F16v3 should easily handle 1600 lights and the cold.  (That is only a 100 lights per port)  Many people have expansion cards attached, and run a lot more lights than that.  If it was working indoors, are you using the exact same video?  Could it be a resolution, encoding, or frame rate issue?  The Pi itself has video limits.  The Pi3 more so than the Pi4.  What is the model of Pi and resolution you are using?

- On any RPi (RPi <= 3 w/ VideoCore IV _or_ RPi 4 w/ VideoCore VI), hardware H.264 decode is limited to 1080p (1920x1080) at most
=> Available APIs for H.264: MMAL (Broadcom proprietary), OpenMax (wraps MMAL), V4L2 *stateFUL* interface (wraps MMAL in-kernel)
=> Library/app support for H.264: vlc, ffmpeg, gstreamer, Kodi, omxplayer

- RPi 4 w/ VideoCore VI does support *H.265* (aka HEVC) at 4K resolution (3840x2160)
=> Available APIs for H.265: MMAL, V4L2 *stateLESS* interface planned (wraps MMAL in-kernel??)
=> Library/app support for H.265: Kodi, vlc??
=> V4L2 stateLESS interface is Not For The Faint Of Heart, you really REALLY want to use a library


Thank you for your response! I'm using the exact same video source: Another RaspPi running Raspbian OS, to render a "game" using the python-pygame library. I think the resolution coming from that might be 720x480 (assuming the default hdmi_mode in its /boot/config.txt file is hdmi_mode=2, which suggests that resolution.)

The FPP RaspPi is Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ from 2017.
The Raspbian RaspPi is Raspberry Pi 3 Model B V1.2 from 2015.

Based on what you said, I might try to reduce the HDMI resolution and/or frame rate coming from the Raspbian device... If I may ask, though, would an issue with data load between the two RaspPis be the likely reason the F16v3 controller gets overworked & resets constantly?


Quote from: PT on March 10, 2023, 11:35:26 AMIf I may ask, though, would an issue with data load between the two RaspPis be the likely reason the F16v3 controller gets overworked & resets constantly?
You have left out many details and it is hard to say.  I can think of a few things that might cause the controller to reset, but it sounds like it works fine until you start sending live video data to it.  Can you use xlights to create a sequence that would send a normal video file to the lights?


The V3 can handle 96 universes of data (92x512 = 49,152 channels)
Your resolution of 720x480 would need 115,200 channels to display.
Way too much data.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


The other thing to keep in mind is that unless your matrix is massive, trying to run video on it is likely going to look poor.  Think about it this way.  If you shrink the resolution down to 25% of your 720 x 480 in both X and Y axis, that would STILL be more than a F16v3 can handle (but would at least be getting close).  However, would you really want to push 16K pixels into whatever mounting you have, and wire them all, and power them all, and keep them working?  And even after doing that, it's not going to look very good because the resolution is so low.  The best that a F16v3 could do would make CGA look really good (if you're old enough to remember CGA).

My opinion, if you really want to run video and make it look reasonably good, look into a P10 or better yet a P5 matrix.  Or a large format TV that directly takes the HDMI.
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:



BTW, I'm running 2,870 pixels on a F16v3 (using E1.31) with the 16 port expansion board and it is working fine (26 x 100 pixel tree + 270 pixels for the star on top).  Not trying to run video on it however...
Using LOR (mostly SuperStar) for all sequencing - using FPP only to drive P5 and P10 panels.
My show website:


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