General > Feature requests & roadmap

Picture-In-Picture Security Cameras


I am new to LinuxMCE, and have not had time to run through all the features yet.  In searching the forum, I have not seen anything regarding picture-in-picture (PIP) capabilities.  Is it possible to have a security camera displayed within the curent media, either on an event (through a security scenario) or by direct selection via an orbiter?  I think this would be a very convenient feature if someone is at the door, or your wife "hears something outside."

If PIP is not suported, could the security scenario go to a quad view (or other multi-view layout) with the movie/TV as one of the frames?

Armor Gnome:
I held the Picture-In-Picture analogy for a long time before I accepted that the images you see on-screen are not bound like typical AV equipment,  overlays are possible because what you see is generated for you at that moment. 

Using UI2 w/ alpha blending the screen for single cam view is actually not that bad and because the audio track to what I am watching continues, I don't miss dialog.  If you forced your media into a cam view of quad-cam audio could be an issue.

I am very familiar with "I think I heard something" or "is someone here?"  In our house we handle this with touchscreen orbiters.  The media continues on-screen (unless of course it is telecom, security event etc) and these quick-checks of the cameras are done with orbiter/web orbiter/qtorbiter.  Now to get streaming video you will want true orbiters for this, as web-orbiter 2.0 just gives you a snapshot unless refreshed.

Armor Gnome,

    Thank you!  I hadn't though about the orbiter as a "view node" for cameras.  This is a much better solution than PIP.  I am in the process of getting some "cheap" Android devices to run the orbiter app.  Should this setup stream video, or would I need an orbiter running a Linux OS?

Armor Gnome:
"Cheap" is my favorite word!  Well maybe second favorite...

There are always exceptions, clearance, thrift shop finds etc, but for the most part you truly do get what you pay for.  Forgive me if I leave any out as there is a ton of work making this operational.  The wiki sums this up better, but your options for orbiter 'types' is:

web-orbiter 2.0 :  laptop, pretty much everything with a browser.  I have used this on a Nintendo DSI XL.  No streaming cams to this, unless you tab switch away from the orbiter and open the cam url directly.

embedded orbiter (such as webdt-366, cisco 7970 and similar):  I believe this is what you are referring to when you say Linux OS running.  Supports streaming cams on devices I have tested. 

JavaMo:  have not tested

iOS apps :  (Dianemo S, Roaming Orb) :  Andrew will have to correct me here if I am mistaken but I believe cams are not supported for linuxmce on dianemo S due to their integration of kmotion??

qOrbiter:  This is exciting!  I do not currently have a capable device to test but the work being done is game changing.  Again you are going to get what you pay for in performance.  A tablet that was mentioned to me as pretty standard hardware capable of taking advantage of qOrbiter would be the Nexus 7.  Something very important to consider here btw is that investments here are not "home-bound,"  a tablet away from home functions like a tablet, when home it also becomes an orbiter.

One more point of clarity, I am used to having to make this distinction when introducing the system to family members.  Security Cameras being the exception, an orbiter does not play media.  Orbiters control Media Directors which play media.  If you can remember Media Directors as moon## devices the orbiter reference becomes easier to swallow as orbiters can control (orbit) a moon.  To cement this open an on-screen orbiter and change its room.  This one is the hardest for people to grasp i feel because a TV screen/monitor is viewed as a single image.  What you are seeing though is:

you       on-screen orbiter (living room)     media director (living room) display

change the onscreen orbiter in the living room though to  bedroom and you get:

you       on-screen orbiter (bedroom)         media director (living room) display

Play a movie using the onscreen orbiter now and the bedroom tv wakes up and starts playing.

Armor Gnome,

    Thanks again for the quick response.  It looks like qOrbiter is my best option.  I already own a Nexus 7 (very quickly taken-over by my 5-year-old!)  I was looking at an Android-based "kid-oriented" tablet at Wally-World ($99US) as a potential orbiter.  Worst-case, my son gets a new tablet, and I get my Nexus back... win-win!

    I've read in the forum about setups that kept the STB remote functioning as the primary channel-selector.  I'll probably go this route (at least initially) to keep a "natural" feel, and to give me a little time with the learning-curve.  I'll add a IR blaster and have dual control before we decide whether to get rid of the STB remote.  I'm starting with a hybrid setup, but very interrested in the progress with the Raspberry PI as a MD! 

    My wife is a bit technophobic (it doesn't help that I've experimented with the living-room TV countless times), so I have to slide into the MCE arena slowly.  My curent DLNA server (Ubuntu 12.04) is headless and hidden-away in the living room, and she hasn't even questioned "how" we get those movies on the TV.  I will have to migrate to LinuxMCE when she's not paying attention, but if all goes well, she won't even notice the change.  After we run the system for a while, I'll pop out the Nexus and pick a movie.

    Once she's happy with that, I'll be able to add the security and a little zWave action.  I don't know if she'll ever be ready for phones, or if she'll even consider dropping the alarm monitoring, but I'm sure she'll be happy with media and cameras, and a light here and there.

    Thanks again for the info!  It's great that we have such a responsive community willing to help.  I hope to be able to ANSWER a few questions in the comming months, but for now I am limited to asking.  It's time to dive in and get my hands dirty! 


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