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Capture, Live Stream & Manage Drone Footage Using VIDIZMO

By Rabeea Tahir
A drone recording and streaming a video

A growing number of industries are adopting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drone footage live streaming for a broad range of business applications to facilitate transportation, agriculture, construction, mining, energy, law enforcement, and much more. Drones are making the transition from a novelty technology to an integral business tool, with an estimated market value of over $12 billion by 2021, according to an article by Business Insider.

However, the growing use of drones has brought about a variety of business challenges related to the incorporation of live and recorded drone video into mainstream business operations, as well as dilemmas associated with video storage, security, management, accessibility and distribution.

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Challenges Posed by Enterprise Drone Video

Modern developments in video streaming technology, together with the needs of contemporary use cases has made drones a popular tool across multiple industries. The transportation industry, for instance, is utilizing drones to conduct inspections at remote or hard-to-reach maintenance sites, which not only reduces internal staffing requirements but also prevents workers from being in harm’s way – not to mention the faster turnaround times and reduced traffic closures. Similarly, in other industries, drone-powered solutions are used to address day-to-day business operations like aerial surveying in agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors.

Other compelling applications now go beyond simple inspections, such as the use of larger drones to assist in installations, precise spraying, and even repairs. Drones are also gaining prominence in last-mile delivery services for e-commerce giants like Amazon, medicinal response for disaster relief efforts, and surveillance and tracking of fleeing suspects in the law enforcement industry.

What Challenges do Organizations Face for Drone Video Streaming?

Of course, the rising proliferation of drones across industries is not without any problems. Adoption of drones not only raises challenges for the incorporation of live drone streaming in particular or specific business operations, but also challenges for effectively and appropriately storing, managing, viewing and sharing recorded drone live stream footage in a secure and reliable manner.

Employing drones in for long or day-to-day business activities creates massive amounts of video. Not only that, but the footage also needs to be securely stored and sometimes maintained for several years, depending on organization's data retention policies. Furthermore, it needs to be made accessible for viewing and sharing by the relevant employees. These tasks can be difficult to accomplish in an efficient or reliable manner without a proper video streaming and management solution.

An End-To-End Drone Video Management Solution

VIDIZMO provides a comprehensive solution for drone video streaming, capture, ingestion, encoding, transcription, indexing, and storage in a centralized video repository, from where all authorized users can conveniently search, view, manage, edit, and share video files to internal and external stakeholders. With detailed analytics and audit trails, VIDIZMO maintains records of all activity on the platform and fulfils chain of custody requirements for who accessed or shared videos, when, to whom and how. Moreover, VIDIZMO provides single sign-on authentication with enterprise active directory for secure access controls and seamless interoperability with a broad range of existing business applications such as other CMS, or IT systems like encoding tools, cloud services, and content delivery networks.

VIDIZMO supports any top-of-the-line drone devices, including DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, 3DR, Blade, or any others that have a built-in onboard camera or video capturing device and built-in encoders that support RTMP stream. For ones that do not have built-in encoders or ones that do not generate RTMP stream, we support external mobile encoders that could either be attached to a drone or operated from a drone’s ground control station.

 

How VIDIZMO helps stream video from drones?

VIDIZMO supports any top-of-the-line drone devices, including DJI, Yuneec, Parrot, 3DR, Blade, or any others that have a built-in onboard camera or video capturing device and built-in encoders that support RTMP stream. For ones that do not have built-in encoders or ones that do not generate RTMP stream, we support external mobile encoders that could either be attached to a drone or operated from a drone’s ground control station.  

Capture, live stream & manage drone video using VIDIZMO’s streaming video platform

Stream Video From Drones With Built-In Encoders

Drones with built-in encoders possess their own mechanisms to stream video using Wi-Fi, mobile broadband technologies such as LTE, 4G or 3G, or a SIM attached to the drone. In this case, the drone encoder generates an RTMP stream for the drone video and uses the cellular network support and the internet to transmit that the RTMP stream to VIDIZMO streaming server. From there, any live video is available on VIDIZMO's video streaming platform for VIDIZMO users to access from any device, browser, location, or bandwidth conditions.

Upon receiving the live stream, VIDIZMO streaming server also archives and stores all live drone video in its storage servers for on-demand viewing at any time, from any device. Recorded videos are securely stored in VIDIZMO’s repository for an indefinite amount of time, from where users can download, edit, manage and play the videos at a later time.

Streaming Video From Mobile Encoders Attached to the Drone

Many contemporary professional drones do not come with built-in encoders and they only stream drone video in proprietary formats that cannot be streamed and broadcasted to the web. To resolve this, VIDIZMO support two solutions.

The first is to attach a portable mobile encoder such as Soliton’s smart-telecaster Zao-S or Streambox AVENIRDrone Encoder Pro to the drone. These miniature encoding devices, weighing about 350-400 grams, are mounted directly onto drone cameras to enable full live HD video transmission of live drone video using a variety of mobile networks, including 3G, 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, WCDM, among others.

The mobile encoder converts the drone's HDMI output to a RTMP stream. Following this, the encoder uses the best possible pathway from the available networks to transmit live stream to VIDIZMO streaming server from where VIDIZMO captures, transcodes and further processes the stream for high-quality live or on-demand video output with minimal latency via VIDIZMO's video streaming platform to all user devices.

For drones that do not have a built-in encoder or ones that dont provision a mobile encoder attached to its surface, VIDIZMO support a second solution shown below.

Capture, live stream & manage drone video using VIDIZMO’s streaming video platform

Streaming Drone Video Using on-Ground Encoders in Ground Control Stations:

In many cases, professional drones cannot support a mobile encoder attached to its surface. This is because professional drones often have a lot of sophisticated features and functionalities like improved elevation, durability, GPS plotting accuracy, battery life, weight carrying capacity, camera resolution, or number of attached cameras even sensors to pick up detailed sensory information along with the video stream. For such reasons, these drones depend on the ground control stations to take care of all streaming needs.

In such scenarios, the drone captures video stream in a proprietary streaming protocol, which is received on a screen in the ground control station that displays the video being captured by the UAV. The drone video’s HDMI output from the ground station is then input through an encoder attached to the screens in the ground station, which then converts the HDMI output to an RTMP stream that is pushed to VIDIZMO streaming server. From there, the drone video is streamed live through VIDIZMO's video streaming platform to all user devices or it is a recorded and stored in VIDIZMO’s video repository for on-demand viewing later on.

Similarly, for drones that do not support RTMP stream, their proprietary stream is encoded using on-ground encoders at ground control stations that convert the HDMI output from the proprietary stream to RTMP for further processing and streaming through VIDIZMO.

Show KLV Metadata from Drone on a Map!

VIDIZMO also allows you to map KLV metadata collected from drones on a map, during the stream. 

To learn more about how VIDIZMO can help manage your drone videos, contact us today or visit our website for more details.

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Tags: enterprise video streaming, Drone video, Geo map

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