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ROV enhancements

ROV video time code and data issues
Project Manager: Nancy Jacobsen Stout
Lead Scientist: Jim Barry

Video settings

The video system of the ROV Ventana and R/V Point Lobos is "operationally incomplete" with no way to accurately measure the video level and color accuracy of the video systems. MBARI does not presently own the equipment necessary to ensure the accuracy of video systems as regards video levels, gamma and color.

The video system (primarily the High Definition camera system) of the Ventana/Point Lobos has given satisfactory service for two years. Initially, the video system was purchased and set up by manufacturers representatives, with certain settings stored within the camera. The system provided good service, but there have been problems with significant lack of consistency of video levels, and to a smaller extent with color reproduction.

This project aims to establish a regular monitoring and calibration program and recommends the purchase of two categories of equipment.

  1. Make the Ventana/Point Lobos video system operationally complete by adding a video waveform monitor and vector scope. The second item will provide "patching" of all video signals and related timecode, and audio signals and enhance maintenance and flexibility. 
  2. Acquire the equipment necessary to build out the video measurement and calibration capability at MBARI. This equipment can be set up as a portable test suite to be available when needed for most of MBARI video systems. 

Video Time code

Time code is presently recorded on ROV video tapes as continuous video frame code, generated internally on each recording deck as tape runs, with no direct relation to date and time of day. Video frame code is linked to each dive by GMT and date only after correlating the appropriate data logger files post-cruise. In addition, dives can presently be referenced by dive number only after these numbers are manually entered into the Expedition Database during post-cruise processing. Without definition of dive start/end times, data are stored by year dates, which very often contain more than a single dive.