Recording in ADV format

Discussions of using SharpCap for Solar or Lunar Imaging
carocicosta
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Recording in ADV format

Post by carocicosta » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:29 am

Hi, I am Claudio Costa from Rome, Italy, a new member of the Forum. I am a (not so active) observer of occultations. I used to record events by the dedicated software called Occurec made available by Hristo Pavlow, but when I purchased the new QHY174 GPS camera, Hristo suggested me to contact SharpCap and ask you to support the ADV format for recording the occultation information.

I attach here Hristo's words: "The only downside I see of SharpCap is that it uses the SER file format which doesn't support metadata and has a single timestamps without exposure duration. If SharpCap adds support to the open ADV format I would fully recommend it for QHY camera video recording. This is why I am asking you, as well as other observers, to contact the author and keep asking for supporting ADV until he does it. It will be a relatively simple task for him to do this"

I don't know if the authors of SharpCap read this Forums (I suppose them to do...) so I am forwarding them my request. Information about the ADV format can be found here: http://www.hristopavlov.net/OccuRec/OccuRec.html, and, more specifically, here: http://www.kuriwaobservatory.com/ADVS.html

Thanks in advance,

Claudio Costa

procyon12
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by procyon12 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:50 am

Hi,
I am new to the forum too and I'm also an occultation observer (IOTA), also owning a QHY174GPS. Many thanks to the developers for the ongoing development of sharpcap.
However, for our occultation work there are some limitations with the SER format and I fully agree with Claudio's wish regarding ADV.

Many thanks

procyon12

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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by admin » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:54 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like there may be a suitable code library available to write this file type which would help make it much easier to implement. However, in the short-term I suggest you look at either using the FITS file format which stores significant meta data about frame timings, particularly with the GPS camera or look again at the SER file format which does actually include a timestamp for every frame. The individual frame timestamps in an SER file are the timestamps for the start of the frame capture if you're using the GPS camera.

Cheers, Robin

tonybarry
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by tonybarry » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:43 pm

Hi,

I am also an occultation observer and would like ADV recording from Sharpcap. ADV files are much preferred for this work.

It would be great if SharpCap can do this.

I appreciate this may take some time to implement, but it would make things much better.

Regards,
Tony Barry
Sydney, AUS

hpavlov
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by hpavlov » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:32 pm

I don't want to get into an argument about file formats and what is better, but I would like to provide the following information that I think will be useful for this thread:

Shortcomings of SER when used for Occultation timing:
  • Only a single timestamp is available per frame with undefined time reference in the standard (http://www.grischa-hahn.homepage.t-onli ... %20V3b.pdf - look for 'Trailer in detail' at the end). This leaves different interpretation for different recording software of what time the timestamp corresponds to and creates uncertainty when doing data reduction.
  • No other Metadata saved embedded in the SER file itself (e.g. Gain, Gamma settings that could affect photometry)
  • The file format is not power-cut safe. This is because the timestamps are appended at the end of the file. If power is lost during the recording all timestamps will be lost.
FITS and ADV
  • FITS is an excellent format for Occultations, certainly better that SER. It's main problems though are lack of compression and too-many files in a recording
  • ADV is nothing special but works and has been designed to address the above mentioned problems of SER and FITS - it supports lossless compression and is a single file; it is power-cut safe, allows plenty of metadata with many standardised headers useful for occultation timing etc.
  • ADV has been designed by a group of people with the purpose to provide extensible single-file video format good for multiple purposes, not only occultations.
Shortcomings of ADV
  • It is not very popular.
  • One of the authors is quite annoying.

dave4gee
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by dave4gee » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:41 am

I concur - I think .adv file format for SharpCap would be a great aid for occultation observers.

Regards
DaveGault
Australia

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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by admin » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:14 pm

Thanks folks,

I will add this to the list of things to look into when some time becomes available.

Cheers, Robin

procyon12
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by procyon12 » Sun May 03, 2020 4:33 pm

Hi Robin,

Can the occultation community hope that there will be a little progress? The topic continues to be of great importance to us. I'm not a programmer but as beta-tester I'll stand by.

Cheers

Christian

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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by admin » Sun May 03, 2020 6:38 pm

Hi folks,

Thanks for the continued interest in this – I haven't made any progress so far in this particular field, but I was getting some features in shape for the upcoming SharpCap 3.3 version with the hope of making an alpha version available in the 'not-too-distant future'. This would certainly be the sort of feature that can be added to either the initial alpha version of 3.3 or into one of the subsequent alpha versions.

Please don't feel bad about continuing to remind me – there are lots of things competing for my attention, so some things can get forgotten for a while.

Cheers, Robin

procyon12
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Re: Recording in ADV format

Post by procyon12 » Sun May 03, 2020 6:54 pm

Good to hear, Robin. Thanks.

Christian

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