Introducing CrossMgrVideo

Post date: Sep 20, 2016 3:45:57 PM

It is common to use a video camera/smartphone as a finish line backup.

This works, but it can be a slow process to stop recording and frame-by-frame through the playback.

The bib numbers can be impossible to read and you have to remember to turn on the camera in the first place (surprisingly difficult when you have multiple categories).

CrossMgrVideo is a new program available from the CrossMgr site that makes this much easier.

CrossMgrVideo receives messages sent from CrossMgr when a rider crosses the finish (Either manually recorded or by RFID. You have to enable this in "Camera Options" in the Properties screen.).

This message tells CrossMgrVideo to save camera frames from 0.5 sec before the timestamp to 3 sec after (it can record before the timestamp because it has a 10 sec frame buffer).

Click on the rider's bib or name and instantly access the photos for the rider's finish displayed as a composite "finish strip". With the zoom scan, quickly find the most important photo resolves the finish issue, then save it, print it, or export the entire sequence as an mpeg or animated gif.

Close finishes (< 200 milliseconds) are highlighted so you don't have to waste time looking at results that are uncontentious.

CrossMgrVideo addresses many of the issues with CrossMgrCamera, which could only take still photos.

First, CrossMgrCamera required that the timestamps were recorded exactly when the rider crossed the finish - a few milliseconds ahead or behind and the rider could be out-of-frame entirely. This accuracy is possible with active-chip RFID, but both manual and passive RFID are not always accurate enough.

The second problem was that the finish photo was not enough to determine if there was a problem. It was important to see what was going on before and after to check for potential interference.

CrossMgrVideo solves these problems. By recording short photo sequences, it creates a video record of all finishes automatically. Riders are guaranteed to be in at least one of the photos, and the composite view makes it easy to search.