Numato Opsis: New Open Hardware Video Platform

October 23, 2015 | 17:42
The Numato Opsis is an FPGA-based open video platform designed to capture and stream live video during events. Its powerful control over the video data makes it also eligible for visual effects and VJ-ing. The platform is currently being crowdfunded on CrowdSupply.

The Opsis has plenty of interfaces, including HDMI in/out, DisplayPort in/out, USB and Gigabit ethernet. This allows for complex video recording and streaming setups. Here is an example from the creators:

The Opsis is used to feed the output from a presenter’s laptop onto both a large projection screen and a private “confidence screen” for the speaker (probably at the foot of the stage). The speaker’s dramatic facial expressions are also captured by a HDMI camera. Using the USB interface, a capture computer is able to switch between the two inputs and rebroadcast online.

Numato Opsis

The video platform came out of a collaboration between Numato Labs and TimVideo. Hailing from Bangalore India, Numato Labs is an FPGA development board manufacturer. TimVideo is a team of people working on several projects to make live event streaming easy and affordable. One the things they’re working on is the HDMI2USB project to develop open hardware and firmware for live capture and streaming.

The Opsis creators pay homage to Milkymist One, the open hardware video synthesizer that together with the video rendering software Flickernoise formed an open source video effects platform. (Milkymist developer Sébastien Bourdeauducq gave an interview to TTF in 2013.) Milkymist But the Milkymist One has since been discontinued. The Opsis creators hope to fill that void: “The Numato Opsis hardware has a large amount in common with the Milkymist developed hardware, being built around the same FPGA core and designed for high-speed video manipulation. With support for the Opsis board currently being added to the MiSoC firmware, the Opsis makes a great candidate to fulfil the vision of the original Milkymist platform.”

Numato Labs is running a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply. At the time of writing the project raised $23,997, that’s 275% of their initial goal. You can get an Opsis for $349 but you’ll have to hurry the campaign only runs for a couple more days till October 26.

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