Servers by jDrones

Opensource, color, PictureInPicture capable OSD for ArduPilot

(Andras Schaffer) #1

At the end of last year, I was asked to show video from four cameras on the same display, to make complete situational awareness for a pilot. (Project was a BLOS power cable pull). Plus add some extra sensor information to the OSD display.

I was aware that there are solutions for this problem, but all of them were closed systems and modifying their OSD was out of the question. (PiP is a hard part here)

The result of the project is the OSDeluxe. A fully open source (HW and SW) Color, PIP capable OSD. Tailored for use with ArduPilot.

A hearth of the OSD is a Video processor ASIC, originally designed for security applications. Fortunately, it includes all necessary functions to make an excellent OSD. To drive it, I choose the Tennsy 3.2, it has more than enough resources for the task, and easily can be programmed in the Arduino environment, so adding functions to the OSD will be straightforward.

The OSD consists two stacked boards, so additional functions or inputs/outputs can be added to the top board without modifying the Video processor part.

In the video you can see one of the first test flight with the OSD.

Capabilities of the current version:

  • 4 independent CVBS video input
  • 3 analog output (3 CVBS or 1 CVBS and 1 S-VIDEO)
  • 2 digital video (ITU-R BT.656) output and 1 digital video input (ITU-R BT.656, up to Full PAL, 120FPS)
  • Video Scaler and PIP engine, any video input can be any size and location on the output.
  • Two independent video processing pipelines, outputs can be assigned to any pipeline.
  • 720x576 pixel 256color OSD, multiple pages.
  • Mavlink (and MAVlink only) communication.
  • Setup via MavLink PARAMS.
  • 96Mhz ARM-Cortex M4 processor, with 256K flash and 64K RAM (Teensy 3.2)
  • Arduino compatible development environment, GPL code. No RTOS, simple code loop.
  • All teensy 3.2 inputs and outputs are available except one serial and one i2c port. 50% of flash and 70% of RAM available for additional functions.

Feel free to ask or recommend anything about this system. For common questions see the Q&A below :smile:

Q: Why do we need another OSD?
A: Because there is no affordable, color, PIP capable OSD with open source software and hardware available.

Q: When it will be available?
A: First prototypes are used in test flights, and software is approximately 80% ready. Code needs cleanup and more documentation. I expect that HW description and software will be available on Github at the middle of this May. (The only reason for not publishing it now, is my own perfectionism, I would like to publish code that is up to my standards.)

Q: Why not HD?
A: Processing HD signals are difficult, chips that are able to do it usually comes in BGA packaging, requires FPGA programming and to access certain chips and/or codes you have to be a member of the HDMI organization… These factors are all inhibiting the make of an accessible opensource OSD hardware and software.

Q: Why the Teensy?
A: Teensy is a very powerful platform with the user friendliness of Arduino environment. ESP32 was also considered, but the quality of modules and the Core code is not consistent compared to the Teensy.

Q: Can I buy it when it is ready?
A: A small quantity production run will be made in May.

Q: I want to preorder!
A: Thank you for your trust, at this moment it is adequate if you send an email to about your intent to preorder.

Q: Nice, but I have some ideas to make it better.
A: Welcome! Use the discussion attached to this blog post to share your ideas, I’ll try to accommodate them if feasible.

(Khancyr) #2

Very nice ! Thanks for sharing !

(Jakob Schmidt) #3

Very cool!. Long overdue :smiley:

(Piotr łazęcki) #4

It looks very prommissing. Have you thing about mixing 2 video chanels to have 3D Side-by-side efect with OSD ? Let me know if beta tester needed :sunglasses:

(Andras Schaffer) #5

Since all input video can be freely scaled and positioned on the output, the answer is yes, it can be used for side by side.

(Marc Dornan) #6

Very nice and certainly overdue. As long as it is not incredibly expensive, sign me up. I will send an email.

(Robert Giordano) #7

I’m very interested in this project! I am currently doing something similar with a PIP board from China, in combination with a MinimOSD. The system works well but it limited by the capabilities of MinimOSD. The PIP board has 4 camera inputs and I can remotely switch between full screen views of any camera and multiple camera layouts.

The PIP board I’m using weighs 34g and I’m using a Micro MinimOSD which I think weighs 10g. How much will your complete system weigh?

My PIP board is mounted under the frame, just behind the gimbal.
At 2:20, I pan the GoPro around to see the camera inputs of the PIP board:

(Andras Schaffer) #8

Hi Robert,
Interesting, I think the board that you using has the same kind of, or
close chip that I use. (It’s not a secret, I use a Intersil TW2837)
The current prototype board is 50g, but the release one will be around 40g
(thinner PCB, less pin connectors). Plus a 10-15g 3d printed enclosure.

Could you give me a link to the PIP board that you using ?

1 Like
(Robert Giordano) #9


This is the one I have but it says “Out of Stock” at the moment:

(davidbitton) #10

What is the video ASIC?

(pyn) #11

It will be awfully heavy, huge and expensive…

(Andras Schaffer) #12

Pyn: Thank you for your valuable input. It is highly appreciated that you take time and register to this forum to share your insight with us. Also you made pretty clear that you are not part of the target customer segment of this product.

1 Like
(Andras Schaffer) #13

Intersil/Renesas TW2837

(davidbitton) #14

My day job is in security. I wonder how many NVRs we’ve sold with that chip in it. When do you expect to have something to sample (EPR or PPR)?

(Andras Schaffer) #15

It was used (and still used) in quad video matrix switches, and I think the number of switches sold is huge :D. I expect to have first public beta batch of boards to be ready in the second half of may.

(davidbitton) #16


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(pyn) #17

Don’t take me wrong… I love the concept and the demo flight video, but unfortunately you’re right, this is an OSD that will probably cost more than the flight controller itself so it is not for my pocket…

I’ll still follow the project closely and will wait for the price announcement… maybe I’m wrong about it!

(Andras Schaffer) #18

The price will be less than 200 usd and definitely more than 150. If you compare it to the cost of a Cube I think it is feasible.

(Marc Dornan) #19

It is totally what is expected. With Ardupilot people do think $12 minimOSD. For me I really think PIP would take FPV to another level. So I am happy to pay. If it is successful then I am sure hobbyking or banggood will lower the cost.

Thanks for blazing a trail.

Now if this could be integrated with EZ wifibroadcast that would be sweet! I know the resolution is SD so it may not be feasible.

(pyn) #20

What’s the power consumption of the OSD?
I’m wondering how many mA does the video processor beast suck up…

Can you post some current measurements?