ICT

New DJI Digital headset video can finally keep up with racing drones – CNET

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DJI’s FPV system combines a new controller, goggles and camera module. 

Joshua Goldman/CNET

DJI is bringing its high-resolution digital video transmission technology from its camera drones to the world of drone racing. Combining a camera module, controller and goggles, the new DJI Digital First Person Viewing (FPV) Transmission System delivers long-range ultralow latency HD video from the drone to your eyes.

Drone pilots wear an FPV headset while racing to get a view from a camera mounted on the front of the drone. However, because they’re regularly flying at speeds faster than 90mph, the video transmission systems use low-resolution, low-latency analog video signals. Unfortunately, the video quality is soft with poor color and detail and frequently breaks up. 

Switching from analog to digital improves detail and overall picture quality, but has a shorter range, adds latency and is expensive among other things. DJI’s FPV system  is the only digital video transmission solution on the market that performs at the same level as analog, the company says. Having seen it in action, it’s easy to believe, too. 

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You can add FPV to anything with DJI’s system.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

The difference between analog and DJI’s HD system is like the difference between a VHS tape that’s been played a few too many times and a remastered DVD. Or like going from 144p on a YouTube clip to 720p. All the detail you’ve been missing is suddenly visible and with so little latency that you’re able to react in time to avoid obstacles. 

Other features 

  • End-to-end latency of 28 milliseconds
  • Capture video at 720p at 120fps or 1080p at 60fps
  • Record video to camera module and goggles
  • “Focus Mode” narrows down the signal bitrate to the center of the frame
  • Transmission up to 2.5 miles
  • Eight 5.8GHz frequency channels
  • Each operator has an exclusive channel  
  • Three camera modes: racing, standard and LED mode
  • 150 degree ultra-wide-angle lens

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The new goggles (right) are significantly smaller and lighter than DJI’s first goggles.

Joshua Goldman/CNET

The DJI FPV System is available now in two bundle options. The $819 FPV Experience Combo includes the FPV Goggles, two FPV cameras and Air Units along with all the necessary wires and antennas. The FPV Fly More Combo for $929 adds the controller, but has only one camera and Air Unit.