Arduino video sampler

[gijs] sent in an Arduino video sampler he’s been working on. The sampler is able to capture, pause and play a short video forwards and backwards.

The video capture circuit is based on the Nootropic Design video experimenter. We’ve seen a few project use this video experimenter board, but never with such smooth video. The sampler samples frames at a resolution of 128×96 and stores everything in a 256Kbit SRAM. A back-of-the-envelope calculation tells us that the sampler can hold a little under a second of video, more than enough to do something cool.

[gijs] says there is a 1 bit version and a 1.5 bit version of his video sampler. While we’re busy wrapping our minds around what half a bit is, he’ll be upgrading the 1.5 bit version to 2 bits. He’s also ordered some PCBs and expects to have a kit out by October. Check out a demo after the break.


  1. Philippe says:

    Hmmmm… 1.5 bit is 3 bits for two pixels ?

    That would give 3 “colors” per pixel : black, white and gray.

  2. Philippe says:

    … not really …

  3. john says:

    Wow. I really want one of these. I’m totally going to order one. Btw, does anyone know how he made those slick buttons?

  4. password says:

    @john seems to be regular push buttons with a cap on which seems engraved/melted to show the white underneath. I’m just guessing here

  5. spag says:

    Could anyone explain this fractional bit concept? Is he just using 3 bits for every 2 pixels or what? That would be odd… you’d have to choose 8 2-pixel brightness combinations to support.

  6. gijs says:

    about the 1.5 bits.. there are two ram chips, both store the 1 bit video data, but the two bits are not encoded, so when the video is outputted it just gives 3 colors gray-scale instead of 4.

    i made the buttons by spray painting white buttons black, then wait a little and scrape something on the button, wait a little more and spray-paint with transparent paint.

  7. jordan says:

    omg that is cool! i love it

  8. svofski says:

    You should have used the indelible girl from Ringu 2 for the example.

  9. svofski says:

    P.S. really awesome job!

  10. KillerBug says:

    Neato…I wonder what he could do with an old 4MB SIMM…

  11. hboy007 says:

    This is really good! I wonder why so few comments are here.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    Half a bit would be like…6.25 cents on the shave and a haircut scale, wouldn’t it

  13. If anyone has spare time, try poking around on Gijs’ site. The man is a creative genius. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a few times.

  14. octel says:

    Gameboy Camera, anyone?

  15. Its like instagram for video ;)
    Great work, I love it, inspires me to try and do some more experimenting.

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