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2020 Live Streaming

Posted: Sunday 29th March 2020 by Emyr MWT

The 2020 Live Streaming will go live, today, at 10am

However, due to the severe restrictions we're all working under at the moment with the COVID-19 virus, here are a few things that you need to know:


Cameras

We'll start off the season as usual with Camera 2 - the panoramic camera that is placed lower down than all the others.

This gives us the best view of the surrounding Welsh hillsides and birds flying in. As soon as the ospreys are about to lay eggs, we'll switch over to other cameras so that you can see them properly.

There is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) function that lets you rewind back in time up to 12 hours.

CAM-2


Picture Quality

We're streaming at Full HD 1080P. However, Youtube have recently announced that they are decreasing the bitrate on all videos in order to create greater capacity with so many people watching from home. The quality doesn't look too bad to be fair.

Testing the IR lamp - for night time watching


Camera Panning and Zooming

Janine and I will be moving the cameras - remotely, from home.

There is always a lag when you do this; imagine driving a car, you turn the steering wheel to turn left and nothing happens. So you turn it again. Suddenly, three seconds later your first left turn is registered so you overcompensate, then the second left turn kicks in.

You can end up in an almighty mess, so we will be doing this much less frequently than usual, until such time we can move the cameras natively from the new Dyfi Wildlife Centre.

Remote working from our Dyfi back yard..


COVID-19

Last Monday the government announced new guidelines, setting out when and how often people in the UK could go outside, including going to work:


Accordingly, we have done much of the camera works this week remotely using software.

There are two main ways that this will initially affect the Live Streaming

  1. Microphone - placement of the mics in the nest is crucial for optimal performance. We have not been able to visit the nest as normal to test the audio this year, hence, there is an audible hiss. We are hoping, however, to try and eliminate much of this using software this coming week.
  2. Multi-cam - we were hoping to bring you a two-camera set up, but with everything else going on over the last few weeks, we've concentrated all our efforts to get you one camera working properly. Once everything stabilises, we may have another go.

 


Remote Working

We use professional-grade IP cameras at the nest. IP = Internet Protocol.

So, by using remote desktop software we can change a variety of settings on the cameras from home. We can even install software in the cameras from the comfort of the living room.

To try and compensate for DOP not being open this year (so far), we will try and set up a weekly live video-Q&A, possibly on Facebook, with Janine answering all your osprey-related questions.

More on this soon, let's get the Live Streaming working and stable to begin with.


When are the birds due back?

Telyn returned on 30th March last year (so today in effect, if you factor in the 2020 leap year), so she could land for her third year of breeding literally at any time.

Monty is contracted to return during the first week of April, so any time from Wednesday onwards.

Touch-larch - this will be Monty's 10th consecutive year breeding at DOP 


Working with Partners

We would like to thank Andy Richards, Gareth Jones, Openreach, Network Rail and SP Energy Networks; they have all helped us get to this point in unthinkably double-quick time.

Managing single visits, social distancing and solo working whilst conforming to the government's guidelines at all times was extra challenging, but I'm glad to say we managed it without compromising safety.


And Finally

We would like to thank all of you for your continued support and energy that has steered us through these last few weeks.

With the Dyfi Wildlife Centre closed, we have re-purposed our Live Streaming Appeal to a general DOP Appeal. We're up to £17,000 already - thank you so much.

With some support from the government's initiatives, we reckon we can run a basic, no-frills DOP 2020 for around £50,000 instead of the usual £150,000. So, we'll keep the DOP Appeal going throughout the season.

If you haven't donated but would like to, there are three ways you can do so:


1. Via the Virgin Giving Money button on the Live Streaming page (best, as and you can click a box for Gift Aid if you pay tax in the UK – another 25% is added to your amount by the tax wo/man)*

2. Via the PayPal button on the Live Streaming page (but no Gift Aid and Paypal take around 3%)

3. By sending a cheque payable to ‘Dyfi Osprey Project Appeal’ to:

2020 DOP Appeal
Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Park Lane House
Welshpool
Powys
SY21 7JP


With so much bad news recently, in amongst the turmoil and adversity, we hope that watching the Dyfi ospreys for the next five months can bring some semblance of normality back to all our lives.

So, sit back and enjoy the 2020 journey with us. It may only be a Reliant Robin this year, but it will get us from A to B. The journey starts three days earlier than we had planned, at 10am today.

START THE CARRRRRR!!!!


On Youtube here and the website here.

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