The breathtaking views that a drone can provide are absolutely amazing. So when the screen starts to give out those green and black lines, it greatly disrupts the thrill. It is not uncommon to find professional drone pilots losing out on paid jobs because of poor image transmission. The DJI GO 4 is an app that is well known in this space and in this post we would take a look at 5 common causes of video lag with the Phantom 4 and possible solutions you could explore, using this app.
1) Device Compatibility Issues
Checking for device compatibility is one of the first issues to trash once you find you are having so many problems with video transmission. You may have to check if the device you are using is on the supported device list from DJI. However, even if your device is not on the list that does not mean that your phone or tablet will not be able to fly the drone. Having a supported device means you improve your chances of seeing a clear video. When downloading the DJI GO or GO 4 app, you can see if your device makes the cut. As a rule of thumb note that newer devices will generally perform better.
2) Device and Software Update Issues
The effect of updates to your device firmware and software on video transmission is also an issue to keep in mind. It can become a tricky aspect of your troubleshooting.
DJI Go 4 App Updates: The DJI GO app frequently gets updates and generally this should improve your functional experience. However, you would find that each app update will require a bit more from your device. If you notice significant video lag since updating the app, remember you can still roll back to the previous version. You can easily find YouTube tutorials on how to undertake such a task.
Aircraft & Remote Controller Updates (AC/RC): Just like the DJI GO apps, the aircraft and remote controller also get periodic firmware updates. Keeping up with these updates will more often than not improve your user experience and in some cases may help you solve some problems with video transmission. However, if you recently did a firmware update on the AC/RC and start noticing any functionality issues, say with your image transmission, you may want to immediately restore the firmware to the previous version.
Phone or Tablet updates: Sometimes, the GO app requires your device to be running on software that is not outdated. More often than not, the regular updates to our phone or tablet OS will have little effect on the image transmission.
3) DJI Go 4 App settings
You have to take note of the many in-app settings that will help improve your device performance. This can go a long way to allow for smoother videos.
Video Cache Settings: While in action, your device saves the cached video footage for you to view at a later time. This setting puts some load on your device storage and can impact the quality of your video transmission. You can go to your general settings and turn off “cache during video shooting”. Clear the video cache and see the effect on your performance.
Check your DJI operating Frequency: Another setting to look at will be your frequency settings. Some DJI drone models only operate on 2.4 GHz and others can operate on either 2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz. As a rule of thumb, 2.4GHz is better for longer range operations but can easily suffer a lot of interference as it is a more common frequency. On the other hand, 5.8 GHz go better for short range operations as it is stronger, indicating less latency.
Choose the appropriate image transmission mode: Some drones allow you to choose the image transmission mode. When it comes to getting smooth videos, you may want to stay away from anything that says “HD”. In custom mode, you may be able to choose an image transmission code rate between 4Mbps and 10Mbps. Choose the 4Mbps.
Check your drone channel mode: Normally, your drone channel mode will be set to auto and it is advisable to leave it this way. However, if you are having issues with video lag you may want to manually choose a channel. Note here, that some channels have red, some have green and as a rule of thumb, go with a channel with a lot of green.
4) Phone or tablet settings and tips
Simple settings on your device may also be useful in helping you remedy a situation of poor image transmission. This includes anything from turning on the airplane mode, turning of your Bluetooth, trying out a different USB cable, closing down background apps, etc.
You should also note that environmental factors could also be in issue sometimes. Large metal structures and cell towers can cause significant interference problems. Furthermore, it is a good practice to always pay some attention to where your RC’s antennae are pointed. Configure them in a manner so that they run perpendicular to the AC, and try not to have the drone directly overhead. Buying a Signal booster can also be helpful in some instances. You can find some of the best DJI GO 4 settings here on YouTube:
Dà-Jiāng Innovations (DJI) is a tech company with headquarters in Shenzhen. They are one of the most prominent brands in the civilian and professional drone industry, due to them having the lion's share of the drone market. The issues, suggestions and techniques considered in this post provide a short guide to eliminating that ever so annoying video lag. We believe that ultimately, these will help DJI identify areas that need improvement.
The beauty of flying the drones and getting these breathtaking footages is always on the mind of every drone lover. Getting better awareness of these can also help you in understanding some of the underlying processes that help you conduct a successful drone operation. This extends beyond just video making or image production to other functions that come with drones.