Ocusync is a transmission technology by DJI that debuted with the DJI Mavic Pro in September 2016. In the drone market, this advanced transmission system from DJI leads the industry. It comes in versions 1.0 and 2.0, and both of them ride on the success of the Lightbridge transmission technology.
What is a drone transmission system?
When you are looking for your first drone and you find terms like transmission system, they might sound like technical jargon. Transmission system means the technology by which the drone communicates with the remote controller or the internet-enabled devices that you will be using to control the drone.
With that enlightenment, you can guess that better or more advanced transmission systems give longer flight range. In addition, advanced transmission offers better responsiveness in regard to how the drone obeys commands that you key in on the remote controller or mobile app.
Since the invention of FPV drones, manufacturers have been looking for ways to increase the image transmission range digitally and with the lowest latency possible.
WiFi vs Lightbridge Transmission
Before they added Ocusync transmission to their portfolio, DJI used WiFi transmission and Lightbridge, with Lightbridge being more robust.
WiFi transmission for drones comes in two versions. First, there is the 2.4GHz, which has a longer range but slower speed. Today, you will find that many drones come with a 2.4GHz remote controller.
On the other hand, there is the 5GHz WiFi transmission. Now, this means the 5.8GHz WiFi that has faster speed but covers a shorter range. Therefore, if your drone supports 5G WiFi, you can connect to it when you want to fly it in your backyard or indoors.
Lightbridge transmission gave users a better option than regular WiFi transmission, which unfortunately is only able to transmit signal within a short range. It also experiences interruptions from other WiFi devices.
Enter Ocusync Transmission in 2016
Ocusync is the real game changer in this. It increases image transmission range. At the same time, it lowers latency in communication between drone and remote controller, VR goggles and phone app.
When you buy a DJI drone with the Ocusync technology, it can fly higher and further than most of the competition, thereby enabling you to have more fun.
Benefits of Ocusync Transmission
When Ocusync came out, DJI Mavic Pro used it exclusively for a whole year and then Phantom 4 Pro V20 came into the scene and it ran on the same technology.
Here are the benefits that you will enjoy from this transmission technology:
Intermittent switching between 2.4 and 5.8GHz frequencies
Ocusync works better than extended WiFi. What this means is that the drone fitted with this kind of transmission technology can change frequencies between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz. It changes depending on the available frequency mid-flight.
When you launch your drone, it could be running on 2.4GHz frequency. However, mid flight, the 2.4GHz could become weaker.
In that case, the drone will automatically switch to 5GHz if it is available, maintaining a strong connectivity with the remote controller. Therefore, it flies over a longer range than it would when running on one frequency alone.
In addition to switching between frequencies, a drone running on Ocusync can also change channels dynamically. As your drone flies, it keeps scanning for channel change among three transmission modes. These transmission modes are 20MHz, 10MHz and 1.4MHz.
Better video quality over long transmission range
DJI drones that run on this technology can fly to a maximum range of 10KM. Over the maximum range flight, the drone can transmit video in 720P HD quality. However, at a closer range, the drone can transmit video in 1080P quality.
The reason for the difference in the resolution of the video transmitted over short and long range is that the longer the range, the higher the latency.
Latency means the amount of time that lapses before you can get transmission feed to your smartphone when the drone is flying. Over long range, there is more latency when it comes to video data transmission. At a shorter range, there is less latency so you can transmit at higher quality. At short range, the video download speed is up to 40Mb/s.
DJI engineers claim that they have some of the lowest latency rates in their drones. For instance, using the Ocusync 1.0 transmission, they say that the latency for remote controller commands is 5ms, latency for video data download is 10ms and for videos, latency rate is 130ms.
Multiple Devices Connectivity
With the Ocusync 1.0 or 2.0 transmission technology, you can connect to multiple controllers and DJI goggles simultaneously. For instance, you can connect the Mavic Pro to two remote controllers and more than two DJI goggles.
DJI Ocusync 2.0
Only two DJI drones – Mavic Mini Pro and Phantom Pro V2.0 run on Ocusync 1.0 transmission. However, there is Ocusync 2.0 that came in 2018. It comes with all the features of the Ocusync 1.0 plus some more extras.
For instance, it has a video download speed of 40Mb/s, which is the same as what you get from the Ocusync 1.0.
In addition, it switches dynamically between the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies depending on what is available signal.
Some of the differences include the high-resolution image transmission over short and long distances at 1080P. Overall, this is better video quality all the time.
The latency though is higher than what you get with the Ocusync 1.0. It ranges between 120 and 130ms for video transmission, a bit higher but it is not a deal breaker.
There is no doubt that the Lightbridge and Ocusync 1.0 and 2.0 transmission technologies are way ahead of many others in the drone industry. At the same time, even the regular DJI WiFi is better than what most other drones offer.
With the Ocusync technology, interruptions to the drone signal do happen, but you will hardly notice such because the drone scans and connects to the stronger channels. In addition, you get robust video quality over long flight range (maximum of 10KM).
By all indications, it seems that DJI will replace Lightbridge and WiFi with Ocusync exclusively in its future drones, but this remains to be seen.