Just a quick update this week as I am snowed under with other work, but in a spare 5 hours I installed OpenCV on the Pandaboard – a relatively painless experience as I am using Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 which meant I was able to pretty much just follow the instructions for that: just building it for ARM rather than x86.
Prior to this all the image processing had actually been happening on the host PC, via the raw images it received via the Ethernet cable. Obviously this was just a prototype, this would never have been a workable solution for my project. Once I had OpenCV installed on the Pandaboard I was able to rewrite my code to move the image processing over to it, and make the host PC merely a display that received and displayed the images.
I also took this opportunity to apply JPEG compression to the images before sending them, and uncompressing them for display at the other end using OpenCV’s imencode and imdecode functions. This reduced the network bandwidth from 12MB/s (sending raw images) to 2MB/s (with maximum quality, with considerable further reduction the more you reduce the quality), while increasing the FPS from 20 to 26. This will allow me to send the images over WiFi (once I have it set up).