Digital video recorders (DVRs) - Expert commentary

ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression
ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression

In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video Compression Technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF Physical Security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardization organizations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 Compression Formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognizes the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.

HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade
HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade

According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analog, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure Overhaul For HD Video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analog HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy Solutions For HD Video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analog systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analog solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analog technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping Video Delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetize their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analog systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing Network Hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilize a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying Surveillance Through One DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analog or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analog systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression.  HD Casino Surveillance Made Simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analog system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximizing existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

Video Surveillance Must Modernize In Storage, Recording And On-Demand Access
Video Surveillance Must Modernize In Storage, Recording And On-Demand Access

Dollars spent by video surveillance customers must go towards ensuring high-availability capture, storage and on-demand access to live and archived video. Reaching this goal mandates high-availability of independent components – camera, network, storage (edge, external), internet connectivity, display, all Video Management Software (VMS) components and an architecture that can take advantage of this. In this note, we focus on seeing our way through to a video surveillance architecture, that provides high availability storage, access to live and stored video content. Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure Edge Recording Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure. This makes edge storage a must-have. But, this has some limitations at present: Edge storage capacity is limited. Edge media has a short lifetime, rated only for thousands of hours of continuous recording. Most cameras are not secure and physical damage to the camera could lead to catastrophic loss of edge stored content. As storage and compression technology evolve, the constraints imposed by (1) and (2) could go away. However, securing cameras will continue to be a barrier for most installations. Secure External Storage It is thus imperative to also store video in secure external storage. Such an architecture uses edge storage to fill in content gaps created by network, external storage outages. As edge storage technology improves, larger gaps can be filled in, but one will always need external storage. By our definition, ‘external storage’ is a solution stack that includes storage media and all software (including VMS) that provide access to this storage. Access To Live And Archived Video Access to live video can either be met by external storage or directly by the camera Every surveillance solution needs to provide access to live and archived video. Access to live video can either be met by external storage or (and) directly by the camera. All things being equal, having the camera directly provide live video access, is a higher-availability solution. There is dependence on fewer components in the chain. Solutions in the market use one of the above two approaches for access to live video. Due to limited capacity and low physical security of edge storage, it makes sense at present, to have external storage meet all requests for archive video. Thus, we are led to an architecture that has heavy dependence on external storage. Dual-Recording For high-availability, external storage must be architected with redundancy. Ideally, independent components that make up external storage – storage media, associated hardware and software (including VMS components), should be individually redundant and have smart interconnectivity. However, solutions in the market rigidly tie these components together. Failure of a single component causes failure of external storage. For e.g. hardware failure of a server causes VMS component failure AND storage failure. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage For these solutions in the market, high-availability is achieved by having additional external storage units that step-in during outages of primary units. If these additional units continuously duplicate primary units, access gaps are minimized, and archive access is un-affected during primary unit outages. This is the idea behind Dual-Recording (DR).  To meet cost budgets, these additional units can be configured to store subsampled (framerate, resolution) video content. A small number of additional units can support concurrent outages of all primary units. A few-to-many redundancy. Rising Need For Dual-Recording Most cameras cannot be physically secured, and video content produced by a camera must be stored externally. Many VMS solutions use external storage to service live video access requests. Edge storage limitations impose restrictions on edge archive access at present. So, external storage is used to service requests for archive access too. Thus, a surveillance system ends up being over-dependent on external storage. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage. As edge storage improves, it will be able to service archive access requests. VMS software will need to evolve, to use this capability smartly.

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Hall & Kay Security Deploys IDIS Video Security Solution At Meridian South Development In Hither Green, London
Hall & Kay Security Deploys IDIS Video Security Solution At Meridian South Development In Hither Green, London

An upgrade of video technology at a south London residential estate has proved so effective that the system has been immediately scaled-up. The IDIS video solution, implemented by Hall & Kay Security Engineering at the Meridian South Development in Hither Green, is less obtrusive than the system it replaced, yet it immediately delivered better results, with a number of incidents tackled to the surprise of the culprits. IDIS video solution Although the mixed development, comprising 440 owner-occupied and rented properties, is a safe and pleasant neighborhood for most of the time, to maintain this high standard of living managers needed to tackle a growing problem with petty crime and anti-social behavior. Hall & Kay were asked to solve this problem by implementing an advanced, end-to-end video solution from IDIS Issues were being reported with increasing frequency, including rubbish being dumped by short-term tenants vacating their apartments, theft from mailboxes, vandalism, and car crime. Rubbish removal alone was costing the management company more than £12,000 annually. Hall & Kay were asked to solve this problem by implementing an advanced, end-to-end video solution from IDIS, Korea’s largest in-country manufacturer. IDIS cameras deployed The H&K team began by replacing the ten column-mounted PTZ cameras with IDIS cameras. IDIS technicians visited the site with the H&K engineers and conducted a bandwidth test on the existing cabling, demonstrating that, by using the existing coax with IDIS ethernet converters, up to four IDIS fixed bullet cameras could be cost-effectively mounted on each existing column. Additionally, wireless access points were installed where cameras couldn’t be cabled directly to the estate control room. This approach eliminated blind-spots and guaranteed that events would not be missed when the system was unmanned. IDIS Center video management software (VMS) To provide wider coverage, a further six columns were added, and additional IDIS cameras were mounted in the underground car parking areas. The system now delivers full HD images in all lighting conditions, with built-in IR ensuring night-time image capture at distances up to 30m. All footage is stored for 30 days. The security officers and maintenance staff who manage the estate are also taking advantage of the easy-to-use analytics functions that come with the totally cost-free IDIS Center video management software (VMS).  These tools include motion detection which can be utilized out of hours to ensure that scenes are only recorded when movement occurs, thus minimizing bandwidth usage and storage requirements. This feature, along with IDIS MapVue navigation, also makes it easy to quickly review footage to find incidents of interest. IDIS full HD IR cameras Within 24 hours of the cameras being installed, departing tenants were recorded illegally dumping rubbish The 57 IDIS full HD IR cameras, and the three NVRs with 12TB storage each, benefit from true plug-and-play set up with DirectIP. When the South Meridian management team saw the quality of images now being captured, they asked if the system could be extended. With IDIS’s flexible approach this was quick and easy to do. Within 24 hours of the cameras being installed, departing tenants were recorded illegally dumping rubbish. Shortly after this, a contractor working at the site reported that tools had been stolen in both cases, with high definition evidence of the crime being captured and passed to the police. Easy-to-use VMS controls In fact, thanks to the design of the system, and the easy-to-use VMS controls, security staff was able to retrieve footage of the incident itself, along with a full video trail of the thief moving across the estate, before and afterwards. Word has now spread about how effective the new system is, and residents are delighted that there are now no blind spots. “The support we had from IDIS was second to none and the technology works exactly as promised,” said Wayne Wharton, Security Sales Manager, H&K Security, adding “We are now looking at many more IDIS projects with the same customer and others.” “We are delighted that IDIS technology is making such a positive difference to the quality of life of residents at Meridian South,” said James Min, Managing Director at IDIS Europe.

IDIS IR PTZ Camera Keeps Watch Over Volcan De Fuego Project In Guatemala
IDIS IR PTZ Camera Keeps Watch Over Volcan De Fuego Project In Guatemala

Video surveillance has many applications, and keeping a watchful eye on an active volcano ranks as an important one. IDIS’ video technology has been meeting the task as the video technology provider for the Volcan de Fuego project in Guatemala.  This volcano, one of the world’s most active and dangerous, is now watched day and night in order to give early warning of impending eruptions. Continual live footage of the ‘Volcan de Fuego’ can now be viewed online by emergency agencies, scientists and residents, as it is all being captured by IDIS’ award winning 8MP 31x IR PTZ camera.   Ultra-high definition  Even from over nine miles away, the 8-megapixel model is delivering ultra-high definition, full day, and night surveillance of the active caldera, showing sudden gas and ash eruptions as often as every 15 to 20 minutes.  In June 2018 nearly 200 people were killed on Volcan de Fuego during a series of explosions and pyroclastic flows which left little evacuation time. This was the volcano’s most powerful eruption since 1974 and its deadliest since 1929 but was far from an isolated incident. More than 60 major eruptions have been recorded over the last five centuries, and with 54,000 people living on the fertile farmlands within six miles of the crater, the risk remains high.  DC-S3883HRX camera  The H.265 IR DC-S3883HRX camera features an 8MP, auto focus, and 31x optical zoom lens Consequently, ultra-high definition, continual video monitoring, alongside data from sensors including seismology and gas detectors, now aims to protect vulnerable communities living around the volcano by giving early warning.  The H.265 IR DC-S3883HRX camera, which features an 8MP, auto focus, and 31x optical zoom lens, IR performance up to 200m, and a highly sensitive auto-return positioning sensor, was installed by IDIS, its partner EPCOM and Guatemalan telecommunications specialist Crelosa. Like all IDIS cameras, the model, which has won two prestigious design awards, benefits from true, one-click plug-and-play set up, making it ideal for hassle-free installation at height, in challenging environments, and in locations where engineers are exposed to increased risk.   Electronic image stabilization  The IDIS PTZ also features true wide dynamic range (WDR), allowing it to cope easily in changing lighting conditions; electronic image stabilization (EIS) ensures steady coverage of scenes at distance, so images from the volcano remain crisp and sharp; and H.265 and intelligent codec requires minimum bandwidth even for 4K live monitoring.   The camera also remains stable despite the region’s variable weather conditions including under strong sun, and when temperatures that fall sharply at night. The water droplet wiper proves essential during the rainy season. Smart failover and IDIS’ Ultimate Warranty gives Crelosa and the Volcan de Fuego monitoring agencies peace of mind that the camera will continue to deliver outstanding video in one of the world’s most dramatic settings. 

IDIS Eyes More Middle East And North Africa Video Projects, As Part Of Banking, Education And Retail Sector Expansion Plan In The Regions
IDIS Eyes More Middle East And North Africa Video Projects, As Part Of Banking, Education And Retail Sector Expansion Plan In The Regions

Globally renowned video surveillance and technology solutions firm, IDIS is targeting video projects in resilient Middle East market sectors, including banking, grocery retail, and education, as it looks to build on recent successes, delivering compliance-driven solutions. Despite continuing disruption and uncertainty in the world economy, the company says the outlook is positive in the region as it supports its systems integration partners to focus on both resilient sectors and markets showing continued growth. Video tech projects in the education sector The Korean video technology solutions provider, which is known for its end-to-end solutions, highlights opportunities for video tech projects in the education sector, where it already has successful deployments in the Middle East countries of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government funding" “The education sector continues to expand through investment from private equity firms and government infrastructure funding, as well as international higher education institutes expanding their presence in the Middle East and North Africa regions,” said Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager, IDIS Middle East & Africa. IDIS video technology in banking sector In the banking sector, major investments in more robust video surveillance infrastructure, over the last three years, have been largely driven by compliance pressure, as more and more banks look to meet ever more stringent government standards. IDIS video technology has already been deployed to protect more than 3,000 bank branches and ATMs for the National Commercial Bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and was chosen to secure the Central Bank of Jordan. Both projects demonstrated the benefits of robust, cyber-secure technology and proved how compliance can be delivered at good pace, even on a challenging scale in difficult environments. Video technology expansion in financial and retail sectors With IDIS video solutions fully compliant with requirements in the financial sector, including the gold-standard Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulations, upgraded projects are driving strong activity for the company and its integration partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA),  Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan. In the grocery and retail sector, Carrefour’s recently reported expansion across the Middle East, and its choice of IDIS video tech, has paved the way for further opportunities, including for projects in hypermarkets. In-depth experience in retail sector Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally" IDIS Middle East & Africa, Senior Sales Manager, Al Asfar stated, “Alongside our integration partners, IDIS has in-depth experience of retail applications globally and we are focusing on continuing demand for not just affordable video, but for scalable solutions that offer advanced analytics and deep learning tools. These will help stores compete in the current tough trading conditions and into the future too.” SIRA certification for IDIS cameras and NVRs Al Asfar adds, “In addition, Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA) certification for the latest range of IDIS cameras and NVRs also means we are gaining momentum in commercial, residential and government sectors across the UAE. In Dubai, we have seen construction and re-development rapidly bounce back, and all these new facilities need compliant, cyber-secure and resilient video tech to ensure public safety and security.” “Despite the undoubted economic challenges in some sectors, we are still seeing strong demand for video solutions that combine low total cost of ownership (TCO), high performance, and robust cyber security standards, and that meet compliance needs,” said, Ahmad Shanawani, Managing Director, Ametrad Technology Services. Ahmad adds, “We are now seeing how much IDIS end-to-end solutions and the company’s collaborative approach are suited to the growth projects we are working on.”

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