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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IDIS To Exhibit End-To-End Video Security Solutions And Surveillance Technologies At Security Canada 2020 Virtual Trade Show
IDIS To Exhibit End-To-End Video Security Solutions And Surveillance Technologies At Security Canada 2020 Virtual Trade Show

IDIS, a global security company that designs, develops, manufactures, and delivers surveillance solutions for a wide range of commercial and public sector markets, is proud to be sponsoring and participating in Canadian Security Association’s Security Canada Virtual Trade Show, slated to be held on December 2nd and 3rd, 2020. Security Canada 2020 Visitors to the Security Canada virtual trade show can learn how IDIS’s flagship plug-and-play DirectIP solution offering can significantly benefit both end users and systems integrators. DirectIP encompasses a comprehensive line up of powerful network video recorders (NVRs), network cameras, software, monitors, and accessories that seamlessly connect. It packs a strong punch of everything needed to build a complete video surveillance solution. IDIS DirectIP solution IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration IDIS DirectIP solution delivers rich functionality while eliminating complex and time consuming configuration. Users love that its network throughput delivers high-definition simultaneous recording and real-time monitoring with no visible latency and that cameras and recorders come with the assurance of industry-renowned warranties. From the security integrator’s perspective, the DirectIP solution makes installation a snap by mutually authenticating devices, thereby ensuring that engineers don’t need to manage passwords, use port forwarding, or have a deep knowledge of IP networking, even for multi-site deployments. In turn, this eliminates the potential for cyber loopholes and combined with dealing with a single vendor for sales and tech support, also ensures a low cost of service. IDIS Center VMS and ISS solutions Attendees to the Security Canada virtual event will be able to see first-hand how IDIS’s totally cost and license free IDIS Center VMS (Video Management Software) allows customers to implement surveillance solutions that encompasses up to 1024 devices, so as to enable a centralized management and control environment for customers with multiple sites, at a considerably lower cost than a server-based system. For larger organizations, IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) delivers enterprise-level VMS functionality without the associated price tag. This allows users to choose the powerful modules and functionality they need with a choice of federation service, IDIS Critical Failover which protects against a range of fault conditions, video wall services, and much more. ISS also gives customers the flexibility to add an unlimited number of sites at no additional cost. AI Box for COVID solution IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show IDIS will also unveil its AI Box for COVID at Security Canada 2020 virtual trade show. This simple add on appliance includes functions that help adherence to government guideless and hygiene best practices to support reopening, and safe return to work strategies to help prevent the spread of infection. The new IDIS Mobile Plus app will also be showcased, which is supporting users to remotely monitor single and multiple sites by putting powerful VMS functionality at their fingertips. With the ability to view 4K and multiple streams and configure alarms and notifications, it’s enabling the management of day-to-day operations and the ability to respond to incidents and events on the move. IDIS dome and bullet cameras IDIS will also present an end-to-end solutions specific to retail that includes high-performance 5 MP dome and bullet cameras, a compact 5 MP fisheye camera, and the anti-IR reflection 2 MP micro dome camera, which are all popular choices for indoor and outdoor video surveillance and coverage in all lighting conditions. At the Security Canada virtual event, attendees representing the logistics and warehousing sector will learn how IDIS solutions are helping improve operations by tracking goods in and out, mitigating internal shrinkage, and ensuring health and safety compliance with its high performance 12 MP IR Super Fisheye cameras that can cost-effectively replace 3-4 fixed lens cameras.

IDIS Mobile Plus App Launched In Integration With IDIS Solution Suite VMS
IDIS Mobile Plus App Launched In Integration With IDIS Solution Suite VMS

Video surveillance users can adapt to the challenges of working more flexibly between home, office, stores, and the control room with the newly released IDIS Mobile Plus app. Mobile Plus integrates the company’s popular IDIS Mobile app with its network and digital recorders, network cameras, and IDIS Solution Suite VMS. It delivers improved and more powerful functionality - anytime and anywhere – and gives users remote situational awareness of single and multiple sites. The app enables up to 4K live streaming on remote mobile devices, with high image quality in H.264/MJPEG and H.265 formats. Recorded footage can be played back in the same high definition that operators and managers use in from their control rooms or client software.   Investigate incidents or suspicious behavior The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries Users can choose from a range of viewing options - including portrait or landscape, dark mode, simultaneous 1/4/9/16 split screens, and a four-channel synchronized 2 x 2 split screen mode - to quickly receive multiple camera events. The IDIS Mobile Plus app can be configured to receive push alarms based on event and time lapse queries, and gives users the ability to use two-way audio, QR codes for fast device registration, and image capture while on the move. Security, safety, and loss prevention personnel can also remotely respond to and investigate incidents or suspicious behavior using notifications generated by alarm-in, motion detection, trip zones, video loss, and text-in functions. The new app also incorporates the benefits of IDIS’s Smart UX Controls, with: full pan, tilt, and zoom control of DirectIP® and DirectCX® cameras; calendar search, playback, and bookmark functions; simple drag and drop to change the size and position of the video; and pinch zoom for PTZs and fisheye dewarping. Manage surveillance operations remotely “The pandemic has forced many organizations to adapt quickly to changing work patterns, and move from fully to partially operational facilities. It’s now more important than ever for security and safety personnel to be able to manage their surveillance operations remotely, flexibly and on the move,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. “The new Mobile Plus app provides much needed help by putting the vital tools and functions of IDIS Solution Suite VMS directly into the hands of customers, wherever they are and whenever they need them.” The IDIS Mobile Plus app also supports dual stream options for playback, which means users can choose between lower mobile data consumption and higher image quality of up to 4K, depending on mobile bandwidth availability. iPad users can now also benefit from slide over and split view functionality. Language options include English, Russian, Japanese, and Korean and Mobile Plus supports Apple iOS from version 11.0 and Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21) onward. 

IDIS Launches Return To Workplace Solutions For Businesses Post In Post-COVID-19 Environment At GSX+
IDIS Launches Return To Workplace Solutions For Businesses Post In Post-COVID-19 Environment At GSX+

IDIS, a global security company that designs, develops, and manufactures surveillance solutions for a wide range of commercial and public sector markets, is proud to be participating in the Global Security Exchange Plus (GSX+) virtual exhibit. While most all industry trade shows have had to opt for online experiences, GSX+ promises to deliver the high calibre of expertise, influence, and resources synonymous with this flagship ASIS International event. Attendees will want to check out the raft of new tech that IDIS is launching at GSX+. It is positioned to transform control room and security operations with greater situational awareness, faster investigations, and an enhanced user experience. Return to Workplace IDIS’ newest video technology will support a safe return-to-workplace (RTW) set of strategies that, when combined, continue to deliver on the IDIS promise of a low Total Cost of Ownership. Among the highlights are: Next generation IDIS Deep Learning Analytics with AI-assisted notifications for object, loitering and fall detection, as well as tools that leverage metadata to rapidly speed up investigations. This capability empowers security teams with enhanced situational awareness and operator efficiency, thereby enabling operators to initiate a faster and more appropriate response to life safety incidents, threats, and suspicious activity. New IDIS COVID-19 Solutions. This simple plug-and-play appliance supports safe return-to-workplace strategies across all industry sectors. It includes essential capabilities that facilitate social distancing, people counting, occupancy monitoring / crowd detection, mask detection and, very importantly, reporting compliance. IDIS Mobile and night time image The new IDIS Mobile features an improved user-friendly interface app with split screens and portrait modes that enables users to manage both IDIS VMS options (the free IDIS Center VMS and IDIS Solution Suite) to improve real-time monitoring/verification of incidents and enable instant investigation across multiple facilities/sites on the move. IDIS all-in-one interface - Cloud Manager (ICM) - enables users to view live and recorded video via a web browser with the added assurance of the highest levels of cybersecurity protection and without the need to install any additional software. The new 2MP micro dome camera with its non-bubble, anti-IR reflection structure will be demonstrated to show crisp night time image capture. And with a choice of pearly color options, makes it the ideal choice for facilities with an eye to aesthetics, such as boutiques, jewelery stores, and other upscale venues. IDIS Solution Suite VMS Presentations and demos will be led by IDIS America Regional Sales Directors Jeff Montoya and Jason Burrows. Among the topics and technologies, they will be covering are IDIS’ award-winning and cost-effective end-to-end logistics featuring the bestselling 12MP Super Fisheye, as well as the modular and scalable solution IDIS Solution Suite VMS. They’ll also present a session that will help end-users understand and calculate the lifecycle and total cost of ownership of their video surveillance solutions. “IDIS is extremely proud to be part of the 2020 GSX+ online-experience platform,” says Jeff Montoya, IDIS America Sales Director for the Eastern region. “We look forward to meeting our booth visitors virtually and presenting our innovative surveillance technologies and solutions. We’re very pleased also to be introducing our most recent innovations to meet the security challenges of this COVID-19 era.”

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