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.

Latest IDIS news

IDIS Announces New Upgrades Added To Its Cost-free, No License IDIS Center VMS Solution
IDIS Announces New Upgrades Added To Its Cost-free, No License IDIS Center VMS Solution

IDIS has further enhanced its IDIS Center VMS, adding new features and functions targeted at small to mid-sized enterprises and multi-site customers. Organizations can build powerful centralized monitoring solutions, quickly and easily, when implementing IDIS Center together with the wide selection of IDIS DirectIP cameras and powerful NVRs. These deliver customer lifecycle savings of 50% or more compared with server-based solutions, thanks to reduced installation time, no upfront or ongoing license fees, easier maintenance, and the industry-beating IDIS Ultimate Warranty. IDIS Center VMS Important new features now included with the cost-free, license-free IDIS Center VMS include MapVue Important new features now included with the cost-free, license-free IDIS Center VMS include MapVue, an easy-to-use search function that speeds up operator navigation across building layouts and floor plans. Its intuitive interface helps users to view live and play back video streams across multi-camera systems, while maintaining an overview perspective of their facilities’ layouts and camera positions. MapVue also provides easy bookmarking, allowing operators to search the recorded data for persons and activity of interest. Bookmarked footage can then be saved in an Excel file, creating a library of video clips. Instant Meta Filtering (IMF) capabilities IDIS Center users can also now benefit from IDIS Instant Meta Filtering (IMF) capabilities without any licensing or maintenance fees when using the new range of IDIS 6000 Series Edge VA (EVA) cameras. IMF speeds up incident investigations from days or hours to mere minutes. It allows operators to easily collate footage and scan hours of recorded video, from multiple streams, to pinpoint the movements and last-known locations of persons or vehicles of interest. “With these innovative features, IDIS Center is delivering great new benefits and further improving value for our customers,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America. IDIS For Every Network (FEN) technology Surveillance configured with IDIS Center at its heart also ensures greater cyber security Surveillance configured with IDIS Center at its heart also ensures greater cyber security, because devices mutually authenticate and eliminate the need to for passwords to be entered manually. In addition, IDIS For Every Network (FEN) technology lets engineers connect sites to a control room or other centralized monitoring environment with one-click configuration. IDIS Center gives users all the essential features they need to centrally and locally manage surveillance operations. These include live video and remote playback, real-time notifications of events, panic recordings, device system logs, and authority access set by individuals or groups. User-friendly interface Plus, its user-friendly interface is not only appreciated by security operatives but also praised by non-specialists, including teaching staff, healthcare professionals, and store managers who regularly need to access surveillance to investigate incidents quickly and efficiently. “Thousands of customers worldwide are benefitting from the low cost of ownership that IDIS Center offers,” Myung adds. “With the ability to register up to 1024 devices, IDIS Center is powerful enough for medium to large sites. It’s particularly beneficial to multi-site retailers that are tasked with the dual challenge of reducing shrinkage while keeping operating costs low.”

IDIS Highlights Deep Learning Advances And Cybersecurity At ISC West 2020
IDIS Highlights Deep Learning Advances And Cybersecurity At ISC West 2020

IDIS will be highlighting the latest advances in deep learning video analytics, with accuracy, at ISC West 2020. Building on its track record of artificial intelligence innovation, IDIS has taken another step forward in neural networks developing what is now one of most accurate AI engines available. Users can easily access a range of advanced AI tools through the latest version of IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) technology, either as a service module with the IDIS Solution Suite VMS or via the cost-effective AI in the Box appliance for smaller applications. Korea’s largest video tech manufacturer will be demonstrating the latest AI-driven metadata filtering capabilities, designed to make incident investigation faster and more effective. Incident management This guides first responders to take the most appropriate action and reduces the chance of incidents being missed IDLA makes control room operations more efficient by dramatically reducing false positive alarms and in turn supporting proactive decision making and prompting faster officer intervention during security and life safety events. It can accurately recognize incidents such as intrusion, loitering, and trespassing, all in real-time, and trigger notifications. In practice, this guides first responders to take the most appropriate action and reduces the chance of incidents being missed. IDIS Instant Meta Filtering (IMF) now allows users to exploit the power of metadata to speed up incident investigations. Operators can do this not just through IDLA but also through the totally cost free IDIS Center VMS via the deployment of new IDIS 6000 Series Edge VA (EVA) cameras. IDLA or EVA cameras record metadata even when an analytic rule is not applied. Person Match tool This allows operators to easily collate footage, with IDIS IMF scanning hours of recorded video from multiple streams, to identify relevant data. This makes it easy to search footage to track a person or vehicle, cutting through large volumes of video data to reveal the movements and last-known locations of persons or vehicles of interest. For example, using the Person Match tool the operator simply highlights the video image of a suspected perpetrator and within seconds IMF provides thumbnails of the person it identifies as being the suspect. The operator can then simply click the thumbnails to view the relevant video clips. Reduce investigation time IDIS will be showcasing its line-up of analytics appliances and specialty cameras IDLA combined with IMF promises to deliver significant labor efficiencies and reduce investigations from days or hours to just minutes. For busy security departments, this means less time spent staring at screens and more time engaged with more important and rewarding duties. IDIS will also be focusing its solutions on important vertical markets. For systems integrators there are now major opportunities to help retailers grow combined online/in-store customer experiences and operational efficiency. DC-C4212RX 2MP micro dome camera To serve this fast moving sector, IDIS will be showcasing its line-up of analytics appliances and specialty cameras which now includes new 12MP Panomorph and 5MP Compact Super Fisheyes, giving complete situational awareness of stores and logistics centers. In addition, the new, compact DC-C4212RX 2MP micro dome camera blends discretely with the aesthetics of high-end locations such as jewelery stores and designer boutiques. IDIS will also demonstrate the new reporting capabilities within its popular retail plug-and-play, VA in the Box analytics appliance. These make it easy for store managers to compile and access business intelligence reports across branches, all through the convenience of a web browser. IDIS Solution Suite IDIS Solution Suite is proving particularly popular as a scalable and affordable VMS In the education sector, IDIS has a growing track record of systems installed at schools and colleges where it is helping to create safer, more positive learning environments. IDIS Solution Suite is proving particularly popular as a scalable, affordable VMS that works with a wide range of robust NVRs and cameras suitable for varied lighting conditions and locations all backed by the IDIS Ultimate Warranty. These offer the advantage of ease-of-use for teachers and administrators, with essential privacy functions and affordable, wide area coverage. “This year at ISC West we’re really making it easy for systems integrators and customers to take advantage of advanced deep learning AI with some practical tools,” says Keith Drummond, Senior Sales Director for IDIS America. Importance of cybersecurity And he adds that IDIS will be reminding everyone about the continued importance of cybersecurity. “Protecting against network attacks through cameras and video infrastructure is no longer just a ‘nice to have’, it’s a ‘must have’. The threats to organizations are too great to ignore, and the consequences of failure are too damaging.” IDIS has been at the forefront in protecting customers with multi-layered cyber-defenses, securing data access, transmission, and recording, designing more robust protocols and issuing timely firmware updates.

IDIS To Unveil Powerful Line-Up Of Edge VA Bullet And Fixed Domes, Intersec 2020
IDIS To Unveil Powerful Line-Up Of Edge VA Bullet And Fixed Domes, Intersec 2020

IDIS is poised to extend its deep learning capabilities, and to lead the sector with more advanced projects in the Middle East, with the launch a powerful line-up of Edge VA bullet and fixed domes featuring essential on-board analytics, to be showcased at Intersec (19-21 January in Dubai) on stand SA-A28. Crucially, the new camera range will allow users to leverage the power of IDIS Instant Meta Filtering, with the ability to access and search video data, stored on IDIS NVRs, through the totally cost- and license-free IDIS Center VMS. This makes it easy to search by color and type of object (for example, people, cars, and bicycles) and number, to deliver significant labor efficiencies and reduce investigations from days and hours to just minutes. At the same time, a new mapping tool will allow users to select a specific camera on an intuitive layout plan, and live view or playback video in the corner of the screen to further improve control room and operator efficiency. IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) technology IDLA is proving to be the industry’s most accurate AI solution for security and life safety applications The biggest draw for visitors to the IDIS stand is sure to be the latest iteration of IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) technology that is available as a modular IDIS Solution Suite VMS service, or via the cost-effective AI in the Box appliance for smaller applications. IDLA is proving to be the industry’s most accurate AI solution for security and life safety applications, with a tested 98% accuracy rate. IDLA enables a higher level of protection for people, facilities and assets, by significantly reducing false alarms and ensuring critical incidents are never missed. For example, IDLA can recognize an intrusion, loitering, trespassing or a person falling over, all in real-time, and trigger a notification. In practice this means that critical events need never go undetected, and control room operators can initiate the most rapid, appropriate responses to incidents.  DC-C4212RX 2MP micro dome camera Offering even more choice for retail applications, IDIS will be showcasing an extended line up of analytics appliances and specialist cameras, which now includes new 12MP and 5MP Super Fisheyes, giving complete situational awareness from a single camera, while the new DC-C4212RX 2MP micro dome camera will also make its Middle East debut. Available in a wide choice of colors, the micro dome enables less noticeable surveillance, blending discretely with the aesthetics of high-end locations such as jewelery stores and designer boutiques, as well as up-market restaurants and luxury hotels. IDIS will highlight a compliant end-to-end offering for financial institutes New reporting capabilities will also be unveiled within the popular retail plug-and-play, VA in the Box analytics appliance, which gives retail managers the ability to compile and access business intelligence reports for multiple stores and branches all from the convenience of a web browser. IDIS Critical Failover In addition, following its significant success in the Middle East banking sector, IDIS will highlight a compliant end-to-end offering for financial institutes that includes convert modular cameras perfect for ATMs, ruggedized mobile cameras and NVRs featuring a durable, anti-shock and anti-vibration design for cash-in-transit vehicles, together with the powerful range of 8400 NVRs that come with server-crushing 370Mbps throughput, IDIS Intelligent Codec H.265/H.264 performance, RAID support and the multi-layered protection of IDIS Critical Failover. Other camerasecur debuts ideal for banking and other critical infrastructure sectors will include a range of thermal options and an explosion-proof camera designed for robust perimeter protection. “Middle East buyers today are clearly focused on solutions that give them tangible benefits, including ease of installation combined with reliable, high-performance technology that is cybersecure and backed by industry-leading warranties from a manufacturer they can trust, and that is exactly what IDIS is offering,” says Harry Kwon, General Manager, IDIS Middle East and Africa (MEA). “And with our end-to-end video solutions and advanced analytics tools, we are delivering immediate advantage and long-term value for security integrators, consultants and end-users.”

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