Browse Digital video recorders (DVRs)

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 AD Group news

BSIA Representatives To Share Knowledge At IFSEC 2015
BSIA Representatives To Share Knowledge At IFSEC 2015

Visitors to the show have three conference theaters to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities As IFSEC International prepares to return to London’s ExCeL in June, a number of British Security Industry Association (BSIA) representatives are ready to impart advice on a number of industry issues – from city security to access control – as part of the show’s busy educational program. Visitors to the show have three conference theatres to choose from this year: Keynote and Convergence, Security Solutions and Safe Cities. While UK-based security suppliers are anticipating another successful show as IFSEC returns to London for a second year, several BSIA spokespeople are set to share their knowledge on the following topics: Tuesday 16th June Cyber Security – Confronting Current And Future Threats 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Mike O’Neill, Managing Director, Optimal Risk Management Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, is joined by Dan Solomon, Optimal Risk Management’s Director of Cyber Risk and Security Services, to discuss current and emerging cyber threats and the need for robust countermeasures. This session will also explore the importance of upskilling IT professionals to meet evolving cyber threats. Key Considerations when Choosing A Security Provider 13:00, Security Solutions Theater Pauline Norstrom, Chief Operating Officer at AD Group Ltd and Chairman of the BSIA, discusses the importance of security market knowledge in the procurement process, answering the crucial question of what is more important, price or quality? Wednesday 17th June Access Control As A Service 11:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Paul Adams, Head of Technology and Product Management at BSIA Access Control member company, Kaba Ltd, explores the features and functionalities of Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), including the difference between hosted, managed and hybrid services. Paul will also address the common questions that arise for providers and adopters of ACaaS. The Police And Security Initiative: Collaboration To Increase Public Safety 11:00, Safe Cities Academy Geoff Zeidler, Immediate Past Chair of the BSIA, introduces the Police and Security Initiative and the growing importance of partnerships between business, the police and the private security industry. This session looks at practical measures for improving working relationships, sharing good practice and reducing crime. The Surveillance Camera Code Of Practice – Time For Voluntary Adoption? 13:00, Keynote and Convergence Theater Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter QPM LLB, will be joined by Simon Adcock, Managing Director of ATEC Security and Chairman of the BSIA’s CCTV Section, and Chairman of the BSIA, Pauline Norstrom, to discuss the implications of the Protection of Freedoms Act and the subsequent Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Code of Practice on CCTV owners and operators.   CCTV Control Room Compliance 14:00, Security Solutions Theater Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces the latest updates and revisions to BS7958, the Code of Practice for CCTV management and operation. Providing recommendations on best practice in obtaining reliable information that might be offered as evidence, Dirk will also explore the increasing police and public confidence in the operation and management of CCTV. Security Risk Management Strategies For Safer Cities 15:00, Safe Cities Academy Mike O’Neill, Managing Director of Optimal Risk Management and Chairman of the BSIA’s Specialist Services Section, returns to explore the key risk management strategies that can be adopted to ensure maximum security in today’s increasingly technology-enabled cities. Thursday 18th June Supporting Safe Cities & Major Events – A Code Of Practice For Security Searches 14:00, Safe Cities Academy Dirk Wilson, Managing Director of Sector Security Services Ltd and Vice Chair of the BSIA’s Police and Public Services Section, introduces a new Code of Practice for security searches, exploring lessons learned from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and how these have been adopted by a new set of minimum standards for personnel carrying out security searches with the ultimate goal of ensuring greater police and public confidence in the private security sector and its ability to provide support at major events. Meanwhile, members of the BSIA are welcome to utilize the BSIA’s members’ lounge at IFSEC, free of charge. This can be found on the BSIA’s stand (B1350).

Infiniti Integrated PTZ Camera Series Introduced By Dedicated Micros At ISC West 2011
Infiniti Integrated PTZ Camera Series Introduced By Dedicated Micros At ISC West 2011

 The Infiniti cameras by Dedicated Micros are optimized for operation in exposed outdoor environmentsCCTV specialist - Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - premiered its leading edge Infiniti Integrated PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) camera series in the Americas at ISC West, including an advanced thermal imaging model.The new Infiniti series cameras have been optimized for effective, and secure, operation in exposed outdoor environments. They can be deployed, seamlessly, at the front end of the latest Closed IPTV deterministic IP video security solutions whose unique 'Trusted Endpoint' technology means that cameras cannot be hacked or their IP ports used to gain unlawful access to the corporate network.  Looking at the landmark Infiniti Thermal model in more detail, this features an IP CCTV camera, Thermal Imaging Unit, screen wiper/washer control and integrated pan and tilt mechanism - all in one robust package.In operation, the Thermal Imaging Unit has been created to deliver outstanding performance for night vision, heat sensing and surveillance applications, allowing users to see what is going on even in testing conditions such as haze, dust, fog and smoke. Featuring a germanium window for thermal accuracy , an uncooled high resolution sensor, an athermally stabilised lens, and choice of focal lengths, the thermal imaging unit has the potential to detect human-sized heat sources at ranges of up to 900 metres. This long-range view makes the Infiniti Thermal an ideal choice for early warning systems whilst the potential to compare, and contrast, thermal and conventional images maximises the ability of users to deal with incidents. Turning to the configuration of the other models in the Infiniti series, these are supplied with an IR illuminator in place of the Thermal Imager. A major operational advantage of having the camera and IR illuminator positioned side-by-side is that, no matter where the unit is pointed, the field of view of the camera is always illuminated. The Infiniti series has all of the functionality of a precision dome with the added benefits which come from the integrated capabilitiesThe Day/Night camera module, common to all Infiniti models of the Infiniti, comes with a powerful 36x optical zoom and offers 0.01 Lux (Mono) sensitivity, optically flat toughened glass and wash/wipe system to optimize visibility at all times.Additionally, with privacy masks, presets and patrols the Infiniti series has all of the functionality of a precision dome with the added benefits which come from the integrated capabilities. Compatibility of the Infiniti with the latest generation of Dedicated Micros' Hybrid DVR and NVRs also ensures that users can readily access the company's advanced camera functionality such as Point&Go and Absolute Positioning.There is even the potential, through the on-board DSP core from Dedicated Micros' sister company ChipWrights, to unlock powerful video analytics capabilities in the Infiniti such as virtual tripwire so adding additional value to a surveillance solution. Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "We are delighted to be able to spotlight the industry-leading capabilities of our Infiniti series at ISC West 2011 which set a new standard for integrated PTZ cameras and, when used in the IP environment, can be operated as part of a safe and secure Closed IPTV surveillance solution."The roll-out of our first thermal imaging product in the Infiniti Thermal underlines our belief that there are major opportunities in the marketplace to expand the take-up of thermal CCTV into the surveillance mainstream. No longer does thermal imaging have to be seen as the exclusive preserve of enterprise level solutions."For more information on Dedicated Micros please log on to their website.

Dedicated Micros Highlights Seamless Hybrid And IP Video At ISC West 2011
Dedicated Micros Highlights Seamless Hybrid And IP Video At ISC West 2011

 Dedicated Micros unveils its new IP video products at ISC West 2011 in Las VegasCCTV specialist Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - showed off it's seamless hybrid and IP video capability at ISC West 2011 in Las Vegas. It also unveiled new IP video products, which expand the game changing Closed IPTV, deterministic, safe and secure IP video series.Highlights of the new patent pending Closed IPTV product lines include the entry-level EcoSense NVR (Network Video Recorder), hybrid SD Advanced NVR/DVR, layer 3 enhanced CCTV switch, and a series of ultra flexible IP cameras.Focusing on the EcoSense NVR, this pure IP video product, which was first shown at IFSEC in the UK in May 2010 contains a built-in Dedicated Micros Layer 3 enhanced CCTV switch, which provides safe and secure plug and play IP camera connection and recording, without any prior IP knowledge. Ecosense NVR overcomes the barriers in the way of traditional CCTV installers, who don't have the resources to re-train their engineers to become IT experts, enabling the installation of IP video solutions and bringing the benefits of high definition video to entry level applications. The Ecosense NVR contains the critical security features demanded in 24-hour surveillance applications including alarm integration and remote transmission features lacking in other NVR products.Moving on to the SD Advanced, hybrid NVR/DVR which, when coupled with the Layer3 enhanced CCTV switch, provides the perfect platform for legacy integration and completely secure, future expansion into IP video. The product supports up to 32 channels of IP video all of which can be megapixel cameras and like other Dedicated Micros products creates a seamless analog and IP video solution managed from a single user interface - a key aspect of Dedicated Micros products for at least the last five years.Focusing on Dedicated Micros IP cameras, these comprise the CamVu Mini VR (Vandal Resistant) Dome, the CamVu Indoor Mini-Dome and CamVu box camera. Looking at these in turn, the CamVu Mini VR Dome combines High Definition image capture up to 2 mega pixel with a vandal resistant mini-dome housing, the potential - thanks to a built-in enterprise level video server - to support Integrated Camera Recording and Video Analytics plus wide-ranging network capabilities such as MultiMode Recording and Transcoding combined with both near side and off side storage capability. Closed IPTV compatibility also ensures that the Mini VR Mega-Pixel Dome can be set-up as a 'Trusted Endpoint' so protecting it from the dangers of hacking attack, especially when deployed in remote and vulnerable locations.Turning to the CamVu Indoor Mini-Dome, this 2 Mega-Pixel Closed IPTV capable camera delivers comparable features to the Mini VR Dome, aside from the absence of an environmental and vandal resistant housing, which is not required for indoor deployment. Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "We are delighted to showcase our very latest Closed IPTV surveillance products. The Mega-Pixel cameras we are unveiling tie-in very much with a growing demand for HD CCTV solutions, especially in high risk crime areas, where the combination of the detailed views provided by the cameras and optimized network security - with Closed IPTV - is proving to be an attractive proposition." "At the entry level we see the EcoSense NVR as an ideal starting point for security integrators who are looking at robust, embedded networked CCTV solutions for the first time or want a solution with reduced set-up time and enhanced ease of use. The fact that the EcoSense NVR is part of the game changing Closed IPTV means that a completely secure network of video over IP products can be readily created, where IP cameras are automatically identified and configured by the NVR as a point to point relationship - just like an analog system. Once configured, the closed IP network can be totally locked down by a number of automatic firewall provisions and 'Trusted Endpoints' established without the need for any network knowledge."For more information on Dedicated Micros please log on to their website. 

Related white papers

Understanding Video Management Systems

Five Things To Consider For AI With Video Technology