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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Security & Safety Things Highlighted Collaborative Power Of Open Systems At Inaugural escon 2020 Digital Ecosystem Conference
Security & Safety Things Highlighted Collaborative Power Of Open Systems At Inaugural escon 2020 Digital Ecosystem Conference

Security and Safety Things GmbH, along with a roster of pioneers, highlighted the benefit of an open approach at the first ever escon 2020 digital Ecosystem Conference last week, discussing the current successes and future developments of smart cameras and open systems. Security & Safety Things (S&ST) also offered a sneak preview of 2021, which included the company’s positioning as the fastest growing app store for smart cameras and several pilot projects in various vertical markets. “This past year offered us an opportunity to work together with our partners to find new ways to leverage our open ecosystem and address the challenges facing the global market, using the growing possibilities and innovative use cases in AI-enabled smart surveillance,” said Hartmut Schaper, Chief Executive Officer, Security & Safety Things. Harmonization across systems “We are looking forward to continuing that industry transformation in 2021, and leveraging the ingenuity of the collaborative developer community. In effect integrators will be able to offer flexible, customized solutions and greater device choice for end users." Harmonisation across systems, Ma said, can help the industry unlock the power of data and bring value to stakeholders In addition to S&ST, speakers from industry pioneers spoke on the importance of open systems and a collaborative approach. Steve Ma, VP, Open Security & Safety Alliance and VP, VIVOTEK discussed how the current market is too fragmented - which has caused stagnation in the industry. Harmonization across systems, Ma said, can help the industry unlock the power of data and bring value to stakeholders. AI powered smart devices José Daniel Garcia Espinel, Global Innovation Director for Prosegur, presented on the use of surveillance cameras as AI powered smart devices to enable new capabilities in security monitoring and response. Espinel talked about how the combination of video surveillance, AI based processing and predictive algorithms will help to further automate the operational model of Security Operation Centers, reducing the unsustainable demands on operators to constantly monitor different screens for activity.  Guest speaker highlights also included: Markus Berger-de León, Coach & Business Builder, McKinsey & Company highlighted the opportunities for the security industry, post-COVID-19 - as video analytic advancements for building security, automotive and retail environments grow Keven Marier, VP Technology Partners, Milestone discussed how an open approach offers developers different ways to infuse their technology into an ecosystem - offering more choice and flexibility to customers Vincent Poty, Digital Transformation Officer, STANLEY Security presented on the importance of turning security autonomy back to end-users, and the growing demand of a more data-centric approach Business development teams Key members of the S&ST product and business development teams provided updates on upcoming ecosystem and end user projects, including new industries of focus, such as customized solutions for transportation and harbor management, parking optimization, and healthcare and elder care facilities. S&ST also highlighted their growing Market Application Store - featuring 70+ apps designed to address more than 32 use cases that can be customized based on customer request.

VIVOTEK Collaborates With Existo To Deliver A Comprehensive Surveillance Solution For Michigan Cannabis Cultivation Facility
VIVOTEK Collaborates With Existo To Deliver A Comprehensive Surveillance Solution For Michigan Cannabis Cultivation Facility

In the fast-growing legalized cannabis industry, extensive security measures are a necessity. VIVOTEK, the pioneering IP surveillance provider has collaborated with Existo, a collective of cannabis industry professionals, to establish an IP surveillance solution for a cannabis cultivation facility in Northern Michigan, the United States. The results not only exceeded the state of Michigan’s expectations to allow for licensing at the state level but are also user friendly and add a level of comfort concerning building security to the owners. Why VIVOTEK? The state of Michigan has placed stringed demands on-camera coverage and recording quality for this industry, so a camera system is essential for the licensing of this business. Challenges in the project were related to distances within the building, coverage in unique spaces, and varying climates and light exposure within indoor grow rooms. Existo chose VIVOTEK and a total of 70 of its indoor and outdoor security solutions, network video recorders (NVR), and video management software (VMS) to monitor the cannabis cultivation facility. CC9381-HV Panoramic network camera In the grow room, which includes a long hallway with tight spaces and climate concerns, 7 VIVOTEK 180-degree panoramic network cameras, the CC9381-HV were installed to combat high contrast lighting environments and armed with WDR Pro function to ensure 24/7 surveillance coverage. SD9364-EHL Speed dome camera For exterior corners, 4 VIVOTEK SD9364-EHL speed dome cameras were utilized. The camera is adopted VIVOTEK's Smart IR II technology which is specifically designed to provide a superb low light image in the most challenging situations. FE9181-H Fisheye and FD9380-H Fixed dome cameras Due to its high-quality imagery at a cost-effective perspective, 14 FE9181-H fisheye cameras and 40 FD9380-H cameras were installed throughout the rest of the indoor and outdoor facility. ND9541 NVR and apps VIVOCloud and iViewer app provide users with an open, flexible, and intelligent NVR for video surveillance applications The facility is also utilizing VIVOTEK’s 16-CH ND9541 Linux-based embedded standalone NVR to set up and manage advanced IP surveillance systems with ease. It also supports remote and mobile access, via VIVOCloud and iViewer app, for both iOS and Android handheld devices, providing users with an open, flexible, and intelligent NVR for seamless use in small to medium-sized video surveillance applications. Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) acclamation In the end, the outcome not only met but surpassed all expectations and goals. The system was complimented as the highest quality in terms of coverage and camera quality by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) enforcement agent during the state licensing walkthrough. Surpass expectations “The flexibility we gain from the quality and variety that VIVOTEK offers pays off tenfold in our business because there is no standard building design for cannabis businesses,” said Chris Hernandez, Existo director of operations. “Unique buildings with unique layouts but with highly standardized expectations put forward by state licensing expectations can be a stumbling block for many cannabis businesses. Our ability to utilize VIVOTEK’s solutions allows us to create systems that exceed state expectations while still being used to achieve safety goals set internally by our customers.”

VIVOTEK Announces The Launch Of INSIGHT Series Fixed Dome Camera Following OSSA’s Technology Stack
VIVOTEK Announces The Launch Of INSIGHT Series Fixed Dome Camera Following OSSA’s Technology Stack

Pushing forward with the surveillance industry revolution, VIVOTEK, the globally renowned IP surveillance solution provider, launches its iNSIGHT series fixed dome camera, the FD9392-EHTV-O, and AI-box, the IE9111-O. The iNSIGHT series presents added value and deeper understanding that goes beyond the surface. Driven by the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), the initiative follows OSSA’s Technology Stack for video security devices that prescribes an open and standardized platform for security and safety solutions. These two products represent the future of implementing an open platform approach in physical surveillance products, enabling system integrators, software application developers and users to cooperatively create in an open, efficient, and intelligent video age. Video content analytics The new iNSIGHT series products adopt Qualicomm SoC, encompassing machine learning and edge computing to deliver computing power through devices. In addition to advanced versatility and flexibility, the new iNSIGHT series was also designed based on an open IoT platform system supported by Security & Safety Things, making it easy for users and system integrators to download and install various Apps with intelligent video content analytics on the AIoT fixed dome camera, FD9392-EHTV-O. For existing security systems, VIVOTEK introduced its edge-computing AI-box, the IE9111-O, allowing system integrators to connect existing network cameras and transform the whole array into an AIoT intelligent system. Retail and parking applications We have received positive feedback in several pilot run projects of retail and parking applications" Steve Ma, Vice President of VIVOTEK’s Open Platform Business Division stated: “In the past, manufacturers and software developers were forced to expend resources on making their systems compatible to one another. From the day we joined the Alliance, our mission has been to create real value through technological innovation. Launching the iNSIGHT series camera and AI-box ‘Driven by OSSA’ is our first vital step as we envision the promising value and business opportunities of what lies ahead." "We have received positive feedback in several pilot run projects of retail and parking applications. Together, we can lead the industry to the next level.” Open platform philosophy “It is extremely rewarding to see the Alliance’s vision literally coming to market in the form of these very first ‘Driven by OSSA’ products. And we are delighted that these first products originate from VIVOTEK, one of OSSA’s founding members,” said Johan Jubbega, President, Open Security & Safety Alliance. “We are proud to collaborate with industry leaders that understand this collaborative, open platform philosophy spurs innovation beyond the limits of a single organization to ripple benefits outward for greater market potential and a more intuitive, customized user experience.”

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