Browse CCTV 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 Standardisation organisations 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 recognises 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 analogue, 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 analogue 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 analogue systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analogue 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 analogue 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 packetise 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, analogue 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 utilise 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, analogue or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analogue 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 unauthorised 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 analogue 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 unauthorised 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, maximising existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

Video surveillance must modernise in storage, recording and on-demand access
Video surveillance must modernise 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 minimised, 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 GeoVision Inc. news

GeoVision launches GV-VMS 18.1 software to provide a smart security surveillance system
GeoVision launches GV-VMS 18.1 software to provide a smart security surveillance system

Having featured some of Taiwan’s first face recognition cameras, GeoVision, a provider of professional-grade video management systems and integrated security solutions, now goes another step further. The newest GV-VMS 18.1 extends the capabilities of its face recognition devices across one's everyday cameras to present a unified, smart security surveillance system. With a suitability to all types of cameras, even including the cameras of one's mobile phones, security managers using GV-VMS 18.1 can easily transform a traditional surveillance infrastructure to one that is AI-powered, with a single face recognition device, on the fly. Face detection and recognition devices For operators in commercial and corporate settings, when important clients are identified or unauthorised persons are spotted, GV-VMS 18.1 can help initiate immediate responses through automated alerts, such as notifying managers on their mobile phones. GV-VMS 18.1 can aid investigators by tracking down their faces, across all face detection and recognition devices When dubious events occur, especially at obscure places, GV-VMS 18.1’s ability to stream and record from the cameras of mobile phones empowers security personnel to capture on-scene images that cannot be zoomed in on otherwise. In events where suspects of criminal activities have already left the scene, GV-VMS 18.1 can aid investigators by tracking down their faces, across all face detection and recognition devices with its comprehensive face search. AI-powered face recognition devices Amidst the initial testing and demo trials, one of the other sought-after functions of GV-VMS 18.1, next to face search and connectability to mobile phones, was its integration for face-recognition-based access control. It revamps the basis of access management by replacing card scans with face scans, to automatically unlock doors when authorised personnel are recognised. Designed for connection to all types of video devices, from ordinary to mobile phone cameras, and integrating AI-powered face recognition devices, GV-VMS 18.1 is aimed to provide users with the ideal video management solution in their quickly-changing urban environments.

GeoVision Video Wall offers an advanced video wall solution that supports countless channels
GeoVision Video Wall offers an advanced video wall solution that supports countless channels

GeoVision Video Wall allows administrator to create layouts with a variety of displays including desired camera channels, zoom windows, scan windows, web pages, video playback and live view pop-up from E-Map. It’s able to support up to 57,000 live view channels simultaneously. GeoVision Video Wall Two main features GeoVision Video Wall offers: The ability of displaying a single live view channel across multiple monitors. The ability to project content onto the displays of another PC. A typical use case of this is the assignment of camera live views to security guard’s PC. GV-Control Center software solution GeoVision Video Wall is an add-on application to the company’s GV-Control Center software. It is an imperative component to include for large scale, central monitoring station with multiple monitors. Some case references where the GeoVision Video Wall has been installed are the Taiwan Well-known Business Complex, Malaysia City Hall, and USA Security Company.

Taiwan External Trade Development Council promotes security innovations at ISC West 2018
Taiwan External Trade Development Council promotes security innovations at ISC West 2018

EverFocus, GeoVision, PLANET and VIVOTEK—were the highlights of a press conference at ISC West 2018, organised by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Taiwan’s foremost trade promotion organisation. These breakthrough products, with potential to transform the global security market, include a futuristic Virtual Reality 720° camera, a facial recognition dome camera, a cutting-edge Internet of Vehicle (IoV) fleet surveillance system, an IP camera armed with anti-intrusion software, and a next-gen intuitive colour touch LCD switch.We are proud to showcase Taiwan’s finest at one of the United States’ most prestigious security tradeshows" Extensive engagements “Today, the United States and Taiwan enjoy an ever-expanding relationship and extensive engagement in many fields, especially in electronic security." "Our products launch event unveil some of Silicon Island’s most cutting-edge products and technologies in the areas of IoT and Internet of Vehicles (IoV), unmanned security and cyber + physical integration." "We are proud to showcase Taiwan’s finest at one of the United States’ most prestigious security tradeshows and look forward to having participants experience the future of security,” said TAITRA Executive Director Simon Lai. These Taiwanese ICT companies, all winners of the Taiwan Excellence Awards, generated a lot of excitement and buzz with the unveiling of their new products at the conference.  XFleet management platform EverFocus demonstrated its engineering and research prowess as Regional Technical Sales Manager Marques Phillips unveiled details of the company’s XFleet Management Platform which he described as not only transforming the IoV experience, but the future of vehicle fleet management. The new solution allows users to easily track, monitor and manage any type of fleet vehicles on a Web browser anywhere and anytime. With Xfleet, users can not only reduce overall costs by effectively utilising resources such as vehicles, fuel, and manpower, but also improve management efficiency and business performance by keeping and analysing the historical records of the vehicle data as needed.GeoVision cameras can recognise human faces in 1.5 seconds, making possible identification of authorised versus un-authorised personnel  Virtual reality camera GeoVision showed off the VR 360, the world’s first Virtual Reality camera that can provide a 720° view. President David Huang said it’s the only camera with two Fisheye lenses to provide a floor to ceiling, 720° view with no blind spots. It’s ideal for security environments such as airports, train stations, city streets, harbors and highways. The camera uses advanced computer vision technology to simulate a three-dimensional, highly realistic, and practical 3D space. It’s water-proof, vandal-proof and dust resistant, making it ideal for outdoors. It also boasts IR Night Mode for clear images even in dark environments. Huang also demonstrated new facial recognition IP dome camera with cutting-edge AI. It can recognise human faces in 1.5 seconds, making possible identification of authorised versus un-authorised personnel, creation of blacklists for restricted personnel, and VIP lists to improve relationship management. Intruitive touch LCD switch PLANET explained how the Intuitive Touch LCD Switch makes it possible to easily manage powered devices in real time, greatly enhancing network management efficiency. Tammy Huang, Sales Manager, noted that it’s the unique touch LCD that makes such management possible. In addition to the touch LCD interface, the solution features L2+ switching, intelligent PoE management and an ONVIF support function. An Industrial flat-type touch LCD switch model is also offered, making possible management of large-scale networks.VIVOTEK’s Smart Stream II and H.265 technology allows users to benefit from reduced bandwidth and data storage demands  VIVOTEK’s network cameras With the theme ‘Security within Security,’ Shengfu Cheng, Director of Marketing and Product Development, demonstrated the first cybersecurity enhanced network cameras in the IP surveillance industry. The three new cameras are armed with Trend Micro’s anti-intrusion software, allowing them to automatically detect and prevent credential attacks and block suspicious events. They also feature VIVOTEK’s Smart Stream II and H.265 technology, allowing users to benefit from reduced bandwidth and data storage demands by up to 90% more than systems employing H.264. Low-light surveillance Add to that a new generation of night visibility technology, Supreme Night Visibility II (SNV II) which allows them to reproduce high-quality colour images, even in very low-light conditions. In the security industry, the United States is the largest buyer of electronic security products and spent $12.3 billion on imports in the field in 2016. And Taiwan constitutes North America’s 4th largest trade partner in the electronic security field, with an import value that was close to $1 billion in 2016. Throughout ISC West 2018, Taiwan exhibitors will present their latest innovations. In pursuit of Asia’s Silicon Valley vision of propelling Taiwan to the international forefront of technology, Taiwanese companies continue their pursuit of excellence and innovation.

Related white papers

Five things to consider for AI with video technology