IN a tumultuous
market like this one, making bold claims about a given manufacturer’s IP
line-up is somewhat risky. Nebulous variables like inhouse interpretations of compression
protocols and all the vagaries of the IP platform make it hard to pin down
facts.

But with
Dallmeier things are easier. The German manufacturer’s recent releases mean its
stable now includes HD cameras, HD recorders and an HD-capable management
system, with firmware upgrades that allow high-def gear to be plugged directly into
existing systems.

Dallmeier’s
product suite is driven by its focus on the casino business – an area where
real time on all inputs, huge output numbers, low latency and significant
storage solutions are the norm. Dallmeier has achieved considerable success in
this area with an engineering approach – storage and encoder sit cheek by jowl
in remote NSUs and without needless shovelling of video across networks.

“A number of
different resolution megapixel cameras have been around a while now but at
Dallmeier we have been waiting for a reliable industry standard for high
definition video – we think HD is the way forward”

It’s an elegant
architecture that uniquely positions Dallmeier to take advantage of the new HD
standards it seems will dominate the future. And of course, it’s a core
architecture that puts Dallmeier in an excellent position. Instead of having to
create technology to manage networked HD video, Dallmeier is already there.

For a start let’s
take a look at the DDZ4010 HD high speed dome camera. The camera released at
Security 2009 in Sydney was 720p (1080 is coming) and used a CMOS sensor
deploying Cam_inPIX technology. Cam_inPIX is Dallmeier’s proprietary development
of Pixim technology. The heart of Cam_inPIX is the ability to allow every pixel
to function as a camera.

The result is
monster dynamic range, clearer pictures and more detail in shaded and bright
areas of a scene. As well as wide dynamic range, Cam_inPIX captures and
processes the image data for each individual pixel at the point of capture to
provide clear, high-contrast pictures without blooming or smearing.

Other core
functions of the 4010HD include 10x optical zoom, 12x digital zoom, day/night
operation, H.264 and MJPEG compression as well as simultaneous multi-streaming
with selectable resolution, frame and bit rates. The camera can deliver usable
images 2 lux in colour mode and 0.2 lux in black and white mode in the presence
of 30IRE.

Connectivity is
extensive. An RJ-45 port handles Ethernet and Fast Ethernet, the latter with
PoE. Network protocols supported include Unicast, IPv4, TCP, HTTP, IGMP, DHCP,
ARP, NTP, UDP and multicast UDP, RTP and RTCP. Onboard SD and USB ports provide
local storage. You can view images use ftp or via email alerts.

The 4010HD has simultaneous
tri-streaming: H.264 HD, H.264 SD, MJPEG HD and MJPEG SD. The unit’s frame rate
is an awesome 50ips and a typical HD stream will use up about 6Mb/sec. Meanwhile,
the HD fixed dome DDF4010HDV is PoE ready but it can be operated with both 12V
DC and 24V AC power supply.

The camera has a
tri-axial gimbal adjustment which allows for an easy and precise alignment of
the camera. The image quality can be enhanced by means of numerous control
functions such as AWB, AGC, BLC and slow shutter.

According to Dallmeier
Electronic’s Frank Oetjen, HD is an important development and one that the
company has been waiting for.

“A number of
different resolution megapixel cameras have been around a while now but at
Dallmeier we have been waiting for a reliable industry standard for high
definition video – we think HD is the way forward,” he explains.

“Megapixel is a
still photograph technology – we think HD is a superior solution for CCTV
applications. With megapixel there is a lot of data created and you don’t
really get 25 frames per second on typical network.”

According to
Oetjen, HD H.264 is much more network-friendly than megapixel and that makes it
a better option for real time video streams.

“At Dallmeier we
are typically dealing with real time solutions – in such applications I think
HD will be a real benefit and I think in the future it may be the only camera
technology.”

Not surprisingly,
it isn’t long before Oetjen starts talking about Dallmeier HD which is the platform
on which the new 4010HD will form an integral part. It’s an important focus,
especially for Dallmeier’s customers. If you really want to go HD, Dallmeier is
offering an end-to-end solution that can actually handle the job.

“With HD you need
a camera part, a recording part and a management part – three things – that’s
where Dallmeier is coming from,” says Oetjen. “You need to approach HD from a
system point of view. At Dallmeier we have avoided making compromises in frame
rate and quality in order to go IP – we’ve stuck with a standard of 25 frames
per second, full resolution.

“HD fits in
perfectly with this philosophy,” he explains. “In our major systems these new
HD cameras will simply link to the NSUs in the same way as our current IP range
while Dallmeier’s SeMSy management system is fully upgradable to handle HD.”

There are plenty
of people in the CCTV industry willing to make extravagant claims about the
capability of HD and megapixel surveillance solutions that don’t translate onto
networks in the real world. Dallmeier is different and does network video
properly by using networks designed for video and manufacturing IP video gear
designed for networks.

It would be
possible to fob off observations like this were it not for the fact Dallmeier
is kicking mighty goals in the benchmark IP video casino market. And because
casino installs represent a huge investment Dallmeier has thought of its
installed customer base, too.

“We have Casino
applications which were hybrid analogue and then went full IP and with our new
camera range will now go HD,” says Oetjen. “The Dallmeier system offers an easy
migration path. You just take out the cameras, put in the HD cameras and that’s
it.

“What this new HD
PTZ means for Dallmeier’s customers is that we now have the first integrated HD
video system offering cameras, recording and management.”

“With HD you need
a camera part, a recording part and a management part – three things – that’s
where Dallmeier is coming from”