NETWORKED video
surveillance solutions are taking the big end of town by storm but smaller
systems continue to use capable DVRs. These latest DVR solutions don’t have the
limitation of earlier systems. Instead the modern DVR has excellent
specifications, is hugely expandable and often supports IP camera installations
as well as analogue.

We’ve observed
before in SE&N that the line between NVRs and DVRs is becoming increasingly
blurred and it’s a truth that certainly applies to the upper echelon of DVRs.
According to Geutebruck Australia’s Anthony Brooks, the highest specification
DVR in the Geutebruck stable is the GeViScope hybrid server.

Brooks says the
GeViScope has a redundant internal PSU (2 x 300 W) for digital storage and
transmission of video and audio signals combined with multi standard
compression and latest image analysis algorithms for up to 64 audio (stereo
audio per channel) and 32 analgue video channels and over 50 IP cameras
(depending on quality settings).

“This is a
powerful solution,” says Brooks. “The GeViScope has digital video networking on
TCP/IP basis of 1 GBit Ethernet onboard, compression rate per channel, 25 Fps
network live-stream and 25 Fps live recording (DualChannel-Streaming) with up
to 4CIF resolution @ 5MBit/s.”

Brooks says
different function packages can be loaded to each individual camera channel
including M-JPeg- and/or MPEG4-CCTV-compression, which is ideal to optimize
system performance.

“Currently over
180 different IP camera drivers are installed on each GeViScope server,” says
Brooks. “These cover quality manufacturers like Arecont Vision, Axis, Bosch,
IQInvision, JVC, Mobotix, Panasonic, Sanyo and Sony.

“There are also
numerous third-party integrations – the latest here in Australia include high
level interfaces with Cardex and Pacom Systems.”

Other features of
the solution include activity detection per channel, digital matrix
functionality, plug-in board expansion of 4, 8, 12, and 16 video and audio
channels. The unit’s video management functionality is based on internal
programmable logic controller (GeViPLC) and the system used the best possible
DSPs and the latest PC architecture. GeViScope is equipped with a redundant
internal PSU for more operational safety.

“GeViScope is a
flexible and modular system architecture that functions in combination with
software based function packages,” explains Brooks. “It has dynamic user
interface adaptations triggered by events or user profiles and integration of
unlimited systems via network (LAN/WAN) using TCP/IP. There’s also picture
replay fully compatible with MultiScope II plus and MultiScope III systems.”

According to
Brooks, the latest DVR solutions pose unique problems for users and he
maintains GeViScope’s management of video is its delineating feature when
compared to the competition.

“Accepting it is
a relatively simple task to capture/record video – the challenges of today are
how we more efficiently retrieve, manage and disseminate the video we record,”
he says. “As our databases hit petabyte size (1 Peta Byte means: 1015 Byte =
1.000.000.000.000.000 or 127 years continuous recording of one 2CIF video
channel) we need to undertake careful consideration when developing the tools
required to manage them.”

Brooks says the
GeViScope supports seamless integration and migration from analog to hybrid to
pure IP systems, as well as offering integrated solutions to address the
demands of all involved, from the operator and the administrator to the
investor. Not surprisingly, many GeViScopes find themselves in networked
environments. According to Brooks, around 20 per cent of these units are
installed in standalone environments while 80 per cent are networked.

“The GeViScope
enterprise surveillance system offers numerous functionalities in a single
video system platform: everything from image recording to a virtual matrix,
handling analog and IP, standard and megapixel,” he explains.

“Intelligent
video analysis evaluates the picture data and generates alarms in critical
situations. Its sophisticated modular system is ideal for high performance.
User interfaces, parameterization and alarm management interfaces — are all
uniform ensuring transparency and user friendliness.”

According to
Brooks, with GeViScope, intelligent video analysis algorithms are available for
tailor-made expansion of system functionalities, while intelligent system
monitoring and redundancy give maximum security.

“Open interfaces
and freely configurable software development kits (SDKs) ensure the highest
level of compatibility for maximum flexibility and we provide individual
support from our development team if necessary.”

Brooks explains
that when choosing a DVR solution there are certain features and functions that
should be high on an end-user’s list.

“End user’s
should be looking for backwards compatibility and openness for future
expansions (futureproof investments),” Brooks says. “This includes
compatibility with a wide variety of third party products. Ease of use is
another big thing. You want a single operator interface for perfect operator
guidance and assistance and you want a system that offers sensible use of
resources (bandwidth, storage capacity, energy savings.

“This should
include an Advanced Health Agent for central management of all key aspects of
the system,” he explains. “This Health Agent monitors each DVR and reports on
everything from software version, age of oldest video, bad sectors/blocks on a
HDD, camera field-of-view changes, data throughput, etc.

“Meanwhile,
polling intervals can be definable with a ‘push/pull’ design – as each NVR is
registered with the central server and then reports as required (hourly, daily,
weekly etc),” Brooks says.

“Lastly end-users
should look for high performance – you want search results in less than 100
milliseconds – those are the numbers you should be looking for.”

According to
Brooks, installers should focus on 2 key areas of functionality. The first
being preconfiguration for easy installation and the second being system
diagnostics for easier commissioning and maintenance.

“Installers and
system administrators benefit from the fact our components allow them to manage
numerous systems in the network easily: remote service and software updates,
remote setup and alarm transmission via network,” he says.

“User rights
assignment settings in the user administration centre enable the precise
allocation of rights and responsibilities, so that every user has access to the
information he is officially entitled to see.”

According to
Brooks, while Geutebruck Australia’s business is 45 per cent DVRs, he says the
trend is towards high end IP architectures including clustering and
virtualisation – these bringing new challenges and possibilities. Brooks also
believes analytics are advancing into centralized and decentralized video
solutions.

Meanwhile at
Omega CCTV, Aleks Stefanovic says the company’s highest specification DVR Brand
is the GSP GQVR-7160CJ, which is part of the company’s flagship GQVR Series of
DVRs. The GQVR-7160CJ offers users 400ips at 2CIF over 16 channels and a
resolution of 704 x 576. The system has three x 1.5TB storage uses MPEG4
compression and is networkable.

According to
Stefanovic, what delineates Omega’s DVR from the competition is features like 4
software matrixes for the 16-channel unit and 2 for the 9-channel.

“We have
4,6,8,9,16 channel versions, which is the highest number of variations on the
market,” he says. “The system can also be integrated with our IP Solutions via
our CMS Software giving an unlimited networking ability.”

Stefanovic says
that 35 per cent of Omega’s business is in DVR sales, with about 60 per cent of
Omega’s DVRs installed in standalone applications and 40 per cent used in
network solutions. Stefanovic has no doubt what is driving the market from the
perspective of end users and installers.

“From the end
user’s perspective the market driver is price,” he says. “From the point of
view of the installer it’s price – and specification if the installer knows
what they are talking about.”

According to
Stefanovic, the GSP GQVR-7160CJ is among the easiest of all DVRs to set up in
terms of remote monitoring and event reporting. As well as offering easy
implementation the unit is also extremely stable.

“I think the next
generation of DVRs will offer improved functionality including dual streaming,
real H.264, IP Inputs, POS integrations, 400 IPS and D1 on all 16 channels – as
well as additional features we can’t mention at the moment,” Stefanovic says.

Pacom’s clear
view

Over at Pacific
Communications, Robert Meachem says the company’s highest specification DVR is
a new Pacom brand model featuring H.264, a Clearview ISP1000 chip set, 400 x
400 at 4CIF with almost unlimited attached storage in addition to 4 HDDs
internally.

“A good portion
of our business is based around DVR’s,” Meachem explains. “Enough to keep us
investing heavily in the technologies and our expectation is that Pacom DVR
sales will continue to grow in 2010.”

“Ease of use is
the number 1 differentiator between the Pacom DVR and the competition,”
explains Meachem. “We hear this time and time again. The intuitive GUI is very
simple. Besides this the complete platform of over 15 different Pacom
configurations (models) all controllable by one head-end RAS plus software,
means installers learn one DVR and know them all.

Additionally, we
have more than a decade of support and experience in this area through our 16
branches and this gives integrators peace of mind that their investment in our
product has longevity.”

According to
Meachem, when considering the key issues impacting on choice of DVRs from an
end user’s perspective one needs to consider the ease of ongoing use.

“Such ongoing use
includes reviewing footage and involves the ease of changing basic settings
within the DVR, such as enabling recording on motion detection, etc. and
obviously the ability to have faith that the DVR will record and perform
continually without fail.

“Another
important consideration is how easy it is to view remotely and utilise features
of a DVR while on or off site. All these features plus the cost effectiveness
are considered during the decision making process,” Meachem explains.

“From an
installer perspective the above also needs to be considered together with ease
of installation and programming, being able to maintain and not compromise the
security of the system by unauthorised users, cost effectiveness and
importantly the reliability and credibility of the supplier to ensure they have
the after sales support if and when required.”

Meachem says the
issue of networking DVRs with other manufacturer’s analogue and/or IP cameras
or integrating it with third party management systems is not as simple as it
may seem.

“There are many
third party IP and management systems and software solutions available in the
market,” he says. “The Pacom range of DVRs has to date been easily and readily
capable of networking in a large range of these third party edge devices and
management systems that are available and we continually work with companies
that we do not have integration into in order to offer the largest range of DVR
integration in the market place. Around 70 per cent of our DVRs are installed
in networked environments.”

Pacom’s Rob Rosa
explains that one of the key strengths of the Pacom range of DVRs is ease of
use.

“The RAS plus
software that is supplied with all our DVRs is a simple yet powerful and
effective remote monitoring and reporting tool. Our after sales phone support
line can also assist with this, however it truly is a “step 1, 2 and 3” style
set up,” Rosa says.

“Our DVRs have
been specifically designed to have end users and installers in mind so that
they can be quickly and easily programmed and set up. We can also tailor
packages for multi-site setups via one easy USB key which has pre-programmed
information and therefore can program a DVR for a specific site by simply
inserting and pressing a few keys to download the USB data.”

Meanwhile,
Meachem says the selection of purpose-built DVRs or off-the-shelf server-based
NVR solutions comes down to application with issues like quality of manufacture
and bench testing being vital.

“In terms of
making a choice about solutions our view is that once you understand the
application, then QC of manufacturing and testing of the unit is the key,” he
explains. “Taking any old PC off the shelf and loading sophisticated software
onto it is not child’s play. We have a rigorous QC process at our manufacturer
and in-house prior to any DVRs leaving our warehouse.”  

According to
Meachem there are exciting times ahead for Pacom’s DVR range.

“I don’t want to
pre-empt the next 3 to 6 months, but installers and end users should be assured
Pacom DVR’s are still and will continue to get faster, smarter, cost less,
handle more storage and allow for simplistic transition and use of the new IP
camera technology,” Meachem enthuses.

“The market is
screaming out for the bridge between analogue and IP in the core volume market
and we think we have a “real” solution.” 

George Moawad says
that top of the heap at EOS Australia is the Samsung Techwin CT-SVR-1680
offering 400 images per second across 16 channels at D1 resolution.

The SVR-1680 has
what Samsung Techwin describes as a ‘Super Vision Recording Systems’ that
provides D1 high resolution video real-time recording capability and real-time
high quality network monitoring with multi-stream and CMS management features.

The SVR-1680 is
equipped with a wide range of smart functions for user convenience and system
reliability, enabling the user to have a premium quality recording and
monitoring system at any time.

Other features
include MPEG-4 compression, high resolution images (704 x 576, 704 x 288, 352 x
288), simultaneous MPEG-4/JPEG streaming, standard 1TB HDD, c Capacity for up
to 4 Internal SATA HDDs and 2 front panel USB ports for easy back up &
mouse control.

A DVD writer is
included as standard feature, there’s ATM/POS transaction data recording and search,
a powerful CMS support as standard (SNM-128S/P), sonvenient control with a
remote controller and a mouse, thumbnail search, calendar search, bookmark
function, built-in web server, RS-232C, RS-485/422, PTZ support (multi-protocol)
and 16 channels audio recording.