Do the DVRevolution

As digital video recording systems has changed, so has the face of the security industry


The mobile DVR systems, Barber says, are also essential to officer safety. All video is stored for 90 days at minimum – if an officer notes an arrest video or a video involving a complaint, the officer marks it and puts the video onto an archive server. The video is also burned to DVD as a failsafe.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has turned to mobile video surveillance to help ensure the safety of passengers and employees in the public transportation system.

When a decision was made in 2004 to deploy video surveillance on its bus fleet, OCTA opted for a turnkey solution from March Networks. The recorders are equipped with 150 hours of onboard storage, providing the OCTA with sufficient time to download video to a central server for longer-term storage following a reported incident.

Over the next three years, the OCTA plans to equip approximately 500 new buses with mobile DVRs. “We are planning to replace almost all of our buses within the next 10 years, so we decided on timing the deployment of video surveillance to coincide with the delivery of our new vehicles,” says Brian Champion, OCTA manager of operations analysis.

Each 40-foot, New Flyer bus joining the fleet will be equipped with seven cameras, two microphones and two impact sensors. Video can be flagged for automatic downloading by a bus driver pressing a button on the vehicle's instrument panel. Video will also be flagged for downloading by impact sensors in the event of a collision.

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Purchasing Guide

What features should a security director be looking for in a DVR?

Here's what the representatives from some of the top DVR vendors say:

Bill Durno, Honeywell: Today's security directors need timely reporting of fraudulent events and network outages to ensure safety. In addition to the ability to permanently archive video, a DVR needs to be cost-effective and provide real-time data and seamless integration with legacy system equipment. Finally, it must be scalable and offer user-friendly operation that makes it easy to look at incident clips.

Steve Langford, March Networks: Security directors today should also be evaluating a manufacturer's roadmap for the development and support of future applications, as well as their level of expertise in the organization's vertical. Organizations are always more likely to get a sympathetic ear when they want new features and functions if the manufacturer does specialize in their vertical because they can understand the requirements.

Tim Ross, 3VR: Security directors should look for products that use search and analytics at the core of the system and throughout key user workflows. With these native capabilities, a system can not only improve security effectiveness, but reduce physical and operational costs.

Mark Provinsal, Dedicated Micros: Security directors should look for a DVR that allows them the most functionality with the greatest ease of use. The DVR should be able to intelligently optimize recording. It should also optimize remote connectivity through transcoding. It should be able to use a remote client software application for central station applications. This functionality allows the administrator to integrate all of the separate units deployed into one seamless interface and permits access to those units from one or multiple locations.

Jeff Kiuchi, Mitsubishi: First and foremost, the security manager should buy a DVR from a trusted name. The DVR should provide the essential elements – long term recording features with the capability of added storage, remote access and an easy mechanism to copy video clips.

The DV6010 Mobile Digital Video Recorder from RAE Systems is a standalone, non-PC embedded system. It features MPEG2 video recording and playback at full-frame rate. Other features include triplex digital video operation (30 fps recording, playback and monitoring); a digital watermark; multiple recording modes; and instant search, backup and review.

Honeywell has introduced the HRXD Series of high-speed 9 and 16 multi-channel digital video recorders, which supports an image-per-second recording rate of 240/200 (NTSC/PAL). The embedded DVRs feature Honeywell's XtraStor compression technology, which is capable of storing large volumes of detailed data using little hard drive space. The HRXD enables users to customize time-lapse, event, pre-event, text input and other recording parameters. The recorders offer networking capabilities for LAN and DSL that enable users to operate and manage the system from a remote location.