Member Discussion

Blank Screen Monitoring - How To Setup On A VMS

As an end-user of a medium to large camera system (approx 900 camera streams), I have been attempting to find ways to display video on a blank screen based on exceptions. My preference is that the screen would be blank when no exceptions occur, and would use a 3 x 3 matrix. When the first exception occured, it would go to position 1. When the next exception occured it would go to position 1, forcing the first exception to position two and so on. After a set period of time (say 2 minutes), the camera images would expire from the matrix.

I currently have a Milestone Corporate 2013 R2 install with Smart Wall, and have been unable to find a way to do this properly with their software. I can't get the cameras to expire. I have worked with an integrator and have contacted Milestone tech support several times on this issue. There doesn't seem to be a way to accomplish this using their rules and Smart Wall. Milestone Matrix seems to accomplish part of what I am after but is not very flexible.

There are several execptions that I have in mind but to start with I want to simply pop-up video on motion in a highly secure areas.

My questions are: What have others done on Milestone and other VMS with respect to Pop-Up Video or Blank Screen Monitoring? How are you using pro-active approaches to video surveillance to provide your organization or customers with the ability to view an incident as it is occuring?

Geovision's VMS allows some interesting options that may allow you to change position depending on exceptions. ( their "Center V2" and "Control Center" may need "dispatch server" too. I get over my head pretty quick with that stuff but I know we achieve some interesting results not too horribly dissimilar to what you are asking.

Nothing constructive here... Toshiba dv-series nvr had build in image alert pop up. But only worked for 1 cam at the time. Client Had 2 screen setup, got tired of image switching from multi motions he would turn off screen.

Undisclosed A, good question. I've heard people try it but I've never heard how it was successfully implemented.

Here's feedback from Milestone:

"With our SmartWall product’s current features, we can send cameras to the Smart Wall on an event, but can’t remove them again automatically. So, we do not have a solution to do this with the features we have today. Product Management has the request on the list for things to add in a Smart Wall update for the 2015 release. To get a solution today would require our Consultancy team to develop something for them."

Thanks for checking with Milestone John.

To me it seems like the VMS companies are missing the boat....All of the tools are in place to gather the triggering events (analytics [if and when they work], integrations with third party systems, hard wired contacts, graphical buttons etc.) but then what? If the critical camera video is not being presented in a way that provides the security professionals with the right camera at the right time, there is very little chance of reacting proactively during an event.With Several hundred cameras to choose from, how do the security professionals determine what camera to view? There is much room for improvement here..

From what I've read of the desirable behavior(s) mentioned above, it's not so much an issue to show the right events. That's doable. The only thing I can see that was missing, which was mentioned in the original post, was the timeout to blank/black them back out. If these are events that are of interest I could see an argument that you don't want it arbitrarily blanking/blacking out after X amount of time. AKA, if it's important it shouldn't just disappear on it's own. It would seem that you would want acknowledgement for each such event and they don't disappear without said ack. This gets more into the Alarm functionality of the product. Have you looked into those features for this use case?

[Poster works for Genetec]

Hi Undisclosed,

Users can set this behavior in Security Center using event-to-action rules and alarms. Video events (motion, bookmark creation, analytic rules, etc.) can be associated to an alarm, and are displayed in the Alarm Monitoring task to notify operators when an event occurs. If a subsequent event/alarm is triggered from another camera, it will move the initial feed to the next available tile. Each alarm can also be set to automatically expire after a given period of time, removing the video from the tile.

Bosch VMS has a built-in Script Editor, so you can write your own script to address any monitor / cameo by their logical address based on events/alarms, if you are familiar with Visual C# or Visual Basic. You can also set up automatic cameo arrangements, up to 6x5 cameos per monitor if I'm correct.

If you contact me, I can help you creating these scripts, with examples as well.

Assuming that the actions you want to perform are ones that a person with a mouse and keyboard could perform if sitting at the console/client machine, then this is relatively easily done by automation software. These automation software packages really have progressed from their lowly beginnings as macro writers and such. They can do anything a person can do and quicker and reliably. In this case you would just have the software wait for a new window to open on the wall, start a timer and then close the window when the timer expires. You could also have it reposition all the windows or resize or anything a person could do... I have personally used such software several times and would be glad to help you with it. The package I have used is called winautomation and they have a free trial. There are many others.

Downside: This stuff is too easy to get hooked on, and if you are not careful, you will end-up do massive enhancements to all your software, which can evaporate after an upgrade, because they change a window handle or something. But if you own the software and are managing the releases yourself anyway, this is something you would just have to modify before upgrading. That's why you are best just doing critical things so any needed changes are minimal.

For auto-expire functionality, I would say it would take a programmer < 2 hours coding time..

Thanks for all the posts on this topic