Number three - Dallmeier Blade System and SMatrix:
- Very Flexible and customizable layout(s).
- Smooth live and playback motion.
- Wide range of forward and reverse playback speeds (to 600x?).
- Low latency (mot measured).
- Excellent PTZ control.
- Automatic file naming.
- Save locations can be limited by administrator.
- Metadata allows many characters and is searchable.
- “Polarizing” GUI – some liked it, others disliked it.
- Keyboard/mouse operations can be confusing. Tests using Dallmeier keyboard were ambiguous.
- Limited number of salvos (though can be customized).
- Bookmarks can only be set for individual camera. Must synch with salvos.
- Evaluation system worked properly only part of the time.
The Dallmeier system was the most “polarizing” system we evaluated from our point of view. Some users rated it very highly while others rated it quite low. The system was not here long enough to allow sufficient evaluation time and many functions stopped working by the third day, curtailing some evaluations. Functions like Digital Zoom, Camera Synch within Salvos, Motion Search and Clip Creation became disabled by Day 3, which detrimentally affected some users’ attempts to evaluate the system.
The Dallmeier desktop was the source of much confusion. The need to open and close different windows to perform basic functions was viewed by some users as a serious usability issue while others found the GUI’s Apple-like interface refreshing. This was a source of much contention. It was stated by the Dallmeier rep that most users choose to use the Dallmeier keyboard versus the Windows mouse/keyboard combination. I was unable to test that myself because of the previously-referenced system lockup.
I contend that many of the separate windows could be combined into one window of basic functions, thereby eliminating much of the confusion some of us encountered during our testing. Although I believe the layout is counterintuitive, I also acknowledge that user-by-user customization capabilities would allow each user to customize their desktop as they see fit, making the system more individual and possibly improving efficiency. Longer-term tests should give us a better understanding of these capabilities.
Camera call-up times were reasonably short but longer than some other systems, as were other function call-ups.
Video quality was among the best we have seen, although still not equal to our analog matrix and monitors. Further testing will be required of main monitor and monitor wall / virtual matrix capabilities to determine whether we will have to retain the matrix or install multiple HD cameras. In that regard, discussions of Dallmeier’s IP camera capabilities, especially third party IP cameras supported will need to take place.
Although the Dallmeier system(s) appear to have acceptably low latency and good PTZ control, Dallmeier’s blade recorders have the least flexibility in that regard. Even using “code merger” devices would still require the addition of many home runs of PTZ control cable. The code mergers will need to be tested in our environment prior to deploying any system that would require them so that potential problems can be identified. Suitable devices appear to be the Sennetech SCM-200-PELCO and SCM-800-PELCO and the Pelco CM9760-DMR.
The Dallmeier’s Jog/Shuttle control worked quite well but it was difficult to locate the playback timeline bar, making locating video more difficult than it could have been. Although the Dallmeier system appears to have a relatively wide range of playback speeds, there is no speed indicator on-screen so we could not accurately determine fast playback speed.
Clip creation speeds were quite slow on the evaluation system. It took 26:10 to create a 1-hour, 1-camera clip. This was among the slowest systems we tested in that regard. On the plus side, multiple clips can be “cued” for creation and will continue even after the user logs off. That somewhat mitigates the long creation times but those times point to interminable waits for 8-1/2 hour clips; which we often perform.
Everyone here agreed that Dallmeier’s mapping function was the slickest one we tested. Its ability to directly import AutoCAD maps is a huge plus.
As stated above, many functions could not be completely tested due to a system lock up so this evaluation is incomplete.
We feel that the Dallmeier system showed many capabilities that mesh with our current and future VMS goals while we did not have enough time allocated to completely test all functions.