Control Room Screen Recorders

I have a new installation for a large retailer using Exacq. Loss Prevention requires recordings of the operator displays. We are using workstations each with dual display ports to dvi inputs on monitors. We could come up with software based recording, but does anyone know of an encoding method so we could send each monitor display to a camera channel in HD video?


Jeffrey, do you want an encoder appliance that inputs DVI and outputs an IP stream?

I wonder if Exacq has something similar to Milestone's Screen Recorder software?

I was thinking that if I could use a dvi-d or hdmi splitter/da and then could find an encoder that accepts HD video, this could work. I know you could do with a dvi-d to composite into standard encoder, but would like to preserve HD or close to original resolution as possible. I did not know if anybody had heard of a software encoding program of the desktop that could be picked up via RTSP.

Final result may be a software screen recorder to a seperate storage location, but it would be much easier as a camera channel. (Exacq did just release "case management" , but this is way too clunky. Operators may follow individuals over any of the 40 HD PTZ cameras and 60 fixxed cameras, and then need to export rather quickly rather than trying to figure out what cameras were used with bookmarking).

Try something from Epiphan.

We have used their VGA Broadcasters with some success, though they have been a bit buggy and require the occasional restart. They also put out quite a bit of heat.

I was hoping there were some gamers out there, since the big thing nowadays is screen recording of online games recorded to h.264 with uploads to YouTube or live viewing. Maybe there is an application or graphics card combination that would allow a stream connectable by RTSP driver in Exacq.

http://www.bandicam.com/support/

Something like this (quick Google Search). I was hoping someone already was doing this (any loss prevention security unit would need to be screen recording an IP based system. In the past, they would normally take analog BNC out on monitors to DVRs).

The Epiphan solution seems very pricey per screen.

Perhaps you can record the screen using VLC and then output it as an RTSP stream?

I've tried this. It works (at least in Exacq) but it's pretty processor intensive. I'm sure there are ways you can reduce the file size and make it less of a resource hog, but I didn't try tweaking it for too long.

The other issue I see with user accessible screen recorder software is that the user can simply turn it off, whether intentionally or accidentally. A hardware device would prevent that.

Two solutions that I have:

1) Live Gamer Portable. This is a small device that takes HDMI input and USB power. It can then record to an SD card, and gives you a physical button to press to start/stop recording. It also can record via USB to a software program on the PC.

2) Viewz has a recordable call up monitor solution. It is a special monitor with HDMI input and an ethernet connection. It creates an ONVIF stream of everything shown on the monitor. You then record this back to your existing recording system, or for extra security, to a separate secure NVR/VMS server.

Aaron, that Viewz monitor is a great find. I've never seen anything like it. Do you have any idea on pricing?

That's also a really novel use of ONVIF on their part.

I am checking to see if I can find an MSRP. It looks like they currently have a 21.5" version.

I saw this monitor at a recent show, and was blown away. It was such a perfect solution, assuming you are replacing or installing new monitors, and the sizing works. Most VMS have a "Covert" camera option, so that you can hide the fact that you are recording the monitor, if needed....

The monitor also can put out an RTSP stream.

They also have another monitor that has just an IP input - ethernet input, and it has an android device built in, so you can use your existing VMS/IP camera viewer apps, without needing a whole PC. Great for locations where you need a simple viewing setup or "decoder" solution, such as a break room viewing a main camera.

That Viewz product looks like a monitor with built in hdmi encoder. This brought me to search and find an old friend, Hauppauge. We used to use their WinTV product 1999-2005 for Border Patrol control rooms (TX to CA border surveillance) which would get the analog matrix video (Betatech) onto their PCs.

They do have devices like the StreamEez and some HD encoders/recorders (< $300 Amazon). We could maybe split the screen video (using distribution amps) and go to such a device? The Viewz to me seems to be like getting one of those all in one computers. Once the screen is gone, the whole unit (computer and all) is worthless.

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/prods.html

I was afraid that the VLC streaming may be difficult to run with multi-displays and could get turned off easily. It seems that a monitor record to RTSP/ONVIF would be the way to go. Screen recorder software may bog down the client computer and would possibly fill up storage locations if files not managed.

Jeffrey,

Software based screen recording is well developed, robust and extremely bandwidth and storage efficient compared with video encoding (e.g. H.264) so long as the content is not real time video or animation. Generally 10-100 times more efficient and there are other advantages such as no resolution limit. For real time video and animation, video encoding is the best approach.

Paul

Jeffrey ,Have you looked into Network Optix VMS .They can do just that

[IPVM Editor's Note: Poster is from IONODES]

Hi Jeffrey, IONODES has an H264 IP encoder (ION-E100-HD) which takes HDMI as input, or DVI via an inexpensive DVI to HDMI cable. This encoder supports 720p or 1080p30 as input. The advantage of this solution is that the encoder will show up as an HD camera in any OnVIF compliant VMS, including Exacq. Another advantage is that the encoder captures all video from the PC, in native form, so this includes boot up screens, BIOS, etc... giving you every state of the PC. Let me know if this helps.

Eric

Eric, that sounds promising. What's the MSRP or ballpark price for the encoder?

MSRP on the encoder is approx. $675.00 USD since it is a specialized encoder. This is our standard 1PCS price.

Jeffrey,

Just a quick caveat for you. If you are taking an HDMI or DVI output from a computer, splitting it and then sending to an encoder or some recording device, watch out for HDCP issues. HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) can be a pain in the butt to deal with sometimes. If you use an HDMI splitter that is HDCP compliant, what may happen is that the computer will sense the HDCP compliant splitter, turn HDCP on and send all content encrypted (all content, even the desktop and/or non-copyrighted content). At the output of the splitter, the content will be sent to an HDCP compliant monitor but will not be sent to the non-HDCP compliant encoder/recorder. There are 2 ways to deal with this:

  1. Use a graphics card that allows you to force HDCP off. With HDCP turned off, the computer will send non-copyrighted content unencrypted and will not send HDCP-protected content at all, (just means that the security guys can’t play Blu-Ray disks or stream HD movies from iTunes on the video surveillance workstations).

  2. Use an HDCP non-compliant HDMI splitter. The computer will then sense the non-compliant device and will automatically turn HDCP off. Again, with HDCP turned off, the computer will send non-protected content unencrypted and will not send HDCP-protected content at all. (Note that this is the only option for Mac computers. Unless Apple has changed something since the last time I checked, there is no way to force HDCP off on a Mac.)