Are the systems at the schools embedded DVRs/NVRs or are they server-based VMS units?
Given that they are different brands and evidently fairly inexpensive ones, I am guessing that they are not willing to spend that much money to do this, yes?
The stock, price is no option answer is a PSIM, but that will run you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Do those existing recorders support RTSP out? If so, you could set that up and then have some low cost VMS client / software just ingest and display all the video feeds via RTSP.
PSIM is in fact the only solution and as stated it can be costly. For a PSIM to work the interfaces of the CCTV Systems of each facility must be supported. If they are not supported then you would have to confirm that there is a software development kit (SDK) available from each manufacturer to allow the PSIM company to integrate into their platform. It is likely that if the systems are "popular" they are supported. If they are not popular it may be more complicated. Also in your financial planning PSIM has several price components, which are often not covered by sales people.
Each interface module has several cost components.
1. Module license (each different manufacturer's product requires a license. Meaning on the surface the first charge is for a CCTV module. But if you have disparate equipment vendors of CCTV equipment each one is a module charge, which is substantial - here we are only talking about the DVR/NVR)
2. In addition to the module license - as mentioned earlier if the module is not supported by the PSIM company then you have to pay a module development cost, which typically is about the same cost as the module license but is an additional cost to the module license.
3. Each camera or end point device connected to the PSIM is another license requirement.
4. After you pay for the "site licenses" then you have the cost of your command center costs which are for each server and workstation which communicate with the sites.
5. In the longer term you will have recurring annual PMA costs which are similar in percentage to those for VMS and cameras.
6. The most expensive costs of PSIM are the "professional services" aspect. Meaning, these are not plug and play as many would have one believe. The cost of the implementation can be as high as the cost of the equipment and licenses. This is not something one can do by themselves. It will require the services of the PSIM company.
7. Time to implement. Unlike traditional video management systems PSIM is an extensive installation and it is not days or weeks to implement - it is more in the many months.
If they are low cost embedded systems there is no financial logic to the PSIM and most likely are not supported by PSIM.
It may not be the cleanest way but should cost virtually nothing is in your command center you can have client workstations with the client applications for the different systems loaded. Each location would of course have to provide you with the necessary IP information and a login. If you had an incident you can log on using that application which is just a click and login from there. Most of them in fact have smartphone applications as well for field applications, should you want to engage officers in an active situation.
Sound like replacing the DVRs for now is the best option. And probably a financially feasible one with less than 30 DVRs to replace. Thanks!
Maybe Anycam would help. At $12 for unlimited cameras it's somewhat cheaper than a PSIM.
It's a desktop app, so ok for dispatch, not sure what the mobile options are.
Chesapeake & Midlantic | 12/14/15 04:23pm
Realistically speaking, replacing the DVRs with a single model of DVR is your cheapest option, assuming that DVR supports a feature rich CMS. Look at Digital Watchdog, I think, which is probably going to last the longest and require the fewest manhours for setup and maintenance. You're going to need a digital signage solution for the command center. Look at the NEC V463, for example. You can get a computer built into the monitor itself that will support the CMS, and you can stack them, so you don't have too many cameras running on a single monitor.