Wow, you will never miss opportunity to bash on Hikua. I just asked simple question.
Don't know about US, but here in CEE DSS Express (free version, 64cameras) is quite popular, because it fixes some anoying problems of smartpss (like lack of GPU decoding). I was just curious how this version and DSSPro (I don't know wherw you get your data about sales of this product...) Looks compared to more professional VMS.
Also in future, if you have time of course, please use Nxwitness. It's great and also getting quite popular here in CEE and Nordic.
It was simple question, and yes Sean answer is ok for me. Again, i was just curious how paid chiniese software compares to professional paid vms. You have some kind of paranoia, seeing criticism from Hikua everywhere. Chill out a little bit.
As for your comment, it is just passive aggression, not helping at all.
I think it's very unfortunate that you do not cover OnSSI's Ocularis . It has so many advantages over the software you are covering. Especially in this case, the export of evidence is carried out simply and quickly and any operator can implement even without guidance.
During the drill, the selected section is clearly marked and can be changed simply, you move to the export window After you have set the start and the stop time Just like a professional video editing software, if you still want to change, you can close the window to change the time and export again.
The size of the segment does not really matter because in any case it is transferred to external media and can not be sent in electronic distribution, of course there are additional export options that can be sent.
The bottom line is... speed, efficiency security and time savings are worth every cosmetic feature
I wouldn't consider any of the features I was asking about cosmetic. Confirming what the start and stop time of the exported video simply makes it easier on the end user.
Also, you say the size of the segment does not really matter. However, if I have a 128GB C:\ drive on my Windows PC, with 25 GB of free space, and I have to export 30GB of video to the C:\ drive, does the software tell you there isn't enough free space when you start the export?
These are things that could cause problems with any operator.
For me for example, stability and reliability of exports are very important and I would be happy if you can check the stability of exporting data when there is a bandwidth limitation, for example when not in the same local LAN, I doubt that the software you have tested can maintain the reliability and stability in export ....
We are an OnSSI Channel, have been since the early versions of NetDVMS... Current versions of Ocularis are very stable for exports, I think this is a good point.
Sean's comment on knowing the approximate size of an export is also a good point, I don't want this to be so easily dismissed.
We have requested numerous times over the years that OnSSI include a "file size estimate" based on a specific avi compressor (we have used XVID for a lot of years), and also an Estimate based on Native Format export. Lots of lower-end NVR's include this feature. This is one of the #1 issues techs have run into, and customers have asked for. Seems like everyone forgets about the export process or how you will disseminate it.
For example, customer has a 2 TB external HD or thumb drive, will the Native Format export fit on it? Or, customer wants to export a very short AVI clip, but make sure that it can still be emailed (IE, typically you'd want to stay under 20MB or 25MB) to be able to send via email...
I agree with your article based on the RFP testing I performed on the top four vendors listed. In the end I chose Milestone. Exacq worked well but Milestone beat them out overall in my RFP.
I did not see any explanation on why you gave Milestone a mid-level score on the stand alone player though.
There are still many improvements to be made by Milestone, specifically with the user interface but it was still the easiest to use and the easiest to train your end users on.
I feel Milestone needs more export options as the files sizes are pretty large. Most end users do not want to export in Xprotect format for day to day use.
Finally, although not export related, when performing a sequence, bookmark or smart search, the interface could be much more intuitive for end users. I personally understand it but after training a couple of hundred users, I've realized the layout on this tab is horrible for the basic user.
When you say you "feel that Milestone needs more export options as the files size are pretty large", are you referring to AVI exports? If so, the Smart Client will show whichever AVI codecs are installed on the computer. By default, that is just the codecs that are included with Windows and they are not very good (either produce really good video but the file sizes are very large or they produce very poor video but the file sizes are smaller).
For AVI exports, I typically recommend installing the Xvid codec. It strikes a really good balance of file size compared to quality.
If you were referring to something else, can you expand on that? We are always looking for feedback.
I would also recommend a mobile shootout of the NVR products. I've found they are not very user-friendly with poor UI design. It would be interesting to see who has a leg up. I would also ask you to include Lilin in that. Once I realized they weren't OEM'ing other cameras they have come into my radar as a possible budget camera option.
you said Avigilon only protect the export files with a password, but you forgot that if you export in native AVE file, it's digitally protected and you can check if there are any modified frames. I think it's more clear. The idea of a visible watermark,is horrible to me. It's a modification of the original image and this is crazy if you want to trust the video file. You want to trust that is not modified (AVI videos are so easy to modify, and difficult to detect) and you're modifing the file. WTH !! :)
The biggest issue with most of VMSs (not to mention DVRs) is the use of proprietary formats and the fact that the files need a second export, when possible at all, to convert them to a standard video format. This is needed to perform a forensic analysis of the video, since the native players are too limiting. After all, one of the main purposes of video surveillance is to use the result as evidence.
Unfortunately most of the companies working in the video surveillance industry do not consider the needs of law enforcement and forensic video labs.
In forensic video analysis mailing lists 9 questions out of 10 are of the kind: "how to play format xyz?" And since CCTV systems are often very old or outdated, there are literally thousands of different players versions from various producers that fail on modern PCs, introduce serious security issues, are not able to export standard videos, or they do it with a dramatic loss of quality, and so on.
On a shootout like this, I would like to see additional points like
a) Is the normal export in a standard or proprietary format?
b) Does it allow to export in a standard format?
c) When exporting in a standard format, is it doing a simple rewrapping or a transcoding?
Why are these so important? With every transcoding there is some loss of quality; it can be not visible with the naked eye, but can cause the loss of critical details during a forensic video analysis job. But that's not all, a transcoding will cause a change in the frames structure, which frames are of type I, P, B, GOP size and reliability of macroblocks inside every frame.
Forensic video analysts routinely analyze (if possible) the kind of frame and macroblocks, and these sometimes contain very important data for a case (i.e. is this a compression artifact or a license plate character?).
Working on a transcoded video is like performing a ballistic analysis on the photo of a gun, rather that the gun itself. And let not me start about screen capturing video, this must be the last resort.
Hi Sean, thanks a lot for your feedback. Just to clear: my concern was not about the article but the technology of basically all the producers and the issues that the use of proprietary formats causes during investigations.
Hi Sean. MP4 is always rewrapping (this the reason to introduce it), so export works very fast. And AVI is always transcoding. So, I think, that most important feature of any VMS is to check that both supported. Because with mp4 you get export in seconds, but with AVI you are sure that this file playable on any computer.
Not sure if the other systems can do this but with Avigilon we always tell customers to export in Avigilon's proprietary AVE format because it gives end users all the features of the client software (searching, digital zoom, scrubings, multicamera playback) plus you can always export from the player software to a non-proprietary formate at any time from the exported video.
Sean how many of the VMSs have "story board" feature when it comes to exporting video? When you have a incident which happens across many cameras where you can join the clips togeather so they play back in a logical order?
Well, personally I prefer exporting from DW Spectrum to exporting from Avigilon. Avigilon does provide a ton of option shortcuts that essentially all lead to the same export screen though and it depends how you are trying to drill down data.
Spectrum’s export does provide an option where it provides a full featured program with the exported video so it looks the same on another device as it did from the export machine. You can then further export exactly what you need at a later point without being stuck with one format.
in my area, officers/detectives have stated multiple times they want/prefer AVI files so that they can easily playback. The issue with what I mentioned previously with a .exe file or similar is that often times the machines officers are using are somewhat locked down and don’t allow running certain file types without clearance.
I did have video footage from Spectrum that captured a license plate through the front door windo glass that led to arrest and prosecution. I provided the executable at that time.
Recently, I had a break in at a restaurant with a Dahua recorder. The owner said the police were sending a video expert to get the footage. Perhaps they are trying to fill a need in our local law enforcement. That is good when dealing with Dahua, because exporting is a pain when you have the recorders set to record all the time, but change the quality on motion events.
I think the problem is not the player in itself, but the fact that being able to just play the video is just the first step. No player is adequate to perform a real video analysis (it's not its purpose), and thus you always need to export the video to a standard format possibly without quality and metadata loss to perform the analysis.
The other issue is that in many investigations there is not a single surveillance system, hence the officers needs many different players, of different quality and features, just to get an idea of what happened across many cameras.
I agree that this is an issue. We had a meeting with a city police department that wanted to figure out a "universal player" for all the video they get. What they wanted to do was get one machine loaded with all the players than us a screen recording software to record the video so they could share a none proprietary video. I mentioned this could be an issue going to court but they were more concerned with playing the video on any machine then having to prove the video was not tampered with.
I read some on your DVRConv. Question: The intro says:
Videos from proprietary DVR systems (Digital Video Recorders), CCTV systems (Closed Circuit Television), dash cams, body worn cameras and any other video source, can now be converted with just one click.
And the FAQ mentions:
Directly from Amped DVRConv, you can access our upload page to send videos to our server so our team can analyze them and if possible add support for their formats in the next release. Normally, we are able to provide feedback on the feasibility of the conversion within one - two working days. Typically, we are able to convert more than 80% of the new formats sent by users.
Is Amped then figuring out how to convert each proprietary player and then adding it into DVRConv or?
I see the value in it just trying to understand how you can accomplish this across so many different systems.
For quick back up of a single camera in PSS use the scissors function. use the roller on your mouse to zoom in on the part of the time line your interested in then click the scissors button (located bottom left below time line) then click the time line again at the end of the part of the incident. The save box appears straight away and you choose the location to download. Very similar to milestones 'time selection mode'. If you change the playback view to four / eight cameras you will have multiple time lines at the bottom of PSS you can then use the scissors function to cut segments of video out of each camera the incident span's across. Agreed the hidden back up menu is a pain, but from experience and simplicity the scissors function is far quicker
Were any of the tests done with recorded audio? I'd e interested to know how well the exports handle situations where the cameras recorded audio, either natively or through an external mic. I had heard of issues with some VMSs where the audio & video were out of sync. Thanks.
Thanks for your first comment UEU9, for similar reasons as the other VMSes we didn't include; the line was drawn at 6 manufacturers for this shootout, unfortunately DW Spectrum was not included. Now that we have a baseline of tests/criteria we will be testing more.
Excellent recap! I'd love to see one where the investigative features are compared, at least for the US Government legal VMS's. I've wondered how easy Genetec is compared to Milestone for things like fast forwarding, rewinding, skipping to various locations of video across multiple days, searching for motion, locating cameras to track subjects across large areas and setting up multi-camera displays.
Genetec, Milestone and Exacq are still using the SSA model, huh? How Quaint. Remind me, does Windows charge you for updates within the same software model? (I.E. if you own Windows 7, you get all the patches and updates for the supported software life)
Why are we still putting up with it for VMS software?