Digital Video Recorders
As any professional security installer involved in the day-to-day installation of CCTV systems knows; if you don't like any of the DVRs in the market-place, just wait as there will be another few along in a minute! No matter what features and functions you are looking for, you would be forgiven for believing that such a combination already exists out there, and in reality it probably does. However, one thing we have started to see in the market-place is a backlash against many of the low cost products from new or unknown suppliers. Installers are demanding back-up and after sales service as well as performance and reliability.
Nowhere has the impact of low cost poor quality equipment, being shipped in from all corners of the world, been felt as severely as the DVR market-place. When all is said and done, the DVR is a central vital component of most CCTV systems, and it has become the battle ground for many of the less scrupulous suppliers seeking to make a quick profit out of the security market. However, a string of failures, technical problems and unhappy customers has meant that an increasing number of installers are turning their backs on such offerings and demanding quality, support and back-up, as well as business partners who understand the CCTV sector. Interestingly, they are also realising that the so-called low DVRs on offer represent false economies, and products from reliable CCTV manufacturers are actually the most cost-effective!
Samsung SRD, Digital Video Recorder
Samsung introduce their new range of H.264 digital video recorders. This extensive portfolio of recorders supports a wide range of features and performance levels to enhance basic and professional security installations.
Samsung digital video recorders are available in 4, 8 and 16 channels and support real-time viewing of single screen or multi-screen formats, which can be changed at the touch of a button. Monitor sequences are available on all models with composite, VGA and HDMI outputs supported. Multiple spot monitors on higher end models allow multiple event driven monitor displays at the machine.
The Internal hard drive capacity is extensive, with up to five SATA drive bays supported (excluding 4-channel models), additional RAID managed e-SATA storage can be added in the form of the Samsung SVS-5R storage units. All drives are field replaceable with simple SATA connections.
Network friendly H.264 video compression is used to maximise storage and transmission efficiency, and image quality can be configured between CIF and 4-CIF resolution at each input. Additional quality settings at each input ensure a healthy balance between storage and picture quality, with replay being of the highest quality. All models support a dual codec to enable streaming to remote locations at lower resolution to the recorded image, as required.
Flexible yet simple alarm configuration ensures logical and effective alarm management and notification either at the machine, or using remote software. Variable pre and post alarm settings ensure that no details are lost during the alarm scenario and bi-directional audio provides an audio challenge facility to communicate with remote sites.
Images that are recorded can be easily archived either at the machine or remotely, with multiple download formats including; AVI, proprietary SEC (which is watermarked and includes a player) and DVRs that can be replayed at the machine.
Most machines are supplied with a built in DVD-R writer and multiple USB ports to simplify the downloading of video footage. Footage can also be downloaded via a remote PC client. It is also possible to use the instant record feature to record single cameras directly to the remote client PC.
The SRD range supports multiple RS-485 twisted pair telemetry, alarm inputs and outputs, and the option for Coaxial telemetry, denoted by a suffix C in the part code.
SRD units are available as a 4, 8 or 16 camera input unit and will support a main and spot monitor for displaying images from the cameras. The recorders support pentaplex operation, for live multi-screen viewing, recording, playback, download and remote network connection. Multiplexed screen options will allow simultaneous live viewing and playback.
The main monitor output is either Composite BNC and/or VGA, with higher end models supporting a single HDMI output. The recording compression is H.264 with a dual codec which allows transmission resolutions independent of the recording resolution.
Screen menus are provided in any of sixteen languages; English, Korean, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Czech, Swedish, Danish, Chinese, Dutch.
The SRD range supports a Linux operating system which is held on a non-corruptible solid state drive, which is separate from the recording drives. Consequently, in the event of power loss or power down, all user-defined programming and configuration is retained.
In addition to continuous recording the range supports event based recording scenarios, which include motion detection, video loss, dry contact input and Access Control events (via Samsung SAMS Pro solution). In addition, point of sale data may be recorded with data received through either the RS232 COM port or over IP. The data is normally associated with a nominated camera, with the text overlay recorded with the video. The units also support a dual codec, providing the option to view live and recorded images over a high speed network in lower resolution, as required.
SRD recorders are able to record video images to disk in the following ways; continuously, upon motion detection, on receipt of an alarm or according to a time schedule. They are capable of simultaneously: recording images, archiving background images and allowing multiple user network viewing and playback with no loss of recording performance.
The range facilitates several performance levels, which are identified within the product code as follows:
- SRD-**10 = up to 100 IPS (Images per second) PAL (CIF resolution).
- SRD-**30 = up to 200 IPS PAL (CIF resolution).
- SRD-**50 = up to 400 IPS PAL (CIF resolution).
- SRD-**70 = up to 400 IPS PAL (4CIF resolution).
Continuous recording speeds are configurable on a per camera basis and are active according to a graphical schedule. This allows recording configuration of each camera seven days a week and includes a single holiday day. Each day (normal or holiday), is segmented into hours and each hour may be set for various recording options, which are colour coded for simplicity.
The schedule can therefore dictate when the recorder stores images on the basis of continuous recording, event based or both continuous and event based. It also possible to select no recording for any selected hours if needed. All event based recording may be allocated to pre and post event recording duration.
- Pre event is limited to no more than 30 seconds, whereas post event may be set to as much as six hours.
- Continuous and event based recording are configured separately, depending on the available resource within the model employed. Once a single channel has been configured, these settings may be applied to all of the other channels with a single command to speed up the configuration process.
All events can be configured to trigger alarm outputs at the DVR and an audible beep can be triggered to ensure that the event does not go unnoticed. During the event a full screen image is displayed on either the main or on one of the spot monitors. The alarm image is held in full screen mode for a pre-determined amount of time. All SRD recorders can form part of an intelligent integrated security solution, using the Samsung SAMS Pro Access Control solution.
All events configured within SAMS Pro can be attributed to recorded video footage to ensure visual verification of a given event. Each DVR can be configured as a time server, which is then used as the time reference for the Access Control solution. In addition, all other DVRs within the network may be directed to the time server DVR to ensure system wide time synchronisation.
The internal storage capacity of each DVR can be expanded onsite, with the 8-channel and 16-channel models providing up to five internal drive bays. Each drive can be up to 2Tb in size. Excluding the DVD writer enables space for a sixth drive, if required. Drives are written to in sequence until all of the drives are full. At this point the system is configured by default to over-write the oldest recordings. It is possible to force the over write period to be shorter, or ask the machine to stop recording once the drives are full. If any drive fails, the other installed drives are unaffected and stored footage is retained. However, it is not guaranteed that footage on a faulty drive will be saved.
Storage and recording capabilities for the various SRD models are as follows:
- SRD-450 - 100 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 2Tb.
- SRD-470/D – 100 fps recording rate at 4CIF (704x576) resolution. 1Tb drive, expandable to 2Tb. SRD-470 is fitted with a 500Gb drive and supports x2 drive bays - up to 4Tb of storage.
- SRD-830/D/C - 100 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-850/D/C - 200 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 1Tb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-852/D - 200 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 8Tb.
- SRD-870/D/C - 200 fps recording rate at 4CIF (704x576) resolution. 1Tb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-1610/D/C - 100 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-1630/D/C - 200 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-1650/D/C - 400 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 1Tb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
- SRD-1652/D - 400 fps recording rate at CIF resolution. 500Gb drive, expandable to 8Tb.
- SRD-1670/D/C - 400 fps recording rate at 4CIF (704x576) resolution. 1Tb drive, expandable to 10Tb.
Recording times will vary dependent upon movement within the scene, including light changes and noise. An SRD-1670D loaded with 10Tb of storage will normally record all cameras at 25fps/4CIF for a period of approximately 31 days.
SRD recorders are come complete with an integral web interface to allow remote configuration of the system parameters. Users with administration rights can fully configure all system settings via the web interface. All settings are stored in non corruptible memory, ensuring that all user-defined programming is saved in the event of power loss or power down. All menu structures are available in multiple languages. The unit supports up to x10 simultaneous users and supports SMTP messaging on alarm, along with smart phone integration (iPhone and Android APP) for live viewing.
During an event, there is an option to send an email in response to the Alarm input, VMD activation, Video Loss, Power on/off, Manual Record, HDD info and change of password. Users are added to defined groups to determine which events are transmitted and an event interval may be configured to ensure that events are not transmitted constantly.
Also provided is a Point Of Sales (POS) Text Overlay feature which enables text data to be received from supported Tills and cash machines etc and incorporated within one or all of the video channels, as required. This is achieved using either the RS232 COM port or the Ethernet port. Cameras associated with specific tills have text overlaid on the display image. Events and exceptions are searched for on the basis of this text string.
The SRD range accommodates composite BNC inputs for 4, 8 or 16 colour or monochrome cameras, dependent upon the model number. The video inputs have 75 ohm impedance and the unit also provides a loop through BNC connection for each camera input, with software-configured termination. This will begin recording upon power-up if configured to do so, and features time-base correction to eliminate the requirement for external camera synchronization. User-programmable camera titles are provided for each camera input, which are displayed on-screen, if configured. This is configurable within the menu structure and via the web interface. Once configured, the camera settings may be uploaded to client stations as each unit is added to a site. A 15-character title is configurable for each camera.
Cameras can be viewed in live or playback mode. One of the cameo screen options allows simultaneous view of replay images with a single live image. In multi-screen mode, it is possible to make any of the cameras full screen by double clicking the mouse.
The SRD range supports two ‘covert’ camera settings:
- Covert 1 displays any configured text such as date, time and channel name etc, but no video.
- Covert 2 offers no display at all (black screen).
In both cases video recording continues as normal and playback of any covert camera can be viewed either locally or remotely, if the user has been given permission to do so. Using CMS software such as Net-i Viewer or Smart Viewer, can make covert cameras more difficult to detect, especially if camera groups/favourites are configured.
Realtime Monitor Viewing
The SRD range provides single screen, cameo and sequenced live viewing on both main and spot monitors. Various output options are provided as follows:
- SRD-450 – (x1) VGA, (x1) Main Composite. No Spot Monitor.
- SRD-470/D – (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-830/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-850/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor. (x1) HDMI output.
- SRD-852/D - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-870/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor. (x1) HDMI output.
- SRD-1610/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-1630/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-1650/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor. (x1) HDMI output.
- SRD-1652/D - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x1) Composite Spot Monitor.
- SRD-1670/D/C - (x1) VGA, (x1) Composite Main Monitor. (x4) Composite Spot Monitor. (x1) HDMI output.
The main monitor provides electronic zoom and freeze frame features as standard.
Communications and Networking
The SRD has a standard 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet connection supporting remote network access to allow remote configuration or adjustment to settings via a Web browser. The Ethernet connection allows live and recorded viewing on a networked PC running Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7, using either Samsung Net-i Viewer or Smart Viewer CMS software.
In addition, this can be achieved on a one to one basis using the integral web server with a connection made using a standard Internet explorer web browser.
Each recorder can be configured to use unlimited bandwidth or to restrict the maximum bandwidth available for data transmission across a local or wide area network. Connection modes are either: Static, Dynamic or ADSL, as required - ADSL bandwidths range from 50 to 600Kbps. Both TCP and UDP protocols are supported for Unicast or Multicast connectivity. The units support the use of Dynamic Domain Name Server (DDNS) functionality, for applications where a local area network is not available.
Monitoring and control is achieved over Ethernet via the 10/100/1000 BaseT network port where supported protocols include IP, TCP, UDP, DHCP and HTTP.
SRD models support dry contact alarm inputs to match the number of video inputs. Individual contacts are configured as normally open or normally closed and unused inputs are deactivated as required and each alarm input can be linked to individual or all cameras for event recording purposes. Any attached PTZ camera may be sent to a pre-set position in response to any alarm input/sensor activation. The alarm duration can be configured for between 5 and 30 seconds or alternatively set to ‘continuous’ as a latched alarm response. The output must be manually re-set under these circumstances. In addition, to increase recording rates the DVR can be configured to activate outputs or beep in response to an alarm input. This feature is often used to trigger 3rd party devices such as security lighting etc and all closed contact alarm activations are stored within the Event log for reference.
Motion detection is configured independently for each channel and the SRD provides pre-defined masks within a grid format which can be adapted to suit the required application. Alternatively, the operator can select or deselect the whole picture and then manually adjust small sections within the grid. Once set up is complete, the sensitivity of the active area can be adjusted. There are ten sensitivity levels with 1 being low and 10 being high sensitivity. Once motion is detected, the recording frame rate and resolution can be increased. To increase recording rates, the DVR can be configured to activate outputs or beep in response to an alarm input. The alarm duration can be configured for between 5 and 30 seconds or alternatively set to ‘continuous’ as a latched alarm response. The output must be manually re-set under these circumstances. All motion detection events are stored in the Event log for reference.
Video loss alarms are configured to alert the operator to a video sync loss, which is caused by power failure, camera error or sabotage. Alerting the operator to any loss of the video signal is clearly extremely important as the camera feed is a vital element of any CCTV solution. Video loss detection is configured on an individual camera basis, with an option to activate the feature on all channels simultaneously. In the event of video loss, the SRD can be configured to switch alarm outputs and/or beep at the operator.
All alarm events can be displayed on a pre-configured alarm monitor and this can be the main monitor or spot monitor(s). If multiple events occur simultaneously, the configured ‘event’ screen will switch to a split mode.
- 2~4 events : Quad mode
- 5~9 events : 9-way split mode
- 10~16 events : 16-way split mode
If a second event occurs within the set display time of the first event, this will be displayed and the first event will last until the second event is terminated.
Remote users are made aware of all events (if configured) when using the CMS software solutions, Smart Viewer or Net-I Viewer. All events are colour coded, date and time stamped within the CMS packages. Remote clients can be notified via email of any alarm events, as long as access to specific events is provided during configuration. Upon receipt of alarm notifications, it is possible to access the DVR using a smart phone running the iPolis APP. This allows the operator to access live images over 3G or Wi-Fi.
Remote Alarm Monitoring
Alarms triggered within SRD recorders can be monitored remotely using either Samsung CMS or a compatible remote monitoring software package, such as Immix Sureview. Depending on the software being utilised, users are notified of alarm conditions using colour coded pop-up windows and audible sounds (if required). All remote users are required to acknowledge the alarm event upon receipt and any unacknowledged alarm will remain active within the software until it is acknowledged.
Email notification is provided as a basic form of remote monitoring. Recipients are alerted to some or all of the following conditions, depending on the system configuration:
- Dry contact activation
- Motion detection
- Video loss
- Change of password
- Hard Drive information
- Manual recording
- Power on/off
Groups are configured within the Mailing Service section and alarm events can be added to each group as required. Recipient email addresses are then added to the DVR and associated with an individual group. Recipients can be added repeatedly to gain access to all alarm groups, however this may not be a very practical approach.
E-mail Notification on Alarm
The SRD range supports e-mail upon alarm and offers notification of the following events on a camera by camera basis for alarm inputs (dry contact), Motion detection, change of password, power on/off, HDD info, Video Loss and Manual Record. During setup, recipient email addresses are configured and given a group. The group will determine which alarm events are transmitted to the recipient. In addition, a ‘sender’ email address is configured to allow recipients to identify and differentiate DVR event from spam email. For dry contact and motion based events, alarm text and a single alarm image is sent. For all other events, alarm text only is sent to configured recipients.
The SRD range supports numerous third party protocols for the controlling PTZ / Dome cameras in addition to Samsung analogue matrices. The third party protocols are for both coaxial and RS485 control data. Coaxial protocol is set as either Samsung (CCVC) or Pelco C, as required.
RS485 based protocols include:
- Samsung T
- Samsung E
- Pelco D
- Pelco P
In both cases, telemetry control is available locally using an optional keyboard, or over a LAN/WAN using one of two CMS applications; Net-i Viewer or Smart Viewer. Net-i Viewer also supports a USB keyboard which is connected to the client PC. It is also possible to control PTZ's via the DVR web server.
The SRD range supports bi-directional audio in real-time and each model supports 4, 8 or 16 line inputs using ADPCM compression with a sample rate of 16Khz and audio is controllable over the network using the appropriate viewing application to establish a bi-directional audio link.
Video Motion Detection
The SRD range supports the facility to enable video motion detection on any video input, providing an 18 x 22 masking grid for basic activity detection on each configured camera input. Each section within the grid can be active or inactive, with pre-defined examples available during configuration to save time. There are ten levels of motion sensitivity applied to the motion grid as a whole, with the Activity Detection area defined, the recording schedule can now be set to enable motion based recording at any given cameras, for certain periods of the day.
The recording resolution and frame rate is adjusted for each camera and it is possible to configure the system for constant 'background' recording at a lower frame rate/resolution, which is then increased upon motion events. All motion events are stored in the DVR log and are recognised within either Smart Viewer or Net-i Viewer CMS packages. The units provide up to 30 seconds pre-event and 6 hours post event recording for each event – configured as required for a given application. It is also possible to configure a buzzer and/or trigger output relays in response to each event.
Video Motion Search Facility
Footage from each connected camera can be searched on the basis of retrospective motion detection. This is regardless of any motion based recording settings. It is possible to search; the entire video scene, part of the video scene or to manually adjust which areas (with a 20x16 grid) to search against. The search criteria may be extended to include date and time. This will filter the results to exclude anything outside of the specified date.
Search and Playback
Searching for recorded files is based on Time and Date, Alarm Event, Retrospective Motion Detection or System Backup. Each option offers a simple user interface to allow quick retrieval of recorded footage. For play back, there is a VCR style on screen control, with frame advance, frame rewind, fast forward, rewind, play and pause. A speed control option is provided for video playback allowing up to 64 times normal speed. Remote software packages such as Net-i Viewer and Smart Viewer support Multi-site connections where images from several servers are displayed simultaneously. The screen display options are available as: Full screen display, Quad display, 9-way display, 16-way display.
Live and play back images are displayed using separate windows to eliminate any confusion and a Camera Map screen (Net-i Viewer) allows images to be selected and viewed in live mode. The Camera Map screen has the option to select corresponding video inputs from camera icons located on a map.
A pre-determined amount of recorded footage can be played back in this screen and a 10 second clip is typical. The camera icons show the approximate location of the camera. All events are automatically filtered within Net-i Viewer in terms of event type, e.g. input contact, motion based, video analytics etc. All recorded data is colour coded within a time bar to aid fast retrieval of recorded data and all inputs for an individual device such as a DVR or NVR are time synchronised on play back. This means that the initial search can be performed on a single camera with playback synchronised across all cameras connected to that device. Up to 16 cameras can be played back simultaneously. It is possible to archive either video footage or an individual image to a local PC at any stage and images can be printed at the touch of a button. An instant record feature allows the viewing screen to be recorded locally to the client PC in a predetermined format (usually AVI or SEC).
Archiving video footage is achieved using one of several methods on the machine. The user can navigate to the backup section within the main menu. The user then selects a time and date to reflect the archive period for; individual or for all cameras and a destination path. Archiving options are limited to the size of the connected media and if a DVD is used approximately 4Gb can be archived, by using a USB pen drive. To archive larger amounts of data, it is recommended that the operator use the CMS software – either Smart Viewer or Net-i Viewer, which are freely available on the CMS section of the Samsung website. When using CMS software, the backup feature within the search/playback section allows the operator to archive larger amount of video data to the client PC. Up to 24 hours of data from individual or all cameras can be retrieved. If more than 24 hours of data is needed, the operator simply repeats the process for the required number of days. The resulting data can then be transferred to a mass storage device such as a USB attached drive or Network drive. Smart viewer software facilitates downloads in either AVI or proprietary SEC format. A mini-player is downloaded with any SEC format video to enable playback. This footage is fully authenticated (water marked) for evidential purposes. When using Net-i Viewer software the operator can also select REC1 format, which allows archived footage to be played using the Net-i Viewer Search Viewer section.
The SRD system log retains a record of date, time and user details for all archive occurrences.
Realtime Webpage Viewing
The SRD range support an integral web server, offering full functionality with regard to configuration and operation. Dependent upon user rights, the operator can view live cameras and playback recordings in single or multi-screen formats, set up monitor sequencing, synchronise the unit time with the viewing PC, capture images, instant record video to the local hard drive and print images. It is also possible to take full control of all PTZ functions including integral menu structure if the telemetry has been enabled.
In playback mode, the user can perform a time and date search for all connected cameras, capture still images from the video and print these, and OSD text can be removed during playback. The Set Up page offers unrestricted configuration of the unit, dependent upon user rights etc.
Menu Access is simple and can be achieved using function keys on the front panel, right click of the mouse, menu selection at the control keyboard, using the infra-red remote control, or via the webpage. In all cases, the Device Tab within the menu structure is used to navigate to the camera set up page. Here the user can enable or disable video and audio per channel, set up camera names, configure sequence dwell times and set up PTZ protocols. A suffix C in the part code denotes coaxial telemetry which is selected in the PTZ menu. A control protocol and camera ID is also configured within this menu.
Once telemetry options have been configured, the user can take control of selected PTZ heads using either the front panel controls, an on screen mouse operated Graphical User Interface (GUI) or the control keyboard connected via an RS485 link.
Daylight Savings Time
All SRD models provide a default clock setting to automatically self-adjust to daylight. Set up this period to automatically adjust the time to be earlier than GMT (or other regional time zone) by 1 hour during the set period.
The SRD range support the following VGA and HDMI resolutions, in addition to the composite outputs (1V p-p 75Ohm):
- VGA = Analog RGB 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024 resolution
- HDMI = 480p / 720p / 1080p resolution
The SRD range support a single serial data port at the rear of the unit for POS data interface.
RS485 data is sent/received using a multi-way push fit connector, Alarm inputs/outputs are connected at the same multi-way connectors (common grounds prvided), (x1) USB port, Composite monitor output (x1) with further spot monitor outputs (dependent upon model), an HDMI output (dependent upon model), (x2) E-SATA ports for storage expansion, (x1) Ethernet RJ-45, 10/100Base-T connection and four audio in and one audio out RCA (phono) sockets for bi-directional audio with further channels connected using an audio extension cable.
Storage temperature = -20°C ~ 60°C (-4°F ~ 140°F). Operating Temperature = 0°C ~ 40°C (32°F ~ 104°F).
Relative Humidity for the SRD range for both storage and operation is 20% to 85% RH.
SRD measurements = 440 x 88 x 430mm (17.32 x 3.46 x 16.92 inch). Unit weight is between ~6.57Kg(14.48lb) and ~7.55Kg(16.64lb), dependent upon model. Input Voltage is between 100 and 230VAC. Power consumption is between 55 and 60 Watts, dependent upon model.
An infrared remote control unit is provided for system operation with the ability to; change cameras and camera views, playback images from the hard disk and search using the GOTO function and review the event log.
Also included is a power cable, a resource CD (user manual, CMS software, codecs etc), a mouse, a hard copy of the user manual, spare SATA cables, hard drive mounting screws and rack mounting brackets (with mounting screws). There is an optional audio extension cable available upon request.
IP - Internet Protocol
TCP - Transmission Control Protocol
UDP - User Datagram Protocol
DHCP - Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
DNS - Domain Name System/Server/Service
DDNS - Dynamic DNS
FTP - File Transfer Protocol
ICMP - Internet Control Message Protocol
HTTP - HyperText Transfer Protocol
GUI - Graphical User Interface