End users are slowly but surely turning to digital video storage and retrieval for their security application. The movement is massive because the new technology simply performs better at an equivalent price.

Digital video transmission is being used at an ever-increasing rate. Typical implementations gain substantially over analog methods. As demand increases, newer and more efficient digital implementations are developed and utilized to increase performance over existing infrastructure, says Joe Marchese, President JDS Digital Security Systems.

If Ethernet enabled, users can connect the digital recorder to their networks and assign it an IP address. Now, authorized network users can access the unit directly from a PC to view both live and recorded images for any digital recorder in the network.

"As companies look to the future and see their dependence on an internal LAN, it only makes sense to have collected video available for access over the network," says Jamie Edgar, vice president of programming, Livewave Inc., Newport, R.I. "In the long run, it becomes more cost-effective. The DVRs and the network can be configured to manage hours of video, with very little babysitting by personnel. There will also be more fluid camera and record control, allowing any operator from any computer to view images from any location in the world."

Retrofitting Your System

Retrofitting existing systems is another way companies are getting in on digital technology. Many clients have decided to add digital video into their existing operation, or phase out VCRs and multiplexers altogether.

"For retrofits, businesses typically have the fiber and cable backbone in place already, so it is a matter of replacing the appropriate components. Some new cabling could be required if the existing connections are not compatible. Almost all existing closed circuit cameras can be re-used in a retrofit scenario," says Judy Gibb, business development associate, Pinkerton Systems Integration (PSI), Walnut Creek, Calif.

"Because of these benefits, existing customers are doing a lot of retrofitting. However, most new proposals have the option of analog or digital (or both). Those with 20 or fewer cameras choose digital video more often than not, since in the long run, the benefits outweigh the prices," says Rich Caesar, applications engineer, Security Services and Technologies (SST), Norristown, Pa.

In new installations, depending on the size of the system, end users can expect to purchase workstations, cabling and/or fiber, plus transmission components (switchers, card cages, video cards, receivers/transceivers, etc.), video servers, tape drives or archive servers, tapes or discs, racks, cameras, power supplies, and software.

The Products

Here are some of the hot products on the market today.

Samsung, Secaucus, N.J., introduces its SVR-1600 digital video recorder. The recorder comes with 40 GB of hard drive storage, with up to 80 GB optional. At one frame per second-1 channel-the SVR-1600 will record 15 days on the 40 GB and 2x on the 80 GB hard drive. Other highlights include recording modes, mulitplexer, five video resolutions and FCC, CE and CUL approvals.

Kalatel, Corvallis, Ore., releases a single-channel digital video recorder to replace VCRs. The DSR-2000e offers the advantages of digital technology. Its control panel features the same simple functions as a VCR, including a jog shuttle dial that makes it easy to scan through recordings rapidly or frame-by-frame without image distortion. The DSR-2000 records live images up to 60 pictures per second.

PC Open, Spokane, Wash., offers its Open-Eye HDDR, which features secure servers/software leverage safety and the stability of Microsoft Windows 2000. Windows provides Open-Eye HDDR users with comprehensive security features that protect both sensitive data and video locally and as it is transmitted over a LAN, WAN, phone line or the Internet. Authorized users can select from multiple levels of security to prevent users from performing unauthorized functions.

Sanyo Security Products, Chatsworth, Calif., announces its DSR-3000, which provides 80 GB of digital recording space, with the option of adding incremental hard disks. The DSR-3000 offers storage solutions as well as up to 60 fields per second high-speed recording and playback for simultaneous recording and playback.

Panasonic Security & Digital Imaging Company, Secaucus, N.J., introduces its enhanced digital disk recorder with additional hard disk capacity, DVD-RAM archiving, standard on-board 10/100Base-T networking and motion detection features.

Sony Electronics, Park Ridge, N.J., introduces

the new HSR-X200 digital hard disc time-lapse recorder that provides higher reliability and lower maintenance than analog recorders as well as high resolution and compatibility with tape-based closed circuit television (CCTV) infrastructures. The new recorders are designed for use in convenience stores, retail, commercial and industrial environments where CCTV systems are already in place.

Philips, Lancaster, Penn., features its 32-channel System4 Server offers digital multiplexing and recording for system expandability of up to 32 cameras. These units allow you full access to your system's pan, tilt and zoom controls from any remote location plus the flexibility to customize camera settings. You can multiplex, record, archive and view the digital images with both video streaming and control over LAN, WAN or the Internet. Recorded or live images can be viewed, locally or remotely, from any PC in the world. Another feature for network viewing is selectable, or automatic, bandwidth management. This enables multiple users to view a site simultaneously across the network by sharing the available bandwidth.

JDS Digital Security Systems, New Baltimore, Mich., offers its SoftSite32 is a Windows based 32-bit application that interfaces with networked image and video servers, delivering full color still and motion images to any standard PC computer. The servers can be located on an intranet, Internet, dial up connection or any networking protocol that supports TCP/IP. The software is compatible with many Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras and can record images from any sites at any interval, including triggered events from sensor detection and video motion detection. All recorded images are stored in a tree structure based on Server name, Camera name, and Date/Time stamp. Extremely low network utilization enables a complete system to operate on a common network carrying normal business traffic.


Samsung CCTV, SVR-1600-At one frame per second (1 channel) the SVR-1600 will record 15 days on the 40 GB hard drive, and double that with the 80 GB hard drive.

Kalatel, DSR-2000e-The Calibur DSR-2000e single-channel digital video recorder is the first true VCR replacement. It records and plays back video just like a security VCR.

PC Open, Open-Eye HDDR-Windows 2000 provides Open-Eye HDDR users with comprehensive security features that protect both sensitive data and video locally and over a LAN, WAN, phone line or the Net.

Sanyo Security Products, DSR-3000-The DSR-3000 offers storage solutions and up to 60 fields per second high-speed recording and playback for simultaneous recording and playback.


Panasonic Security & Digital Imaging Company, WJ-HD500AV-offers expandable capacity up to 2 terabytes with three versatile DVD-RAM archiving solutions that can play bacl archived video clips directly from the DVD-RAM drive without affecting hard drive capacity.

Sony Electronics, HSR-X200-The HSR-X200 digital recorder has a hard disc capacity of 80GB, and is expandable to 160GB with the addition of an additional hard drive, which allows for 671 hours of recording time at 1 picture per second and 300 TV lines of resolution.

Philips, System4 Server-The System4 Server provides a powerful, affordable, high-performance digital surveillance solution offering video streaming and control over LAN, WAN, or the Internet.