Current video in mobile operations

Situational awareness is critical to any operations. It is imperative that public safety, law enforcement, military and private organizations have access to real time video of on going field operations to help make decisions and create actionable plans.

In a public safety environment operators are used to turning on their Mobile Command Vehicles and having the on-board camera feeds automatically play on displays within the vehicle. This is an “operator safe” environment where agencies do not need specialists on board,- the technology just ‘works’.

Currently, video systems on mobile platforms need upgrades. Cameras and equipment are aged. Analog video feeds must be digitized and mission operations require that video from the field (incident scene, event scene) must be streamed to fixed operations centers and devices of the decision makers and stakeholders.

Migration to IP

There are two fixes to digitizing video and upgrading systems in Mobile Command Vehicles. One option is adding encoders into the system. The other option is replacing cameras with IP cameras. Below we detail the Pros and Cons of each.

Encoding video: Encoders enable an existing analog CCTV video surveillance system to be      integrated with a network video system.

PROS

  • Video will automatically play on displays on vehicle- Operator ‘ease of use’.
  • Gain the benefits of network video without having to discard existing analog equipment.
  • Operations remain the same on board.
  • Do not need software to view locally.
  • Ability to stream remotely with encoders.

CONS

  • Difficult to scale.
  • Aging equipment.
  • No High Definition.

IP Cameras: Replacing aged, analog cameras with IP Cameras.

PROS

  • IP cameras/Upgrading equipment is low cost.
  • High Definition feeds.
  • Ability to scale video system easily.
  • Many options and variables exist with IP cameras.
  • Remote access made easy.

CONS

  • Need software and computer on board vehicle.
  • Does not connect automatically to display on board without decoders.
  • Ease of use can be more difficult.

AXIS Communications, the market leader in network video lists the benefits of IP Cameras here.

The Answer- Why decoding provides simplicity of operations?

Upgrading the equipment on your MCV video system is ideal. Low cost, highly effective IP cameras are not only versatile, but they are the future. They are great in the field, they are ruggedized and they can be scaled.

The main goal of sustaining operator ‘ease of use’ can be ensured with the addition of decoders into the video system. Integrating IP cameras alone would still require an operator to log into software to view feeds. Decoders create simplicity of operations for those on-board the vehicle by almost eliminating the need for software/computer based interaction.

Many agencies will turn to local audio video installers who don’t specialize in the operations of public safety, law enforcement, military and government agencies especially in mobile applications.   These traditional companies typically do not fully understand the operational environment of the user and therefore do not provide them with the best solution for migrating video to IP.

Be sure to choose a video system integrator that:

  1. Focuses on your agencies concept of operations.
  2. Understands the scalability of your operations and looks to the future.
  3. Understands the need for ‘ease of use’ operations.
  4. Has a history of working with similar operational environments.
  5. Understands the complexities of the mobile and fixed applications.
  6. Chooses quality and value over price.

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