MediaRacer 1000 boosts video security
- By John Breeden II
- Jun 18, 2004
When you can't tell whether a grainy surveillance video is showing a suspect or your own mother, it means the security network is not very well arranged.
Common digital video recording setups use cameras that capture about 120 frames per second, sometimes more.
If you use 10 security cameras, divide the number of available frames by the number of cameras competing for your digital signal processor's time. The result: You can get only 12 frames per second per camera. That's far from enough for clear video; 30 frames per second is the accepted standard.
The Mavix MediaRacer 1000 gets around this limit by combining a digital signal processor, audio processor and data server in a box about the size of a small router.
You really need one MediaRacer 1000 per surveillance camera. Then 10 cameras could each record 30 frames per second, giving you 300 recorded frames per second'more than a single server could handle.
The only bottleneck we found in the GCN Lab was the bus transfer rate between the devices and the recording drive. With RAID Level 5 storage, there was no bottleneck.
The MediaRacer 1000 records video in MPEG-4 format, which combines good compression with good image quality. The included software suite makes setup easy.
You can also set up multiple windows to watch each floor of a stairwell or each wing of a building. But multiple windows will deplete the processing power of the display computer.
Each MediaRacer 1000 can process audio, serving as a public address system.
For $19 more per unit, your security officers can watch the monitoring stream on wireless handheld devices running Microsoft Pocket PC or Windows CE operating systems.
Because of the limitations of wireless networks and handheld processors, however, you can view only one camera at a time.
The software is completely configurable, including all the Dynamic Link Library files and .COM objects.
John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.