This article sponsored by L-3 Mobile Vision
By Greg Bogosian
L-3, long a leader in in-car video systems, recently announced the availability of the new Flashback HD™ system, bringing high-definition capability to their already-established and popular Flashback line of solutions. Scott Wooster, Product Manager at L-3, gave us details about how easy it is to either upgrade from a Flashback 1, 2, or 3 system, or do a new installation from scratch. The results of that conversation are below – read on, you might be surprised.
What’s new: Greater image quality, smaller camera size
The most noticeable change from previous Flashback systems is the introduction of the new Nite-Watch™ HD color camera, which features a HD resolution, along with .03 lux nighttime performance and backlight-compensatory features to ensure that detail is not lost based upon lighting conditions. The camera also has a wider field-of-view than previous Flashback cameras, along with automatic zoom-to-license-plate-and-then-zoom-out, to ensure that critical footage remains in-frame. The system can be set to record that in either HD or SD, depending on how much storage space you want to use up.
To coordinate with the new HD capability, the industry-leading Digital Evidence Pro (DEP) solution, which offers server-class network-based systems (meaning the agency can access evidence through any network-connected PC) and Digital Evidence Viewer (DEV), the standalone workstation-based version of L-3’s evidence management suite, have been upgraded to offer the ability to both view the new HD footage at full resolution, and also to burn it to a DVD – with metadata preserved throughout to ensure evidentiary integrity.
Getting those files from the vehicles to the station wirelessly, already possible in previous Flashback in-car solutions, has been further enhanced by adding the capacity to utilize a dual-band, high-speed Wireless N Access Point, meaning that if your agency’s Access Points (routers) have dual-band capability, data transfer rates will become much higher – especially important for larger agencies with more vehicles turning over simultaneously at shift change to ensure that all data is transferred and captured in time for the next shift’s deployment to the field.
Once the vehicle pulls within range of the Access Point at the station, files are automatically pulled, and any settings or updates which the technology administrator has set out are automatically pushed out to all connected units, simplifying maintenance. Additionally, those settings and updates can be granularly selected down to the individual-unit level if the administrator wishes only to update certain subsets or individual units (as would be the case with pushing supervisor permissions).
How do we use it?
In-car integration is simple and easy to achieve. For existing users with Flashback 1, 2, or 3 systems, upgrading to the Flashback HD simply means replacing the DVR unit with the new Flashback HD in-car DVR (still supporting multiple), the forward-facing camera, and the cable for that camera. All other components, including multichannel ancillary cameras, are plug-and-play into the new system, minimizing the amount of wiring or other logistical work needed to implement the upgrade.
For new vehicle installations, the comprehensive packages available, including additional components such as IR rear-seat and bullet cameras, along with the VoiceLink Plus™ wireless microphone system (featuring automatic on/off with recording, and a 10-hour transmit/50-hour standby battery, among others) and 3.5” backlit-control-panel in-vehicle monitor, are straightforward and easy to put into place without extensive vehicle modification.
Preserve and protect
With up to 128gb of available in-vehicle storage via Secure Digital memory cards, and the aforementioned digital evidence management solutions available, L-3’s in-car video management solutions ensure that you have all of the video data you need in an accessible format when it’s needed the most – be it for post-incident review, or for use as evidence in court.
The end-to-end solutions provided through L-3 allow you the security of knowing that the full weight of L-3’s support is available whenever needed to ensure system uptime and performance. With a broad variety of products for public safety, including MDC’s, in-car and on-officer video systems, ALPR’s, and more, L-3’s deep commitment to the public safety market means that the new Flashback HD system is vetted and ready to go in the real-world environment, set to protect and serve those who protect and serve every day.