Ocean Systems releases video acquisition field kit

First responders and forensic video analysts can now go on scene and walk away with an uncompressed copy of evidence

By Police and Security News

Ocean Systems, a leading provider of forensic video analysis solutions, has now expanded its product offering of forensic video acquisition and analysis solutions to include a plug-and- play, lightweight, affordable video acquisition field kit. With the Omnivore Field Kit, first responders and forensic video analysts alike can go on scene and walk away with an uncompressed copy of the evidence they need to investigate the case.

Lack of Standards
Currently, investigators looking to acquire video evidence to help solve a case are forced to deal with a proliferation of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). When they leave to go on scene, they often don’t know what they will encounter, because today’s DVRs have no set standards (as there are for videotape-based systems). There are literally hundreds of DVR manufacturers and thousands of models. Many have different recording methods, file formats and proprietary viewers which need to be located and installed. This creates a host of challenges for today’s investigators looking to quickly and accurately utilize video evidence.

Collecting surveillance video wasn’t always difficult. Investigators and first responders could simply hit the eject button on a video deck and the tape would pop out. With the video evidence in hand, they could take it back to their department or send it to a local agency/lab which had the proper processing equipment. Before long, DVRs replaced these video decks and obtaining video evidence became complicated. Now, with the release of the Omnivore Video Acquisition Field Kit, doing so has gotten easier again.

There are many obstacles investigators face while out in the field acquiring video evidence from a DVR surveillance system. Some DVRs don’t have menu options to export a digital copy of the video. Some don’t have the ports to connect external storage devices or, if they do, the ports are broken. Sometimes, the only export option is to CD/ DVD and that option may not work. Other times, the system export method is to a USB thumb drive, but the thumb drive being used is incompatible with the DVR system. There are even DVRs which store the video on a remote server which cannot be accessed locally because the export and backup features are locked down, requiring the investigator to issue a subpoena. It’s also common for the backup feature to export the native files, but the video player required to view its proprietary file format is unavailable, so research is required to track down the necessary viewer. In other cases, the export process adds a second level of compression during export, something which investigators may not even be aware is occurring.

Law enforcement personnel need to be prepared for all of these situations if they expect to quickly access video and walk away with a quality copy of this vital evidence.

A Solution
The Omnivore Field Kit solves these problems by providing a plug-and-play solution which captures high quality “uncompressed” video directly from the unit that recorded it by allowing investigators to connect directly to the video ports (VGA, DVI, HDMI, S-Video, and Composite) coming from the system.

The field kit setup is simple, using color-coded cables and a (laminated) setup field guide. You simply plug in the corresponding color-coded cable to match the video source, launch the Field Kit Viewer and click connect. The Field Kit Viewer auto-senses the video feed’s attributes and opens to match its aspect ratio and dimensions. Investigators instantly have a direct video feed displayed on the field kit workstation – ready to obtain using the Omnivore capture software. Once you have acquired an uncompressed copy of the video, it can be previewed instantly to ensure you have what you need before saving.

Once saved, the video can instantly be shared with courts or district attorney’s offices using the freely distributable Omnivore Viewer™ which reads the native uncompressed Omnivore files. The viewer software also enables users to export to common video and image formats – such as uncompressed QuickTime®, AVI, TIFF and BMP – for future processing and analysis, APBs, etc. If there is a need for a high quality, small file size, distribution format, you have the option to export to JPEG, QuickTime or WMV.

The Omnivore Field Kit includes a foam lined, impact protected devices case (14" x 10" x 2"); a compact cables kit; and a padded shoulder travel bag which fits both pieces and the mobile workstation (the complete kit weighs 20 pounds). The travel bag also includes a telescopic handle and wheels allowing it to be easily transported longer distances.

Visit www.oceansystems.com for detail specifications, pictures, testimonials and pricing, or call (301)476-8015 so they can learn more about your specific needs.

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