Rack-mount DVR solution

August 2001 Surveillance

EyeVu, Vision Catcher's new rack-mount DVR, was launched in June, with immediate orders for more than 20 units in its first month. Vision Catcher has been looking to service specific client needs and provide systems designed for strength, practicality, security and most of all, total reliability.

"We have achieved this with the launch of EyeVu and can now fulfil client requirements for 19" 4U rack-mounts, and on request 3U and 2U alternatives," explains Vision Catcher's Niall Beazley. A uniquely designed front removes any impression of EyeVu being a personal computer. With a solid metal locking door flap there is no access to EyeVu, without a key, once the system is mounted into any rack. The rugged rack-mount box has been tested for strength and ease of access, and been commented upon by a number of clients as it specifically prevents any operator being able to access the system for alternative uses such as Internet dial in, games or e-mails, as there is no access to CD-ROMs or stiffy drives without the key.

"One important area of EyeVu development has been our need to ensure that the installed hardware inside the rack-mount is of a sufficient standard," states Beazley. "We have therefore spent many hours testing and 'burning in' different variations to provide a reliable platform. A rack-mounted system needs to be installed and able to run for many months without one needing to do anything inside the case."


When considering a digital rack-mount system one should be looking for stability of operation once the unit is mounted into the rack. According to Beazley, a regular criticism of many digital systems in the marketplace is their lack of stability. "All digital systems by their very name are PC-based. What makes the difference is not how closely they operating system (O/S) they run on." EyeVu as a DVR is a fully integrated system running on MS-DOS with the ability to run .avi files separate from the main DVR program while also being able to print, e-mail or fax as required, without any effect on the running of the system.

Operating system

MS-DOS is the most commonly used platform on a rack- mounted digital system and is the basis for all Windows operating systems. EyeVu is capable of supporting Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows NT4 and Windows 2000 Professional/Server.

File partitioning

Beazley explains that with a MS-DOS-based digital system the operating system is very important because the file structures onto hard-drive govern the effectiveness of the O/S to run over prolonged periods. The File Allocation Table (FAT) structure of Windows 98 and Millennium are of great significance, as they also are available on Windows NT4 and Windows 2000 Professional/Server but can be changed at formatting stage to the more stable New Technology File System (NTFS). NTFS contains all of the basic capabilities of FAT but provides further advantages for better file security; better disk compression; and support for large hard disks.

According to Beazley, EyeVu is the only DVR in the South African marketplace capable of being rack-mounted running on Windows 2000, and one of a few DVRs able to run on Windows NT4. He further advises that one should not be fooled by talk of systems being upgraded, but rather understand the current abilities. "Look for the free upgrades and when they happen, and then seek a balanced opinion as to what system will be best suited for your needs," he concludes.

For more details contact Niall Beazley, Vision Catcher, on tel: (011) 465 6396, or e-mail: info@visioncatcher.co.za

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