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The Benefits of Integrated Video Management

March 05, 2014

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The most effective Video Management Systems (VMS) for airborne public safety surveillance enable a platforms crew members to control their video options such as sensor inputs, screen configuration, underlay maps and video recording directly from their touchscreen display. When a crew members display also serves as the VMS control center, complete control of surveillance video comes at the touch of a button.

A VMS is typically characterized by:

  • Video streams from multiple sensors or computers
  • Distribution of video streams to multiple displays
  • Flexible display of video - full-screen or quad/picture-in-picture/picture-by-picture
  • Multi-channel recording capability

The principal advantages of a VMS are:

  • Easier integration and maintenance
  • Reduced cost and higher reliability (simplified inter-unit cabling)
  • Flexibility and scalability for platform upgrades

Curing the VMS Headache

Today's advanced VMS solutions are built from a wide mix of video switches, displays, mission computers and recorder offerings. When these components are sourced from a mix of heterogeneous vendors, the VMS integration process can quickly become complex. The VMS integrator must contend with a "rats nest" of heavy cabling and the wide range of video and computer interface types used by the various video components - all of which need to be tied together to make the VMS work as a system. Integrating a VMS from individual components typically requires coping with multiple interface types and command sets. Setting up the video recorder for remote control operation, for example, might involve connecting an RS-422 interface to the mission computer, then adding extra software to the Command & Control application to control the recorder. To provide touchscreen control, the integrator must also decode touchscreen events on the mission computer so they can be translated into commands the video recorder can understand.

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