the best images for the police?

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racelife
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the best images for the police?

Post by racelife » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:46 pm

what is the suggested path for retrieving video to turn over to the police? my cameras are set to 320x240 I know this isn't ideal but its all my server can handle at the moment... I have archived the video for now but i need to get it to a format to hand over. I caught someone cutting catalytic converters off of cars to sell for scrap.

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jdhar
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Post by jdhar » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:04 pm

If I were you, I would ask them... but a thumb-drive + burned DVD that'll work in any player should probably cut it.
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racelife
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Post by racelife » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:09 pm

To rephrase what is the best way to get the highest quality video off of the server?

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jdhar
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Post by jdhar » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:24 pm

Copy the individual frames from your events directory, and generate an MJPEG movie.
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racelife
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Post by racelife » Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:50 pm

could you go into a little more detail? I'm not as proficient with Linux or programing as I would like to be. I am a fast learner though.

electron
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Post by electron » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:30 am

Go to options, Images tab, then under FFMPEG_OUTPUT_OPTIONS
you need to type -r 30 -b 2000000 in the Value box

-r is frame rate, and -b specifies bitrate. Higher bitrate will make much bigger files for mpeg videos, but better quality to a point of diminishing returns, so you can play with this number to see what works best for you.

There are other options you can put here. Look up ffmpeg docs online or just type man ffmepg in a terminal & scroll down a page or two.

You can also put -sameq into ffmpeg input options, try both of these & see what works best.

camroidv27
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Post by camroidv27 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:49 am

My biggest suggestion is to have the computer record in the HIGHEST resolution your cameras can handle, with the LEAST amount of compression possible. I have analog cameras, so my max resolution from the input card is 640x480. I set my JPEG compression to 100 in all fields but live in the options menu. I would give the whole set of JPEG files to the officers. Reconverting the JPEGs into an MPEG or other compressed file is not forensically sound. Most AV guys want the original footage or files. Zoneminder does a good job of numbering things sequentially, making it easy for the AV guys to do their job.

(I just had things stolen off my front porch. I am pretty sure with the images provided, they can get a match using facial recognition with the JPEG files themselves.)

racelife
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Post by racelife » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:58 pm

I edited the videos down and posted them on youtube if anyone is interested. This guy was stealing catalytic converters off of cars stored on my industrial property.
He and a friend also broke into a neighboring business.

http://www.youtube.com/user/RACELIFE01

camroidv27
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by camroidv27 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:56 pm

Looking at your video, the cameras are too far away from the vehicles to get a good licence plate. Also, being a resolution of 320x240 is not going to get you too much. If your cameras or capture card allow, I would definitely up your resolution to 640x480. Also, under OPTIONS > IMAGES, scroll down to JPEG_FILE_QUALITY and set it to 100. Do the same for JPEG_ALARM_FILE_QUALITY. This will make your images as uncompressed as possible (also means, they will take up more space, so make sure you have the Hard Disk to handle it). That too will definitely help officers when you turn over your images.
(Sorry, I just noticed I said all this already)
But in watching your video, I would try to get the cameras closer to areas where people / vehicles enter and exit, or where crime happens more. If you have to have the camera more than 10 ft away from the subject you are watching, consider getting a zoom lens (between 10mm and 40mm) for your camera(s) so that it can stay hidden. Speaking of lenses, on the shot of the van pulling slowly by the barbed wire gate, the lens seems to be out of focus for the van (but the barbed wire is in focus).

Just a few ideas.

racelife
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by racelife » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:14 pm

I have the resolution set low because that is all my server can handle at the moment (2.4 ghz pentium 4 but only 512mb ram it is almost the same price to build a new one than to upgrade ram.) the cameras on the dirt road i think are only 330 tvl. where the vehicle stops to load up the take is where my property ends. when I set my quality to 100 I can only store about 24hrs instead of a week. when I get some $ I plan on upgrading but for right now I can barely afford to pay the power bill. :(

also the property is a large industrial (about 2.5 acre) lot so it is hard to cover all the areas without lots and lots of cameras

also if you want I can give the address so you can see it on google maps/earth.

camroidv27
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by camroidv27 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:24 pm

The purse string balancing act is never fun. :(

I guess the best thing I would suggest would be to move the cameras closer, or park your vehicles close to the cameras so you can see who's working under the car. Unfortunately, that may mean extra cabling to get there. 330 TVL cameras aren't horrible if used in specific settings. I have a B/W cheap 350 TVL mini camera mounted with my doorbell. A guy broke into my house, but rang the doorbell a few times first. Because the camera was within a few feet of the guy, the images produced were good enough for police to get a match, and now the suspect is in custody. (Many thanks to the Zoneminder team for making that a possibility! A donation is coming their way.) So really, its about where the camera is located. Are you able to move yours, say behind the fence, low against the ground, then pull the vehicles at night up to where the camera is so it shoots under the car to catch the guys taking the converters?

racelife
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by racelife » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:36 pm

none of the cars on the property have converters anymore they are all gone. the cars were scattered around the yard so I would need lots of cameras to cover but that isn't the only thing I have to look for either. there is heavy equipment and construction materials not to mention the copper wire that gets stripped from the light poles :evil: . there are also semi truck trailers used for storage that have to be watched also. it is a never ending battle.

camroidv27
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by camroidv27 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:01 pm

Man... that's all crazy! I'm sorry to hear about all your frustrations with criminals. Sounds like you definitely have your hands full and are losing a lot to crime.

I really wish I had more ideas, and hopefully others have some genius ones that don't cost too much for you. I guess the last thing I would do would be to setup a camera at the entrance to the yard where all vehicles must pass through, with the camera aimed at the licence plates.

I also assume you have signs posted saying the area is under video monitoring? Its sometimes enough, but judging by how much these people are taking, wouldn't stop them (and they seem pretty covered in terms of clothing and face coverings). What have the police said to do?

If I think of something more, I'll post back again. :/

racelife
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by racelife » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:13 pm

the police say to add more lights but when I do they get shot out by a pellet gun. the front of the property has that dirt road going past so there is two different directions to go and the road is wide so its hard to narrow down for plates. also its dark so its hard to see at night. and then back of my property has a rail road line that runs along the property line it is unsecured and easy to get to and leaves a lot of area to cover because they cut the fence wherever thy feel like it.

whatboy
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Re: the best images for the police?

Post by whatboy » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:45 pm

IR light, humans can't see it, but it will show a light up in the cameras!!!

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