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ULTIMAX - digital video recorder for demanding customers
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This collection contains short articles on ULTIMAX DVRs that were issued in DIPOL Weekly Review. It is systematically updated.
More on advantages of ULTIMAX series of DVRs - in the article
ULTIMAX-716 has won prestigious award - Gold Medal of Intertelecom 2008 for the best product
Index
ULTIMAX - digital video recorders for demanding customers - full range of choices. DIPOL has launched on the European market a whole family of 3rd generation network DVRs of ULTIMAX series. There are three groups of them, depending on the computing power of processors and some other features. The most powerful subfamily is 700 series, then go 500 and 300 models. The 700 series contains 16-ch and 8-ch DVRs, the 500 and 300 series also include 4-ch models. The flagship DVR of 700 series - M77160 - is capable of recording 4CIF (D1) images at 25 fps, simultaneously from all 16 channels.
The main common features of ULTIMAX family distinguishing it in the market:
  • 24 months warranty,
  • the newest and most efficient H.264 video compression,
  • recording and live viewing in 4CIF/2CIF/CIF/QCIF resolutions - see the table below,
  • many modes of triggering video recording (manual, schedule, motion detection, external alarms - in four daily cycles),
  • selectable bitrate (recording) from 32 Kbps to 8 Mbps,
  • multi-layer management with adequate access rights,
  • synchronous recording of video and audio,
  • support of largest hard discs (SATA) - up to 2 TB each. In some models there can be installed up to 8 such disks (total capacity of 16 TB)!.,
  • possibility of real-time recording on:
    • hard discs installed in the DVR,
    • external hard discs connected via USB,
    • Network Attached Storage (NAS),
    • computers with ULTIMAX client software installed,
  • playback of archives (from all above locations) with client software,
  • possibility of handing over the original disc to authorized services (police, court etc.),
  • easy backup of chosen sequences and recordings from the last day,
  • possibility of independent determination of all recording parameters for each channel (camera),
  • multi-tier information system for the operator about tasks being performed,
  • control of practically every PTZ device on the market,
  • bidirectional voice connection between the DVR operator and cameras' locations and operators of ULTIMAX client stations.
The differences among 700, 500, and 300 series are shown in the table:
Series700500300
Available models (number of ch.)16M77160M75160M73160
8M77080M75080M73080
4- - -M75040M73040
Recording speed (each channel) [fps]4CIF2512- - -
2CIF252510
CIF/QCIF252525
Live viewing (every channel)
4CIF 25 fps
HDD interfaces
SATA 8x(max.2000GB)=16TBSATA 8x(max.2000GB)=16TBSATA *** 4x(max.2000GB)=8TB
Dual stream Yes Yes No
PTZ control Yes Yes Yes ****
Dimensions19” rack (450x450x95mm)19” rack (450x450x95mm)14.25” rack (440x390x70mm)
****- since Jule 2008
DVRs of 300 series do not support Dual Stream function (transmission of two streams with independently determined parameters).
ULTIMAX - DVR for demanding customers - intelligent motion detection saves disk space. Most of DVRs available on the market trigger recording of all channels irrespective of in which channel the motion has been detected. It wastes a lot of disc space for saving unimportant information. ULTIMAX family has much more sophisticated implementation of motion detection. For every camera there can be defined pre-alarm (0 to 30 s) and post-alarm (5 s to 10 min.) periods when the channel is also recorded.
There can be defined trigger parameters:
  • schedule of active motion detection function
    • days of the week
    • time periods within a day (max. 4 cycles per day),
  • motion area - possibility of defining any area built with squares - total 396 (22x18),
  • motion sensitivity (0 - 5),
  • logical functions with the states of alarm inputs.
The operator can define system reaction to motion detected in each channel independently:
  • appoint the cameras from which the recording starts,
  • define alarm outputs (1 to 4) that should be activated,
  • enable notification of the operator by sound alarm,
  • activate notification of the operator by OSD information - the DVR will display the channel in which the motion has been detected. If there are more cameras with motion being detected at the moment, the DVR will display the image one by one, for 10 s each. After the alarm/s cease, the DVR will return to normal monitoring mode.
  • enable notification of the headquarters/operator of ULTIMAX Client program.
Such automation of the processes allows to relieve the surveillance stuff of excessive duties, improving general reliability of the system.
Motion detection menu - these individual settings for each camera are available in ULTIMAX DVRs

ULTIMAX - DVR for demanding customers - access policy. To ensure safe operation of CCTV system, the administrator has to grant the users adequate access levels. The staff authorized to analyzing the recorded video should have access to the archives, the operators - to the live images, external users - to the live images from selected cameras. The only person who is able to change the hierarchy is the administrator himself/herself.
In the case of network operation, the locations from which the users can connect with the DVR, as well as their access privileges should be considerably limited.

ULTIMAX DVRs feature more extended and flexible access configuration utility than majority of other recorders in the market. In the administrator menu there is possibility of creating up to 15 users, with individually granted access levels, independently for local and remote operation.
In ULTIMAX DVRs the administrator can grant or block access to a number of functions.

Local control (functions executed from the panel buttons of the DVR):
  • PTZ control,
  • manual recording,
  • playback and backup of archives,
  • local configuration of parameters,
  • access to system log,
  • access to utility functions.
Remote access levels (via the network) may include:
  • PTZ control,
  • manual recording,
  • remote playback,
  • remote configuration of parameters,
  • remote access to system log,
  • remote access to utility functions,
  • remote voice connection,
  • remote live viewing,
  • remote alarm handling,
  • remote change of video output,
  • remote control of transparent RS-232 port.
Additionally, entering MAC address of the computer of an individual user, the administrator can limit access to the system to the specific computer.
Configuration of access levels in ULTIMAX DVRs
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - backup of archives for legal purposes. Possibility of copying recorded video onto various storage media is one of the main demands for modern DVRs. ULTIMAX recorders have been equipped with USB2.0 interface that is used for connecting DVD-RW, HDD, or USB flash drive.
There is also possibility of connecting DVD-RW with SATA interface.
ULTIMAX family provides very useful function - possibility of direct backup of data to specified (backup) disc. The backup disc is one of the installed discs, specially designated for this purpose. The recorded data can be viewed only with special software. The disc is protected against accidental formatting in the DVR.
Backup can be done according to the date and time, or alarm events, directly playing back and marking interesting fragments, or making around-the-clock copy (from one day). There is also possibility of setting time period and channels that will be automatically saved after the system is switched off and switched on again.

Backup in ULTIMAX DVRs
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - network playback and backup. Most of the DVRs available in the market do not support different parameters of recording and network video transmission.
Diversification of those parameters is very important in practice, allowing to record high quality video on the local disc and transmit lower-quality images via the network - to limit the data stream.
The DVRs of ULTIMAX series allow to set those parameters independently for each camera. It is necessary to set resolution of the main stream and the substream. The former may adopt QCIF to 4CIF, the latter - QCIF or CIF. Local video recording uses only the main stream. Network preview can be performed through the same main stream, or via the substream. Every remote client can independently choose the suitable stream/resolution.

Preview and download of archive in client program included with ULTIMAX DVRs
ULTIMAX - Configuring motion detection with Remote Client program. Configuration of motion detection utility in ULTIMAX DVRs can be performed directly with the DVR's keyboard or via Remote Client program, included with each DVR. The program can be installed on a computer running Windows XP. It enables the user to setup detection parameters step by step:
  • choose the camera to be configured,
  • set motion detection areas,
  • set sensitivity level,
  • set motion detection schedule (the periods of time when motion detection triggers recording),
  • assign the channels (cameras) that are to be recorded,
  • assign the alarm outputs that are to be activated,
  • activate OSD info and Remote Client call (upload to center).
Setting motion detection areas.
ULTIMAX Remote Client program.
Setting motion detection schedule.
ULTIMAX Remote Client program.
Motion detection link - assigning channels to be recorded and alarm outputs to be activated.
ULTIMAX Remote Client program.
ULTIMAX - The advantage of SATA over IDE. Most of DVRs available on the market are prepared for cooperation with IDE hard drives. However, the newest models are equipped with SATA interfaces. SATA interface provides:
  • higher maximum data transfers: SATA II - 3000 Mbps (real speed: 300 MB/s; IDE - real speed of 133 MB/s),
  • possibility of using Hot-Swap drives (ideal for backup, no break in system operation needed),
  • better ventilation inside the DVR (SATA cable is slimmer and can be easily tidied up).
SATA drives have better mechanisms of error detection and correction. Due to monopoly of SATA HDDs for larger capacities, the manufacturers of DVRs launch new models with SATA interfaces. ULTIMAX DVRs of 700 and 500 series and the 316 model are equipped with SATA II buses. The 304 and 308 models will be soon available with SATA II interface, too.
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - control of PTZ cameras. ULTIMAX DVRs support over 80 PTZ protocols, so it is difficult to find a PTZ camera that cannot be operated by the equipment. The connection of PTZ camera is an easy job - it is made with two-wire cable (RS485) and includes choice of suitable protocol (the installer enters into the DVR the transmission parameters provided by the manufacturer of the camera). The functions of the PTZ camera are available from local keyboard or console, or via remote computer connected to the network and running remote client software.
Configuration of PTZ cameras via remote client software
The desktop for control of PTZ cameras - ULTIMAX remote client program
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - maps in remote client software. Distributed video surveillance systems and systems with a large number of cameras should enable the operator to easily locate the camera capturing the image, or the sequence of cameras that follow a moving object. Camera names or numbers are in such systems inadequate for effective operation.
The map function solves the problem perfectly. It allows to import maps/plans of monitored areas (bmp files) that are the background for camera symbols associated with individual cameras. Clicking on a camera symbol, the operator displays its image in one of additional windows in the lower part of the screen, together with camera name and the name of cooperating DVR.
The maps/plans can create a hierarchical structure, e.g. from the plan of a development it is possible to pass to the plan of the building in question. The map function is often used in ULTIMAX DVRs that can be easily integrated due to effective network software. The software allows to manage large systems with a great number of deployed devices - DVRs, IP cameras, video servers.
"Map" - a very useful function embedded in remote client software of ULTIMAX DVRs
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - archive management solutions. Now the key issue in CCTV monitoring is recording of fast growing amounts of data. Larger and larger video surveillance systems, needs or demands for longer periods of data storage, use of high-resolution cameras - these factors force the users to have adequate disc space.
The new report of ISP Research underlines that it will be reason for immense storage requirements generated by video surveillance systems, ca. 3.3 EB by 2012 (E stands for exa, i.e. 1018).
Although storage devices are still under development, as well as DVRs can be equipped with many drives of big capacity, the key issue is also use of the newest, most effective compression methods. The newest H.264 codec allows to cut the storage and bandwidth (or transmission time) requirements by 1/3.
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - system control unit. ULTIMAX DVRs can be fully managed via computer network. With Client program or even Internet browser, the remote users can have access to functions according to their access level (set by the administrator of the system). The functions include live monitoring, playback, PTZ control with a mouse.
However, control of PTZ cameras executed by a joystick is much more convenient. The producer of ULTIMAX DVRs has introduced dedicated system control unit DS-1003 M77920. The layout of the keyboard is identical to that of front panel of ULTIMAX DVRs. The joystick allows to navigate through the OSD menu.
Use of external control unit enables the operator to control DVR(s) without physical access to the device(s). The central unit of the system (DVR/s) can be put in a safe place. Another advantage is possibility of locating the control unit up to 1200 meters from the DVR(s) or PTZ camera. Transmission of video signal over longer distances requires to use active video transmitters, e.g. M1678 and M16741 (see the diagram below). More information on the control unit there is in the catalog page.
Application of DS-1003 M77920 for control of ULTIMAX DVR (5xx or 7xx series) and PTZ camera
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - control with a mouse. ULTIMAX DVRs can be fully managed via computer network. With client program or even Internet browser, the remote users can have access to functions according to their access level (set by the administrator of the system). The functions include live monitoring, playback, PTZ control - all of them can be controlled with a mouse. It makes much easier to choose the desired options and functions. Most other DVRs available on the market enable the user to control with a mouse only menu options. In ULTIMAX DVRs there is possibility of choosing and controlling the main functions:
  • number of displayed channels,
  • in the menu - choice of the parameter to be adjusted (for quicker access),
  • single-key selection of:
    • manual recording,
    • manual playback,
    • PTZ control.
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - looking through the archives. ULTIMAX DVRs can be fully managed via computer network, ensuring reliable operation. The compression method (H.264) and refined software allow to perform effectively remote video surveillance.
Configuration, management, and playback of the video (also the archived images) is the role of Remote Client Software. The manufacturer has also enabled the users to control the system via Internet Explorer (majority of the functions).
Additionally, in the Download section there is available set of filters that, after installation, enable video playback with Windows Media Player.
There is also available another "player" for playing back the archives, equipped with a number of useful functions, e.g. conversion of video files into AVI format, browsing the video at various speeds, including frame-by-frame analysis, saving in bmp or jpg format.
The archives can be transferred via the network or backed up to any compatible data storage device (flash memory, hard drive, DVD recorder etc.) connected to the USB port or SATA interface.
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - DVD writer. ULTIMAX DVRS can be equipped with DVD writer that enables to copy the data recorded on hard drives.
The models of 3xx series include the dedicated mounting hardware (without a DVD drive), whereas those of 5xx and 7xx series require to buy additional assembly kit M77950.
The list of DVD writers supported by the DVRs and recommended by the manufacturer can be found in the user's manual.
Important information: all currently sold models of ULTIMAX family are equipped with SATA interface for hard disk and DVD drives.
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - firmware update. When choosing a digital recorder it is important to pay attention to the possibility of software updates. Changing the firmware, the user gets new features, new languages, etc. Upgrading often allows to remove bugs from previous versions.
A large number of DVRs enables updating only via USB interface or a DVD drive. These both cases require visit of the installer or transport to a service center. Modern DVRs allow to update their software over the network. This solution eliminates the transport costs and saves time.
ULTIMAX DVRs enable remote firmware upgrade as well as transfer of current configuration settings.
Remote configuration window of ULTIMAX DVRs
ULTIMAX - DVRs for demanding customers - mobile monitoring with cell phones and palmtops. This feature of CCTV system may be very useful for many users.It allows to access the system from anywhere in the world - from any place with reliable cellular service.

This function of ULTIMAX DVRs has been tested by the manufacturer for Nokia 7610, N72, N73, N75, N95 and Samsung E848. In the Download section, at the tab ULTIMAX, there are available two applications: "Mobile Surveillance Client" and "Windows CE &Windows Mobile JVM", allowing to monitor the chosen spots via the compatible mobile phones.
A palmtop with the image transmitted from ULTIMAX DVR
 
 
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