High Definition In-Vehicle Surveillance Solution


Why Invest in High Definition 2 Megapixel Mobile Video?

In a word: “Clarity”

Currently D1 (720x480 TVL) resolution is the current standard for 4-channel mobile video solutions. The D1 systems are what we have been selling for more than 5 years, and while most customers tell us how happy they are with the resolution D1 images, we understand this is a perspective issue they may be comparing the D1 images to older technology like VGA which was standard in the VCR products sold for almost 2 decades.

Contrast that to someone who spends days working on a 27” iMac with resolution set to 1920x1080 (Full HD).  I can tell you from experience D1 images that our standard mobile video systems produce may be very clear on a small screen laptop; however, those same images are much less awe inspiring when viewed on a 27” display or worse yet the 48” bench monitor we use to test and focus cameras.  As the normal visual computing world is 4 times higher resolution, so D1 looks blurry, graining, has poor color saturation, and poor image quality in almost every way you can define it when compared to the Full HD 1080p we use daily on large screen displays. 

For several years we have been searching for a higher resolution technology than D1 in a mobile DVR platform to deliver the extremely high-resolution images we use daily in the computing world of digital graphics. For the first time in 25 years we can now introduce a 4-channel mobile DVR platform that offers true Full HD 1080p High Definition for mobile video solutions in vehicles.


Comparison of Mobile Video Camera Resolution


Mobile Video Solutions 3 Categories
There are 3 general categories of mobile video solutions for 3 different budgets:

Event Recorders - Windshield mounted low budget solutions, which are self contained devices that usually attach to the windshield offering little to no intrinsic security from the driver and generally useless for Fleet vehicles applications. These are consumer grade products with limited service life, usually a short-term solution. This type of system is acceptable for those applications where the driver is the vehicle owner, so there is no adversarial relationship with the driver and vehicle owner, such as owner operator trucking companies or owner operator taxi drivers. When the vehicle owner is not the driver, you create an adversarial relationship and the low cost windshield mounted systems are not protected from tampering and assault by the driver they are often monitoring.

Analog Fleet Mobile Video - These are systems developed and designed for fleet vehicle applications, employing remote cameras and a separate 4-channel DVR in a locking steel box to prevent driver tampering and insure chain of evidence custody. The SD4mX & 3G versions SD4mXC are both examples of analog D1 resolution DVRs.  These systems come with varying grades of image resolution from CIF (320x240) VGA (640x480) to D1 (720x480). These systems offer fleet based features and are secured from casual driver tampering for a commercial grade fleet driver risk management mobile video solution.

High Definition Fleet Mobile Video - These are systems developed and designed for fleet vehicle applications, employing remote cameras and a separate 4-channel DVR in a locking steel box to prevent driver tampering and insure chain of evidence custody. The FHD4 & FHD4W are both High Definition Full HD 1080p DVRs.  These systems come with either Limited High Definition 720p (1080x720 TVL) or Full High Definition 1080p (1920x1080 TVL).  All HD video is vastly higher image quality than anything D1 resolution can ever offer, the images are amazingly clear and can be zoomed in to show details never before realized by D1 technology.

For the first time in my mobile video 25+ year experiences I can now provide high definition images where you can tell if the shiny object in a child’s hands is a foil wrapper on a stick of gum or a switchblade knife from a very wide-angle camera. Likewise you can now clearly see the car license plate of a vehicle in front of a vehicle or passing a school bus aka Stop Arm Violation.

Between 720p & 1080p the difference is tremendous, whether sheer pixel count or zoom in definition the lower cost 720p systems provide a great image in most situations but lack the extremely high Definition of the 1080p systems.  I can see the 720p systems as a short lived step to the Full HD 1080p systems that may soon become the standard as their image is truly breathtaking in its clarity depth of field. Over time the difference in cost between the 720p & 1080p will be narrowed and there may simply not be any reason to have a limited HD 720p based system when for about the same cost you can have the Full HD 1080p system. 



Is HD 1080p High Definition Worth The Price?
It has been well documented that “Dollars follow value”. 

This self-evident truth is the underlying principal for determining the value of a product to the purchaser, and the basis for the common adage; “you get what you pay for”. The only time this is not true, is when one party in the transaction deceives the other or coerces exchange through the initiation of force. The customer will decide if the additional cost of the HD 1080p systems is justified for the added value it provides.

Image Resolution Categories:
D1  Industry Standard Resolution, low cost for low budget customers
HD 720p Limited High Definition higher cost for better quality images
Full HD 1080p High Definition, costs the most for the highest quality images

ABV offers D1 & Full HD DVR based systems but will not be offering 720p DVRs at this time as it is unclear how long they may be in production into the future, or if they will be eliminated as the market technology moves to embrace the much higher resolution of the Full HD DVRs. It is likely 720p systems may soon be obsolete and their customers stuck with outdated technology that costs about the same as the much higher quality Full HD resolution systems.


Seeing Full HD 1080p Is Believing
Higher resolution is a driving force in the video industry in general and it is very difficult to go back in technology once your have seen what is possible. Your eyes and brain readily adapt to the higher image resolution and richness of image qualities so happily that you rapidly learn to resent anything less when presented with it.  For example, have you ever tried to watch a VHS movie after getting used to Blu-Ray, it is actually painful to suffer through the poor resolution when your eyes and brain are now used to the much richer video qualities and resolution of Full HD. Some of us can no longer watch TV or Cable if it is not HD as the standard broadcast is now so poor by comparison it is actually distracting. It has gotten so bad some of us can no longer enjoy football on TV unless we can see every blade of grass on the field.



Do You Need Full HD 1080p High Definition Mobile Video?

(Perspective Determines Best Value)

While it is difficult to imagine anyone choosing standard D1 image resolution when they could have 4 times clearer images from true high definition vehicle security surveillance systems, the question must be asked if your specific application requires high definition bus surveillance cameras or vehicle security surveillance camera systems?  Higher quality HD resolution hardware and cameras costs more.  To answer this question honestly it may help to examine what your application needs are and what mobile video solution best suits those requirements.

Mobile video security surveillance camera systems are a product designed primarily for Fleet Driver & Passenger Risk Liability Protection and in many ways an “Expert Witness” who is unbiased, dispassionate and without prejudiced.  Meaning, the primary purpose of installing one of these systems in your vehicle is to enable management to document driver & passenger activities or events within or outside that vehicle for the purpose of liability litigation defense in case of lawsuit, accident or accusation.

Every week we hear customers ask how they can zoom into the image to see more detail in the video images to determine some aspect or variable of an incident for event that occurred on their vehicle. Customers send us images from their D1 resolution cameras looking for any help we can offer at making the image clearer to reduce the image pixel blurring so they can determine some important detail in the video evidence. Each time we must respond that the D1 resolution is limited to what the system provides and while it is clear on small laptop sized displays, it is not when you start blowing the image up on a 27” display, or worse yet on a 48”.

When you are facing a problematic child / passenger incident or legal liability challenge the ability to provide much more detail, much higher resolution, or the ability to zoom in several times to an image and still see important details may be the difference between successful resolution of a false claim or successful defenses of a frivolous liability lawsuit.  When investing in mobile video systems for security surveillance and liability protection “Seeing is Believing” and nothing less than Full HD 1080p high definition will insure others can actually see the vivid details of what happened.

Personally I operate a high definition Full HD Surveillance camera in my personal vehicles because I demand the highest level of resolution from a system that creates video evidence that may someday protect me from a wrongful liability lawsuit. The main difference is I do not drive other people’s children or passengers around all day, so my level of liability risk is much less than all school buses and most other commercial passenger vehicles.  Each customer must weight the value of having images 4 times higher in their vehicle surveillance application to determine if the lower cost standard D1 images are sufficient for their needs or if they wish to provide a higher level of video evidence that will provide a higher level of video image resolution. 


SSD or HDD Memory Storage Choice
The advantages of a Full HD 1080p High Definition mobile video security surveillance vehicle camera are the incredibly clear images. Correspondingly, those high definition images create extremely large files and pose a storage conundrum for those of use who advocate 100% Solid State Drives in mobile video systems. In simpler words the video files far exceed what can be stored on a SD memory card, so once you move to the Full HD 1080p vehicle surveillance recorders you immediately encounter the choice of memory storage for those really large files.  The 100% Solid State solution would be SSD in 256MB - 1TB capacity, but note the SSD drives are more costly as you are getting higher level of durability for a mobile environment.

Those who are budget minded will be better served with 1TB - 2TB HDDs at considerably less cost. The manufacturer does not believe the added expense of the SSD is warranted as their drive uses a file structure that can nearly eliminate the chance of data corruption and data loss over a few seconds even if bad decors in the HDD are encountered. They recommend 500GB - 2TB capacity SATA 2.5” HDDs.

Information & Pricing on Full HD 1080p
FHD4 High Definition 2 Megapixel Vehicle Camera Solution

Stop Arm Violation Camera systems