Similar to VRM eXport Wizard 2.0, encrypted and unencrypted VRM recordings can be exported (VRM block export) from any video surveillance system based on Bosch Video Recording Manager (VRM) and exported recordings can be converted to mp4-files.
VRM eXport Wizard 2.10 introduces a new look and feel of the graphical user interface and some UX changes. In general, the VRM eXport wizard is a software tool that allows you to export video directly from the VRM and to convert exported video data to mp4. You can find the VRM eXport wizard setup file in the VRM Master Installer or in the bonus directory of the BVMS zip file.
Exports made with the VRM eXport Wizard 2.10 can be open in BVMS (Viewer) 9.0 or newer. In this document we describe how to use the VRM eXport Wizard for either export of video data and conversion of the exorted video data to mp4. With the VRM eXport Wizard 2.10 encrypted and unencrypted VRM recordings can be exported (VRM block export) from any video surveillance system based on Bosch Video Recording Manager (VRM) and exported recordings can be converted to mp4-files.
Therefore, the VRM eXport Wizard 2.10 offers - similiar to the previous version - the following two options, compare also Figure 1:
Export Video Recording Manger recordings of cameras
Convert already exported data to MP4 files
1. Mass-export for evidence retrieval
When using the VRM eXport wizard for export, the VRM eXport wizard does not convert (transcode) the video but copies it in it's original format to the specified storage location. This makes the VRM eXport wizard very suitable for mass-exports in case of, for example, incidents in which the authorities require a copy of large volumes of video.
The storage hardware performance (source and destination) determines the actual speed of the export process and the VRM eXport wizard allows to limit the export speed to prevent recording gaps for cameras that actively record on the storage device.
2. Mass-export for remote IVA fine-tuning
Exports made with the VRM eXport wizard include IVA metadata. You can use Forensic Search on the exported video (including metadata) to come to an acceptable number of search results covering a specific time frame (for example, one day).
You can open the corresponding IVA script using the context menu (right click) in the image pane. Copy the script into the IVA configuration of the camera, and the camera applies the Forensic Search parameters to its alarm configuration. The image below visualizes this process.
3. Mass-export for troubleshooting
As the VRM eXport wizards exports the recorded video without changing its format, it is also the ideal tool to troubleshoot potential errors in the recorded video. The technical support teams might ask you to use the VRM eXport wizard to export video information so they can investigate the root cause of certain issues. Please make sure you select the right camera and time frame related to the issue you experience.
Export VRM recordings
To export recordings, no matter if encrypted or un-encrypted recordings, from a video surveillance system based on VRM, the user first needs to select and connect to the Bosch VRM system that contains the source video data the user wants to export. You need to login to the VRM with the right user permissions. When using BVMS, we recommend to use an existing BVMS user account for this.
To optimize the data traffic, the user can further select the number of maximum sources exported in parallel and set the maximum bit rate used per source, see Figure 2.
The maximum bit rate per source is depending on the storage hardware performance. Bosch storage devices (DIVAR IP, DSA E-series) are tested with 20% read speed, compared to their specified recording speed. For the DIVAR IP 7000 R2 this means, for example, 20% of 475 Mbit/s = 95 Mbit/s. We generally recommend to use 50% of the read performance of the device for export purposes.
For the DIVAR IP 7000 R2 this means you should configure the VRM eXport wizard to ~50 Mbit/s. Increasing the read speed might cause recording gaps or result in strange behavior when operators try to replay video footage. This still allows your video surveillance operators to replay video footage from the device and allows cameras to continue to record on the device.
The table below shows an example calculation of export times considering certain replay speeds.
Considering the example presented in the table above, you are exporting video at 23x the recording speed when exporting at 50 Mbit/s or 51x the recording speed at 100 Mbit/s.
Note: To avoid any performance loss of the VRM system it is not recommended to run the VRM eXport Wizard on the same hardware as the VRM itself or any other system critical server (e. g. VRM server, BVMS MS, etc.).
In the next step (Figure 3) the user selects the cameras and the time period that shall be included in the export. Additionally, the user can change the name of the export file and add a comment.
Once the user is done with the camera selection, the export destination has to be selected in the "Select Type and Destination" window, see Figure 4. Here the user can choose between CIFS export, iSCSI export and export to a file system. Note: The tape export some users might know from previous older versions is no longer supported since VRM eXport Wizard 2.00.
Once the destination is selected, the export process can be started. The VRM export Wizard informs about the current status of the export process and tells the user when the export is completed, compare Figure 5. The exported blocks can now be found on the before chosen destination platform.
Please note for mass exports, if the overall export time is longer than the respective retention time for a camera not all video data might be exported before being overwritten / deleted. As already mentioned above, this export procedure works for unencrypted as well as encrypted VRM recordings (encrypted and unencrypted VRM blocks). Unfortunately, for playback of the exported material we have to differentiate between encrypted and unencrypted exported recordings. For playback of unencrypted video data exported by the VRM eXport Wizard BVMS is the best choice, as the user can then also take advantage of the meta data like IVA information.
For now, this is not possible for encrypted recordings, because the re-import of encrypted VRM block exports is not yet supported. Instead, the user has to take advantage of the new mp4 conversion functionality of the VRM eXport Wizard. Of course, the conversion also works for unencrypted recordings. Both cases are explained in this document as well.
Determine the mapping of raw video data to a camera
The export of VRM recordings results in a data folder keeping the exported raw video data. In the uppermost folder of an export there's a file named "info" without filename extension.
The info file is openable via text editor and gives a hint where the raw video data of each camera is stored.
The info file shows in the first 4 lines general information about the export.
The following lines show the allocation of the numbered folders to the exported raw video data of each camera. Each allocation starts with a number in square brackets indicating the name of the folder, where the raw video data is stored. The next two lines refer to the name and IP address of the camera the raw video data was generated. The last two lines of the allocation block "line" and "instance" are neglible information.
The next number in square brackets indicates another allocation.
So for example if you have two folders 4 and 7 in your selected export folder, you can simply check the content of the info file to find out the camera name and its IP address, see Figures 5 and 6.
Convert already exported data to mp4
To convert VRM block exports to mp4 format the user has to choose the option "Convert already exported data to mp4-file", see Figure 6.
Max file size per MP4 file is 500 MiB
How to convert unencrypted recordings to mp4?
In the "Select exported data for conversion" screen the user can choose the source, in this case unencrypted recording blocks, and the output directory, where the mp4 files shall be saved to, Figure 7.
To choose the exported VRM blocks, which shall be converted to mp4 format, the user has to navigate to the corresponding camera folder and has to select the related BIN.file. This is illustrated in Figure 8.
For unencrypted VRM blocks no further information is needed and conversion can be started by pressing the next button in the "Select exported data for conversion" screen.
Similar to the export procedure the VRM eXport Wizard also shows the status of the conversion process. Once it is successfully finished, the screen will look like in Figure 10.
How to convert encrypted recordings to mp4?
The conversion of encrypted VRM blocks starts in the same way as the "unencrypted recordings" case above. However, in the "Select exported data for conversion" screen the user needs to add a valid redundancy key for encryption. Therefore, the checkbox "Source is encrypted" needs to be checked and the redundancy key (a .pfx file) needs to be selected and the password needs to be entered, as demonstrated in Figure 10 and Figure 11.
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Is there an overview of Bosch (mobile) video clients and applications?
Our portfolio contains quite a variety of (mobile) video clients and applications. To get a fast first overview we created the attached table to compare the most important ones.
Overview of Video Clients and Applications:
1) Only single VRM and up to 256 cameras per site supported.
2) VMS and VRM integration is always based on the camera itself.
3) Note that VSC can connect to individual sites.
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What's new in Video Security Client 3.2?
The modern and easy to use Bosch Video Security Client version 3.2 provides you the following new features:
More cameras per site Up to 256 cameras per site are now supported.
Easy mobile access to BVMS Use the Bosch Video Security Client or Bosch Video Security App from your mobile device to log in to your Bosch Video Management System (BVMS Lite and Plus, version 10.0 or higher) to keep an eye on all your properties.
Better Navigation The new clear structure of the navigation side bar allows you fast and easy selecting of and switching between your camera views.
Proxy support (on Windows only) Access your cameras, your DIVAR IPs or other sites via a proxy server with Video Security Client on Windows.
1.1 More cameras per site
Up to 256 cameras per site are now supported on all three operating systems (iOS, Android and Windows).
1.2 Easy mobile access to BVMS
Video Security Client 3.2 and Video Security App 3.2 do no longer require a hardware transcoder to log into your system. Thus, you can now use Bosch Video Security Client and Bosch Video Security App to log in to your Bosch Video Management System Lite and Plus (version 10.0 or higher).
1.3 Better Navigation
To improve the usability of the navigation sidebar we reduced the displayed information to the essential minimum needed. That way the structure of the navigation sidebar becomes much clearer and navigation should work easier and faster than ever before. The number of cameras of a group is now displayed on the left hand side, so that you know at first glance how many cameras are in your groups.
If a group is empty the zero camera counter is less opaque.
Besides, the expand button has also been removed for empty groups to reduce the information of the sidebar to the minimum necessary.
Cameras of a site or in a group and their preview images are now much better separated from each other, so that even when scrolling in the side bar it is obvious which information (like camera name or https address) belongs to which camera.
1.4 Proxy support (on Windows only)
Video Security Client 3.2 on Windows supports to access your cameras, your DIVAR IPs or other sites via a proxy server. Of course, that also applies for sites, which you would like to connect to via your Bosch Remote Portal account
1.5 Further information
For further information see the release letter, which can be found in the Bosch Download Store and in the Bosch product catalog.
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What's new in Video Security Client 3.1?
The modern and easy to use Bosch Video Security Client, version 3.1 comes along with the following new features:
More Sites Up to 128 sites are now supported on iOS and Android.
Easy Video Access Easy access and switch between your video views.
Remote Site Editing Configure and edit your sites from remote.
Faster Connectivity Access your sites and cameras faster than ever before.
The number of supported sites (managed or unmanaged) has been increased for the mobile platforms (on iOS and Android) from 16 to 128, while each site supports up to 128 cameras. Hence, in total the Video Security app supports more than 16.000 cameras.
Easy Video Access
The improved sidebar functionality allows easier and faster navigation for selecting, opening, and switching between video views. In particular:
Enhanced usability of the navigation sidebar including camera previews
Faster and easier switching between video views
Increased usability of the drag and drop function to open videos
When entering a site for the first time using the Video Security Client thumbnails of all cameras of the site are shown in the sidebar. Hence, at first glance you get a perfect overview of the cameras in your video surveillance system.
With the show / hide buttons you can display or hide all thumbnails with one single click. Thus, if you would rather just see the list of the cameras in the sidebar without any previews, just tap on the hide all button.
In case you are interested in just a few previews you can simply show or hide selected camera thumbnails via the "i" behind each camera name.
To switch between videos you can either tap on the camera you want to view in the sidebar or drag it to the tile where you want to display it. When using drag and drop the selected tile will be highlighted as shown below.
Remote Site Editing
The new functionality for remote site editing and configuration makes it much more convenient to setup an unmanaged (e. g. non-DIVAR IP managed) site in the Video Security Client. Unlike in previous app versions you can now add cameras to the same site even if you don't have local network access to the cameras.
⚠️ Please be aware, if this is not done carefully you might add cameras from differnet networks to the same site, which might cause problems later on. We explicitly do neither recommended nor provide support for unmanged sites with cameras from different networks! ⚠️
Video Security Client, version 3.1 supports faster and better connectivity because of improved transcoder handling. In case your are running out of transcoder sessions, the Video Security Client will still display JPEGs of the camera.
Besides, the bandwidth checking was reduced from checking for each single camera view to once when entering the session increasing the speed of the camera view displaying process.
What else is new in version 3.1?
New option to show and hide the map on the start screen
With the new show / hide map button the map can be hidden or displayed on the start screen.
Enhanced editing of pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) pre-positions
With version 3.1 creating new PTZ pe-positions as well as selecting, editing, or deleting existing pre-positions is easier than before.
In case you need to reach out to our support team you can now use the contact support button
which directs you to the Bosch support contact form.
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Possible causes and solution(s)
In many cases a minimum and maximum retention time needs to be defined in a video surveillance systems due to legal requirements. While the minimum retention time defines the time period for how long video recordings need to be stored, the maximum retention time defines after which period of time the recordings have to be deleted. Thus, the minimum retention time is going to influence the amount of storage needed. The higher the minimum retention time the more storage space is required.
Hence, the storage space needs to be large enough to store the recordings for the minimum retention. For the maximum retention time this doesn’t have to be the case. Still users might be confused why recordings gaps might appear sort-of randomly, if the system does not have enough storage space to keep all recordings until the maximum retention time is reached. To understand what is going on we have to remember the principle of the VRM block assignment first.
For each camera in the system the BOSCH Video Recording Manager (VRM) generates a list of recording blocks on which the camera can next record. Therefore, the VRM makes an estimation based on the data rate and the amount of data of each camera in the system (global optimization). Basically, the VRM predicts when which camera needs a new block and always lists the block which will be the oldest block at the time the camera needs to record on the next block. One could think of it as a “next oldest block” estimation done by the VRM. But the prediction of the VRM might differ from the reality (mainly because of variance in recording bitrate) and this can cause recording gaps if the storage space is not large enough to support the maximum retention time.
Let’s have a closer look on the following two cases:
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
Sufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case of sufficient storage space to fulfill the maximum retention time for every camera in the system no random recording gaps will appear, because the VRM will always assign a block containing recordings, which are older than the maximum retention time. Thus, for each camera the recording blocks will be kept until the maximum retention time is reached as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Enough storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
Insufficient storage space for maximum retention time
In case the system is designed such that the storage space is not large enough to store all recordings from all cameras until the maximum retention time is reached, the VRM will of course still do its estimation and predict the oldest recording block when a camera will ask for a new block. Assuming an ideal setup (with ideal network connection where each camera has the same data rate and all cameras record the same amount of video data simultaneously), the oldest block would always be assigned by the VRM. Hence, no recordings gaps should appear for recordings older than the minimum retention time, compare Figure 2. This is was most customers falsely assume or expect.
Figure 2: Customer expectation of the system behavior in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
However, in reality the stated assumptions do not apply. Network connection, data rate, amount of recorded video data, etc. varies. Thus, the “next oldest block” estimation of the VRM can differ from reality. Since each camera already got its block list from the VRM and records according to this block list, it can happen that not the truly oldest block is used and recording gaps appear as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: System behavior in case of insufficient storage space to cover the maximum retention time for each camera of the system
How to avoid or minimize this effect
To avoid this effect of random recording gaps simply add enough storage to your system. To get the best out of your system in terms of storage usage, the optimum would be to set the maximum retention time to storage limit, see Figure 4, but that is almost impossible to realize in practice.
Figure 4: In principle a maximum retention time set to the storage limit would avoid random recording gaps
Option 1 to minimize the effect in practice is to estimate the maximum retention time so that it will not exceed the storage limit of the system as illustrated in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Maximum retention very close to the storage limit will minimize the random recording gaps
Another less recommended option is to set a smaller time difference between the minimum and maximum retention time. But especially when the minimum retention time is shifted closer to the maximum retention time that introduces the risk that the VRM cannot free up storage space in case the minimum retention time is reached, which might result in a recording stop. Thus, we recommend to go for the first option.
One last hint: Changing the retention time on a running system is not going to influence the retention time of already recorded blocks. but will of course only be applied to new recorded video footage. Hence, changing the retention time is no option for an immediate change of required storage.
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