The powerful potential of 4K cameras in crime detection
by Stephan Jukic – December 1st, 2014
Given their high levels of resolution for still images captured from video, 4K video cameras aren’t failing to catch the notice of an industry that has some of the most to gain from getting clear photos in crucial situations. We are of course talking about security and it’s a field that’s now also seeing 4K ultra HD creep into its range of technologies.
Already, many high security installations like storage warehouses, banks, casinos and sports venues are starting to invest heavily in the very latest surveillance camera technology which features ultra HD video and it’s easy to understand why they’d want to do this.
With normal and even Full HD video security cameras, subjects caught on film usually need to be followed in real time or have their face captured in a very well placed close-up shot in order to be identifiable. Otherwise, most of the still images captured from HD surveillance cams are simply not good enough to be reliable.
With 4K cameras this is not the case. The sheer resolution of both video and even less than ideal still shots is so clear that security operators can get far better facial identification locked down. Furthermore, operators can often zoom in heavily on stills of video that’s already long since been captured and still extract images that are good enough for criminal investigations and suspect identification.
Needless to say, these powerful features have captured the interest of more rigorous players in the site security filed and a number of electronics manufacturers have responded accordingly.
Some key examples include companies like 4K camera maker Bosh, 4K electronics leader Panasonic, and others such as Arecont Vision of California.
Panasonic is already selling its i-PRO 4K Ultra HD 360 series of dome cameras which are designed to capture panoramic 360 degree views of an entire surveillance area for easy and clear zooming in on suspicious activity later on. Arecont Vision on the other hand builds more conventional 4K security cameras but with the same deeper clarity and powerful zoom capacities.
However, for the moment at least, it’s Bosch that has added one of the more interesting innovations to its ultra HD surveillance technology.
One of the fundamental problems that 4K security recording still faces is the management of the large volumes of data generated by ultra HD video at 3840 x 2160 pixels. Instead of the megabytes per minute of transmission data generated by HD surveillance video, 4K generates gigabytes of data and this poses some serious problems for operators who need to remotely transmit live feeds to a central monitoring station.
Even data stored on site (a less secure procedure overall) still needs to be stored and the same memory problems can again rear their head.
This is where Bosh comes up with that the company considers an effective solution. According to Cheryl Bard, an executive at Bosh, the company has developed what it calls Intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction technology, which is in effect a method of using lower bit rates with the company’s 4K cameras. Overall, Bosh claims that with this new technology, they can reduce the transmission bit rate of 4K video by as much as 50% by essentially distinguishing between “quiet” scenes in which little is occurring and “noisy” moments in which activity is being recorded. Thus, the noisy scenes are automatically recording in full 4K resolution while quiet scenes get an HD resolution treatment.
The overall size of the 4K video captured even with IDNR technology is still much larger than that of conventional HD video but it is much more manageable than the transmission and storage of hours of full 4K footage that’s recording nothing out of the ordinary.
Developments like this, improvements in transmission and storage technologies and, of course, the continued development of innovative new 4K surveillance cameras are nearly guaranteed to feed an industry that will only further expand the use of Ultra HD in its more security intensive operations.
Story by 4k.com