Wednesday, May 20, 2009

10 Questions To Ask When Buying Interview Recorders

From the Supercircuits blog:

"'Digital' has quickly become the latest buzz word when it comes to audio and video recording. Over the past year, I have had much discussion around digital technology with our law enforcement customers, who are looking to upgrade their interview room systems. Unfortunately, early digital recorders - and even most of today’s brand name recorders - are simply not designed to meet the unique needs of interview rooms. In fact, many early adopters have abandoned their digital upgrades, and are once again dealing with the mile-high stack of VCR tapes.

Why? Most DVRs are designed for traditional security applications, devoting much of their digital horsepower to managing multiple video signals, often resulting in poor audio quality and poor audio synchronization. Additionally, security DVRs are designed for passive use by a limited number of users, whereas LE applications demand constant use by sometimes multiple users. To make matters worse, the evidence exported from many DVRs is often not easy to quickly share or play back on PCs. The result - a lack of satisfactory performance for interview rooms and other law enforcement needs, and unhappy customers.

Fortunately, a select few DVR manufacturers have addressed these issues – designing products with the law enforcement professional in mind. To help guide you through the mire of literally hundreds of digital video recorders on the market, I have prepared a list of key questions that every LE customer should consider when purchasing a digital video recorder:"

To read Jake's list and his reasoning behind his top ten questions, click here.

ed. note: Supercircuits is a regular vendor at the NATIA national show and is a very LE friendly company.

1 comment:

Doktor Jon said...

Very interesting post Jim, many thanks for that!!

Just to add a few other quick suggestions to the list,

1) If the recorder is to be used for video + audio, it's important to make sure there are at least two video channels available for each interview room (one for the subjects camera, and the other for an ultra wide contextual view of the room).

2) Some form of embedded 'watermarking', so that it can be proven that the recordings have not been tampered with in any way.

3) A radio clock option, so the precise time and date can be established, without any time drift or regular display resetting required.

4) Ease of export, as most officers don't have the time or inclination to be tied up fighting with an unnecessarily complex copying procedure.

5) Some form of record fail alarm - if an interview is completed and it's then discovered that the recorder has malfunctioned, it's back to square one.

I'm sure there's more, but it's way past my bedtime :-))

Cheers for now

Jon