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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Can 1fps represent a scene?

Let me preface this by saying, I'm not a lawyer ... and I'm not your lawyer. So, with that said, here's today's question: can a one frame per second CCTV recording represent a scene accurately?

Years ago, I testified in a case where the action occurred outside of the motion trigger zone, so the recording wasn't activated. The video presented to the jury did not match the witness statements due to large chunks of time missing. The witnesses testified that the defendant came into the business, had a brief conversation with the victim, smacked her hard in the face, then was taken down forcefully by two security guards. The defendant testified that he came in, placed his order, and was attacked by the security guards. The video, with chunks of time missing, seemingly supported the defendant's view of the incident and lead to a hung jury.

But, that was a case involving motion triggers. What about a system with a setting of only 1fps/camera? I've come across systems with eight 4-channel boards running on an old WinME system so overburdened that it could barely manage 1 frame every 10 or so seconds per camera, in spite of the settings.

I think that I would argue that for each frame, it represents what the system saw at that specific second in time. But for the rest, it wasn't captured and I could thus offer no opinion.

What say you?

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