DVRConv Update 18959: New Formats, New Codec Variations and Increased Date and Time Decoding

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dvrconv update introducing new formats, new codec variations and increased date and time decoding

With the simplicity of drag and drop conversion, it is no surprise that Amped DVRConv is used by so many labs to conduct quick and easy conversion for viewing and triage. Using the same powerful decoding, cleaning and conversion engine that powers Amped Replay and Amped FIVE, this standalone tool can be a powerhouse to prepare files for analysis in a streamlined forensic workflow.

Before we get down to the details of what is included in this update, we will take a more in-depth look at the workflow of DVRConv. Let’s first take a quick look at the initial setup to remind ourselves of the interface before going into more detail.

options button

When it is first loaded, there is an important set of options to review. Once set, you only need to change these for bespoke conversion options when required. There are three tabs under the program options, the first being Video.

program options

As can be seen, there are a fair few parameters and options here. We won’t be looking at them all today but what this basically says is this:

If you drop in a selection of proprietary CCTV files, they will be analyzed and if the streams can be copied, they will be placed into the MKV container. If they cannot be copied, they will be transcoded using the H264 codec using a Visually Lossless quality to ensure maximum compatibility for initial viewing, triage and dissemination.

You can see there are many other settings such as audio separation, automated concatenation and the splitting of large files. For bespoke conversions, you can change these settings as and when required. If completely lossless conversion was required, you can simply change the settings to support this.

program options

The Folders tab allows you to set your watch folders and output location.
This works really well during the early days of a major investigation as all exhibits placed into the Input Folder will be converted behind the scenes and the playable files will be ready in the Output Folder. Users do not even have to use the DVRConv interface – just copy them into that folder and they will be detected and converted! Great for quickly identifying relevant new leads, locations, and other forensic priorities.

Finally, Extensions.

program options

This tab displays a list of the most common extensions to be included. The good news is that this is not a definitive list. Everything NOT in the Excluded Extensions list will be analyzed, regardless of it being in the Included Extensions list. It is completely editable to assist departments and organizations where certain files need to be converted but some do not.

Perhaps you work in a department with various brands of bodycams. The MP4 files may want to be excluded because they are all standard. However, the BDC files are not and they need to be placed into the MP4 container. Having the options gives you full control and flexibility, regardless of the operating environment.

amped dvrconv

When files are converted, the interface will show the current status and result. In the example above, the CCTV file was analyzed and then converted using the settings under program options.

converted files

It is important to understand what we now have in our Output Folder:

  1. Original file
  2. The video and audio data extracted from the original file without any proprietary / non-multimedia that can cause decoding and playback errors.
  3. The decoded date and time information
  4. A text file detailing the file information, codec and metadata
  5. The MKV file which has the letters of SC in the filename, identifying that this has been Stream Converted. It has NOT been transcoded (which would be identified with TC)
  6. The conversion log

Getting all of this information, and all the stream copied, playable files with the simplicity of drag and drop can save you so much time.

Format identification, cleaning and stream copy conversion are vital when dealing with video from CCTV and public sources. At Amped, we work continuously to identify the correct cleaning and conversion methods to ensure you get forensically sound, actionable video evidence quickly – and with the least amount of fuss and bother. What’s easier than drag and drop?

And if you find a format that fails due to some proprietary changes to the video, we even give you an upload button in the interface, allowing us to identify the conversion requirements and get it built into the software.

upload video button

This uploading and file analysis, and bespoke decoding ability is all included as standard in every active support plan.

Thanks to users submitting new files, this update of DVRConv brings a range of new format and codec variations including many that use the new HEVC / H265 encoding standard and a variety of MJPEG based file types.

We have also identified many new file variations. These are where users have found new versions of already supported file types, many of which now include audio.

Finally, the decoding of proprietary date and time information can be very difficult due to the variety of ways CCTV manufacturers implement this function. We understand the importance of this vital data and have worked to develop new detection functions resulting in several new timestamp formats being decoded and placed into the .time files. These can now be opened automatically in either Amped Replay or Amped FIVE.

It is so important that files are analyzed and converted properly, avoiding the need to utilize software that is not designed for proprietary video or that has non-forensic purpose. Remember, even proprietary players often change the imagery and drop frames. Do not risk your evidence by using non-forensic software.

Don’t Delay – Update Today

If you have an active support plan you can update straight away by going into the menu About > Check for Updates within Amped DVRConv. If you need to renew your SMS plan, please contact us or one of our authorized partners. And remember that you can always manage your licenses and requests from the customer support portal.

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