Manufacturers often skew their specification sheets to make their product seem better than it really is, typically by providing confusing references and the like. Not cool, but what’s worse than that? When they don’t know what the hell they're talking about, then convince the majority that they do. This is the case for a lot of Digital CCTV (DCCTV) manufacturers. If you’re going to reference a video specification and plaster it all over your video output, AND you’re one of the world’s leading manufacturers of IP-based CCTV equipment, you should probably have your shit together. Here’s why you don’t.

The Common Intermediate File Format (CIF) is referenced by nearly every DVR/NVR manufacturer, yet the vast majority don’t conform to that standard. Instead, some conform to the Source Input Format (SIF) standard. Some don’t conform to either, but still claim they record at CIF, 2CIF, 4CIF, etc… “Come on Larry, you’re just picking nits.” You’re damn right I am, that’s my job, and there’s a significant difference between 352 x 240 and 352 x 288, especially if the perpetrator that just murdered someone is depicted in that image. Do you have any clue as to how that video should be displayed at the proper aspect ratio? If it’s evidence, I sure hope you do, but I don’t blame you if you don’t.

I could drop names of several DVR/NVR manufacturers that have incorrect specifications, documentation, and training materials, but what’s the point? I’ll tell you the point; don’t trust DCCTV specification sheets or what is reported by their software. Period.

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