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HYDRA - Multi-channel Video Streamer / Server

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The HYDRA system is a rugged multi-channel video acquisition and network video server / streamer system. The HYDRA unit can capture, encode and stream up to 12 channels of video and a single channel of audio over an Ethernet LAN using a variety of compression levels and streaming rates.

The system is designed for video surveillance in harsh environments and is suitable for use in both static and vehicle installations.

The HYDRA system produces an industry standard MPEG-4 video plus audio stream using a standard RTP/RTSP IP stream. The HYDRA can be customized with additional application software if required for specialist installations.

The HYDRA is configured and controlled using a series of HTML web pages which are viewed on any web browser. The control screens enable the user to optimize the compression settings to suit networks with different bandwidth capabilities.


HYDRA Configuration / Control Screens

The main System Status page shows which channels have detected a valid video input signal. The Status page also indicates the 'blind video' status which means that the system has sensed that more than 90% of the screen area is the same color. This can be useful to sense/detect when a camera has been covered (obscured).

The Encoding Options page is used to select all the encoder options to optimize the quality and bandwidth of the encoded video. Each channel can set separately or, the parameters set for all channels.

The Network Options page is used to configure basic network settings. The HYDRA can also be configured with password information, different ways to pick up the time and also a process for updating the core firmware.



  • Up to 12 channels of live video inputs (PAL/NTSC).
  • Single channel audio input.
  • MPEG-4 video compression option:
    • 12 channels at D1 image size at 1/4 frame rate (7.5fps NTSC or 6.25fps PAL)
    • 9 channels at D1 image size at 1/3 frame rate (10fps NTSC or 8.3fps PAL)
  • 9 40v DC powered operation with supply transient protection.
  • Industry standard RTP/RTSP video/audio stream.
  • HTML configuration management screens.
  • Standard 10/100baseT Ethernet LAN port.
  • MIL-STD-810F environmental compliance.
  • Wide operating temperature range (-20°C to +50°C).
  • Environmental protection IP54.
  • EMC CE compliant.
  • STANAG 2338 Infrared Reflective paint finish.

Video Input

  • Up to 12 channel composite video input channels Standard CCIR601-NTSC, CCIR-PAL, Software selectable brightness, contrast and saturation control.
  • 1V peak-to-peak (75ohms input impedance).

Video Input

  • MPEG-4 video compression.
  • ISO/IEC 14496-2, MPEG-4 ASP @ LEVEL5.
  • 9 channel mode D1 size images at 1/3 frame rate.
  • 12 channel mode D1 size images at 1/4 frame rate.
  • Programmable I-frame interval, quality level and bit rate.

IP Stream Latency

  • 800ms (typ).
  • Based on 12 PAL channel inputs with encoding at D1 resolution, frame rate at 3Mbps /channel

Audio Input

  • Voice quality mono (1Vrms)
  • Provides Audio/Video Synchronisation

Audio Compression

  • 8bit 8KHz u-Law 64Kbps.

Ethernet Port

  • IEEE802.3 10/100baseT.


  • 9 to 40v DC.
  • 1.2A at 24v (typ.) or 2.0A at 12v (typ.) - 30W.
  • Protected against reverse voltage, over voltage and transients.


  • -20°C to +50°C.
  • Passive cooling (no fans).

Physical Aspects

  • 260mm (length), 165mm (high), 180mm (wide) (Weight : 4.05Kg) Anodized aluminium alloy extrusion enclosure Rubber base-plate and stainless steel fixings End plates sealed with rubber gasket.
  • STANAG 2338 compliant Infrared Reflective Paint.


The following order codes can be used when ordering the HYDRA

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