IC-Recorder Deployment

IC-Recorder is a single-channel recording application. But it is designed to smoothly allow several copies to be run on one or more PCs for multi-channel recording scenarios.

When deploying IC-Recorder you will need to either:

  • run the software on existing DVR hardware, or
  • source appropriate hardware specifically for video recording.

The hardware that you require depends on the number of channels to be recorded and the required video resolution & framerate (SD or HD?). The below information is provided to help guide your selection.

PC-based Video Capture Devices

IC-Recorder supports a variety of video capture hardware, both internal and external. In short, if a device supports “DirectShow”, it is likely to work with IC-Recorder.

Startech sell an external USB device, suitable for use on laptops and on any machine where you want single-channel recording. It captures the full analog resolution (720x576 if you’re recording in PAL). Any USB device that says it has a “2861” or “EM2861” chip or chipset is likely good too. They aren’t broadcast quality, but by the time the signal reaches the capture device, it is unlikely to make much difference — electrical noise and signal attenuation will have degraded the image enough that the capture device won’t be the weakest link. We have had some negative experience with connecting multiple of these USB devices to a single machine, but one has always been fine.

Osprey sell a family of internal cards. These are broadcast quality. We’ve had good experience with the 260e and the 210e’s older sibling. We’ve not tried the 100e, but it is likely fine.

For multi-channel recording there’s also the 4-channel 460e, which has also worked fine for us. (Note — There is one known issue with the 460e: Windows occasionally misallocates IRQs on the PCIe bus, causing the 460e to drop frames. To mitigate this, go to Options ‣ Hardware ‣ Properties ‣ Device, and move the slider on the ‘PCIe Bus Usage’ section (up or down, it doesn’t matter). Then click Apply. After next reboot, the problem may recur.)

Blackmagic also sell a range of suitable cards, but they have historically been more finicky to set up than Osprey devices, and are less heavily tested with IC-Recorder.

For HD, Osprey have USB 3.0 devices and internal cards.

If you want the ability to edit recording profiles, you will also need Windows Media Encoder installed. After installing, copy its WmProEdt.exe (usually found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Components\Encoder) to IC-Recorder’s Profiles folder (usually C:\Users\Public\Documents\IC-Recorder\Profiles).

Computing power

With these devices, video is converted into WMV format by the PC’s own CPU. Thus, the CPU needs to be powerful enough to do the conversion work.

In very rough terms, a single channel of HD video at 1080p25 requires a multi-CPU score of about 11000 on Geekbench. Two channels requires twice as much (i.e. 22000). Double the frame rate (e.g. 1080p50) requires twice as much, and so on. An SD channel has about one fifth as many pixels as a 1080p25, and thus requires about a fifth as much CPU.

If buying an Intel CPU, an LGA 2066 socket and an X299 chipset is likely most suitable (as of 2018). Number of PCIe lanes required depends on number of hard disks connected to motherboard NVMe connectors: if only one motherboard NVMe port is used, likely a 28-lane CPU will suffice; if several NVMe SSDs are connected, more lanes might be advisable. Check motherboard documentation to see which PCIe card slots will be activated under what circumstances (often in a phrase like “×16/×0/×8/×0 or ×8/×0/×8/×8”). As of 2018, AMD CPUs may provide more power per dollar than Intel, and should work fine.

In general terms, a single modern PC with an Osprey 460e will be capable of recording 4 channels of SD video.

In general terms, a single modern PC with an Osprey 825e should be capable of recording 2 channels of HD video.


When selecting PC hardware, be sure to choose hardware with an adequate number of PCIe lanes for the cards in use (typically capture card(s) plus optional graphics card plus optional RAID controller). Bear in mind that SATA, M.2 etc. drives may consume lanes. Once you have selected a CPU, check motherboard documentation: if the CPU has a small number of lanes (e.g. less than 44), not all PCIe slots may be active, or may be active at less than their full physical width.

As of 2019, we recommend the X299 chipset as being suitable. A high-end graphics card is not necessary: the key feature of a graphics card for this purpose is how many “heads” (i.e. monitors) it will support at once. (Some cards have more physical output connectors than they are capable of driving at once.) As of 2019, i7-7800X is likely a suitable CPU.

Where possible, we recommend avoiding RAID on the encoding machine(s), as RAID introduces failure points and complicates troubleshooting. Instead, we advocate moving video off the encoding machine(s) and onto a NAS or other redundant storage system.

If you are using SSD, be sure that the SSD sustained write speed is adequate for the maximum video capture rate: recording several HD channels may exceed the sustained write capabilities of some SSDs. You can mitigate this by installing several SSDs, and writing different channels to different disks. (The pathological case is when you nearly fill the disk, then delete files to create space, then immediately start recording video: for an SSD, erasing previously-used space to make it available for re-use is time-consuming.) Spinning hard disks are also perfectly acceptable in this use case. You may wish to use a small SSD for the operating system, plus a hard disk for the video data.

Non-PC based Video Capture Devices

IC-Recorder also supports the Marshall VS-103E-3GSDI encoder. IC-Recorder controls this in a similar way to an on-board capture device, but the conversion to digital video is done by the Marshall encoder’s own hardware, not by the PC/laptop’s CPU. Its text overlay is slightly less capable, but still perfectly adequate. This device captures either standard definition composite analog video or HD digital video via SDI or HDMI (but not both simultaneously). The Marshall Encoder can only record to AVI, when controlled by IC-Recorder.

Computing power

Video is digitised and encoded on the Marshall device which reduces the load on the PC or laptop to simple video decoding for the purpose of viewing the video stream. In general terms, a single PC will be capable of controlling and previewing 4 channels of video from 4 encoders.


If possible, use a PoE-capable Ethernet switch for your Marshall encoders. This removes the need for a separate wall-wart power brick for each unit, and provided that the switch is on good-quality power, removes power as a source of trouble.

Limitations of SSD write speed described above also apply here.


You can preview video from a Marshall encoder in IC-Recorder, complete with overlay. In some circumstances, this preview may stutter or skip. This preview is separate from the recorded stream, so typically skipping on the preview does _not_ imply skipping in the recorded video. Play back a recorded video to check.

If you want an accurate video reference, use VLC Player via rtsp://<IP address>/video1_audio1 or connect a monitor directly to the Marshall encoder’s HDMI Out port. You won’t see text overlay on HDMI Out because it’s just pass through.

Storage & Redundancy

IC-Recorder will store video in the location it is directed to by IC-Inspection. Care should be taken to ensure there is sufficient storage space for the recorded video and that appropriate measures are taken to secure and backup the video data. There are no inherent archiving or backup routines within IC-Recorder. We recommend using a network based archiving utility or powershell scripts to handle the video data as desired.

Consideration should always be given to hardware redundancy to allow continued operation in case of any hardware failure.


We recommend unticking “Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time” on DVR computers. IC-Recorder periodically receives time updates from IC-Inspection, but between messages it dead-reckons. If the IC-Recorder PC’s clock occasionally jumps forward or backward by an hour during operations, bad things might happen. Daylight Saving: Just Say No.