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Commander Recorder

High Defintion Airborne Video Recorder

Welcome to the Future of Onboard Video
The Commander was designed with the ambitous goal of being the most advanced, reliable, and compact onboard video recorder, ever.


HD Video

Inside the Commander is a TI DaVinci High Performance Media Processor which allows for full 1080p Video, full color logo and text overlays, pre-roll, and multiple USB recording.

HD Video

The Commander accepts video from any HD-SDI or 3G-SDI source, such as cameras, switchers, and multiplexers.  Video is recorded in full HD using the same compression as Blu-Ray, creating vivid recordings that are easy to view, edit, and store.  Recordings are saved as an .AVI file and are encoded using H.264 AVC compression.

Overlay Color Logos

Video can be stamped with a color logo while recording.  Transparent backgrounds are supported as well, creating a professional branded video without editing.  A Logo can be added to the included SD card and then you can activate and position through the onscreen menu.

Overlay Text

In addition to logo overlays, multiple text overlay options are supported.  Data from a GPS, external source, or the built-in accelerometer can be stamped onto the video while recording.  Each data point can be independently activated and each has the option for: position, color, size and font.

Aerial patrol operators may be interested in overlaying coordinates, altitude, and heading.  Adventure flights can overlay G-force data to enhance the customer experience.  The time overlay can be synced with GPS time to easily synchronize multiple video sources for flight testing applications.

Automatically Add Intro Video

Never edit again!  The Commander has the unique ability to add short intro clips to your recordings.  Intro clips, also called “Pre-Roll,” are typically short (2-5 second) clips that feature a custom logo or message.  These clips create a professional and finished look to videos and also provide an option to add a disclaimer or increase branding.  The pre-roll feature is activated in the onscreen menu and an intro clip is loaded onto the SD card.  Once activated, all recordings will automatically begin with the loaded intro-clip.

Real-Time Copy

The Commander is the only HD recorder in the world that can create up to four copies of your video while recording.  Each time a recording is initiated, the system will automatically begin recording to the inserted flash drives.  Once the recording is completed, you will have up to four identical copies of your recorded video and data file.

Aerial patrol operators can use multiple copies to store data internally and give a copy to their customer.  Flight tours can immediately hand onboard video to their passengers.  Airborne Law Enforcement agencies can quickly provide video evidence to the officers and departments they supported on the ground.

Advanced Audio
Video is only part of the experience.  The Commander is designed to capture crisp, vivid audio from various sources, including: Aircraft Headsets, iPods, Amplified Microphones, and the Commander Controller.

Connecting Aircraft Audio

Audio cables are available for: General Aviation, Helicopter (U174), and Bose headsets.  Cables are available to connect directly to an audio panel or as a headset pass-through.  With these cables, the Commander will record everything you hear and say, including ATC transmissions.  For aerial patrol, a push-to-talk control box is an available option so that spotters can narrate the video on command.

Connecting Auxiliary Audio

The Commander can also record audio from standard auxiliary sources, such as an iPod or MP3 player.  Standard input cables include: 3.5mm(1/8″) TRS jacks (also known as a headphone jack), 1/4″ audio inputs from professional audio sources, and XLR connectors from professional microphones.

Automated Audio

The Commander Recorder can be connected to the Commander Controller which, in addition to automated recordings, camera switching, and text overlay, can also feed soundtracks and narrations to the recorder.  The Commander Controller is automated based on pre-defined GPS waypoints or speed triggers.  The Commander Controller can mix external audio in addition to the pre-defined audio tracks creating a rich auditory experience.

Robust Data
The Commander has the option to accept external data inputs, including: GPS, Accelerometer, and Other RS-232 data

GPS Integration

GPS data can be overlaid on the video and saved as a companion file for synchronous playback with your video during post-process.  GPS data is stored as a .KML and/or .GPX file which can be opened in Google Earth  and most other geospatial software solutions.  Both the KML and GPX files store the complete 3-dimensional flight path while recording.  The GPX file has the added option of ancillary data along the flight path, including: speed, altitude, and heading.  GPX files also support the waypoint feature which allows operators to “Tag” a specific point of interest along the flight path in real-time.

The Commander can be packaged with an off-the-shelf GPS or connected to any standard GPS with an RS-232 output following the NMEA 0183 data standard.  GPS can be sampled once per second (1Hz) or five times a second (5Hz).


Beyond GPS data, the Commander has a built-in accelerometer which logs g-force along the three axes.  G-force data can be overlaid on the video in real time with the maximum and minimum values for each axis.

Rs-232 Data

The Commander can accept data from various RS-232 sources with options available to overlay and record this data along with video.  Three lines of ASCII character data can be overlaid on the recorded video.  The commander will parse and overlay ASCII data that is sent via RS-232 and follows the defined sentence structure:  “$ASCII,TEXT LINE 1, TEXT LINE 2, TEXT LINE 3”.  Each line of data can be configured to appear on the recorded video with custom positioning, size, font, and color.

Complete Control

The Commander was designed with the user in mind.  The user interface is simple and easy to operate while having complete control over features and settings.

Built-In Chroma Display

A 2.4″ Chroma display allows for: easy access to system menus and settings, live viewing, and system status.  Low latency between the video input and live view make it ideal for remote viewing applications.  An anti-glare coating helps with daylight visability and a blackout option allows for NVIS operations.

Complete Control

Record, snapshot, and waypoint functions can be triggered using the built-in tactile buttons or via remotely mounted triggers.  Recording can be wired to any discrete on/off switch, including standard toggle switches.  Snapshots and waypoints are triggered using a momentary switch, like a push button.  Switches are available as options with the commander or can be easily wired to existing switches.

Our most popular switch option is our Record Toggle which features a real-time record status indicator built directly into the toggle.  This type of switch is ideal for installations where the Commander Recorder is remotely mounted and the operator needs a simple clean interface.  (see it and other accessories here)

Waypoint and Snapshot toggles are available as handheld or panel mounted push buttons.  Each time the button is pressed, the system will save a snapshot from the video or tag a waypoint along the GPS path.

System Status

A simple, yet informative set of LEDs tell the user when it is ready to record or if there is a problem.  Indicators are mounted on the Commander next to the Chroma display for when the system is in view of the operator and indicators can be remotely mounted when the system is mounted out of view.  Indicators display: record status, fault indication, and GPS status.  One example of extending the status indicators is our Co-Pilot Control Box.

Internal Power Control Module
The Commander features a robust internal power control module allowing the Commander to operate as a blackbox, and save recordings in the event of a power failure.  In addition the Commander PCM accepts any standard aircraft voltage from 10-32VDC with power filtering, and reverse voltage protection, in accordance with FAA standards.  Using an intelligent charging system backup power cells are recharged every time the system powers on automatically.  Best of all the charging system is built into every Commander as a standard feature.
Expandable Architecture
The Commander Recorder can be used as a stand-alone recorder or with add-ons that increase the system functionality.

Camera Switching

Commander and Switcher

Commander and Switcher

The Commander product suite includes the Commander Switcher which allows for seamless switching between two, three, or four HD cameras.  The Commander Switcher accepts four HD cameras and outputs a single video stream to the Commander Recorder.  Camera Switching can be controlled manually on the switcher, with any multi-position switch, such as a rotary or “Coolie Hat” (aka China hat) switch, or it can be done automatically using the Commander Controller.

Camera Multiplexing

Commander and Multiplexer

Commander and Multiplexer

The Commander Multiplexer is a video processor that accepts up to four high definition inputs and creates a single video stream containing all four camera views.  This process is called Multiplexing and is also known as Picture-in-Picture processing.  The Commander Multiplexer allows each camera to be scaled, cropped, and positioned on the output stream.  The output stream is then sent to and recorded by the Commander Recorder.

Multiple Channel Recording


Multiple Commander Recorders can be linked to record in synchronous.  Operators can use a single switch to control recording on multiple Commander Recorders.  In addition, data and audio are also synchronized between units.  The link capability of the Commander provides the functionality of a multi-channel recorder but the flexibility of being able to also use each recorder separately.

VIDEO & AUDIO Video Input 3G-SDI, HD-SDI SMPTE 424M, 292M
Resolution 1920×1080 at 30fps
Scanning System Progressive
Video Output CVBS (NTSC/PAL)
Video Compression h.264 (AVC)
Video Overlay Text & Logo (Color, Size and Position)
Video Bitrate 12.5mb/s (Adjustable)
Video File Type .JPG (2 Megapixel)
Image File Type .AVI
Audio Input Analog (Aircraft & AUX)
Audio Compression AAC (32kHz, 16bit)
MEDIA USB 4 x USB 2.0 & USB 3.0 (Duplicate)
SD SDHC (for Pre-Roll and Logo Only)
Format FAT32 (10MB/s Minimum Write Speed)
Overwrite Yes/No (User Setting)
CONTROL Display Type 2.4” Chroma (Anti-Glare)
Onboard Triggers Menu, Record, Stop, Snapshot, Waypoint
External Triggers Record, Snapshot, Waypoint
Onboard Indicators Record, Fault, GPS
External Indicators Record, Fault, GPS
DATA GPS Input RS-232 NMEA 0183 (Standard GPS)
Sample Rate 1Hz or 5Hz
Accelerometer Internal (+/- 9G X, Y, Z)
Data Points Time, Speed, Altitude, Coordinates, Heading
  G-Force: X, Y, Z , Custom Text x 3
File Types GPX, KML (for Google Earth)
POWER Input Voltage 5-40VDC (12-40V for Output)
Power Consumption 4.5W
Output Voltage 12VDC at 1000ma
Internal Battery 3300mAh Lithium Ion
Battery Life 125 minutes
PHYSICAL Operating Temp -40 to +75C (-20 to +75 for LCD)
Storage Temp -40 to +85C
Dimensions 4.368” x 3.045“ x 1.670” (l, w, h)
  112mm x 77mm x 42mm (l, w, h)
Weight 15.9oz, 450g

Commander DVR Spec Sheet Thumbnail

Commander DVR Spec Sheet

Commander HD Recorder Brochure

Commander HD Recorder Brochure

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Recorder Overview