What Does the Demise of DVD Mean for Digital Evidence?

​Last week one of the UK's biggest and most well-known department stores, John Lewis, announced that it would no longer be stocking DVD players, with sales falling by 40 per cent over the past year. As people move to streaming services DVDs are fast going the way of the cassettes and VHS tapes. However, one area where they are still going strong is in police forces where they've become a staple for collecting, storing, and sharing evidence.

If you work in law enforcement you're probably all too familiar with the lag in new technology adoption. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were discussing the shortcomings of cassette tapes for storing interview room recordings. Now, we're having the same discussions about DVDs.

Investigators routinely collect CCTV footage (as potential evidence in cases) by copying it onto DVDs, but the varying codecs needed to make the video playable invariably complicate things. Equally frustrating is the need to physically mail DVDs to the CPS because file size limits make it difficult to send large video files via email (even though in most cases the footage has already been saved digitally on RMS).  Investigators who routinely deal with these problems will tell you that the demise of DVD is long overdue and the inevitable replacement of DVDs by more modern online digital evidence management (DEM) solutions can't come fast enough.

But there is cause for optimism. As the fo​rmer Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, Paul Kennedy explained in his recent blog, the exponential growth in digital evidence is causing a groundswell of momentum for DEM solutions like NICE Investigate.

Today, investigators are stretched to limit traveling to different locations to collect CCTV evidence, copying it onto DVDs, searching for the right codecs to make it playable, manually copying it onto more DVDs, and then shuttling it from place to place. NICE Investigate relieves investigators of these tasks so they can focus on what they do best – investigating cases.

With NICE Investigate, the process of collecting, analyzing and sharing CCTV video and other evidence is digitized, automated and streamlined, through better crowdsourcing tools, automatic conversion of video into a universally accepted format, and through the use of digital case files that enable evidence (including CCTV video) to be shared electronically (instead of on DVDs).

Facilitating a smooth transition away from DVDs is just one of the many benefits of NICE Investigate.  To learn more, I encourage you to download the NICE eBook "6 Surprising Savings of Digital Investigation." 

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