The CloudConnect software solution allows users to watch videos from vehicles without having to physically go to the vehicle to retrieve footage. With a Wi-Fi connection in the parking area or a cellular 4G connection (with a 4G capable device and service plan), files are transferred wirelessly to the cloud. The software is web-based; users can review transferred videos with any internet-connected device (laptop, tablet, phone), regardless of the operating system (MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux).
Event videos are automatically uploaded, and non-event videos can be requested by the user and then uploaded from the devices. In addition to managing file transfers, the software can also provide live images from the cameras when connected.
The cloud solution is easily deployed across multiple sites, with an intuitive user interface to set and maintain user access. CloudConnect doesn’t require a server or infrastructure to store video, it only requires Wi-Fi coverage (or optional 4G) and an internet connection. Users can also view the current device health status of compatible systems in the fleet, or view specific events on each vehicle with detailed troubleshooting steps to ensure the systems are working properly.
Admins can stay informed of the operational status of their systems with automated email updates for daily event transfers, systems health, and video request status.
- Daily Transfer Summary: This shows files transferred from each vehicle in the past 24 hours. This can be sent to multiple preset email addresses. The daily sending time of the email is configurable and only sent for new transfers.
- Daily Device Health Summary: Shows device events from the past 24 hours. It can be sent to multiple preset email addresses. The daily sending time of email is configurable and only sent for new health events.
- Request Confirmation Emails: Notifications are sent to users informing them of completed video requests.
Hardware Install Preparation
Before the hardware is installed in the vehicles, this document should be provided to the IT professional who prepares the network infrastructure for Wi-Fi connections and ensures the network firewall has proper access to the CloudConnect web endpoints. It is recommended to have the wireless access confirmed prior to hardware installation, thereby allowing the installer to configure the devices during installation and provide a turn-key solution when the installation is completed.
The customer’s IT professional will need to complete some steps to prepare for the product installer:
1. Determine which Wi-Fi SSID the DVR units will be connected to, ensure Access Point (AP) locations are adequate for performance and its configuration meets the DVR unit’s Wi-Fi AP requirements (next page).
2. Connect to the Wi-Fi SSID and ensure that the internet and the CloudConnect web endpoints are reachable through the firewall.
3. Log in to the CloudConnect site and enable new device Auto Approval for the duration of the installation period. Once installation is complete, make note of the site URL (for reference).
4. Document the SSID, security credentials, and site URL information on the form provided by the installation coordinator (if using Pro-Vision Installation Services).
Once onsite, the product installer will complete the following:
5. Installation of the DVR unit(s) and the Wi-Fi and/or 4G antenna(s) required for connectivity.
6. Configuration of the DVR’s Wi-Fi Client to connect to the customer’s Wi-Fi Access Point using the customer-provided name and security credentials.
7. Programming of the CloudConnect Site URL and registration of the device to complete the setup process.
Note: If the connection information is not provided before installation, the IT professional must complete steps 6 and 7.
When the DVR establishes network connectivity (upon arrival to the yard or parking area for most Wi-Fi applications, or upon bootup with 4G connections), it contacts the CloudConnect server, transfers requested videos, and then transfers any event videos (oldest first). The transferred files are stored in the cloud and are immediately available for playback or download through the CloudConnect site (for authorized users).
If a file transfer is interrupted before completion (due to loss of network connection, or system power down), the transfer is paused and will attempt to resume upon reconnection. If the file transfer cannot be resumed, it will be restarted automatically. To ensure data integrity and to prevent file loss, the file transfer is executed using a file copy process. The original file is always left intact until the duplicate file is completely uploaded and verified on the cloud server before the original file is removed from the device.
Client/User Computer Requirements
Clients access the CloudConnect site using a web browser and review video using their default media player (tablet/phone/PC) or the HD Viewer application (PC only). Playback of video using the device’s default media player requires the file to be downloaded to the device first and then opened. The HD Viewer software allows the video to be streamed from the cloud without downloading the full file first, but it can only be used on a PC running Windows 10 or 11 with a minimum of 4 GB RAM. It is recommended that the client device has at least a 1080p HD display and speakers.
CloudConnect supports all current PRO-VISION recording products including the DR-200v2, DVR-906, DVR-908 Ranger, and BC4 body worn camera systems. The DR-200v1 and DVR-808 systems are partially supported. They are capable of all video upload functionality but have fewer device health updates. They give an indication of operational status (on/off, video uploads functioning properly) but not the full range of health indicators available for newer products.
Wi-Fi Access Point (AP) Requirements
Wi-Fi is used most often as the primary method of connection for DVR systems. Wi-Fi can be used to connect a vehicle to an in-vehicle hotspot or gateway for internet access, or more commonly, to connect to an Access Point (AP) mounted in or around the parking area of the vehicle to get internet access. When connecting vehicles to a fixed AP on a building, having the best possible antenna positioning with line-of-sight to vehicles is critical in providing the best coverage and fastest transfer speeds. Whichever Wi-Fi connection is used, it must be compatible with the following DVR systems:
- DR-200v1/DVR-808 Systems: These units contain a 2.4GHz 802.11n radio. It is recommended to use an AP with 802.11n 2x2 MIMO (Dual Antenna) to achieve the fastest transfer speed (up to 300 Mbps).
- DR-200v2/DVR-906/DVR-908 Systems: This unit contains a 2.4GHz/5GHz 802.11ac radio. It is recommended to use an AP with 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO (Dual Antenna) to achieve the fastest transfer speed (up to 867Mbps).
IMPORTANT! WPA/WPA2 security using AES or TKIP encryption is supported on all devices. WPA2 Enterprise is supported on the PD-1900 and PD-1902 only. Unsecured networks are not supported.
The Wi-Fi SSID name must contain only letters, numbers, underscores, or dashes. The password must contain only letters, numbers, and special characters, except for a semi-colon.
Unlike typical client devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) that mostly use download bandwidth on the Wi-Fi connection, the DVR systems use mostly upload bandwidth. Some Wi-Fi Access Point brands do not perform as well in uploading as others. Contact Pro-Vision support for recommendations and to gain an understanding of any hardware limitations.
Network Requirements (Wi-Fi Connected Devices)
The DVR units connect to a Wi-Fi network using an IP auto-assigned through DHCP; they can also use a static IP assignment, but it is not recommended. A static IP adds complications to the setup process and requires additional attention in future maintenance (such as loss of connection if the IP changes). If having a fixed IP is desired, we recommend documenting the device’s MAC address during setup and then using MAC address reservations for assigning IP addresses. It is also recommended to first connect a computer to the network and check access to the https://cloud.provisionusa.com site URL before connecting a DVR. The system uses HTTPS for encrypted file transfer.
Firewall Configuration (Wi-Fi Connected Devices)
To use CloudConnect properly, the following URL’s need to be unrestricted on the internet/network firewall to allow proper use of features:
- https://cloud.provisionusa.com is used for general site access for users as well as an endpoint for uploading files.
- https://firmware.provisionusa.com is used by devices to check the firmware version automatically.
- https://files.provisionusa.com is used by devices to download new firmware files if needed.
4G Connection Requirements
If a 4G capable product is purchased, it can be activated on a 4G network and used for uploading videos. Each product includes a pre-installed Verizon SIM card that can be activated on the Verizon 4G network either directly through Verizon or through an authorized reseller. To activate a device with a carrier, the device’s modem IMEI number and its matching SIM card number need to be provided to the carrier. The carrier also has multiple IP connection configuration options, the default (recommended) configuration is to use a Dynamic IP address that provides access to the internet through Verizon's "vzwinternet" APN. If additional security restrictions are required, a static IP address or a private network can be used, but will require changing the default, preconfigured APN within each product during setup.
4G Data Usage
If a 4G connection is used, it is most likely a metered connection. Although some unlimited data plans exist, most providers will charge a fixed amount per device for a fixed amount of data transfer, and multiple devices will be pooled together into a data usage total for the account’s monthly billing period. If the total usage of all devices exceeds the pooled total, overage charges will most likely apply. Ensure the terms of the provider agreement are understood. If needed, contact a Pro-Vision representative to help understand how it may affect product usage. To determine the estimated base device plan size (typically 5GB, 10GB, 20GB, etc.), each specific vehicle's product and usage must be factored into a calculation with a Pro-Vision representative.
CloudConnect is designed to store uploaded events and requested videos; the amount of uploaded/stored video is not limited. Normally recorded video on a device is not uploaded unless requested before it is overwritten on the device (time varies based on the device's onboard storage disk size). All requested and event video files are stored on the cloud and automatically kept for 60 days from the time of upload. Authorized users can lock/unlock files for deletion to keep past the 60-day retention period. There is a limited amount of locked storage available based on the number of devices on the account. An available report shows all files in locked storage, allowing easy unlocking to free up space as it approaches capacity. Authorized users can also download video files to store them for long-term archival purposes.
CloudConnect is designed to store uploaded events and requested videos; the amount of uploaded/stored video is not limited. Normally recorded video on a device is not uploaded unless requested before it is overwritten on the device (timing varies based on the onboard device storage disk size). All requested and event video files are stored on the cloud and automatically kept for 60 days from the time of upload. Authorized users can lock/unlock files for deletion to keep past the 60-day retention period. There is a limited amount of locked storage available based on the number of devices on the account. A system report is available that shows all files in locked storage. Unlocking storage can be easily done to free up space as it approaches capacity. Authorized users can also download video files and store them for long-term archival.
- Vehicle: Video is recorded and stored locally on a disk within the DVR mounted in the vehicle. The DVR is physically secured with a key-locked enclosure.
- Transfer: The DVR uses HTTPS to encrypt and transfer files over the internet to the CloudConnect cloud storage servers. Devices use either the customer’s secure Wi-Fi network or 4G for internet access.
- Storage: CloudConnect cloud storage servers are hosted on Microsoft Azure Commercial Cloud. All files are stored encrypted at rest using AES-256 (encryption). Best practices are used for encryption key management and all development team members follow strict security practices, including background checks, to meet US government CJIS compliance. Physical access to the servers at the cloud storage facility follows industry best practices. More information on storage and security practices is available from Microsoft Azure resources.
- Access: Authorized users can access the list of uploaded files over the web via a login protected interface. From there, the authorized users can view, download, or share files. When an authorized user requests to view, download, or share a file, a temporary access key is generated, allowing temporary access to the encrypted files. Files that are shared via email also have temporary access generated that expires after a (user) selected timeframe. CloudConnect has provisions to enforce customer-defined password requirements (length, symbols, case, characters) as well as automatic user lockout based on login attempts within a defined period. All user accounts require a validated email address before login.
The CloudConnect service relies on Microsoft Azure Government Cloud services for operation. Using Locally Redundant storage (LRS), three copies of data are always maintained and provide at least 99.999999999% (11 nines) data integrity. The database (Azure SQL) is fully backed up every week, differential backups are created every 24 hours, and transaction log backups are created (approximately) every 10 minutes. Backups are stored in geo-redundant storage blobs that are replicated to a paired region. Geo-redundancy helps protect against outages that affect backup storage in the primary region. It also allows restoration in a different region in the event of a regional outage. The front-end web application server is backed up (automatically) every hour. If an issue occurs, a new version can be deployed instantly, and changes can be rolled back at any point.
Maintenance and Updates
Releases containing updates and site changes are tested on a cloud staging environment prior to customer release. Releases are done regularly and are seamless to a customer’s operations. New releases are made to the site as needed, with approximately two updates pushed each month (based on the current roadmap).