Nick Erpelding at SRF Consulting Group pointed out to me that Jamar Technologies is advertising on the back of the ITE Journal that you can upgrade the firmware on a TDC Ultra count board to count in Video Mode. The ad claims you can toggle the speed faster/slower as well as pause a count.
Sounds a lot like our fully integrated COUNTpad/PC-TAS system. The faster/slower/pause buttons on the COUNTpad control the video speed and pausing of the video real time. The TDC Ultra is not wired into the computer like our COUNTpad though. It's my understanding you have to be pushing a faster/slower button on your keyboard at the same time you're pushing the faster/slower button on the TDC Ultra to make this work accurately. This seems very awkward to me and I really can't envision doing a busy count where you're fingers are flying to do the count while also pushing a slowdown button simultaneously on the TDC Ultra and your computer keyboard.
I used Jamar equipment for the first ten years of Traffic Data Inc's existence before I branched out with using the Pico Count 2500 tube counter and developing our own video system. They used to lead the industry with their traffic counting gear and their stuff worked as advertised.
Anyone out there using Jamar's Video Mode? I'd love to do a user group where we compared the COUNTpad system versus the Jamar Video Mode system.
p.s. Here's some clarification from Mike Overholt at Jamar. And I'd still like to see a user group test each of our systems side by side.
Under normal operations the TDC Ultra automatically keeps track of the time and stores the data at the end of the interval. In Video mode, the user has control over when to end the current interval and start the new one. There is no ticking clock on the Ultra so the user can go as slow or fast as they want in recording data and even take breaks if need be. The key is that when they reach the end of a time interval (usually 15 minutes) they press a key combination on the Ultra and it immediately jumps to the next interval. So, all the user needs is a video that shows time, tell the video to play at the speed they want, then count with the Ultra. A detailed explanation can be found at http://www.jamartech.com/TMBs-video.html.
My intent in pointing this ad out to Mike was to let him know where I thought the PC-TAS system has an advantage over using a counterboard (JAMAR or otherwise). Rather than having to watch the screen to know when to go to the next interval, (hopefully the time is stamped on the video!) the PC-TAS system keeps track of time on the video so you can focus on counting.
From my experience, I had no problem finding cameras to time stamp the file. Either as an overlay with playback or for it to be hardcoded into the file. I do agree that having both integrated would be great.