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Recommendation: Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Digital Video Export Profile - Level 0 (Revision 1)



Lawrence D. Nadel, Mary T. Laamanen, Michael D. Garris, Craig S. Russell


This document updates and replaces NISTIR 8161. This revised recommendation continues to focus on storing metadata to support video analytics. At the FBI's request, NIST conducted research and developed NISTIR 8161 as a recommendation to address the FBI's minimum interoperability requirements for the exporting and exchange of video recordings captured by closed circuit television (CCTV) digital video recording (DVR) systems. NIST termed these requirements "Level 0". Subsequently, NIST shared its findings and recommendations with video industry hardware and software manufacturers, and the relevant standards community. This led to NIST collaborating with the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF) to enhance their Export File Format Specification to support the essential functionality of NISTIR 8161. Working with ONVIF has improved the likelihood of industry's adaptation to law enforcement requirements. Additionally, ONVIF contributed its Export File Format Specification to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for inclusion in IEC 62676-2-32, Video surveillance systems for use in security applications - Part 2-32: Recording control and replay based on web services (expected publication mid-2019). NIST recommends industry implementation of the ONVIF and IEC standards noted above. These standards provide acceptable alternative implementation approaches to what NIST proposed in NISTIR 8161 for recording and storing time information. The standards also provide additional useful capabilities including the recording of additional metadata and a means to ensure data integrity and chain of custody using a digital signature. The recommendations provided in this document are intended to support law enforcement investigations. This document was prepared by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and in conjunction with the CCTV / DVR community.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - NISTIR 8161 rev1
Report Number
NISTIR 8161 rev1


CCTV, codec, digital video, export file, H.264, interoperability, law enforcement investigation, MP4, ONVIF, timestamp, video analytics, video recording, video standards, video surveillance


Nadel, L. , Laamanen, M. , Garris, M. and Russell, C. (2019), Recommendation: Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Digital Video Export Profile - Level 0 (Revision 1), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created April 7, 2019, Updated March 1, 2021