The Video/Communications System

Real-time, color video capture and communications

Video/Communications System

The Video/Comm System is a complete, self-contained system upon which everything is built. The turnkey system includes everything needed to begin building a black water capable system. Included are all the components needed to view and capture video to the DVR, communicate with the Diver, and annotate the dive event.


The Video/Comm System is a complete, self-contained system that allows for hi-resolution, color video capture to a DVR and SSD (USB2.0), clear, full-duplex (bi-directional) digital audio communications, on-site lighting control, standard video format outputs, and on-screen text narration/overlay for complete event capture. It is the basis upon which the MudChaser™, Scrubber™, and Diver’s Display are added allowing both the diver and the support team to communicate with, immediately see, and directly record what the diver is “shooting” with the MudChaser™. While talking to the diver, the Video/Communications Unit (VCU) is continuously exchanging data, information, and function control with the diver’s Diver Control Unit (DCU). In this configuration, the Diver’s communications is achieved using the Interspiro full face AGA mask with integrated diver microphone and earphones. Other masks and audio comm’s systems could also be integrated per the User’s choice.


The Video System

Major Video System Components:

  1. VCU (w/DVR and 64GB SSD and headphones), and DCU (w/provisions for the H/MMD).
  2. Full-face mask and integrated audio comm’s system.
  3. 500ft dive cable and storage reel.
  4. A hi-Intensity LED lamp and high resolution color camera.
  5. Accessory and power cables.

Advantages and Benefits




  • Cost- effective, dual-purpose system – CLEAR and BLACK water conditions.
  • Completely integrated, turnkey system.
  • Project time/cost savings and efficiencies over yesterday’s technology.
  • Improved clarity in the delivered product quality to your Customer.
  • Enhanced Diver safety, information, situational awareness.

Integrated System


BWV bring to the commercial Diver and Contractor a fully integrated, turnkey, software configurable, easy-to-use system working just as well in either CLEAR or Turbid water conditions, integrating video capture/annotation, communications, Command/Control, and lighting while giving the Diver the ability to see/inspect via the helmet-mounted display.



For the budget-minded and forward-thinker, the basic clear water video system is expandable to meet the requirements if the commercial contractor incorporating selectable hot-mic or PTT voice communications, integrated DVR, lighting control, event annotation with text overlay, with provisions for helmet or mask-mounted display, and provisions for two black water penetrating techniques.

Two BW Options

Select Technique

Using either/both black water options, the real-time video image enhancement (LYYN™) and/or the MudChaser™/ Scrubber™ combo, the Contractor now has the option to select the technique that best meets the job requirements.

Diver Display

Info at all Times

With the helmet/mask- mounted display, the Diver now has the capabilities previously unavailable:

  • Increased safety through improved situational awareness.
  • Now has the ability to see what the MudChaser™ sees regardless of the turbidity conditions.
  • Immediate information and data about the system without having to take eyes off the target.

VCU Top Features & Benefits





A complete, plug ‘n play, fully integrated system. A complete, fully functional system that begins with both video and voice comm’s in a single package minimizing boxes and setup time.
No guessing, what-you-see-is-what-you-record system, displayed on a 10in, wide-screen, color LCD monitor. Completely integrated and no guessing, allows the contractor to focus on getting the job done quickly and efficiently.
Real-time, bi-directional digital voice/data communications, system control, and data/message exchange. Revolutionary way to communicate with and get data to/from the Diver.  Dynamic, adaptable, configurable capabilities, present both the Operator and the Diver with on-screen data/info to help do their job.
Integrated video captured to and played back from  the integrated Digital Video Recorder  (.mp4 format) and available in raw NTSC output recordable to a VTR. Flexible video capture capability to ensure the dive event is captured and documented in a format for digital editing or captured in analog video without digitized compression.
Typically comes with a 64GB external SSD capturing over 30+ hrs of video in digital format using an integrated file management program. Significant video storage is achieve in .mp4 format that is easily edited on  a User’s computer for post-video processing using nearly any 3rd party video editing software, such as Sony’s Vegas Video Editor software.
Compatible with 2- or 4-wire mask/helmet audio comm’s system. Keep your favorite helmet and comm’s technique.  Both 2- and 4-wire are supported with only a change in adapter cable.
Lighting control – Dual lighting (MudChaser and spare) controlled from either the console or the Diver, the high intensity (HI) LED dive light provide optimal white lighting, long life, and can be mounted where needed. As part of the complete turnkey system, on-site lighting control is fully integrated – the MudChaser™ lighting and provisions for an additional lamp.
Self-contained, transportable console may be powered by a wide-range of electrical sources. Small and feature-packed, with either 115V/60Hz or 230Vac/50Hz, the Video System can be powered from nearly any commercial power source in North America or Europe.
The integrated text on-screen (TOS) annotation of the event is implemented using BWV’s proprietary ScreenScribe™ user application. Running on an external Windows-based computer, ScreenScribe™ allows for easy, consistent, standardized event annotation of the dive, system configuration, and the option of select what data/info gets displays on either the VCU or the Diver’s Display.
Flexible Diver Display mounting provisions. The Diver Display can be mounted on either the Kirby-Morgan 27/37/57 helmets for commercial divers or nearly any full-face mask with connection points, such as the Interspiro AGA or the OTS Guardian mask.
Auxiliary/entertainment input. This feature allows background music to be “piped” to the diver to help reduce diver stress and monotony.
Video/Communications Unit Console 

Mounted in a compact transit case, the Video/Communications Unit (VCU) is at the core of the Video System.

Video/Comm SystemThe VCU consists of:

  • Processor-based system for communications, system configuration, and on-screen text information control.
  • Integrated DVR, with hand-held remote, holds over 30hrs+ of video and snapshot content (on a 64GB ext SSD).
  • 10” color display high resolution, dual-video input, wide-screen monitor. Separate brightness and contrast controls.
  • Controls: Power, lighting, separate headphone and speaker panel volume, Aux volume, PTT and Mute record,
    hand-held DVR remote control, and keypad (menu navigation and data entry).
  • 4W panel Diver channel audio amp and 4” speaker.
  • For playback, a separate 4W+4W playback audio amp and integrated speakers.
  • Circular panel connections:
    • Main Dive Cable – Contains lighting power, data line, and DCU power.
    • Accessories Cable – Contains DVR external memory over USB2.0 out, video and audio L&R output, headset
      (mic and headphones) input, Auxiliary audio input, ScreenScribe™ USB 2.0 input.
    • Power cable – Commercial North American 115Vac or European 230Vac input.
  • The top panel and controls, and indicators are weather sealed.
  • Fused AC input power (115Vac/60Hz or 230Vac/50Hz).
  • Operator headset with boom mic.
  • Environment features: The case will shed rain and the VCU panel is sealed to handle wave splashes and rain.

On-ScreenMenuNavigationOn-Screen Menu Navigation and System Configuration  

Through the on-screen menu system, the VCU can be configured, ScreenScribe templates downloaded, and other essential functions performed. 

Digital Audio Communications 

Allows for “full” duplex voice (and auxiliary/entertainment input for “iPod” music, etc.), information and bi-directional system control, bi-directional messaging, etc. all over twisted shielded pair(TSP). Open/hot mic or PTT operation is selectable. Through the on-screen menu, Operator may select either PTT operations or 3 modes of
hot/open mic communications to the diver.

Integrated DVR

  • The easy-to-use DVR core is controlled and navigated by a small hand-held remote control unit. Screen shots
    of the primary screens are shown below.
  • Composite Video is recorded in real-time and played back, Snapshots while recording or playback.
  • Capture in several resolutions onto an external Solid State Drive (SSD) for reliability and easy data transfer.
  • Videos are captured in .mp4 (H.264/ACC) file format.





lynn-videoLYYN Image Enhancement (Optional)

One option for light to medium turbid water conditions is the image enhancement LYYN video processing capability. Using the light illumination provided by the system, the LYYN image enhancement can be incorporated directly into the VCU for seamless video enhancement processing prior to video capture.

For more information on this capability, visit

ScreenScribe™ Software

The BWV-developed Windows®-based ScreenScribe™ software application which runs on the User’s computer, interfaces with the VCU to allow the annotation of the event and to text-overlay system information directly onto the video.


Diver Control Unit (DCU)

Diver Control Unit

  • The DCU is a microcontroller-based unit typically worn on the diver’s belt.
  • Voice, internal and external temperatures, diver depth, and digital compass data are collected and transmitted by the DCU processor to the VCU.
  • The DCU can be remotely configured for 2-wire (PTT) or 4-wire (open/hot mic) mask or helmet communication system.
  • The 3-button, positive tactile feel for H/MMD on-screen menu control allows for local and system function control.

Mask & Comm’s System

Full-Face Mask or Helmet Integrated Comm’s


  • Both the Interspiro AGA full-face mask (FFM) and the Kirby-Morgan 27/37/57 helmet comm’s have been integrated into the system.
  • Although a 4-wire audio comm’s system is preferred, allowing for normal conversation, the system is compatible with any 2- or 4-wire helmet communications.
  • For helmet systems, such as the Kirby Morgan 27/37/57 helmets, the same applies, as a 4-wire system allows for hot or open mic communications and the legacy 2-wire PTT communications is also supported.

Lighting Power

Variable power is provided to the hi-intensity LED lamp, but may also drive a low voltage halogen lamp, if needed.



  • Any cable length in increments of 100ft may be purchased up to 1000ft, however, common lengths of 300ft and 500ft are standard. The three whip connections are: the DCU, the MudChaser™ (Camera and lighting), and one additional lighting.
  • The cable contains all the necessary electrical lines to support the full-duplex, digitized voice and data transmissions, system power, and variable lighting.
  • The cable is stored, deployed, and recovered on a Cox Reel locking, manual crank, corrosion-resistant, powder-coated reel. The system may be purchased without the reel.
  • Fabricated from durable, polyethylene materials, waterproof connectors, and gold-plated contacts, the cable will provide long-life rugged durability. The Kellum grip at the diver’s end allows for attachment to the dive belt.


Unit Function Specifications
VCU Console Power Input 120Vac/60Hz; 240Vac/50Hz
Size 18.5”w x 14.25”D x 7”H
Weight 25.5lbs (includes Power and Accessory cables)
Power ~155W
Panel Controls Power: Switch, Indicator, Fuse
Variables: Aux Input, Headphone volume, panel spkr volume, Dive lighting
Switches: PTT, record mute, keypad
Display 10″ LED monitor w/separate control panel
Playback Audio 4W+4W playback audio and volume control
Panel Speaker 4”
Cable Connections
     J1 – Dive Cable
     J3 – Accessories
     J4 – AC Input
(See below)
Audio L&R Lineout, Color Video (NTSC) Out, Mic In, Headphones out, USB(ScreenScribe™ Programming), Ext DVR memory (over USB2.0), AUX Input
120Vac/60Hz; 240Vac/50H
Headphones and boom mic Padded, full-ear cups, weather-resistant vinyl, w/integrated boom mic, and 6ft long cable, 3.5mm connector
Dive Cable 500ft Comm’s to the DCU, video, and lighting control, 1000lb tensile strength, hard polyurethane jacket
Reel Standard: 2-section storage reel, manual tale-up
Optional: Powered take-up reel (120Vac)
DCU Diver Control Unit Processor and system control unit, text/data overlay onto the live video stream
Size 6.25”L x 4.5”W x 2.2”H (includes connectors)
Weight ~1.7lbs (dry weight)
Power Powered by the VCU
Lamp LED (1) LED high intensity, 0-24Vdc, 10,000hr life LED Lamp
Camera CCD Camera 480 lines, 0.01lux sensitivity, color, NTSC composite video out
Mask & Audio Comms FFM & Audio Comms Standard: Interspiro FFM, earphones, microphone audio system
Optional: Other mask or helmet comm systems may be substituted and integrated