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Samsung Techwin Beyond 1280H offers 1000TVL recording with analog systems

Samsung Techwin Beyond 1280H offers 1000TVL recording with analog systems

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 8/20/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Samsung Techwin's new Beyond 1280H series of 1000 TV Lines analogue cameras are equipped as standard with a long list of innovative and technically advanced features which until now, users might have only expected to see built into IP network cameras.

To ensure that customers can gain maximum benefit from the outstanding quality images captured by the eight new analogue models, Samsung Techwin has also introduced new high performance 4, 8 and 16 channel Beyond DVRs which can simultaneously record the extremely high quality 1000 TV lines images in real time across all their channels.

“We have introduced the new Beyond 1280H series of analogue cameras and DVRs in support of those many thousands of CCTV users across Europe who want to cost effectively extend the life of their existing analogue systems,” said Tim Biddulph, Product Manager for the Security Solution division of Samsung Techwin Europe Ltd. “Whilst widespread adoption of video over IP is inevitable, there is nevertheless an almost countless number of existing analogue CCTV systems which are working satisfactorily. End-users may however now need identification grade images which their existing analogue cameras cannot deliver. The good news is that the Beyond series is fully interoperable with current, existing and legacy analogue systems.”

Many of the new highly competitively priced models feature enhanced Wide Dynamic Range which, with performance greater than 120dB, can accurately produce images in scenes that simultaneously contain very bright and very dark areas. They are also equipped with SSNR IV, Samsung Techwin's new generation of noise reduction technology, to deliver high resolution images in night time conditions without any smear or “ghosting”. Other key features include various forms of video analytics, and defog which can improve the clarity of images captured in poor weather conditions such as rain, smoke or fog.

Beyond DVRs
In addition to the Beyond 4 channel SRD-476D, 8 channel SRD-876D and 16 channel SRD-1676D, which can all record 1000 TV lines images in real time across all of their channels, Samsung Techwin has also introduced the 16 channel SRD-1656D, which has the ability to record in real time, CIF quality images captured by connected cameras. De-Interlace support on each channel ensures sharp, accurate display of still images.

All four new Beyond DVRs, which have a single channel audio output, offer the flexibility to separately configure each of their channels to make best use of the available storage capacity by enabling users to set the specific image quality/resolution required for each camera location. With the exception of the 4 channel SRD-476D which has a single internal HDD, the Beyond series of DVRS have four internal SATA HDDs and each provide the option for extra video storage via two external SATA ports.

The Beyond DVRs benefit from a new ultra user friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface) and offer authorised users the option to remotely view live or recorded video from a PC or any Android or IOS supported smartphone or tablet via Samsung Techwin's license-free SSM, SmartViewer or iPOLiS Mobile monitoring software. A built-in web viewer offers enhanced compatibility via Chrome, Explorer and Safari.

The new cameras and domes in the Beyond 1280H series are:
* SCB-5003 WDR 1280H bodied camera
* SCB-5000 1280H bodied camera
* SCD-5083 WDR 1280H Dome Camera
* SCD-5080 1280H Dome Camera
* SCV-5083 1280H WDR Vandal-Resistant Dome Camera
* SCV-5080 1280H Vandal-Resistant Dome Camera
* SCD-5083R 1280H WDR IR Dome Camera
* SCV-5083R Vandal-Resistant WDR IR Dome Camera

Collectively the first eight new models are designed to offer solutions for a wide range of applications and environments from offices, retail stores, schools and hospitals and warehouses, to more challenging environments such as airports, ports, transport facilities, car parks and town centres.

Dahua HDCVI: More international and more adoptable

Dahua HDCVI: More international and more adoptable

Editor / Provider: Erica Lin | Updated: 8/13/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Dahua Technology confirms that it has opened its patented HDCVI technology to the global video surveillance industry through the HDcctv Alliance Member Intellectual Property Agreement. Since 2013, Dahua HDCVI has been highly expected as the one of the most potential HD solutions for analogy users.

The announcement is regarded as a significant step for Dahua to turn this patented technology into international standard of the industry. According to Tim Shen, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology, it is the first time for Dahua to address the market with the key message that Dahua patented HDCVI technology is, not merely official HDcctv AT2.0 compliant, also an international standard — ready, and open for the industry. As Dahua 720p and 1080p HDCVI solutions are the only available solutions by now, the idea is to increase its volume in popularizing the applications.

Secondly, by opening this patent to semiconductor manufacturers and equipment makers, it is expected to increase the interoperability among different brands of cameras and DVRs with the join of chip makers. “The partnership with HDcctv Alliance is long-term and still progressing,” Tim added. Dahua and HDcctv Alliance continue developing and upgrading the AT2.0 to AT3.0 for more mature and wider application.

EverFocus to showcase brand new solution at Security Essen 2014

EverFocus to showcase brand new solution at Security Essen 2014

Editor / Provider: EverFocus | Updated: 8/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

EverFocus is prepared for exhibiting at Security Essen from 23rd – 26th September 2014. On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Security Essen broadcasts more than 1,000 exhibitors from 40 countries and trade visitors from 115 countries are expected to meet in Essen.

This year, EverFocus plans to demonstrate open platform Central Management Software (CMS), Genie XMS, which is designed with a flexible architecture to offer large scale integration scalability. This surveillance management system is able to connect any devices or systems including IP cameras, DVRs, NVRs, access control, LPR and POS systems. Web pages or messages can also be displayed on the live view screen. The live view layout can be arranged in any form end users desired. Any systems can be modularized and integrated into Genie XMS as the customer wish!

The newly unveiled technology, eZ Tracker, will also be highlighted at EverFocus' booth. The eZ Tracker is designed for wide-area surveillance without compromising optimal image quality. Combining EverFocus network fisheye camera (EFN series) and EverFocus network speed dome camera (EPN series), this technology can be easily operated using a mouse. Click a desired location on the 360° surround view from the fisheye camera and the speed dome camera will be exactly triggered to track the location. Users can then utilize the smooth PTZ function on the speed dome camera view to zoom in or focus on a region of interest. Meanwhile, users can also monitor all the movements from the 360° surround view.

Moreover, EverFocus will showcase the innovative gadget, IP Sidekick (ESK1000), which is a simple, quick solution for IP-based camera installation. Equipped with PoE and Wi-Fi networking, the Sidekick allows users to view any PoE IP camera live views through browsers over iOS / Android mobile devices for camera adjustment. Users can also install EverFocus Sidekick App to instantly display the live views of all EverFocus IP cameras.

Another highlight will go to the Universal DVR. EverFocus EPHD16+U, an embedded Linux-based universal DVR, comes with 16-channel HD-SDI and analog video inputs. This product supports video signals from D1, 960H, 720P to 1080P in one single DVR and also features triple streams for live view, playback and recording. The EPHD16+U supports recording 480 (NTSP) / 400 (PAL) frames per second at 1080P, and can be played back 16 channels of HD-SDI recordings simultaneously. The model also supports RS-485 serial interface, 2 USB interfaces and 1 RJ45 (10/100/1000) Base-T Ethernet interface. Other than that, the EPHD16+U can be expanded up to 7 SATA devices (6 SATA HDDs and 1 eSATA), ensure the large capacity of the HD-SDI video recordings.

According to Aska Liu, Deputy Project Manager of EverFocus, since EverFocus has already provided a comprehensive product lineup, including IP, HD-SDI and analog hardware devices. The EPHD16+U can take all signals, no matter HD-SDI, 960H, or D1. Moreover, EverFocus also provides mobile apps, which allow users to view the HD-SDI camera streams via their mobile devices (iOS or Android platforms). The ease of high-quality and high-definition video is the most important piece. Users can take the HD-SDI video and record it in 1080P, see the HD-SDI video remotely or locally.

Except the above solutions, EverFocus will also demonstrate the Mobile and Access Control solutions on-site at EverFocus' booth, Hall 2.0 Stand 215.

Banking on enhanced security, business with intelligent video

Banking on enhanced security, business with intelligent video

Editor / Provider: Willam Pao, a&s International | Updated: 8/7/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Security has long been the primary focus of management at banks. But security aside, banks are also looking for ways to reach out to more potential customers and get business from them. Intelligent video offers a solution for both objectives: modern video analytics helps banks fight crimes more easily, at the same time enabling them to identify who their potential customers are and how to get to them.

No other verticals need surveillance more than banks, which process a humongous amount of money daily and are constantly faced with the need to secure themselves against robberies and fraudsters who steal money with more complex schemes. In fact, fraud has become quite costly for banks around the world. According to the European ATM Security Team, total ATM-related fraud incidents increased from 20,244 in 2011 to 22,450 in 2012, and losses resulting from these incidents rose by 13% from US$318.2 million to $360.4 million. As for the U.S., the Secret Service reports $8.5 billion is lost annually through credit card fraud schemes, including ATM skimming.

Fraudulent activities are indeed issues that banks have to deal with on a regular basis. Skimming, or the capturing of users' bank card and PIN numbers via skimming devices and pinhole cameras strategically installed on ATMs, is quite rampant. “Catch Me If You Can” type of deals, where fraudsters cash fake checks at different bank branches, also happens from time to time.

While banks have been using video surveillance for quite a while, traditional technologies only offer a reactive solution — investigating events after they happen. But now, with more intelligence in video solutions, banks can take a more proactive approach for crime detection and prevention. For example, through VCA, or analytics, bank security personnel can detect loitering, objects left behind in a facility, unauthorized personnel entry, ATM skimming, and other security breaches and do something about it. “Banks are becoming more aware of these benefits.

Security directors and other stakeholders are exploring how they can leverage these benefits to other departments and users within their organization,” said Jim Moran, Product Management Director of Intelligent DVRs at Verint Systems.

CRACKING DOWN ON FRAUD
As fraudulent transactions at ATMs happen frequently, VCA solutions are available to help banks deal with them. For example, someone loitering at the ATM area but not making any transactions may be up to something, for instance trying to pull a skimming scheme. An alarm would then be sent to relevant authorities who can take actions. “A video analytics solution can effectively monitor people or vehicles loitering in a specific area around the ATM. The solutions now also have the intelligence to detect people running through a scene, which can be a sign of suspicious behavior following an incident,” said Daniel Wan, Channel Marketing Manager for UK & IRE at Honeywell Security Group.

By linking surveillance video with transaction data, stealing money from ATMs can be investigated with more ease and facility. Just enter the account number from which the money was stolen, and the system will return images of all ATM withdrawals associated with that account number over a certain period. This will enable fraud investigators to easily spot withdrawals by someone not associated with that account. If facial recognition is included in the solution, the system would immediately pull all images of the suspect visiting the branch over a period, say a month, instead of having the investigator examine piles upon piles of videos. “Supposed there are 36 cameras at a branch, times one month, that's about 26,000 hours of videos,” said Masa Karahashi, Senior VP of Engineering at 3VR. “If I didn't have facial recognition, there's no way I could look for videos where a specific person comes up.”

And intelligent video solutions do not just end at the ATM vestibule. What's going on inside the bank can also be monitored and analyzed by VCA to guard against fraud. Typically, fraudsters cash bogus checks in amounts too small for banks to take further actions. The fraudster then goes to other banks and does the same thing. Again, incidents like these underscore the importance of VCA with facial recognition, which can capture the face of the suspect and call up all videos in which the suspect has appeared over a particular period of time. This will facilitate the investigation and prosecution procedures by law enforcement officials.

What's more, video surveillance at banks not only clamps down on fraud, the mere presence of it serves as a visual deterrent that tells potential fraudsters “We're watching you.” “For example, some banks use public view monitors that display the camera images to show customers they are being recorded,” said Moran. “There is also signage advising customers of video surveillance.”

DRIVING BUSINESS
Besides security, video analytics also helps banks in another major way — driving business. Thanks to VCA, video solutions at banks can analyze the length of queues, the gender and age of ATM users, and other behavior exhibited by customers. These data can help banks reach out to more people and enhance the overall banking experience.

It goes without saying that banks have a pretty good idea of who their customers are. But what about ATM users who are not customers? With ATMs so seamlessly connected to each other across the world, it's quite common that customers of a particular bank withdraw money from another bank's ATM. This represents a good opportunity for banks to reach out to potential customers through ads that appear on ATM screens, yet oftentimes these non-customer ATM users are left ignored and untargeted.

“Without the age and gender information of the customers, they would be showing an advertisement randomly. When I use ATMs from another bank, I've seen ATM showing me an ad for reverse mortgage,” said Karahashi. “I'm not even done paying for my primary mortgage, so I don't need a reverse mortgage. But if they know my approximate age and gender, then they could be showing a more relevant ad like ‘would you like to refinance,‘ or that kind of advertisement.”

This is where analytics comes in. VCA-enabled solutions can determine ATM users' gender and possible age. Ads or messages that the system considers are suitable for them would then either pop up on the ATM screen or show up on their receipts to get their attention. Customer behavior can also be analyzed by VCA to help banks develop better sales or marketing strategies. “If there are promotional signs or offers on display in a particular branch, such as home equity loans advertisements, intelligent video can be used to observe whether customers are viewing and responding to these in-store promotions or walking right past them,” said Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing, Financial Services, and Government at Tyco Integrated Security. “With this type of data, banks can re-position in-store advertising and monitor if these locations receive better response rates.”

Last but not least, the overall banking experience can improve with intelligent video solutions, which, for example, can determine when a line is too long. “Nothing puts off customers like a snaking queue up the middle of the store. Again, video analytics normally applied for security purposes can provide a bank manager with a way of tracking the buildup of queues and alerting the relevant staff accordingly in order to ensure customers are served in a timely fashion,” Wan said.

INTELLIGENCE MATTERS
Intelligent video, with its advanced analytical capabilities, is the perfect fit for banks, which need these capabilities to pinpoint and track down criminals. On top of that, intelligent video solutions help banks reach out to more people and enhance the overall banking experience. The next time you see a promotional message popping up on the ATM machine that somehow fits you perfectly, chances are that's analytics at work.

Georgia State University upgrades access control system with Tyco

Georgia State University upgrades access control system with Tyco

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 8/5/2014 | Article type: Education

Georgia State University (GSU) is centered in historic downtown Atlanta. Its urban surroundings provide approximately 32,000 students with a distinguished education, as well as access to the city's government, culture, and business organizations. The University is considered a commuter school with 61 percent of first-year students living on campus and 17 percent of all undergraduates living on campus.

Since 1913, the University has seen significant growth. GSU built its first student housing facility in 2007 and, since then, has continually built and expanded its student housing facilities to include five different locations and 9 buildings for more than 4,000 students.

Roderick Padilla, assistant director of IT services at GSU and a 23-year veteran employee of the University, recalls a time when access control was just keys. “Two decades ago, campus security was dramatically different,” Padilla said. “I remember when you would have keys out there and wouldn't know who had them or how many people had the masters, the sub-masters and the sub-sub-masters. But, of course, with better IT and physical security, things have come a long way.”

Today, GSU has the largest campus police department of any school in the state with more than 100 employees. The challenge for the University is securing its urban campus, where students, as well as strangers, can walk the grounds. Campus housing includes extensive surveillance equipment, turnstiles and gates to get into each facility, card readers in elevators to limit access to certain floors, and parking decks with readers and access gates. With a growing student population, an urban environment, and increased incidents of campus and school violence around the country, campus security is particularly important at Georgia State.

GSU has a diverse mix of student housing locations to secure, which encompasses a variety of newly built and purchased conversions. An 1,100-occupancy dormitory named Piedmont North, for example, was once back-to-back hotels built for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. A Greek housing area with multiple buildings was built in 2010, and its first and largest dormitory called University Commons, (which was once named the 3rd Most Luxurious dormitory in the country by The Fiscal Times) houses 2,000 students and is open year round.

Challenge
Though keys have not been the primary source of access control in GSU's housing facilities for some time, the University was looking to upgrade its existing access control system due to a number of issues, including lack of integration capabilities and product support.

“We really wanted to replace our proprietary system with an open source system--something that would work with all the cameras and other equipment we have,” said Padilla. An open platform was particularly important to Padilla, as he wanted to limit the amount of equipment that would need to be replaced. The IT Services Department oversees a security area worth about $1.7 million in assets for student housing, including turnstiles, gates, 50 DVRs, more than 720 cameras, 25 access control panels and 150 card readers.

Solution
Working with a Tyco Security Products sales representative and GSU's integrator of seven-plus years, LMI Systems, the department decided on Software House's C.CURE 9000 security and event management system. Because of its open platform design, most of the existing equipment the University had did not need to be replaced. The University could capitalize on its existing physical security and surveillance, as well as increase the capabilities of the system with better integration and features. Some controllers were easily upgraded using Software House's Legacy Controller Upgrade Kits, which allow legacy controllers to be updated to an iSTAR Edge controller, without replacing the existing wall mounts.

“One of the factors that made the decision easy for [GSU] was that their peripherals didn't have to change,” said Heath Hunt, vice president of technology operations at LMI Systems. “It's more cost-effective when you are talking about just head-end equipment and software changes.”

Aside from an access control solution that would work with the University's existing security equipment, GSU was looking for a solution with superior reporting capabilities. “The reporting is exactly what we wanted,” Padilla said. “I can go to an entry log for any access card and see the recent history for a particular card or user as well as who gave the person access to that card. I didn't have that ability before and it's exactly what we need.”

With multiple Hall Directors and other staff members that are able to create cards for student residents, reliable audit trails and reporting features are essential for the security staff. For example, if a Hall Director creates a new card for a student whose card was lost, but forgets to flag the previous card as lost, anyone walking around the campus could pick up the card and have access to areas they are not allowed. With C?CURE 9000, GSU security staff can run daily reports on any users with more than one active card and immediately deactivate the card, as well as find out who created the card without flagging the old one, and bring that to the necessary staff member's attention to correct the mistake in the future.

“Another benefit is if someone tries to use a flagged card, not only will the card not work, but the system tells us someone is trying to use the card,” Padilla said. The software's integration with GSU's surveillance equipment even gives GSU PD a visual on the person.

“We didn't have good integration between our access control and cameras before,” Padilla explained. “We really wanted this critical enhancement to be able to pull video with an access event. These are key issues because students lose their cards all the time and being in the city of Atlanta, this is an open campus. The safety and security of the students is of utmost importance,” he said. Receiving the surveillance video from an event allows for quick, informed responses from staff and police in a variety of scenarios and emergencies beyond a lost card, Padilla said.

Aside from the importance of the solution's capabilities, timing was a big factor for Georgia State University. GSU's IT Services Department began talking about a new access control solution in the spring and needed to be sure everything would be installed over the summer and fully operational before fall classes were back in session.

LMI Systems had the system ready to go within three weeks and spent the summer migrating each housing facility and working on any issues. “It was a seamless transition,” said Padilla. “We didn't have to replace the cards since they were all fully compatible with the new system. It was a matter of recreating the access rights and exporting all the data.”

GSU closed all of its student housing facilities over the summer, with the exception of its largest residence hall, University Commons. Summer access cards were pre-created with access rights and University Commons was on the new system immediately. The rest of the summer was spent focusing on the other buildings with minimal disruption, said Padilla.

Future
With the new access control system up and running at GSU, the University can now focus on the future. While the current system uses access control to enter the resident facilities, Padilla would like to expand card access to individual rooms as well, for the next dormitory the University builds.

In addition, at some point, GSU would like to move to a one-card system, according to Padilla. Currently, students have separate housing cards, library cards and vending/ID cards. “We're not quite ready to do that yet, and I don't know exactly how we will decide to do that, but the student housing solution has been successful, so maybe it will serve as that benchmark we need for the rest of the University,” Padilla added.

Hikvision launches Turbo HD analog solution

Hikvision launches Turbo HD analog solution

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 7/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Analog CCTV users can now enjoy HD resolution while safeguarding their investment in existing cabling infrastructure with Hikvision's launch of its Turbo HD Analog solution. This revolutionary technology supports latency-free 1080P HD over up-to 500 metres of coaxial cable and offers seamless compatibility with traditional SD cameras, Hikvision IP cameras and HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. At launch, the Turbo HD product family consists of a comprehensive, 32-strong range of Hikvision DVRs and 720P/1080P cameras, including Bullet, Dome, PTZ Dome, Turret, Vari-focal, Vandalproof and Low-Light units.

HD Performance at 1080P/720P
The Hikvision Turbo HD product family is based on HDTVI (High Definition Transport Video Interface) technology and is ideally suited to upgrading existing standard definition systems at low cost. It retains the ease-of-use of an analog system while offering up to 1080P HD video output.

Open HDTVI Technology for 3rd Party Device Compatibility
All Hikvision Turbo HD products adhere to the HDTVI open standard, which guarantees trouble-free connection to other HDTVI-compliant cameras and DVRs. The Hikvision Turbo HD DVRs can also connect with traditional SD analog cameras and all Hikvision Turbo HD cameras can access third party DVRs equipped with HDTVI technology from other manufacturers.

Tribrid System – Futureproof by Combining Turbo HD, Analog and IP
The Hikvision Turbo HD DVR offers simultaneous connections to network, analog and Turbo HD cameras, auto-detecting the incoming signal and recording accordingly. This means that existing systems can be upgraded simply by replacing the current cameras and DVR while new areas may be covered with the addition of IP network cameras.

Up-to 500m HD Transmission via Coaxial Cable
Hikvision HDTVI technology guarantees up-to 500 meters of high-quality and reliable transmission at 720P / 1080P via coaxial cable. A conventional analog solution will struggle to achieve this resolution while HD-SDI solutions are limited in terms of long distance capability. This makes Hikvision Turbo HD a perfect solution to fit all requirements. In addition, the Turbo HD Analog solution supports UTC for remote set-up and configuration, and enables control of the OSD menu and PTZ control via coaxial cable. This means that users no longer have to go to the camera to make changes and enables much faster and easier camera installation and management.

According to Keen Yao, International Marketing Director of Hikvision, “Turbo HD is a hi-tech tour-de-force in zero-latency, long distance HD-over-coax that demonstrates our commitment to pushing the boundaries of CCTV technology. Until recently, the only option for HD CCTV resolution was the wholesale adoption of IP cameras and their associated technology. Now, with the launch of the Hikvision Turbo HD Analog solution, users can enjoy 720P/1080P without even upgrading to IP or even replacing their existing cabling structure.”

Dahua roadshow in Italy strengths local presence with Videotrend

Dahua roadshow in Italy strengths local presence with Videotrend

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 7/28/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Dahua Technology  held a road show in Milan, Italy, partnering with local distributor Videotrend S.r.l. in early July.

The event attracted more than a hundred installers attended, coming from or at the adjacency of Milan. At the event, Dahua and Videotrend jointly introduced to the audience the latest products, including complete HDCVI solution, eco-savvy network cameras and video door phone system. During the event attendees also had hand-on experiences.

Dahua's complete HDCVI portfolio, which includes cameras, Tri-brid DVRs, transmission devices, converters as well as matrix, had attracted high attention. Besides, Tri-brid DVR is compatible with three signals — analog, IP as well as HDCVI, allowing HDCVI to be integrated with more possibilities and solving interoperability issue to facilitate the technology adoption in the industry.

“We are very satisfied about results that we reach with our partner Dahua,” said Mr Pasquale Totaro, President of Videotrend. “It's a natural result for company that work with passion and right cooperation and this 100 people think the same with us.”

“Exactly,” said Elmer Zhang, Sales Director of Europe at Dahua Technology. “We appreciate this good partnership and will continue to go on the tour this summer in Italy, next stop is Naples, after that, we will try to reach more cities, to let more people know Dahua by talking to them by face to face meet-ups.”

EverFocus's great leap forward: eZ Hopper

EverFocus's great leap forward: eZ Hopper

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by EverFocus | Updated: 7/7/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

EverFocus recently introduced an innovative function, eZ Hopper, for new series of DVRs/NVRs, allowing users to control up to 16 connected DVRs / NVRs in the same LAN network with just one single mouse.

This breakthrough feature will bring great benefits to the traditional small and medium-sized surveillance system. For traditional DVR/NVR users who want to expand the surveillance system, a costly Central Monitoring Software (CMS) and the time-consuming training can be a great burden. However, adopting the CMS solution is no longer the only way to scale up, EverFocus' newly developed function, eZ Hopper, is going to help you solve this problem.

The eZ Hopper is designed and developed upon the current DVR/NVR codebase, users do not need to learn any other complex configurations in order to manage the whole surveillance system, neither spend great setup cost and time. You just need to set up one DVR or NVR to be the Main Server, and the rest to be the Sub Servers. Simply connect a mouse to the Main Server, and then you will be able to move its cursor across all the connected monitors of the Main and Sub Servers and control their OSD menus respectively.

For the customers who currently are EverFocus' DVR/NVR users, they can simply upgrade to the new firmware and enjoy this powerful and flexible function. For the customers who would like to have a traditional small and medium-sized surveillance system but withdraw from using the CMS because of a considerable expanse and complicated operations, EverFocus' DVR/NVR coupled with the eZ Hopper function will definitely be more applicable and appealing.

How much does cost reduction really cost you?

How much does cost reduction really cost you?

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang, a&s Consultant | Updated: 7/2/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Production cost and the sophistication of security equipment are directly related; therefore, the more the manufacturers try to lower the cost of raw materials used in circuit designs, the more performance problems arise. There are two areas where these measures are commonly observed: circuit materials and designs, and peripheral equipment. This article delves into problems with material cost reduction for circuit materials and designs.

Some dishonest manufacturers simply claim that they choose different materials to optimize the interoperability of different components. However, the ugly truth is that it is done to “lower” the total production cost. Material substitutions can occur in all components, from resistors and chips to single or layered circuit boards, wiring connectors, relay designs, voltage stabilizers, and many more. Likewise, the external casing material, paint selection, fans and jacks used are also possible places to make alterations. But as mentioned above, these alterations are done to lower costs in order to boost competitiveness, despite the serious impact it has on product performance.

THE PROBLEMS COMING FROM MATERIAL SELECTION
Some problems surface quickly, while others only emerge due to the influences of certain environmental or operational factors. Nevertheless, any problem is a headache for users and integrators. Below are some common problems resulting from production cost reductions.

Lenses
For lenses, cost reductions usually happen with the replacement of the metal molding components with plastic materials. As a result, two problems arise:

A. The lens may or may not be tightly sealed with the rest of the camera due to its elasticity. Plastic molds may lose elasticity, shrink, curve in, or curl up with time, or even worse, change shape as temperatures change. This is almost impossible to avoid with plastic, which affects the accuracy of focal alignment.

B. In addition, without a piece of metal that serves as adequate grounding, external electromagnetic signals can easily interfere with the auto-iris lens and damage the signal output, leaving interference lines on images.

Cameras
The makeup of a camera involves complex circuit and structural designs, including optics, electric wirings, mechanical structures, network modules, and many more. Hence, cost reduction measures to substitute these components may create the following problems:

A. Traditionally, security cameras use a sophisticated locking screw ring to adjust the back focus through rotation. To cut down costs, some manufacturers use a metal strip or loosen/tighten the screws to stabilize the back focus. These substitutions do save on production costs, but over time cause cameras to easily become “out of focus” due to vibrations, requiring further manual adjustment by the installer.

B. To save on costs related to circuit boards, some manufacturers combine the imaging sensor and the DSP/ISP into a single double-layered and double-sided board. Because two individual boards have been shrunk down into one, three problems may occur:

1. Crowded soldering on a circuit board could result in solder skipping or false soldering and could even lead to a short circuit.

2. The simplified board design allows IP cameras to become smaller as a whole; however, as the size gets smaller, the heat dissipation mechanism can be compromised.

3. The overcrowding of the pieces of components on the circuit board makes it difficult to maintain or repair. Therefore, instead of repairing a broken circuit board, the manufacturer would just replace it with a new one. It is a faster solution, but it can take a great toll on installers' maintenance service.

C. Unless the camera uses power over Ethernet (PoE), to lower the production cost, some manufacturers may simply change its AC/DC power supply to switching mode power supply (SMPS) and simplify the interior power module and voltage stabilizer at the same time. Three problems could surface as a result:

1. Voltage and current flow could be very unstable and fluctuate wildly, thus overheating and damaging the camera.

2. When the external power supply becomes too heavy, the surge protection device (SPD) can be easily penetrated; cameras designed with the substitution or elimination of SPDs or lightning arresters are at greater risk of such damage.

3. In case of lightning strikes, the SMPS could become so sensitive that it would pick up the lightning-induced current and cause damage to the circuit board, which may be too vulnerable to handle strong currents.

D. When downgrading electronic components, electrical connections and transmissions in the interior of a camera can be problematic, leading to impedance mismatching to 75Ω. As a consequence, the images shown can be overlapping, too bright, and full of jittery OSD or noise lines.

E. Some manufacturers may eliminate the output of video (CVBS) signals or switch the BNC connector to the cheaper RCA jack, even in some network cameras without automatic focus. It may cause a short circuit or loose connection of the BNC connector. Because there is no CVBS output in the camera, installers may spend extra time adjusting the camera focus.

F. To substitute the coding component in IP cameras, there are two kinds of common selections: application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and field programmable gate array (FPGA). ASIC is advantageous in terms of achieving low power consumption, but it still has some shortcomings. Therefore, the cheaper FPGA chip is also favorable as it can contribute to a shorter product development period. But FPGA can take up high power consumption, as much as a 30mA current — that's almost 1 or 2 scales higher than the common power consumption level.

G. For PTZ cameras, it is common to see the gear wheel replaced with cheaper chains. As a result, both the horizontal and vertical tilting becomes less smooth and the chains may easily break or fall out of place. Furthermore, when the cradle head stops moving, the chains can exert a kickback force that could shift the camera's pre-determined angles.

H. Another component on a PTZ camera that is easily substituted is the capacitor. A lower-grade capacitor can cause inaccurate cradle head movements and can burn up due to inadequate rotations.

MOTHERBOARDS OF DVRS/NVRS
A. DVR/NVR manufacturers usually utilize development boards and kits already on the market to save development and design costs of DVR motherboards. However, this could easily jeopardize a DVR/ NVR's stability and product longevity because of defective firmware and the materials used in the development boards, giving rise to potential risks and faulty performances.

B. To reduce cost, some circuit boards would eliminate the CPU cooling fan, which causes the CPU to perform at a compromised level when the server is overheating. Images yielded would not be clear due to mosaic blurriness.

C. Transmission wires can be minimized by simplifying the material of jumper wires. However, this can cause impedance mismatching and the interference of thousands of vertical lines on the monitors.

D. DVR/NVR transmission connectors, which have adopted substitute materials, could cause interference, too. The communications between the box, decoders, or control boards could be compromised.

E. If the backend server of a DVR/NVR is not equipped with signal blocking materials, interference signals may show up on the display, including diagonal lines, jitters, power supply fluctuations, etc. The interference may not pose a big problem, but badly distorted images resulting from the interference would not be useful to anyone.

F. If the DSP components were minimized, then the signals may not be magnified to the desired degree, rendering low-resolution images that may compromise details such as color, saturation, etc. These typically happen when signals greater than 3MHZ are lost.

G. The casing of the DVR/NVR may be downgraded with the elimination of a fan. Once again, the overheating issue would cause the machine to breakdown.

CONCLUSION
The above scenarios may be the result of common cost reduction measures by manufacturers for their own benefits or because they have no other choice but to. It is not an easy task for integrators and users to distinguish the interior design of equipment. Therefore, what can be and should be done when selecting a product is to evaluate the reactive measures that can solve the abovementioned problems.

Smart TVs open up new opportunities for video surveillance

Smart TVs open up new opportunities for video surveillance

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 6/24/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

In March, Iveda, which specializes in cloud-based video surveillance, announced a partnership deal with a Taiwan smart TV manufacturer to have its solution bundled with the manufacturer's TV sets. The partnership may very well become a new business model allowing users to operate video surveillance with more ease and convenience.

The smart TV manufacturer is unnamed but billed as a major player with the third largest market share in Taiwan, generating annual sales of 180,000 units. According to Iveda, its partner was looking for ways to generate more revenue and expand smart TV's functionality. Targeting security as a means to achieve those objectives, the partner became the first in the industry to include security features in smart TV sets. Under the deal, the TV manufacturer bundles into its products Iveda's plug-andplay security cameras and its software-asa- service cloud video hosting platform that comes with proprietary video streaming and storage compression technologies, allowing users to handle surveillance as a service for a monthly fee. Recurring incomes for security services represent a new and attractive proposition for TV manufacturers.

Smart TVs are next-generation television sets that are hooked directly to the Internet and in many ways transform the user experience. They enable users to do much more than just watch delivered contents; users can also download apps, stream music and videos, play interactive games, and enjoy other features that they normally would not be able to on their traditional TV sets.

“TV is no longer a passive appliance in people's homes. Cloud-based video surveillance is another application that makes smart TVs even smarter,” said David Ly, Chairman and CEO of Iveda. “It is a viable business model because TV manufacturers will continue to seek innovative products and services with true value to their customers, not just for entertainment, but other functionalities such as security.”

In Ly's words, managed video surveillance through smart TVs “will not only become a trend, it will become an end-user expectation” as people gain awareness that such capabilities exist today. “The deal validates that video security does not need to be as complicated as traditional methods make it seem,” he said. With the partnership, Iveda hopes to widen its reach to more users that it couldn't through traditional means. “The value for offering this type of solution is mass adoption of Iveda's cloud video surveillance services,” Ly noted. “The opportunity to reach more potential customers who normally would not call a security company for anything … is what Iveda has accomplished here with our partner. So yes, we certainly expect growth and traction.” As for deploying the service in other regions, Ly gave an emphatic yes, saying Iveda is looking for new partnerships in new markets.

Iveda Takes Video Surveillance to the Cloud
Iveda, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Mesa, U.S., specializes in cloud-based video surveillance, which represents another way of securing homes or other premises through video. With cloud-based video surveillance, also known as managed video as a service (MVaaS) or video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), the video is centrally hosted at a data center and can be accessed via a Web browser. Components that are needed in a traditional installation, such as DVRs, NVRs, and the related software, are no longer needed by users, who just need to log in and start to manage and control their videos via the PC or other Internet-connected devices. Iveda sees most of its customers in North America, although it has a subsidiary in Taiwan who has built ties with local clients in both public and private sectors.

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