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UK Security Market(2-2): Hot and crowded

UK Security Market(2-2): Hot and crowded

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 8/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The UK security market carries some special features; the most notorious is its large number of legacy analog systems. In addition, bearing the consideration over extra cost of re-cabling and labor, complexity of different projects, and requirement toward high quality, UK customers naturally take extra caution in making purchases and adopting new technologies, such as IP. Over the years, the IP adoption speed has picked up dramatically for a country with high resistance to IP; however, it is still comparatively slower than the US, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian regions. According to different vendors' comments, the ratio of analog to IP installation in the U.K. is around 50-to-50 or 40-to-60. Steve Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products, dissected the IP growth momentum and said, “The price of IP security products has become more challenging over the past 12 months. It pushes the higher-end IP market to generate more values, such as embracing more intelligent video and mobility in security systems. It also helps stimulate the traditional, cost-driven, analog market (such as the U.K.) to adopt more IP.“

Fully Supports Different Technologies
In a country with widespread legacy systems, companies in the U.K. pay extra attention to developing different technologies, such as encoders/ switchers or hybrid systems to fulfill the requirements for fusing analog and IP systems together. Gerard Otterspeer, Regional Marketing Manager of Video Systems for EMEA at Bosch Security Systems, suggested, “The U.K. has a large base of legacy systems. So, there is always a need to make sure if your systems are able to integrate with legacy systems. We feel that the UK market is going IP quite fast; roughly, 60 percent of our projects here use IP. When providing the IP products here, we also have to ensure they connect with other analog systems too.” In addition, “It is very important to have full product portfolios to support the large legacy market. We do have a wide range of products, such as encoders, and also HD hybrid cameras supporting IP and analog,” he highlighted.

This was also echoed by Axis. Andres Vigren, Product Manager for Axis Communications said, “The U.K. has a history of analog. We are coming from IT. It is very important to have a complete portfolio also including encoders and media converters, to make sure that customers can easily upgrade from analog to IP. Media converters are easy to deploy which you can still keep your coaxial cables.”

Looking to another group of companies, they bring a different statement in appropriate solutions to this market by highlighting the major benefits of using hybrid systems. Carney said, “We have heavily invested in the migration solutions, particularly hybrid solutions that employ a mix of analog and IP technology. I think the encoder market has disappointed some people in some aspects since it costs more for hardware and software for further upgrade. Some people expect encoders could be the transition point, but I would say the transition actually begins with hybrid NVRs and DVRs.” He further explained, “Tyco's American Dynamics and Exacq hybrid NVRs have IP and analog inputs. So, just because in the future the customer fully upgrades to IP, the processing power remains the same whether the device is handling analog or IP video."

March Networks also focused on hybrid NVRs, Stefano Torri, European Sales Director at March Networks said, “Inside the hybrid NVR is a box of encoders, so you can connect it with IP cameras and of course support analog. It is one well set-up alliance, embedded with video management software and added in video analytics. We develop our own video analytics, which we called ‘business intelligence.' We provide a very strong video analytics and value-added software for transaction integration with POS and ATM systems, particularly for big commercial, retail, and banking sector.”

End-to-End Solutions to cater to SIs
Due to the aforementioned considerations of UK customers and extra cost over installation, companies usually have to cater to what systems integrators really need and also bring more added values. Therefore, the total cost of ownership (TCO), return on investment (ROI), and ease of installation are most often evaluated when selecting products and designing systems.

The number of companies who provide end-to-end solutions rise in the market to further ensure systems have seamless compatibility and interoperability. Andrew Myung, Director of Strategy & Planning Team for Global Business Division at IDIS emphasized, “To optimize the values of total video surveillance solutions, education to customers is very important. The obvious example is especially when the retail customers have chain stores around the country; it carries extra time and cost to upgrade their systems within all their branches. Therefore, what we propose is the simplicity of IP systems with the idea of ‘plug-and-play,' which is very similar to the old, analog systems. Since what we provide is a very wide, end-to-end product line, the hefty increase of installation and maintenance time, labor and difficulties can largely be alleviated.” In the U.K., brand awareness and quality are important. What is worth noticing is IDIS, well-known in the OEM business for a long while, spent a very short timeframe preparation to complete its full IP video product lines and market its own brands in the U.K. and other European regions. This year, it has already launched 4K cameras, NVRs, and also monitors.

Full Video & Access Control
Integration to Simplify Work for SIs Solution providers are also working on developing integrated systems. Avigilon, another end-to-end solutions provider, this year, further demonstrated its integrated access control platform, which is able to manage an alarm from access control and video in one single platform. “Our most recent version of access control software includes the introduction of an appliance, which is an ideal solution for up to 32 readers, to address the physical security needs of small to mediumsized sites. It simplifies security with a cost-effective, all-in-one appliance,” said Ian Povey, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management for Avigilon, in a press release.

Carney continued, “Tyco also invested very heavily in integration of our video and access control systems. Both of our video and access control now are able to be integrated into one single platform, which we see as being a requirement for the middle to high-end market. These integrated solutions can better manage the work flow and cost, and provide better service.”

Since the UK market is quite crowded, companies are looking for more added values to differentiate their security systems. Meanwhile, end users no longer want standalone products but integrated solutions from a single company. Andrew Dicken, GM of System Solutions Group of Panasonic System Communications Company Europe said, “The market trend we have seen over the past five years across the EU, not just the UK, is a move toward integrated systems. Panasonic's System Solutions Group has engineering teams working globally on projects that integrate numerous products with proprietary or third party software and total security technologies.”

On the manufacturers' side, forming partnerships over technologies or strategic alliances is a common approach to develop integrated solutions. Panasonic's entrance into the European access control market is a very obvious example. To become a total solution provider, Panasonic Europe expanded its access control product line by forming a strategic alliance with Bravida Fire & Security, a leading access control and intruder alarm company based in Scandinavia. Dicken commented, “Through this strategic alliance, Bravida is able to use Panasonic's video surveillance and fire platform, and Panasonic uses Bravida's access control and intruder platform. Two companies are forming an alliance, a synergy of two major brands in Europe. We are designing products together and also are integration partners. Besides, we are able to share the market intelligence as well as engineering and sales resources.”

Third-party Partnership Calls for Open Platform
To cater to what systems integrators and end users need, some companies work on third-party integration and partnerships. Peter Ainsworth, Head of Product & Marketing at Samsung Techwin Europe said, “What we are highlighting this year is the processing power of our latest DSP chipset that is incorporated into our latest generation of video surveillance cameras is such that we can offer customers complete freedom and flexibility to choose the edge based video analytics App, which best matches their individual requirements. The DSP chipset has the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously and so, in addition to utilizing video analytics for security or business intelligence purposes, customers have the option to run a wide range of other types of Apps such as, for example, cloud storage.”

Another example is PSIM, which benefits most large enterprises, is able to integrate more non-traditional security sensors into the solution to get more operational benefits and save money to increase ROI, according to Jamie Wilson, Marketing Manager of Security of EMEA at NICE Systems. One case is PSIM collocates with VMS in building management systems to control lights, ventilation systems, and lift management. The integration enables the data from other systems to come in PSIM.

Constructing Security ecosystems
Telling from the latest development in the UK security market, it won't work if companies just follow the traditional way to do security business. Even manufacturers need to leverage the strength from other manufacturers to create new business and markets, not to mention other channel players. We can expect in the future for many security ecosystems to be built up. Again, companies working hard in the U.K. provide valuable examples for other markets, too.

Related Article:
UK Security Market(2-1): Hot and crowded

Historical city Yerevan makes its first step to safe city with Avigilon

Historical city Yerevan makes its first step to safe city with Avigilon

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 8/19/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

The Capital of Armenia deploys Avigilon High-Definition Surveillance System as critical first step in safe city Initiative
One of the oldest cities in the world dating back to 782 BC, Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, is the country's political and economic hub. With more than a million residents and attracting tourists from around the world, Yerevan is compact and crowded, with an intense cultural life that draws a lot of traffic. Like all municipalities, Yerevan is vulnerable to threats driven by overcrowding, criminal activity, and natural disasters. To improve the safety of its citizens and visitors, the city has launched a “Safe City” initiative to reduce and prevent crime, and enhance the quality of life in the city. At the heart of its Safe City initiative is the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, currently deployed in the city's roads and parking lots with plans to cover the entire city to better protect its people, property, and assets.

Challenge
Manage municipal paid parking system and roll out a Safe City initiative to better protect people, property, infrastructure, and assets.

Solution
Parking City Service has deployed 1,600 Avigilon HD 5 MP Bullet cameras with adaptive IR technology in parking areas within the city center, and plans to install another 5,400 Avigilon HD cameras for complete coverage across the entire city. Six operators manage the surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™, storing up to two weeks of 24x7 continuous surveillance footage on 40 Avigilon Network Video Recorders located in the new air-conditioned data center.

Benefits
- Effective management of paid parking system
- Secure parked vehicles and prevent crime
- Generate revenue for city
- Assist in traffic flow management - Faster footage search and export times
- High-quality image detail for identification - Scalable to meet future Safe City goals

The First Step
As a first step in Yeravan's Safe City Project, the municipality engaged Parking City Service, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and support, to manage the surveillance system deployment at the city's parking lots and to monitor traffic in the crowded downtown core. “We believe that customers of the new paid parking system should receive good value for their money – ensuring the safety of vehicles is absolutely critical,” said Vazgen Harutyunyan, director at Parking City Service. “We looked at solutions from all the major players and selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for its exceptional image quality that captures the smallest details, advanced search and playback functionality, and ease-of-use.”

Avigilon in the City
Parking City Service has installed 1,600 Avigilon HD 5 MP Bullet cameras with adaptive IR technology in designated parking areas to date and plans to install another 5,400 Avigilon HD cameras for complete coverage across the entire city. Six operators manage the surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™, storing up to two weeks of continuous surveillance footage on 20 Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs), located in the company's new air-conditioned data center. Parking City Service installed the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system in no time, with excellent support from the Avigilon team. “We had no issues with installation and set-up, and Avigilon answers any questions we had promptly and accurately,” confirmed Harutyunyan.

Parking System Management
The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is used primarily to manage the city's new paid parking system and regulate what has been a disorderly situation for years. “We leverage the image quality of the Avigilon HD cameras to capture the license plates of vehicles parked in our lots and if payment is not made, a ticket is issued,” explained Harutyunyan. Operators review archived footage to identify vehicles that have not paid, creating a five-minute video clip that is attached to the ticket. “We create between 500 to 600 video clips each day, which we are able to do efficiently using the advanced search and playback features of the Avigilon Control Center software,” noted Harutyunyan. The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system ensures patron safety and parking availability, and also helps generate revenue for the city that can be used to further improve traffic flow in the downtown core.

Intuitive Searching Saves Time
Searching through large amounts of footage can be time consuming work, but operators can dramatically reduce the time required using the advanced functionality of the ACC software. Operators can digitally zoom in on image details from single or multiple cameras to capture necessary data and have full control over forward and reverse playback with drag and zoom capabilities for faster search times. “Avigilon Control Center is extremely user-friendly and intuitive, so we can quickly search through multiple cameras for fast results – in fact, we can complete all our reports in just a half an hour, even when multiple cameras are involved,” stated Harutyunyan.

Exporting Video Boosts Safety
The city also leverages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for public safety purposes, reviewing footage of theft, vandalism, crime, and accidents in surrounding areas for investigative purposes. Feedback from local law enforcement and municipal agencies has been positive. “We can quickly and easily export video to help police in their forensic work,” explained Harutyunyan. “In one case, in which a man entered a building with a rifle, we were able to immediately provide footage which led to his arrest within hours.” Surveillance video is also shared with the city to assess traffic flow or analyze other urban planning concerns. “By collaborating with the city, we can help improve traffic flow, reduce crime and congestion, and enhance the overall quality of life in Yerevan.”

Clear Image Detail
Another key selling feature of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is its exceptional image quality – both day and night. The Avigilon HD Bullet cameras are equipped with built-in adaptive infrared (IR) illumination to increase in-the-dark visibility without using a visible light source, important for operators to effectively capture minute details, such as license plate numbers, at any time of the day or night. “I also really like the fact that the Avigilon HD cameras come with an integrated lens for remote focus and zoom control,” said Harutyunyan. “I can easily change a camera's focus from 3 mm to 9 mm or 22 mm for even greater clarity.”

Future Scalability
Scalability was another important requirement, especially given the city's plans to expand the surveillance system right across the municipality. “With the Avigilon surveillance system, we will have no blind zones in the city center, with cameras installed on posts every 30 to 40 meters,” described Harutyunyan. “The Avigilon system will easily grow with us as we work towards 100 percent coverage of the entire city within the next few years.”

A Safer City Environment
The parking lot surveillance solution is just the first step in Yerevan's Safe City Initiative to enhance public safety and protect critical infrastructure, property, and assets. With broader access to surveillance footage, city officials can respond to events faster and more accurately than before to reduce crime and manage crisis situations in real-time – on every street corner. “Our final goal is to create a safer city for residents and visitors alike,” concluded Harutyunyan. “With easier and more timely access to high-quality surveillance footage through the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, we can easily achieve greater situational awareness for better overall protection.”

 

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.

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

IDIS integrates DirectIP with SureView Immix CS/CC

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 8/1/2014 | Article type: Security 50

IDIS has announced the completion of integration between its total surveillance offering, DirectIP and SureView's Immix CS/CC video centric alarm monitoring platform, which correlates and manages unlimited video and other security systems alarms into a single unified platform.

IDIS customers can now harness the power and high-performance DirectIP surveillance through their partner alarm receiving centres, central stations or in-house command centres.

The integration enables essential DirectIP video surveillance features from the Immix platform, including live view with multi-layout, playback, two-way audio with remote alarm notification and instant video verification

Brian Song, Managing Director, IDIS Europe, commented, “We are committed to ensuring DirectIP customers realise industry-leading performance together with a low cost of ownership. The integration with Immix achieves this by allowing for a more cost effective and streamlined approach to managing and monitoring multiple security alarms through one user interface.

“In addition, with the Immix platform deploying across an increasing number of alarm receiving and remote monitoring centres, customers can now migrate to DirectIP surveillance and benefit from industry-leading HD quality video in the control room.”

Chris Eckersley, Sales Director at SureView, added, “The integration with DirectIP demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the most innovative and powerful technologies in the market. DirectIP offers industry-leading full-HD performance delivering tangible benefits to a wide range of businesses.”

IDIS offers DirectIP as an end-to-end solution, comprising a range of cameras, monitors, NVRs and comprehensive video management software. DirectIP delivers unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance and industry-leading pricing levels.

IDIS DirectIP named Technology Innovation of the Year

IDIS DirectIP named Technology Innovation of the Year

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 7/25/2014 | Article type: Security 50

DirectIP, the groundbreaking total security and surveillance solution from IDIS, was named “Technology Innovation of the Year” at the 2014 PSI Premier Awards. The awards, organised by security installer publication PSI Magazine, recognise the industry's best and most popular offerings in several key categories.

PSI selects finalists annually, in consultation with industry insiders and experts. The magazine's readers, from the security installer community and beyond, are then invited to choose winners via electronic ballot. PSI states that finalists, including DirectIP, are chosen due to industry excellence in “features, benefits, ease of installation and best service,” while noting that category winners reflect the preferences and popular sentiments of the security community, as well.

Brian Song, Director of IDIS Europe, commented, “IDIS is truly honoured to have DirectIP selected as ‘Technology Innovation of the Year' at the PSI Premier Awards. This award validates the hard work over many years by the IDIS team to bring to market a total security and surveillance solution that was truly innovative, offering something new and of value, to the market.

“It is especially meaningful that it was PSI readers — the very members of the security community IDIS serves — who voted to grant DirectIP this honour.”

IDIS offers DirectIP as an end-to-end solution, comprising a range of cameras, monitors, NVRs and comprehensive video management software. DirectIP delivers outstanding plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance and industry-leading pricing levels.

QNAP Viostor NVR & CMS safeguards Chinese Culture University in Taipei

QNAP Viostor NVR & CMS safeguards Chinese Culture University in Taipei

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by QNAP | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Education

In order to manage a 115-hectare wide campus and to provide a safe educational environment for its students, Chinese Culture Univaersity located in Taipei, Taiwan had installed around 650 cameras supplied by QNAP throughout the campus to keep a close eye on buildings, the sports stadium, and open spaces.

Background
Founded in 1962, the Chinese Culture University (CCU) is one of the largest universities in Taiwan with an enrollment of about 32,000 students. It has an educational vision to grow and promote Chinese culture, particularly tradition Chinese arts and physical education. CCU is now organized into twelve academic colleges including Liberal Arts, Foreign Language and Literature, Journalism and Communications, Arts, Environmental Design, and more.

Challenge
In order to manage a 115-hectare wide campus and to provide a safe educational environment for its students, CCU had installed around 650 cameras throughout the campus to keep a close eye on buildings, the sports stadium, and open spaces. Originally CCU used a PC-based recording software solution but Mr. Chen, the leader of the CCU Surveillance Department, discovered that “the PC-based solution isn't stable enough, and the PC shuts down from time to time,” said. Therefore, CCU started to look for a Linux-based standalone NVR system for a more reliable surveillance system. CCU also required a central management system (CMS) in their main control center to help centrally monitor and manage the spacious campus. Wergen Technology Co the long-term cooperative system integrator for CCU, recommended QNAP security surveillance solutions as ideal choices for upgrading their system.

Solution
CCU has several buildings that have mini monitoring rooms for observing nearby cameras. A total of 21 QNAP VioStor NVR VS-8140 Pro+ units were installed in each of these rooms. Security administrators can easily use the VioStor NVR for real-time monitoring and video playback with HDMI local display. Now, videos recorded with resolutions of D1, 1.3M, and 2M can be properly retained for 1-month without a problem as the VioStor NVR supports a large storage capacity. CCU also does not need to worry about data loss as the QNAP VioStor NVR provides RAID 5 protection against hard drive failure.

CCU also deployed a QNAP VioStor CMS VSM-4000U-RP at the main control center, so security administrators can centrally monitor and manage all the surveillance videos from multiple NVRs with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. With the flexibility of selecting a smaller video stream, the bandwidth consumption between each mini monitoring room and the main control center can be optimized to prevent overloading. All the surveillance devices are connected by a dedicated Gigabit LAN, ensuring no network interruption from other network services.

Result
“QNAP surveillance solutions make management of a big, wide campus easier than I expected and it helped us reduce occurrences of student violence,” said Mr. Chen. “There are more benefits for the structure planning. For example, the local display at each mini monitoring room eliminates the need to purchase additional PCs, saving more of our budget. Most important of all, we can enjoy a much more stable and reliable surveillance system thanks to QNAP's Linux-embedded solution.”

The future of video surveillance is in the cloud

The future of video surveillance is in the cloud

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by ioteo | Updated: 7/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The global market for cloud-based video surveillance, also known as Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS), will continue to grow in the coming years due to an increasing demand for simple and affordable solutions that provide exceptional safety and security features.

Large companies are already making big bets on this burgeoning market through acquisitions and other initiatives. Recent acquisitions show that the market is indeed moving toward fee-based premium services and products, while mediocre “free” solutions that offer minimal value propositions to end users are becoming increasingly unviable from both a business model perspective and a customer retention perspective.

“The IP video surveillance market has to evolve its business model to better adapt to changing market dynamics. Remember Kodak? Your children won't. It dismissed digital photography as a passing fad, and its arrogance prevented it from seeing a world where photographic films was becoming increasingly irrelevant; as a result, the company itself became irrelevant,” said Luc Deleu, President of ioteo. “Hardware prices are dropping with each passing day, and camera manufacturers need to devise new strategies to ship more units and build recurring revenue. In mature markets like the EU and U.S.A., consumers welcome new technologies that can improve their lives and are willing to pay for superior service—this represents a huge opportunity for camera manufacturers.”

“We offer an innovative cloud-based video surveillance solution that can help camera manufacturers capitalize on their strengths and take advantage of this opportunity. Our firmware empowers an IP camera with more efficient bandwith optimization, enhanced security and more reliable motion detection, not to mention 30 days of continuous recording stored in a highly secured environment,” added Henry Ho, VP Asia of ioteo. “It is easy to install and even simpler to use. In fact, installation is so simple that even analog surveillance installers love it! The much lower acquisition cost also means more sales to end-users.”

ioteo is a leading provider of IoT solutions in Europe. Beginning 2014, ioteo will further strengthen its relationship with camera manufacturers around the world. A new office in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan, will support the company's expansion strategies; the company also has plans to upgrade its infrastructure in major European markets to support a larger user base—up to 150,000 cameras. Furthermore, the company is constantly establishing stable distribution channels to drive business growth and has recently rolled out a multilingual web portal and call center to more effectively support professional installers.

Looking for new hardware and channel partners
Is there real business value in cloud-based video surveillance services? In short, yes. Many manufacturers have already integrated ioteo's firmware into their cameras to support the use of ioteoCloud. With ioteo's solution and an optional ioteoCloud subscription, IP cameras can incorporate cloud-based features and services that replace expensive video surveillance systems and all the troubles that come with them, such as the use of NVRs and complicated installation processes.

“We are continuously looking for new hardware and channel partners,” Luc said. “Our technologies provide our partners with access to cloud-based services free of charge, while revenue sharing opportunities create a win-win situation where everyone can benefit from this transitioning market.”

Sponsored by: 
ioteo was founded by Luc DELEU, Hans BOOT et Jean-Luc LENART; with a vast experience in online services they are the people behind success stories at Atos and MagicPhone / Tellme.

Avigilon supplies HD solution to multi-municipal water supply system in Portugal

Avigilon supplies HD solution to multi-municipal water supply system in Portugal

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 7/4/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Challenge
Implement an advanced HD video surveillance system that is both cost effective and easy to operate to effectively oversee a massive, multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system in Portugal.

Solution
águas do Mondego SA, the concessionary company operating the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system in the Baixo Mondego-Bairrada region of Portugal, installed 55 Avigilon HD cameras to monitor 27 different facilities across 13 municipalities. Security officials at águas do Mondego SA manage the high-definition system from their desktops inside the company's main control room using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) network video management software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. The security team also uses the ACC Mobile application to view live and recorded images wirelessly and Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.

Benefits
The versatile Avigilon HD solution has enabled águas do Mondego SA to effectively manage multiple facilities, ensuring operational efficiency and water supply quality. Leveraging ACC Mobile, security staff can monitor all sites remotely and make logical decisions while offsite because of the clear image detail that the Avigilon solution provides. Avigilon's HDSM technology is also instrumental in keeping the company's bandwidth low, a crucial factor for the company as the majority of its network is required for other operational needs. The intuitive interface makes navigation simple for the 30-plus users of the system. As águas do Mondego SA gradually transitions from their existing analogue system to an HD surveillance solution, they use Avigilon Video Encoders to ensure all cameras effectively run on the same platform.
- Remote access to all sites
- Easy to operate interface
- Reduced installation and maintenance costs
- Superior image quality
- Minimal impact on the network

Multi-Municipal Water Supply Company in Portugal Deploys Avigilon High-Definition System to Protect its Assets and Water Supply

Founded in 2004, águas do Mondego SA was created with the goal of providing the best water supply and treatment services in Portugal. Today, the company has grown tremendously and is currently responsible for overseeing over 80 different sites in 13 municipalities across the country. Prior to deploying the Avigilon solution, águas do Mondego SA used analogue video to cover the perimeter of just eight of those facilities. In order to protect their assets and the long-term safety of the water supply, the management team at águas do Mondego SA knew they needed to invest in a full-scale HD video surveillance system. “Our legacy analogue CCTV system was expensive and did not provide usable image quality that we could use for process control,” said Carlos Capucho, engineer at águas do Mondego SA. “With the old system, we could not do any remote monitoring and there were plenty of faults. Replacing our analogue system with an HD video solution was inevitable.”

The management team searched for a system that was easy to install, operate and upgrade and had a detailed but practical graphical user interface. With the assistance of Domosinal Systems, their Portugal-based partner, águas do Mondego SA conducted a thorough market analysis of different HD video surveillance system providers before ultimately choosing Avigilon because of its image quality, ease of use and versatility. “We concluded that Avigilon's end-to-end HD surveillance system was the most compatible with our operational needs,” stated Mr. Capucho. “In the years since installing Avigilon, we are pleased to report that the system has far surpassed our initial expectations.” As of December 2013, the company uses over 55 Avigilon cameras to oversee 27 facilities across Portugal with plans of expanding to 20 more facilities in the next year.

Integration with SCADA Software
águas do Mondego SA uses supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to gather and analyze real-time date of their water supply at each site. The management team at águas do Mondego SA have been able to leverage the Avigilon ACC software as a complementary tool for their SCADA systems, enabling remote and reliable video verification with HD images without any dedicated maintenance. “The Avigilon solution is directly integrated into the SCADA management systems,” said Mr. Capucho. “If SCADA detects an event, the Avigilon supporting footage can be sent to the operators, giving them enough real-time information to make an educated decision. The integration between the Avigilon system and SCADA means operators have fewer platforms to monitor.”

Remote Access
Avigilon's ACC Mobile application has made it convenient for the security team at águas do Mondego SA to monitor each of the 27 sites. With their previous system, the company did not have remote access, forcing them to make long trips whenever a situation arose. “In the past, when we received alarms, we had to go back and forth between sites that were more than 80 kilometers apart,” Mr. Capucho said. “With the Avigilon system, we can use the high-resolution footage to track our system's various stages of treatment online, without having to actually be on location.”

User-Friendly System
According to Mr. Capucho, “The Avigilon HD video surveillance system installed at Aguas do Mondego SA is easy to use with almost no maintenance required.” Mr. Capucho added, “The ACC software is an effective tool that helps us save on both cost and time when we need to go back and search for footage. The company has saved money on repairs and maintenance and it is easy to train all of our security staff on.”

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.

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