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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.

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

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

Big data is a buzz word. Many industries have tried to reply by analyzing big data to make good predictions on everything ranging from weather forecasts to decision making in different forms and subjects. However, why has the security industry also become so fascinated by “big data?” The reason could be traced back to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing investigation. The United States successfully crowdsourced information from social media, like Twitter and Facebook, and multiple video surveillance cameras to quickly identify and locate the criminals. This lesson opened the eyes of the whole world to learn the power of using mass data provided by the public, and more importantly, the different resources from security systems.

However, many experts also pointed out current security systems do not provide much information before an event even though they are connected to an IP network. Therefore, the industry has been trying to figure out how to make security equipment get involved in pre-event management and also play an active role in preventing crimes or disasters, instead of merely acting as a tool for post-event investigation. Of course, first of all, networkability is definitely a must in security devices, then, each device must be connected, like multiple sensors, to provide data. Then, there is intelligent video (or VCA), which is getting more important since it helps to make security information meaningful. By using intelligent video, security systems can produce loss prevention data or heat maps for retailers. Whenever the video security systems are connected with “external” WiFi-enabled tracking devices, the shop can better prevent perspective shoplifters and plan their marketing campaigns. Secondarily, it needs a proactive situational awareness tool, something like physical security information management software (PSIM), to seamlessly integrate different security and non-security equipment and further provide an immediate response to events.

In addition, through cloud computing, all the data is processed in the cloud; therefore, people are starting to wonder who is able to access this data and how to protect the integrity of the data. In the physical security world, we may also care about who is in my space and where these visitors are going and what they are doing. Therefore, identity management may play a vital role in the trend of big data.

To sum up, when the world starts to look into “big data” and how IoT can benefit everyone, the trend forces the security industry to gradually switch their attention to data and content beyond product specifications to better fit the needs of a connected world. Major technologies providers have started to add more value to security information/ content with their unique approaches.

Ultra-high 4K Resolution and Wide-angle Cameras Provide More Details
Although the improvement to 4K resolution seems very natural in consumer electronics and security technologies, 4K-resolution, ultra-high HD security cameras still captured the limelight at major security shows this year. Whenever 4K starts to become the mainstream in the industry, security cameras can be expected to provide more detailed and clearer video images of the environment, events, and subjects than the past. More importantly, 4K resolution cameras can largely reduce the total cost of ownership of a project by doing more with less, compared to low resolution cameras. Companies such as Axis Communications, Arecont Vision, Bosch Security Systems, Hikvison Digital Technology, IQinVision, and Sony Electronics all pre-announced 4K cameras last month. Performing at 30 frames per second makes 4K cameras stand out. “Arecont Vision 4K camera produces high-quality image at 30 frames per second and delivers about 8.3 megapixels. Arecont Vision‘s10- megapixel camera delivers 7 frames per second. When it was released in 2010, it was the first dual mode 10-megapixel and 1080p camera in the industry,” said Scott Schafer, Executive VP of Sales, Marketing, and Service at Arecont Vision. It can be predicted that all these companies should have their 4K cameras ready for the market later this year. However, some experts still warn that 4K camera users need to pay extra attention to selecting compatible 4K NVRs and monitors. Without using a 4K monitor, the video quality might be compromised.

Pelco is focusing on a different approach to provide more details to situational awareness video with their latest 360-degree camera, which is a joint venture combining OnCamGrandeye's technology and Pelco's video managment applications. Coupled with Pelco's customer support and service, this adds an important tool to the market, said Craig Dahlman, Director-Analog Video Products of Video Line of Business at Pelco by Schneider Electric. Similar products can also be seen at other major network video surveillance vendors, like Panasonic System Communications. Panasonic‘s 360-degree cameras enable several different viewing options. For example, diverse image distribution modes, including four independent video streams for maximum flexibility.

Intelligent Vi deo Helps Deliver Meaningful Messages
It is not enough to have a high-resolution video only for generating data. In order to acquire meaningful information, rather than just raw data, and even provide timely diagnosis/response to an event, intelligent video is the best candidate, when talking about big data. What it influences in the security field now is how to use the accumulated data from intelligent video for different purposes. “The focuses of video surveillance innovations have evolved from video functionality, to video integration, and now to video enabling. By enabling processes with video, the open platform fosters many innovations to optimize business operations in different verticals,” according to Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

For example, “A retail store uses multiple cameras enabling real-time analytics such as traffic counting, queue management, heat maps and demographics. The system accumulates all the information by date and time, and if associated with the POS information, can deliver key information, such as average sale and conversion metrics. Ultimately, and depending on the information, retailers can leverage these insights to adjust their marketing strategies and even staffing for different time periods,” said Masa Karahashi, Senior VP, Engineering at 3VR.

Hank Monaco, VP of Marketing at Tyco Integrated Security also further explained in a big picture, “For many retailers, we are also seeing a big move now toward leveraging multiple technologies working together to help drive higher store performance. For instance, retailers are finding that leveraging video services to gain visibility into POS activity helps to drive improved customer experiences and manage more accurately what is on the shelf which also can lead to higher sales. We see technologies working together, such as EAS used byond loss protection, and tied into POS register, RFID for inventory tracking, and also analytic video to understand customers‘ behaviors, such as dwell time — how much time a customer stands in front of the stock display without making a purchase or how fast a customer picks up a product(s) from a shelf and then makes a purchase. Essentially, retailers are seeing that technology that does more can also help them make decisions in the store on a more predictive basis and allows them to see farther ahead. This drives the store performance which helps them gain competitive advantage and improved bottom line results.”

We can imagine that, if the information is also shared with or connected to other non-security, external systems, it could be something really valuable even to city surveillance or other researches. However, how to reduce false alarms in intelligent video is always the focus for security. The latest motion sensor detection sensors by Mobotix are able to filter the objects according to directions of movement. Therefore, it only records video or triggers an alarm if an important event actually occurs. Interference caused, for instance, by trees moving in the wind, shadows, passing clouds, or snowfall is consistently ignored.

Thermal Comes to Intelligent Video for 24/7 Detection
In some particular scenarios, intelligent video might meet certain limitations and challenges. “The main drawback of standard CCTV systems arises from their reliance on reflected light — inability to operate at night, adverse effects due to shadows and lighting changes,” according to the research paper titled “Thermo-Visual Feature Fusion for Object Tracking Using Multiple Spatiogram Trackers,” by Ciaran O Conaire et al. For a critical environment, the combination of thermal cameras and intelligent video is a good match for 24/7 detection. After the partnership of FLIR Systems and VideoIQ in 2010, FLIR also recently partnered with PureTech Systems for wide area surveillance solution.

Another piece of good news for the industry is that the falling price in thermal technology will allow more security cameras to enjoy the benefits of thermal. FLIR announced the release of three new lines of its thermal security cameras starting at economical prices, which further demonstrates how the combination of thermal cameras and intrusion video analytics can actually be an affordable and also effective solution, said Andy Teich, President and CEO of FLIR Systems. At the same time, DVTel also announced its thermal cameras at an affordable price, also featuring intelligent video analytics.

FLIR also launched its cloud-based platform for users to remotely access their security cameras. In the future, thermal with intelligent video cameras will also start to provide more meaningful data to make our environment safer.

 

* Take a look into How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

 

 

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.

UK First Direct Area relies on Avigilon Control Center Software

UK First Direct Area relies on Avigilon Control Center Software

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 6/23/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Challenge
To provide a newly built, world class arena with the latest generation security technology that could efficiently manage and monitor all areas of the venue to ensure the safety of staff and patrons.

Solution
From a 24-hour control room inside First Direct Arena, the security team manages their high-definition surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. With the Avigilon solution in place, the security team at the arena is able to manage dozens of IP cameras that oversee the piazza, stands, parking lot, concession areas and entry points. Operators of the Avigilon system use ACC Mobile to view live and recorded footage remotely from their smartphones and tablets. With Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs), the team is able to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.

Benefits
With the user-friendly and intuitive ACC software, the security team at First Direct Arena is able to monitor and manage crowd activity - both in the stands and throughout the exterior of the venue. The advanced search functions of ACC help the security team locate and accurately assess recorded footage in minutes. With the Avigilon ACC platform, the security team is able to monitor a large number of IP cameras and record footage without freezing or slowing down the system. - Improve crowd management
- Reduce investigation time
- Accurately assess incidents in the stands
- Protect against false liability claims

A State-of-the-Art Arena Deploys Avigilon High-Definition System to Protect Patrons and Improve Crowd Management
For decades, Leeds was the largest city in the United Kingdom (UK) without a major venue to host concerts and sporting events. After much demand for a modern and functional venue, city officials planned to build a multi-purpose concert hall with a spectacular fan-shaped design. In the fall of 2013, with Sir Elton John playing to a capacity audience of 13,500 people, First Direct Arena officially opened its doors for business. The arena will play host to over 140 events per year ranging from professional sports matches to top-billed music concerts to Disney on Ice. In order to protect the £50 million, approx $85 million, venue and all patrons in attendance, management needed to deploy a sophisticated HD video surveillance system. First Direct Arena engaged leading UK-based security specialists, Reflex Systems Ltd., to deliver an integrated solution incorporating video surveillance, access control, and perimeter and intruder detection. Under the recommendation of Reflex Systems, First Direct Arena chose the ACC software because of its multiple features and capability to efficiently manage a full-scale IP surveillance system. It also helped that a wide range of high-profile arenas and stadiums like the Slovnaft Arena (Slovakia) and Rogers Centre (Canada) relied on the Avigilon solution. Lee Sinnott, facilities manager at First Direct Arena agreed, “I saw that Avigilon products were deployed in numerous stadiums throughout North America and Europe,” Mr. Sinnott said. “It was comforting to learn that the system could be used for exactly what I needed it for.' What the Arena needed was a system that would be easy to use, provide efficient storage management and immediate and accurate searching capabilities. All features, Mr. Sinnott says, the Avigilon system delivers. “I would say our Avigilon system is significantly better than any kind I've seen previously,” he said.

Efficient Crowd Management
According to Mr. Sinnott, First Direct Arena predominately uses HD video surveillance to effectively and efficiently monitor crowd flow. With the ACC software, security personnel are able to monitor a variety of situations, such as altercations in the stands and theft, in an organized and timely manner. “The Avigilon system enables us to mitigate out some of the problems,” Mr. Sinnott said. “We've encountered less problems with crime because we can predetermine if there is going to be an issue somewhere.” The software has also been helpful in identifying possible interferences in traffic flow in and around the arena. “ACC has allowed us to manage our multiple cameras better than we have previously in other venues,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Say we see on the monitors that there is congestion at the front of the bar. We can now quickly adjust our staff and make dynamic changes so that we can provide better service at our concession stands.” Mr. Sinnott also points out that HD video surveillance helps accurately assess incidents where liability of the arena is a factor.

User-Friendly Software
Managing a large scale video surveillance system, required by most major arenas, can be a daunting task for security personnel. But the intuitive ACC software has simplified the process for First Direct Arena's security employees. “To be honest, we find the overall feel of the software to be user-friendly and easy to train employees on,” said Mr. Sinnott. ACC's advanced search features have also been a time-saving tool for Mr. Sinnott's staff. “With our older software suites, downloading the large amounts of data could take hours,” he said. “Avigilon's solution is so much simpler and this is a true benefit of the system. Rather than tying one of our security officers up for hours on end looking for a needle in a haystack, I can just download the segment of footage I need.” The value of the system is proven when the venue's security personnel can quickly submit footage to local law enforcement officials to assist with investigations. “Providing evidence to our local police force is easy and the footage has been of excellent quality,” Mr. Sinnott said. “The efficiency of the Avigilon system and clear images provided cuts down significantly on resources and time spent.”

Top-level Functionality
In addition to the main control room on the ground level that monitors the entire premise 24 hours a day, First Direct Arena uses a second control room during events to monitor its grounds. With the ACC software in use in both rooms, Mr. Sinnott states that the synchronization of communication between operators is seamless. “The ability for collaborative investigations was another key factor in our choice of Avigilon because of the flexibility and functionality the feature gave us in both control rooms,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Typically, our older system just provided mirror images of the other screen. If an operator was watching one image in our main control room, an operator in our opposite control room would be watching the same image. With Avigilon we have complete control of functionality from both locations.” If one of the control rooms is disconnected, the security team can easily move to the system in the room without missing a beat. “This kind of flexibility gives us greater control and added functionality,” said Mr. Sinnott.

LILIN security solution deployment empowers SMBs do more with less

LILIN security solution deployment empowers SMBs do more with less

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 6/23/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

In today's economy, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and their IT organizations need to “do more with less.” The migration from traditional analogue to IP is underway in the SMB sector. We see the migration to IP growing relatively fast in the past 2 years since IP systems provide better resolution, pictures, and overall delivery of the features of video products.

LILIN provides great ways to cut cost and complexity for SMBs. SMBs have considerably smaller budgets in terms of security needs compared to their larger enterprise counterparts. Typically, the sales cycle of SMBs is much shorter than those of large enterprises, as there is less inter-departmental decision making needed. In general, it will take less than 3 months from point of enquiry through quotation, site survey, and, lastly, to when the installation is complete.

In regards to product requirements, SMB sectors typically deploy up to sixteen cameras with storage needs of up to one month depending upon individual business nature. LILIN's compact L series, Pro series, and Auto Focus Z series IP based cameras were designed to target retailers as well as SMB users. In order to accommodate a range of storage requirements, it is very significant for video solutions to have future-proof scalable storage options.

Simplicity in installation is also essential requirements for the SMB sector. LILIN developed its SMB solution based upon a plug-n-play approach to simplify installation and operation. The plug-n-play approach enables installers with only basic IT expertise to easily deploy an IP video solution.

LILIN NVRs are able to record at 1080P and footage stored on the NVR can be remotely playback on handheld devices including iOS and Android platforms. Standalone NVR Touch series comes with plug-n-play usability, which auto detects LILIN network cameras through IPScan utility with built in WS discovery technology is especially beneficial for SMB users who are not necessarily tech-savvy.

 

Sponsored by: 
LILIN is a global IP video manufacturer with over 30 years of experience. Throughout the years, the company has maintained its dedication to Creativity, Progress, and Excellence providing expertise in digital video with a strong focus on innovation moving forward.

March Networks unveils 6700 Series Hybrid NVR and Edge 4e Encoder

March Networks unveils 6700 Series Hybrid NVR and Edge 4e Encoder

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 6/18/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, is pleased to introduce its new 6700 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and the Edge 4e Encoder. The high-performance products support a cost-effective transition to high-definition (HD) IP video and advanced business intelligence applications, while providing outstanding reliability and browser-based video management. In addition, the 6700 Series recording platform incorporates privacy masking and other privacy protection features to meet varying video surveillance guidelines across Europe.

"These latest additions to our portfolio make it easier for customers to deploy advanced IP video solutions sooner and more affordably," said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. "They support capabilities that deliver practical business benefits to an organization, and incorporate industry-first features that save customers and channel partners service costs in the field."

6700 Series Hybrid NVR
Initially available in 16 and 8-channel models, the 6700 Series recording platform provides exceptional hybrid flexibility, supporting any combination of analog and IP cameras up to a maximum of 16 IP cameras. Its optimized H.264 video compression ensures detailed, HD video and sharp analog image capture without increasing storage requirements.

Designed with channel partners in mind, each 6700 Series Hybrid NVR comes with a unique QR code on the front panel. Technicians working at a customer site can scan the code using March Networks' free GURU smartphone application to access a wide range of product information and utilities, such as on-the-spot troubleshooting, warranty status and express return material authorisations. The industry-first application is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can significantly reduce the time and effort required to service systems in the field. In addition, the rack-mounted 6716 R Hybrid NVR includes March Networks' innovative docking-station design, which further streamlines maintenance by allowing camera cables to remain in place when servicing is needed.

The 6700 Series recorders are fully managed with the March Networks Command video management system (VMS) and its powerful, browser-based client - one of the only thin software clients able to support complete system configuration and administration in addition to live and archived video access. Other system features available with the 6700 solution include interactive mapping, smart card and USB token authentication, and the ability to set user permissions down to the camera level and hourly timeframe.

Edge 4e Encoder
Also new to the March Networks portfolio is the new Edge 4e Encoder. The four-channel encoder enables organizations to seamlessly convert video from existing analog cameras into digital video running on an IP video network. The high-performance device works in concert with Command VMS installed on March Networks hybrid NVRs or industry-standard servers. It offers full frame rate resolution (25 fps PAL / 30 fps NTSC), H.264 and M-JPEG compression streams for bandwidth efficiency, and can stream all four channels in parallel to an optional internal SDHC card for enhanced redundancy.

As an added cost-efficiency, the Edge 4e Encoder requires just one license for all four video channels - making it a compelling and affordable option for IP video migration in many enterprise environments.

March Networks will demonstrate the next-generation 6700 Series Hybrid NVR solution and Edge 4e Encoder, along with its complete IP video solutions portfolio, in Stand D900, Hall S11 at IFSEC International, June 17-19, in London, UK.

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