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UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

UK toy retailer secures new shops with integrated IP surveillance

Editor / Provider: Mirasys | Updated: 6/11/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Smyths Toys Superstores, a large UK toy retailer with 63 shops nationwide, recently deployed an integrated IP-video surveillance system consisting of 1,500 Axis Communications network cameras, 500 analog cameras, 35 Mirasys NVRs and 15 hybrid recorders at its new stores. The system was installed by Multisys.

Smyths was unable to get the most out of its existing analog system, as it could not increase storage and the quality of the video was very poor. The largest toy retailer in Ireland, had been rapidly expanding into the UK and Irish markets having opened a number of new stores over the last few years, its business requirement of needing more days of store video footage could not be met by its current system. “We were looking for improved performance infrastructure in our new stores, as well higher image quality and remote accessibility for video footage,” said Stephen McGivern, Facilities Manager for Smyths. “Centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms was also a key requirement.”

The Axis and Mirasys integrated video surveillance system featured unique features such as corridor format that provided excellent views of the aisles and high quality images but reduced the number of cameras they required as well as the amount of unwanted data. Multisys were able to build high quality custom hardware for Smyths that ensured high availability and met data retention requirements “Mirasys' ability to auto detect the orientation of the camera 16x9 or 9x16 (tall or wide) means that we can use less cameras,” said Eoghan Carroll, MD of Multisys.

Following the implementation of Axis cameras and Mirasys NVR, Smyths have now been able to improve image quality whilst reducing the number of cameras needed due to the corridor format solution. The key aims of the project have now been achieved: long-term video storage, improved performance infrastructure, remote accessibility for video footage and centralized monitoring for all stores for out of hours alarms.

The IP surveillance system has been a good solution for large scale projects and multiple sites. The remote access feature means it is very easy for store managers to find events that have happened, and the high quality images provide a significant improvement compared to the old system without significant cost increase, said McGivern. “The Axis/ Mirasys partnership has provided a solid future proof solution which can grow as our number of stores increases,” added McGivern.

Honeywell unveils new NVR

Honeywell unveils new NVR

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 6/11/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywell introduces the new and improved release of MAXPRO NVR SE – Rev B Server. The MAXPRO NVR SE hardware model now incorporates 6 removable bays with 1 operating system & storage hard drive and 5 storage only SATA hard drives. Optional storage of 1 TB, 2 TB or 3 TB drives can be addedenabling up to 18 TB of storage capacity.

The single box solution is ideal for medium to large-size surveillance applications, and is part of the MAXPRO Family of IP-based NVRs offering turnkey box solutions ranging from 8 to 32 channels of network video recording as well as software only options that range from 4 to 32 channels. Additionally, the MAXPRO NVRs (Turnkey boxes – XE, SE, PE and Software only) offer:
- Advanced IP video capabilities, which makes them easy to install with only 3-Clicks to Live Video. The system is available pre-installed right out-of- the-box and includes pre-licensed software.
- Support for ONVIF and PSIA interoperability standards, as well as RTSP, and features native integration to cameras and encoders from Honeywell, Axis and other manufacturers—making it a truly open system.
- Honeywell's FREE MAXPRO Mobile app to perform everyday video surveillance tasks from a remote location.

Just the solution for schools

Just the solution for schools

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 6/10/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Campus video systems generally require 1080p 2-MP IP video, distributed remote video monitoring at multiple sites, centralized PoE power management, foolproof vandal-resistant camera installation, and clear night vision provided by an IR solution. Covering all of these bases, LILIN's IP video products can provide a complete solution for campus video systems.

Many schools have an Ethernet network already installed. LILIN's fully digital IP video systems can utilize existing Ethernet infrastructure to stream camera footage to the NVR Touch. Compared to traditional PC-based NVRs, the NVR Touch series provides an eco-friendly embedded recording solution, with up to 24 TB of HDD capacity internally, and 16 TB on eSATA RAID. This can provide up to 2.5 months of 1080p IP video recording in real time for 16 channels. Or a 256-GB SSD for two days of recording.

LILIN PoE switches can provide centralized power management for LILIN PoE cameras. Unlike analog cameras, there is no need for visiting the camera site based on PoE architecture when checking for power failure. This can easily be monitored by the LED indicators of the PoE switch itself, reducing maintenance and installation costs.

Distributed remote video monitoring is one of the most important requirements of campus projects. LILIN's VD022 video decoder provides remote monitoring for IP cameras without the need of a power-consuming PC. The VD022 can decode live video remotely from the NVR Touch, as well as perform remote playback and backup.

Vandal-resistant cameras are a common choice for campus projects due to the unpredictability of the student population on and around the school facilities. LILIN's IPR320ESX provides vandal resistance with built-in IR LEDs. A tamper detection feature is also included to provide extra protection for the surveillance unit. Embedded intelligent video surveillance allows for motion and audio detection (IPD6220 model), in addition to tamper detection, for use in classroom applications at night or on weekends. This feature has the ability to notify the operator in front of the NVR Touch series with alarm snapshots for instant playback.

IR lighting providing clear video on campuses at night is one of the most important features required by campus security. IR cameras provide clear video at night time, allowing for full surveillance even when it is impossible for the naked eye. In open fields, LILIN's IR illuminator acts as an additional light source, reaching up to 250 meters. If IR cameras are installed in places that are outside of built-in IR range, the IR illuminator IM05108/05308/05608 can be used as additional support.


Sponsored by:
LILIN, dedicated to innovation, creativity, progress and excellence, is a global developer and provider of IP video solutions with more than 30 years of experience.

UK child care facility puts trust in networked surveillance

UK child care facility puts trust in networked surveillance

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 6/5/2013 | Article type: Education

One of UK's oldest child care centers, Gingerbread Corner, established in 1976 in Croydon, Surrey, recently replaced its outdated analog video surveillance system with an IP-based video surveillance system consisting of 21 Samsung Techwin network cameras and two NVRs to improve protection of the 160 children between ages of 3 months to 11 years on its premises. Coulsdon based video surveillance and public address specialists Postfield Systems recommended the installation of the IP system.

The old analog system consisted of four cameras which only allowed the monitoring of entrances and exits, the quality of the images captured and recorded were not sufficient for practical use if an incident needed to be investigated. As a registered charity, Gingerbread Corner relies heavily on its fund-raising activities to maintain and improve its facilities, as well as employing 40 members of staff. Despite concerns over significant funding gaps following the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review, Gingerbread Corner's management were determined to allocate sufficient capital for the installation of the replacement video surveillance system.

“There are so many potential situations where access to high quality video evidence can help protect the children in our care and also verify that our staff has at all times professionally carried out their duties,” said Ben Dzendzera, Operations Manager, Gingerbread Corner. “For example, with so many children living in single parent environments, we can avoid any disputes by being able to monitor, and if necessary verify, who has collected a child from our premises.” The center can also quickly resolve bullying issues on its premises, and protect staff from any false accusations.

"It was clear that we immediately needed approximately 20 cameras in order to be able to monitor all activity throughout the site, but we also wanted to ensure that the system we invested in could continue to be expanded if and when our requirements changed,” said Dzendzera. An analog system would have provided Gingerbread Corner with a slightly lower cost option, but the justification for allocating the extra capital for an IP network based system, due to the system's flexibility and how it can be monitored. “Live or recorded images can be viewed by any authorized member of staff who has access to the Internet,” said Dzendzera. “I personally use the VMS on my laptop to view the video of any incidents, whilst senior management can access the system via smartphone when they are off site.”

Sixteen D/N domes were installed. These utilize WDR technology making them ideal for locations where there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions. This has resulted in costs being kept to a minimum as there wasn't a need for coaxial cable to be run to each of the 21 cameras. The five other cameras are IR weatherproof cameras, which is part of a range of cameras which was designed to provide a cost effective network video surveillance solution for small to medium size applications. Both models offer multiple streaming with a choice of compression methods, providing the option to simultaneously transmit images to multiple locations at various frame rates and at different resolutions. This allows different authorized users to monitor live images at one location, whilst recording video evidence at another. The images from all of the cameras are recorded on one of two NVRs.

Changing tides

Changing tides

Editor / Provider: John Shi, a&s Editorial Director | Updated: 5/29/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

With the successful conclusion of the three major international physical security trade shows ISC, SECUTECH, and IFSEC this year, new waves of change rippling through the industry were reflected at the show floors. Here are some major trends observed at the exhibitions:

1. Regional market shifts
The US security market is rebounding especially in the education and government vertical markets, with school administrators and parents being especially supportive of security investments. The stabilization of the US economy and the conclusion of the presidential elections, has contributed to the increase of security budgets. In contrast, the European market appears to be more conservative. Nevertheless, Northern Europe, Germany, and Eastern Europe markets still remain promising. The Middle East's security demands are driven by its continual infrastructure investments. There is also a higher quota for IP applications in this region, as the technology has not been implemented in the past.

2. High-end market saturation
Affected by tightened security budgets and a highly competitive market, the security industry's high-end market is gradually becoming saturated. Manufacturers have taken two extreme approaches, with some climbing upwards to even more sophisticated markets, such as Genetec's migration from VMS to solution-based projects, or Nice Systems promotion of PSIM products highlighting event management capacities. Others have chosen to move into entry-mid level markets, for instance Milestone Systems's release of Arcus, an entry-level VMS that can be embedded into cameras or NVRs. Axis Communications has also released cameras with front-end storage and back-end cloud services, while many other companies have promoted price/performance ratio products.

3. No new technologies
There has been a lack of major developments in video surveillance technology and products. Instead, video surveillance cameras have turned to more functions, easy-installation, user-friendly, and maintenance-friendly.

4. Diverse back-end storage
Unlike the CCTV era, where DVRs was the only storage method, there are now five different types of storages—storing directly on camera memory cards (decentralized system), server grade storage, NAS, embedded NVR, cloud-based storage or services. How these storages technologies will evolve in the future is worth following up on.

5. Access control shines
Similar to the video surveillance industry three to five years ago, the access control sector is quickly shifting towards IP. Besides integration demands, of special interest is the integration of new technologies, for instance, wireless door locks that are easy to install, RFID technology for asset management or employee management, biometric identification (including fingerprint, facial and iris), identity management for government and financial industries, and lastly NFC. The introduction of these technologies will urge the upgrade of access control devices, and drive market adaption, especially in universities, hospitals, and government agencies.

6. HD demand evident
IP-based video surveillance has established itself as the mainstream technology in U.S, due to good IP infrastructure and mature cloud services. However, labor remains expensive in U.S, which is why IP over coaxial cable solutions is still highly popular. SDI technology is still in the minority, but there is still market for the product. Some have observed the lack of Internet concepts among most engineering companies and no Internet maintenance at the end-user level. Compared to the limitations of HD-SDI transmission, storage, and costs for one cable per camera, Taiwan IC company's ccHDtv solution can connect 16 cameras over 500 meters.

Major European security markets that have made large investments in CCTV in the past, such as UK, Germany and France, are more keen on HD-SDI. Although, UK's acceptance for IP technology has increased since last year, demands for HD-SDI remain high. Recently London upgraded 4 million analog cameras to HD.

7. Civilian security
The rapid growth of smartphones and hand held devices has propelled the demand for home security and cloud-services. Companies trying to tap into the home market include telecommunication companies, Internet companies, civilian cloud-based services, and security companies. The targeted users are homeowners and SMBs, which is expected to spur large demands for entry-level surveillance cameras, and even impact 4-channel DVR manufacturers market and distribution channels.

8. Chinese manufacturers
Hikvision Digital Technology's performance in many countries reflects the results of setting up local branches, while Dahua Technology has invested heavily at major security trade shows, greatly increasing its visibility.

9. Asian manufacturers
Asian manufacturers have increased their presence at international trade shows, by staging independent exhibition booths or joining country pavilions.

10. US analog market
Although analog video surveillance has a 70 percent market share in U.S, profits remain extremely low. Will it be possible for a professional manufacturer to take on this highly standardized field in the future?

11. Smart buildings and safe cities
IP integration has brought forth two major technologies, smart buildings (energy efficient and green) and safe cities. Compared to Taiwan, most countries safe cities have developed at a much slower pace and at a smaller scale.

12. Factors accelerating change
Challenges in product value and IP network applications is accelerating industry changes, whether it is the reshuffling of major security component manufacturers and the rise of Hilsilcon; the restructuring of foreign companies and traditional distribution channels; the convergence of IT channels that are rapidly entering the security market; or Asian manufacturing companies in China, Taiwan and South Korea that are facing pricing or technology reshuffling and replacements.

13. Fierce competition
As China's cheap products pour into the international market, the result is most companies have earned little. Domestic sales account for most of Hikvision and Dahua's profits.

[Video] Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

[Video] Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

Editor / Provider: Judy Lin, | Updated: 5/29/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Many NVR manufacturers are promoting user- and cloud-friendly models with interesting features and interfaces this year. Taiwanese Dynacolor and Korean Itx Security have caught on to this trend and are highlighting their plug-and-play NVRs at major trade shows, including Secutech International 2013 in Taipei.

Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

Editor / Provider: Judy Lin, | Updated: 5/28/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Many NVR manufacturers are promoting user- and cloud-friendly models with interesting features and interfaces this year. Taiwanese Dynacolor and Korean Itx Security have caught on to this trend and are highlighting their plug-and-play NVRs at major trade shows, including Secutech International 2013 in Taipei.

Dynacolor showcased its 4-channel UltraEco H.264 NVR at Secutech this year. The entry-level NVR, which was still a prototype in April, was designed for SMB applications. As the average SOHO user or mom-and-pop shop owner is not necessarily tech-savvy, the NVR comes with plug-and-play usability, which automatically detects Dynacolor cameras. In addition, footage stored on the NVR can be remotely accessed and played back on mobile devices or tablets, including both Android and iOS platforms. The NVR's dual-stream technology enables a main video stream and a sub video stream, which help reduce loading time, and enables smooth switching, said Henry Hsieh, Senior Marketing Specialist. Last but not least, the NVR records at 1080p.

** Don't forget to check out the video introductions! **

Itx Security has also placed significant emphasis on promoting its user-friendly stand-alone NVRs, Itx Lite and Itx Pro, throughout this year's trade shows. The 8-/16-channel NVRs, each with a built-in PoE switch and DHCP server, guarantee easy installation, said Aaron Kim, Sales Manager. The NVRs can use the same power cables as IP cameras, allowing them to function without any additional wiring or IP settings. Similar to the Dynacolor NVR, the Itx NVRs are also plug-and-play with Itx's own cameras. Kim also highlighted the easy-to-use GUI, even for beginners. End users can check up on camera or recording status anytime through the intuitive interface.

As video surveillance solution providers cast a wider net to cover entry-level market segments, making technology easily accessible to the average user might have become a game changer or tiebreaker, especially for NVR and software developers. Dynacolor and Itx have, luckily and professionally, embodied this design concept in their latest offerings.

Honeywell IP cams now ONVIF Profile S compliant

Honeywell IP cams now ONVIF Profile S compliant

Editor / Provider: Honeywell Security | Updated: 5/24/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Honeywells newly expanded line of IP cameras gives you unlimited possibilities to choose whats right for every camera installation. Designed with open IP standards, Honeywell ONVIF Profile S network cameras offer superb picture quality and ensure full interoperability through seamless integration with our portfolio of MAXPRO NVRs as well as third-party NVRs.

Seamless Integration
- Integrate with the full line of MAXPRO NVRs: XE, SE and PE
- Ensure full interoperability by using Honeywell IP cameras with ONVIF-compliant vendor NVRs like Exacq Technologies, Milestone, Genetec and more
- Easily manage devices with fully ONVIF-compliant Profile S protocol cameras

Increased Flexibility
- See more detail when viewing moving objects with progressive scan video - Get significant storage savings without sacrificing image quality through Digital Noise Reduction (DNR)
- Reduce installation time with quick and easy setup through a Web client or NVR

Expanded IP Camera Offering
- Meet exact application needs through a complete IP line of equIP Series and Performance Series cameras
- Enjoy exceptional picture quality with true day/night cameras available in 1080p and 720p wide
- IP/IR Bullet and dome cameras allow you to see in complete darkness

Asia Update: Keda bringing vertical solutions to global security theater

Asia Update: Keda bringing vertical solutions to global security theater

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu, | Updated: 5/22/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

There is no better “test bed” than China. With its land mass, population and security focus and budget, the country is a perfect breeding ground for security solution developers and providers, especially with large-scale networked systems. Here is one success story in the making.

Headquartered in Suzhou, China as a subsidiary of Keda Communications, Keda Technology has come a long way since its establishment in 1995 as a telecommunication and video conferencing system specialist and 2005 IPO in Singapore. With its 2012 revenue exceeding US$160 million and work force of 3,000+, the company is chomping at the bit to take its fine-tuned vertical solutions abroad, for government and MNC users that are looking for tried-and-tested quality HD surveillance video to tackle their security and management headaches.

Thanks to its decade-long cultivation and experience between 1995 and 2004, Keda had honed its network communication capability through its countless video conferencing projects at government agencies and business entities across the country. According to John Xue, Executive Director for Keda Technology, it was also during that period that the company realized the significance of easy-to-use software interfaces and seamless technical support. “Owing to our earlier partnership with Philips, we have exceled at hardware manufacturing, video imaging processing, and frame/bit rate control and management. But it was through these domestic but nationwide projects that we learned to be especially mindful of the unique implementation and day-to-day requirements of system integrators and government/enterprise end users.”

After the “Safe City” initiative swept across and started to take root in China in 2007/2008, Keda got to demonstrate how its intelligent, interconnected IP cameras, NVRs and management platforms could help end users better react to constantly evolving site conditions at many more multisite projects. “We were fortunate to be given the many opportunities to evolve as well, to grow to be application-specific in how analytics and automated alerts can be deployed in various environments,” Xue shared. To date, 14 to 16 percent of Keda's annual turnover is earmarked for R&D endeavors.

Open Arms
To continue to drive innovation and scale new heights, Keda is eyeing the cloud and global market. “We have an open-door, open-arms policy. With cloud-based applications growing exponentially, we want to collaborate with as many technology partners as possible because we can't do it all alone. We will also continue to work on optimizing image processing and bandwidth allocation management so that better and sooner preventive and preemptive measures can be taken.”

Keda is now active throughout Asia (from Japan and Korea all the way to Southeast Asia), the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, and continues to look for capable and compatible distribution partners. “The security market is highly dynamic yet with a much longer selling cycle, so there is a lot more unpredictability. We are taking the time to groom our partners, grow our development and distribution networks, and hone our branding and sales management efforts,” Xue expressed.

Keda is ready and open for business — are you?

UK boutique hotel operator rolls out standardized surveillance at 14 locations

UK boutique hotel operator rolls out standardized surveillance at 14 locations

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 5/21/2013 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels, a luxury hotel franchise in UK with 14 distinctive hotels ranging from bijou boutique to large-scale luxury, located in London, Heathrow, Guildford and Manchester, recently upgraded its more than 700-camera analog video surveillance system with a new standardized analog system consisting of Samsung Techwin cameras and 40 DVRs. The hotel has entered a long term single source supply relationship agreement with Samsung, to equip all its hotels with Samsung video surveillance solution.

The safety of guests and staff has always been the hotel's top priority and Radisson has never hesitated to invest in the latest video surveillance technology. However, this resulted in many different types of cameras and recording devices from various manufacturers being deployed across its hotels. Mohamed Elsebahy, Group CCTV Manager, held a strong opinion that significant operational advantages could be achieved by a process of standardization. The hotel researched whether it would be possible to single source all the components of a video surveillance system from one manufacturer, said Elesbahy.

The starting point for the detailed research as to what products would best match Radisson's demanding requirements was the video recording solution. Although images from the 700 plus domes installed across the 14 hotels can be viewed live at control rooms located at Heathrow and London, the key objective has always been to record activity captured by the cameras so that any incidents or suspicious activity can be investigated, and if appropriate, video evidence can be retrieved and passed onto the police for prosecution purposes.

Samsung's DVR, which can simultaneously record real time images across all of its 16 channels at 4CIF was chosen after a four month trial, however, the hotel required certain adjustments. “We identified from our operational perspective some shortcomings in the list of features available in the VMS that is provided with the DVR,” said Nick Kalsi, Technology Consultant of the hotel. “What we felt was missing was the ability to name the DVRs, make brightness adjustments and also to manage the printing of images via the software.” Samsung customized the DVRs to meet the hotel's specifications.

Images from the 700 domes are recorded at different frame rates depending on the type and level of activity anticipated at each camera location and all of the images are stored for 30 days. So far 200 units have been replaced with either IR internal domes, WDR indoor domes or with vandal-resistant external domes. The remaining 500 units will be replaced in the near future as part of a phased upgrade program.

"Working closely with a single manufacturer has proved to be a great success as they have been able to provide objective advice on the correct camera model for every location,” said Mohamed Elsebahy. Local police officers have also commented that the video surveillance system at Heathrow hotel is one of the most reliable of many hotels on the A4 strip. Radisson is in the process of testing Samsung's NVRs with a view to migrating from an analog based system to a networked IP solution.

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