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Regulations safeguard bank security

Regulations safeguard bank security

Editor / Provider: Alyssa Fann, a&s International | Updated: 10/18/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Banks are where the money is and although online banking has reduced customer visits to the bank, the brick-and-mortar branch bank is here to stay and remains a crucial component of financial institutions. Taking the U.S. for example, a survey by consulting firm Novantas2 showed that the branch remains the preferred sales and service channel for opening accounts (75 %), getting advice (58 %), and buying financial products (62%). In other words, bank customers are not ready to phase out brick-and-mortar banks to migrate completely to the virtual banking world.

For the security industry, opportunities come from several areas. First, the upgrading of legacy systems in surveillance, access control, and alarms offers plenty of business opportunities. Next, mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector also represent business opportunities as corporate policies on security might have differed and would now have to be unified or brought together under the expanded corporation. Finally, like every other sector, the financial sector faces changing threats and security systems need to be upgraded to adequately address new challenges that include sophisticated crime organizations armed with state-of-art technology.

Hence, the security market in this vertical is still very much present. System integrators, however, need to understand the specialized needs of the financial sector, such as dealing with large sums of cash and being subjected to robberies and fraud on a daily basis.

In financial transactions, every transaction is akin to a legally binding action. Every piece of document and security footprint serves to legitimize the transaction, such as the withdrawal of money by a specific customer that took place. Coupled with the daily risks of robberies and fraud, bank security systems are often subjected to government regulations. The experienced system integrator would have to ensure that all minimum requirements are met.

At the same time, there are corporate policies on security that need to be taken into account. In other words, when designing a bank security system, banks would consider their corporate policies, in addition to government regulations. These are then assessed against local security conditions to determine the level of security necessary and the systems that are to be deployed. With regards to government regulations, some banks will undoubtedly simply adhere to standard government regulations, while others will exceed them depending on corporate policies and perceived threats.

Regional Differences in Legislation
Manufacturers are well aware of the differences in government regulations. “Within the European Union, each country has its own approach in terms of the legal requirements for bank security. In Germany, for example, bank security is covered by health and safety regulations, which are relevant for all workplaces dealing with a certain amount of cash. So while this applies to banks, it may also be appropriate for the money-counting room in a huge cinema,” said Stephan Beckmann, Product Marketing Manager of EMEA at Tyco Security Products.

While the overarching main document in the U.S. for banks to follow is the Bank Protection Act, there are other regulations, including state stipulated ones. “The Bank Protection Act is the main document that must be followed, but Regulation H from the Board of Governors of the Federal System also governs membership of state banking institutions, including describing a member bank's obligation to implement security procedures to discourage certain crimes,” mentioned Chris Mullins, North American Inter-Company Sales Manager — Banking and Financial at American Dynamics (Tyco Security Products).

Security Equipment Requirements
Each region has its own regulations pertaining to physical security installations, such as equipment standards and storage requirements. “In Germany, video hardware such as cameras and NVRs must be UVV-Kassen certified, which is the health and safety standard,” said Beckmann. “When looking at regulations regarding camera types and locations, there are test charts and testing procedures that an UVV-Kassen compliant camera installation has to pass after the installation. For instance, the picture quality for the camera at the cash desk must support proper identification of individuals, while other cameras must provide an overview of the scene,” added Beckmann.

In Asia, banks in Hong Kong are required to have bulletproof windows, while armed guards are employed at Singaporean banks. On the other hand, although banks are permitted to apply for armed guards in Taiwan, most banks do not feel the need to do so, based on risk assessments of local conditions. In other words, while there are government regulations, some clauses may not be mandatory and banks have the flexibility to adjust accordingly to their risk analysis conclusions. Hence, the security solution deployed depends on a combination of factors that include corporate policy, government and insurance regulations, lifestyle determinants, and preferred equipment.

Storage Period
Video storage length is regulated by law and varies vastly between countries. European countries tend to have stricter privacy laws. “Countries such as Austria, Germany, and France limit the maximum length of stored video to a few days, but for banks, incident-related footage must be stored longer — at least 10 days or until it is released as a protected partition of the video system,” mentioned Beckmann.

Across the Atlantic pond, “some local jurisdictions impose their own specific regulations, such as the New York ATM lobby law — the ATM lobby has to be fully covered for video so there is no dead space and there is adequate resolution,” noted Mullins. “In Maryland, there exists a regulation that ATM video has to be kept for 60 days, although a general rule of thumb is usually 90 days,” Mullins added.

In China, where there are more explicit regulations, recorded video from around ATMs and behind the teller lines are stored for three months. The storage period for other areas of banks, such as waiting areas and halls, is one month.

As most banks have overseas branches, some may choose to unify video storage policies across their branches.

Intrusion Alarms
Intrusion alarms are the first line of defense when unauthorized people attempt to access bank zones with malicious intent. In Europe, the EN 50131 standard is driving the adoption of video-enhanced verification, which aims to combat the false alarms issue common with traditional alarm systems to enable more effective, faster police response and save the customer from paying fines incurred by false alarms. The EN 50131 sets a grading system for installations and guides the prioritizing of responses from local law enforcement. The choice of the grade level varies between countries and is largely guided by insurance companies. The deadline for mandatory adherence also varies between countries, but 70 percent of the market in Spain and roughly 50 percent in the Nordics are already employing video-enhanced verification.

“Most countries refer to European standards on intruder systems. [However], in Germany, there is another organization, originally founded by insurance companies, called VdS. VdS provides regulatory guidelines such as which devices should be used, and how the overall security system should be configured,” noted Beckmann.

While there doesn't appear to be an explicit government standard in the U.S., “intrusion alarms have to be registered with local jurisdictions in most cases,” commented Mullins. “[This way] if the police departments receive an alarm, they have prior knowledge about the location of that alarm.” Nevertheless, there is a trend towards video-enhanced verification for intruder alarms.

In the end, a key factor to success in the banking and financial vertical is to understand the security needs of these customers and assist them in integrating their corporate policies with government and insurance regulations in their security solutions. While the security equipment used may be no different to other verticals, banks security systems are more likely to be subjected to regulations due to their business nature. Security systems in this vertical need to be legally viable if necessary. Mergers, acquisitions, and upgrades will continue to create business opportunities for the security industry.


LILIN bank solution with IP cameras, NVRs and DVRs

LILIN bank solution with IP cameras, NVRs and DVRs

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by: MERITLILIN ENT CO., LTD. | Updated: 10/14/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

The banking industry normally requires longer video recording periods of up to 6 months. Highly secured data storage with hot swappable RAID support is a must. Dual power supply and dual video reorders are also highly recommended for such system. Speaking of selection on cameras, PTZ, IR, and vandal resistant types of cameras are the ones perfectly for bank projects.

The Solution
LILIN's iMEGAPRO HD IP camera technology is offering high resolution and unbeatable quality compared to traditional analog cameras. With the full HD quality of the iMEGAPRO series line, minor details in the video footage can be observed clearly.

Recommended Camera Models
* The IPR6122ESX weather proof IR camera can be used at both indoor and outdoor environments without any lighting support. 
* LILIN's IPD6122ESX vandal resistant camera with its built-in MIC is able to record audio and videos simultaneously. 
* LILIN's IPD6222ES can work under minimum low lighting color mode. With Sense Up+ technology, IPD6222ES camera can work at 0.27 lux without motion blur. This is an ideal camera product for places such as the lobby area in a bank so that videos can be surely captured fully even in poor lighting environments.
* All iMEGAPRO series cameras have PoE built-in for easy installation.

ATM Application
LILIN's iMEGAPRO camera series provides outstanding quality of videos at a high compression rate and 3Mbps bandwidth at 30FPS. The NVR104 can support up to 6TB of storage space and provide 6 months of 1080P recording on two cameras running at 16FPS. When compared with traditional PC-based NVRs, this embedded system provides extraordinary overall system performance. The compact and vandal resistant designs of IPD6222ES are perfect to be well-utilized inside ATM machine.

Branch Application
LILIN's CMX1072 has a built-in hardware RAID controller for fast HDD swapping and data recoveries, they are considered as crucial tasks in the banking industry. Also, CMX1072 provides dual-power inputs that can distribute the power source for safer power management. With two-monitor outputs, the CMX1072 can be used to configure a TV Wall application. Dual-streaming technology allows the system unit to record up to 72 channels of 1080P resolution in real-time.

In the case of branch management application, a remote monitor is required for NVRs, DVRs, IP cameras, as well as LILIN VD022 full HD video decoder to be used. The VD022 can decode up to 16 channels of videos – acting as a video matrix. IP addresses of NVRs, DVRs, and IP cameras being imported via “One Button IP Configuration” in which complicated system configuration is not needed here. There are various ways provided to users to control NVRs, DVRs, and IP cameras; for example, a remote control, a computer mouse, or a touch-screen monitor. This gives users the most flexibility when operating the surveillance system.

Application for Headquarter
LILIN's CMX1108 is ideal for headquarter centralized control system usage. If NVRs are used in one of the branches, the video can be transmitted via Internet at D1 resolution for the headquarter control system to view or monitor. As long as branches' control system and headquarter central control system both adopt CMX software (central video management software), users across the boards are able to base their current Internet bandwidth availability to choose either full HD or D1 streaming mode to load videos. On the other hand, if the bandwidth space is too low, the CMX software will change to “Low Bandwidth Mode,” which a snapshot of video footage is being taken every second from all the installed cameras at each branch site.

LILIN is providing a complete solution from top to bottom for banking industry. Highly secured data storage with hot swappable RAID support ensures to deliver topnotch video quality at all times. With dual-power inputs, TV Wall software application, and low bandwidth mode feature can greatly create a dependable and cost-effective surveillance system solution in uses of bank headquarter surveillance central control and micro monitoring in all bank branches.

CEM Systems & American Dynamics secure Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries

CEM Systems & American Dynamics secure Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries

Editor / Provider: CEM Systems | Updated: 10/11/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

CEM Systems, part of Tyco Security Products, announces that the CEM AC2000 security management system has been successfully installed at Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries main base at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. SAEI joins leading airports and aviation maintenance facilities around the world where the CEM AC2000 system is providing paramount security.

Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries is the maintenance arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia. SAEI maintains the entire fleet of Saudia which includes Boeing B777-200 & -300 & Airbus A320 and A330 families and provides maintenance handling at all in-Kingdom airports and over 27 international stations.

“The powerful CEM AC2000 security management system is providing high levels of security to our main maintenance base in Jeddah” said Mr. Riyadh Bakedo, Director Plant & Equipment Maintenance from Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries. “CEM's S610 intelligent readers provide access control restrictions to highly secure airside areas such as administration offices and aircraft hangers, while CEM biometric readers enable us to control staff access to our airside warehouse. We are very happy with the AC2000 system, which is set to grow and expand further”.

CEM's S610 intelligent IP card readers come with an LCD display, keypad and on-board database offering intelligence at the door. As such the reader will continue to operate and store transactions offline, ensuring zero system downtime. The S610 readers also feature sophisticated door modes such as Turnstile, Control Post and Validation mode. This enables the CEM S610f readers to critically secure turnstiles to monitor staff attendance into SAEI aircraft hangers and warehouse. The S610f reader also offers increased security by providing three levels of identity checks – ID card authentication, PIN check and fingerprint verification.

As an all-in-one Tyco Security products solution, Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) also has over 350 American Dynamics Illustra IP cameras installed to secure its maintenance base. The Illustra 400 IP cameras have one of the most powerful sensor-processor combinations available on the market and have been in operation at Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) for over two years.

VideoEdge Network Video Recorders (NVRs) are also utilised to provide a powerful, high-performance video management solution. VideoEdge records and manages video from the high-definition Illustra cameras and enables multiple video streams for live and recorded video collection.

 Infinova/March Networks financial solution integrated with 5MP cams and fraud detection

Infinova/March Networks financial solution integrated with 5MP cams and fraud detection

Editor / Provider: Infinova/March Networks | Updated: 10/3/2013 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, the supplier of video surveillance systems to banks in the Americas, announce new additions to its next-generation financial solution. The expanded portfolio includes the new March Networks MegaPX 360 Indoor Dome IP camera and a local ATM/teller integration capability for smaller credit unions and community banks seeking more powerful fraud detection.

The new MegaPX 360 Indoor Dome provides financial institutions with high-definition (HD), panoramic overviews of entire retail banking branches and similarly-sized locations via a single camera rather than multiple surveillance cameras. Able to capture a complete 360-degree field-of-view and 5 megapixel resolution, the MegaPX 360 also features a digital PTZ capability that allows banks and credit unions to zoom in on a scene and capture multiple views at the same time.

The ONVIF-compliant dome is easily installed in a ceiling for 360-degree video recording, or wall-mounted to provide a 180-degree view. It integrates seamlessly with March Networks Command video management software and high-performance 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs for convenient, browser-based management. The MegaPX 360 is also a perfect complement to other March Networks HD and wide dynamic range cameras optimized for installation behind teller stations, in ATM lobbies and other dedicated areas.

Local transaction integration solution
Addressing demand from smaller credit unions and community banks eager to take advantage of time-saving investigation capabilities, March Networks is now offering local ATM / teller transaction data integration as part of its financial portfolio. The local solution delivers features similar to the company's centrally managed, enterprise-class offering, allowing smaller banks to identify fraud faster and improve recoveries.

With the local financial transaction integration, managers and other authorized staff will be able to search on all transactions conducted at their branch by card number, date/time or other criteria using their existing Visual Intelligence client software. They can then quickly access and review the resulting transaction data and synchronized surveillance video to identify possible fraud, gather case evidence and share evidence easily with law enforcement when required.

“We continue to expand our portfolio to meet the needs of different types of financial institutions, and deliver a complete solution that's exceptionally reliable and highly effective at helping customers protect profits,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks.

Tyco Security Products safeguards Exploratorium Interactive Science Museum with VMS

Tyco Security Products safeguards Exploratorium Interactive Science Museum with VMS

Editor / Provider: Tyco Security Products | Updated: 10/3/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Tyco Security Products, part of Tyco, a pure-play fire protection and security company, announced that the Exploratorium, a ground breaking interactive science museum and modern learning laboratory, has chosen its video and access control technologies as part of a unified security solution for its new state-of-the-art facility on San Francisco's historic waterfront.

The solution includes American Dynamics' video management system, which provides security personnel the ability to view, search and export video from VideoEdge NVRs as well as manage the museum's network of Illustra IP mini-domes. The video platform also unifies access control operations from the museum's C-CURE 9000 security and event management system, ensuring that museum security officials can centrally manage security operations of its new $220 million-dollar facility from one user interface.

“Our new, expansive facility required a flexible and scaleable system that would allow us to easily manage our public exhibits and private areas during viewing hours and off hours, as well as bring on additional sub systems and sites in the future,” said Jennifer Fragomeni, Director of Facilities and Operations, Exploratorium.

Spanning San Francisco's historic Pier 15, the museum's campus encompasses 330,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space, along with a portion of Pier 17, which the Exploratorium also controls for behind-the-scenes work. Working with its consultant, Security By Design, and systems integrator, Johnson Controls, the Exploratorium's custom plan includes 75 access control panels and 100 card readers from Software House and approximately 150 American Dynamics cameras to protect staff, visitors and museum displays.

March Networks integrates Sony IP cameras with 8000 Series Hybrid NVR

March Networks integrates Sony IP cameras with 8000 Series Hybrid NVR

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 9/27/2013 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions and an independent subsidiary of Infinova, announced the integration of its 8000 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorders (NVRs) with Sony Electronics's IPELA ENGINE EX and PRO IP cameras. The March Networks-certified integration makes it easier for 8000 Series customers and systems integrators to deploy Sony cameras for high-quality video surveillance. It also provides Sony customers with greater flexibility when selecting a recording platform, allowing them to take advantage of the exceptional reliability, centralized management and 100 percent IP camera support provided by the 8000 Series platform.

March Networks is committed to providing customers and partners with open, standards-based products. All 8000 Series hybrid recorders are ONVIF-compliant, which enables them to operate seamlessly with more than 2,000 third-party cameras. In addition, the company works with best-in-class manufacturers like Sony to ensure support for an expanded set of capabilities. The certified integration with the Sony IP cameras ensures out-of-the-box support for features including audio capture, H.264 video compression, motion alarms, physical alarms and switches, and PTZ control.

"Video surveillance customers are looking for broader product choices and deployment options," said Mark Collett, General Manager, Sony Electronics' Security Systems Division. "This integration with March Networks' hybrid recording systems is a direct response to that demand and is particularly advantageous for organizations seeking more detailed, high-definition surveillance video."

March Networks' 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs deliver the high-performance customers need for advanced surveillance and business intelligence applications now and in the future. Available in 32, 16, 8 and compact 4-channel models, the recorders support multiple hybrid camera combinations as well as all-IP video streaming, enabling organizations to transition from analog to 100 percent IP video on the same platform. The 8000 Series employs optimized H.264 video compression to provide detailed, HD video and noticeably sharper analog camera images without increasing storage requirements. The recorders also maintain the unparalleled reliability, centralized video management and scalability that have made March Networks the No. 1 supplier of enterprise video recorders in the Americas and a leading provider worldwide.

Idis safeguards Rebellion Brewery with DirectIP surveillance solution

Idis safeguards Rebellion Brewery with DirectIP surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: Idis | Updated: 9/25/2013 | Article type: Security 50

The Rebellion Brewery has upgraded its surveillance capability to a full-HD and networked DirectIP surveillance solution to safeguard staff and visitors while protecting its multi-purpose facilities. Evolution Security Systems, one of the UK's leading security systems integrators, completed the installation project, including handover and training of Rebellion staff, in less than one day.

The Rebellion Brewery is taking advantage of DirectIP network video recorders (NVRs) together with a range of two mega-pixel and weatherproof dome cameras utilising night vision capability to protect its busy merchandise and gift shop, brewing museum and production line producing over 70,000 pints of beer a day. The IDIS Mobile App allows the Rebellion management team to retrieve video footage and remotely live-view on mobile devices, while the push notification feature provides instant alerts to alarms and pre-set events on the move and out of hours.

Commenting on the project, Tim Coombes, Co-owner of The Rebellion Brewery, said, “The DirectIP? solution does exactly what it says on the tin and fulfils every need the brewery had in terms of our safety and security requirements while providing all the benefits of HD and IP-enabled surveillance.”

John Wust, Founding Director at Evolution Security, said, “With the installation and handover only taking a day, DirectIP has proven to be far less complex than other IP surveillance systems. IDIS has eliminated the hassle of configuring IP addresses and in doing so removed any chance of error. DirectIP is a high quality and well-engineered solution for customers looking for IP-enabled HD surveillance at a very affordable price.”

FLIR Systems expands IP NVR series DNR300

FLIR Systems expands IP NVR series DNR300

Editor / Provider: FLIR Systems | Updated: 9/23/2013 | Article type: Security 50

FLIR Systems announced the expansion of the SyncroIP NVR series with a more powerful and robust NVR line. Building upon the company's popular entry level line, the DNR300 Series offers advanced functionality for more demanding applications while maintaining the original models' distinguishing characteristic… ease-of-use. FLIR DNR300 Series NVRs feature 8 integrated Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports, greater bandwidth for turbo processing speed, and a more sophisticated CMS application.

Available in 8 and 16 channel configurations, DNR300 Series NVRs include an internal 8 port PoE switch for quick and simple connection. With a recording bit rate of 80 Mbps, the system supports real-time recording (30 fps per channel) at full HD 1080p resolution in 8 channel mode (240fps @ 1080p). A wide range of the industry's most popular IP cameras of up to 5MP are fully compatible and automatically discovered by the Onvif 2.0 NVR with no configuration required.

Along with the DNR300, FLIR introduces the Syncro-C software, an intuitive 36 channel CMS with Client/Server support for managing multi-site applications, accommodating both NVRs and independent IP Cameras. A Mac version of the software is available.

SyncroIP NVRs can be accessed remotely via mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Advanced features of these apps include remote playback, push notifications for motion/alarm, E-map, and manual record / snapshot to the device.

Dahua safeguards Bacau County, Romania by IP surveillance system

Dahua safeguards Bacau County, Romania by IP surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 9/18/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Moinesti, a city in Bacau County, Romania, recently upgrades its municipal surveillance system for the sake of its safety improvement and criminality prevention by installing Dahua Megapixel surveillance system. With strong support of Dahua's local distributor and system integrator — KMW Systems and Mobilis, the project has been successfully implemented to safeguard city of Moinesti.

The challenge of this project is covering multiple monitoring sites from roads, parks, school and public areas alike. These sites have one thing in common which is opened area and it requires a monitoring center to manage hundreds of network cameras and to process and store massive data flows as well as to respond quickly if any incident or unusual signals are occurred.

Meanwhile, when choosing cameras, several factors were taken into consideration, such as detailed image quality, outdoor environment and varies of monitoring backgrounds; the suitable lens applied to the network camera is also a big concern.

With no doubts, the IP solution is definitely the answer to all the challenges. Therefore, the whole project lays importance in three dimensions — IP data transmission, video surveillance devices and central management software (CMS).

The finalized solution consists of nearly 200 units of Dahua megapixel network cameras and speed domes, a pair of high-channel network video recorders as well as 11 units of network keyboards.

The monitoring center is situated in the local police department whereas hundreds of megapixel cameras are managed and mass data volume is centrally processed and stored. The office uses seven units of Dahua servers equipped with a quad-core processing chip and HDDs of high capacity to run Dahua CMS and NVRs, in order to fully ensure the smooth operation, data safety and system stability. Meanwhile, the bureau adopts 7 units of 42-inch 1080p LCD video-walls to take control of all on-going images. At the transmission front, optic fiber is featured in the project as physical support for data transmission while the auxiliary devices are wirelessly deployed.

A local municipal official pointed out that the project is designed to combat crimes in an effective and friendly way, which also leads to an optimization of police operations. “The municipal government has received quite a lot credits from our citizens since the deployment of the project,” unnamed official added. “Through this project, it demonstrates Dahua's HD network solution is lived up to high standards that city of Moinesti requires,” said Michael Chen, Vice President of Dahua Technology. “With ample city surveillance projects in China, we surely have the capabilities for the projects alike.”

“Our HD network solution includes front-end, back-end as well as TV wall, given that our products and technologies are differentiating with other suppliers can offer,” added Chen. “We will continue to offer solution-based solution to our customers not only for city surveillance projects but also other vertical markets, such as retail, hotel and transportation.”

Standalone NVRs advance in market over PC-based NVRs

Standalone NVRs advance in market over PC-based NVRs

Editor / Provider: Alyssa Fann, a&s International | Updated: 9/26/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

NVRs began as PC-based solutions, harnessing the powers of a CPU. However, in recent years, these are no longer the mainstream products on the market. A couple of years ago, standalone NVRs were introduced into the market, catering to the increasing popularity of network cameras. Since then, their popularity has risen in the industry and standalone NVRs are claiming their spot as the mainstream video storage product. Another NVR develop in recent years is in response to community- and city-wide surveillance projects. The NVRs that cater to this market segment are large with powerful data processing capabilities.

While both PC-based and standalone NVRs record video, store video, and manage cameras, recorded content, viewing and archiving, the differences between the two lie in how they operate and the features they provide.

Standalone NVRs are smaller and more compact in size compared to PC-based NVRs. In terms of performance, standalone NVRs operate on SoC and usually have one or more DSPs for video compression, decompression, and a CPU for other functions. On the other hand, PC-based NVRs utilize the CPU for video compression/decompression, viewing and recording content, and managing cameras.

Currently, standalone NVRs are better suited for systems where the number of cameras is within the limits of an NVR's capacity. PC-based NVRs are decidedly more powerful in processing data, and offer much more flexibility in storage scalability, compared to standalone NVRs. PC-based systems also offer more camera scalability, whereas standalone NVRs tend to have an upper limit of camera capacity.

Standalone NVRs triumph over PC-based NVRs in the following areas: price, reliability, and stability. With fewer components and packaged in a compact case, they are appealing in price and more reliable in performance. They are also more stable, secure, and less prone to viruses and hacks, as they run on Linux, as opposed to a Windows-based system. Finally, as they run on a standalone operating system, they have a shorter boot time, compared to the longer loading time required by PC-based NVRs.

With their many benefits, standalone NVRs are gaining traction in the market. In response, several manufacturers are hearing this call and offering attractive products. For example, Shany Electronic is launching standalone NVRs in 4-, 20-, and 36 channels to meet the market demands of SMB enterprises. In this way, smaller projects benefit from the features and capabilities of standalone NVRs and SMB enterprises are able to save substantially on costs. More importantly, “these NVRs are not only powerful, but also boast ease-of-use features, such as auto search and built-in network power to remove the need of a PoE switch. The perk of this function is that it further reduces costs for customers as they do not have to purchase PoE switches, which could be costly. PC-based NVRs, for example, require substantial investments such as licenses for Windows, video analytics software, and monitors,” said Steve Tang, GM at Shany Electronic.

According to Joe Qiu, Overseas Business Director at TVT Digital Technology, the choice between PC-based NVRs and standalone NVRs depends on end users. More customers are familiar with PC-based NVRs now due to historical reasons, while more and more will adopt standalone NVRs because of their better prices and higher reliability. Currently, standalone NVRs are optimized at operations of up to 64 channels, although some manufacturers such as Hikvision, Dahua, and TVT are offering ones with over 100 channels. In the future, more and more applications would be covered by standalone NVRs.

However, the number of channels is not the only deciding factor. Aaron Yeh,Director of Surveon Technology, noted that some installations require more complex functions, such as integration with POS and delivery systems. In this scenario, even a franchised convenience store may require a PC-based NVR which is further integrated with its headquarters.

Generally, PC-based NVRs are deployed in large-scale projects, such as enterprises, and government and mission-critical applications. They may also be deployed in high-end homes or smaller-scale enterprises with more complex security requirements.

On the other hand, standalone NVRs are best suited for homes and small businesses with systems of up to 16 channels. QNAP Security, for example, recently completed a project in India where a gas company deployed standalone NVRs at its multiple sites. According to Evelyn Kao, Product Manager at Surveillance Business Division of QNAP Security, standalone NVRs met end-user requirements in terms of budget, reliability, local display feature, and functionality.

Undoubtedly, standalone NVRs and PC-based NVRs will have overlapping markets, but the question is how large and where is this overlap. In response to this, several industry experts have referenced the history of DVRs.

According to Yeh, based on the ease-of-use, affordability, stability, and reliability of standalone NVRs, the initial overlapping areas will be in the small businesses. The overlap, however, does not necessarily represent a threat to PC-based NVRs, as these small-scale installations have traditionally required less complex functions that PC-based NVRs are capable of. The advent of standalone NVRs will naturally fulfill the requirements of the end users in this segment comfortably. Beyond that, Yeh said, “there is still a large analog market and standalone NVRs will naturally replace the DVRs that are still out there.”

“Just like DVRs, when NVRs first came out, they are only available in the PC-based form. End users with less complex requirements had no other option, but now with the standalone NVRs available, it is natural that they will adopt it at a rapid pace,” he added.

Hence, some feel that standalone NVRs will take over some market share of PC-based NVRs, but this will be mostly concentrated in the mid-market segments. The mid- to high-scale installations will remain reserved for PC-based NVRs as end users require more channels and more complex integration, scalability, and storage.

At the same time, “PC-based NVRs may have an advantage because VMS technology is mature. However, with the adoption of advanced solutions and more efforts invested in standalone NVR technology, the scalability and flexibility of standalone NVRs would be enhanced dramatically. In other words, the rapid development of standalone NVRs would greatly decrease the traditional merits of PC-based NVRs,” commented Ice Wu, Product Director of Dahua Technology on the development of standalone NVRs.

The rising popularity of standalone NVRs has resulted in numerous manufacturers sprouting up in Shenzhen, China. Although standalone NVRs from these manufacturers come with a considerably lower price tag, Wu does not feel the need to be threatened by them. “I feel that they will have their place in the market, albeit mostly at the lower end. Dahua has paid attention to this trend and we have been strengthening and completing our product offerings to meet market demands," she highlighted.

According to Chris Hsu, Marketing Manager at Merit LILIN, conservative market figures for PC-based versus standalone NVRs are approximately 92 percent versus 8 percent this year. The ratios would likely change in favor of standalone NVRs to 85:15 next year, and 70:30 the year after.

The uptake of standalone NVRs is different amongst the various regions worldwide. “China is a mature market and the world's manufacturing hub of standalone NVRs. Hence, from our perspective, roughly 80 percent of the market is standalone NVRs,” said Eric Shen, Product Manager of DVR/NVR at Hikvision Digital Technology.

The figures are slightly different in other regions of the world. “In emerging countries, the ratio of standalone NVRs to PC-based NVRs is roughly 50:50. The ratio is less for Europe and North America, because these regions are headquarters to many of the PC-based systems and have traditionally been more used to PC-based systems as a result,” explained Shen on the regional difference in the adoption of standalone NVRs.

Education remains key to the widespread adoption of standalone NVRs in these regions. “We work hard to show end users and system integrations the benefits of standalone NVRs and we find that this has been successful in penetrating the developed markets. At the same time, however, the first segments to adopt standalone NVRs would be the small and medium enterprises as they stand to benefit most,” explained Shen.

In looking at why PC-based NVRs currently have more presence in the market, Qiu explained that standalone NVRs have just been in the market for roughly three to four years and have yet to reach mass adoption stage. Currently, approximately 60 to 70 percent of the market is dominated by PC-based NVRs. However, based on the history of DVRs, the standalone DVR market matured in 2007 and rapidly reached mass adoption stage within three years. Drawing a parallel, he noted, “based on current market trends, it is likely that roughly 80 percent of the end users will select standalone NVRs in the near future. There will still be that 20 percent who would have special requirements and opt for PC-based NVRs. This is because the PC is a platform that enables end users to integrate multiple other systems as required. At the same time however, these are very specialized needs, so the majority of the market will gear towards standalone NVRs.”

As standalone NVRs improve in capabilities and features, they stand to rival PC-based NVRs even further. The day when the global market share of standalone NVRs versus PC-based NVRs is 50:50 should not be far off.

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