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

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

Editor / Provider: Judy Lin, asmag.com | 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.
Source: asmag.com

Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

Plug-and-play NVRs from Dynacolor and Itx Security

Editor / Provider: Judy Lin, asmag.com | 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, asmag.com | 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.

Idis launches bundled VMS

Idis launches bundled VMS

Editor / Provider: Idis | Updated: 5/21/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Idis has announced, during Ifsec International, that it will bundle Idis Center VMS at no extra cost, as part of its DirectIP HD video surveillance solutions. The bundled offering provides customers with a complete VMS to install, configure, integrate and operate DirectIP solutions without licensing fees or complexity.

“VMS has too often become synonymous with cost and complexity within the industry. By bundling IdisCenter we are offering customers a true one-stop-shop solution without the need for expert IT or network skills, nor the cost involved in buying and renewing software licences,” noted Brian Song, MD of Idis.

Idis Center provides customers with plug-and-play management software to install and operate network cameras, NVRs and servers. Through an intuitive user interface very similar to that of traditional analogue systems, users are able to view live video and playback simultaneously. Idis Center further provides real-time event notification to improve incident response times, as well as a panic recording feature. The system provides easy and fast installation and configuration of up to 1024 devices and enables hassle-free maintenance via remote software upgrades.

Song commented, “This further builds on the Idis commitment to deliver simple, cost effective end-to-end HD video surveillance through our DirectIP solutions, all built on the quality and performance Idis customers the world over have come to expect.”

Tennessee rehabilitation center keeps recovering residents in check

Tennessee rehabilitation center keeps recovering residents in check

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Qnap Security | Updated: 5/20/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Recovery Ranch, located in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., is a special rehabilitation center for clients with addictive, eating or mood disorders, or in need of psychosomatic recovery for improved quality of life. The ranch employs 160 therapists and administrative personnel, serving more than 75 clients at a time, with 24/7 care for different treatments; hence, it is a large facility with residents of diverse backgrounds.

The ranch encompasses two sites: the main campus with two buildings and a new campus with six buildings, individually located one mile apart. On land stretching over 2,000 acres and multiple campuses, it is necessary to have a powerful surveillance system to secure the community and archive records of any incidents that occur. The two original buildings, dated back to late 1800s, were not designed with network wiring. Also, they had unstable power supplies due to the age of the buildings and the location in a rural area, where bad weather could easily cause a power outage. Therefore, wireless became very important, and a good mechanism to sustain system power supply was essential, too.

Moreover, Recovery Ranch required 16 to 18 cameras installed around the campuses and a system able to store videos for two to three months. Prior to the installation, Recovery Ranch surveyed CCTV and DVR solutions, but all lacked advanced management functions and did not have sufficient storage capacity.

Road to Recovery
In the end, Recovery Ranch turned to the Qnap VioStor NVR surveillance system because of its robust, IP-based design and the many unique management features. Two units of VioStor NVR VS-6020 Pro, powered by dual-core Intel Atom processor, were installed on each campus, monitoring 25 VIVOTEK fixed domes and Mobotix fisheye cameras. “Qnap NVRs definitely play a central role in the video security for Recovery Ranch, as this is a one-stop solution that is well-integrated with multiple brands of IP cameras and hence can fulfill very diverse indoor/outdoor monitoring requirements,” said Jeff Chase, IT Manager. “Moreover, the system is very scalable in camera deployment, and with free software updates, it is open to more features at no additional cost, making it a future-proof investment for many years to come.”

The VS-6020 Pro supports high-quality H.264, MPEG-4, M-JPEG and MxPEG recording, and can efficiently stream videos wirelessly while maintaining high-megapixel image quality. In addition, the 6-bay VS-6020 Pro accommodates up to 24-TB storage capacity to satisfy Recovery Ranch's needs of storing videos for up to three months. The VS-6020 Pro also solves the problem of unexpected power outage. With support for UPS devices, the VS-6020 Pro is programmed with USB-connected UPS to ensure 24/7 service. Detailed event logs of system warning, network disconnection and the UPS status are also recorded for diagnosis. What Recovery Ranch favored most was the intelligent video analytics. By using the motion detection algorithm in playback mode, the security administrator can set up areas of interest and time frames for the NVR to automatically find events of interest. It is, overall, less labor-intensive than manually watching each channel at 16x fast-forward play. It is quick to review — for example, an individual, in a specific area, at a certain time of the day — the day's video, and reviewing evidence is more efficient than ever.

Since the two units of VioStor NVR VS-6020 Pro were installed, the ranch has required little maintenance. The Linux-based operating system and RAID storage volume are very reliable; at the same time, it is more power-efficient than running the VMS server on a PC. Therefore, Recovery Ranch does not have to keep the PC running 100-percent of the time. It shows power consumption changes from 200W to 43W (with six HDDs installed) in average, resulting in up to five times of savings in utility. “The VS-6020 Pro is an easy-to-use and intuitive product, enabling the security administrator to fully utilize the features of the surveillance system. We can spend less time on IT, and more time on running the center,” Chase concluded.

 

 

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Do more with less

Do more with less

Editor / Provider: By Tevin Wang, a&s International | Updated: 5/14/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Fisheye cameras have been around for years, but real-life adoption seems to be limited, due to a limited number of offerings and VMS integrations. Things are changing for the better, as more camera manufacturers and management software providers pay more attention to the optics and user benefits. a&s looks into the latest developments.

Panoramic and hemispheric lenses have been used by photographers for decades. Nowadays, one can literally shoot images with panoramic or fisheye effects with smartphones. Still, what is common in the consumer electronics industry may be exotic in security.

The panoramic camera offers both the 180-degree and 360-degree panoramic view using a single fisheye lens or several normal lenses. “For a panoramic camera using several lenses, the panoramic image is produced by stitching the images shot by each of the lenses,” said Osborne Fang, Marketing Manager at Brickcom. “On the other hand, the fisheye camera provides the panoramic image with a single lens. Due to the extremely wide viewing angle of the fisheye lens, the image is distorted and dewarping technology is needed to turn the image into a normal one, readable to the human eye. Hence, dewarping is one of the keys to the final image quality of the fisheye camera.”

Petra Bennermark, Product Manager at Axis Communications, added, “A panoramic camera refers to either a camera that is mounted on a wall and gives a 180-degree view from the wall or a ceiling-mounted camera that gives a 360-degree view of the area below the ceiling. A camera with a 180-degree fisheye lens constitutes one technical solution to such a camera. So I would say that a fisheye camera is a subset of panoramic cameras.”

One way to envision a 180-degree view is to imagine standing in the center of an alley with your back against a wall. “Cameras mounted where your head is would be able to see the whole alley including both ends and the wall that your head is against,” said Ellen Cargill, Director of Product Development for Scallop Imaging (a division of Tenebraex).

Pluses & Trade-Offs
It is important that user s understand what they get and what they do not get from fisheye cameras. Fixed cameras, however mounted, cover narrow fields of view and multiple cameras are required to give adequate coverage of wide areas. PTZ cameras, on the other hand, require manual control and are therefore most often pointing to the wrong place at the wrong time. “A fisheye camera mounted on a wall or on the ceiling in the center of a room or area can cover a vast area with no blind spots, no moving parts, and no manual control required,” said David Myers, CTO at AMG Systems. “While not totally replacing fixed and PTZ cameras, fisheye cameras provide total coverage and reduce both the number of cameras required and the infrastructure required. The ability to follow a subject on a single camera is also of great benefit in forensic analysis”

Some trade-offs still exist for fisheye cameras. As a fisheye camera uses a specialized lens that distorts the image of a scene to fit it into a single view, circular fisheye images do not use all the pixels on an image sensor. Also, image magnification diminishes as the subject moves toward the edges of the scene despite that megapixel image sensors and digital image processing have improved fisheye performance on the edges of the field of view.

Distortion & Pixel Check
Fisheye lenses project a circular footprint and have constant or linear distortion from the center to the edge. Objects closer to the camera appear bigger, while they reduce rapidly in size as the distance from the camera increases. In other words, users could have an unavoidable drop-off in image quality at the edges. These issues might be “magnified” after dewarping. It is similar to the difference between a globe and a map of the world when attempting to provide a two-dimensional representation of the three-dimensional world. Both poles are squished, like oversized representations of Antarctica and Greenland on some maps. The same goes for a fisheye lens: the farther an object is from the center of an image, the more distorted it becomes.

Image distortions and pixel drops of fisheye cameras are hard to read from technical specs. The best way is to actually test the cameras and check the details. “When comparing, make sure that you compare ‘apples to apples' — that is, the same part of the scene, the same field of view, same distance and direction angle from the camera,” Bennermark said.

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to representing the true resolution of fisheye cameras as they, compared to fixed cameras, have a smaller optical image sensor. Greg Alcorn, Director of Global Sales at Oncam Grandeye shared some simple mathematics that can help end users and integrators check exactly what resolution they are getting. “Most manufactures use a 5-megapixel sensor, or 2592 by 1944 pixels, and the image is then cropped to the size of the lens, or a circle within a rectangle. The circle, therefore, has a diameter of 1944 pixels and the following equation is used to calculate the true resolution. The actual resolution equals the area of the circle. [In this case, the actual resolution is 972x972, which is 2.9 megapixels.]"

Dewarping
Human eyes are not used to optical distortion and dewarping is created for this purpose. Dewarping can be done on fisheye cameras or on the client application. “The achievable optical resolution of the lens and the achievable resolution of the image sensor play an important role on the image quality of the dewarped image,” Fang said. “For example, a high-optical resolution fisheye lens with the 5-megapixel image sensor can provide more detail than the same lens with the 1-megapixel image sensor. Meanwhile, the computation power of the processor determines the time it takes for the dewarping function to process the raw optical image.”

In-camera dewarping offers direct dewarped views based on user's need. User can choose the number of dewarped views of the scene and the camera will do the rest. “Dewarping on the camera lets the customer create virtual views or narrow-field windows that create blind spots similar to conventional cameras. The windows may be moved using PTZ commands over the network, and will then have latency similar to what is currently associated with mechanical PTZ cameras,” Alcorn said. “[However], dewarping on the camera does not allow the ability to retrospectively view the 360 image, which is one of the biggest advantages of using 360-degree cameras.”

Dewarping on the client side, on the other hand, allows for retrospective viewing, which enables the user to go back in time to view the total scene in its original form and then pan, tilt, and/or zoom within the 360-degree image as desired. “An additional advantage to dewarp on the client side is the ability for multiple clients to view the same image with different perspectives concurrently. There is no time slicing required as with traditional PTZ cameras or 360 cameras with dewarping onboard the camera,” Alcorn added.

However, Alf Chang, Senior Consultant at a&s held a different opinion. ”In-camera dewarping may also allow multiple clients to view the same image with different perspectives. This relates more to NVRs than where the dewarping occurs. Indeed, the mode or numbers of dewarped views can only be set by one user at the front end. These dewarped views and footage are stored at the NVR. Via NVR, it is still feasible for multiple clients to view the same image with different perspectives. ”

Dewarping in the camera or on the client side have their pros and cons. When cameras are capable of dewarping themselves, installers or integrators have fewer concerns regarding the loading on the client side because the camera is doing the processing. Dewarping on the client side, on the other hand, offers comparatively more flexible and retrospective viewing. There are many dewarping methods. “Some well-known dewarping methods include stereographic projection, equidistant projection, and cylindrical projection. Each method has its own advantages, and the implementation details of the dewarping methods have to adapt to the optical characteristics of the fisheye lens used,” Fang said. “The key is the popularity and compatibility with the VMS.”

VMS Interoperability
Most fisheye manufacturers require a separate SDK for dewarping and e-PTZ controls. This makes integration to V MS systems challenging. In order to enhance the algorithm to the fullest of fisheye cameras, a VMS with full support is crucial. Limited VMS integration will block immersive fisheye cameras from being used effectively. VMS which support multiple manufacturers or even an established standard are key for broader adoption of fisheye cameras.

Oncam Grandeye is optimistic about the potential of fisheye cameras and increased integration with VMS platforms. “Technology moves forward and image quality gets better. VMS, like everything else, is advancing. We have developed an SDK for multiple platforms that can be integrated into any clientside application. It comes with our patented dewarping technology using OpenGL and 3D modeling techniques to project a texture map of the image onto p-surface (a 3D object, generated by a computer graphic system). This takes advantage of current state-of-theart GPUs (graphic processor units), which reduces the load on the CPU. Performing dewarping on the CPU could use as much as 20 percent of the CPU's performance, based on the size of the image and frame rate,” Alcorn said.

Myers agreed. “We provide the software to our VMS partners which allows fast dewarping of the high resolution fisheye live and recorded through their viewing software.”

Brickcom is also eager to increase its technology partners. “Our fisheye camera is compatible now with more than 40 VMS solutions thanks to the open ImmerVision 360-degree viewing standard,” Fang added.

If cameras are capable of dewarping, VMS interoperability is not a concern. “As Axis does dewarping in the camera, VMS is subscribed to the already dewarped images. These dewarped images can be dynamically controlled to make it a digital PTZ camera. There is no need for VMS applications to deal with dewarping,” according to Bennermark.

Future Development
Some manufacturers are launching day-night fisheye cameras for 24-hour coverage. Also, they can be deployed outdoors. The goal is to allow fisheye cameras not to be limited to indoor installations but to wider outdoor areas.

For the past few years, the greatest advances in IP-based video surveillance have been in compression and megapixel technology. These technologies bring panoramic and hemispheric cameras up to a new level, and they can be used in more applications than before, said Steve Ma, Executive VP of VIVOTEK. “With today's sensor and lens technologies, manufacturers are able to provide high quality 360-degree cameras. We will bundle fisheye cameras and speed dome cameras as a solution for great perspectives and details, which allows users to simultaneously monitor both an overview and a detailed regional view of any given scene.”

Danish visual arts museum turns to discreet IP-based surveillance

Danish visual arts museum turns to discreet IP-based surveillance

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 5/8/2013 | Article type: Government & Public Services

The Danish government's main museum for visual arts, the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen, upgraded its CCTV system in 2012 consisting of 60 analog cameras to a discreet IP-based surveillance comprised of Axis Communications one-megapixel HD cameras and Mirasys NVRs to prevent priceless artworks from theft and damage. The solution was developed jointly between Axis and partner G4S in Denmark, while the product supplier and distributor of the project was EET Europarts.

The gallery has approximately 115 employees and 60 students who occupy the building. Extremely valuable and priceless artworks are on public display in the galleries. Art pieces must be protected from theft and damage, and the safety of the employees and the thousands of people visiting the gallery daily must also be secured. In 2012 the entire CCTV system was extensively upgraded. An important consideration was that the cameras should be discreet and not distract attention from the paintings, and that they should also be easy to move, as the building is reorganized up to two to three times annually.

The museum still has a large number of analog cameras in the system, but the plan is to replace even more of these with IP cameras. The remaining analog cameras are currently connected and integrated into the system using Axis video encoders. “All you need to do is install the camera, program the IP address and run the cable. And then it takes a couple of minutes to adjust the camera angle and the lens,” said Claus Bjerg, G4S. Moreover, one cable per camera is sufficient, as the cameras are powered via the network cable. (This is important as SMK is a listed building in which running cabling, drilling and structural alterations are strictly limited).

Visitors do not even notice the cameras, and for designers the cameras are easier to locate, due to its HD images. “I've not heard any of the designers complain about the cameras,” said the museum's Security Manager Mike Coffman.“On the contrary, several have actually praised the decision to make the conversion.”

As the entire system is based on an open platform, it can be simply upgraded in line with technological development. There are also plans to exploit the opportunities of using intelligent applications, for example, to calculate the number of visitors and analyze how they move around the building. “Apart from using them to calculate how many people are in the building, it's possible to see how visitors move around and between the galleries,” said Coffman.“This is very useful information when planning exhibitions. It would also be good to be able to use intelligence in case of an evacuation, to know whether there are people left in the building and in that case, their location.”

What's trending in 2013?

What's trending in 2013?

Editor / Provider: Judy Lin, asmag.com | Updated: 5/8/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech International 2013, one of the largest trade shows in the security world, successfully concluded on April 26. Here are some of the key findings from the show floor interviews.

1. IP Rocks
IP-based video surveillance products accounted for the majority of items displayed at the exhibition, while HD-SDI products remained a minority. Of the 23 video surveillance manufacturers sampled, 16 companies featured IP products at the show, including Dynacolor, Dahua Technology, Itx, Mobotix and others. Hikvision Digital Technology and four other companies were promoting analog cameras, while Hi Sharp and Win4net were the only companies highlighting HD-SDI products. Most manufacturers are still promoting IP cameras, due to a smaller demand for HD-SDI cameras, and few related products and accessories, said Ray Chan, Director of Sales for APAC, Infinova. HD-SDI also requires larger storage, and the required frame rate is still playing catch-up, Chan continued. A technician from Fuho Technology echoed the sentiment, stating while HD-SDI products offer better image quality than analog cameras, market demand has remained low because of the lack of supporting appliances and hardware compared to analog or IP systems. Some manufacturers are trying to compensate this by promoting new HD-SDI cabling products, such as Win4net's Clebo HD-SDI PoC solution that can extend HD-SDI data transmission for more than 2 kilometers.

2. Light Sensitivity
The majority of low-light network cameras displayed at the show came with 1.3-megapixel resolution; only a few were 3-megapixel models. Shany's SNC-WD2131MSA and Yoko Technology's RYK-IPBX010 featured 1.3-megapixel low-light cameras, while Zavio's D7320 was a 3-megapixel camera. The limitations of network bandwidth and market demand are driving the sales of 1.3-megapixel low-light cameras, said Steven Mao, PM for Digital Surveillance Product Planning, Yoko Technology. Two trends in WDR network cameras were also observed, with some manufacturers such as Brickcom using software to enhance images and others, including Zavio, developing their own WDR sensors.

3. High and Low
Of the analog cameras displayed, a large number were of 700 TVLs and above. For instance, Hikvision's Picadis Exir Camera and Pishion's BRX-99P84WR were 720-TVL cameras, while Fuho's Vacron-P was a 1,000-TVL camera. The cameras target cost-conscious consumers that want better image quality close to IP cameras, but at a much lower price point, said Ian Ma, Overseas Technical Support Engineer, Hikvision. The cameras offer better images than traditional analog, and ideal for clients who are reluctant to say goodbye to their coaxial cables.

4. Easy to Install
Four- to 8-channel NVRs for SMB and home applications are mostly designed with easy setup procedures that are user-friendly. Whether its Nuuo's 8-channel NVR, that enables setup to be completed in six minutes with a click of a mouse, or Dynacolor's 4-channel NVR that automatically detects the company's cameras, the idea is to make installation hassle-free. Manufacturers are trying to make their products appealing and adoptable to the average home owner or shop keeper, who may not be tech-savvy or have the resources to hire IT specialists. Another interesting find was iCatch's latest NVR that enables consumers to use QR scanners to connect their IP cameras to the NVR.

5. Scalability Reincarnated
Installer-friendly products were not easy to miss. For example, Etherwan's ED3638 PoE switch can transmit data and electricity up to 1.8 kilometers, said Alvin Hsu, PM; Planet's BSP-300 solar-power switch is particularly suited for integrators struggling with outdoor cabling. Brickcom's FocusEasy makes life easier for installers, by beeping loudly when the camera is correctly focused; it is aimed at the hotel industry or large-scale projects that require many installations, said Anchi Chen, Marketing Administrator. All these products are designed with convenience in mind, by saving installers or system integrators valuable resources. These products are also ideal for large-scale projects and applications.

6. Value Adds
More camera and NVR manufacturers are teaming up with VCA companies to increase the added value of their products. To target the retail sector, Nuuo teamed up with Vit to add on people-counting features onto its NVR, while VIVOTEK has been cooperating with Cognimatics to add on similar people-counting features onto its IP cameras. Other common VCA features include people counting, item removal detection, and virtual fences that are targeted for retail market applications.

7. Mobility
From remotely monitoring video surveillance cameras to opening doors via NFC technology, mobile applications are increasingly prevalent. The popularity of smartphones and tablets is pushing this trend in the security sector. The majority of NVR manufacturers, such as iCatch and Nuuo, have matching mobile apps to enable remote monitoring, while newer access control systems from WFE Technology allow smartphones to open doors using NFC. Nearly all NFC access control systems are RFID-based at the show, with the exception of Hundure Technology that has promoted a Bluetooth NFC reader.

8. Hot Access
Access control manufacturers such as Pongee and WFE were promoting multicredential readers with four to five credentials targeting the banking or hotel sector. End users can choose which credentials they want to use. According to Johnson Wu, PM of Waferlock at WFE, markets that require high security, such as the banking sector, are more likely to use a combination of credentials or utilize all credentials offered.

9. Gaze Downward
Manufacturers are aiming for the mid- to low-end market with hopes of tapping into retail, home, hotel and banking applications. This was reflected with the promotion of affordable retail solutions with fewer functions, but easy installation, such as VIVOTEK's Counter Cam, a small 180-degree panoramic camera with very basic functions. Even Flir, which had traditionally manufactured high-end thermal imaging cameras, was promoting its first commercial camera, the VT602, at the show (which still costs US$190,000).

10. Emerging Opportunities
Most video surveillance manufacturers agreed that sales are particularly well in emerging markets. Dali Technology and Merit  LILIN both responded sales were particularly well in Middle East, while NVR manufacturer Qnap noted sales were particularly well in Central and South America.

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