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Axis secures sport center with modern and integrated HDTV IP solution

Axis secures sport center with modern and integrated HDTV IP solution

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 8/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The one and only task the client set for the installer was to create an integrated security system at the new Ice Arena site in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Like any sports complex, the ice arena has a large number of people continuously moving throughout the site. For this reason, the main requirements for the system were: full video camera coverage, high image detail, precise analytics and integration with the entry monitoring system.

Solution
The set objectives demand that the video has high definition, which is why the installer used three Axis HDTV network camera models when designing the system: AXIS Q1604 and AXIS Q1604-E Fixed Network Cameras and the AXIS Q6034-E Dome Network Camera. A total of 140 cameras were installed, both inside the facility and outdoors. A reliable back end using Cisco equipment was needed to process data from so many cameras. Intellect software from ITV was chosen to analyze images.

Result
The project is now completed. The client received a modern security video surveillance system integrated with the access monitoring and ticket sales systems. Although the arena is new, the video surveillance system has already repeatedly helped law enforcement authorities find people who have committed crimes at the facility.

Site description
Sakhalin's Kristall Ice Arena was built as part of the region's long-term program for “Development of Physical Education and Sports in the Sakhalin Region for 2010– 2018” with support from off-budget sources: funds from Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk LLC. The ice arena has a 60x30-meter ice rink with stands for 1,526 spectators, aerobics and general exercise halls, a fitness center, canteen, as well as auxiliary and utility rooms. The ice arena is primarily aimed at children. The arena hosts classes for local youths in all types of sports: hockey, figure skating, boxing, weightlifting, gymnastics, competitive ballroom dancing and chess. However, children's sports are not the only use of the new complex. The ice rink hosts performances on ice, concerts, regular-season and Sakhalin Region championship hockey games, as well as Russian championship volleyball games.

Project parameters
Like any sports complex, the ice arena has special security. The large number of visitors, excited crowds during games or concerts, numerous small auxiliary rooms — all of this requires heightened attention from the security service and law enforcement authorities. For this reason, an integrated arena security plan was developed when the facility was still under construction.

Implementation
The three key objectives of the video surveillance system at the facility are: general observation, tracking selected targets and facial recognition.

Toward these ends, 98 AXIS Q1604 Network Cameras were installed in enclosed rooms and 27 outdoor AXIS Q1604-E Network Cameras (for observation) and 15 high-speed AXIS Q6034-E Dome Ntwork Cameras were installed outdoors. In addition, the ice arena has clearly delineated access zones, which can be changed depending on the current event. For example, visitors to a concert or game should not go further than their seating areas; athletes should not enter service rooms for the arena's administration, and so on. This division requires an easily adjustable multi-level access monitoring system, as well as full integration of the access monitoring and control system with the video surveillance system. Another argument in favor of Axis cameras here was the high integrability of cameras using standard open protocols.
One hundred and forty video cameras create a serious load on the network, which is why a separate structured cabling system was installed for the video system to transmit data and to power the cameras via PoE. This helped avoid extra expenses for routing electrical cables to the camera installation sites.

 

The facility's high traffic requires significant computer capabilities from the analytical back end of the video surveillance system. Furthermore, equipment reliability and dependability are important. For these reasons, the installer and client chose to use Cisco server equipment. Intellect software with analytical functions from ITV was selected as the video management system. The Sakhalin Region government paid meticulous attention throughout the entire construction of the arena. As a result of the very first system tests, the region's internal affairs authorities approved Axis equipment for use within the “Safe City” program. The outdoor cameras installed at the site will be included in the internal affairs administration's network this year.

TOP10 most popular security products for July 2014

TOP10 most popular security products for July 2014

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 8/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

asmag.com is honored to disclose the TOP10 for July 2014, as the summer has hit the record-high temperature all around the world!

Let's go through the award list in July quickly:

There are 7 manufacturers making it into the TOP10 ranking in July. Although this is not the first enter for most of the companies, every product on the list is definitely new face in town!

Bosch, Dahua, and Hikvision are taking two seats respectively, while others go to ioteo, Nextchip, Samsung, and VIVOTEK. Among these awarded suppliers, most of the suppliers are coming from Asia – Dahua and Hikvision from China; VIVOTEK from Taiwan; Nextchip and Samsung from Korea. On the other hand, couple of leading European providers, Bosch Security Systems and ioteo, are seen in this list, taking three seats in total.

Taken as a whole, the TOP10 for July has shown a wide and diverse interests from the visitors; nevertheless, it is obvious that smart home applications have made up half of the list, suggesting that the Internet of Things and smart home market show a promising aspect. Camera wise, dome cameras, mini-cam, and devices come with PTZ function are most favored. Interestingly, this is the first time that a Wi-Fi camera included in TOP10. Apart from cameras and DVR, touch screen keypad, AHD, and smart home solution can also be seen in the ranking in July.

1. Dahua Smart Home Solution


Drum roll please, ladies and gentlemen! The crown of the TOP10 for July has finally given to a different player! Dahua Smart Home Solution took a total of 462-click in one month, climbing to the top of the ranking in July. Asian visitors has contributed almost half of the credit with 201 clicks; readers from America takes up about one third of the crowds.

Dahua Smart Home Solution adopts TCP/IP protocol, integrating video intercom, home security, remote control, and alarm systems altogether. This product enables the users to remotely control the systems via smart devices and watch real-time monitoring.

*While smart home market becomes blooming, Dahua Smart Home solution, the new comer in smart home business, is definitely a big challenge to players in the industry. For the review of smart home seminar held by a&s SMAhome Magazine in August, please check here.

2. ioteoCam Wi-Fi camera


With 434-clicks in total running behind as the second place, ioteoCam Wi-Fi camera got the second place in July, showing equal popularities from America, Asia, and Europe areas – Asia received 138-click; America 134; Europe 131.

ioteoCam features cloud management, cloud storage, inccidents notification, and 5-miniute easy setup, allowing users to view live streaming video and play-back recording from smart devices directly from anywhere anytime. This intuitive device is perfectly made for users from homes and small businesses verticals.

3. VIVOTEK FD8168 Ultra-mini Fixed Dome Network Camera


The thrid place of the TOP10 for July goes to VIVOTEK FD8168 Ultra-mini Fixed Dome Network Camera, taking an amount of 403 clicks from all around the world – 35% coming from American area; 28% and 29% from Asian and European countries respectively.

This VIVOTEK 2-megapixel ultra-mini fixed dome provides real-time recording under a resolution of 1280x720, and 15 frames per second at 1920x1080. It may be super-mini, but nothing comes less within it. Featuring easy installation, and other than that, this camera is also embedded with MicroSD/SDHC/SDXC card slot for on-board storage.

4. Samsung Techwin SNP-6320H 2MP Full HD Network PTZ


The 2-megapixel full HD network PTZ by Samsung, SNP-6320H, is seated at the fourth place with 319-click in July. This Samsung's latest full HD PTZ draws a wide interest from the american visitors, taking up almost half of the overall click-through rate. Falling right behind is Asia (31%), as the readers from European countries only take up 17%.

This IP66-rated network PTZ is equipped with 32x optical and 16x digital zoom lens and embedded with H.264 dual codec, fearuting functions not only Day & Night mode, wide dynamic range, but also auto tracking, intelligent video analytics, bi-directional audio support.

To get a&s‘ latest collection of high speed dome cameras, please click here.

5. Dahua 7224/7232L 24/32CH 960H Standalone DVR


Falling slightly behind, Dahua 960H Standalone DVR, the second triumph of Dahua in July, takes the fifth place with 315-click, gaining the most click-through rate, 147 clicks, from American readers; whereas 33% comes from Asia and 21% from Europe.

This Dahua 960H standalone DVR features 1080p realtime preview, supporting all channel real time recording and simultaneous realtime playback and multiple network monitoring. This 960H DVR model has 3D intelligent positioning with Dahua PTZ dome cameras.

6. Hikvision DS-2CD2Q10FD-IW 1MP Mini IR PT Camera


The sixth place goes to Hikvision Mini IR PT Camera, DS-2CD2Q10FD, obtaining a popularity of 310-click from the visitors all around the world – American areas take up 44% by 134 clicks; 38% is coming from Asia; 15% is dedicated by European.

This adorable-looking cam from Hikvision features HD720p real-time video recording, PIR detection (line-crossing detection etc.), IR LEDs at a distance up to 10-meter, and motorized pan/tilt rotation.

7. Bosch AUTODOME 7000HD Dome Camera


The seventh honor of the TOP10 for July 2014 goes to Bosh AUTODOME 7000HD Dome Camera. Clicks-through rate from American region accounts up to 50% of the total 307-click; whereas Asia and Europe share other 43% with 130 clicks.

This high-resolution full HD PTZ camera by Bosch delivers real-time surveillance video at 1080p, coming along with 20x dome just in case the users need more detail in the picture. Furthermore, this PTZ camera is equipped with intelligent tracking with on-board Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA).

8. Nextchip AHD(Analog High Definition)


Nextchip Analog High Definition has aroused high attention of the Asian visitors with 161 clicks, marking more than 50% of the total click-through rate; in the mean time, guests from American and European countries got about other 140 clicks in total.

Analog High Definition (AHD) is an alternative standard for HD data transmission solution which is trending now. AHD1.0 Tx/Rx transmits data of 720p at 25fps or 30fps with minimized data loss, supporting COMET and CVBS simultaneously.

*AHD, along with HDCVU, and HDTVI, are seen as the popular potential solutions for analog market. Just early in this August, Dahua makes a significant step, partnering with HDcctv Alliance to promote its patented HDCVI technology, which is expected to increase its interoperability among brands of devices. For story of Dahua's strategic decision, please see here.

9. Hikvision DS-2DF1-57A 1.3MP Network Speed Dome


The ninth of TOP10 ranking for July is taken by Hikvision DS-2DF1-57A 1.3MP Network Speed Dome, Hikvision's second awarded product in July, with a total of 281-click. As a majority of 45% of the click-through rate is coming from American areas, visitors from Europe and Asia take up even more as a whole with 48%.

This 1.3MP Speed Dome is embedded with H.264 video impression techonology, coming with wide dynamic range function and enabling the end users to record pictures of 25fps at 720p. Meanwhile, users have options of 18x optical or 12x digital zoom.

10. Bosch B942 Touch Screen Keypad


Only couple clicks behind the previous awardee, Bosch B942 Touch Screen Keypad, as the second product by Bosch included within the ranking for July, received 279 clicks in last month. A definate majority of the visitors are coming from American areas; Asian and European regions take up about 40%, while Africa and Oceania is less than 10% in total.

This keypad by Bosch gives prominence to its beautiful modern design and color graphic touch screen display, and with the built-in presence detector, the light gose on automatically when user approaches the keypad. Instead of merely using pass code, this system allows use of a token as replacement; or for use with dual authentication for higher security.

 

* Please note that the above statistics are not based on the sum of clicks but the accumulation of IP addresses. 
For last month's TOP10 products, click here.

VIVOTEK launches upgraded speed dome IP camera SD8364E

VIVOTEK launches upgraded speed dome IP camera SD8364E

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 8/11/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announced the launch of the next-generation 1080p Full HD speed dome network camera, SD8364E. This next-generation camera not only maintains all of the advanced features of its predecessor, the SD8363E, but also includes several new features, such as a 30x zoom lens, image defog and electronic image stabilization (EIS) technology.

Similar to the SD8363E, the SD8364E is designed with 360°continuous pan and 220° extended tilt range, which effectively alleviates dead angles. In addition, the upgraded 30x optical zoom lens enables the SD8364E to capture images in even greater detail at higher quality. This renders the SD8364E especially ideal for monitoring wide open indoor and outdoor spaces, where high-level reliability and precision under challenging surveillance conditions are always required. Featuring WDR Pro technology, SD8364E is capable of coping with challenging lighting conditions and generating image quality close to the capabilities of the human eye. This state-of-the-art speed dome camera is protected with an IP66- and NEMA 4X-rated housing that ensures fluent operation under extreme or hazardous weather conditions.

More uniquely, the newly-added image defog feature enables the SD8364E to capture clear images under foggy conditions, exponentially enhancing operational performance. The incorporation of EIS technology further enables the SD8364E to mitigate the effect of camera vibration due to wind and ensure a stable image. Together, the newly-added features of the SD8364E guarantee the retrieval of high-quality images in the harshest outdoor environments.

Steve Ma, VIVOTEK's Executive VP, stated, "VIVOTEK has invested a great deal of effort and resources into developing high quality speed dome cameras and has deployed numerous success projects throughout the world. The most high-profile project is the adoption by the Brazilian military defense facilities for ensuring the security at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, demonstrating the quality and robustness of VIVOTEK speed dome cameras.”

Siqura introduces explosion-protected cameras for hazardous areas

Siqura introduces explosion-protected cameras for hazardous areas

Editor / Provider: TKH | Updated: 8/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Siqura, an international supplier of advanced video surveillance solutions, has just announced the availability of ExPLORE, a new range of explosion-protected surveillance cameras. Combining Siqura's trademark reliability with an extremely robust exterior, these cameras are the perfect choice for hazardous areas in the marine, oil and gas (MOG) industry. The ExPLORE series consists of fixed and PTZ housings containing an analogue camera or a full-featured network camera that provides high-quality, high-definition images.

No sparks, no corrosion
Siqura's ExPLORE cameras are certified for Zone 1, where concentrations of flammable gases or vapors may occur and a single spark can lead to disaster. The housing of these environmentally hardened cameras is made of 316L electro-polished stainless steel, a corrosion-resistant alloy suited for use in harsh offshore and onshore environments. All models can be provided with certifications to meet different requirements worldwide, including ATEX, UL and IECEx.

Intelligent video content analysis
While the demand for “intelligent” surveillance cameras becomes a stronger in global market, the ExPLORE range is equipped with intelligent features. Take ObjectR-PID, Siqura's system-wide solution for perimeter intrusion detection (PID). This powerful piece of analytics automates the surveillance of unmanned platforms and substations by sending out an alert whenever an intruder crosses a detection line or enters a detection zone.

Complete solution
“MOG locations are highly complex environments,” says Roger Decker, Managing Director at Siqura. “Operators are faced with so much information that they easily miss out on crucial events. In order to help them take better decisions, Siqura and its sister companies in the TKH Group developed an integral security solution that includes access control, lighting systems, offshore cables, control room software and now also explosion-protected cameras. All components are designed to work together and increase situational awareness through a careful selection of data streams. Only information relevant to a particular situation makes it to your security screen, the rest is omitted. The result: a greatly enhanced workflow.”

Axis earns a degree in protection at UDLAP with Milestone

Axis earns a degree in protection at UDLAP with Milestone

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 8/6/2014 | Article type: Education

The Universidad de Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP) is located in a small community called Cholula in the State of Puebla, Mexico. It is one of the most important colleges in the country and, although the area is relatively safe, security is a must to preserve the integrity of the institution and protect students and staff on campus. This is the reason why they upgraded their analog cameras to an Axis IP video surveillance system.

Solution
UDLAP continuously invests a large amount of capital to strengthen its physical and educational environment, and it has a wide range of both human and technical resources. The campus comprises a total area of 185 acres, and their old analog system could not provide the appropriate overview. After analyzing their needs, UDLAP selected a scalable, forward-thinking solution with 215 cameras from Axis Communications all controlled on a Milestone XProtect Enterprise 7 VMS platform running on Pivot3 vSTACR Watch converged storage and compute appliances.

Result
The system has been a complete success. More than 700 reports have been solved since the University turned to IP video. The number of lost items has decreased, suspicious people have been detected around the campus and the incident response time has decreased. It is now possible to obtain more accurate control of the entire campus using IP video.

Social responsibility at Universidad de las Américas Puebla
The Universidad de Las Americas (UDLAP) is located in a small and quiet community in Mexico. To preserve the safety of its 10,000 students and staff within the 185- acre campus, the Director looked for a proactive system to complement their security department. “Although it was originally designed to be digital on the blueprints, the campus was equipped with an analog system that we kept for a time until we changed it for the IP cameras. This showed us the flexibility, functionality and scalability of the Axis cameras,” said Fernando Thompson de la Rosa, CIO.

Technology all around the campus
The school chose a mix of Axis cameras including fixed dome cameras such as the AXIS P3344-VE, AXIS M3004 Fixed Dome, and AXIS M3011 Fixed Dome Network Cameras; fixed network cameras such as the AXIS P1346-E and AXIS P1343-E Fixed Network Cameras; and the compact AXIS M1103 Fixed Network Camera. These cameras were installed in the classrooms and common areas at UDLAP to secure the entire campus. These IP cameras offered a wide range of advantages, such as ultra-compact sizes with an innovative design, high performance, VGA and HDTV-quality resolution video, day/night functionality, Power over Ethernet and more. The cameras with HDTV or megapixel features means the school can obtain more detail and better possibilities for identifying people and finding lost items.

Additionally, these cameras can cover a larger area with no loss of image resolution, which is very useful for such a large campus. Additionally, the pan/tilt/zoom functionality of the AXIS P5512 PTZ Dome Network Camera enables operators at a remote location to pan 360o for overview surveillance while the gatekeeper functionality automatically moves the camera to a preset position when motion is detected in a pre-defined area. This alerts the security personnel of intruders at night or in restricted areas without the need to monitor 24 hours a day. The system is controlled by six Pivot3 vSTAC Watch converged storage and compute appliances, which have the capability of archival search through an integrated storage system. The Pivot3 appliances also feature server failover to avoid recording downtime, high bandwidth to preserve video quality and no single point of failure. Milestone XProtect Enterprise is the Video Management Software, and it offers such benefits as the ability to capture vehicle plates on movement. The powerful platform supports many cameras and is designed for multisite installation. This greatly enhances entrance control at the campus.

A glance to the future
The IP surveillance system has significantly improved response time to incidents, and the system is supported by information obtained from access control and data storage. Today, eight people monitor the entire campus. The staff is able to control access and monitor the campus perimeter, as well as adjacent residential areas, as well. These personnel are trained under international standards of preventive security and civil protection. With this strategy, intruders can be detected and inappropriate behavior can be quickly identified. Numerous incidents have been solved thanks to the information obtained from the IP video surveillance system, and the actions of the well-trained security personnel. The security system success offers big savings and benefits to UDLAP. Results have been very positive, and in order to keep on track and continue the effort, UDLAP plans to grow the system with the goal of 100% coverage of their facilities. Thanks to the scalability of the IP video system, UDLAP is able to stay online with their ambitious technology mission well into the future.

Key components: Camera performance is set in silicon

Key components: Camera performance is set in silicon

Editor / Provider: Weili Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 8/5/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Key components are a primary factor in determining the performance of electronic and digital devices. Smart home products—especially home security cameras—are no exception. A home security camera's performance is largely determined by its three pillars: image sensor, system on chip (SoC) and networking chips.

The image sensor converts light into electrical signals. Major suppliers of CMOS sensors include Aptina, Himax Imaging, OmniVision, PixArt and SONY. The SoC contains the CPU core, codec engine, DDR DRAM memory and peripheral controllers. Major players are Ambarella, Grain Media, Hisilicon, NXP , Service & Quality Technology (SQ), Sonix, TI and VATICS. The networking chip enables Ethernet, WiFi, and power line communication (PLC) connectivity. WiFi is a must-have communication protocol for home security cameras, and major WiFi chip suppliers include MediaTek, Realtek and Qualcomm Atheros.

Manufacturers carefully balance performance and cost to deliver compelling products for each market segment, as one size fits none when it comes to smart home products. These three components alone account for more than 50 percent of bill of material (BOM) costs. To provide better price performance ratios, chip suppliers are pouring significant R&D resources to incorporate more features onto the chip. Active Asian key component providers try to further differentiate their offerings by providing total solutions rather than mere components.

For this issue's Feature segment, we asked industry insiders to shed light on market and technology development trends for home security cameras.

Market Trends: Home camera market on the rise
With IT leaders Apple, Google, Samsung and Xiaomi battling to dominate the connected home battlefield, 2014 has truly turned out to be the year of the smart home. Camera component suppliers expect the home camera market to grow rapidly over the next few years. According to them, the home camera market will see even stronger momentum in 2015, driven by cable operators, cloud service providers, and telcos.

Growing interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home applications are also two motivating forces behind the growth. Besides, Hisilicon thinks the prevalence of mobile devices and 4G networks will play a significant role in the booming market. VATICS Director of Sales Marketing Joseph Wei believes that big cloud service players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft, along with cable operators and telcos, will be pivotal in driving demand for home camera. "Internet giants and system integrators will drive the global home camera market to grow at least 50 percent in both 2014 and 2015," said Alan Hsieh, VP of Sales of Grain Media. Grain Media projects its SoC shipments to double in 2014 and 2015.

Sonix Senior Manager Roger Huang believes that improved network infrastructures will boost the smart home market, including the home camera industry. “Also, the involvement of Chinese companies like Internet giant Baidu, video surveillance solutions provider Hikvision and the telcos will push forward the industry,“ he added.

SQ Sales Manager Arthur Lee said improvements in hardware manufacturing processes and software platforms are two more driving factors for industry growth and market adoption. More advanced chip manufacturing processes reduce hardware costs, while cloud-based infrastructures and platforms simplify product development and enhance user experience.

STAYING COMPETITIVE
Having the capacity to develop intellectual property (IP) is crucial for manufacturing cameras, since it helps reduce license fees and allows for more flexible product designs, which in turn helps lower costs and boost time-to-market.

IP has become in the tech world a powerful weapon to protect key differentiators and maintain competitiveness. Hisilicon offers solutions that combine its SoCs and SDKs,including self-designed IPs. Grain Media is backed by its parent company Faraday Technology, which specializes in IP and back-end integrated design services. VATICS boasts a self-designed core-IP, which powers its domain-specific optimizations and integration, resulting in better product differentiations and improved video quality.

As a latecomer to the home camera party, Huang believes Sonix benefits from a shorter learning curve, since the first movers have already smoothed out many obstacles. Second-mover advantages include lower R&D costs and faster product delivery with minimized efforts and investments.

Forging strategic partnership is another approach. Companies like Himax Imaging keeps close relationship with leading CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) foundries to ensure product quality; it also allows them to score tailor-made services like front-end integrated circuit (IC) engineering.

Purely providing hardware is no longer a competitive core competency, so it is vital to keep close relationship with downstream customers to offer a flexible platform and accelerate product development processes, Huang added. For example, Sonix's SN98600 embeds 64MB DDR memory to reduce design complexity of substrates and avoid the affects of price fl uctuations for DDR2 memory. In addition, the Sonix SDK Build Code Environment simplifies the originally complicated SDK setup and operation process, while the modular software structure enables customers to customize their software design and setup.

CATERING TO THE CUSTOMER
In response to increasing time-to-market and time-to-volume pressures and to reduce R&D expenditure, the demand for turkey solutions is on the rise.

Grain Media and Sonix both offer turnkey solutions. Turnkey hardware and software solutions help customers expedite product design and development. Grain Media set up a support team in Shenzhen, China to provide customers with real-time technical support and customization services. To differentiate from other turnkey solutions, flexibility and compatibility are imperative. Sonix said its SoCs support multiple interfaces and functions for flexible and tailor-made solutions, which stand out among the competition.

Flexible designs and services are also noteworthy for image sensors. For the price-sensitive market, Himax Imaging offers versatile solutions leveraged by the manufacturing and supply chain experiences it gained from making image sensors for laptop computers and mobile phones. In a sense, home surveillance IP cameras have become consumer electronic devices, said Antonio Tsai, Deputy Director of Marketing Division of Himax Imaging. “We see the trend of leveraging the sensors used in mobile device for better cost and performance value. We have customers using our 1/6-inch CMOS sensor instead of 1/4-inch one, which is 30 percent more expensive. For customers who require higher resolutions, we can offer the 1/4-inch 5 Megapixel and 1/3-inch 8 Megapixel sensors used in mobile phones. Customer can develop HD/FHD video cameras that are also capable of capturing 5M or 8M still images.”

China, Korea and Taiwan suppliers dominate home camera manufacturing. These suppliers, clustered in Asia, each have their own strengths and strategies. Hsieh of Grain Media indicated that Taiwanese and Korean companies emphasize on product stability, SDK and strong local supports; aside from a few top players, most Chinese customers prefer turnkey solutions that help reduce R&D costs and shorten production time. Lee of SQ noted that China and Taiwan suppliers require the latest product features, while Japan and Korea companies put more emphasis on quality and stability.

Technology Trends: Tighter budgets, tighter integration
Video compression algorithms and CPU performance highly affect the performance of a home network camera, but chipmakers are also focusing their efforts on developing energy-efficient, small-footprint, and easy-to-manufacture platforms. Asian key component providers indicate that cross-device support is another trend. Technical support and video compression rate are also two deciding factors for SoC procurement.

Product development in the smart home industry is leaning toward tighter integration on all levels. Tight integration between devices in a system, as well as on the components level, create a better user experience, lowers manufacturing costs and shortens development cycles. The consumer network camera industry is especially market-driven and price-sensitive, so platforms and solutions that are highly integrated and reduce time-to-market are in high demand.

To meet these demands, SoC suppliers integrate codec and DDR DRAM memory onto their chips to reduce size and cost. The adoption of System-in-Package (SiP) technology simplifies the PCB design process, and enables compact and lightweight cameras.

The smart home industry is currently divided by multiple factions and wireless communication standards. Chipmakers overcome this inconvenience by designing their solutions to be more flexible. For example, Grain Media preserves interfaces and provides a SDK API to allow customers to easily add wireless connectivity. In addition, Grain Media offers network camera SoCs with comprehensive ports for customers to connect to alarm and temperature sensors, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi or ZigBee chips. Hisilicon indicated that integrating the temperature sensor, POR, RTC and audio codec directly onto the chip contributes to considerable cost reduction of engineering bill of materials (EBOM).

In addition to interfaces, support for cloud platforms is also paramount. Currently, SoCs support different cloud platforms, including MyDlink, TUTK, Tricloud, Seedonk and Danale. Besides working with third-party companies to support cloud services, companies like Sonix and SQ also develop their own cloud platforms. Sonix builds its own platform for customers who are particularly concerned about security.

To ensure product stability, 40nm manufacturing processes and power management technology is widely used to reduce power consumption and operating temperatures for SoCs. Grain Media indicated that the design helps customers simplify thermal design, thus reducing design costs. Hisilicon thinks the SoCs manufactured by 40LP process is an effective power-saving solution. SoCs supporting voltage adjustment SVB and Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS) technologies feature low power consumption.

CMOS image sensors edge out CCD counterparts with lower cost and lower power consumption. Containing all the logics needed for cameras, CMOS sensors enable a small form factor that the typical home network camera requires. 1/4-inch is the mainstream size for home security cameras. Integration can also be an important trend for CMOS image sensors. Himax Imaging offers a 1/4-inch 1.3-Megapixel SoC that combines the CMOS image sensor with an ISP.

 

QUALITY AND SUPPORTABILITY MATTER
For most home network camera makers, product stability and image quality matter more than cost. Stable wireless data transmission, low power consumption and noise reduction are highly emphasized.

Tony Ho, Marketing Manager at Mars Semiconductor, indicated that 2.4GHz FHSS features stronger anti-interference transmission and longer transmission distances than WiFi technology. However, ubiquitous support of WiFi by mobile devices has made the technology the de facto standard for wireless data transmission, which is a problem because WiFi chips are infamously power hungry. MediaTek recently released its MT7688 chip, a WiFi SoC that integrates MIPS24KEc/580MHz CPU, 256MB DDR1/2 RAM and AES128/256 encryption engine, enabling it to power more complicated and data-intensive smart home appliances like network cameras and home surveillance systems. The Linux-based WiFi SoC supports 802.11n, and the chipmaker claims the chip consumes just 60 percent of energy compared to its predecessor. The Linux-based design provides the SoC with a comprehensive protocol stack that allows rapid development of applications.

Low-light performance is important for a security camera and is decided by quality of the image sensor. However, some low-cost solutions do not perform well under low-light conditions and need to be compensated by LED bulbs. WDR can be a value-added feature for home security cameras. Himax Imaging boasts high performance in low-light conditions and is set to release in 2015 a new image senor that emphasizes WDR and low-light performance for both automotive and home security cameras.

Advanced manufacturing processes help improve quality, too. SiP packaging is used to reduce noise. For example, Grain Media uses SiP packaging to embed DDR DRAM memory that helps reduce noise. Also, its network camera SoC supports various CMOS image sensors with MIPI, HiSpi and sub-LVDS interfaces that help to increase energy efficiency and reduce noise.

BGA soldering is another widely used packaging method that simplifies system design and reduces the PCB size. Sonix Senior Manager Roger Huang says LQFP hand-soldering is another common manufacturing process.

Visual performance is also significant. To ensure stable ISP performance, Sonix built an internal lab to adjust for best performance under different scenes, such as low-light environments. The image processing algorithm is decisive for image quality; Hisilicon has a team that assesses the performance of video capture, encoding, decoding and display features for its solutions.

Huang added that both hardware and software improvements are important to maintain reliable product quality. Regarding software stability, Sonix utilizes Hudson Continuous Integration system as the auto-build system for Software Development Kit (SDK) testing.

H.265 TO PREVAIL IN 2017
High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), also known as H.265, delivers the same video quality of H.264, but consumes just half the bandwidth. Professional surveillance cameras will support it initially, but it will eventually trickle down to consumer-grade products in the coming years.

Despite the fact that no home camera makers plan to offer network cameras supporting H.265 this year, Asian chipmakers think it is only a matter of time before it becomes widely adopted; some new smartphones and tablets already tout H.265 support. For example, beginning this year, MTK will make smartphone and tablet SoCs that support the new video format. Hisilicon stated that the support by smart home end products and platforms is a major indicator for the new video format's pervasiveness. Alan Hsieh, VP of Sales of Grain Media, thinks home cameras will begin to support H.265 when 1080P becomes the standard resolution for smartphones and tablets; newer devices will need to support H.265 to reduce bandwidth consumption for such high resolutions. Hisilicon predicts the first home cameras supporting H.265 standard will be available in 2016 and become mainstream in 2017. SQ also agreed with this timeframe.

Dancing Moose Montessori School advances education with Milestone

Dancing Moose Montessori School advances education with Milestone

Editor / Provider: Milestone system | Updated: 8/5/2014 | Article type: Education

Dancing Moose Montessori School in Salt Lake City, Utah, developed a unique way to increase parents' participation in their child's schooling, improve teacher evaluations without disturbing class, and expand overall school security. Milestone XProtect Express video management software (VMS) and network cameras from Axis Communications oversee daily operations at Dancing Moose to deliver a high degree of security and provide parents with a window into their child's learning.

“The Axis-Milestone solution has become a huge selling point for our school. Parents love the ability to drop off their children, who may be crying and suffering from separation anxiety, and check in after five minutes to see that their child is happy and engaged in the classroom. It's really powerful.” Jennifer Duffield, Executive Director, The Dancing Moose Montessori School.

The challenge:
Dancing Moose Montessori School opened its doors with a promise to parents and students to provide unmatched learning experience with programs that are unique, learning environments that are professional and safe, and processes that are transparent. Safety was a key consideration, but to stay true to its promise of transparency, the school needed a security system th at was robust and effective while also allowing parents to remotely monitor their children without interrupting class.

The solution:
Milestone XProtect Express IP video management software (VMS), 40 Axis network cameras and a pair of 42-inch monitors comprise the monitoring system that allows parents and school administrators to observe students and teachers without interfering in classroom activities. The monitors are in the lobby, the cameras are set up throughout the school and the system is custom integrated with S2 Extreme access control — thanks to the Milestone open platform architecture.

The advantages:
With the simple click of a mouse, parents have live access to their child's classroom without the distraction that their presence in the room would create. They can quickly and easily observe how their child learns and interacts with classmates and teachers. For administrators, the ability to monitor classrooms remotely means that teacher evaluations are no longer a distraction to students or the teacher. The integration of the video system with access control provides efficient management of safety matters in the school.

A Total Learning Experience
Founded by President Joyce Sibbett, Ph. D., Dancing Moose Montessori School of West Valley City, Utah, focuses on the total learning experience, providing engaging activities and specialized programs tailored to each class. A key feature of Dancing Moose Montessori School is the learning environment with bright and airy designs in multiple zones, including open spaces full of greenery, a large gym and a specialized outdoor program. Each school is newly built from the ground up, typically measuring 20,000 square feet, hosting 200 students in 12 classrooms with two teachers assigned to each room.

Peace of mind for parents, students, teachers and staff was a priority, and the state-of-the-art, integrated monitoring and security system goes a long way toward providing just that. The system, installed by Stone Security of Salt Lake City, is networked through Milestone XProtect Express VMS and includes a variety of Axis network cameras and an S2 Extreme audio/visual access control system. The solution also includes a 4U BCD Video tower server powered by HP, Netgear 24-port POE switches and a DMP intrusion system.

Visitors, parents, staff, and teachers use unique access codes to enter the system, but only after verbal and visual confirmation. Once inside the facility, parents have permissions-based virtual access to the preschool, with views of authorized classrooms and outdoor areas. The Milestone XProtect Smart Client interface allows multiple parents to view different images on the monitors simultaneously – the system is configured for as many as six camera feeds to be displayed on each screen.

“The Milestone interface is very straightforward but also effective and secure. Parents can walk up to our monitoring stations with no experience in professional video systems and the intuitive Milestone software provides easy and secure access to live video of their child's classroom — including control over camera angles. Our parents typically flock to the monitoring station where they can observe their children learning, playing, eating, and interacting with teachers and fellow students,” says Jennifer Duffield, Executive Director, Dancing Moose Montessori School.

“The IP-based Milestone system paired with Axis network cameras is easy to use and provides clear, high-resolution images to both managers and parents at Dancing Moose Montessori School,” explains Andy Schreyer, Stone Security. “Additionally, because Milestone and Axis operate on an open platform system, we are able to provide our client with the flexibility to grow the system to future schools and add new integrations over time, creating equity in the system. Milestone keeps up as Axis releases new cameras with updated features, eliminating the need for system replacement because it never becomes obsolete.”

Every child in view
Stone Security carefully selected cameras that would provide the most comprehensive viewing options for parents. At the school's original location, opened in 2007, Stone Security installed pan/tilt/zoom AXIS 212 PTZ-V Network Cameras inside the classrooms to offer instant pan/tilt/zoom functionality. When Dancing Moose opened a second location in 2014, Stone Security chose either wide-angle, 3 megapixel AXIS M3006-V or panoramic, 5 megapixel AXIS M3007-PV Fixed Dome Network Cameras to provide complete views of each room.

For external security afterhours, Stone Security installed HDTV-quality 720p AXIS P3364-VE Fixed Dome Network Cameras outside the building. The cameras' Lightfinder technology is ideal for low-light visibility. The exterior cameras are set to record on motion, and they can be viewed on Duffield's office computer.

“We recommend Axis cameras specifically because IP-based cameras are easy to use, provide high resolution, and offer a great deal of flexibility to choose frame rates, resolution and recording options on the fly,” said Andy Schreyer of Stone Security.

Effective Learning Through Observation
Two 42-inch NEC monitors are installed in the lobby of Dancing Moose Montessori School, where parents can see their child at any point throughout the day without being a distraction in the classroom, which could cause their child to act differently.

“Parents can be interested in seeing what the teacher is teaching, if their child is engaged in the lesson, or how well the student is eating at lunchtime,” says Jennifer Duffield, executive director, Dancing Moose Montessori School. “The Milestone interface and Axis cameras make our parents comfortable and offer reassurance and a sense of security.”

Parents and school administrators are equally interested in educators' teaching methods, whether or not the pupils are actively participating in the lesson and activities, and verifying that students are playing safely and eating well.

“It's nice to be able to pull a classroom image up on the screen to keep track of the teachers' lessons, or to see if students are behaving well or getting out of hand,” continues Duffield. “What's great is that the Milestone and Axis technology allows us to observe classrooms without disturbing the lesson flow, and we see the true, unvarnished behavior of our students during their normal interactions with teachers.”

According to Duffield, the Milestone XProtect Express and Axis network camera solution has surpassed her expectations. As she explains it, parents have had little, if any, exposure to operating an advanced video monitoring system, but with just the click of a mouse, they have a high-resolution view of their children in classrooms and outdoor environments.

“At the start of the school year, parents flocked to the monitors and were amazed at the ability to retain an active role in their child's day without distracting them during school hours,” she says. “As the school year progresses, the monitoring stations average about 10 users in the morning and 10 during lunch. We are proud to offer Milestone's interface to the families of our pupils and are thrilled with its positive effect on our program.”

For Schreyer of Stone Security, the Dancing Moose Montessori School installation is an outstanding example of the versatility of the Milestone software: “The flexibility of the Milestone open platform with Axis allows our techs to be experts regardless of client vertical. We are able to choose the perfect solutions for our customers and integrate every important service needed for each installation. Dancing Moose Montessori School has access control technology integrated with the Milestone video for the ability to safely monitor students at all times.”

Bank SinoPac adopts integrated IP solutions from VIVOTEK

Bank SinoPac adopts integrated IP solutions from VIVOTEK

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 7/31/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Bank SinoPac, a wholly owned subsidiary of SinoPac Holdings, aims at providing the best financial services and innovative product line to customers through its intensive branch networks. The Bank realizes its vision of building a company that embraces “content shareholder, proud employees, happy customers, and public respect.” Statistics at the end of 2013 showed that Bank SinoPac accommodates approximately 5,500 employees, and possesses NT$59.6 billion in paid-in capital and NT$1,357 billion in assets. The bank has already established 129 branches in Taiwan alone, and further expanded operations into Hong Kong, the United States, Vietnam, and China. With such an immense operations network, the security of each and every branch has become an increasing challenge for Bank SinoPac.

Move from analog to IP
The previous surveillance solution adopted by SinoPac was primary based on an analog surveillance framework. Following the advancement in surveillance technology, the demand for video clarity and recognition capabilities have become increasingly apparent, especially around the teller area in banks where the bulk of transactions are handled. For SinoPac, a new solution was required that could seamlessly integrate with its extant analog framework. VIVOTEK surveillance products, with outstanding image quality were therefore adopted. In this project, Seventy-five VIVOTEK's IP8362 Network Bullet Cameras were suggested and installed. The project was comprehensively implemented in April and May 2014, and is now set up in 15 Bank SinoPac branches.

Bullet Network Camera – IP8362
IP8362 bullet network cameras were installed in the teller area of each Bank SinoPac branch to achieve a comprehensive coverage of the designated area. Both money transaction and the legal document process can be recorded precisely and clearly. The camera comprises a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of producing a video resolution of 1080p Full HD at 30 fps. Designed with a removable IR-cut filter and built-in IR illuminators, the camera can adapt to constantly changing lighting conditions, making it a true Day & Night camera. Moreover, VIVOTEK's IP8362, with WDR enhancement, can clearly capture detailed features when an object of interest appears in locations like bank entrances where there is intense backlight.

The adoption of IP solution is on the rise in banking industry
William Ku, Vice President of VIVOTEK's International Business Division, stated, “Because of the nature of legality and huge bulk of money transaction, the banking industry spares no expenses in its security system to reduce security risks. Taking into account the increasing demand for clear and detailed video footage, centralized security management of branches in various locations, intelligent video analysis for strengthening daily operation or suspicious object detection, and governments' regulations, the investment and deployment of IP-based security solutions is on the rise. In the past years, we have accomplished several IP surveillance system implementations for banks in several countries in Asia and Middle East. We are pleased that Bank SinoPac adopted VIVOTEK's network cameras for enhancing the security in its 15 branches. We look forward to extending the installation to other branches of Bank SinoPac around the globe in the future. ”

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/29/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Case study: Axis cameras help the City of Huntington Beach, California , which is nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” investigate crimes downtown over a completely wireless network.

Mission
Huntington Beach, California is a booming beach community of 200,000 with a thriving summer tourist scene. With major events like an annual surf competition and dozens of bars and restaurants along Main Street, the city needed a video surveillance system to support its police force during incident investigations. But the police department headquarters was two miles from downtown, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure to support a video system over that distance.

Solution
Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless solution with a mix of fixed and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Axis network cameras at key locations along Main Street and the pier, including AXIS Q6034-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P3363-E and AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras. The PTZ cameras are set to guard tour to capture multiple views up and down the street on a rotating basis. Each camera is connected to a wireless RADWIN device that transmits the video back to police headquarters. The video is centrally managed from Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform that merges video surveillance with other security systems in one easy-touse solution. The open API architecture of the Axis cameras let CelPlan assemble the best components for the system.

Result
The Huntington Beach Police Department now has critical video evidence available to aid in the investigation of crimes and other incidents. In one instance, the cameras captured an assault with no witnesses, and the police were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing to make an arrest. The video surveillance solution proved so successful that the city launched a second phase to add an additional 15 Axis cameras at various hot spots around town.

Riding the IP video wave
Huntington Beach, California is a beachside community of 200,000 that swells with an additional 40,000 to 50,000 visitors each day during the summer tourist season. Nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” the city plays host to special events such as an annual surf competition, concerts and movie nights on the Pier Plaza. Its popular Main Street District also boasts dozens of restaurants and bars. With all the visitors, the city needed a video surveillance system downtown to provide additional support for its police force. However, their police headquarters is two miles away from the beach, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure in place to transmit video over that distance. Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless, IP-based solution using Axis network cameras, RADWIN wireless transmitters and Genetec Security Center for efficient video surveillance management. “A wireless, IP-based system was the most affordable choice for the city. Installing a fiber network would have been simply cost prohibitive,” said Jasper Bruinzeel, vice president Wi4Net, CelPlan Technologies. “Additionally, with IP, you can scale without limit.”

No fiber? No problem. Shaping traffic on an all-wireless solution
For the first phase of the project, the city installed four AXIS Q6034-E PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Dome Network Cameras, two AXIS P3363-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras and one AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Camera. The cameras' durable construction helped to withstand the salty sea air and ocean-front weather conditions. The city uses the PTZ cameras' guard tour feature to pan up and down streets and capture video over a much larger area. Additionally, the cameras provide the ability to fine tune resolution and compression rates, which are all easily configured from Genetec Security Center. “Features like H.264 compression allow us to shape the network traffic and make things much more predictable,” Bruinzeel said. “Those elements become very important when you try to push megapixels over wireless links.”

The open standards platform on which the cameras are built meant CelPlan could select the best possible system components without worrying about proprietary compatibility issues. “As an integrator, we try to use open architecture concepts as much as possible. This way we aren't tied to a single vendor for all the components, and we can use a ‘best-of-breed' approach to designing systems,” Bruinzeel said. The Axis cameras are connected to RADWIN wireless devices which transmit the signal back to police headquarters where it is stored on Dell PowerEdge R520 servers. Using Genetec Security Center for video surveillance, officers have the ability to monitor live video feeds 24/7, control the PTZ cameras and quickly retrieve and playback video from the archives for investigative purposes.

Case closed
The Huntington Beach Police Department saw results right away. Shortly after the cameras were installed, a man was caught on video stealing an expensive bicycle. A broadcast-quality image still was sent to the local news, and the man was subsequently spotted and arrested. The video evidence has also been used to investigate more serious crimes, including an assault where the victim was knocked unconscious. No witnesses came forward, but the police monitoring the video were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing and the direction he ran to make an arrest. “The evidence the video system provides is a huge plus,” said Lieutenant Kelly Rodriguez, Huntington Beach Police Department. “I am confident the cameras will aid in apprehensions following future criminal activity.”

 

Hikvision launched 6MP IR fisheye camera

Hikvision launched 6MP IR fisheye camera

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 7/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision is set to reveal its newest edition: the DS-2CD6362F-I(S)(V) 6MP IR Fisheye Network camera. This 6MP IR Fisheye features a 1/1.8” progressive scan CMOS sensor to provide high-resolution images of up-to 3072 x 2048, 30 frames-per-second, and a 1.19 mm fisheye lens for a 360° panoramic view.

Choice of 3MP Model with WDR
A 3MP model of the WDR Fisheye Network Camera is also available - the DS-2CD6332FWD-I(S)(V). This 3MP model features a 1/3” progressive scan CMOS sensor, 120 dB WDR (wide dynamic range), and streams video of up-to 1536 x 1536 resolution at 30 fps.

See All Around with Only One Eye
It's all about seeing more with just one camera than with multiple cameras. Case in point, a single 6MP/3MP IR Fisheye Network Camera does the work of multiple cameras in both indoor and outdoor surveillance environments. Hikvision's unique fisheye is designed to capture images from every corner of a particular location and eliminate blind spots with only its single camera. Both models are equipped with IR functionality, offering up-to 15m IR distance of visibility under low or even zero-light conditions. Features such as these make both Fisheyes a great choice for detailed coverage of wide, open areas like airports, shopping malls, parking lots, retail stores, offices, restaurants, classrooms, and more. Furthermore, a state-of-the-art housing unit and IP66 rating protect the camera against outdoor elements like rain and dust, and allows it to confidently withstand temperatures ranging from -30°C to 60°C.

Multiple Display Modes
The 6MP/3MP IR Fisheye Network Camera supports several viewing modes, including the aforementioned 360° overview (in 6 megapixel resolution and 3 megapixel resolution, respectively), a horizontal panoramic view, PTZ quad window, and PTZ multi-window modes. Customers can also utilize this smooth PTZ functionality to easily zoom, and focus, on any region of interest (ROI).

Multiple Compression Formats
MJPEG and H.264 video compression formats are supported. Additionally, these cameras feature multiple H.264 compression profiles, allowing users to optimize bandwidth and storage without compromising image quality. Furthermore, supporting ONVIF, PSIA, and CGI standards, both Fisheye models offer the ability to easily integrate with other video surveillance equipment and systems.

Other features include a built-in micro SD/SDXC slot (with a total capacity of up-to 64GB), a DI/DO interface to connect to alarm devices for further security control purposes, and an inbuilt high-quality audio intercom that allows two-way communication.

Fisheye Camera Combines with PTZ Dome
To further benefit the users, Hikvision has launched a Fisheye Camera and IP PTZ Dome Camera combo which elegantly provides a panoramic's 360° surround view while offering the capability for a detailed regional view from a speed dome. A perfect solution to monitor wide areas in the greatest of detail!

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