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HD-over-coaxial: Ultimate battle for survival by analog manufacturers

HD-over-coaxial: Ultimate battle for survival by analog manufacturers

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang, a&s International | Updated: 10/23/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

The overarching view in the security industry right now is that IP, which employs a network infrastructure and offers HD video, will one day replace analog solutions, which have defined video surveillance for half a century. For analog players, who are seeing declines in sales and revenue, they must find ways to regain their former dominance in the industry. HD-overcoaxial solutions, which deliver HD video over users' existing coaxial cabling, represent their ultimate battle for survival amidst the IP invasion.

Ever since 960H and HD-SDI emerged in 2011, video surveillance players have been trying to find solutions that enhance the quality of CCTV, which remains the mainstream surveillance technology. Analog cameras are inexpensive and easy to install, and they still dominate the market with 70 to 80 percent of market share. However, IP cameras are threatening the very existence of analog players, who are seeing a steady revenue decline. Against this backdrop, analog players seeking to survive have put intensive efforts into the R&D of high-resolution HD-over-coaxial solutions. HDCVI, HDTVI, ccHDtv, and AHD are the products of those efforts.

Any HD-over-coaxial solution, be it 960H, HD-SDI, HDCVI, HDTVI, AHD, and ccHDtv, must be easy to use over the end user's legacy coaxial cable. HD transmission should be achieved using 5C-2V (RG-59U) or 3C-2V (RG-6) coaxial cable without quality loss, and the traditional distance barrier of 100 to 200 meters must be overcome. The solution must incur no extra cost for installation or upgrade, resist quality loss over a long distance, and enable easy upgrade to megapixel-level HD surveillance. Further, it must be high in quality and competitive in price to gain a stronger foothold in vertical markets. In summary, for a solution to be called HD-over-coaxial, six basic requirements must be met:

1. It must have high video clarity and color separation, as well as high signal filtering, noise reduction, and image restoration capabilities;

2 .As HD-over-coax is claimed as a breakthrough technology, it must be able to transmit signals for a longer distance over existing coaxial cable;

3 .The solution must not be subject to latency, compression-related quality loss, or any compromise to video quality;

4 The backend equipment must be compatible with the 960H format, and future compatibility with analog splitters and matrix systems must be considered;

5. HD-over-coax must be easy to use and operate and allow settings on both frontend and backend equipment;

6. Any solution must have low cost and high quality.

There are HD-over-coaxial DVRs that can support both 960H and 720/1080p. These are called hybrid HD DVRs. There are even HD DVRs that are bolstered by Intersil's decoder chip and the TCP/IP interface to support 960H, 720p/1080p, and IP signals. These are called Tri-brid HD DVRs.

Compare and contrast between solutions
HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD share one thing in common: as opposed to 960H that uses the CCD sensor, HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD use the megapixel-level CMOS or Exmor CMOS sensor. The purpose is to capture HD images at the source level. Among manufacturers of CMOS sensors are Sony, Omnivision, Pixelplus, and BYD. The formation of images differs slightly according to brand.

Another similarity as far as components are concerned is the use of an image signal processor (ISP) in conjunction with the sensor. This device ultimately determines the final image displayed by HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD solutions. The chipset could be integrated into the sensor module or into the transceiver at the backend of the HDCVI, HDTVI, or AHD camera. Image signal processors, whose manufacturers include Sony, Fullhan, Nextchip, and Eyenix, process and enhance images formed by the sensor. As ISPs of different companies are designed differently, they have different ways of handling backlight compensation, WDR noise reduction, and the 3As, namely auto white balance, auto exposure, and auto focus.

One final thing that the solutions have in common is the presence of a signal transceiver, which produces different signal formats based on the technology in question, namely HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD. Regardless of the technology, these transceivers are similar in that they combine signal augmentation, voltage augmentation, and MCU all in one device and emit signals over different transmission distances. There is also a circuit switch that allows cameras to switch between HD-over-coaxial and CVBS output.

All HD-over-coaxial signals travel through coaxial cables, which can be 5C-2V (RG-59U) or 3C-2V (RG-6) for transmission of between 300 and 500 meters. Among the things that set them apart are the codec engine, which is made by TI, Hisilicon, or Grain Media, and the performance of ISP processing.

Application in verticals
Based on how things look right now, to popularize HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD and widen their reach in different verticals, it seems manufacturers still have lots of publicity and marketing to do. In fact, I still have doubts over their market acceptance beyond the banking, financial, and retail verticals, as 960H and HD-SDI themselves are still mostly deployed in retail, banking, and education. It is my hope that fiber optic providers can develop and commercialize HD-over-coaxial interfaces, so that HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD can go beyond small and medium implementations and find their way into city and highway surveillance, which requires HD and real-time video transmission.

Currently, there aren't any credible or authoritative figures on the market acceptance toward HDCVI, HDTVI and AHD. Yet, marketing strategies differ according to manufacturers and their OEM partners. Based on our observation, a lack of understanding of the different solutions is the biggest obstacle that manufacturers need to deal with right now.

Opportunities and future development
HD and intelligence are future development trends that analog players seeking to upgrade their HD products future, advances in CMOS, ISP, and transceivers will cause HD-over-coaxial surveillance to become a norm. Applications in different verticals will also become more noticeable. In security, there is a notion that IP will replace analog. But this will not happen anytime soon, and HD-over-coaxial marks the effort by analog players to at least slow the IP invasion and analog's decline. In the end, maybe there is a purpose for the existence of these solutions.


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Pelco names Kim Loy as marketing vice president of video line of business

Pelco names Kim Loy as marketing vice president of video line of business

Editor / Provider: Pelco | Updated: 10/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Pelco by Schneider Electric announced the appointment of Kim Loy to the role of Vice President of Marketing for the Pelco Video Line of Business. In this role, Loy will drive strategic marketing initiatives on a global level in support of the company’s continued investment and commitment to its Pelco IP video surveillance solutions. “Kim has a great deal of experience managing global marketing activities and we are pleased to welcome her to the Pelco family,” said Herve Fages, senior vice president, Schneider Electric, Pelco Video Line of Business. “Her knowledge of the security and surveillance industry will be instrumental in carrying out Pelco’s strategic vision and help drive global marketing efforts that amplify our presence as a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of video security systems, software and services.”

“I’m excited to be working with the Pelco team to build upon the company’s prestigious reputation for high-quality, innovative products and exceptional customer service within the surveillance and security space,” Loy said. “We will continue to define a well-planned strategic roadmap and maintain Pelco’s standing as a leader in the video business.”

Loy has more than 20 years of marketing and management success within the security and surveillance industry and previously served as VP of Global Marketing and as the General Manager of the Security Business Unit for Xtralis and held senior management positions with G4S, GE Security, and Siemens. Additionally, Loy has served on the SIA Board of Directors for two years, and served as Chair of the Access Control Industry Group for the Security Industry Association.

As the new VP of Marketing for Pelco, Loy is responsible for managing global marketing activities, including alignment of marketing strategies across vertical markets and developing effective advertising, marketing, and communications for the video business.

Tyco expands IoT capabilities enabling predictive insights and smart services

Tyco expands IoT capabilities enabling predictive insights and smart services

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 9/30/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tyco announced that it is building on its Internet of Things capabilities, combining proven technology and innovations with the expertise of its Installation and Services groups and the more than one billion fire, security and retail sensors and devices the company has installed around the world. These capabilities will enable Tyco to offer new intelligent services for customers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and households.

Tyco's IoT platform transforms the data from these traditional facilities-oriented systems into highly valuable business intelligence focused on solving real-world problems in various environments. The platform will allow Tyco's customers to collect data from their installed sensors and devices and perform advanced analytics, unleashing the value of the information and creating numerous smart service possibilities for customers. The company is moving to expand the platform so that it incorporates more sensors, devices and applications from external sources, making it possible to deliver an even wider array of intelligent solutions for customers in multiple vertical markets.

For several years, Tyco has delivered IoT solutions in its business that focuses on the retail market. Deployed in more than 4,000 retail locations, including some of the world's largest store chains, Tyco's solutions deliver visibility and predictive capabilities addressing inventories, store traffic, and customer behavior. Its new TrueVUE 5.2 offering can gather data from RFID, video, EAS and traffic sensors, and transform it into actionable insights that empower retailers to maximize revenue, optimize inventory management, and deliver a memorable shopper experience across all of their operations. Tyco is developing similar applications in other market verticals it serves.

Samsung Techwin appoints Regional Director for Russia and CIS

Samsung Techwin appoints Regional Director for Russia and CIS

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 9/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

"Russia and CIS is one of our key sales target areas and the development of customised solutions for vertical markets such as Banking, Retail, Transport and City Surveillance is an important part of our strategic direction in the region” said Mr Jong Wan Lim, Managing Director of Samsung Techwin Europe Ltd. “Oleg has been specially recruited to help us successfully implement this strategy.”

Prior to joining Samsung Techwin, Oleg was Area Manager for Pelco by Schneider Electric in Russia and CIS. Working closely with Business Development and Account Management colleagues, he will be looking to capitalise on his excellent understanding of local market requirements, and with his engineering background and extensive experience of working on large video surveillance projects, Oleg will drive sales support strategies which reflect the requirements of Samsung Techwin customers and business partners in the region.

Oleg joins Samsung Techwin when the popularity of its open platform WiseNetIII IP camera range which is ‘Changing the Face of IP', is gaining momentum, and there is also considerable interest being shown in the recently introduced Beyond Series which harnesses the power of 1280H camera technology to enable analogue cameras and DVRs to deliver 1000TV lines.

“I am excited to be joining Samsung Techwin at a time when the company has created a new structure in order to establish Russia and CIS as a regional sales ‘powerhouse' by fully utilising the expertise of our sales and support services across the region," said Oleg. “This objective will be achieved with the assistance of the Samsung Techwin Eco Partnership (STEP) program through which we provide support, resources and tools to help our partners generate profitable new business opportunities with benefits such as Project Registration Discount, Lead Sharing, Co-Marketing, Academy, Marketing and Technical Tools support.”

W Hotel chooses EverFocus surveillance systems in Doha

W Hotel chooses EverFocus surveillance systems in Doha

Editor / Provider: EverFocus | Updated: 9/5/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The increasing worldwide terrorist attack and theft has become driving force in explosion of surveillance systems to protect lives and assets. Every newly built public or private building now requires a complete security and safety plan.

As desert dunes soar next to towering skyscrapers, W Doha Hotel & Residences dazzles by the Arabian Sea. As more and more high-end hotels are built in Qatar, W Hotel wanted to provide more secured experiences for their employees and their valuable guests during their stays in W Hotel for competitive hotel market in Qatar. Therefore, W Hotel turned to EverFocus for a well–planned surveillance system.

In order to provide a complete safe environment for its guests, W Hotel chose EverFocus's cameras and later installed around four hundred fifty EverFocus advanced surveillance cameras in their main entrances, lobby, hallways, stairs, and at the front desk. In order to satisfy W Hotel's requirements, EverFocus worked with the system integrator Genius Vision Digital (GVD) for a complete solution. Installed EverFocus surveillance cameras include EHN3260 IP IR dome, EPN4220 speed dome, and EZN3260, EZN3340 bullet type cameras.

Taiwan Excellence Award winner EPN 4220 is a best-in-class network-based speed dome camera specifically designed for professional applications. It offers 2 megapixel resolution and a built-in 20x optical zoom, aimed at guaranteeing impeccable image quality, in addition to cutting-edge features, such as digital slow shutter (DSS), wide dynamic range (WDR), and dynamic noise reduction (DNR). Equipped with an IP66-rated housings and true day/night function with a removable IR cut filter, the EPN 4220 is certainly designed to withstand all environments. The advanced motion detection function also meets the needs of almost every end-user.

EHN3260 is a 2 megapixel IP wide dynamic Day/Night outdoor IR dome that is perfect for both indoor and outdoor environment. W Hotel installed 398pcs of EHN3250 cameras in the hotel because its P-IRIS Lends, WDR, high performance noise filter, True Day/Night function provide high quality image and meet the vandal proof needs that the hotel required at the same time.

EZN3260 and EZN3340 bullet type IP cameras are also used in this project. EZN3260 is a 2 Megapixel Wide Dynamic Outdoor Bullet IP camera patented algorithm for expert exposure control in dynamic lighting environments. Its highlight suppression backlight compensation/Control (HSBLC) intelligently masks the extreme blooming effects from high-contrast light sources such as car headlights. EZN3340 is a 3 Megapixel outdoor bullet IP camera with the same design as EZN3260 but higher performances that can monitor further distance in darker areas.

Hotel surveillance has become more important than ever. A well organized and installed surveillance system can not only protect the hotel itself but also the guests. 441 EverFocus cameras are installed for complete surveillance and protection in W Hotel. With the installation of the hotel video surveillance, not only it can keep guests safe from theft, violence, but also provide evidences, prevent crimes and thus create a better and pleasant stay for all the guests visiting W Hotel.

Video surveillance is the perfect security solution for hotels and resorts. EverFocus surveillance solutions have been widely used in different vertical markets including businesses, housing, banking, retail. EverFocus has the most cost effective video camera solution for you all around the world.

March Networks aims for market growth in Europe

March Networks aims for market growth in Europe

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 9/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks is implementing an ambitious development program to increase its market share and growth in the European video surveillance market, reflecting its expansion and success in North America. The program will be managed by European Sales Director, Stefano Torri, and will target key regions such as the UK, France and Italy.

This growth strategy, will focus on the expansion of local teams within March Networks, working closely with newly recruited and existing channel partners. Together they will target and support core vertical markets including banking, retail and transport, where March Networks already has a reputation for delivering quality market leading IP video management solutions.

The task for Stefano Torri will be to consolidate and grow March Networks' impressive net sales in the first quarter of 2014, which increased by 78% year-on-year compared to 2013. As well as the UK and France, where the objective is to triple revenues, he will be overseeing developments in the Benelux and Scandinavian regions, and will also oversee the introduction of a new Partner Program in Europe.

"Stefano Torri is well placed to spearhead this strategic drive for expansion in Europe,” said Peter Strom, President and CEO of March Networks. “He has proven managerial skills and a deep knowledge of the European market and we strongly believe that he will implement this intense development program, which aims to achieve global market leadership, with great success.”

Stefano Torri joined March Networks in 2013, following his previous role as European Sales Director for VideoIQ Inc, a market leader in the Video Content Analytics sector. He has over twenty years of channel sales management experience in the IT and physical security/video-surveillance markets, including roles at Mobotix AG and Plasmon plc.

Tamron explores new territories

Tamron explores new territories

Editor / Provider: a&s Asia editorial team | Updated: 8/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Tamron, a well-known lens company, in security, has made several new changes in its R&D, marketing, and services to better fit current customers' lens needs. In this article, Tamron discusses specific business strategies concentrating on their OEM business and how to stay ahead in technology and market shares.

Korean and Chinese lens manufacturers have brought on cutthroat competition in the global market, pushing many leading Japanese lens manufacturers to transform and widen the technology gap. Tamron is a role model here, exploring new technologies and markets. Over the years, Tamron has strengthened itself by developing high-end technologies such as 1,080P full HD and future 4K or even 8K lenses. The company also began business in India two years ago, seeking new business opportunities, such as safe city projects, for its expansion in South Asia. Finally, Tamron is also preparing to reach out to more vertical markets, especially in the transportation sector — city surveillance and ITS — and even non-security applications. Now, with all these new changes, Tamron is ready for another turning point in its business.

Increasing Focus on OEM Business
The lens industry has changed quite a bit. The increasing sales from lens and camera bundles have led to the rise in the lens OEM business. “Besides the C/CS mount type lenses, Tamron has shifted more to OEM business. Now, we have around two thirds of our business in OEM, mainly dealing with camera manufacturers,” said Koji Masunari, GM of Tamron. “To collaborate with camera manufacturers, it is important to stay flexible to match their specific needs.” Masunari elaborated that Tamron is able to provide 20 to 30 types of one single product model to tailor to a camera manufacturer's requirements. In addition, “to achieve the greatest picture quality with IR cut, for instance, communication and engineering supports in mechanical and software parts become very crucial. We work very closely with our customers around the world with stationed technical support staff in each of our subsidiary offices in Japan, the U.S., Europe, and China. What we provide are very instant service, technical support, and sales communication in each local market.”

To stay price competitive in price sensitive markets, such as in Southeast and South Asian countries, Tamron moved its lens production mainly to China and more recently to Vietnam. “The R&D and all the assembly jig preparation will still stay in Japan,” he said, to keep a good balance on quality and price of Tamron's products.

Expansion In South and Southeast Asia
Besides OEM business, another focus for Tamron right now is to actively penetrate more new emerging countries. The company set up a subsidiary office in India two years ago. Masunari said, “We are right now developing business customers directly and proceeding marketing activities in Indian market. Since India has a high demand from many government projects, such as transportation and banking, we hope to work more closely with some major systems integrators with our high-end products.” He continued, “However, the necessity of high-end products has not been understood by customers yet and it will probably take a long time for Tamron to gain the large business in this market. We now promote aggressively the value of high-end products by participating in exhibitions, roadshows, and products seminars in that market.” Starting from India, Tamron then continues expanding to other countries in South Asia. Among Southeast Asian countries, Tamron will put great effort into well-developed countries like Singapore and Thailand to stimulate sales. Additionally, emerging countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia will be Tamron's next targets.

Staying Ahead In Technology Advancement
The standard requirement from the security industry for picture resolution is getting higher and higher. A few years ago, VGA resolution was still the norm, but 1,080P full HD has since become the standard. Today, 4K products are just coming out, but there have already been talks about 8K in the market. “We need to contribute more for picture quality and try to eliminate the error rate in the best possible way. To support this, the lens quality is very important and it is required for lens design to eliminate all the color bleeding, flare, and ghost,” said Masunari.

The product design has to be advanced, and so do the production facilities. “We also have invested in more precise part measurements and high assembly techniques,” he emphasized.

To gain more market shares, it is also essential for a lens company to have a complete product portfolio to support camera manufacturers and systems integrators for different projects. “What we try to do is make the product design very simple to use and easy to understand for our customers. For instance, Tamron has the double vari-focal solution, which covers all focal lengths from wide to tele with just two 3-megapixel lenses,” Masunari said.

Keeping ahead in technologies, “Tamron's R&D will definitely focus on developing megapixel lenses, such as 2K, 4K, or 8K, and special lenses for panoramic or wide-angle view and a low-light environment, in the near future,” he emphasized.

Exploring new Verticals and Applications
For its future development, it is important for Tamron right now to explore more new applications and vertical markets for security lenses in all different regional markets. The transportation sector, especially for city surveillance and ITS, is an important business segment for the company. “The ITS market has strong opportunity in the Asian market as the growth ratio of automobile ownership is rapidly growing. Regarding city surveillance, we expect business possibility not only in the emerging Asian market but also in Japan as well, especially due to the coming Tokyo Olympic Games,” Masunari said.

Generally, in the field of ITS, fixed focal length lenses have been the main selection for their sensitivity; however, Tamron has developed a large aperture zoom which realizes high sensitivity from wide to tele and the company is now promoting it in the market. As for city surveillance, which requires continuous 24-hour recording, the tendency was that night recording would lose picture quality under infrared lighting. However, Tamron has created a lens that will keep its quality day or night — no matter what the lighting is the image quality will not be affected. As sensitivity is an important factor, the company has also developed a zoom lens which the F number of wide and tele zoom position has minimum difference. With this lens, Tamron can provide clear and sharp images for 24/7 surveillance.

Tamron particularly promotes these products to new companies that have been targeting transportation and expects to form more good partnerships, in order to penetrate these new market segments together. Finally, in the future, Tamron sees more applications in biometric products such as facial recognition and thermal cameras. For the non-security product segment, Tamron also sees potential in wide-angle lenses for video conferencing and some special lenses for medical usage.

New changes, Big growth
Tamron definitely serves as a good role model in the lens industry having made so many new changes in its latest technological development, production, and market expansion in order to take the lead in the market. Now, all that is needed is time for the company to reap all the positive results as a result of their effort, positive results we can expect will come soon in Asia.

Access control management empowers verticals

Access control management empowers verticals

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 7/3/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Regardless of the vertical, end users can benefit from access control management software, which not only helps keep companies/organizations safe but also contributes to more efficient operations and workflow. Determining what end users' primary focuses of management are and what they look for in their access control solutions is the first step towards successful deployment.

 

 

Education
Education, whether at a primary, secondary, or higher level, is often cited as one of the vertical markets that needs cutting-edge access control solutions the most, especially after campus violence has become more rampant in the U.S. A NAPCO Security Technologies white paper on school security points out that since 1980, there have been 137 fatal school shootings that killed 297 victims in America. However, safety aside, schools are also looking for ways to extract the potential of their students' ID credentials by integrating them with more functions. This is especially the case in colleges, where students are faced with the need to enter or exit school buildings or dorms as well as borrow books, make cashless payments, and reserve equipment. “They want to integrate all the above mentioned features together into their campus card,” said Tom Su, Sales Manager at Hundure Technology.

To achieve those objectives, schools are looking to integrate a variety of subsystems into their access control management software. “For higher education institutes, integrated subsystems include meal plans, vending, video, distress systems, and mass notification. For K-12, cost-effective lock-down capabilities and visitor management are also required,” said Richard White, VP and GM of Electronics at Allegion.

Integrating these systems into a seamless whole can result in many benefits, said Harm Radstaak, MD of Identity & Access Management for EMEA, HID Global. “They significantly improve safety and security for students, staff, faculty, and visitors. They also deliver cost savings and an easy migration path to future capabilities when needed,” said Radstaak, whose company was responsible for helping the Academy of Art University in San Francisco transition from a lock-and-key environment to an integrated access control system, which enables students to use their ID cards to not only open doors but also make secure purchases and gain access to Urban Knights athletic events.

“The university has realized a number of important benefits from its new access control system, including documented reductions in theft even as enrollment has increased, and an improved campus experience,” Radstaak said.

Healthcare

Another vertical that highly demands cutting-edge access control management software is healthcare, which is also faced with the need to secure a diverse group of people including patients, doctors/nurses, administrators, and volunteers, against a variety of emergency situations such as fires, earthquakes, or fights that break out from time to time at hospitals. Other focuses of management include granting emergency personnel expedited access to patients' wards or intensive care units, and protecting patients' data from theft or leakage to other parties.

Subsystems integrated into access control management software vary based on end users' specific needs and requirements. For example, access control integrated with visitor management makes sure that those without access rights stay away from critical areas such as radiology, pharmacy, and pediatric wards. Elevator controls, meanwhile, are valuable in allowing medical staff to reach certain floors in the quickest manner.

“Saving lives has absolute priority and requires unhindered access, and the access control management system must therefore be prepared for this eventuality,” said Nancy Wanders, Sales Manager of Global Clients at Nedap Security Management, adding with her company's solution, “the ER team has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority.”

“The ER team often has its own special cards. Held in front of any card reader they initiate elevator priority control. The elevator that is especially reserved for the emergency team is ordered to the appropriate floor. Only when this card is used, the elevator will go to the selected floor with priority,” she said.

At the same time, the access control management system must converge with logical access control to make sure there is no theft or leakage of patients' data, which has become mostly digitized in an increasingly digital world. “With the right infrastructure in place, healthcare institutions can meet today's security and compliance needs while continually improving security and convenience, protecting patient privacy, and increasing the ongoing value of their investment,” Radstaak said.

 

Government

For government agencies, the focus of access control management is high-assurance and multi-factor authentication. “This would include technologies such as biometrics and encryption,” said Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director for Access Control at Tyco Security Products. “The need is to be highly secure and highly protected by nature of what is physically being protected.”

Among subsystems typically integrated with government access control management software are HR, visitor management, video, alarms, and encryption devices for communications that need to comply with FIPS standards. According to Ouellette, government users look for software that can handle high-assurance government credentials such as PIV, CAC, and TWIC, along with intrusion zone support. “The ability to handle high-assurance credentials allows highly important facilities, such as government buildings and embassies, to put into place an extra layer of security to keep the wrong people out while allowing the proper people access,” he said.

Users also want their management software to be able to change authentication levels based on the imminence of danger faced by government personnel. “Buildings such as government and municipalities require a high-assurance badge, but when the threat level is moved up, there is opportunity to increase the level of authentication as required to include a second factor such as a PIN or a biometric. Access control authentication changes as the need/threat changes,” Ouellette said.

All this contributes to a safer and more secure environment for government personnel, said Daniel McVeagh, Senior Product Manager for Access at Gallagher. “The benefit is ensuring government facility security cannot be easily compromised. We support a wide range of security and interoperability standards, ensuring government sites are well protected and can leverage their security system investment with integrations into others,” he said.

 

Corporate
In today's corporate world, companies are increasingly setting up offices and branches in multiple regions or even countries around the world. The need for multi-site management therefore arises. “They are looking for the ability to have local access control but with a global view. Typically they are set up so a central security station can see what is happening anywhere in the world,” said Tyco's Ouellette.

According to him, this type of installation gives users the flexibility to either own the security operation or outsource the monitoring through a managed access control offering. “Customers can determine what works best for them and determine what level of capital investment vs. operational cost is appropriate for them. Some customers may want to spend the money upfront, while others may find more flexibility with spending the money over a period of time,” he said.

A critical element for success in the corporate arena is the ability to tie access control management software with multiple subsystems including elevators, video management, RFID, key management and more, he added.

“With so many disparate offerings in the field today, the more options that can be supported, the better value the access control platform can provide to the end user,” Ouellette said. “A unified customer experience by offering a unified security platform from which to manage all of the security applications is quickly becoming a requirement for many customers looking for an easy way to manage their holistic security infrastructure. Toggling between multiple applications like video, access control, and visitor management is quickly becoming a thing of the past.”

 

Industry
Access control is vital in ensuring staff safety in an industrial setting, for example a factory or plant. “Securing critical areas is not just a security issue but also a life safety issue,” said Jeremy Krinitt, GM of Frontier Security.

For critical infrastructure such as power generation plants that may be the target of terrorist attacks, integrated access control and video systems are key. Other technologies that may be integrated with the access control management software include time and attendance, public address systems, perimeter protection systems, payroll systems, visitor management systems, wireless locking systems, and parking controls.

In an industrial setting, users often look for technologies and solutions that can withstand harsh environments, Krinitt said. Another user demand is access control management software with viable anti-passback technology to prevent misusage that is prevalent in this sector.

“They want a solution that does not allow any buddy clocking,” said Hundure's Su. “Our finger vein device has a high security feature that makes ID theft and buddy clocking impossible. After all, no one can copy finger vein patterns.” Users are also looking for software that can help enforce health and safety compliance, record employees' time of entry of exit, track their locations, and gather them in the event of emergency.

“If a machine explodes during maintenance work, our solution enables you to instantly activate the predefined settings and procedures you've defined for this type of situation,” Nedap's Wanders said. “You can easily control who's allowed access to the incident area. And you can get a quick overview of where your health and safety officers are and direct them to where they're needed. The solution also immediately blocks any zones that people shouldn't enter so everyone's led to the right assembly area, and you can quickly identify if anyone's missing and take appropriate action.”

 

Beyond opening doors: Access control management rules

Beyond opening doors: Access control management rules

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 6/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Access control remains a major segment of the physical security market and is set to enjoy continued growth. In a recently study, HIS Technology predicted that the global market size for electronic access control will top US$3.5 billion this year, driven by returning growth in the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa. High demand for access control has created opportunities for new products and technologies. One of them is access control management software, which can be useful to users from different verticals. “These may include education, healthcare, retail, transportation, manufacturing and Industrial, sports and leisure, museums, data centers, corporate, airport authorities, and ports,” said Steve Barton, CTO of Software & Controls at Pacom. With strong demand and business from different vertical markets, access control management software's popularity and growth are set to endure.

Integration Drives Efficiency
Access control management software has evolved over the years from being a simple software application with basic functions to being a cutting-edge technology that allows users to access and retrieve information about an access-related event more easily and quickly. On top of that, the increase in integration and interoperability has continued to grow. Today's access control management software can integrate not only with other security systems, such as video and intrusion detection, but also with non-security systems such as HR, room booking, cashless payments, elevator controls, and visitor management.

The resulting optimization in efficiency can help the end-user organization in many ways. “If an employee gets a new role, the authorizations on his access card will change automatically as soon as his new position is activated in his HR system,” said Nancy Wanders, Sales Manager of Global Clients at Nedap Security Management. “This level of automation means a big reduction in administrative tasks for security managers, so they can focus on other tasks and stay in control.” While the initial cost of investing in an access control system may be high, increased efficiency can ultimately cut cost down the road. “Efficiency and cost reduction can be provided in a variety of ways through access control solutions. Some of these include: elimination of cost of re-keying doors when a key is lost, and the ability to pre-register visitors, which is a more efficient process for visitor management,” said Jeremy Krinitt, GM of Frontier Security. “An access control system can streamline the processes and enable operators to wrap up investigations quickly. It can save operating costs for years to come through the efficiency it provides. Access control does that.”

Integration with Videoa Must
Pairing access control management software with video surveillance has become a must for running security operations at end-user organizations. With video and access control both becoming more IP-based, integrating the two has become easier. Players from across the supplier chain — vendors, distributors, and systems integrators — are closely watching how video-access control integration may further play out. Together, access control and video form a comprehensive and efficient security solution for users who can make the right decision in the event of an emergency. During an access control event, the security personnel can quickly pull the video from an integrated system instead of running to a separate video system to figure out who is trying to enter. A faster and more efficient way to investigate an event means quicker response and better situational awareness, which cannot be achieved by just video alone.

“By using only video management, a security operator is only able to gain evidence of a breach, without being able to automatically act upon it,” said Mike Sussman, Engineering and Operations Director at TDSi. “Using an integrated access control system means that the security team can put in place measures or act directly to counter any threats, so there is also a preventative element dealing with any potentially unauthorized intrusions.”

In short, access control management software prevents intrusion by denying access to those who are unauthorized to enter a certain area. Videos, meanwhile, provide visibility and evidence to an event. When combined, access control management software and video management software (VMS) offer a more comprehensive and all-around way to run security.

Multi-site Management
Access control management software plays a critical role in multi-site management, which has become essential as a rising number of companies now have operations in different parts of the world. Effective management software should offer a global view of what's going on at each branch office, while giving the local branches authority to make changes or adjustments as needed.

“In many companies, you have multiple locations, but there is a corporate human resources department that's responsible for the initial enrollment,” said Jerry Cordasco, CTO at AMAG. “So what they would want to do is to enroll a new employee in the system with basic access rights to the employee entrance of the facility, and then push that record down to a localized database.”

Access control management software and VMS are both important technologies for managing multiple sites. Choosing which one as the primary component, again, relies on the user's specific needs. “Both have their place as the primary engine, and the choice is dependent upon the business and risk,” said Sussman. “Video can only report on something that has occurred or is happening, whereas access control can prevent an event from taking place, backed up with evidential information.”

“Access control and video management each provide benefits, but access control provides many of the necessary pieces of managing a multi-site environment,” said Krinitt. “These key elements include audit of employee location, alarm monitoring, alarm response and processing, guard tour, visitor management and many more.”

Visitor Management:Efficiency and Safety
In today's security management, more end users are tying access control with visitor management, which is an effective way to grant, deny, and control access by visitors and contractors who are not regular employees of a company. In a non-integrated system, visitors are given a badge or temporary ID card after they write on a paper log their names and other information, which can be illegible at best and at worse, fake. Some visitors are also known to walk away with their ID cards, which can then be reused to enter buildings, creating security concerns. Combining visitor management with access control management software, on the other hand, can help improve security and efficiency by registering, badging, and checking out visitors all at the same time, and their ID cards expire at a certain time after which entry will be denied.

An integrated system can even have more advanced features. “It can be used to screen each visitor on states' registered sex offender databases and other watch lists, and flag those visitors at the time of check in,” said Harm Radstaak, MD of Identity & Access Management for EMEA, HID Global. “And it can be used to identify guests who haven't checked out by the end of visiting hours, and flag visitors who, for instance, may have repeatedly violated check-in procedures or stayed too long, and issue alerts upon their arrival.” Integrating access control management software with visitor management systems offers an ideal solution for end-user organizations, especially those that deal with large amounts of visitors such as corporates and hospitals. They can enjoy stepped up security and efficiency made possible by the integration.

Integration: Ne w Hopes for Verticals
When the access control management software is bundled with other subsystems, it can help optimize efficiency and create extra business opportunities for users in different vertical markets. Primary and secondary schools, for example, may bundle lockdown systems and video surveillance with their access control software to better ensure the safety of students and faculty. Colleges and universities, on the other hand, may integrate their access control management software with non-security systems such as meal vending and room booking to maximize the value of students' ID cards. Healthcare facilities may combine access control with elevators, granting access privileges to emergency personnel who can reach critical areas in the quickest time. In other words, if access control management software is deployed at the right time at the right place, it truly works wonders to end users in different verticals.

Choosing the Right Solution
When deciding what type of access control management software to purchase, the user should consider many factors — the size of deployment, the overall objectives that need to be achieved, and whether the software is suitable for the vertical it is to be deployed in.

“Any solution needs to be fit for the purpose and will demonstrate increased security levels along with improved efficiency and savings to the bottom line. For example, it may seem favorable to replace a whole security system with all the latest components. However if the security needs are low and the budget is tight, it may not make sense to do so,” Sussman said. “Conversely, if a number of security systems are aging and ready for renewal, buying fully integral systems could make very sound business sense, both in the short term and also for long term investment.”

Meanwhile, the user also needs to consider the level of ownership that it wants. “When buying an access control system, you need to start by determining whether you want to own and maintain the system or opt for a managed/ hosted platform where everything is outsourced,” said Jason Ouellette, Product Line Director for Access Control at Tyco Security Products. “Do you want to handle the maintenance or pay a service to do it? Once you determine the level of ownership, then you can look at the options that allow you to balance capital expense vs. operational expense.”

It All Boils Down to Efficiency
With its highly integrative capability, today's access control management software can combine with different technologies to help end users take care of security and non-security tasks with greater efficiency. An integrated access control management system makes life easier for users when they investigate events, manage multiple sites, and control access for visitors, not to mention the convenience of performing different tasks with just one ID card. The benefits of integrated access control management software are felt across different vertical markets, and systems integrators should maintain good and open relations with customers to deliver solutions that they truly need.

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

Spot the fishy incidents — 11 perspectives from the industry

Editor / Provider: Erica Lin & Michelle Chu | Updated: 5/30/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Panoramic fisheye cameras have seen fast growth in the surveillance industry. With the key feature in surround view monitoring and the advantage in reduction of installation cost, they are becoming the popular adoption in security system. With a promising market ahead, differentiation of product and market strategy from competitors is the way for major manufacturers to think when planning next moves.

asmag.com here presented 11 worldwide providers from the security industry – 3S PocketNet Technology, AMG System, Axis Communications, Dahua Technology, EverFocus Electronics, Hikvision Digital Technology, Merit LILIN, Panasonic System Networks, SamsungTechwin, Sony, and VIVOTEK – sharing their experiences and observations of the market with all asmag.com readers.

3S PocketNet Technology|Taiwan 
With fisheye camera, user can deploy fewer cameras, less cabling, less HDD storage, but remain a 360-degree monitoring without blind spot; however, it is worth noting that fisheye camera is not suitable for monitoring area from a long distance due to the limited length of fisheye lens, stated Kevin Cheng, Director of APAC at 3S Pocketnet Technology. 
“We expect the price of fisheye cameras can decrease to the level of dome camera – the user will then have options to choose from different features such as fixed lens fisheye dome and vari-focal dome,” Cheng concluded.

 

AMG|UK  
Fisheye cameras, compared to other types of cameras, offer a number of key advantages — monitoring of surround view without blind spot and reduction of installation cost and work — whilst still keeping high-resolution recording quality, David J. Myers, Technical Director of AMG, highlighted. AMG have noted that 360-degree fisheye cameras are becoming the mainstream when analog CCTV is gradually replaced by IP CCTV systems. 
“We are not sure that there is one particular market deploying the most 360 degree cameras. In the USA, the retail market is strong. And transportation is a natural market for wide-angle camera when one single camera can cover whole view of a bus, or a train carriage,” Myers said. “Banks, schools, colleges, museums, and public buildings are also the target market of 360-degree cameras. So are car parks and outdoor perimeters.”

 

AXIS|Sweden  
“According to IHS Research, sales of network video start to overtake analog in 2014 due to the powerful functions of advanced video processing and analytics. This is especially true in the retailer sector, as 360-degree cameras allow for an overview of all activities in a given area while being affordable for users having to work with tight-budgets in for example the retail and education sectors,” said Petra Bennermark, Product Manager at Axis Communications. 
“In a study by Axis Communications, more than half (58%) of UK retailers are planning to migrate from analog to network video in order to integrate network cameras with business intelligence (BI) applications. BI application integration was considered the most significant reason for UK retailers to move to network video.”

 

Dahua|China  
Fisheye cameras are mostly deployed for indoor surveillance, getting more and more popular in public buildings, pointed out by Peter Pan, Product Manager from Dahua. Seen as the economic choice for security system deployment, one single fisheye camera can achieve wider coverage of monitoring than other non-panoramic camera.
This is even true to public units, hotels, and schools. They often have budget concerns; theses users are not too demanding in security image details while their purpose of surveillance system is mainly for prevention, Pan suggested. 
“At present, many surveillance camera manufacturers have proposed new thoughts of design,” he continued. Currently, end users start to use 360-degree cameras and PTZ speed domes altogether, featuring both wide-coverage and detailed monitoring views. The 360-degree cameras are going to become an essential solution in surveillance systems, according to Pan. 
“Although fisheye cameras are expecting fast growth in the near future, the 360-degree cameras won't become the majority in surveillance camera market due to their own pitfalls such as low pixel counts at the edge of images, and image distortion,” explained Pan.
However, as Pan mentioned, the technical improvement related to these pitfalls has been essential to manufacturers in the industry. Meanwhile, some manufacturers have started enhancing camera capacities in IR support for advanced day/night monitoring.

 

EverFocus Electronics|Taiwan
Douglass Wang, Deputy Project Manager of EverFocus Electronics, emphasized the importance of fisheye and speed dome cameras' synergy, combining advantages from both types of cameras, and adding value for wide-area surveillance without compromising the optimal image quality. “The end users can finely utilize pan, tilt, and zoom functions on speed dome to keep tracking region of interest, while monitoring the entire area through 360-degree camera view, more importantly, without any blind spot,” Wang said.
As panoramic camera is favored to be applied with speed dome in areas such as airport, warehouse, public space, and parking lot, end users might hesitate due to complicated cameras configurations. “EverFocus provides end users a 4-steps image calibration which dramatically reduces configuration time,” Wang highlighted.

 

Hikvision Digital Technology |China
“Normally, SMB users may tend to use entry-level fixed cameras instead of panoramic cameras, since the latter are mainly targeted for middle-to high-end project use, and price are relatively higher. Therefore, Hikvision plans to introduce economical mini panoramic cameras to penetrate into SMB market in the middle of this year,” said Adler Wu, Product Marketing Manager of Hikvision Digital Technology.
“And for Hikvision, we forecast to increase at an annual growth rate of 60%-70% [before 2017], according to our company strategy, product planning and the market development. Panoramic camera would develop in two different ways in the future, one for SMB adoption and the other for high-end application. With more and more manufacturers joining in the competition, the price of panoramic camera may decrease to a level, allowing the cameras to enter SMB market; for high-end use, due to the wide coverage of panoramic camera, more images/ scenes could be achieved compared to common IP camera. Therefore, how to well make use of this advantage could be a breakthrough to eventually benefit the end users.”
“Considering lots of manufacturers have introduced their panoramic cameras, it becomes very important for us to provide innovative products to differ from the others at this stage.”

 

Merit LILIN|Taiwan
“Fisheye cameras are all about seeing everything in a scene more efficiently than with multiple cameras; therefore, providing security managers the ability to cover an entire scene in a logical way without gaps of coverage is prominent,” according to Chris Hsu, Global Marketing Manager at LILIN. “LILIN panoramic IP camera is an ideal choice for open-ended lobby areas such as entrances, exits, and lobbies.”
“The current leading technology trend in global market is ‘less is more'. We expect cameras can cover a range of area such as 360-degree fisheye camera is an ideal all-in-one product will definitely continue to shine in the following years.”

 

Panasonic|Japan 
It is forecast that a growth of more than 50% will be seen in the panoramic camera market – more than current security market trend expectation – as higher image resolution will expand the deployment and acceptance of fisheye camera in more vertical markets, commented Akihito Akiyama, product planning manager at Panasonic.
According to Mr. Akiyama, Panasonic has strengthened its 360-degree cameras by continuingly progressing at technology development, including dewarp, super dynamic function, and vandal resistance. With the solid technical base, the 360-degree cameras are capable for high-resolution image quality with even edges, stable performance under various lighting environments, and last but not least, durability.

 

Samsung Techwin|Korea 
“360-degree cameras are increasingly being specified for projects where there is a requirement to monitor activity 24/7 in environments such as banks, offices, retail, transportation and warehouses. The advantage they offer is that a single 360-degree observational camera is all that might be needed to efficiently and cost effectively covers a whole area where a much larger number of standard cameras might normally be required, to avoid any blind spots,” suggested Tim Biddulph, Product Manager of Samsung Techwin Europe.
Samsung Techwin's 360 degree camera is part of the company's extensive range of IP network cameras. Tim Biddulph emphasizes the importance of fully understanding clients' needs first, before endeavoring to persuade them to migrate to 360-degree or other products and technologies.

 

Sony|Japan
“With its multiple security benefits and associated cost savings for end users, it is easy to understand why the 360-degree security camera has been highlighted by IHS as one of the key drivers for the video surveillance camera market in 2014 – which is slated for double-digit growth this year. Sony also recognizes the importance of these cameras in addressing the ever changing security environments of the modern world, and will continue to advance in the 360-degree security camera market with our end users,” said Riki Nishimura, General Manager of Visual Security Solutions, Professional Solutions Company (PSAP) at Sony Electronics Asia Pacific.

 

VIVOTEK|Taiwan
“The 360-degree cameras can be especially ideal for intercom or retail applications. Retail stores especially demand for a cost-effective and comprehensive surveillance system, which dissuades shoplifting and pickpocketing,” said Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK. “With several unique features and wide surveillance coverage that can be delivered by the 360-degree fisheye camera under complicated environment, retail stores tend to deploy 360-degree fisheye camera the most.”
“The deployment of 360-degree fisheye cameras could be financially and technically beneficial. It is worth to note that just one 360-degree fisheye camera can deliver the same coverage as 6 to7 cameras that have been used in the stores. With the installation of panoramic models, the total number of cameras needed by the clients can be significantly reduced,” explained Ma.
VIVOTEK has made our fisheye camera as a pro-active smart sensor through our superior algorithms, making fisheye cameras performing intelligently, like people counting, field detection, trip wire, according to Ma. “With the technology evolvement and rising awareness of cost-effective solutions, the prevalent adoption of 360-degree fisheye camera for wide open area surveillance in the following years is foreseen. In addition, a 360-degree fisheye camera with intelligent capacity is undoubtedly to be a trend.”

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