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Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Critical infrastructure aspires for comprehensive protection

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

The critical infrastructure sector has been regarded as one of the most important sectors in terms of national security around the world since it is highly vulnerable to terrorist threats. There were about 2,500 attacks on critical infrastructures around the world that can be linked to terrorist organizations from 1996 to 2006, according to a report by Electric Power Research Institute. To prevent possible disastrous consequences, governments usually adopt various high-tech security products that come with better risk management systems and also higher prices. It is forecast that the global infrastructure market will grow from US$63.7 billion in 2013 to $105.9 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 10.7 percent, by MarketsandMarkets. North America will remain as the market with the most revenue, whereas the markets in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa are expected to experience greater market traction.

Critical infrastructures have always been one of the most prominent security focuses of national security. Critical infrastructures refer to several essential and fundamental facilities, interdependent systems, and assets that support a country's politics, economy, transportation, security, energy, health, education, communication, etc. — to put it simply, it has a huge impact on the public's daily activities. For instance, if any power plant is damaged, it can jeopardize a country's security and lead to unimaginable public consequences and inconveniences, as it can take several weeks to months for total site functionality to be restored.

Critical infrastructures are mainly threatened by terrorism, vandalism, intrusion, and espionage, and are often considered a major target of anti-government actions. These critical sites should also be protected from industrial accidents and natural disasters which will instantly endanger the public once they occur. If a dam, for instance, is sabotaged, the damage may cause insufficient water resources, flood control failure, agriculture irrigation failure, and even disable electricity from being generated around that area, or worse, across the country. If a power grid is attacked, the damage may lead to chemical leaks and cause further destruction.

An example of this is the power grid attack in California last April, which has recently been disclosed as an act of domestic terrorism, in which 17 transformers were fired at by unknown snipers for 19 minutes. The attackers had cut the fiber optic telecommunication cables in an underground vault near the site before entering the site and shooting at the oil-filled cooling systems of the transformers, causing massive oil leaks and the transformers to overheat. Fortunately, the damage was controlled; however, it still took 27 days for the facility and the damaged transformers to be repaired — each transformer can cost millions of dollars to build, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

A power grid is usually set up with multiple buildings, assets, and facilities, spread over a vast geographical area. Critical infrastructures generally invest in various technologies over time, resulting in the wide adoption of legacy and new devices, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys. Regarding overall size, number of buildings, and vast system deployments, managing a power grid in an organized manner is the primary challenge of protecting critical infrastructures. In order to efficiently and conveniently manage the entire energy station across multiple locations, it is crucial for critical infrastructures to centralize operations and increase situational awareness on both physical and logical threats through greater system integration.

Risk management of critical infrastructures could be a great challenge to a site operating manager, due to complex deployment of disparate systems, devices, and facilities within a vast area. Critical infrastructures tend to favor multi-layered perimeter systems, which are able to comprehensively prevent various threats, like vandalism, trespassing, terrorist acts, and etc.

It is forecast that the global market size for electronic perimeter security sensors and video in electrical utilities and oil refineries will top $160 million in 2014, despite the economic slowdown in 2011 and 2012. This strong growth is resulting from the trend of using remote video and networked sensors in order to remotely configure and conduct devices from a distant location, according to a report by IMS Research, an IHS company.

For energy grids, any security threat or attack might lead to catastrophic results, which is exactly why managers are prone to using multi-layered perimeter detection systems.

A nuclear site is the perfect candidate for a multi-layered perimeter system. “A common architecture for nuclear power stations and other high security sites is an initial layer of a volumetric-tall sensor (4m to 6m high) with very high possibility of detecion; once an alert is generated, the intruder has to penetrate a fence which would delay the intruder for a few minutes to move on, even if the intruder is well equipped,” suggested by Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development at Magal Security Systems.

"Behind the layer, there is typically a clear space of about 10-meters wide; it is an area always kept clear, facilitating ease of verification, be it by cameras or another detection layer, such as microwave sensors, buried volumetric cables, or even IR detectors. And finally there is a second fence for further delay, which may be equipped with a smart fence mounted sensor.”

Integration of Video Surveillance and Intrusion Systems
In perimeter security, it is crucial to properly integrate video surveillance with intrusion systems. If individuals or vehicles intend to breach a critical site, the intruder will trigger the perimeter sensors. The system will then immediately send out a security notification to the command center with a corresponding image from the camera at the particular site so operators will know how to respond.

“Without integration between video surveillance and intrusion systems, it would be difficult to maintain a high level of awareness when a sensor detects a break-in — it would be time consuming for a security operator to find the appropriate video footage of an event,” Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems stated.

There could be up to hundreds of surveillance cameras installed at the site of an energy grid to make sure that the entire area is completely covered. As the front line of a critical infrastructure site, a perimeter system especially requires constant monitoring with surveillance devices, in order to have the site comprehensively controlled.

However, for the security guard and operator, it is almost impossible to continuously concentrate on watching every camera during their shift, not to mention identifying the correct on-site camera and location right when the security alarm goes off. Adopting video analytics not only helps the operator to prevent an intrusion or attack, more importantly, it makes sure that the guards and operators will not miss any suspicious actions. “Upon motion detection or other abnormalities detected, security operators can get a geospatial location on the targeted suspect and immediately dispatch a response,” Phillips mentioned. Physical motion detection can help security operators spot threats effectively even in harsh external conditions and weather.

A common goal, when it comes to critical infrastructure protection, is the ability for security guards and operators to identify and respond to threats in the shortest time possible. In order to immediately and efficiently react to possible threats on site for large-scale operations, it is crucial to have a central management system with an open platform to allow for integration between different security measures and subsystems.

Besides, security systems like video surveillance, access control, and perimeter security, a total management integration platform should be able to connect effortlessly with other major systems. These systems include IT, fire and smoke detection, alarm, extinguishing, telephone, radio communication, and building automation that might be in the critical sites. These systems should be easily integrated through a single platform, regardless if they are new or legacy products and devices.

This total integration platform can make sure that any operator is able to manage all systems on site whenever a natural disaster, unexpected incident, or attack occurs. “The integration of video surveillance, access control, intrusion alarm, and fire detection is an ongoing and growing phenomenon which requires a tailor-made approach on behalf of the vendors and integrators, as some of the systems, such as access control, are quite old, but still operable,” said Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of Intelligent Security Systems.

Providing a safety and security solution that integrates different systems into a single, multi-modal, administrative solution is not just about merging equipment, devices, and systems — it is about putting into place a solution to support clearly defined working routines whilst ensuring rapid, compliant, and efficient response to emergency situations along with the mandatory, post-incident reporting analysis, according to Siemens Building Technologies.

Security deployment in a critical site is never an easy task, as there are many obstacles and concerns, such as environment, budget, and consensus among every department, which will affect the final security procurement in a critical infrastructure. Despite the challenges, the security market in the critical infrastructure sector is still full of opportunities for providers due to its importance in national security and safety.

Town of Addison deploys Avigilon HD surveillance system

Town of Addison deploys Avigilon HD surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Blending the diversity of a big city with the charm of a small town, Addison, Texas is one of the Dallas area's most popular destinations, offering more than 170 restaurants, 22 hotels, and 118 parks, all within an area of four square miles. With just 13,000 residents, Addison boasts a business and daytime population of more than 100,000 people looking for lodging, dining, and shopping opportunities. Driven to provide superior services, an enhanced sense of community, and a safe, high-quality living experience for residents and visitors alike, the Town of Addison has invested in the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to protect people and property against theft, vandalism, and injury.

Provide a safe, high-quality living experience for residents, and visitors and protect against theft, vandalism, and injury.

At the 150,000 square-foot Athletic Club, 33 Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, and 5MP cameras monitor the entrances, swimming pools, racquetball courts, gymnasium, surrounding parking lots and outdoor areas. 26 Avigilon HD 1MP and 8MP 180 JPEG2000 HD Pano Dome cameras monitor key areas across the 44,000 square-foot Conference and Theatre Centre, and 33 Avigilon HD 3MP cameras were installed at the 20-acre Addison Circle Park, with another 18 portable Avigilon HD 1 MP cameras added during large events. The Town manages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center Network Video Management Software (NVMS) and stores up to 30 days of continuous surveillance video at the Athletic Club and Conference and Theatre Centre and 90 days of footage at Addison Circle Park on four Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs.)

In with the New
With an outdated surveillance system that was difficult to manage and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras that were unreliable, the Town of Addison decided to upgrade to a more advanced and user-friendly surveillance system that could deliver excellent image clarity and better performance. “Many of our PTZ cameras were failing and the OnSSI software was complicated and cumbersome, making it difficult to effectively monitor key areas across town,” explained Chad Hancock, network specialist at the Town of Addison. After looking at several options, the Town of Addison selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system based on the recommendation of Convergint Technologies, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and support. “The Town of Addison specified ease-of-use, performance, and affordability as key system requirements,” explained Phil Kertz, sales manager at Convergint Technologies, LLC. “We recommended the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system because we knew it would effectively meet the Town's current and future needs.”

Protecting Key Facilities
Addison is committed to providing friendly, personal, and considerate service to all residents and visitors. With a first-class athletic club, acclaimed theatre, state-of-the-art conference centre, and beautiful park in the heart of town where special events are held 29 weekends of the year, Addison offers a unique – and welcoming – community experience. At the 150,000 square-foot athletic club, 33 Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, and 5MP cameras monitor the entrances, swimming pools, racquetball courts, gymnasium, surrounding parking lots and outdoor areas. Twenty-six Avigilon HD 1MP and 8MP 180° JPEG2000 HD Pano Dome cameras monitor key areas across the 44,000 square-foot Conference and Theatre Centre, and 33 Avigilon HD 3MP cameras were installed across the 20-acre Addison Circle Park, with another 18 portable Avigilon HD 1MP cameras added during large events.

The Town manages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software and stores up to 30 days of continuous surveillance video at the Athletic Club and Conference and Theatre Centre and 90 days of footage at Addison Circle Park on four Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs). “Avigilon offers a very impressive surveillance solution supported by a responsive team of experts for greater overall reliability,” noted Hancock. “We are very pleased to be working with Avigilon.”

Faster Search and Export
The Town's previous surveillance system was very slow, making it difficult to search, playback, and retrieve video in a timely fashion. “It was critical that the new surveillance system be easy to manage with advanced search and playback features to expedite the investigation process,” said Hancock, who also wanted a faster way to export recorded video to share with key stakeholders. Before, the process of exporting video would bog down the Town's server, which was both frustrating and counter-productive. Avigilon's use of image compression technologies has dramatically reduced bandwidth and storage requirements as well, leading to even faster search times. “With Avigilon, the ease of searching and exporting recorded video is unmatched.”

Liability Protection
The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system plays a key role in protecting the Town from a liability standpoint – particularly at the Addison Athletic Club, where members may suffer injury or fall victim to theft or assault. “We've witnessed the occasional fight at the gym – particularly on the basketball court – and a few instances of theft in the parking lot,” explained Hancock. Theft can be a problem at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre as well, where the facility has also experienced vandalism. “The exceptional image clarity and zooming capabilities of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, combined with the advanced search and playback features of the ACC software, make it much easier to identify perpetrators and resolve incidents quickly and accurately.” As a result, the Town can better protect itself against false liability claims and save costly payouts.

Crowd Management
“Liability protection is an important requirement at special events as well, where there is almost always a disturbance of some sort that needs to be investigated after the fact,” claimed Hancock. To effectively manage these large crowds, the Town is required to store video of all special events for one year in case a liability claim is filed. “It is absolutely crucial that we be able to effectively search through reliable and high-quality video to correctly identify individuals involved and quickly share with the local police for further investigation.”

Performance in All Conditions
With the Avigilon system installed at Addison Circle Park, the Town can also be assured a reliable, high-performance surveillance solution at all times of the day and night and in all conditions. “Our old PTZ cameras failed regularly because they could not withstand the weather,” noted Hancock. “The Avigilon cameras not only provide a vast field of coverage, they were also designed to handle the elements, providing greater reliability in all weather conditions.”

Budget-friendly Performance
As a small municipality, cost was also a key consideration for Addison. “Delivering the performance we need at a price we could afford combined with lower maintenance and support costs, Avigilon is an incredibly cost-effective solution,” concluded Hancock. “With the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system installed at key facilities across town, we can confidently deliver a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable “small town” experience to all our residents and visitors.”

EverFocus HD-SDI system secures NEXCO West highway toll booths

EverFocus HD-SDI system secures NEXCO West highway toll booths

Editor / Provider: sponsored by EverFocus | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

EverFocus has recently built-up the HD-SDI system, including 20 DVRs (EPHD04+) and 50 outdoor IR dome cameras (EHH5101) on the NEXCO-West (West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd) highway toll booths located in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi.

According to NEXCO-West, the toll booths require a system that is reliable and can produce clear images no matter on the staff or the POS machine. Moreover, cameras with anti-raining/snowing and small-in-size features are considered as the key points. Therefore, they chose EverFocus' HD-SDI DVR and outdoor IR dome camera.

Compact size along with elegant design has always been the major feature in the Japanese market. The EPHD04+ is a four-channel HD-SDI DVR that comes with a fine outlook and a small chassis design, plus its 1080p full HD resolution for live video recording, playback and archive videos, all these features have satisfied the customer's requirements. The easy installation, which is just the same as what we do for the traditional CCTV system, has also save the time and money.

On the other hand, for highway customers, they often choose box or bullet type cameras; however, cameras being hit by trucks or buses happened frequently. Hence, NEXCO-West has made a decision to adopt dome type outdoor IR dome for this project. The EHH5101 is weather resistant (IP66) and is able to provide 1080p HD video over coax.

With EverFocus' HD-SDI system, the evidence can be safely and clearly collected, especially the POS machine and bill can be seen clearly through the monitor. According to the customers, accidents like vehicles passing by without paying the highway fee, or missed receiving toll bills have been decreasing. The full HD video images and the stable system bring the successful surveillance to the highway toll booths.

MOBOTIX presents first thermographic camera M15D-Thermal

MOBOTIX presents first thermographic camera M15D-Thermal

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 4/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

At 2014 Light+Building in Frankfurt, MOBOTIX presents its first thermographic camera M15D-Thermal, demonstrates its current camera platform with 5-megapixel technology and introduces new software developments as well as solutions in the area of building technology.

Other product highlights include, for example, the new, intuitive MxMultiViewer video management software, the T25 IP Video Door Station and the MxDisplay video remote station.

The new modules of the thermographic camera measure the thermal radiation of objects and persons and therefore work even in complete darkness. In connection with the MOBOTIX MxActivitySensor motion detection software, it is possible to detect movements in the image reliably also at night. Only changes in location trigger a signal, while objects moving in place do not. Also at daytime, thermal modules provide an advantage, because they also capture objects moving in the shadows, in twilight or behind bushes. The advantages of an M15-Dual camera with a thermal module and daylight sensor originate from the combination of both images: images taken by day or also in the twilight produce high-resolution 5-megapixel images, while movements at night are detected reliably. The MOBOTIX thermal modules have been certified as weatherproof according to IP65. Like daylight modules, they are available in different focal lengths.

Intuitive Video Management Software: MxMultiViewer
The MxMultiViewer video management software is a completely new development for PC, Mac and Linux systems that focuses on ensuring simple and intuitive use. Full screen display at a single mouse click, support for several screens and a transparent view of events and alarm messages are just some of the many advantages of the new software. Particularly outstanding is the automatic configuration of the extensive MxMultiViewer. All MOBOTIX components in a network are detected and pre-installed automatically. Thus, a complete network of cameras and door intercoms can be brought into use in just a few minutes, without a browser or additional software - free of charge, of course, from MOBOTIX.

Modular System for Building Technology: T25 IP Video Door Station
The T25 IP Video Door Station from MOBOTIX is a modular system for door communication and access control. The system supports the VoIP/SIP video telephony standard and can be upgraded or modified at any time. The camera module featuring innovative MOBOTIX 5-megapixel technology records all events taking place in front of the building or gate. Thanks to the special hemispheric technology, it provides a view without blind spots from wall to wall and from floor to ceiling. The T25 allows for all events in front of the door to be recorded with sound. It also provides for intercom communication and remote opening function - accessible anywhere in the world, for example using a PC or the MOBOTIX App. An integrated message function makes it possible to leave and listen to messages directly at the door. Further features include keyless entry via a PIN code, RFID transponder or, conveniently while away from home, via the MOBOTIX App. In combination with other installed MOBOTIX cameras and system accessories, the T25 can be expanded into a multifunctional comprehensive system.

Sees Everything: MxDisplay Video Remote Station
The MxDisplay is the fixed remote station for the IP video door intercom and stands out, in particular, for its intuitive and easy use. With only a few swipes, the user can call up, for example, an overview of the cameras in the building and the most recent video messages from the door intercom or generate a new access transponder for a guest. No matter which menu the user is in, a tap on the key icon immediately displays the live image of the door intercom. Keeping the button pressed a while longer will open the door. If necessary, this can be secured further using a PIN or transponder. The MxDisplay can be integrated flush with the wall and is available in black or white.

Another advantage of the MxDisplay is that it can be operated wirelessly. It can also be used as a base station for other displays in the building. Smartphones and computers can be used to log into the display via the network or integrated Wi-Fi in order to use all the functions in the same manner. A ringing at the doorbell is then forwarded to the smartphone or the workstation. Thanks to the Wi-Fi Access Point function, the MxDisplay creates Internet access for these smartphones and computers, which makes it unnecessary to set up an additional Wi-Fi system in the building.

Dahua wins IP Camera Excellent Award at Secutech 2014

Dahua wins IP Camera Excellent Award at Secutech 2014

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 4/7/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Dhua technology a well-known China-based manufacturer and supplier of video surveillance products headquartered in Hangzhou, China announced that its network camera — DH-IPC-HF5281 won “IP Camera Excellence Award” at Secutech Taipei 2014.

Each year at Secutech Taipei, Excellence Award Contest is always where the eyes go as it is considered as an impartial platform for manufactures to exhibit the product they are proud of as well as rendering an opportunity for buyers to see, to learn and compare product performance in person before decision-making. And this year's IP camera contest focuses on night visual effect in addition to saturation, low light, shutter speed and image quality.

Dahua DH-IPC-HF5281, an ultra-low light network box camera with a 2-Megapixel CMOS sensor, is able to capture 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 60fps. Featuring ultra low illumination, IPC-HF5281 is able to present clear image even under 0.0001Lux. Meanwhile, for monitoring high-speed moving object, over 50km/h for example, the camera is able to render smooth image with 60 frame per second, Moreover, the camera is added with intelligent functions, such as facial detection, wandering detection, illegal parking, fast-moving and etc.

“It is the third year in a row that Dahua's products have proven its outstanding performance and been recognized by worldwide security professionals,” said Tim Shen, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology. “We really appreciate Secutech organizer creates such a great platform for our product standing out among other companies. As the industry moves to high definition, how to ensure the whole video surveillance system to satisfy the HD requirement but also other functions, like WDR, better bit rate, low lux and alike are our focus. With more than 3,000 R&D professionals and 10 percent reinvestment, we aim to provide world-leading products and solutions.”

LILIN IP solution makes Banqiao station safer

LILIN IP solution makes Banqiao station safer

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 4/14/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Based upon the current statistics, roughly 80% of the criminal acts at shopping centers and business offices occur in the parking lot; therefore, Banqiao train station, founded in 1901 in Banqiao , New Taipei City, Taiwan, recently took the necessary measure and upgraded its 3-story indoor parking facility video surveillance system to an IP based video system, consisting of LILIN network cameras, to identify license plate numbers, perform people identification, crime prevention, and event detection. Banqiao station parking structure has the capacity to park more than 1,000 vehicles, and it is definitely the top priority for the station management team to have reliable guards and video surveillance systems in place to detect intruders, observe activity, inspect vehicles, and observe illegal entry attempts, and observe unusual circumstances.

LILIN, the selection in video surveillance
LILIN surveillance solution provides  network security cameras and surveillance server system to secure life and property in the parking lots. LILIN solutions are able to provide security, perform territorial control, and real-time accounting of free parking places, and presence of transport vehicles. Travelers or visitors who park at Banqiao station parking complex get peace of mind they deserve through the support of LILIN surveillance solution.

Solution & Installation
What Banqiao parking facility needs is a security camera system with multiple cameras located throughout the indoor parking lot needs to be remotely monitored and recorded in the main building. Strategically installing LILIN surveillance cameras – CMG178H, IPR428ESX3, PIH-0442N4.3, PIH-0542P3.6 at blind spots, key access points, or back gates to provide the extra visual security required to deter vandalism or theft.

Results & Benefits
Entire parking site operations can be monitored and notifications sent when equipment failures occur, and labor cost is in the meantime largely saved in patrolling. Lot usage and activity can be easily ascertained by viewing both live cameras and historical archives captured on site. Video data can also be used for law enforcement, as well as enhance parking facility security on the whole.

* Enhance parking lot overall security
* Saves the labor cost in patrolling
* Increase operational efficiencies
* Video data can be used for law enforcement

Products at a glance
* x2 600TVL D&N WDR Camera – CMG178H
* x39 Day & Night 1080P HD Vari-Focal IR IP Camera – IPR428ESX3
* x12 18M IR Camera – PIH-0442N4.3
* x19 21M IR Camera – PIH-254 2P3.6

Mexico auto parts maker GONHER adopts VIVOTEK network cam

Mexico auto parts maker GONHER adopts VIVOTEK network cam

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 4/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Grupo GONHER is a company located in the city of Monterrey, Mexico. Starting as a grassroots outfit in 1953, the manufacturer of parts grew in tandem with the automotive industry, first producing air filters and subsequently building up a more comprehensive product line throughout the latter decades. The company has enjoyed continual growth since its establishment by staying on the cutting edge of technology and expanding their workshop to meet full production capacity. GONHER now boasts an extensive filter line – they produce over 700 different types – and they distribute their high quality products throughout 36 distribution centers across Mexico. Emerging as a major player on the North American market, and as international brand, GONHER faced the need of ramping up their security surveillance system. With the help of Novalan Computers & Networking, VIVOTEK's local distributor, they chose to upgrade the system with an impressive set of VIVOTEK cameras.

Advanced technology, improved business eligibility
GONHER was looking for a security surveillance system as high in quality as their products are, which is where VIVOTEK stepped in. Extensive distribution throughout Mexico means that comprehensive monitoring can be a difficult for the manufacturer, and company expansion has only increased the demand for a centralized, real-time monitoring system. For GONHER to know what is going on at all locations at all times, and in real-time, installing a dynamic surveillance solution was the answer. Unwilling to compromise on security, GONHER wanted IP cameras with high quality standards in all distribution centers, and a central monitoring control center in corporate offices. To ensure top-notch feeds, a 200Mpbs internet link bandwidth was integrated into the monitoring center. With the advanced technology of VIVOTEK's IP security system, the activity in GONHER's distribution centers can now be conveniently viewed in real-time and recorded for playback, ensuring utmost security company-wide.

Image quality, mobility, and aesthetics make the surveillance outstanding and easy
A total of 85 cameras were chosen to furnish GONHER's facilities. Among them, the FD8161 model is a stand out. Combining strong image quality, mobility, and aesthetics, the FD8161 met the project demands on many levels. In terms of image quality, a 2-megapixel sensor feature and impressive bandwidth efficiency make for a clear, crisp picture. The model is capable of zeroing in on small details like faces or license plates, so installing this camera in open spaces mean that foot traffic and vehicles can be monitored with precision and ease. Multiple simultaneous streams also contribute to its unrivalled surveillance capabilities. As for mobility and aesthetics, the recessed design with cable management gives the camera a very clean look, and a 3-axis mechanical design lens means the FD8161 can be mounted on both ceilings and walls. Additionally, VIVOTEK's speed dome was installed for outdoor monitoring. Not only is the camera capable of fast, precise movements, it comes equipped with a sophisticated pan/tilt mechanism for continuous 360-degree pan and 90-degree tilt. Lens positioning is easily controlled via mouse or joystick, and the camera comes with a possible 128 preset positions for patrolling, making tracking objects of interest easy and efficient.

Real-time surveillance, seamless protection
The installation has significantly boosted security levels at GONHER as 31 distribution centers can now be monitored by a real-time feed. Information recorded on the servers can also be played back, which provides security support for the various facilities. GONHER is very satisfied with the final result, and plan to increase the number of cameras in each of the distribution centers, a project under consideration to be held the following year.

Axis to release P14 bullet IP cam series

Axis to release P14 bullet IP cam series

Editor / Provider: AXIS | Updated: 4/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

The new AXIS P14 Network Camera Series consists of seven compact bullet-style cameras offering functionalities required for most installations. The series includes cameras with built-in IR as well as a top-of-the-line model with 4K resolution. The new cameras are designed for outdoor and demanding indoor environments. They are ideal for 24/7 video surveillance of offices, shopping malls, parking-lots and public squares.

With the AXIS P14 Series, customers can choose from camera models with a wide range of resolutions from HDTV 1080p to 4K including integrated features for efficient and reliable video surveillance such as built-in IR, remote zoom and focus, a built-in slot for micro SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and I/O connectors for interfacing with external devices.

“The AXIS P14 Series is an innovative outdoor-ready and cost-effective camera series offering a compact design with a focus on ease of installation and clear identification. This all-rounder series for 24/7 video surveillance provides customers with a selection of out-of-the-box ready network cameras meeting their specific requirements and budget,” says Erik Fr?nnlid, Director of Product Management, Axis Communications. “We are especially proud to present a competitive 4K version which we believe will introduce unique opportunities for even more effective video surveillance.”

The AXIS P14 Series Network Cameras offer easy installation with remote zoom and focus for fine tuning from a computer. Furthermore, they are all equipped with a compact low-weight casing and an integrated bracket for wall or ceiling mount. To further simplify installation, a wide range of mounting accessories such as pole and corner mounts are available.

All AXIS P14 Series camera models are outdoor-ready and tailored to meet most price/performance demands:

* AXIS P1405-E/-LE with HDTV 1080p, day and night, DC-iris with remote zoom and focus, AXIS P1405-LE with built-in IR
* AXIS P1425-E/-LE with HDTV 1080p, day and night, P-iris with remote zoom and focus, I/O connectors, AXIS P1425-LE with OptimizedIR
* AXIS P1427-E/-LE with 5 MP resolution, day and night, P-Iris with remote zoom and focus, I/O connectors, AXIS P1427-LE with OptimizedIR
* AXIS P1428-E with 4K (3840x2160) resolution, day and night, P-iris with remote zoom and focus, I/O connectors

The cameras in the new AXIS P14 Series are equipped with a powerful processor allowing for high performance in image processing and better image quality, with lower noise, higher light sensitivity for sharper images and more efficient video compression with H.264 Main Profile. They also provide improved support for simultaneous streaming of multiple, individually optimized video streams, providing video management systems with increased flexibility and manageable network and storage use. In addition, the AXIS P14 Series cameras offer more processing power and capacity for intelligent video applications, which are helpful in alerting and enabling operators to act on potential and actual alarm situations.

Additional features of the new AXIS P14 Series cameras include:

* Support for video motion detection, AXIS Camera Application Platform enabling the installation of additional intelligent video applications
* IP66 and NEMA 4X ratings, ensuring protection against dust, rain and snow
* Built-in slot for micro SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards for storing recordings locally
* Highest degree of security, including HTTPS encrypted video streams that do not affect performance, and IPv6 support in addition to IPv4
* Power over Ethernet (PoE) support offering greater convenience and easier installation
* Built-in highly efficient 850nm infra-red LEDs
* OptimizedIR, a patented and power-efficient LED technology that provides an adaptable angle of IR illumination
* Axis' Corridor Format

The AXIS P14 Series network cameras are supported by the industry's largest base of video management software through the Axis Application Development Partner Program, AXIS Camera Station and the complimentary AXIS Camera Companion. The cameras also include support for AXIS Video Hosting System and ONVIF for easy camera system integration. The new AXIS P14 Series is planned to be available in Q2 2014 through Axis' distribution channels.

Network camera 2014 update(2):Higher frame rates, bandwidth and streaming video

Network camera 2014 update(2):Higher frame rates, bandwidth and streaming video

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

To continue the part 1, this article introduces users other up-to-date key features and functions of these IP-based cameras.

Higher Frame Rates Enable Faster-Than-Real-Time Viewing
Frame rate refers to the number of frames a camera can capture in a second. Human vision, in terms of real-time viewing, will equate to about 30 frames per second (fps). With current technologies, standards for frame rate have come to 720p HD (1,080 x 780 pixels) and 1,080p full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) cameras capturing images at 30fps, providing users with real-time view in high definition. As technology continues to improve, the norm is now moving in the direction of 60fps at HD and megapixel resolution -- faster than human vision. Increased frame rates with higher resolution will be extremely beneficial in applications such as toll roads and highways, where cars travel at a high speed, so law enforcement officials are still able to snap a clear picture of the license plates of any law-violating vehicles.

Not long ago, towards the end of 2013, LILIN came out with a 2-megapixel resolution camera that is able to capture images at an astounding rate of 120fps. At present, the most common spec is 30fps for a 2-megapixel camera, even though there are megapixel cameras ranging from 1.3 to 29 megapixels. However, the higher the resolution, the slower the frame rate will be as the image sizes are larger and it becomes more difficult to compress with existing H.264 standards. Once H.265 transforms from myth to reality and starts being implemented on a wide scale, this issue will surely be resolved. A major deciding factor for frame rate is highly dependent on the CPU, which varies decisively even though they have the same core but it can offer multiple different features that lead to different performances. Most manufacturers prefer Arm processors, which are put in most SoCs of surveillance cameras.

Sufficient Bandwidth for Smooth Transmission
Having sufficient bandwidth is extremely important for smooth streaming of videos; however, there are several factors that must be taken into account when calculating appropriate bandwidth needed for implementing an IP-based video surveillance solution system. These factors include recording resolution, number of cameras, compression type, fps, duration of recording, and if recording will be event-based or continuous. Also, compression type can be separated to MJPEG, MPEG-4, or H.264. The amount of bandwidth a video recording takes up is also dependent on the amount of motion that takes place in that environment. For instance, cameras can be configured to constant bit rate (CBR) or variable bit rate (VBR) mode. In busy settings where the scenery is constantly changing, such as bus terminals, train stations, airports, and so on, the cameras will be set to CBR.

When recorded and played in CBR mode, the video footage is very smooth, but it can only be used for applications where there is enough bandwidth to support it or the image quality will be compromised. When recorded and played in VBR mode, bit rate only increases when abnormal activities or higher-than-usual activities occur. When files go over the bandwidth allowed, it will cause footage to lag. VBR is used in applications where changes to the scenery are rare and few, such as perimeter detection.

Users must note that neither of these settings is better than the other as long as they are used in suitable applications. The normal bit rate needed for HD 720p resolution is around 4Mbps and around 8Mbps for full HD 1,080p resolution. However, large video files often take up a large amount of bandwidth, and when bandwidth runs out, that is when problems arise. Common problems include video artefacts, dropped frames, and reduced resolution when transmitting data, as well as temporary loss of connection and freezing. This is another reason why cameras with ultra-high resolution are usually used primarily for identification and not for recording. To address this issue, users must learn how to properly manage their bandwidth so that it is carrying valuable data as opposed to redundant information.

Streaming Video: One Way or Another
Current video surveillance cameras are now able to provide up to three or four streams simultaneously. Usually, if a camera offers three streams, they are usually separated into one live, one recorded, and one remote stream. Advanced cameras are able to offer up to five streams, two live, two recorded, and one remote. The main stream is usually streamed and recorded in full HD with H.264 compression in real time at 30fps. The second stream will be recorded at a slightly lower rate, around 15fps. Depending on what the CPU can offer, the resolution of remaining streams will be lowered to CIF or D1.

At its best, a camera with three streams will be able to stream and record in real time at full HD resolution for all video streams. For anything higher than three streams, the stream rate and resolution will usually decrease for each additional stream, unless the CPU is powerful enough to handle more. As remote streams are able to be accessed and viewed through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, they are oftentimes affected by services provided by telecom companies. When the files being viewed remotely are too large, it will be likely to lag.

Now, network cameras are already beginning to take over the video surveillance market. In a few years, the sales of network cameras are sure to surpass those of analog cameras because this technology is proving itself to be mature and reliable, while becoming increasingly easier to install and operate. Network cameras are at a point where they are able to record in high resolution in real time in a low-light environment, while addressing extreme lighting conditions, and stream these feeds in a stable and reliable manner. These network cameras are almost able to do what the human eye can do. The only thing manufacturers can do now is aim higher.

Network camera 2014 update(1):Low light and WDR

Network camera 2014 update(1): Low light and WDR

Network camera 2014 update(1): Low light and WDR

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 4/1/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

Over the past few years, network cameras have broken out of their shells and began to gain acceptance and adoption. Meanwhile, the network video surveillance market continues to be headed to a “tipping point” in 2014. This can surely be attributed to the maturity of the IP-based cameras and systems available today, as well as the increasing affordability due to intense competition from manufacturers all around the world.

With so many flashy features available, the following are some of the most important features or functions in, or for, a standard network camera. After making massive improvements and advancements, what else is next? It seems many manufacturers are leaning in favor of the low-light function.

Low Light Allows Visible Color in Nighttime Environments
The low-light feature is the ability of a surveillance camera to capture color images in environments with weak or no lighting. The performance of a low-light camera is highly dependent on the sensitivity of its sensor and the processing ability of its DSP, in combination with its iris type and shutter speed. The iris allows and controls the amount of light to pass through the lens and to the sensor inside the camera.

By working together, they are able to regulate the camera's light input. New imaging technology as well as higher resolution lenses help to improve overall sensitivity, which continue to improve results from low-light cameras.

Typical day/night surveillance cameras automatically switch to black/white mode once it gets dark, or when lights are shut off. But low-light cameras are becoming increasingly popular as being able to tell colors apart at night is important for identifying suspects and culprits. Low-light cameras are also crucial to settings such as mechanical rooms or critical infrastructures, where the color of lights on different equipment must be discernible. For example, those monitoring in the control center must be able to tell the difference between blue and green lights or red, orange, and yellow lights in order to evaluate the situation in the mechanical rooms and critical infrastructures, and immediately tell if there is an emergency or breach. Presently, the most common lighting condition for a low-light camera can visibly display color images at 0.01 lux. For more advanced cameras, they are able to visibly display color images in low-light environments up to 0.001 lux.

Now, manufacturers and their R&D teams are aiming to clearly differentiate colors in nighttime environments up to 0.0001 lux, which is quite a challenge, as it is difficult even for human eyes to see color in this condition. Furthermore, there is no standard test for manufacturers to test their cameras against at the moment. Each manufacturer has its own different set of testing standards which causes inconsistency in camera performance with each different brand. Also, certain testing equipment used by manufacturers to test their cameras may give off some light, which can throw off the results. Another major challenge for low-light cameras is noise in the image captured in low-lux settings. All colors have something known as their own color temperature, which can produce noise. Noise from the color is the biggest issue for low-light cameras due to inability to perform absolute color reproduction, hence it is also important to have the digital noise reduction function to further improve image quality.

WDR Addresses Extreme Lighting
The wide dynamic range (WDR) feature is now standard for almost all security cameras as it helps to address lost details from extreme lighting contrasts present in complex indoor or outdoor environments. Users must note that dynamic range is defined as the ratio of the brightest and darkest regions in an image, and not as an absolute value.

The most common form of WDR uses the multi-exposure method, which consists of capturing two frames at one short and one long exposure speed. The first exposure captures details in bright areas in the scene while the latter captures details in dark areas in the scene. The two images are then combined for an image with visible details in both the bright and dark areas. Most common WDR falls somewhere between 50 to 70dB, while advanced WDR ranges from 100 to 130dB. Currently, the most advanced WDR, the third generation for that matter, is also called “True WDR,” capturing four frames for comparison to achieve optimal results, as opposed to the two frames taken with past WDR technology. The increased number of frames taken for comparison helps to address issues such as lighting differences between the foreground and background in the image.

Though many manufacturers boast cameras with 130dB, in reality, it is already considered quite impressive if these cameras can reach around 120dB. Users must evaluate where they plan on installing their cameras and if WDR features are actually needed. Applications where WDR are typically needed include parking lots, big plazas, building entrances, ports, tollbooths, and other areas that are frequently affected by changing light conditions.

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