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Clarifying the myths of HD-Over-Coaxial solutions

Clarifying the myths of HD-Over-Coaxial solutions

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang, a&s International | Updated: 12/15/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

 

HD-over-coaxial solutions, which transmit high-definition video over coaxial cables, provide an alternative to HD surveillance besides IP. However, there are still doubts and concerns from the market about how they are set up and whether they can truly deliver. This article lists some of the myths concerning HD-over-coaxial and demystifies them one by one.

 

Q: For HDCVI, it's compatible only with its own DVRs. What about HDTVI and AHD? Are they able to connect with any type of DVRs?

A: The answer to this is of course negative. Each HD-over-coaxial solution has its own format and must go with its own DVRs. The only solution that's compatible with all formats is 960H. After initial testing, it was confirmed that different-brand HDTVI and AHD cameras can work with their respective DVRs, as long as the same format is used.

Q: Will HDCVI and HDTVI completely replace 960H, since their picture quality is the same as 960H?

A:
In terms of what the 720p HD-over-coaxial solution can offer, it is indeed very similar to 960H picture quality. However, 960H products still stand out since they are offered and supported by most of the current camera vendors. We can assume in the future, if there are more 1080p HD-over-coaxial solutions being introduced to the market, it will definitely affect the market of 960H or even IP for the SMB sector.

Q: Could the current HD-over-coaxial DVRs support 720p and 1080p at the same time?

A:
The answer is no. Test results show that HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD each can support 720P and 1080P cameras and corresponding 720P and 1080P DVRs. The issue right now is whether the same DVR can record 720P and 1080P videos at the same time, no matter which technology is employed. This still needs to be confirmed.

Q: When different numbers of HD cameras are used, or when coaxial cables of different lengths or grades are used, would there be any signal loss issues? Experience dictates that when signals are transmitted through different-length coaxial cables, the disparity in voltage may cause poor reflection of images, which may appear to be stacking up on one another. Or, the difference in electrical grounding may create noise. Will this also affect HD-over-coaxial?

A: The answer is yes, due to the lack of equalizers in HD-over-coaxial DVRs at the current stage.

Q: From a project implementation perspective, does transmission distance for HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD matter? Is it a key factor to consider?

A:
Another good question. Each HD-over-coaxial solution claims to be able to transmit over a distance of 300 to 500 meters, or even 600 to 1,000 meters. First, we must applaud HD-over-coaxial for breaking the distance barrier. Yet from a project perspective, this doesn't really mean anything. First, in the past, transmission over a 5C-2V cable without a booster can go for 200 to 225 meters. With booster, transmission can be extended to over 400 meters. Yet quality loss is a byproduct of signal boosting, as noise is augmented. So for any coaxial implementation, shorter distances are preferred due to reliability. To transmit beyond 500 meters without sacrificing picture quality or reducing the number of cameras, what's usually done is the usage of multimode fiber for distances of three to five kilometers or single-mode fiber for longer distances. With a dense wavelength division multiplexing device, one multimode fiber or single-mode fiber can transmit four to 32 streams. In other words, from a project perspective, transmission distance is not an issue and is not a determining factor for choosing between HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD.

Q: With HDCVI, HDTVI, and AHD breaking traditional distance barriers, can they really help with larger projects, or are they more suitable for SMEs?

A: No matter what grade of coax cable you use, it's just a medium. Transmission distance really depends on the system and voltage. The size of project depends on several things – for example, whether there will be compatible matrix systems like those used for HD-SDI, or HD DVRs that support more channels. Only by then will the discussion of which solution suits which type of project be more meaningful. For now, HD-over-coaxial is implemented in the same way as traditional analog, namely for small- to medium-size projects through a DVR+CMS architecture.

The above were answers to questions commonly asked of HD-over-coaxial solutions. Once they are more widespread in the market, there will surely be more questions concerning their technology and applications. That's when HD-over-coaxial will truly become a game changer.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. 
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

Bridging the smart home divide

Bridging the smart home divide

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by AirLive | Updated: 12/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Founded in 1993, OvisLink Corp. is a leading Taiwan-based networking solution provider, selling its products under its own brand AirLive. Started out as a wireless product maker, the company gradually expanded into the development of surveillance cameras. Today, it designs some of the most avant-garde smart cameras for both the home and professional markets. The MD-3025-IVS 3-Megapixel Mini-dome IPCAMs are few examples of their latest creations. When asked about the design, Albert Yeh, VP of OvisLink said they are direct results of AirLive's design language, in which: “ergonomics and small-form factor” are heavily emphasized. “The AirLive 3-Megapixel IPCAM is currently the smallest of its kind in the world when considering its size,” Dr. Yeh said. “They can be mounted anywhere, including buses and trains.”

The AirLive smart camera range can be separated in two categories: home (DIY) and professional use. Although across the US – currently the world's biggest smart home market – DIY smart home cameras still holds the reign, Dr. Yeh said they still focus heavily on professional, industrial-grade cameras which are catered solely for the installer market.

“Some have been focusing on smart cameras for nearly a decade, but they never really took off because initially the majority of them were catered only to luxury homes. However, prospect-wise, they still look promising.”

As more companies continue to hop on the smart home bandwagon, forecasters are expecting the market to be influenced by both the sunny skies and storms depending on the product's integration of function and application. Carving a design concept is the mindset of the mainstream. “We design products that are coherent with the environment and their surroundings,” said Dr. Yeh.

ADDING INTELLIGENCE
According to Dr. Yeh, smart home cameras have two critical functions: monitor and control. While the average user may already know pet and baby watch, or energy consumption control, these functions are nothing new when it comes to surveillance cameras.

The company is integrating “intelligence” to the mini-dome camera line by incorporating new features to their bundled software. The AirLive smart software has built-in Intelligent Video Analytics that features: Face detection & recognition, iMotion detection, Trip zone, Object counting, and e-Fence.

As smart cameras continue to evolve and improve with time - new CPUs, ICs and image sensors, - the technology gap will remain tight amongst competitors because everybody is churning out cameras with near or similar hardware specs. “Expertise is not about having the best components, but in component tuning,” Dr. Yeh said.

OvisLink is currently looking into developing intelligent cameras with IR control. They will mostly likely remain a compact-form factor similar to the mini-dome line.

NOT IN THE CLOUD
Although the Cloud's growing clout may threaten to stifle growth across the traditional PC and notebook markets, especially for PCs DRAM, displays and CD-ROMs, smart camera makers have yet to totally embrace the services provided with the Cloud.

“One major issue with the Cloud is that it cannot take real-time recording,” Dr. Yeh said. “Also, for smart cameras, storage capacity is an issue because backing up video data in the Cloud is limited.”

The Cloud storage services currently available (Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) are offered for free but with limited storage capacity. For applications that require 24-hour live recording, this would make it hard for camera makers and users to swallow. Dr. Yeh said that they prefer to use local storage (NVR, NAS or SD card), then retrieve data (video) from the remote end.

4K, H.265 AND OBSTACLES
When asked about if AirLive will adopt H.265 in their future range of smart cameras, Dr. Yeh said the current H.264 video codec, which is good for achieving 720p resolution, covers the majority of the world's users. Furthermore, adopting H.265 would mean to create smart cameras at a higher expense, even though H.265 is important for future applications because of 4K video. But for smart home users, H.265 is not attainable for the masses.

“The problem is not in technology, but with integration,” said Dr. Yeh. The biggest obstacle for makers is regarding interface adoption because currently there is no common ground or alliance that is similar to the smartphone and tablet sectors. The solution is not about hoping for the best platform to prevail – ZigBee, Z-Wave, or others – but for a big-brand company to tie the alliance together, said Dr. Yeh.

 

                   

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Tips for selecting a cost-effective, efficient surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Roger Morency, Exacq | Updated: 12/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Challenged with patrolling a large area and protecting thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses, local governments and police departments need an efficient video surveillance system. Today, municipalities face a variety of new security challenges including geographical disparity, scalability and remote monitoring.

Government and municipal projects often have tight budget restraints and require a cost-effective surveillance system that covers a large area while providing expansion opportunities for future security needs.

Union City, N.J., and Prospect Heights, Ill., are two cities that have recently implemented cost-effective video surveillance systems. As a result, each city has seen a reduction in crime rates and a vastly improved public safety system by considering the following elements in their solution.

View Video Remotely
To provide a successful municipal surveillance system, find a video management system (VMS) software that law enforcement officials can easily use remotely. Police departments need to view live and recorded video from their desks, phones or vehicles from anywhere throughout the city, day or night.

Prospect Heights Police Department strategically placed cameras in the highest risk public areas. With exacqVision VMS software all government officials can download the free Exacq mobile app or run the free client software on any web browser. This allows them to assess situations as they are happening and provide guidance to on-the-scene officers. Additionally, the exacqVision software has given them the opportunity to monitor their risk, assess the environment they are entering and prioritize issues immediately from their devices. Remote video monitoring enhances situational awareness, enabling them to respond quicker and more effectively at crime scenes.

Implement a Wireless Solution
When tasked with monitoring a city consisting of thousands of residents, consider implementing a wireless mesh network for the most effective security system. In Prospect Heights, Illinois, the surveillance system acts as a force multiplier, allowing the police department to keep more officers patrolling the streets and letting the cameras cover high crime areas. With this solution, video from the cameras is transported wirelessly to a nearby building and then transmitted to the police station over the secured network. The wireless system connects the police department with the community areas for real-time viewing of activities. By leveraging this capability, Prospect Heights can monitor crime in neighborhoods without the need for full-time police officers to constantly patrol the area.

Be Resource Efficient
Replacing an entire security system can be very expensive. As an alternative, law enforcement officials can leverage their current infrastructure, wiring and analog cameras while also updating their security system. This maximizes the initial security investment while providing the flexibility to upgrade the system later. Union City, N.J. was able to utilize their existing analog infrastructure while also adding new technology, while Prospect Heights Police Department fully integrated the surveillance system with their broadband wireless network to better leverage resources.

Find an Easy-to-Use VMS Software
Simplify the process of searching and exporting video by selecting an easy-to-use VMS software. Most police departments and local governments suffer from lack of time and limited resources. The exacqVision client greatly improved operations and reduced investigation time for Prospect Heights Police Department. In the event of a reported crime, police officers can use the exacqVision VMS software for post-incident investigation and research. Officers can quickly search the exacqVision client for the time of the incident and can then export real-time evidence and footage to be used in court if necessary. Chief of Police Jamie Dunne noted, “The exacqVision software has allowed us to quickly capture video clips of incidents that we have used to bring criminal investigations to successful conclusions.”

Prepare for Future Growth
Communities continually grow and crime hot spots change. Therefore, municipalities need to be forward thinking when designing a security solution. Scalable solutions provide an easy method to add cameras and expand the security system as the population demographics adjust. Prospect Heights initially designed their wireless security solution with future additions in mind. They accounted for the ability to add cameras moving forward and adjust the system as needed.

Biometric authentication goes mobile

Biometric authentication goes mobile

Editor / Provider: Morpho (Safran) | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Today, there are nearly 7 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, as estimated by the International Telecommunication Union. That is 95.5 percent of the world's population! And in this highly connected world, each and every individual mobile subscriber must be sure that personal data and identities are being protected. The awareness of the value of personal data is growing while solutions to manage usernames and passwords become more cumbersome and the use of biometric data to authenticate access will become more widely implemented.

Experience in identity management is needed
Here is where Morpho comes into play. This high-technology company is not only one of the top 3 SIM manufacturers, but also the global leader in biometric and identity management. It has proven its experience so far with 500 million identity documents (ID) and processes 1 million identity document authentication requests and up to 1 million biometric enrollments each day. Morpho's identity management solutions are used by governments and other organizations around the world to protect people, assets and communities. Morpho has more than 30 years of experience implementing and maintaining large Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), civil and corporate solutions.

The next big driver for biometrics
Mobile phones as the all-in-one device suitable for every purpose are thought to be the next big driver for biometrics. Today's phones and tablets enable highly sensitive services, so securing the unique data of each individual person is a key challenge for the mobile world today and the basis for trust tomorrow. Our comprehensive telecommunications and security expertise allows us to offer new and efficient solutions for secure elements, securing data, transactions and identification for the whole mobile communications ecosystem. As mobile devices and smartphones continue to proliferate and provide users with powerful mobile, networked multimedia computing options, the need for security will become even greater – calling for the strongest security enabler: biometrics. Adding biometrics features such as fingerprints, iris and voice to mobile devices promises to help in a wide area, from website login and anti-counterfeiting, IDs and passports to financial transactions and healthcare processes and on to preventing unauthorized access to accounts and sensitive data.

Numerous use cases
Morpho enables the full mobile ID chain: It offers identity authentication and derivation* for public and private services, strong enrollment and Trusted Identity Service Management, including secure credentials provisioning and downloading and management of related security domains and applications. Morpho's solutions for mobile phones and tablets have many use cases. For Mobile Network Operators they can provide a vital solution at customer registration. As regulators increase their requirements for validating the identity of the new customer, “Know Your Customer” (KYC) becomes more vital. Morpho's solutions can provide a simple secure solution to this complex problem.

A perfect platform for mobility, versatility and data security
The new MorphoTablet™ is a particularly good example of how Morpho uses its expertise to produce innovative combinations of mobile devices and biometrics. It is an enterprise-class touch-sensitive device that adds the security of biometrics (fingerprint and face) and cryptographic functions to mobile operations – the perfect platform for mobility, versatility and data security, enabling the delivery of trusted services in any sector, anytime, anywhere. But Morpho can not only integrate biometric technology into its own devices, but also enable it in existing platforms. For example, Morpho's Software Development Kit (SDK) can enable new biometric capability to be supported by Android devices. Biometric data can be captured with the support of cameras and other capability the phone may have or coded and matched against data stored in an accessible database. Thanks to the SDK, Mobile Network Operators can chose if they would like to undertake the development by teams within the Mobile Network Operator or by Morpho on their behalf – of course ensuring that the security requirements and the correct brand implementation and usability required by the customer can be implemented.

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Secutech 2015: Source security's next big thing

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 12/8/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech is the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions. The 18th edition is officially confirmed to take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.

Mr Parson Lee, Managing Director of organiser Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “In 2014, Secutech's dedicated sections for smart home garnered accolades with the booming industry outlook. In 2015, the sub-show, SMAhome under secutech will be dedicated to home security, home control and connected home. In line with Taiwan's excellent IT framework, Networks & IC (Integrated Circuit) industries, Taiwan manufacturers in the telecom and connected-home fields such as Chicony, D-Link, Foxconn, also known globally for their competitive edge will join the show in 2015. In addition, the show is highly anticipated by suppliers from China and South Korea, with product design talents, customization prowess and technical support. Delivering from DIY gadgets to project-based solutions, SMAhome will serve as a top-tier platform for global smart home professionals to connect with Asia's premium manufacturers.”

Held concurrently with SMAhome, Secutech 2015 aims to cater to demand for a wider spectrum of safety and security-related products. The latest zones cover:

• High Definition
Now, the resolution gets sharper, in smartphone and everywhere. With better image quality, 4K camera, H.265 NVR, UHF monitor at secutech 2015 will be incorporated with smart edges, facial recognition, and loitering detection. Over 1,000 choices of Ultra HD and HD equipment and facilities will be showcased onsite.

• Transmission & Network
Transmission distance limitations have been a major obstacle for HD migration. Ranging from coaxial, Ethernet, to fiber connections, whether sending signal or power, the Transmission & Network zone will feature 30 leading Taiwanese information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers including CTC UNION, Dintek, EtherWan, LANTECH, LEX, ORING to present last mile technologies.

• Storage
Higher-resolution images are calling for larger data storage. To back up systems, a complete storage line-up is showcased from SSD, commercial NAS, enterprise NAS, NVR, server storage, Cloud service in secutech 2015.

• Software
The Software zone, focusing on Video Management Software (VMS) and Video Content Analytics (VCA) technologies will be a networking platform for hardware makers, software developers and system integrators to interact. VMS is the foundation for video monitoring, analysis and recording. The development of its extensive application is influential to various vertical markets in the industry, such as home automation, retail, transport, safety and security.

In addition, zones for Access Control, HD-over-coaxial Solutions, Key Components & Parts, and Fire & Safety will provide an ideal place for worldwide importers to experience the latest technical development within the industry.

Secutech will also organise a series of highly thought-provoking seminars. Prominent industry players, keen on sharing their knowledge and experiences, will be the speakers. Highlights include the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) and the Composec Conference. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the evolving global security industry through presentations and interactions with experts.

Sponsored by:  
Secutech, the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions, will take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. 
Now in its 18th year, secutech features some 500 exhibitors from 20 countries and attracts over 26,000 visitors. Dedicated pavilions for the following sectors: Surveillance | Software & Management Systems | Transmission & Networks | Smart Homes | Key Components / Parts | Electronic Systems

Register your FREE visitor badge now at www.secutech.com/registration/en

China brings the world security market to a reshuffle

China brings the world security market to a reshuffle

Editor / Provider: JOHN SHI, a&s Asia | Updated: 12/1/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Over the past two years, China-made products have become more popular in global markets, a phenomenon that not only impacted Asia's manufacturing landscape but also the whole distribution channel. All players across the supply chain are faced with eroding profits and are looking for ways to find new revenue streams. Many traditional players who were unable to respond to this change have been pushed out of the market. International brand suppliers facing China's price competition are also looking for ways to increase their products' cost-performance ratios. Despite all this, China should still be given credit for driving this price reduction that has led to more affordable products, a fast growth of the SMB market, and increased security awareness among the general public.

Changing Asia's Manufacturing Landscape
In 2007, we interviewed several Secutech Expo visitors, most of whom were importers coming to Asia to purchase security equipment. Taiwan products were their favorite, for no other reason than Taiwan's ability to manufacture, customize, and offer excellent service and technical support. At that time, the general impression was that China-made products were of inferior quality. Some importers who went to China to work with local companies eventually returned to their Taiwan and Korean partners. Yet, few importers voiced the opinion that China still had good manufacturers — you just have to dig them out.

In but a few years, things have changed. Thanks to the emergence of CMOS sensors and SoCs used for IP cameras, which significantly lowered the threshold for entering the camera business, Chinese manufacturers seized this opportunity and entered the camera market. With the already huge share in the DVR sector, the Chinese were able to complete their product lines covering both frontend and backend devices. Also, with quality control enhancement, China has significantly improved quality and reliability issues that once drew criticism.

Besides the aforementioned factors, China manufacturers hold another key advantage: its vast domestic market, which provides all the necessary elements for ensuring their further growth. China's domestic market that is the world's largest not only provides a stable source of revenue but also offers a training ground for manufacturers to test their products and create more applications. Within years of development in its local market, Chinese manufacturers now are able to compete with or even take huge market share from the multinationals in China.

Another thing that is unique about Chinese manufacturers is that they're not satisfied just with their domestic market; they also embrace the world. Among them, Hikvision and ZKTech not only see high revenues but also vaunt a host of overseas branches that have infiltrated into local markets.

China's growing influence in the world has led to a decline for both Korea and Taiwan manufacturing over the past years. Manufacturers from both regions couldn't directly compete with the Chinese heavyweights and therefore had to reposition themselves to find their own market niches. An example was IDIS, the Korean DVR manufacturer. Years ago, I interviewed its CEO and asked him about the choice between OEM and “own brand name.” Without hesitation, he said he would never think about the latter option, as it may lead to direct competition with clients. Yet, with China's growing expansion, IDIS last year completely repositioned itself and began to launch its own brand in Europe. How the future Asian manufacturing landscape will evolve is something worth observing.

Growing Market Acceptance for Chinese Products
Besides improving the quality of their products, Chinese manufacturers have also raised their English proficiency and learned ways of doing business internationally in the midst of globalization. Products' outstanding cost-performance ratios have helped vendors win more customers and business. Among these companies, some have accelerated their internationalization efforts and set up branches or offices overseas to face clients directly. With more competitive products, aggressive sales teams, and large-scale marketing campaigns, Chinese manufacturers have forced people to look at them differently. In the past, Chinese products were mostly used in the private or commercial sector. Over the past year, the trend has been that Chinese products are increasingly found in the government sector for some markets, too. With this, China manufacturers' market influence in different regions is set to grow exponentially. As two examples, China's Hikvision and Dahua had 2013 revenues of US$1.8 billion and $882.6 million, respectively. It's expected both will see their sales figures double by 2016. It can be imagined many firms will see their revenue eaten away by this kind of growth.

China's fast growth will sure expedite a reshuffling of the global security industry. We are wondering how many firms will survive in three years' time.

China Pushes Channels to Transform
Three years ago at an expo, I ran into one of the top three Russian importers. The company had focused primarily on European, U.S., Taiwan, and Korean products yet was now forced to bring in Chinese products. With the influx of Chinese imports in Russia, he had to sell Chinese products or face the prospect of losing all his customers. Yet, according to him, Chinese products had short lifecycles. Once new shipments came in, old ones were put in inventories. Profits were already low, and keeping things in inventories caused importers to lose money. All this for what, he asked.

For systems integrators, things aren't easier, either. With unit price fast falling, projects of the same scope may see price drop by half. That means, to keep revenue on par with last year's, you must get twice as many projects. Yet labor and operation costs haven't gone down an inch. For integrators, their challenge now is how to survive.

Amidst this revolutionary change, to understand what customers want and how technologies will evolve is key to security channel players' survival. Channel players must also change their original “box-moving” mentality that was prevalent during the traditional CCTV era. Maybe they can learn from the example of their IT counterparts: instead of just selling products, they should reposition themselves as “value-added distributors/ resellers” via offering integrated systems and extra services — from getting the right products to pre-sale testing to post-sale service.

Expecting a new order
Besides the influence from China, another troubling trend has emerged. Years ago, people had already raised this question: with surveillance moving into IP, hardware, firmware, and operating systems need to be upgraded constantly. Then, what would become of after-sale service? How would you service systems five years from now? In case an unprofitable integrator goes under in the midst of the price competition, who will maintain systems built by this SI? In Asia, it has come to the point where even maintenance fees are subject to a price war. Whoever gets the order would just do a sloppy job — as long as something doesn't go wrong. In my view, with clearer market differentiation, there are still plenty of market opportunities for many players. The security market will become more specialized in the future. Companies or industries attaching greater importance to security will realize the difference between price and reliability, and they will naturally choose reliability over price. For those who are not so demanding about where video streams are transmitted to during critical moments, they will rely more on the cost-performance ratio. When will the new order arrive? In three years? Five years? I would say it all depends on the expansion of Chinese manufacturing, the speed with which other security manufacturers reposition themselves, and how the Internet of Things is going to greatly influence the security industry.

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Gaming sector demands beyond surveillance

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu | Updated: 11/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Fraud and theft are the most common illegal activities that take place in casino facilities, as a large amount of money is handled between staffs and patrons every single day making casino a convenient target. When it comes to casino security deployment, there are many to concern about. Making sure that the patrons and staffs are safe and feel secured surely is on the top of the list. However, from a managing aspect, it requires more than just making people in the facilities feels secured. As a matter of fact, being able to deter, detect, and hold quality evidence for further investigation is usually the managers' ultimate goal.

asmag.com is here to present some professional insights from experts around the globe in this industry regarding gaming security applications. According to their opinions, the key demands from gaming sectors boil down to the following points:

1. Real-time video surveillance recording:
30 frames per second (fps) usually is the bottom line for gaming surveillance applications, as higher fps is more desired in order to capture every detail on the gaming table or happening in the facilities which may later on become crucial forensic evidence.
2. High resolution & high frame rate:
As mentioned previously, higher frame-rate is much preferred. However, having higher fps sometimes suggests compromising on image resolution. High resolution and high frame rate are both in demand in terms of surveillance systems in gaming facilities.
3. Color images in low-light environment:
In order to be able to distinguish the colors of gaming chips, it is crucial to record color and high-resolution images despite shooting in a dim environment, as most of the casinos dim the light purposely just to create a relaxing ambience.
4. Local gaming demands:
For the overseas gaming investment, following certain gaming security demands from the local authorities is necessary. For example, some countries require the gaming facilities to equip with surveillance cameras that come with certain functions or set limits on image resolution and frame rate.
5. Search & tracking:
There could be up to hundreds, or even thousands of cameras in a gaming facility, depends on the scale of the business. Searching and tracking functions surely help the operators to track down to suspicious activities and person effectively.

Casino may consider for security systems upgrades every five to seven years in average. When it comes to retrofit project, there are more to consider about. “End users must decide whether to continue to invest in analog technology or to begin migrating to IP with a hybrid system. They need to determine if the analog system can be improved or if they'd benefit more from the better image quality and detail provided by high definition IP cameras. The challenge is determining which path to take,” said Tom Kochenberger, Field Systems Specialist at Bosch Security Systems. There is no correct answer between continuing to use analog systems or migrating to IP-based systems – it depends on various factors such as budgets, practical necessities and further plans for upgrades, just to name a few.

For the end users who want to spare the troubles on cabling and decide to upgrade existing analog systems, HD-over-coaxial solution might be their prior option now. “HDCVI provides real-time recording at up to 1080p high-quality image resolution, with users' existing cable systems,” said John Li, Product Manager at Dahua Technology. “Moreover, HDCVI guarantees a full HD image quality under real-time recording which is definitely an ideal feature for gaming industry.”

Trending technologies and value-added applications

Trending in the casinos: 4K camera, facial recognition and license plate recognition
As the technology is becoming even advanced day by day, there are more possibilities for innovative techniques being applied for security purposes in casinos. In fact, a promising future can be seen on certain technologies in the gaming industry. For example, 4K camera, facial recognition, license plate recognition, etc.

“The adoption of IP video is directly affected by the use of advanced forensic technologies that provide automated recognition,” stated Steve Surfaro, Industry Liaison of Axis Communications. “Facial recognition of a fixed population of known scam artists and criminals can automate the detection process and move casino surveillance from today's reactive posture to proactive. License plate recognition (LPR) technology is already being used in Las Vegas casino parking areas and shopping malls to reduce potential crime. I recently met a representative from a vehicle recovery firm in a Las Vegas parking area. They had deployed LPR cameras similar to those used on law enforcement and parking enforcement vehicles. These IP video cameras automatically decode the plates of moving vehicles and deliver an alert indicating a ‘vehicle of interest'.”

Ed Thompson, CTO at DVTEL, is convinced that more casinos will start to incorporate 4K camera technology. “Casinos will also benefit from the ultra HD resolution and superior color reproduction provided by 4K cameras, allowing them to quickly identify potential for fraud and crime. Video analytics will also play an important role in enabling casinos to be more proactive with their surveillance programs. Both server-based and edge-based analytics will be leveraged for indoor and perimeter surveillance needs and we only expect applications for analytics to grow as the technology matures.”

Move beyond video surveillance
Besides higher image quality, the end users in the gaming sector are targeting on more value-added applications that can make the most of the security systems and managing systems.

Casinos are expanding their purview of security beyond video surveillance into more advanced technologies and systems, such as PSIM (Physical Security Information Management), video analytics, and mobile apps. Dr. Bob Banerjee, Senior Director of Training and Development at NICE Systems, provides some insights regarding these advanced technologies for the gaming sector below:

PSIM
PSIM is moving away from focusing on pure integration and toward operational workflows, processes and procedures which can be automated to make operators lives easier, and business more cost efficient. Casinos are no exception. Simply put PSIM solutions capture and correlate information from third party sensors and integrate those inputs into a common operating picture. In a casino environment, this might include security subsystems like video, access control, intrusion and fire, but also HVAC, elevators, escalators, public signage and mass notification. PSIM's automated workflows guide operators to quickly and efficiently respond and enable collaboration across security teams. By automating response procedures, PSIM ensures that operators respond to incidents quickly, efficiently and in a compliant manner.

Advanced Analytics for Real-time Forensics
It's not uncommon for casinos to employ hundreds, even thousands of surveillance cameras. But when something happens, security operators still need to resort to a feet-on-the-ground search to find the suspect. What's the alternative – to watch all the recordings from all the cameras to try and locate the suspect? Impossible – just 400 cameras and 1 hour of elapsed time would mean hundreds of hours of video footage to plow through. But what if you could let video analytics do this work for you?

Today, video analytics technology can provide real-time forensics of surveillance video to locate a person of interest in situations when time is of the essence. Using a video image, uploaded photo, or user-generated composite, this revolutionary video analytics tool can scan hours of video in minutes and automatically filter out 95 percent of irrelevant images to help a casino track down a suspect. Its mapping capabilities provide geo-spatial awareness by retracing the suspect's movements across cameras and pinpointing his current or last known locations on a casino's premises. All images, related video, and locations associated with the search are digitally stamped and can be saved or shared among law enforcement agencies for use in investigations and prosecution.

Mobile apps
Casinos spend billions of dollars annually on surveillance technology. Thanks to mobile apps, they can now start to think about how to extend these investments beyond the walls of the control room and into the hands of their personnel.

We live in an age of instant situational awareness – information like knowing where to go and the best way to get there is right at our fingertips. What if field personnel could be equipped with a smartphone or tablet and a PSIM-centric Enterprise Geographical Information System (EGIS) Web application that not only notified them of an incident, but also showed them the best way to get there, and how to respond? It's possible today.

Using another mobile app on their smartphones, a worker could also report an incident, and send video or photos to the security command center. The PSIM system receives the incident alert, using RFID or Bluetooth to automatically pinpoint the sender's location, then using that location to pull up nearby surveillance video feeds. The command center operator immediately sees who's sending the alert, where it originated, what's happening, and what actions to take. The app is also equipped with a panic button.

 

 

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Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Luxury hotels serve up first class security

Editor / Provider: EIFEH STROM, a&s International | Updated: 11/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The tourism and hospitality sectors are inextricably linked — you can't have one without the other. This link becomes even clearer when looking at the numbers. And as the global economy continues to recover, so does the hospitality sector. International tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) January 2014 World Tourism Barometer. The APAC region leads this growth with the number of tourists reaching 14 million, a rough growth estimate of about 6%. Southeast Asia was the best performing sub-region with the number of tourists growing by around 10%. Africa was next after APAC with approximately three million new arrivals, followed by Europe and the Americas. For 2014, the UNWTO forecasts international arrivals to increase by 4 to 4.5%.

Not only is the number of travellers on the rise, the number of travellers with disposable income is also on the rise, fueling the demand for upscale and luxury leisure travel, according to EY's Global Hospitality Insights: Top Thoughts for 2014. The latest numbers from STR Global indicate that there are 2,312 hotel projects currently in construction, in development, or in planning in the APAC region as of March 2014. In the Middle East and Africa, 573 hotel projects are currently underway, with 25 hotels in the luxury segment expected to open in 2015 alone.

Luxury hotels have a lot to offer; however, opting to stay at a luxury hotel is more than just wanting first-class service and accommodations. It is also about feeling secure and knowing you can relax and feel at ease. For the hotel operator, security is of utmost importance. By utilizing newer security technologies such as physical security information management (PSIM) software and video content analysis (VCA) software, luxury hoteliers are able to not only secure their establishment and their guests, but also increase management and operational efficiency.

UPGRADES AND PROCUREMENT
How luxury hotel chains upgrade and procure their security equipment is different from standard economy hotel chains. Industry players estimate that luxury hotel chains, on average, look at large system upgrades every seven years, give or take a few. Upgrades are driven by anything from changing local regulations to system failures to incidents that point out security weaknesses. Regardless of the reason, during this time security directors of luxury hotel chains use this opportunity to take a hard look at how security technology has changed and how they can benefit from it, according to Brian Lane, Director of Product Management at 3VR. “This is when the ‘migration' from one technology to another begins.”

In terms of procurement, Ilya Umanskiy, Associate MD of Security Risk Management at Kroll in Hong Kong highlighted the competitive nature of luxury hotel tenders. Certain genuine process indicators/measures are used to select the right supplier. From there, a fixed pricing period is often determined, which is reset every two to five years. Lane further pointed out, “Hotels generally do not network their security systems together as an enterprise, therefore, a single hotel in a chain may elect to choose their own security system, independent of other hotels in the same chain, even luxury hotels.” Because a hotel operator or security director may have an established relationship with a local integrator, they are not always likely to purchase a single solution from one supplier, added Lane. “The hotel may have different components from several suppliers, but often will use only a single integrator.”

BETTER EFFICIENCY WITH PSIM
PSIM has been promoted within the security industry as solution for centralizing disparate systems; however, due to high cost, mass implementation outside of government-type and critical infrastructure projects has been limited. Despite this, more and more industries are realizing the benefits of using PSIM software to help manage their facilities. A report released by Transparency Market Research in January 2014 estimates that the emerging PSIM segment will grow at a CAGR of 25.8% from 2013 to 2019. This rise in PSIM deployment is attributed to a decline in price, increase in sophistication, and growing awareness among end users.

Luxury hotel chains are among those that are starting to see the many benefits that PSIM has to offer. “PSIMs are good when you have disparate systems that have been installed over the years where you can aggregate signal information in a single user interface where it can help centralize your monitoring,” said Umanskiy. This ability to centralize different systems makes it a great tool for luxury hotel chains.

Yet, demand for PSIM software varies by region and reach. “The demand is there. The big question is the global region of where the hotel chain operates and whether the hotel chain is a global chain or a regional chain or if it's simply a privately owned operation or several properties in a particular country or region,” explained Umanskiy. For example, hotel chains in the Western world are more likely to use PSIM software as a result of more technical knowhow available to explain how PSIM operates and what benefits it brings. On the other hand, in Asia, less market education and high cost have made PSIM adoption quite low. “In Asia specifically, that [PSIM] hasn't really been widely discussed by luxury hotel operators,” said Umanskiy. “They still either rely on access control platforms to monitor various sub-systems or use those systems as completely standalone, so they end up operating through different interfaces.” One reason for this can be attributed to the market for luxury hotel implementation in Asia being owned by integrators. Because integrators generally prefer to get in and get out, they are less likely to spend time educating users on what technology they are receiving, according to Umanskiy.

LUXURY HOTELS GET SMARTER
VCA, or video analytics, has been a hot topic in the security industry in the last few years. Making systems “smart” allows users to save time and increase operational efficiency. That is why luxury hotel operators are getting in on the action.

Aside from using PSIM software to manage and centralize systems, many luxury hotel chains simply integrate subsystems such as access control with video management systems (VMS), a more affordable solution. A VMS with VCA software integrated with an access control platform allows the video analytics to be applied and married to the access control database, asserted Lane. Video analytics at a hotel can be used for many different things. On the security side, VCA technology can help hotels that have issues with parties in hotel rooms — the video analytics can send an alert to security officers if three or more people enter the hotel through a back entrance using the same access control key. Analytics can also be used to help with operational efficiency, pointed out Lane. “For the operations of the hotel, analytics that determine queue length can notify the manager to add more front desk personnel when the queue hits a certain threshold, while face analytics can be used to identify VIP guests, and people counting analytics can be used to help managers find traffic patterns to help maximize staffing needs during peak and lull periods.”

Although deployment of VCA has clear benefits as a proactive tool for operations and surveillance, Umanskiy points out that it has limitations. Making sure that patrons feel safe at a hotel means making sure that the security measures are as unobtrusive as possible. Therefore, hotel operators cannot put cameras everywhere, as a certain amount of privacy must be maintained. Since analytics requires video content for analysis, it is not possible for analytics to be everywhere on a property. As such, it is important to understand the value of VCA applications up-front based on individual video surveillance deployment methodologies.

THE NON-ROOM SERVICE SERVICES
Services at a hotel can mean much more than decadent room service. In the case of security, services refer to maintenance services and extended services, both contracted and not. Again, like PSIM software proliferation, the use of monthly/annual service agreements is more widely seen in the Western luxury hotel chain market. Umanskiy attributes this to the fact that the majority of luxury hotel chains originated from Western countries. Because of this, growth and expansion of these Western hotel chains requires them to centralize their models and focus greater attention to best industry practices. Realizing that service agreements signed upfront, often as part of the initial bid, represent a better value, Western hotel chains prefer to sign agreements that include things like built-in maintenance, calibration requirements, upgrades, etc. “For the most part, hotel managers prefer to have the predictability of a maintenance plan versus paying for the maintenance repairs when an issue arises,” explained Bill Glover, National Account Manager at Tyco Integrated Security. “Having a plan in place helps for budgeting purposes, avoiding hefty fees from fixing technological issues throughout the year. It is also more structured and offers hotel managers a more efficient way of managing issues as they occur.”

However, Asian hotel chains are much less likely to engage in extended service or extended maintenance agreements. According to Umanskiy, Asian hoteliers do repairs based on time and materials. One of the reasons for this is a lack of formalized relationship with the integrator, and as a perceived 'cost-saving' measure, hotel operators will have the integrators on call, but rarely sign service or maintenance agreements. Even so, more and more hotels worldwide are looking at global best practices, which should result in more formal agreements between hotels and security service providers.

SECURE, PERSONALIZE, AND PAMPER
There are certain things patrons come to expect when staying at a luxury hotel. Personalization of stay and top-notch security are among those. The fewer distractions a patron has to deal with, the better they feel about their stay, meaning they are more likely to return in the future. Hotel operators have found several ways of ramping up security in a less “in your face” way that is helping to not only ensure the safety of those staying at the hotel, but also personalize their stay as well.

One way hotel operators are pampering their guests is by using facial analytics, according to Lane. “By saving a customer's face in the system, the system can then be used to alert the front desk when a ‘platinum-level' guest arrives.” Furthermore, combining card-key access with face analytics can provide guests with an even more personalized stay when entering the hotel spa or another service area. By combining these two technologies, service personnel are able to identify guests as they enter and call them by name. This coordination between security and guest service departments allows for in-guest concerns and in-guest needs to be more easily addressed.

DID YOU ENJOY YOUR STAY?
Making sure all guests are treated to a luxe experience means ensuring safety and security along with all the other five-star amenities people come to expect from luxury hotels. As the global economy continues to recover, both the tourism and hospitality sectors are expected to continue growing as well. The rising number of travellers will definitely require luxury hotels to amp up security measures. And as the price for PSIM software continues to drop and the accuracy of VCA continues to improve, there is no reason why both these technologies cannot see more widespread implementation in the future.

LILIN helps hydroelectric power plant migrate from analog to IP based video surveillance system

LILIN helps hydroelectric power plant migrate from analog to IP based video surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by LILIN | Updated: 11/24/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mission
Hydroelectric power plant sites are usually spread across a wide area. A dependable surveillance solution is needed to ensure the safety and efficient operation of the plant. LILIN's IP video technology provides remote monitoring for Jatiluhur hydroelectric power plant in Jakarta, Indonesia. This innovative IP video solution was designed by LILIN's reseller partner in Indonesia – 21CCTV.

 

 

Migration from analogue to IP
Due to the limited scalability of the original analogue CCTV system, the Jatiluhur hydroelectric power plant had implemented as migration to IP based video surveillance utilizing the LILIN IPR712M and IPS8268 network cameras with corrosion resistant protection feature in providing greater resistance to hydrogen sulfide (H₂S) and able to withstand the high humid and extreme climate of hydro power plant as the core of the digital solution.

Minimum bandwidth requirements
The ability to transmit high quality video images over large distances with minimum bandwidth requirements is the key to the success of this hydroelectric power plant monitoring project. The LILIN NVR controls all the plant's IP video surveillance cameras, it is reliable and easy-to-use in the plant's operational safety and overall security.

Solutions
In order to achieve centralized monitoring management for its hydroelectric pipelines, more than 15 LILIN IPR712M IP cameras equipped with vandal-proof enclosures have been installed at the Jatiluhur hydro power plant. The cameras are all IP-based and are connected to the command center via a fiber optic LAN and wireless Point-to-Point (PtP) bridging connectors.

System Structure (site A):
* Outdoor IP66 weather rated IP cameras – IPR712M *11
* Network Video Recorder (NVR) – NVR116 *1
* 1080P HD video decoder – VD022 *1
* Wireless Point-to-Point bridging connector *8

System Structure (site B):
* Network Video Recorder (NVR) – NVR109 *1
* 26X Day & Night WDR 650TVL Speed Dome IP Camera (Outdoor) – IPS8268 *1
* Outdoor IP66 weather rated IP cameras – IPR712M *4

High risk areas HD cameras were required to provide video evidence when required. LILIN cameras are located in all areas of the plant – the upper river area of the reservoir, the main dam, hydraulic turbine floor, and flood gate area. The LILIN IPS8268 day & night PTZ dome camera is used for general/patrol surveillance of open areas, and the LILIN Pro series day/night IP based fixed camera, IPR712M, is used for specific objects that need constant video surveillance at the plant. LILIN IP cameras support Power over Ethernet (PoE), which greatly reduces construction costs.

LILIN video solutions provide:
* A high-dependability solution
* Autonomous management of the control system
* Monitor the hydro power plant from a single point
* IP based cameras & networking
* Power over Ethernet (PoE)

 

Sponsored by: 
LILIN is a global IP video manufacturer with over 30 years of experience. Throughout the years, the company has maintained its dedication to Creativity, Progress, and Excellence providing expertise in digital video with a strong focus on innovation moving forward.

The best of both worlds – Taiwan hardware & software savvy

The best of both worlds – Taiwan hardware & software savvy

Editor / Provider: Lingo Lin, a&s SMAhome | Updated: 11/20/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Cloud computing is a key contributor in innovative application towards the internet of things (IoT). This trend is gradually taking form, which will bring forth new challenges for enterprises in business models and innovations.

StarVedia president Jeffrey Wu explained that the IoT is the next stage of evolution for information and communications technology (ICT), and that Taiwan's cloud service capability will put it ahead of its competitors.

StarVedia currently offers one-stop-shop for OEM and ODM (GUI and back-end infrastructure.) The company is launching its own “YesCam” brand in a bid to tap into the Chinese market. Wu said their Wi-Fi module is 100% MIT (Made in Taiwan), beginning from material and design to production.

When it comes to software powerhouse, D-Link is one of the many shining examples to be reckoned in Taiwan.

D-Link, a leading global networking solutions provider for enterprise and consumer markets, has in the last 2 years endeavored to provide a fully-integrated, easy to use smart solution for the masses. Their smart home lineup includes network cameras, gateways, routers, smart plugs, sensors, cloud service, and app.

With D-Link's software ingenuity, the company has spent two years in the development of their own cloud service, named aptly the “D-Link Cloud,” which is a revolutionary product series comprising of D-Link cloud router, cloud camera, and cloud storage products. The Mydlink Home app works in conjunction with their cloud service.

Also, JSW is a renowned wireless solution provider based in Taiwan, with products ranging from digital wireless security systems and network cameras to video door phones and home control gateways/sensors, including Cloud and app solutions. Their wide-ranging services encompass the security sector, home safety, agricultural vehicles and front/backend S/W related solutions.

According to OvisLink Vice-President Albert Yeh, the company is integrating “intelligence” to the mini-dome camera line by incorporating new features to their bundled software. The AirLive smart software has built-in Intelligent Video Analytics that features: Face detection & recognition, iMotion detection, Trip zone, Object counting, and e-Fence.

As smart cameras continue to evolve and improve with time - new CPUs, ICs and image sensors, - the technology gap will remain tight amongst competitors because everybody is churning out cameras with near or similar hardware specs.

“Expertise is not about having the best components, but in component tuning,” Dr. Yeh said.

      [MIT Feature Selection]
Made-in-Taiwan shines under the spotlight
Taiwan creates value through innovation & user experience
Going global with top-tier Taiwan products & services
The powerhouse of product customization by Taiwan suppliers

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