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HD-SDI(7): HD-SDI made in Korea, Taiwan and China

HD-SDI(7): HD-SDI made in Korea, Taiwan and China

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang | Updated: 12/20/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Great numbers of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Korean companies manufactures HD-SDI solutions. How HD-SDI evolved in these countries and how they position themselves will be discussed.

Evolution from Korea, Taiwan, and China
The first generation of HD-SDI cameras were introduced in 2009; Comart and SANYO showcased and launched SMPTE-292M-complaint cameras. Comart is a provider of HD solutions; the company started to develop and apply HD-SDI solution to local projects in Korea since 2006. At that time, the markets had adopted network solutions for 2 years, so their HD-SDI cameras did not gain much attention.

In 2010, approximately 20 Korean manufacturers started to enter the business, developing HD-SDI products ranging from cameras, DVRs, signal amplifiers, signal distributors, monitors, fiber optic devices, etc.

What enticed Korean manufacturers to invest in such technologies was the large utilization of HD-SDI in city and traffic surveillance projects by the Korean government. In addition, Korean vendors have found that through combing coaxial cables and fiber optic cables in an existing analog system, the challenges of limited HD-SDI transmission distances can be solved. Chip providers like Gennum (part of Semtech) also introduced various chip solutions for HD-SDI signal transmitters and receivers, thus enhancing related innovation and customization. The successful results have proven that HD-SDI is a quicker way to upgrade to HD surveillance with latency-free transmission capability. This finding allowed Korean manufacturers to deliver a new innovation to break away from compression accessories and technologies.

On the other hand, Chinese manufacturers first showcased HD-SDI cameras with chip solutions from Ambarella in 2010. Innovation continued despite skepticism until 2013, and there were plenty of Chinese manufacturers delivering full lines of HD-SDI signal transmission devices and matrix systems to heat up the competition. In particularly, Chinese HD-SDI solutions are not ambitiously positioned to replace IP surveillance applications, but are largely applied to the existing domestic analog surveillance market, such as education, retail, and banking sectors.

Across the strait, some Taiwanese HD-SDI pioneers started to develop their own HD-SDI products while others simply follow Korean HD-SDI trends. In 2010, there were only 2 or 3 manufacturers daring to test the water. However, in 2013, over 16 vendors have shifted their production from analog products to HD-SDI peripheral products.

Chinese HD-SDI market has the largest domestic support market-wise, while Taiwanese and Korean vendors are providing more technological innovations.

Factors behind the Uptake of HD-SDI
HD-SDI is a still a slowly-develping business. According to Todd Rockoff, Chairman and Executive Director of HDcctv Alliance, even with manufacturers' aggressive R&D investments and market demand for real-time HD surveillance, in 2011, only 5% of surveillance market adopted HD-SDI applications. While SDI chipmakers and IMS Research forecasted that by 2014, 15% of all HD equipments (including IP-based and HD-SDI video surveillance) may adopt HD-SDI solutions, and possibly in 2013, there are 10% of HD equipment adopting HD-SDI.

First, HD-SDI represents a new solution for installers encountering difficulties in deploying IP surveillance solutions in an environment ill-structured with wireless transmission. Furthermore, even though IP surveillance has run for years, there are still circumstances where conventional video surveillance systems cannot be replaced by IP solutions. Some believe that IP market shares to analog surveillance is 7:3, fact is IP is securing 50% of the market. Due to reasons including the varied network conditions in every country, high costs associated with replacement of existing infrastructure, IP is yet to be fully accepted in the market. However, the above mentioned challenges can be addressed with HD-SDI solutions, making HD-SDI solutions preferably adopted in retail stores, shopping malls, highways, stations, banks, casinos, airports, and other projects such as city surveillance and traffic monitoring. In addition, not only does HD-SDI features uncompressed digital signal high speed transmission, HD image quality, and excellent color rendition, but also supports existing analog infrastructure to ensure secured video data and reliability.

Nevertheless, a major drawback of HD-SDI is the huge data generated that lead to more investment in transmission and storage devices. HD-SDI ‘s capabilities to handle resolutions beyond 1080P or back-end management equipment are questionable.

Market Position
Chinese manufacturers have shown their capabilities through improved product performance, and created brand awareness internationally. The competition is fierce for Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers despite only 10% of Chinese HD-SDI products could really match up to Taiwanese and Korean HD-SDI products. Taiwanese and Korean manufacturers are more advanced in terms of their rich technological experiences in integrating sensors, SDI transmitters, image signal processors, and proper SoC solutions.

Currently, Taiwanese and Korean HD-SDI vendors position themselves to compete in Western and Asian markets. For them, Chinese market is unpredictable and the price-competition is too severe. In western markets, there are already some case studies indicating that several cities in the UK are using Taiwanese and Korean HD-SDI surveillance products. Western markets welcome HD-SDI solutions because they not only solve the latency issues of IP solutions, but also eliminate significant modification for existing analog system.

Related article
HD-SDI(6): Hybrid approaches to integrate HD-SDI and IP solutions
HD-SDI(5): Camera components, features, and efficiency
HD-SDI(4) : Revolution of HD-SDI matrix systems
HD-SDI(3): Storage in SDI
HD-SDI(2): Transmission extendable in distance
HD-SDI(1): Another option for HD video surveillance

HD-SDI(6): Hybrid approaches to integrate HD-SDI and IP solutions

HD-SDI(6): Hybrid approaches to integrate HD-SDI and IP solutions

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang | Updated: 12/19/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

IP megapixel, HD-SDI, and 960H solutions are gaining more traction as the pursuit of HD presses on. However, both manufacturers and installers, who relied on network products, have great hesitations in adopting HD-SDI and 960H cameras. Hybrid approaches to answer integration questions will be explained below.

Integration of IP, HD-SDI, and Analog systems
When HD-SDI solutions were first introduced in the security industry, people were discussing the pros and cons of HD-SDI and IP applications. The fact is these solutions were designed to enhance image resolutions. With the same built purpose, those products should be able to coexist in the infrastructure.

If it is an environment with coax cabling, there are a couple ways to install IP megapixel, HD-SDI, and analog cameras together. For example, by adding in Security Link Over Coax (SLOC) transmitters and receivers at the back side of network cameras, a hybrid approach is created, enabling cost-effective migration while combining the best features of analog and digital video. Since SLOC units (at the Transmit and Receive end-points) support both CVBS and IP at both ends, they are able to deliver TCP/IP digital signal over coax. This approach not only solves the cabling issues of IP cameras, but also eliminates significant modification for existing analog systems. With existing coaxial cables, received SDI signals can be sent to HD-SDI DVRs or video matrix switchers directly, allowing IP and SDI systems co-exist.

If the existing infrastructure is based on TCP/IP network architecture, where network cameras are the main focus, non-IP cameras such as HD-SDI and 960H cameras would need a transmission and conversion approach. There are two ways to convert HD-SDI signals into those signals that can be used by TCP/IP networks. One way is to adopt HD-SDI DVRs to collect the digital signals from all of the HD-SDI cameras and to generate TCP/IP signals for network routing. Then, users can manage the video data of HD-SDI cameras or perform fast remote manipulation of PTZ controlling with central management software (CMS) or the graphic user interface of these DVRs.

Another way is to use SDI digital video servers (DVS) to encode the signals from HD-SDI cameras to TCP/IP signals. Individual HD-SDI video streams then become IP signals, which support routing for network surveillance functions. Similarly, signals from 960H cameras can be collected through DVRs which generate signals for IP routing and surveillance. Taking advantage of DVS to encode video signals into TCP/IP signals in order to transport video streams over the network.

To Reach Maximum Transmission Range
One of the important transmission issues is the maximum range for coax-based analog signals vs. CAT5-based Ethernet IP communications. Some may criticize that HD-SDI signals have a major drawback; they support shorter distance than IP solutions. Fiber optic communications ease these concerns as they are widely used in large-scale security applications. Coax links can deliver HD-SDI signals in real-time over point-to-point cable up to 200 meters for standard-grade cable and up to 500 meters with a signal booster.

For the longer distance transmission of network system, it is commonplace to use fiber optic devices to transfer one or more HD-SDI or analog video streams over fiber optic transmission, which supports wavelength-division multiplexing technologies (WDM/DWDM/CWDM) to meet one-way or bidirectional transmission of multi-channel HD-SDI signals with a maximum distance from 30 to 70 kilometers.

Challenges in Shared Storage
HD images are able to be stored in embedded SDI DVRs and NVRs. However, HD-SDI has standard resolutions of 720P or 1080P at 25 or 30 fps, and the size of converted data is about 1.485Gbps. Storing such raw data requires huge costs. A more practical way is to take approaches such as network compression, D1 recording for general scenes, and HD recording for events to save storage footprints. Therefore, users can get benefits from both HD image recording and smooth latency-free real-time image sources. The numbers of DVRs and configurations of IP or HD-SDI recording can be defined based on the fact that resolutions of 720P or 1080P at 30 fps produce 400 to 650 MB of video data per hour, which means one channel of video data requires 350 to 500 GB of storage capacity per month.

Video Management
Many suppliers are introducing networked video platform to route the video data encoded by HD-SDI matrix switchers or HD-DVRs and to enhance integrated IP surveillance systems with VMS or NVRs to perform alarm triggering, information gathering and centralized administration. Such platform features strong data management capabilities to perform central management, indexing, searching, content analysis, and alarm noticing.

The front end installation can combine coax cables with fiber optics devices to transfer all captured signals to the control center, where those collected signals are routed to multiple screens and HD-SDI DVRs with networked feature for real-time monitoring or management. This system not only meets the requirements of network IP surveillance, but also enables quick and convenient configurations for different sites and resolution formats. Another aproach is to adopt video encoders to convert signals and transmit them to HD NVR/NAS/SAN for storage and management.

Related article
HD-SDI(5): Camera components, features, and efficiency
HD-SDI(4) : Revolution of HD-SDI matrix systems
HD-SDI(3): Storage in SDI
HD-SDI(2): Transmission extendable in distance
HD-SDI(1): Another option for HD video surveillance

Integration: Key to worldwide adoption of ITS

Integration: Key to worldwide adoption of ITS

Editor / Provider: Christine Chien, a&s International | Updated: 12/18/2013 | Article type: Infrastructure

Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) gather traffic data in real time from various wired or wireless communication-based technologies, such as video surveillance, communications, sensors, and detectors, to provide improved safety and efficiency on the road and in transit.

According to a recent market report published by Transparency Market Research, "Intelligent Transportation System Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019", the global market is expected to reach a value of $30.2 billion by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate of 11.1%from 2013 to 2019. Reasons behind this rising demand can be contributed to increased congestion in metropolitan areas around the world, especially in Asia.

The development and deployment of ITS not only reduces traffic, but also reduces the number of accidents, and improves quality of life by controlling vehicle emission levels with the decrease in time spent on the road, stuck in traffic. In addition, these systems reduce financial burdens on countries by reducing fuel consumption and traveling delays.

As reported by MarketsandMarkets in “Intelligent Transport Systems Market – Trends, Adoption & Worldwide Forecasts (2012 – 2017)”, North America is currently the market leader, followed by Europe and APAC. As for the remaining regions, Middle East and Africa are the largest contributors. Just in the last two years, increasing numbers of ITS have been deployed all over the world.

KEY EQUIPMENT, DEVICES AND TECHNOLOGY

The most common ITS equipment includes, traffic signal controllers; dynamic message signs; environmental sensors; surveillance cameras for detection or monitoring; infrared sensors; freeway ramp meters; video switches; transportation sensor systems; field master stations for traffic signals; transit priority at traffic signals; street lights; and inductive-loop detectors.

These devices and equipment are integrated together to provide key traffic data, through wireless or 3G/4G networks, back to the traffic control center to collect and process, once the data is aggregated and translated into information, the information will be disseminated to the public through various methods.

As ITS equipment is always installed in outdoor locations, they must be able to operate despite harsh outdoor conditions such as changing weather and temperature, storms, dust, shock, vibration, and other factors.

Ethernet technology is the backbone of communication between all these interconnected devices and equipment. “After the traffic control signals and information are converted into IP packets, they are transmitted through fiber-optic cables, which are connected via Ethernet switches, and sent to the traffic management center for analysis,”said Mitch Yang, President of EtherWAN.

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF ITS

Truly integrated ITS must have a powerful, scalable management system and include several important features.

1)  The system must be able to gather multiple forms of data in a given time frame, such as the flow of traffic, average speed, headway, peak occupancy rate, vehicle length, vehicle type, etc. However, the full integration of all different equipment and devices are especially important in an ITS if accurate real-time information is to be acquired. Therefore, the system must provide an open interface for successful integration with the platform. 
2)  After the data is collected, the system must be able to simultaneously transmit it to multiple locations, as the collected data is usually sent back to the data center, or formatted in a certain way and stored in HDDs for investigation purposes when a situation calls for it. On the other hand, the data is sent in real time to the traffic control centers and related departments for real-time calculations and analysis to provide real-time traffic information.
3)  The system must be able to differentiate between the different types of traffic conditions, as well as detect different events that are happening on the road. Based on the information gathered from each point of detection, the system will process and analyze the data in real time. Coupling this with video surveillance, operators will be able to determine if congestion is caused by an accident or simply from rush hour. Depending on local traffic laws and regulations, the cameras will start to record if an incident occurs, or the camera will zoom in on the scene where an event is occurring for a better view. Also, depending on the level of integration with local public safety officials, an alert will immediately be sent to their stations to inform them of an incident.
4)  An ITS must have a mass notification system, able to send road conditions, events, traveling time, etc. through messages to different variable message signs, broadcast stations, television stations, cellphones, handhelds, websites, and so on, to advise drivers of the best route to take to their destinations.   
5)  The system must have a centralized emergency function, to alert all emergency units or other related departments if something goes wrong. For example, if an accident occurs or a power supply box is opened for unknown reasons, the command center can notify related personnel to address the issue on site.
*  Other important features of an ITS include notification search and a calculation feature to search and record all events such as vehicle counts, images, flow, accidents, and system malfunction. Having the ability to help with decision making by gathering or analyzing data based on past events of different traffic incidents can also greatly assist the operators in terms of policy making and for any traffic management department to help with decision making, such as smart ticketing.

ITS in Intersections
As ITS is used for highways and regular urban traffic management, slight differences must be noted. ITS solutions for a city or town will be much more complex than ITS solutions for the highway. For a city, ITS solutions must have control of traffic lights for up to thousands of intersections. ITS must also be integrated with the parking facilities to inform drivers where they can park and how many spaces are open in which specific lots. ITS will also be integrated with other infrastructures that are present in the town. There are also more regulated zones in a city, where certain areas might not be open to certain vehicles at a certain time. If there were any violators who trespassed in certain zones during the prohibited hours, alerts will be sent to the traffic control center for necessary action to be taken.

ITS in Highways
As for highways, instead of intersections, the focus would be put on the tollbooths and more accident prone areas. Video surveillance and IVS can be used to identify license plates for those who violate traffic laws, such as speeding or straying from the lane, and alert the control center. Integration with emergency services are especially important on highways and tunnels as immediate help needs to be at the scene of the accident if it were to occur. Bridges and tunnels will pay more mind to the vehicle count and types as exceeding capacity, in number of vehicles or weight of vehicles, can be very dangerous and harmful to the infrastructure.

STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS

As traffic rules and regulations are subject to its local jurisdictions, it has been difficult coming up with an open standard for interoperability between ITS equipment, which is another contributing factor to the difficulties integrators around the world encounter when implementing and deploying ITS. Once an open standard for ITS is created, it will be crucial to successful policy formulation and project delivery.

The International Organization of Standardization has also worked to provide some standards and requirements to follow for ITS. Currently, the most common ones, with 24 observing countries and 26 participating countries, are ISO/TC 204 (transport information and control systems), ISO/ TC 22 (road vehicles), ISO/TC 104 (freight containers), and ISO/TC 211 (geographic information/geomatics).

The standards are designed to provide a minimum set of requirements for which manufacturers must meet and may exceed, whether it pertains to operating environments, controller units, malfunction management units, uniformity in cabinet layout and field-terminal labeling, auxiliary devices, and mechanical standards for steel and aluminum cabinets.

Contractors must follow NEMA's standards for product quality assurance, grounding equipment, and after-installation testing. In Europe, countries employing ITS follow standards set by European Committee of Standardization (CEN) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute. The widely adopted standards for road systems — DATEX and DATEX II — were developed for information exchange between traffic management centers, traffic information centers, and service providers, are maintained by CEN/ TC 278.

“By the end of 2015, there will be deployed a so-called emergency call system. It is a service that when a vehicle crashes, the onboard unit automatically calls an emergency number. It is not something that is only technology based, but there is also an organization implication. There will be a unique emergency number at the European level, where emergency departments like the police or the hospital can answer and send help. This is something in the domain of the ITS as well because one of the objectives is to reduce the number of incidents and death. All vehicles will be produced with an onboard unit; it willalready be equipped with this feature and work across Europe,” stated Fabrizio Arneodo, ITS Design and Development Manager at 5T, a public company owned by the Piedmont Region, the City,and the Province of Turin, responsible for managing traffic and providing mobility information in that region.

"The international character of this system is reflected in its availability in more than 20 countries, as well as the multilingual staff of the monitoring centers. So even when being abroad, one can communicate in one's own language, whereas the monitoring center instructs the police or emergency services in the local language,” added Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager of Bosch Security Systems.

As for the remaining countries and regions, those with ITS societies are working hard with public administrations to push and develop more standards to increase the interoperability of ITS.

INTEGRATION PROBLEMS AND OTHER CHALLENGES

For a complex system such as ITS, integration is bound to be one of the biggest challenges, however, it is also one of the most important aspects of the system. Not only does it have to integrate with legacy systems, it also has to be able to integrate with future systems if the traffic managing system were to expand.

The many different standards from the region and the international standards that exist can also pose as a problem.

Furthermore, the ITS might be integrated with local law enforcement or emergency services depending on the local laws and regulations of each city, town, or state. Other challenges faced when deploying ITS include distance that has to be covered for highway monitoring, as the roads tend to continue for long stretches. Steady, reliable, real-time transmission of large, high-resolution video file and other data are the most important requirements in ITS.

In some places, ITS equipment is expected to last up to 15 years, emphasizing the strict requirements proposed by the government. Therefore, ITS faces jurisdictional and organization challenges, as well as the lack of a common open ITS standard, and the level of expertise within local and regional transportation agencies. The level of integration between different departments and authorities remains a key challenge to having widespread, efficient ITS. For example, whether the ITS policy making and implementation authority resides in a national, regional, or state level, or if the author of ITS decision making is in a single or multiple agencies.

Hikvision video surveillance integrated with Prysm AppVision PSIM

Hikvision video surveillance integrated with Prysm AppVision PSIM

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 12/17/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision and French security software developer Prysm recently announced the integration of all Hikvision products within the Prysm AppVision Physical Security Integration Manager. This combination allows Hikvision's products to be managed directly from the AppVision PSIM video wall and video matrix, for integrated security and building automation projects around the globe.

PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) is able to integrate different systems into a unified formula, such as video surveillance, access control, intrusion, fire and life safety, perimeter protection, or building automation. This also analyzes and assesses data from disparate systems, making intuitive decisions and also communicating with operators to form the proper response. With general awareness of this technology and its capability increasing over the years, PSIM markets now present robust opportunities for worldwide vendors.

“Our collaboration with Hikvision recognizes the leading market position that Hikvision is now enjoying in many of the markets where the AppVision Community Partners operate. It also demonstrates our commitment to open architecture. This tie-up means that our Community Partners are now better positioned to offer competitive, robust, and scalable integrated security solutions for the benefit of the industry," stated Liam Heatley, Export Sales Manager at Prysm.

Keen Yao, International Marketing Director at Hikvision, further commented, "AppVision PSIM brings many key advantages towards a security project. We are excited to see that these integrated technologies are already successfully deployed on many joint projects, and we look forward to working with Prysm Software on a number of combined projects in the near future.”

Tips for planning and designing home automation system

Tips for planning and designing home automation system

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang | Updated: 12/17/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Smart homes rely on home automation products and technologies to make homes more safer, more secure and more comfortable. SMAhome and Secutech propose five key areas to consider when planning and designing a home automation solution: wiring, systems operation, climate control, security, and entertainment and lighting.

Wiring
A home automation system should use both serial bus ports and Wi-Fi to ensure that the system stable, reliable and expandable. Since more and more components in the system—such as door locks, intrusion alarms and fire alarm—are embracing IP-based applications, integration of these products must be considered when planning systems wiring. All of these components must be able to connect to the Internet or home LAN, in addition to reliably transmitting signals and communicating with each other.

System Operation
A touchscreen control panel is the heart of a home automation system, and it is the component that a user directly interacts with to control other parts of the system. Aside from a user-friendly interface, the control panel must also include different levels of permissions for administrators, users and visitors.

Newer systems also allow users to remotely control the system through smartphone and tablet computer apps.

Climate Control
Climate control consists of temperature and humidity control, and generally include cooling and heating modes, temperature and humidity sensors, and adjustable fan speeds. The climate control systems monitors the environment and maintains it at a user-defined condition. In addition, the climate control system should be able to relay its current status to the control panel or a user's smartphone or tablet computer.

The climate control system should be designed to accommodate different settings in different parts of the home for comfort, convenience and security reasons, such as:
Kitchen: Monitor for gas and water leaks, smoke and fires
Living room: Automated smoke alarms and ventilation; shut off power in the area
Bedroom: Humidifier and dehimidifier, air purification

Security and Safety
1. Intrusion alarm: Trigger an alarm when the system detects unauthorized entree through doors or windows. The system should automatically turn on all the lights in the home, record video, sound alarms and send notifications, images and video to the user's computer or smartphone. The system should also be able to contact the police or security service provider.
2. E nergy monitoring: Monitor water, energy and gas. The system should automatically shut these off in case of leakages and notify the user.
3. Fire safety: Install smoke alarms and CO-level monitors in common areas such as the living room, kitchen and entertainment room. When anomalies are detected, the system should automatically ventilate the area and notify the user or fire department if there is a fire.
4. Panic button: Children and elderly members of the family need to be able to notify other members of the family or the police in case of an emergency. Panic buttons should be place in their rooms, as well as other rooms that may be locked, such as bathrooms.

Entertainment and Lighting
A  big emphasis in designing smart homes is in reducing energy consumption, as well as other environment-friendly features. Infrared sensors should be installed at stairways and hallways so the system can efficiently control lighting in the home. Sensors should also be place in bathrooms to avoid wasting water and gas.

In addition to energy-saving benefits, the lighting system should also integrate with other systems for entertainment purposes. For example, the lighting could automatically moods that match certain types of background music, while the home theater system can control the lighting and draping for optimal convenience and comfort.

For a comprehensive view of today's smart home products, please register for Secutech 2014's SMAhome showcase.

MOBOTIX shows 5MP light sensitive cameras D25, M25 and Q25

MOBOTIX shows 5MP light sensitive cameras D25, M25 and Q25

Editor / Provider: Mobotix | Updated: 12/16/2013 | Article type: Security 50

The new D25, M25 and Q25 5-megapixel IP camera models deliver high-contrast images without motion blur, even in poorly illuminated scenes due to the new MOBOTIX low-light optimization feature. As a result, they are considerably more-light sensitive than the respective predecessor models and have twice as many pixels as Full HD.

All models feature state-of-the-art motion detection. Whether large objects in the foreground or small ones in the background, the integrated MxActivitySensor only records video or triggers an alarm if an important event occurs. Interference caused by trees moving in the wind, shadows, passing clouds or snowfall is ignored better. The motion sensor configures automatically; it is possible to select the image region and direction of motion of the objects.

The 3 models are weatherproof and operate at temperatures between -30°C to +50°C (-22°F to 122°F). The only differences in the models are the design and the additional sensors they offer. The D25 is a compact dome camera for indoor and outdoor use and can be equipped with vandalism protection. The M25 features a microphone and is designed to withstand extreme weather situations.

The Q25 generates 180-degree panorama images with improved details and discreetly secures an entire room without any blind spots. This way it is far easier to capture a scene than with several individual cameras. The number of cameras required and the costs are reduced as zooming in on details is still possible.

All new camera models feature an MxBus connection to integrate additional features such as the GPS-Box, which delivers the exact time reference for the video recordings, in addition to position, ambient temperature and brightness. Recording on all camera models takes place both internally on an SD card and externally on a USB stick or via the IP network on NAS hard drives offering nearly unlimited storage capacity.

Hikvision protects Canada's largest CSI facility

Hikvision protects Canada's largest CSI facility

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 12/5/2013 | Article type: Government & Public Services

The American television show CSI is a popular series in the North American market, but with syndication in the majority of the world's countries. The work done on shows like this is not simply Hollywood magic, but it is based on real science done by real law enforcement agents, forensic technicians, and scientists.

State-of-the-Art Facility
Case in point is the brand new Forensic Services and Coroner's Complex in Toronto, Canada. This facility, opened in September 2013, and is the largest of its nature in Canada, and represents one of the three largest in the entire world.

TV-style CSI operations are housed in the Forensic Services and Coroner's Complex (FSCC), it is also designed to handle issues related to biology, toxicology, chemistry, firearms, document and photo analysis, and electronics. Additionally, the FSCC includes multiple examination bays, ballistics facilities, and Canada's first Containment Level 3 autopsy suite, as well as being equipped to cope with mass fatality events such as airline crashes.

To protect these scientists, researchers, examiners, and administrative staff, as well as the facilities themselves, something more down-to-earth was needed: Hikvision security technology.

Marcomm Systems Group, the integrator working on the project, teamed with Carillion (the facility management company for the FSCC) to design a comprehensive solution to achieve these ends.

The Hikvision Advantage
During the installation process, Hikvision cameras were chosen, this project marks an important step for Hikvision in the Canadian market. Specifically, it is the first massive public project of this scale in which Hikvision has been involved. As such, it was important for Infrastructure Ontario (the quasi-public, quasi-private owner of this project) to see proof of Hikvision's quality. Hikvision's quality passed testing at all levels. And, being able to seamlessly integrate with the existing VMS software platform without any difficulties, or modifications was the final seal of approval.

Once approved, four Hikvision camera models were selected - The 2MP Vandal Resistant Network Dome Cameras, 1.3 MP Indoor and Outdoor Network High Speed Dome Cameras, and 1.3MP WDR Outdoor Network Cameras now provide the eyes for the FSCC.

These models, placed liberally throughout the FSCC, are positioned to monitor the roof line, building exterior, parking areas, medical labs, courthouse, jail cells, ballistics testing rooms, administration facilities, as well as other critical areas.

Due to the sensitivity regarding the nature of this project, exact locations, as well as Hikvision camera benefits in relation to these areas cannot be specified.

Realities of the Public Sector
The issue of quality is paramount for the Government of Ontario, as well as its real shareholders - the general public, who will ultimately be paying for a portion of this facility with their tax dollars. As such, financial responsibility is a real concern for all the players involved - from Infrastructure Ontario to Carillion to Marcomm Systems Group. Therefore, the ultimate goal was to provide top-level technology, but at a competitive price.

Tips for choosing a video door phone system

Tips for choosing a video door phone system

Editor / Provider: Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media | Updated: 12/3/2013 | Article type: Tech Corner

Introduction
Demand for video door phone systems has built up over the years due to the increased convenience and security it offers. With the continuous evolution of smart buildings and smart homes, video door phones has increasingly digitized to integrate with other systems. However, users do not fully understand what a digital door phone system offers or how to choose a product whose features match their needs, many users do not even know what their needs are.

Secutech recommends the following six key points when purchasing a video door phone system.

Is it digital?
A video door phone system is one of the key components in the “smart home” concept. The video door phone must be digital in order to integrate with other systems in a smart home; advanced features may even require an Internet connection.

A digital video door phone system must have the following attributes: video compression, audio processing and network transmission. Video and audio must be compressed to minimize bandwidth usage and latency; they must also be based on industry standards to ensure compatibility.

One clear indicator to determine whether a video door phone is digital is with an RJ45 connector: if it has one, it is likely that the video door phone is digital, as analogs do not need to transfer data over an ethernet. Another indicator is whether it has a network settings interface.

Is it visually appealing?
Since video door phones are an integral part of a user's everyday life, it should be visually appealing. Aside from good looks, a video door phone should also be have an ergonomic design and a user-friendly inter-face.

How durable is it?
Buyers should be certain if the video door phone is built with impact-resistant materials. The core function of a video door phones is security, so it must be durable enough to withstand a certain level of vandalism. It would be a good idea to check its IP ratings and see if it can handle the weather in its intended region.

Does the manufacturer have a good reputation?
Although brand reputation does not necessarily represent a product's quality or reliability, it is likely that a brand with a number of credentials would produces reliable products. Most video door phones are made in China, Italy and Japan; in addition to technology and quality, buyers looking for suitable video door phones should also factor in brand reputation to avoid any misfortunates.

Does it integrate well with other systems?
Aside from basic features like making video calls and unlocking doors, a video door phone has the potential to integrate video surveillance, alarms, access control and other systems in a smart home. Buyers should check its compatibility with other systems, as well as which standards it supports.

Have you tested it?
Above all, the basic features of a video door phone—video calling and intercom—should perform well. Before any purchase, buyers should test the system for clear video and audio and evaluate signal-to-noise ratio, distortion and other factors that affect video and audio quality.

To browse live product demo of video door phone system from Asian top suppliers, register your visit to secutech now.

2013 Security50 intruder alarms: Ride on automation and regulation waves

2013 Security50 intruder alarms: Ride on automation and regulation waves

Editor / Provider: Editor department, a&s International | Updated: 11/28/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

In 2013, the alarm market was particularly active in the residential sector, driven by both lifestyle and security needs as home automation technology brings opportunities to the market. Accordingly, MarketsandMarkets expected the home security solutions market to reach $34.5 billion by 2017 at a CAGR of 9.1% from 2012 to 2017.

Home automation reinvigorates the intruder alarm market
The home automation market is gaining traction and the growing trend to integrate home automation and home security systems into a single platform is reinvigorating the intruder alarm market. IMS Research, an IHS company, stated that the residential sector accounted for 40.7% of the $2.7 billion global intruder alarm market and is forecasted to be one of the fastest-growing verticals with a five-year CAGR of 5.3% from 2012 to 2017.

In the U.S., in particular, “The World Market for Intruder Alarms” report by IMS highlighted that the US residential security sector is heating up quite nicely. The study noted that the penetration rate for US residential intruder alarm products will increase by 5 to 8% during the next three years, from the current penetration rate of 20%

At the same time, however, because the core of any home automation system is a basic intrusion alarm system, the growing penetration of home automation systems are giving the matured markets a much required boost. Regionally, home management integration is gaining the most popularity in North America, thereby boosting the penetration rate of intruder alarm products into the residential sector, observed an IHS analyst. Europe is listed as a close second, as energy management features are a growing trend, due to rising energy costs and the desire to leave a smaller carbon footprint.

As the market broadens, what used to be just security is very much becoming the connected home, so the opportunity for growth is substantial, noted David Gottlieb, Director of Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security.

“There is no doubt that the birth of the connected home has given the residential alarm a boost in recent years. Not only has the boom in IP-enabled devices and applications and consumer's wireless connectivity helped to transform how homeowners use technology within the home, but it has also helped to further define an intrusion and home security system as a more user-friendly, proactive tool,” agreed Stephen Meagher, Director of Product Management — Interactive Security Services at Tyco Security Products.

Video Verification of Intruder Alarms Grows
Another factor driving the intruder alarm market in Europe is updated regulations. The European standard, the EN50131 series, has been accepted by the insurance industry. Accordingly, the Association of British Insurers is encouraging its adoption.

The EN50131 series sets a grading system for installations and maintenance schedule. It further guides the prioritizing of responses from local law enforcement. In Europe, the EN50131 standard is already driving the adoption of video verification. Governments are increasingly requiring alarm systems to be equipped with video verification for more efficient law enforcement, although the deadline for mandatory adherence varies from country to country. For example, 70 percent of the market in Spain is already deploying video verification and in the Nordics, it is more than 50 percent, noted an industry expert.

The growing popularity of video verification of intruder alarms is due to a number of reasons, but a key factor is the benefits it brings to all parties involved. Video verification helps combat the false alarms issue common with traditional alarm systems, enables more effective and faster police response, saves the customer from paying fines, and generates recurring revenue for the provider.

Finally, there is a possibility that the European intruder alarm standard might have significant impact over the global intruder alarm industry, but it is mostly concentrated in Europe at the moment.

Final Words
The intruder alarm industry appears to be in good health, as the industry saw a rebound in matured markets, driven by home automation and video verification trends. In 2013, the security and home automation markets picked up their pace in their relationship. No doubt the rebound in new home construction and consumers' home improvement and lifestyle appetite contributed to this growing trend. Similarly, video verification reduces false alarms and enables the intruder alarm system to be smarter. The market is keen on this uptake as it saves time and allows for more customer satisfaction.

In 2014, forecasts for the global intruder alarm market continue to be positive. There is also a general inclination to upgrade existing systems.

2013 Security50 access control(2-2): Product trends from mechanical to electronic

2013 Security50 access control(2-2): Product trends from mechanical to electronic

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 11/26/2013 | Article type: Hot Topics

Product Trends
Industry experts feel that a number of technologies are maturing and will likely continue to grow incrementally in market share. These include, in addition to the shift from mechanical to electronic locks that has been in progress over the past decade, NFC, biometrics, and PoE and wireless systems. Furthermore, the development of open standards will surely have an impact on the access control landscape. Standardization is definitely in the books, with both ONVIF and PSIA announcing actions in this direction. ONVIF announced a specification to enable interoperability between clients and devices of physical access control in August. Meanwhile, in September, PSIA announced the launching of a Physical-Logical Access Interoperability Working Group to synchronize the two spheres.

Mechanical to Electronic
The shift from mechanical locks to electronic access control continues to drive the market.

Electronic access control systems have overcome the shortcomings of traditional mechanical access control systems. However, this convenience in access control also comes with new threats, such as intrusions via forged documents, tailgating, and identity theft.

This technological shift is reflected in Assa Abloy's strategy. “We've put a lot of emphasis in the last years on our electrical mechanical business. Consequently, we're grown dramatically in that area of the business in the last few years, and it now represents some 26 percent of our overall business in EMEA,” noted Bone.

“That's a market area that is growing, much faster, compared to the traditional mechanical area. For the existing established markets in Western Europe, there may be a lot less green field construction, but there is a lot of refurbishments going on. In Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia, there are a lot of new construction projects that we are benefiting from,” added Bone.

NFC
A definite trend, mobile device enabled applications continue to seep Security solutions at high-risk locations need to evolve and persevere in a digital era. into the access control product offerings in the market. The proliferation of smart devices will continue to popularize NFC and mobile technology.

While NFC technology has been around for a decade, it is in 2012 that the industry laid the foundation for mobile access control deployment on NFC-enabled mobile devices. However, industry experts have noted that is unlikely that NFC-enabled smartphones will completely replace physical smart cards in the near future; instead, mobile access control solutions will coexist with cards. Nevertheless, a key benefit of NFC-enabled mobile access control is the ability to fuse logical and physical access control through embedding credentials in a smartphone.

In line with this trend, several manufacturers are boarding the NFC ship accordingly. TDSi, for example, is rolling out NFC compatible readers in 2014. “It is very clear that many end users want to use their mobile device for security access and the whole industry needs to take note of this,” said Davies.

Universities are likely to be early adopters of NFC-enabled access control. Unlike hotels where there is high turnover of guests staying for a relatively short period of time, universities are more of a closed environment, in that you know how many students there are and who they are. Hence, despite the large population, you can allocate access rights to each student for a term/semester and there will be relatively few changes thereafter, mentioned a source from Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.

Wireless Locks
Wireless locks are also being deployed in the US residential market and manufacturers are optimistic about the future of wireless locks for homes. Wireless locks offer increased situational awareness and better management ability, noted an access control provider.

The retrofit fit market is offering plenty of opportunities for wireless access control. It is estimated that up to 70% of electronic locking systems now incorporate wireless products, which reduce installation time by up to 50 percent, and system costs by up to 25%. Verticals like healthcare can also benefit greatly from wireless solutions because of the importance of access control to sensitive data and locations cannot be compromised even if budgets are tight.

In line with this trend, Assa Abloy is seeing high double-digit growth for its wireless lock with radio technology. The combination of wireless and radio technology enables the end user to easily integrate security doors into an access control system at a reasonable price. Once integrated, access authorizations are manageable online and in real time.

Biometrics
According to a report by ASD Reports, the global biometrics market is expected to reach $10 billion by 2014.

The government sector is leading the adoption of biometric applications used in national identity, electronic passport, or border control projects. Large enterprises and healthcare facilities have also adopted biometric technology for logical and physical access control applications to better secure their assets. In the near future, it is anticipated that social networking sites will use biometrics for authentication.

Mobile devices are starting to incorporate biometrics for access control as well — Apple's iPhone 5s is an example. Hence, mobile-based biometrics is also forecasted to perform well in the next five years, with both the FBI and UK police force expected to be equipped with mobile-based identity solutions.

Finally, access control cards are also beginning to include biometric and other multifactor authentication information to enhance identity validation.

Currently, fingerprint is the most commonly adopted form of biometrics, but face recognition will most likely become its successor in the years to come. Increased implementations of face recognition technology stem from its enhanced accuracy, as well as its contactless, noninvasive nature when capturing and recognizing an individual.

Logical and Physical Convergence
With the number of devices connected to the Internet surpassing the 5 billion milestone in 2010 and expected to reach 22 billion by 2020, fusing physical and logical access control becomes a necessity if security is to be maintained sufficiently.

With the growing popularity of online banking, logical access control is now an important infrastructure for banks and financial institutions. For instance, in the U.K. alone, online banking losses rose from $37.6 million in 2005 to almost $96.7 million in 2009. Meanwhile, phishing attacks, where customers are led to fake bank websites via an email that appears legitimate rose from 1,700 to 51,000 in the same period. Moreover, these threats could originate from any corner of the world with an internet connection. The recent arrest of eight men in connection with a reported $2 million robbery at a UK bank was allegedly accomplished by compromising both the bank's physical and logical security. Consequently, enterprises should note that rimes are highly organized and evolving rapidly, making it crucial that logical and physical security are prioritized equally.

Regulation and standardization will make convergence a reality. In the current market, unfortunately, proprietary systems are impeding complete integration. Furthermore, the access control industry is not as tightly regulated, in contrast to the intruder and fire industries. However, with the announcement of an access control standard by ONVIF and PSIA, will likely change that.

Clear Skies Ahead
To conclude, 2013 has been a solid year for access control companies and the year ahead promises to be more or less stable. The industry will continue to expand on current marketing strategies, while promoting the uptake of new technology. Furthermore, access control hardware is becoming a commodity. "This is on one side driven by initiatives for open standards (PSIA, IEC, OSDP, SOAA), and on the other side by pressure on prices from the market. Following this development, we can conclude that, in the near future, the difference will be in software. This includes not only server software applications, but also software functionalities on the controller level,” said Arjun Bouter, Sales Director of Nedap Security Management.

2013 Security50 access control(2-1): Standardization hits industry

2013 Top Security50

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