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Visonic Enhances User Experience With AlarmView for Intrusion Alarm Systems

Visonic Enhances User Experience With AlarmView for Intrusion Alarm Systems

Editor / Provider: Visonic | Updated: 7/3/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Visonic, a brand of Tyco Security Products announced the full integration of AlarmView from Run My Security with Visonic's PowerMaster family of intrusion alarm systems. 

AlarmView is a security service in the new segment that fits between self-monitoring and a traditional monitoring service. It supports most daily user security system functions, such as arming/disarming, initiating a guard response, fire and panic alarms, controlling home appliances and reviewing system status, enabling users to operate the various functions from the convenience of their smartphone. As a secure service with full redundancy running on a state-of-the-art technology platform, AlarmView is available for iPhone and Android, and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

With wireless, battery-powered RealAlarm camera detectors, PowerMaster systems provide image capture at the actual moment of alarm detection. The unique Instant Capture feature and close integration of cameras into the alarm system guarantee snapshots of even fast-moving intruders and overcome the technical limitations of other systems on market.

“Full integration with Run My Security′s platform and its AlarmView service gives home and small business owners more flexible access to manage their security system,” commented Warren Brown, VP Product Management at Tyco Security Products. “The AlarmView smartphone app puts security and safety at the fingertips of users, making security as accessible and simple as other smartphone and web applications.In combination with PowerMaster's picture verification and best-in-class wireless communication , the new service is a big leap forward for the security market."

”With Visonic's PowerMaster and Run My Security′s AlarmView, users get a more effective security system and are more in control,” commented Niklas Halldén, CEO at Run My Security. “Visual verification of alarm events lets users be on top of each alarm event and involved in the response. Moreover, with fewer false alarms, police and emergency services can direct their resources to where they are truly needed.”

Communication Crucial to Metro Security

Communication Crucial to Metro Security

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang | Updated: 7/5/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

Metro stations require numerous sensors to detect behavior in different areas. Processing the data from these sensors takes time and, in many cases, is done manually by operators. “Additionally, the operator then has to manually locate the video camera(s) nearest to the sensor location to verify what is going on,” said James Chong, CTO and Senior VP of Strategic Innovation, Vidsys.

Information and the speed at which it is delivered are therefore critical, as seconds can save lives. “During critical events, it is essential that operators have fast and reliable access to relevant security assets, and pertinent information from the numerous and complex security systems,” said Adlan Hussain, Marketing Manager, CNL Software. “The challenge is the response to a sudden surge in this load, caused by a critical event or disaster scenario, comprised of multiple events happening at the same time. Designing a system to make the best use of the existing systems, such as marrying the information from surveillance, detection systems and location data, can help reduce the number of false alarms, increase situational awareness and minimize the time taken to deal with incidents. This helps increase the efficiency of security operations and reduce any disruption caused to passengers and their journeys.”

Peleg seconds it. “Fast access to recorded video is very essential if something happens and images/ video footage are recorded 24/7. Through a centralized platform and efficient data coordination, operators don't need to memorize procedures by heart and can better respond by shortening the panicking time and taking appropriate actions quickly.”

Ins and Outs
Damage Control and Vulnerability
The complexity of metro environments directly affects evacuation strategies. When considering security risks and vulnerabilities of indoor and outdoor stations, it all comes down to the natures of threats. “In an indoor, confined area, threats such as explosives or fires can have significant effects. On the other hand, the threat within an outdoor station is more concerned with the relative freedom of access,” said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers. “An outdoor station can be difficult to protect too, as the perimeter is generally easier to access. Indoor stations are easier to protect in this regard, as the egress points are limited and create excellent canalization points at which security sensors and monitoring can be operated effectively.”

Risk Assessment
Aspects of the station's profile, such as environment, passenger makeup, ease of access, ease of escape, overt security profile and prestigious value, would define the level of threat and dictate the type of attack. “Generally speaking, the safety and security requirements not only differ based on the ‘indoor' or ‘outdoor' factor, but also on the size and the bustle of the station,” said Roger Dong, Director, Product Marketing and Business Development China, Bosch Security Systems. “Noise levels, means of escape, fire prevention and fire detection all cause concerns which relate to the unique layout of and emergency response to the area. For instance, smoke detectors for metro stations with high ceilings need to be extremely sensitive.”

Rugged and More
“The performance of video analytics, especially in outdoor environments, can be impacted by numerous environmental factors, such as flying objects like bugs or litter, rain, snow and fog, which can cause false alarms” said Danny Peleg, Director of Market Development for Transportation at Genetec.

Fair or poor lighting conditions should also be put into consideration during camera setup. Ruggedized, vandal-resistant design of cameras is a must.

In these high-traffic, harsh environments, cutting-edge technology is not necessarily a must. “Usually, the most appropriate technologies can save a lot more trouble, lives and lower TCO in the long run,” said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing, Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group company).

Safe and Sound
In addition to safety and surveillance measures, voice alarm systems also play an important role. For example, they are used to guide people to the stairways, or to instruct them to take their baggage with them in the event of a bomb threat, or to leave everything in the event of a fire, Dong said. “From a technical perspective, a public address system is one of the most difficult parts because in each case, the system needs to be adjusted to individual premises and acoustic conditions. Announcements or warnings need to be easily understandable despite high noise levels or reverberation. Fully digital public address and emergency sound systems are suitable for these volatile environments, as they automatically adjust to match the ambient noise levels.”

Communication systems are equally important as surveillance systems, but are often neglected, Lim warned. “Integration of all these systems to work intelligently as one helps greatly in providing accurate and life-saving information, should there be a terrorist attack or an emergency.

Unwind Metro Security

Unwind Metro Security

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang | Updated: 7/4/2012 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mass transit systems, by nature, are open to everyone. Multiple entrances and exits designed to move large quantities of riders, oftentimes in closed quarters, make metro stations particularly vulnerable. “It is important to understand the operational complexities of the environment when considering the security and safety of passengers and operations,” said Skip Dunnett, Threat, Vulnerability and Risk Consultant at Digital Barriers.

A security system can only be reliable if it is comprehensive in design, with various inputs and perspectives from all stakeholders. “Multiple parties, including transit authorities, local municipalities and emergency responders, are typically involved throughout the planning and design process for metropolitan subways, making it crucial for a security integrator to communicate closely with each party,” said Jeremy Brecher, VP of Technology Services, Diebold Security.

“A better and more productive approach is to include safety professionals such as health and safety representatives, public safety officers and fire control officers from the onset. While safety systems are not generally designed to provide physical protection, they can offer aspects of security such as threat identification and scene change awareness,” Dunnett added.

Harsh Environments
Subways can be harsh for security systems, in terms of high/low temperatures, heat, constant vibration and dust/debris. Such environmental challenges must be considered throughout all stages of security, life safety and risk mitigation planning and implementation.

“In addition to potentially requiring more frequent maintenance, harsh conditions can also impact the effective operation of security equipment,” Brecher said. “The trains and rail equipment can cause radio frequency/electromagnetic-field interference, for instance, and being underground makes connectivity through wireless technologies and security backhauls difficult as well. This is more the reason to ensure that technology is selected with careful consideration of all factors.”

After identifying the risks, integrators must look to install technologies that have been proven to operate effectively in harsh conditions to prevent costly maintenance or even failure. “To ensure reliability, all electrical equipment must have ruggedized design,” said Armine Beybutyan, Product Sales and Marketing Manager, Korenix Technology (A Beijer Electronics Group Company).

Operation versus Security
In transportation, anything adversely affecting passenger flow is regarded as negative. Compared to the aviation sector, there are no constant screenings at metro stations, if there are any, which illustrates the limited resources earmarked for transit authorities. According to USA Today, more than $30 billion has been allocated for aviation security since 9/11, compared to $1.7 billion for subway, passenger rail, cargo rail, bus and ferry security all combined.

“Metro stations are open, and no one can really stop you if you have a load of weapons or explosives,” said Danny Peleg, Director of Market Development for Transportation at Genetec. “Unlike airport security where each passenger has to show up an hour before boarding for screening, the challenge for metros is to ensure security without disrupting operation or service. So you really need to think about security measures that can actually be implemented.”

The constant changes in metro stations also make it difficult to react or respond. “Unlike safety equipment and procedures that are normally seen as nuisances and dictated by regulations, security is an area where risk management can be applied,” Dunnett said. “Although there is usually some form of input into metro security from government departments, this is normally in the form of advice and guidance and relies on the operator to act proactively. In contrast, there is commonly a zero tolerance to unsafe practices. Given that protective security can often require a huge range of differing standards of protection based on the same threat scenario, it is not surprising that mass transportation security managers and planners employ a great deal of risk tolerance when it comes to the implementation of security.”

Effective Coverage
It is often difficult to have effective coverage over an entire station. “You're dealing with a lot of equipment spread over an extensive area,” Brecher said. “Security managers can often achieve better results if they cover the most vulnerable areas, including entryways, critical areas and so on, instead of trying to cover the whole system, which has the downside of spreading resources too thin.”

Roger Dong, Director, Product Marketing and Business Development China, Bosch Security Systems, agreed. “No matter how few or how many cameras a system uses, monitoring everything effectively presents a serious challenge. Even observing just a single screen for long periods pushes concentration to the limit; after only 20 minutes, an operator can miss as much as 90 percent of the activity in a scene.”

The best form of defense is thus “attack.” “It is better to identify a number of minor incidents that can be analyzed to give warnings and indications of potential problems than to wait for a major incident to unfold,” Dunnett said. “The proactive tracking of incidents of security interest can allow security staff and managers to detect areas of potential risk and to take preemptive action to reduce vulnerability."

Through coordination and integration, safety systems can be better utilized to support security processes and procedures. “A safety system installed to control overcrowding on the metro platform can be utilized to monitor suspicious activity and thus add to the threat awareness picture. The use of passenger-counting analytics across the surveillance system can highlight not only unsafe overcrowding in ticket halls but can also draw attention to building disquiet in these areas during periods of tension such as the transiting of opposing football supporters,” Dunnett said. “Furthermore, the integration and utilization of safety equipment are not only cost-effective but also provide a subtle way by which security can be introduced without being intrusive. The general public can be uncomfortable with overt surveillance equipment but will feel at ease with the same amount of cameras being present for safety reasons.”

To cope with compounded security and safety threats, a wide range of security and safety systems, including fire alarm, public address and evacuation, video surveillance, intrusion detection and access control, must be in place. “The implemented technology needs to be flexible enough to address different circumstances,” Dong said.

Samsung IP Training Seminar Offers Continuing Education Credits

Samsung IP Training Seminar Offers Continuing Education Credits

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 6/27/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Dr. Edward Wassall, Samsung's Director of IP Product and Business Development will present a two day IP video surveillance training session in Toronto, Canada. The seminar, which will provide attendees with 15 Continuing Education Credits (CEC) for use toward ASIS and BICSI certification, was developed by Samsung's IP Institute (SIPI) to provide the expertise needed by security professionals to develop scalable video network solutions.

“IP video networks have become the norm in the industry and network design expertise has never been more important,” said Dr. Wassall. “This course enables attendees to become competent in IP network design and, upon successful completion, to use that knowledge toward industry certification.”

The Samsung IP Institute addresses the growing need for higher level technical expertise in IP video integration by offering a learning process that enables graduates to configure a scalable video network for a small to midsize client. Suitable for technical sales staff, security rep firms and integrators, the SIPI training includes basic IP network design and implementation, comprehensive skills in video management and IP camera optimization. In addition, unique highlights of a case study are designed to build on the participant's foundation of security knowledge and help strengthen overall understanding and competency.

 Magal Receives $3.4 Million to Secure Oil Facilities in LatAm

Magal Receives $3.4 Million to Secure Oil Facilities in LatAm

Editor / Provider: Magal Security Systems | Updated: 6/26/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Magal Security Systems announced that it has received two orders totaling $3.4 million to supply PIDS (Perimeter Intrusion Detection System) products for a large oil company based in Latin America. Delivery is expected during the third quarter of this year.

Volumetric buried cable systems will be delivered to protect 125 oil wells and fiber sensors will protect another 20 sites of oil related critical infrastructure. Integration into a third party control system will be performed by a local integrator.

"While we have seen significant success in delivering full turnkey projects during the past two years, this order demonstrates the strength of the product facet of our business. These very large orders for products exclusively, demonstrate the value of our flexibility to partner with system integrators and propose the best solutions to their customers" commented Mr. Eitan Livneh, President and CEO of Magal S3. "At the same time, this order continues the trend of our business growth in Latin America."

Avigilon Management Platform Integrates With Scallop Imaging Camera

Avigilon Management Platform Integrates With Scallop Imaging Camera

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 6/26/2012 | Article type: Security 50

Scallop Imaging, the market innovator in high resolution, panoramic video cameras, and Avigilon, a leader in high-definition (HD) and megapixel video surveillance solutions, announced the integration of Scallop Imaging's D7-180 camera with the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management platform. The D7-180 generates seven megapixel resolution across a panoramic, 180 degree field of view, and features H.264 compression and Power over Ethernet (PoE). The ACC software, with High-Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology, delivers full situation awareness and indisputable image detail, delivering faster response times, reduced investigation times, and superior overall protection.

“The Avigilon Control Center platform captures, manages and stores high-definition, multi-megapixel surveillance video while efficiently managing bandwidth and storage. By integrating Scallop Imaging D7-180 cameras with ACC, businesses can now choose to deploy Scallop Imaging's patented distributive imaging technology with Avigilon's intuitive video management software,” said Peter Jones, President of Scallop Imaging.

“At Avigilon we pride ourselves on our openness and ease of integration. Our partnership with Scallop Imaging is a testament that we easily integrate with leading manufacturers,” said Keith Marett, VP of marketing and communications at Avigilon. “This partnership will allow users to easily access and search video generated by Scallop Imaging's cameras.”

Scallop Imaging's D7-180 seven megapixel digital camera distributes the imaging task across multiple, small image sensors, processing over 100 megapixels per second to calibrate, synchronize and merge video in real time. The result is two simultaneous video streams: a 720p HD stream composed of a true 180 degree, non-fisheye, situational awareness view at 15 frames per second, and up to four instantly repositionable zoom windows at full pixel resolution at 15 fps; and a full resolution (5120x1280 pixels) video stream at one fps.

Tyco Security Products Partners With Genetec for IP Video

Tyco Security Products Partners With Genetec for IP Video

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 6/22/2012 | Article type: Security 50

American Dynamics, part of Tyco Security Products, announced that its flagship Illustra HD (High Definition) IP camera line is integrated with the Genetec Omnicast video management solution.

The integration with Illustra cameras is available with the Omnicast video management system, version 4.8 or higher, which provides seamless management of digital video, audio and data across any IP network. Available with Illustra 400 and 600 series IP cameras, the integration with Omnicast gives customers access to Illustra's exceptional HD video quality in all lighting conditions.

“Our integration with the Genetec solution demonstrates Tyco Security Products' commitment to incorporating third party technologies so that customers have access to the most appropriate solutions for their particular application,” said Cheryl Shea, product manager, Tyco Security Products. “With this integration, current Genetec Omnicast customers can now leverage Illustra's quality resolution and low cost of ownership for both large and small camera projects by easily adding Illustra cameras for new or expanded surveillance deployments.”

Illustra cameras feature a unique facial detection capability - the ability to automatically detect faces in a live scene and improve the image quality around the face, whilst conserving bandwidth in the rest of the scene. Other user-friendly features include auto-focus, which allows users to remotely control the image and automatically focus on the area required with a click of a mouse, saving security integrators time and money on every job. In addition, the outdoor camera has a Theia wide-angle lens option that provides ultra clear views and avoids “barrel-distortion”, especially at the farther angles of an image where events can easily take place.

The Illustra integration follows other Tyco Security Products integrations with Genetec, such as with the C?CURE 9000 security and event management system from Software House.

Illustra cameras with Genetec integration are available through Tyco Security Products' worldwide distribution channels.

Security Simplified

Security Simplified

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 6/27/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

By now, there is no doubt that IP and HD are trending, with SD representing less than 30 percent of global market share. As systems grow larger and more interconnected, individual sensors, products and user interfaces need to “grow” as well, to be more intelligent, easier to install and operate, and less taxing on network and storage resources.

With IP-based security systems, contractors, integrators and installers often struggle with network and storage issues the most. “Signal latency is somewhat acceptable in the data world, but not in the I/O-intensive surveillance world,” said Jeffrey Burgess, President of BCDVideo. “Many people would just drop the megapixel resolution to get the data moving, avoiding bottlenecking but losing what they originally paid for.” The pains have not gone unnoticed; a number of security solution providers have actually risen to the challenge.

From the ground up, the integrator community and end users need to understand that IP-based systems are not simply about connections of sensors, but information and situation management. “You have to take noise out of data, and only send alarm-triggered video, events and logs to the relevant party through a Web-based, vendor-agnostic, policy-driven platform,” said Darren Chalmers-Stevens, EMEA Director for Vidsys. This controlled manner of information collection and distribution helps cut down system cost and boost system availability and value.

Within any security environment or installation, security or IT managers usually look to video surveillance when the system or network goes down. The easiest to blame are typically the multimegapixels and HD video quality that modern network cameras promise to deliver. “Are higher pixel counts always required? Not necessarily,” said Steve Ma, VP of Engineering and Operations, Vivotek. “The trick is in application-specific triggers. With IP, there are cleverer and better ways of getting things done. For example, we can use H.264 SVC profile to make sure bandwidth use is flexible and can be minimized when necessary. With more powerful CPUs and mature algorithms, solution providers like us can help customers accomplish their missions more efficiently with better customizations and services.”

For enterprise and government applications, seamless integration, simplicity and intelligence are what Ma thinks critical considerations in design, planning and implementation. “Just to name a few, 360-degree fisheye coupled with PTZ cameras, software-adjustable lens angles and smart streaming capabilities can all save operators, business owners and system integrators a great deal of headaches in installation, operation and maintenance.”

Some solution providers go to great lengths in bringing the same analog video user experience to the IP world. “Four to five years of hard R&D work in perfecting our IP product lines are finally paying off,” said Jason Hill, Group VP of Merit LILIN. “The first quarter for us showed 800-percent revenue growth in IP, compared to the same period last year. We are bringing a unified, intuitive interface, low-light performance and unparalleled user experience to our new channel partners in IT/infrastructure distribution, audio/visual and telecommunications.”

Software innovation and flexibility are key to continued success, echoed Jurgen Klijn, Senior VP of EMEA, IndigoVision. “At the moment, our easy-to-use interface integrates 26 subsystems off the shelf. We remain open, and we don't charge for extra workstations, alarms, added features or third-party integration. The landscape today is different; product rollouts are much easier. We will continue to update our software offerings twice a year, focusing on large-area resilience and hardware compatibility.”

While access control and intrusion detection systems are less demanding of network and storage resources, making it easy for the installer and end user is a common goal shared by solution providers. “We are simplifying the world, with one single credential that reads and accesses all,” said Johan Molin, Head of Global Technologies and President and CEO, Assa Abloy. In driving sales growth in difficult times, cost savings are a “feel-good” enabler for all parties involved. Assa Abloy also works with a new wireless locking mechanism that is powered by electromagnetic energy generated by the key's friction, saving batteries and resources in both installation and maintenance.

In access control, another key development is wireless technology for keyless buildings, as installation and expansion costs are significantly reduced. “Data is actually stored on the card and transmitted through our own secured, virtual network,” said Keith Carey, UK Marketing Manager at Salto Systems. “This kind of technology is easier for our partners to service and works well in student accommodations, hospitals, hotels and corporate buildings.”

Unified control calls for a unified interface. Tyco has a preconfigured, pre-enabled server box that oversees combined intrusion, access and video functions. “Simplicity is a great value proposition,” said Tony Mann, Sales Director of Intrusion Products for the U.K. and Ireland, Tyco Security Products. “Look at Apple in the consumer market; security is going exactly the same way. We make sure our installers don't need to worry about boxes and configurations.” Battery life of wireless products is also extended to five to eight years with corporate-grade reliability, eliminating unnecessary installer dispatch and user headaches.

Size Doesn't Matter
Simplicity is not just needed in large-scale projects or installations. “Our server solution was designed specifically for the small- to medium-sized market, with 20 to 100 readers and 8 to 32 IP cameras,” said Leon Langlais, Product Management Director for Residential and Small Business, Tyco Security Products. “At aggressive price points, we address all the issues that installers care about: speed of installation, reliability and third-party integration, so that they can continue to grow with us even in difficult times.” For example, the fact that no wireless repeaters are needed (thanks to the Visonic acquisition) and installation time is cut from two weeks to two days makes it rather easy to sell, even to the cost-conscious bunch.

To see all the security components work well together also requires good software interfaces and hardware displays. Examples include Milestone Systems, Honeywell Security and eyevis, which offer scalable solutions fit for mid-sized commercial applications but can “grow” with organizational needs. Milestone's new software version is an adaptable, easy-to-use client application for daily operations; the streamlined interface helps improve usability, making it easy to monitor installations of all sizes, access live video, investigate security incidents and export recordings. Through solutions like this, a uniquely efficient working environment can be provided and optimized for different tasks and operator requirements; Milestone, for instance, provides the option to choose dark or light themes for different working environment needs to further improve work flow.

Honeywell has a similar goal in mind, to provide sophisticated security systems that are scalable, easy to manage and easy to customize, with hybrid technology to minimize disruption to the client's business during the transition from analog to IP. Solutions for the residential and SMB market segments are also available and can work with other enterprise or government solutions.

And at the end of the day, it all comes down to what the operator's eyes can see. HD backlight displays from eyevis are preconfigured to work with a number of video and building management software packages that are easy to navigate, customizable and flexible. “Our complete, attractive package is easy on the eye and caters to exactly what operators need,” said Eric Hénique, Director of Marketing and International Sales for eyevis. “Our solution can be preset, for example, to reflect day/night shift formats. So, demand from international markets like Asia and the Middle East is really growing, and we are expanding our production facilities to meet that demand.”

Getting High
Another way of making things easy for all involved — and an industry buzzword — is the cloud. Manufacturers, distributors, system integrators, central stations, and even telcos and cable companies the world over are offering a myriad of possibilities, targeted at residential, SMB and remote applications. Take UK distributor Norbain. It works with Axis, Panasonic, Vista and Vivotek to provide installers and service providers with plug-and-play cameras and maintains its own cloud VMS and a data center, bypassing all the headaches associated with IP equipment configuration and maintenance. “The service represents a great opportunity for our installers to offer new services to new or existing markets,” said Andrew Pigram, Technical Director. “The joy of the service is also that because it utilizes mobile technology that end users already own and are comfortable operating, it breaks down the traditional cost and technical barriers to entry.”

With everything processed and stored on a virtual network, other hardware and energy cost savings can be easily demonstrated to the end user. “We have one application with more than 400,000 users and 64,000 doors running on and managed by one single PC,” Carey said.

According to Jonas Andersson, Chairman of the Steering Committee of ONVIF, industry standards are also becoming easier to understand, follow, and pick and choose. Profiles, much like those in Wi-Fi technology, are being developed for backward and forward compatibility in network cameras, recorders and other security products. It is a clear sign of an increasingly mature industry and technology, and exciting times for interesting applications and collaboration opportunities.

Switches and Routers at the Heart of Security Networks (Part 2)

Switches and Routers at the Heart of Security Networks (Part 2)

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Johnson Controls | Updated: 7/3/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

Let's take a look at how these various devices and networks combine in some very complex building installations. The first is a two-tower project known as the Emirates Towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This office/hotel complex accommodates business and vacation travelers alike. The office tower is home to numerous MNCs requiring the latest fiber-optic technology and integrated systems. The five-star hotel tower offers 500 rooms, including 40 suites, and three main theme restaurants. A five-level podium building, with retails shops, restaurants and parking lots, connects the two.

A goal during the project construction phase was the implementation of a scalable, technological infrastructure to handle future developments. The project was also designed to provide the latest available technologies and integrations to ensure the towers' competitiveness, while guaranteeing a quality building environment.

A single building automation system, with four graphic workstations, manages and integrates 20 subsystems, including video surveillance, access control, fire alarm, telephone, paging, lighting, HVAC, elevators, video on demand, and hotel and property management systems via the IT network.

This portion of the project increased operator efficiency through single-seat operation of 23,000 data points; streamlined operations and maintenance costs due to the integrated systems; adopted scalable technology that ensured reductions in future retrofit and upgrade costs; and enhanced guest experiences through interactive technologies.

Physical integration of all subsystems and applications was achieved through one common IT network based on asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) and Gigabit Ethernet technology. A network management system handles the high-speed network and its connected devices. The change from a stand-alone system approach to an integrated system leads to significant changes in the engineering and management processes.

The basic platform for the integrated solution is the Ethernet technology and TCP/IP (Internet) compatibility of the building automation system. This provides the foundation for technology integration in the Emirates Towers. The use of open protocols and standards in the building automation system ensured that the owner and officials were able to operate an intelligent building without losing connectivity or features.

Throughout the project, there are switches linking access control panels and locks over a LAN, and other LANs link the surveillance, fire panels and other building systems. Routers are installed to link the LANs, where appropriate, and then to the enterprise IT network.

Here is a look at another major project depending upon switches and routers to move and share data with a number of disparate systems. The Toronto Pearson International Airport is nearing the end of a 10-year, US$4.4-billion program to provide higher levels of safety, efficiency and services for the more than 25 million passengers that pass through it each year.

The new terminal's security system uses IP video technology, providing full, flexible access to the facility's 700 cameras in groups of up to 40. The security network can be expanded to meet growth or changes in government regulations and technology advances. Again, the security system is integrated with the building management system. That management system also controls the HVAC system throughout the terminal and ancillary facilities, including the parking structures. It provides a single-seat user interface for monitoring and regulating multiple functions.

This system operates on a campus WAN configured as a dual-redundant, fiber-optic ring. Management and other authorized personnel can access the system from a central workstation or from their offices and from off-site, by way of the airport intranet.

The Web-based building automation system (BAS) is programmed to integrate numerous functions, and airport officials are taking increasing advantage of the integration as the building program is completed. For example, integration with the air traffic information management system saves energy and enhances traveler comfort by controlling fresh air intake, heating, cooling and lighting automatically in accord with arrivals and departures.








More real-life cases needed for HD-SDI

More real-life cases needed for HD-SDI

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 6/28/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

Standardization is a deciding factor for a product to be widely adopted. Although it may be harsh to ask a new ecosystem to immediately produce universally usable standards, it is nonetheless a problem HD-SDI must resolve.

It is not just a matter of standardizing cameras, said Zhou Sheng Qiang, GM of Video Surveillance at Keda Technology. "First on the list is cabling. Although HD-SDI can utilize existing coaxial cables, not any cable can transmit high-quality images. A certain quality must be met for both the cables and the installation of them. Next, we can look at the TV wall; even connectors to the displays are not necessarily compatible with HD-SDI. Interoperability between devices made by different manufacturers, such as HD-SDI encoders and DVRs, still has problems. Multiple points of failure from the front end to back result in instability of the system."

The quest for universal standards is still ongoing. In the mean time, end users and SIs will prefer more stable and mature solutions. HD-SDI will need to catch up in the standardization space and manufacturers roll out complete solutions, from front end to back, to become a true alternative in the HD arena.

Chips: Not Competitive
The aforementioned points are why HD IP-based video surveillance manufacturers doubt HD-SDI will become a competing faction in the market.

However some chipmakers, such as Ambarella, are leaning toward HD-SDI products. Asked whether HD-SDI will affect large chip vendors' attitude toward IP, Zhou said, "Network cameras contain chips that digitize, process and compress images, but that does not mean HD-SDI is more competitive because it has no need for these chips."

Another way of looking at it, Zhou continued, is that "Video processing chips are a plus for network cameras, since it means that the camera is more intelligent and is capable of much more than just capturing video. The feats it can accomplish will only increase as time goes on."

Niche Applications
When HD-SDI advocates claimed the dawn of a "zero latency, zero compression" age for video surveillance, users frustrated with latency in IP-based systems sighed with relief as they hoped HD-SDI could solve all the problems they faced.

Settings where low latency is critical and have short distances and few locations to cover do indeed see HD-SDI making much more sense than IP-based systems. Applications like gaming, traffic monitoring, financial institutes, operating tables and safe city initiatives all see the value in HD-SDI and will benefit from its pros.

On the other hand, in a trend of globalization, digitization and connectivity, HD network cameras are a more logical direction to move in.

Although HD-SDI solves the HD equation for analog video surveillance, the fact that it is still a closed system results in complex cabling and mundane installation. Furthermore, HD-SDI maxes out at 2 megapixels or 1,080p. These are both limitations that hinder its practicality in the big wave of digitization and increased connectivity.

Regarding other limitations, said Zeng Chun Wei of Poseidon Technology, "HD-SDI features much better image quality over traditional analog systems, but it also inherits the same downsides. “One issue is scalability. HD-SDI uses DVRs, which limit the front-end devices.” "Another is cost. Although it allows the reuse of existing cables, additional cash has to be coughed up to replace front-end devices, optical transceivers and back-end recorders. At the moment, these are still fairly expensive."

HD-SDI does indeed have its place in the market, but it will not become a strong competitor to IP-based video surveillance; HD IP-based video allows better integration, interoperability and flexibility, according to Zeng. "IP-based video surveillance will represent a large portion of the customer base, while HD-SDI will remain a better option for niche markets. If HD-SDI cannot achieve economy of scale, HD via IP will still make more sense in most settings."

Competition Welcome
Two competing and complementing technologies are good for the industry because manufacturers on both sides are creating more options and better products for their customers, Zhou said. "HD-SDI complements IP-based systems, as both are ways to sell HD to the end user. It reaffirms the notion that HD video surveillance is indeed in high demand, which is also a huge opportunity for the IP people."

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