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Wision Continues to Enhance R&D Strength

Wision Continues to Enhance R&D Strength

Editor / Provider: WiSion | Updated: 5/26/2012 | Article type: China Corner

Wision’s main products are — network real time broadcasting system, megapixel HD network camera, central management software, widely applied in Safe City, enterprises and intelligent buildings.

The company obtains four kinds of software copyrights such as IPNC Search Automatic Search Software V1.0. Thus, Wision becomes National High and New Technology Enterprise. It is honored as “National Hi-tech Technology Enterprise”, which is authorized by China Ministry of Science and Technology Organization.

Wision obtains another nine awards in these aspects, for example, Enterprise Total Turnover, Technology Level, Hi-tech products turnover proportion, R&D Investment, Experienced R&D engineers, Enterprise Innovation System and Activity, Enterprise Quality Warranty System and Products Quality Level, Knowledge Property Right Management Condition, which are awarded under strict cognizance condition and review standard. Apparently, it has won National High and New Technology Enterprise honor by its leading technology and strength.

Since its foundation in 2005, the company has close cooperation with Mobile Video Network Technology Centre of Shenzhen Graduate School in technology innovation, branch of Peking University. It adopts combination of production, study and research to carry forward its development; Transform Hi-tech and patent technology into productivity and keen on R&D on "Internet of Things" technology and application. Wision’s main products are: network real time broadcasting system, megapixel HD network camera, central management software, widely applied in Safe City, enterprises and intelligent buildings.

Tailored Solution — The Way to Stand Out in Network Surveillance

Tailored Solution — The Way to Stand Out in Network Surveillance

Editor / Provider: OB TELECOM | Updated: 5/25/2012 | Article type: China Corner

Over the past two years the development of network surveillance has increased rapidly, many surveillance equipment manufacturers have one question in mind — what should manufacturers do in an IP orientated application? Some believe that storage and the manufacturing process are the main priorities, but from a market point of view, the ability to meet customer demands is of great importance as this is the fundamental element to win market shares for manufacturers.

Network surveillance technology has become a core information system for the security industry, what is driving this development is information and knowledge of the security industry. Although technology is becoming mature and numbers of IP-based projects are increasing, market application has not been smooth for manufacturers as there are many problems to offer a solution. However, increasing applications lead to varied demands, in order to penetrate this market, how to satisfy different needs is important.

Diversified Market Demands
Within the security industry, customer demand is often neglected by manufacturers. The most common case is manufacturers often design a solution which has a whole host of new functions, but what they have forgotten in the process is what customers actually need.

Therefore, entering into the IP era, understanding and grasping customer demands and releasing customized products are a must for manufacturers. Although there are diversified demands in the market, these can be divided into the following three situations as illustrated in figure one.

Firstly, different standards have certain requirements for images. For example as stated in figure one, broadcasting standards and video standards by national transportation department are very different, the figures below represent an image quality measurement index. These figures suggest that even though both are video signals due to different standards, the results will differ.

Secondly, different vertical market leads to different image requirement, e.g. Safe City and Highway. Currently, in Safe City projects, there is no specific testing criteria while Highway testing criteria are a must-have. Another example is for intelligent transportation projects as it requires capturing higher resolution images of license plates. In intelligent transportation projects, real-time is another critical issue while in Safe City projects, latency is less demanding.

Thirdly, in some cases, despite the same standards and applications, image demands may differ to customer needs. It is because some end-users choose products based on their preferences or products, themselves, are unable to meet end-users' requirements.

Conclusively, tailored video solution is required for different vertical markets. This is, for device providers, an opportunity as well as a challenge. To satisfy customer's demand will be the strategy to stand out among other manufacturers.

Customer Satisfaction
If a product provider wants to enjoy greater market share, its capability to provide customized products will be the main issue. There are several technologies and solutions which can ensure customer needs are met for video surveillance. For example, the traditional analogue, network video technology, high definition, HD-SDI as well as GigE Vision.

To date, IP draws most attention as it brings scalability and large-scale networking management. In comparison to the traditional fiber optical transmission system and analogue matrix, IP simplifies the whole system setup and is available for networking. Besides, IP also offers different compression algorithms, such as H.264, MPEG-2 (broadcasting) and JPEG (used in intelligent transportation).

Although there are many advantages of IP, there are also fundamental problems — delay and loss of image. In some applications, uncompressed images are required and some analytics function may not well incorporate with compressed video images. Therefore, these create further problems in the future.

The bandwidth and unstable systems continue to trouble end users and manufacturers. On the contrary, these problems can be an opportunity for companies due to the market becoming more concentrated. As the high definition becomes more obvious, some companies have released new high definition solutions such as HD-SDI. This supports high speed and, basically, zero latency in transmission. This provides conventional analogue system to embrace high definition based on its existing wiring, which saves time and cost. To installers, they do not require IT background.

Basically, IP and HD-SDI both have their advantages but these two are not enough to cater all demands. In the future, HD-SDI and IP will both exist based on different applications. Furthermore, some manufacturers offer GigE Vision for those who wish to use network technology and still retain image details and real-time transmission. Created by Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the GigE Vision technology is based on a 1,000 megabyte Ethernet, which is mostly used in scenario with a 10-megapixel or above camera.

Different technology and standards require development and customization in order to satisfy customer demands, as the market develops both will oexist for a long period of time. Employing the correct technology and standards to fulfill clients' needs is the way forward to maintain customers and arket

HD Surveillance Enhances Safety at Stadium

HD Surveillance Enhances Safety at Stadium

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 5/15/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

- Megapixel is attractive because large crowds can be monitored with fewer cameras.
- Response time is important for a stadium or sports events

Video surveillance has been deployed in stadiums to monitor large crowds and areas, as well as zero in on incidents according to needs. In recent years, advances in imaging are allowing megapixel cameras to be deployed in stadiums.

Megapixel is attractive because large crowds can be monitored with fewer cameras. The high definition (HD) means fine details can be captured. Additionally, megapixel cameras can investigate small events without losing sight of the overall crowd at the same time. “HD surveillance is extremely effective at large stadiums with large crowds and areas of coverage,” said Keith Marett, VP of Marketing and Communications, Avigilon. “We can achieve complete coverage of these large areas with fewer cameras and fewer staff, which means lower installation and management costs. In fact, we can cover 50,000 spectator seats with facial detail using only 14 of our cameras.”

Cameras watch for fan disturbances, such as fights and disorderly conduct in the stands, or unusual activity in the hallways and parking lots. It can be used to monitor concession stands and service staff to ensure they are complying with health and safety regulations. Surveillance can also be used to settle disputes or complaints that have been filed against staff, or to catch employee theft. Deployment of video surveillance should consider the various environments in and around stadiums and how to deploy cameras effectively.

A stadium in Peru deployed cameras for identification. PTZ cameras were installed at the entrances to capture attendee faces with facial recognition. Cameras had to be installed properly and lighting had to be controlled so that faces would be captured clearly across different entrances. Combined with a facial database of previous stadium offenders, this allowed operators to respond when troublemakers entered the stadium. “If a guy comes into the stadium and causes a fight, you book him,” said Aluisio Figueiredo, COO, Intelligent Security Systems. “The next time, there's a very good chance that he will be detected at the entrance. Once he is in, the police are going to be dispatched.”

Response time is important for a stadium or sports events. The purpose of security in stadiums is twofold: first, security does all it can to prevent dangers and threats from entering the stadium, or subduing threats within the stadium. Second, if an event has occurred, security must deploy resources to respond to the threat and control the situation. This requires immediate response. Many VMS platforms now incorporate features that will help catch perceived threats.

“A typical challenge in the stadium setting is having security personnel react fast enough to an event,” said Marett. “With video surveillance software, security personnel can use many search options that will tell them instantly if something has happened or changed and be able to react to it in seconds. For instance, if a child wanders away from his or her seat, security personnel can conduct an object-change search and see in seconds where the child is.”

Some stadiums may choose to use hybrid systems, to maximize analog security investments. PTZ dome cameras can be controlled with matrix switches for use of existing equipment. “By using direct control, integrators can guarantee video quality and real-time PTZ control of the cameras with no noticeable delay between the time operators move their joystick and the time the camera responds,” said Nathan Needel, North American VP of Sales, Infinova.

When connecting separate buildings in a sports venue, a central matrix in the control center can link independent surveillance system matrices found in each facility. “Thus, using a regional networked surveillance schema, the system can work independently at each noncentral matrix location yet cooperate with other subsystems to create a complete surveillance system,” Needel said.

Arecont Vision Megapixel Cameras Protects Merck's Mexican Laboratory

Arecont Vision Megapixel Cameras Protects Merck's Mexican Laboratory

Editor / Provider: Arecont Vision | Updated: 5/11/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Ensuring that all activity and incidents are captured on video with detailed high resolution clarity, Merck Pharmaceutical S.A. De. C.V. has installed an Arecont Vision megapixel technology solution at their new facility in Mexico. Located around the perimeter of the building, Arecont Vision's 5 megapixel day/night cameras produce superior images in both daytime and evening lighting environments.

With the megapixel IP cameras, operators can zoom in on specific areas of live or archived video to see important details such as a license plate number or a face. The cameras can output multiple image formats, allowing for simultaneous viewing of full-resolution field-of-view and regions of interest for high-definition forensic zooming.

“The quality of the megapixel video image is what sold us and the customer,” said Marco Godina of Alarmas Universales, the system integrator. “Once we saw the images from Arecont Vision cameras, nothing else we looked at even came close in comparison.”

Mr. Godina also notes that the Arecont Vision megapixel IP cameras provide better overall coverage with higher resolution for superior picture quality.Utilizing megapixel cameras facilitated system design with broader coverage while using fewer cameras. The day/night version of the camera used at the Merck facility incorporates a motorized infrared (IR) cut filter and 12VM1040ASI (10mm – 40mm) zoom lens.

Selection Criteria for Panoramic Cameras

Selection Criteria for Panoramic Cameras

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 5/11/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

- An important step is to buy or borrow one and test it prior to large-scale deployment
- Check to see how many video streams are coming out of the camera, as well as total bandwidth and storage requirements.
- The biggest question concerns the true resolution and performance of lenses, since they impact not only panoramic and 360-degree cameras.

Before purchasing, users should always review the data sheet carefully, William Ku, Director of Brand Business for Vivotek advised. “Because these cameras are different from regular cameras, you need to consider if the cameras can fit in the total solution.”

More VMS include dewarping for single sensor 360-degree lens image, whereas few VMS solutions perform stitching, Joel Schaffer, PM of Video Surveillance Applications at Immervision added.

If the manufacturer provides actual camera footage, users should check if it fits their specific needs, since the quality will vary greatly, Ku continued. “Finally, an important step is to buy or borrow one and test it prior to large-scale deployment to make sure the image quality is appropriate, the recording and live viewing work well and the processing power and bandwidth consumption are acceptable.”

Pixel density should also be examined to see whether it fits the user's needs, Ellen Cargill, Director of Product Development for Scallop Imaging (a division of Tenebraex) said. “Also check to see how many video streams are coming out of the camera, as well as total bandwidth and storage requirements."

Other considerations are ceiling height, distance from interest and monitoring objectives, said Patrick Lim, Sales and Marketing Director for Ademco Far East (an Ademco Security Group company). “Does the camera have enough resolution to do what is needed? Once the area of interest becomes too big, information will be diluted and even with 360-degree cameras, you may end up not seeing what is needed.”

The biggest question concerns the true resolution and performance of lenses, since they impact not only panoramic and 360-degree cameras, but all megapixel, said Dave Nieweg, VP of 3xLogic. “No one realizes the limitations of cheap lenses, and there is no easy way to qualify or measure true lens performance or resolution, so everyone is in the dark.”

Few fisheye lenses have resolution above 2 to 3 megapixels at most, Nieweg added. “People understand lens differences when they buy eyeglasses, and they spend more to get better quality optics. Many people in the security industry overlook these things. They buy an all-in-one, 360-degree camera with a poor quality lens and so the picture sucks. Then they think 360 is a bad idea.”

However, a 360-degree lens is only one piece of the solution. “The technology behind dewarping the image is more important than then the hardware,” said Richard Pineau, CTO at Oncam Global. Customers should also be wary of high frame rates.

For panoramic cameras, manufacturers that do not stitch together the individual sensors inside a camera often claim a frame rate that is actually the number of sensors multiplied by the individual sensors' frame rate, Cargill said. “Thus, magically four image sensors running at five fps each becomes a ‘20 fps' camera.”

Frame rates of 25 fps from the analog world are no longer necessary, said David Myers, CTO at AMG Systems. “The ultra-wide 360-degree field of view makes it unlikely, even for fast moving objects, to escape undetected. 12 fps is more than enough for live viewing, while 4 fps is perfectly normal for high-resolution recorded streams.”

Another area of exaggeration is low-light performance. When manufacturers with good reputations claim a certain lux level, they measure the ambient light in a scene, Cargill said. “However, what many low-light camera manufacturers claim is the lux level at which their sensor can first detect a minimum signal over pure black, not a level at which you get a usable image without auxiliary lighting. Hence the absurd claims that cameras have low light capability of 0.001 lux, which is darker than an overcast moonless night under a forest canopy.”

Furthermore, customers should always ask at what frame rate or exposure time they are getting to achieve that performance. “Everything is a tradeoff. If someone offers you something magical for no cost, something was lost,” Nieweg said.

Myer, Australia's largest department store group declares the game is up for shoplifters

Myer, Australia's largest department store group declares the game is up for shoplifters

Editor / Provider: Geutebruck | Updated: 5/8/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

With new security technology operating in its 68 stores Myer, Australia's largest department store group, is telling shoplifters that their game's now up. For more than a year the use of radio frequency tags and a new Geutebruck digital CCTV system operated by well-trained staff has been proving extremely successful in enabling security staff to identify and report known shoplifters, suspicious behaviour and co-ordinated activity among groups of individuals on their premises. The result being that most shoplifting suspects are now apprehended before leaving the premises.

Myer is delighted with this success - even if it did not quite happen overnight. - Selecting the video security system took two years. The retailer's previous video system had suffered from high fault levels and lower than expected performance so this time Myer was determined to find one which would deliver on all its promises. Following several pilot installations, a number of technical shoot outs and a great deal of evidence-gathering Myer's final choice was a system designed and installed by Secom TS and supplied by Geutebruck Pacific, using GeViScope-IP/SE platforms and around 6000 Sony 1.3 megapixel cameras. Myer commended Secom TS on its design work and proof of concept, and judged the Geutebruck solution to excel particularly in its fast and responsive video management and its user functionality, with its quick search and edit tools such as the ‘cut list' and ‘motion search' being particularly impressive.

In operation around the country during recent months the new system has convinced in practice too. Its high quality images enable security staff to identify individuals, and its functionality makes easy work of spotting unusual behaviour - people handling lots of different goods, hanging round for long periods, unplugging items or acting in concert – so that this can be reported to store guards who then shadow at close quarters, making their presence felt before offences are committed.

Besides the system's general high technical quality, speed and reliability, much of the quality and convenience of the assistance which the store security staff experience in their everyday duties is due to a handful of standard system and plug-in functions. One of these is activity detection which triggers alarms and changes the recording parameters to predetermined settings when movement is detected in unexpected locations. Another much used facility is the ‘Follow me' function which allows operators to quickly ‘drag and drop' video of suspicious behaviour from the monitor where it is first spotted, to the central monitor of three on their console. Once there, the video is automatically recorded at high resolution for evidential purposes and retained for reference on a separate database. This ability to freely select and group multiple video streams from cameras all round the store makes it much easier for Myer staff to see interaction or collusion taking place between individuals in different locations.

Besides loss prevention, Myer are finding that video images from the system are valuable for other purposes too. For instance if a shopper makes a claim against a store because of an accident, a fall for example, being able to prove with video images that the store had already drawn the hazard to shoppers' attention and therefore fulfilled its legal obligations, or that the accident did not happen as claimed, can save the retailer considerable legal expenses. Images from one particular set of cameras in each store is available to marketing staff for check display compliance centrally, without leaving head office. Given the vast distances between Australian cities, and hence stores, this useful facility saves travelling time and expense.

HD-SDI or Megapixel Network Camera?

HD-SDI or Megapixel Network Camera?

Editor / Provider: Sunell | Updated: 5/4/2012 | Article type: China Corner

HD-SDI and megapixel network cameras are being widely debated among manufactures, end-users and media. However, which one will be more suitable for future video surveillance system as both HD-SDI and network camera can reach megapixel resolution, and both attract attention in the video surveillance market. This article is Sunell's opinion. The article will analyze and compare these two products from five different aspects, including, capability, performance, cost, ease of use and reliability.

Network camera can achieve video capturing, encoding, video stream network distribution and storage. Embedded Web browser features video applications and network camera, itself, even supports intelligent analytic functions.Consequently, network camera has all the core features of the video surveillance system. Therefore, theoretically, a video surveillance system can be constructed by only using the network cameras.

Some people might not agree with this: if the network camera can build the video surveillance system independently, what are NVR and VMS for? The reason of NVR's existence is due to storage capacity limitations of SD cards in network cameras, and potential risk of its data leakage. As capacity of the SD card keep increasing and network security technology continues to develop, there will be revolutionary changes of video storage in the future.

The VMS system's main function is to act as a centralized management for devices. This function can be distributed and deployed to network cameras, while CPU performance increases as well as the development of cloud computing technology. Therefore, network cameras are the core in the network-based video surveillance system.

On the other hand, the function of the HD-SDI camera is only video capturing, which is identical to the conventional analogue cameras, the only difference is the image resolution has improved from D1 resolution to megapixels. Hence, HD-SDI DVRs are crucial in the HD-SDI-based video surveillance system.

HD-SDI camera's advocates emphasize two points — image quality and latency of live video. As HD-SDI cameras' live video has not been encoded, the image quality is better than network cameras' in principle, but this is from a mathematical point of view. Due to the limitation of human eye to identify image details, there is almost no difference between megapixel network cameras and HD-SDI cameras.

As for latency of live video, it basically does not exist for HD-SDI cameras. While for network cameras, the theoretical latency of network cameras at 30fps is 140 milliseconds, and 60fps is only 70 milliseconds. However, in real applications latency of network cameras is normally more than one second because of unstable network. If network camera developers pay enough attention to this problem and can reach the theoretical minimum latency, then there is no difference between network cameras and SD-HDI cameras.

A transmitter module, which modulating megapixel digital video signals to HD-SDI signals, is needed in HD-SDI cameras, while HD-SDI DVR has a corresponding receiver module which demodulating HD-SDI signals to megapixel digital video signals. This is extra cost for HD-SDI system, but multiple HD-SDI cameras can share one video encoding chip of HD-SDI DVR, while every network camera needs an independent video encoding chip. If it is possible to lower costs of multiple channel megapixel video encoding chips, it will compensate the extra transmitter and receiver cost of HD-SDI systems.

At this moment, the cost of HD-SDI modulating chip and multiple channel megapixel video encoding chips are considerably high, which leads to a non-affordable HD-SDI system. On the contrary, the chip price is based on quantity. The camera which enjoys greater market share would be able to offer a lower price.

Ease of Use
A potential advantage of HD-SDI based video surveillance systems is that traditional surveillance systems can easily upgrade by replacing analogue cameras and DVRs with HD-SDI cameras and HD-SDI DVRs. However, the bandwidth of HD-SDI signal is far beyond the analog video signal. Therefore re-wiring may be needed if the current coaxial cable is not good enough. What kind of potential risk that this problem may cause is still uncertain.

The current society is an information society, all new buildings have considered a layout of information points, and it will become very easy to construct a network-based video surveillance system. HD-SDI advocates sometimes claim the traditional installers have no necessary expertise of IP system. Actually, it is not as hard as they think. A lot of IT providers are expanding to security industry, which will help conventional security system integrators on the network construction. With deeper convergence of video and end-users' information, the system integrators with IP network expertise would show its values.

Some people complain that configuration of network camera is complicated. It is not an inherent problem for network cameras. East of use is the key factor to IT products and it lies in software design. By optimizing the software, this issue can easily be solved.

In a HD-SDI based system, it consists of a HD-SDI DVR and several cameras. However, a failed HD-SDI DVR will break down whole system. In a network-based system, every camera is regarded as an independent subsystem, which means network-based system provides higher reliability.

Some DVR manufacturers prefer to support HD-SDI cameras because they wish to maintain the existing DVR market share and product advantage. Those players from IT industry usually prefer network cameras because they expect to optimize their experience in the networking industry. Which is the future, network cameras or HD-SDI cameras? Sunell think it is not necessary to make any final conclusion. What we need to do is to have an open mind on both developments. By analyzing both advantages and disadvantages, we can have a better understanding of the video security market and can keep on providing customers with near-to-perfect video security solutions.

Mexico Jewelry Store Improves Suspect Identity With Arecont Vision Megapixel Cameras

Mexico Jewelry Store Improves Suspect Identity With Arecont Vision Megapixel Cameras

Editor / Provider: Arecont Vision | Updated: 4/26/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Arecont Vision's megapixel IP cameras have proven to be a cost-effective deterrent to criminal activities because high quality images provide more detail for forensic review which can lead to improved suspect identity live and after the fact, and ultimately a safer environment for customers.

Mallor Joyeria, an upscale jewelry store in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico, was a constant target of thieves. With the low-quality resolution of the store's previous video surveillance system, none of the suspects were ever definitively identified or caught. It was clear that a higher quality video surveillance system was needed, and Arecont Vision's megapixel camera technology provided the solution that Mallor Joyeria needed.

Eight of Arecont Vision's cameras were installed at the jewelry store, including six specifically positioned to cover jewelry showcases. The system is monitored locally by store management and can also be monitored remotely via the Internet. As a result of the Arecont Vision megapixel camera installation, store management reports a lower rate of theft attempts and an increase in security for customers.

Arecont Vision cameras enable the jewelry store to gather, analyze and interpret any evidence of theft, which helps them achieve their primary goal of greater security. In addition, better video quality makes it easier to view the way clients and clerks handle jewelry, watches and other highly valued products while they are being showcased.

What's Hot in the Italian Security Market?

What's Hot in the Italian Security Market?

Editor / Provider: the Editorial Team | Updated: 5/1/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Alarm and Intrusion
Italian security encompasses the complete range of product segments. Possibly the most distinctive segment is alarm and intrusion, which Italian security revolves around.

Traditional anti-intrusion sensors have suffered from a lack of ideas and a true killer application. In spite of IP and wireless development, the prevalent trend is still hybrid solutions.

Reducing false alarms remains the No. 1 priority, as seen in figures 1 and 2. As the next recession is all but imminent, the intrusion industry is focusing on alarm integration with video through smartphones. Other developments include perimeter protection, requiring uncommon expertise. Finally, greater integration with HA through IP networks are developing as well.

Access Control
The Italian physical access control market involves different solutions, such as ID cards, RFID transponders, biometrics, and time and attendance systems. In 2009, after a decade of growth, the Italian professional access control market reversed the trend. Turnover decreased, profits collapsed and net assets dropped. Small companies were the ones that suffered most during the crisis.

a&s Italy made a Top 15 list of Italian electronic access control companies, which reflects the diverse offerings in this market. According to its estimates, access control makes up 55 percent of the industry, while the remaining 45 percent is composed of intrusion detection and large-scale management. IMS Research found the Italian access control market was worth $25 million in 2010. Newer technologies have not been as popular in Italy, compared to the rest of EMEA. However, IP is one of the driving forces in Italian access control.

Video Surveillance
Video surveillance has achieved the most brilliant results over the last 10 years and is still playing a major role in reinvigorating the whole Italian security industry.

In 2010 or the depths of the global recession, the Italian video surveillance market showed resistance to the crisis by growing 7.6 percent compared to 2009. Both supply and demand are facilitating the growth of this market.

In terms of supply, video manufacturers have developed more advanced products that are application-specific. Value features prominently in new product design, with greater attention to customer ROI through more value-added features and increased user-friendliness. As IP grows, products are designed for easy integration by complying with interoperability standards, making the lives of end users easier.

IP Migration
The Italian video surveillance market was worth $780 million in 2010, according to ANIE Sicurezza. Recently, it has embraced all-IP video solutions, with network video equipment representing more than 30 percent of sales, which is expected to reach 60 percent by 2014, said IMS Research. The Italian video surveillance equipment market is forecast to grow nearly 8 percent per year until 2014. This growth rate is higher than the U.K.; Benelux made up of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; and the Iberian region of Spain and Portugal.

However, an a&s Italy survey found most users are still experiencing a gradual migration to IP. The actual percentage of all-IP deployments is still low, but nearly all companies admit they use hybrid systems. IP adoption is hindered factors by culture, the technological complexity of IP and cost. Moreover, Italy is suffering from digital divide, even in its most productive areas. It is not by chance that HD-SDI technology is arousing interest, particularly in the medium-range market.

While adoption of IP slowed during the financial crisis, sales of network cameras are picking up. Growth was roughly 20 percent in 2011, which is expected to continue in 2012.

Megapixel cameras were the primary driver for IP adoption, according to an a&s Italy survey (figure 4). While megapixel sales volume is relatively low and deployments are confined to detail oriented applications such as LPR or airports, falling prices are a promising sign of increased uptake.

However, technological limits still must be overcome by HD cameras. The first is limited bandwidth for full-size streaming. The second is image sensor sensitivity in low light (figure5). Effective compression techniques using H.264 will play a crucial role in the development of megapixel cameras (figure 6).

What's Hot in Italy
The most popular technologies in video surveillance are related to HD and video content analysis (VCA). This includes:
1. Hybrid DVRs
2. Network cameras (particularly megapixel cameras)
3. Video management software
4. Mobile cameras
5. VCA

Until a few years ago, VCA generated tremendous interest, but users and security professionals lost interest due to high error rates. More attention has been directed to HD network cameras, which are expected to increase substantially over the coming years. However, the higher prices of HD DVRs may slow growth.

Since Italy has a high prevalence of smartphones and tablets, video surveillance and intrusion detection will develop solutions for mobile devices. More than 20 million Italians owned a next-generation smartphone, representing 52 percent of the population in the first quarter of 2011, according to a Nielsen Italy poll.

Making Good Video Storage Better

Making Good Video Storage Better

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 4/26/2012 | Article type: Tech Corner

- The network is very key in delivering usable IP video.
- Working with an end user's IT department is pretty much a must.

To determine the ideal video recording and storage solution, the number of channels is not the only variable; it is just an approximate guide for computing and network requirements and solution design. Other factors include picture resolution, acceptable video compression, required frame rates, data traffic, network layout and single point of failure, said Stephan Beckmann, Video Product Marketing Manager for EMEA, American Dynamics (a Tyco Security Products company).

“One camera may deliver a small picture in a small resolution, low frame rate and some compression. That camera may give us a data stream of 20 Kbps,” Beckmann explained. “Now, a second camera, with a full HD resolution, a higher frame rate (say, at 25 fps) and low compression, can easily give us an 8-Mbps data stream. The system design has to focus on the expected amount of data delivered by the cameras.” Rather than trusting spec sheets, tests will help determine whether processors are actually able to handle the amount of data coming from cameras. “A system of 64 cameras can produce a 400-Mbps data stream that requires a very powerful hardware platform, and also some dedicated testing to see if the NVR really can process the data.”

The focus is usually on processing incoming streams of data when selecting or testing NVRs and servers. Since NVRs need to route data to other storage platforms, output processing power needs to be evaluated as well. “If the NVR can receive 50 Mbps from the cameras, can it also stream the same amount of data to the monitoring client?” Beckmann asked. “Some NVRs in the market are limited on the output side. You may have to use more NVR units because you have to deliver a certain amount of video to the clients.”

The NVRs or servers may be able to process, but then the network may not be able to send the data back to the storage network, said Tom Larson, Director of Global Accounts, BCDVideo. “The network is very key in delivering usable IP video — not so much on small jobs, but definitely on the larger-scale jobs. Larger scale means higher bandwidth requirements.”

As such, the significance of network management is now also on the rise: a camera network and an operational network. In some bigger projects, operational networks are split further into cameras and NVRs (front end) and NVRs and storage (back end), Beckmann said. “This approach has a few advantages: all cameras are protected in their own network; cameras and operational IT equipment cannot influence each other; IT maintenance on the operational network does not affect video recording; and as the NVR is the only gate into the camera network, user access management for video is simplified,” Beckmann said.

The operational/client network is sometimes shared with the end user's corporate network, if the end user requires the ability to go to any computer and pull up video. “You're taking up no bandwidth on that network, unless somebody goes to their computer and pulls up video,” Larson said. “It results in much better control on that corporate network.”

If the cameras are dispersed, the network environment may also be affected by the number and brands of switches in a network. “If you circle through many switches, your video information must be transmitted through many levels before it can reach your NVR,” said Andrew Yu, Security PM at Qnap Systems. In theory, routing through many switches is not a problem; in practice, many switches do not deliver the required performance. Especially when transmitting megapixel data, large data streams may yield lagged images rather than smooth streaming video.

Regardless, working with an end user's IT department is pretty much a must. Unknown factors on a corporate IT/IP network, including bandwidth, network topography and latency, could impact a surveillance system. “There are a lot of factors that the integrator doesn't control when the network is being used for other things,” Larson said. “When the network belongs to the IT department, the integrator can't just go in and fix it because it's not his network. This is where you might have problems: the IT/network guys can sometimes be uncooperative with security integrators.”

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