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HD-SDI(8): Benefits of HD-SDI

HD-SDI(8): Benefits of HD-SDI

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

Serial digital interface (SDI) is a family of digital video interfaces. There are 3 types of SDI standards: SD-SDI, HD-SDI and 3G-SDI. SD-SDI is defined for standard definition digital signals, while HD-SDI and 3G-SDI are for HD video signals. Among them, the most popular adoption in security and surveillance industry is HD-SDI.  See more products here.

HD-SDI solutions all employ coaxial cables with BNC connectors to transmit processed digital signals. For this reason, many installers and customers may misunderstand HD-SDI to be a high resolution analog solution. However, HD-SDI belongs to the digital video category. Here are some of its benefits:

Re-cabling unnecessary
BNC connectors allow easy installation of HD-SDI without any significant modification of existing analog cabling. Meaning, when upgrading from existing system to HD-SDI, only front-end and back-end products need to be replaced. This approach increases time efficiency while cutting labor costs.

Easy Knowledge transfer
Since HD-SDI adopts the same infrastructure with analog systems where coaxial cables are largely deployed, installers and operators can quickly adapt to the new technology and ensure quick and correct installations.

Latency-free HD image
HD-SDI signals are transported in latency-free and uncompressed digital signals over coaxial cables, plus crystal-clear HD images. HD-SDI solution is able to meet the demands of real-time monitoring without any latency caused by network issues.

Cost-effective utilization of devices
HD-SDI outputs images of 1920×1080 resolution. Hence, the number of cameras needed to capture vivid details such as facial features or license plate is largely reduced.

Project scale makes the difference
Small-scale HD-SDI systems require fewer cameras. These systems can be directly upgraded from analog to HD-SDI; therefore, installers can simply replace front-end products.  

For middle- to large-scale HD-SDI systems with numerous cameras and bigger storage requirement, installers can adopt HD-SDI video encoders to compress front-end HD-SDI signals into H.264 digital signals and transmit to IP storage area networks (SANs).

Users may question why HD-SDI signals still need to be digitalized. This is because when integrating SDI and IP systems, the front-end HD-SDI real-time video streams are captured into a video encoder, then the converted digital signals are distributed to a video matrix switcher for real-time monitoring. The signals are then further sent to an encoder for storing. This approach ensures HD rendition in monitoring and storing.

Some prerequisites include:

Cabling
Analog camera installations are different from HD-SDI camera installations. While bad connections or false linkage of connectors in analog systems simply cause horizontal strips or jitters on the video, HD-SDI camera installations, on the other hand, cannot stand any false connections because the video will be lost. Analog video signal frequency is in waveforms whereas HD-SDI signal frequency looks like serrated edges.

Some installers tend to cut off BNC connectors of video cables, however; this can seriously weaken the HD-SDI video outputs.

Transmission
Currently, HD-SDI supports a limited transmission distance of 100 meters on regular video coaxial cables. Distance larger than 100 meters can result in less stable transmission. For a longer distance, installers are suggested to use fiber optic to ensure video quality and reliability.

Output Conversion
When HD-SDI video signals are converted and transported via High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) signals, low quality of HDMI cables may significantly disrupt these video signals. The proven and tested distance limitation is 20 meters, but video signals would be weakened after 15 meters on HDMI.

Display
HD-SDI solutions incorporate signal amplifiers to boost the signal transmission distances. However, different brands of front-end signal sources may have compatibility issues that may possibly block signal outputs. Currently, dedicated HD-SDI monitors are more expensive and rarely used in surveillance installations. The most cost-efficient display option is HDTVs with HDMI support. The drawback for this is that different brands of HDTVs have different predefined settings of video signal inputs, which cause the compatibility issues among individual brands of HD-SDI video sources. This may result a prompt indicating “unsupported format” in operations.  

These mentioned issues seem to be the limitations of HD-SDI solutions. However, with careful product investigations and tests before implementations, a successful upgrade to HD solutions can be carried out. HD-SDI continues to evolve in the security industry and flourishes in the market with its unique advantages.

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

Hikvision solutions assist in Iraqi security industry rebound

Hikvision solutions assist in Iraqi security industry rebound

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 12/19/2013 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Obviously, Iraq has gone through a great deal of upheaval in its recent history. Where much of its infrastructure was damaged by the first Gulf War in the early 90s, 2003's second Gulf War had a far more crippling effect.

Ahmed Shakir, CEO at the Iraqi-based security integrator Khairat Annabaa, explained: "After 2003, the private security industry was dealt a variety of problems; however the lack of IT professionals really affected our ability to provide modern solutions and modern security for our businesses."

However, with a decade's worth of hard work and dedication, both Iraq, and its businesses, are starting to bounce back. Mr. Shakir noted that the private security sector is beginning to thrive and Hikvision products are a growing presence in this revival.

Professional Security
For over 20 years, many private Iraqi businesses relied on an armed guard for security purposes. While this does provide a basic level of security, it also has a great many drawbacks and shortcomings. A guard is far from a comprehensive solution.

However, with the revival of professional solutions, its benefits have extended beyond solely better protection for a particular business. Khairat Annabaa's fuel storage distribution center project in Iraq's Amarah City illustrates this point.

Utilizing Hikvision's DS-2DF1-716 IR Network Speed Dome Camera, DS-2CD8254-EIS Network Bullet Camera, DS-2CD2012-I Network Bullet Camera, DS- 1100KI Keyboard, and DS-9616NI-SH NVR, this Amarah City solution not only provided an upgrade over guards, but also helped build security Infrastructure, improved overall security and most importantly, it promoted tourism

Building Security Infrastructure
Khairat Annabaa was initially an IT company. Now, through the improvement in both Iraqi infrastructure and economy, the time was ripe for Khairat Annabaa to use its IT knowhow and move into the security industry. Mr. Shakir noted, "The emergence of better Internet capacity, namely WiFi, has provided a great opportunity in the security industry for us."

Specifically, WiFi has greatly lowered the cost for solutions. In this fuel distribution center project, Hikvision's DS-2DF1-716 IR Network Speed Dome Cameras are placed on exterior towers to view the adjacent road; and utilizing its 30x optical zoom and 80m IR range functions, the license plates on cars entering the facility.

Additionally, the DS-2CD8254-EIS and DS-2CD2012-I Network Bullet Cameras are placed at specific fixed locations - such as critical areas such the primary fuel storage area - and along the borders to provide broader perimeter security. Both models can be as close as 100 meters or as far away as 4 kilometers from Hikvision's DS-9616NI-SH NVR.

For both camera models, WiFi makes this solution economically viable and provides the ability for managers and security personnel to access these cameras in their own offices; thereby providing an easier, cheaper, and more efficient solution. Additionally, Hikvision's DS- 1100KI Keyboard benefits by allowing 255 cameras to be used by 1 keyboard, and the ability to automatically utilize the cameras' zoom function on this keyboard.

Improving Overall Security & Terrorism Concerns
This fuel depot represents an important link in the overall Iraqi fuel supply chain. As a vital component to the economy, this site requires a suitable solution to the importance it holds.

Located on the main road between Amarah and Basurah, and near a logistically-important bridge for this road, this location is of obvious importance. However, the special nature of this specific site brings additional concern. Not only are important roads, bridges, and this fuel depot at this location, but also a thriving community with homes and an elementary school.

By utilizing WiFi to inexpensively link Hikvision cameras to Hikvision's DS-9616NI-SH NVR, managerial and security offices across great distances, this solution also provides improved overall security for the community at large.

Concurrently, this solution has "greatly reduced issues of terrorism. Now, with these Hikvision cameras monitoring not only the station, but the surrounding area, the community is much safer. This applies to common crime, but also to possible terrorism issues. Earlier, without cameras and WiFi, there wasn't a deterrent. Now, with these cameras and 8 hard disks of NVR hard-drive storage to record incidents, we can provide proactive safety measures," explained Mr. Shakir.

With Hikvision and Khairat Annabaa's IT abilities, Amarah City's fuel storage distribution center gained more than a simple solution. It gained a solution that provides protection - and civic stability.

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

La Marvella Reinvents with Axis Surveillance Solution

La Marvella Reinvents with Axis Surveillance Solution

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 12/18/2013 | Article type: Security 50

La Marvella successfully reinvented itself by installing Axis surveillance solution, achieved effective surveillance as well as remote monitoring, and ensured the safety of its guests.

Mission
The hotel management was looking for surveillance and monitoring system that would provide security and safety and minimize pilferage. At the same time, the cameras were required to be discreet, in order to maintain aesthetics and to ensure that the guests' comfort is not compromised. Being a multi-nationally managed hotel, it was also necessary that image quality be superior to enable remote monitoring by the management team overseas.

Solution
The hotel deployed a total of 64 Axis camera models, a mix of PTZ and fixed network cameras (AXIS M1011, AXIS 209FD, AXIS 215 PTZ, AXIS 216FD, AXIS M3202, AXIS M10, AXIS 5532, AXIS M3011, AXIS P1311). These cameras are installed at different locations at the hotel including corridors, lobby, lift, main entrance, restaurants and bars. They have also been installed in utility areas such as material movement locations, electrical panel rooms and DG power rooms for monitoring.

Result
The solution has been successful in ensuring safety and security of guests, which was the primary concern for La Marvella's management team. The network recording and storage provision has brought down the necessity of staff dependency; thereby increasing efficiency while cutting costs. The superior image quality on IP has been acknowledged and appreciated by the hotel's senior management, which can now monitor the hotel from across the world.

 

 

 

IDIS to launch DirectIP surveillance at Intersec 2014

IDIS to launch DirectIP surveillance at Intersec 2014

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 12/18/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Global surveillance leader, IDIS, has announced plans to debut its industry-changing DirectIP surveillance solutions at next month's Intersec Expo in Dubai. The exhibition will provide a launch pad for DirectIP, supporting 2014 growth plans for the Middle East region.

IDIS will showcase the game-changing DirectIP solutions on stand 231C, Sheikh Saeed Hall 1 during Intersec 2014 from 19 – 21 January 2014, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Packaged as a one-stop-shop solution, comprising a range of cameras, network video recorders (NVR) and comprehensive video management software, DirectIP delivers unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance, compatibility all at attractive pricing levels.

Presented across 5 dynamic “experience zones,” IDIS will take visitors through each zone to demonstrate exactly how DirectIP delivers benefits across the entire security buying chain, from distributors, dealers, installers and integrators through to end user customers.

Simplicity
DirectIP is truly plug and play, offering an intuitive user interface similar to that of analogue systems in terms of configuration, usability and day-to-day operation. Visitors will learn how DirectIP eliminates the need for IP addressing and frees installers of the need to develop expert IT and network skills. The IDIS team welcomes Intersec delegates to take the DirectIP simplicity challenge, by setting up NVRs and cameras to enable instant live HD streaming in a matter of minutes.

High performance
DirectIP NVRs performs 5 key Pentaplex processes simultaneously, including real-time live monitoring and recording at HD resolution with no degradation of image quality, network interruption and little to no latency compared with competitive solutions.

Compatibility
Managed through IDIS video management software, visitors will see in action how DirectIP enables integration with third party systems and devices such as access control, ATMs and point of sale systems.

Cost effectiveness
DirectIP delivers cost savings across the entire security buying chain; through eliminating annual license fees, reducing the time and cost associated with installation, as well as bringing down training and maintenance requirements.

One-stop-shop solution
The IDIS stand will feature all the necessary elements and accessories to build a complete DirectIP solution. This rich connectivity provides a powerful yet intuitive solution, appropriate for a wide range of vertical markets and applications. DirectIP eases the multi-product burden on distributors and installers, by offering a complete and end-to-end HD video surveillance solution.

“We looked at how the industry installs and operates analogue systems and realized that networked HD video surveillance had become far too complicated and expensive. With DirectIP, we have eliminated complicated configuration and reduced installation costs to ensure simple, everyday use—resulting in significant value across the entire security buying chain. Visitors to the IDIS stand at Intersec will have the chance to clearly see that DirectIP is the next generation in HD surveillance,” noted, Albert Ryu, Vice President of IDIS.

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.

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.

Tyco Security Products unveils purpose-built solutions at Intersec 2014

Tyco Security Products unveils purpose-built solutions at Intersec 2014

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

Tyco Security Products, part of Tyco, will be returning to Intersec 2014 in Dubai with a comprehensive portfolio of purpose-built access control, video, intrusion and PSIM solutions.

The newly acquired Exacq Technologies will be shown for the first time on the Tyco Security Products stand SA/305C as further evidence of the company's recognition of the widely diverse way in which customers use their solutions. Best suited for those who use their their video solutions as an event-driven, forensic tool, Exacq's intuitive VMS platform – exacqVision - is the ideal complement to the company's American Dynamics VMS solution – VideoEdge and victor. These user-centric offerings cater to fundamentally different user needs, which Tyco Security Products identifies as a gap in the market today.

Another portfolio making its debut at the Tyco Security Products stand is Surveillint from Proximex, a Physical Security Information Management solution that connects and correlates information from disparate systems. Surveillint provides a single, centralized environment to help mitigate risk, ensure compliance and offer a quick ROI, and is tailored to users that require the most comprehensive of command and control platforms for total system management.

"As in many markets around the world, the security needs of users in the Middle East range from the smallest of businesses and residences to large corporate or industrial customers requiring the highest levels of protection," said Mike Ryan, president of Tyco Security Products. "With our expanded portfolio of purpose built solutions, we're pleased to offer customers a diverse array of options to meet their very specific security objectives, instead of the typical one size fits all approach."

This focus on user-specific objectives is also addressed by the vast offering of American Dynamics IP cameras that will be on display. The new Illustra Flex line provides very affordable, high-definition 1MP and 3MP video with excellent low light performance, providing businesses a cost-effective camera option without sacrificing image quality. For users with more active surveillance needs, the Illustra 625 PTZ is designed with exceptional speed and ultra-low latency performance for applications where locating, tracking and zooming in on subject details is critical.

The purpose-built philosophy is not new to the company which markets distinct access control solutions to different customers globally. The latest releases from three of those differentiated solutions – Software House, CEM and Kantech - will be on display on the stand.

Software House will showcase its new single-reader version of the popular iSTAR Edge controller. This new controller utilizes Power over Ethernet (PoE) to leverage existing network infrastructure, which dramatically reduces installation costs which otherwise can quickly get exorbitant for a security team looking for an enterprise solution. A new version of the security and event management platform, C-CURE 9000 v2.2, features a host of enhancements that simplify the management of personnel access, including features such as credential deactivation, custom clearances, and activating events based on activity.

CEM will debut the version 6.8 software release of its powerful AC2000 access control and integrated security management system, offering a host of new features including enhancements to the AC2000 WEB platform. At Intersec, AC2000 will be integrated with American Dynamics cameras and DSC alarm monitoring panels forming a single, integrated Tyco Security Products solution. Also from CEM is emerald, the industry's most advanced multifunctional intelligent access terminal, featuring an innovative touch screen reader and controller in one.

One of the highlights for Kantech is the new Kantech ioPass SA-550 Stand Alone Door Controller, which brings the reader and controller together in an easy-to-use software free solution. Rounding out the intuitive Kantech offerings is the Intevo Compact, an entry-level version of its innovative, easy to deploy security platform that integrates access control, IP video and intrusion for small to medium size enterprises.

VIVOTEK network cameras watches wildlife with Simon King

VIVOTEK network cameras watches wildlife with Simon King

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by VIVOTEK | Updated: 12/13/2013 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Full-hearted Passion towards Wildlife
Simon King, the founder of SimonKingWildlife.com, is a renowned and highly-esteemed naturalist with a love and passion for the natural world. Because of his love of nature, Simon has devoted his career to wildlife preservation and observation. Simon's first film on nature was created at the age of 12 and, as an adult; Simon has created, directed and hosted many TV programs and films on wildlife. He has received several international awards, recognizing him as one of the great contributors to wildlife. In 2013, Simon King established SimonKingWildlife.com, an online platform that compiles resources and observations on wildlife.

Monitoring wildlife at close range can cause problems due to their cautious nature and suspicion of new or unusual objects. The unpredictable climate is another variable in observing wildlife. Moreover, many people who have an interest in wildlife might not have sufficient free time to visit natural locations in person. Taking into account these considerations, Simon created the “Live Cams” section on his website to bring audiences closer to nature. Viewers can easily view wildlife at various locations in real-time through live video streams, which are captured and transmitted by IP network cameras

Superior Quality For Vivid Monitoring
IP network cameras chosen for monitoring wildlife in real-time around the clock have to be exceptionally robust, capable of high image quality and resilient to the stringent and ever-changing natural environment. More importantly, intelligent video management software (VMS) is needed for proactive motion detection of the animals. By employing intelligent VMS, the movement and activity of wild animals can be triggered, informed and recorded in real-time. Based on these requirements, Simon King consulted iCode Systems, a leading VMS manufacturer in UK. Recommended by Huw Edwards, the director of iCode Systems, VIVOTEK's outdoor network cameras IP8332-C and Mini-Box network camera IP8152 fully integrates with iCode Systems' VMS iCatcher, and the solution was selected to meet Simon King's requirements.

Simon has five locations in England set up for monitoring wildlife in real-time, including a camera in the London region for monitoring peregrines and foxes, one in Somerset County for monitoring otters, kingfishers, dippers and badgers, and one in Wales for kites, buzzards, and ravens. In this project, VIVOTEK's IP8332-C and IP8152 cameras play a pivotal role. The IP8332-C, a bullet-style network camera designed for diverse outdoor applications, features a 1-megapixel CMOS sensor and a removable IR-cut filter for day and night functionality, which enables high quality and high resolution video to be captured. In order to withstand harsh outdoor environments, the camera is encased in an IP66-rated housing and weather-proof casing. Moreover, the IP8332-C is strengthened by projecting the cable with the brackets, making it the ideal model for outdoor installations. Subsequently, the IP8152, which is equipped with the outstanding supreme night visibility feature, is able to deliver video quality in low light environments. Paired with the built-in IR-cut filter, the range of visibility can be increased at night by allowing the use of IR illuminators, allowing nocturnal wildlife activities to be clearly identifiable and recordable.

Live Performance, Beyond Expectations
“The quality and performance of VIVOTEK's cameras truly impressed us,” enthuses Simon King. “We designed the Live Cam section of the site to share the wonder of wildlife with as many people as possible, wherever in the world they may be. Thanks to Huw Edwards' professional advice and assistance, we selected VIVOTEK cameras with iCode System's intelligent VMS i-Catcher. Subsequently we have managed to capture extraordinary and extremely rare wildlife events on our camera systems with VIVOTEK cameras, and the agile and real-time surveillance and recording through iCatcher! We'll keep VIVOTEK cameras as our top choice whenever a new observation site is set up in the future. ”

“I am really pleased that the surveillance solution and its performance not only satisfied Simon's requirements, but also surpassed his expectations” comments Huw Edwards. “Integrated with our i-Catcher VMS, which uses motion detection to trigger the recording of passing wildlife, the entire surveillance system truly offers an easy wildlife monitoring and recording solution.”

For real-time live cam, please visit:
http://www.simonkingwildlife.com/page/live-cams#wpHeaderArea_guide/latlng:54.559323,-4.174804999999992/6//

For more video footage captured by VIVOTEK Cameras, please visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-ppFPu8S38&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYbWiU1MzOzJDDEDMyguuB-L

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhGuEccCF28&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYbWiU1MzOzJDDEDMyguuB-L

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdKUHk2EYI&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYbWiU1MzOzJDDEDMyguuB-L

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBeQ5WFg6_E&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYZGaiSnVtJIMqEepZ0RqWjA&index=3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIFhyE7NqeY&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYZGaiSnVtJIMqEepZ0RqWjA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nx_H9losWYw&list=PLqgv5OMWKnYZGaiSnVtJIMqEepZ0RqWjA


Sponsored by

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