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VIVOTEK launches new fisheye fixed dome cameras SF8174 series

VIVOTEK launches new fisheye fixed dome cameras SF8174 series

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 5/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK is pleased to announce the launch of its two latest fisheye fixed dome network cameras SF8174 and SF8174V. Both are designed to be fully compatible with VIVOTEK's Panoramic PTZ, which is a groundbreaking and international award-winning solution developed by VIVOTEK for monitoring open areas with extreme detail. Incorporating with a megapixel fisheye camera and a speed dome camera, Panoramic PTZ is able to monitor an area overview from the fisheye model while providing a detailed regional view from a speed dome, delivering the best synergy of fisheye camera and a speed dome camera.

As the upgraded version of SF8172, SF8174, installed with the advanced firmware, keeps several outstanding features, including 5-Megapixel CMOS sensor, removable IR-cut filters, WDR Enhancement, a fisheye lens for 360° surround view (ceiling/floor/table mount) without blind spots. SF8174V, the robust version of SF8174, is designed with vandal-proof IK10-rated and weather-proof IP66-rated housing, enabling the camera to resist from the malicious attacks and the rain and dust. More uniquely, in compliance with EN50155 standard, SF8174V is able to withstand the shock and vibration, maintaining stable and reliable video capturing during vehicle movement.

Steve Ma, Executive Vice President of VIVOTEK, indicated, "We have committed to providing the market with most updated and state-of-the-art products. For bringing out the best synergy of our innovative Panoramic PTZ solution, we enhanced our previous generation fisheye cameras of the Panoramic PTZ solution. SF8174 and SF8174V are undoubtedly ideal choice for panoramic surveillance applications"

Axis IP video surveillance secures Italy basketball stadium

Axis IP video surveillance secures Italy basketball stadium

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 5/27/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Lino Oldrini indoor stadium, known today as Pala- Whirlpool, is the main covered stadium of the city of Varese, Italy. It stands as a true temple of basketball and hosts Pallacanestro Varese's home games. The Lombard club, one of the top teams in Italy and Europe based on the number of consecutive victories, needed to equip its stadium with a video surveillance system in keeping with the importance and prestige of the games it normally hosts, from those of the Serie A1 premier national league to international matches; a system capable of ensuring maximum security for spectators in strategic areas of the stadium.

Solution
The system designed by Trium Security Consulting, an Axis partner, employs a total of 45 cameras (of which 16 for outdoor areas) all being latest generation, high quality devices with HDTV resolution. The cameras have been installed in strategic areas of the zones allocated for guest supporters and on all the stands. Video stream management is handled by AXIS Camera Station software, a complete package for the monitoring, recording, replay and management of events. Trium uses experienced staff to provide ongoing on-site and remote support.

Result
The adopted solution ensures extremely reliable and complete IP video surveillance, capable of ensuring control of the stadium's indoor and outdoor areas and providing comprehensive security for the public attending the events, while at the same time protecting the stadium from unauthorized access and vandalism.

The temple of Italian basketball opts for IP video surveillance
The PalaWhirlpool is the largest covered stadium in Varese, with 5,300 seats. It has hosted the home games of Pallacanestro Varese, one of the most titled basketball teams of the Serie A1 premier Italian league, since 1964. The club decided to enhance the stadium, which over the years has become a true temple of Italian basketball, by equipping it with a digital video surveillance system in line with the importance and prestige of the hosted matches to ensure security for the public on the stands and to protect the stadium from unauthorized access and vandalism.

Thanks to cooperation with Trium Srl, an Axis partner installer, the indoor and outdoor areas of the PalaWhirlpool have been equipped with a total of 45 high-quality Axis cameras with HDTV resolution. The cameras were installed on the trusses that support the playing area's lighting system, in the museum, in the corridors, in the area assigned for guest supporters and on all the stands. AXIS P1357 cameras were used for the trusses, enabling coverage of a vast area and providing high-detail 5-megapixel images. The corridors are now monitored by inexpensive and easy to install AXIS M3004 cameras with fixed dome and an ultra-compact design that fits in the palm of a hand.

The installers opted for fixed-dome, HDTV AXIS P3364-V cameras, light-sensitive and vandal-proof, with remote zoom and focusing functions for the indoor entrances, while equipping the outdoor entrances with AXIS P3384-VE cameras, which have extraordinary video quality facilitated by Wide Dynamic Range (WDR). Lastly, in the upper ring, fixed, mini-dome AXIS M3007-PV cameras provide detailed, high-quality panoramic shots with 360-degree or 180-degree angles and up to 5-MP resolution.

The external perimeter of the stadium is also under strict and complete video surveillance: nine fixed AXIS P1355-E cameras were installed and four PTZ Full HD cameras (the AXIS Q6034-E) were mounted on the lighting pylons and at the stadium's entrances and exits. The HDTV quality of the high-resolution video surveillance, the Day&Night function, H.264 format and high zoom mean that these areas are monitored in the best way possible.

All of the cameras are based on open standards and connected via optical fiber, with point-to-point connections via copper cable or Wi-Fi. In particular, the cameras installed on poles outside the stadium are cabled. Axis cameras, with their sturdy design and extraordinary light sensitivity, have proven to be ideal for both daytime and nighttime shooting. In addition, P-Iris technology, an innovative diaphragm control system, has enabled higher contrast ratios and a better field of view for an ever-increasing standard of quality. Finally, for video stream management, the AXIS Camera Station software package was chosen for system monitoring and recording. This enabled Trium to install and configure the cameras via a special guided procedure for event configuration and efficient management of the Axis network video equipment in the system at all resolutions and frame rates.

 

Talk: Russell Ure, creator of Piper, EVP and GM of iControl Canada

Talk: Russell Ure, creator of Piper, EVP and GM of iControl Canada

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 5/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Piper recently got updated with a couple new features. We had the opportunity to talk briefly with Russell Ure, founder of Blacksumac, which created Piper. Blacksumac was recently acquired by iControl Networks. Ure is currently EVP and GM of iControl Canada.

Were the features already on the roadmap or were they requested by users?
The two-way audio was planned from the beginning, while the multi-Piper support came about from feedback from Indiegogo backers.

Can you tell me some more about the multi-Piper support?
The new feature supports up to five Pipers on a single network. Each Piper is a full security system and a smart home system that includes a camera, motion detector and microphone. Piper also lets you create different rules–for example, you could set a rule that states: “if motion is detected, record video and set the siren.”

When you have multiple Pipers in your home, each Piper will be running the rules on their own units, as they can interact through Wi-Fi. The system can share knowledge about detection of events between the different Pipers, so when one Piper detects motion, it can set the siren off on all other Pipers in response to that, showing how all units work together as a team.

In terms of hardware, isn't that kind of redundant? Why not have separate components that the user can install in different places as they see fit?

We did look at that. However, from a manufacturing and a time-to- market standpoint there wouldn't have been a great deal saved by doing that.

We also looked at the specific use cases of Piper. For instance, if someone comes into your home, we want each piper to operate as a security system by itself and trigger the other two. Once you start looking at all the features and all the use cases of Piper, most features are best when combined in the unit.

Can you tell me a bit more about the two-way audio and how that works?
When you have multiple Pipers, you have multiple live camera views to choose from—there's a microphone button that you press and hold to talk to whoever is in the room. When you let go of the button, you can hear what they're saying, so it's like an intercom, but with a camera. The audio is very clear, so it's possible to have a lengthy conversation with somebody in the room. All you have to do is talk to them and pause to give them time to respond.

Can you share any other features you have on the roadmap right now?
All I can say is that every four to five weeks, we'll be releasing new features to our entire user base. We have some very exciting features in the pipeline.

Do you have a vision of what a smart home is?
I think there has to be a central controller inside the home. Our vision is that home management and home control will be managed locally in the home with a unit like Piper. It will increasingly become more intelligent and support all kinds of different capabilities.

Piper is a full computer that runs independently without the cloud. It makes decisions, processes things and recognizes situations all locally. Even when you connect to the live camera view, you're connecting peer-to-peer through a secure mobile connection to the Piper unit, not a cloud server.

I wouldn't want my home to be basically controlled by some cloud intelligence, where something in the cloud is figuring out what I'm doing and where my family is, and then make decisions about what should be done in the home. I think increasingly people will be uncomfortable with that, and they should be. But, that kind of automation is increasingly important, and having that automation done locally inside the home is definitely the future.

So Piper works even when an Internet connection is not present, and the cloud is used only for storing images and video, and sending push notifications?
Yes.

There are a lot of systems on the market that allow users to control home appliances from a smartphone, but does not offer any type of automation. In your opinion, is that still a smart home system?
In my opinion, what we're really going through now is the development of the ultimate smart home system, and we're doing it in stages. People can control things like turning on or off lights from a mobile device and you can also turn appliances on or off or control the heating inside your home. These are examples of steps along the future smart home path.

Ultimately, we all want something like in Star Trek: when you go into the home, there's something in that home that is going to anticipate what you want. When you come into or leave a room, the light immediately changes and that system understands your preferences. There're a lot of things that can be done with automation over time, but we're still in the early stages and we'll continue to see the smart home unfold over the next few years.

How does the acquisition by iControl Networks affect the Blacksumac team and Piper's development?
I run the Piper team and serve as Executive Vice President and General Manager at iControl Canada.

I am continuing to work with my same team and we will continue to push ahead on our product roadmap. We are looking forward to enhancing Piper with some exciting features that wouldn't have previously been available to us.

And those features you mentioned, you can't talk about them just yet?
Unfortunately, no.

In what countries has Piper been most successful?
Our main focus right now is North America, where we are selling Piper. But, we have Piper deployments around the world—not quite sure how they got to the various countries, but people find a way.

We plan to start selling full blast in Europe shortly and the rest of the world soon afterwards. I think Piper will be popular with customers in Europe and also in Asia because many people live in smaller spaces. Monitored security is not as common in these areas as it is in North America, so I believe there is huge opportunity for Piper as well.

Right now only the North American version on the market?
Correct. We have several European versions that are in the final stages of certification and testing, and then we'll be ready to start selling in Europe.

Do home automation, smart home and connected home mean different things to you, or are they the same?
To me, they all mean the same thing. In order to have a smart home, you need automation, otherwise it's not very smart. And to enable automation, you need connection, so these terms are all the same, in my opinion.

What inspired you to create Piper?
The inspiration for Piper came from my daughter, who was going to school in a different city. She was living in an apartment, and I was worried about her. I realized I couldn't get a security system installed in her apartment because every security system has to be professionally installed. When I looked around, there was just nothing I could buy her that would give her what she needed. That was really the start for me. There are a lot of people who need a home security solution and can't get it for their apartments.

How does she like it?
My daughter loves using Piper! She and her roommate are much happier having it in their apartment.

Why not just buy a home security camera? There are a lot of them available that offer remote monitoring. Why did you want an entire security system in one unit?
Piper was built for people who would install it themselves, rather than by a professional installer. Also, when you look at smart home, camera technology and security systems, they share so many parts together.

I asked my daughter and a lot of her friends who had apartments: “What worries you the most?” They said they were most afraid that someone could come into the apartment while they were sleeping. I then asked them what they would want to happen if someone did come in. They wanted the lights to turn on, which is an example of how security and smart home features are combined. They also want to make sure that no one would be in their apartments when they get home at night, and they wanted the lights to go on and have access to a camera view of their apartment.

Once you start talking to people about what they need, having all of these features together in one unit makes a lot of sense.

A lot of Asian manufacturers in the security industry are beginning to develop smart home systems. They do not have that much experience designing products for consumers, so the UI tends to be less attractive and difficult to navigate. Do you think the UI is important for consumers?
Absolutely. You have to design your systems for people who have no technical knowledge at all. That is our main design focus: if you can design a UI that helps them, chances are you've designed something that most people can use easily.

Should products primarily be easy to use or visually attractive?
I think products need to have both qualities. If you're putting Piper in your home, it has to look good. It can't be something that looks out of place. You want to have it in a place of honor, as opposed to hiding it somewhere because you don't want to look at it. Some people believe that because it's a security system, you should be hiding it, but I don't agree with that.

Also, security is not just about intruders— if you're at work and your children come home, you want to check what they're doing, so you want a camera that has a good view of the place, and something that looks good and fits in with all the rest of your home.

Taiwan Dream Mall deploys QNAP NVR solutions

Taiwan Dream Mall deploys QNAP NVR solutions

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by QNAP | Updated: 5/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Introduction
Dream Mall as the largest multi-functional shopping center  in one of Taiwan's major city, Kaohsiung. ll is also one of the top large-scale shopping centers in Asia. With over 2,000 stores and restaurants, a movie theater, and an amazing roof-top amusement park, the mall occupies an area of 50,000 square meters with a total floor area of almost 400,000 square meters, including a parking lot with 3,000 parking spaces.

Challenges
Attracting tens of thousands of customers to the mall every day, Dream Mall management desired a large-scale surveillance system to fulfill purposes of crime prevention, enhancing of customer safety as well as monitoring and recording of the activities in the mall. The primary challenge comes to the need of deploying a security system capable of commanding hundreds of security cameras simultaneously in and around the shopping center. To reach such scale of security system, the total cost of traditional CCTV surveillance systems would be too high as the total length of coaxial cables required is about the equivalent of 87 San Francisco Golden Gate bridges. Besides, these CCTV systems can't offer video image quality as required.The secondary challenge is that the security system has to be highly flexible and expandable, allowing addition of new cameras and recorders.

Solution
After thorough evaluation, Dream Mall selected QNAP NVR (Network Video Recorder) solutions for its security system deployment. Multiple QNAP NVR servers are set up and attached to the network to command 600 Panasonic IP and analog cameras with megapixel resolution and VGA resolution. The NVR demonstrates excellent compatibility and allows new models to be integrated to the security system with simple network connection, saving hassles of physical wiring and setup.

QNAP NVR servers offer Full-D1 resolution, which is similar to DVD video quality for clear image monitoring and recording. Surveillance videos are recorded to the internal hard disks of the NVR units offering mass storage capacity with secure RAID disk volume protection. The recorded video can also be exported to external storage devices or remote storage such as QNAP NAS or FTP servers for review by law enforcement or for redundant backup.

QNAP NVR provides advanced features such as moving objects detection in the monitored areas, network disconnection alert, and smart E-map to help the security personnel locate any abnormal activities within the Dream Mall. The security system is integrated with various alarm devices such as fire alarms and emergency call buttons to protect the safety of the employees, customers, and the properties.

Customer Feedback
QNAP NVR solutions have made high quality and cost-efficient monitoring in a large-scale shopping mall possible. The NVR can be easily integrated with numerous IP cameras and alarm devices. We expected to increase the number of IP cameras to 2,000 in the coming few years.

QNAP NVR is easy to maintain; it helps reduce the overall system setup and maintenance costs. The videos can be monitored on the network remotely and even on mobile devices by their mobile viewing app, which largely enhances the surveillance efficiency.

Why QNAP NVR?
QNAP Security, as one of the well-known Linux-embedded NVR developers, has implemented its award winning storage and RAID technologies to offer its most innovative local display standalone NVR. The system not only ensures remarkable stability on remote monitoring, recording, and surveillance tasks under diverse environments but also renders great simplicity. In addition, the QNAP solution allows users to choose suitable network cameras for various situations instead of being restricted to the resolution of traditional CCTV. To always be one step ahead, QNAP professional NVR team remains creative and committed to the integrity of their software and hardware. Furthermore, its great user experiences on wide range of supported devices and successful installations worldwide are more than enough to prove QNAP Security's viability internationally.

 

Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance

Casinos looking for extra values from network video surveillance

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s International | Updated: 5/26/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The mindset of casino operators toward new technologies is generally more conservative, compared to other market sectors. Casinos are reluctant to risk adopting new surveillance technology until its reliability is proven, due to the costs involved in shutting down VIP tables or alienatingwealthy players during retrofiting. “Almost all are migrating to hybrid or pure IP. New ‘greenfield' installs might be pure IP but most are expansions or retrofits, and those favor hybrids,” explained Mike Scirica, President of WavestoreUSA.

“Casinos are more likely to make new investments at high budgetary figures; however, slow to update existing systems — they generally try and maximize their investment over long periods of time and update as necessary. Casinos look for systems that can be upgraded and modernized over time rather than invest in a system that will become insufficient for their security requirements and have to be replaced [if this information is known at the time of purchase],” according to Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer, DVTel. But, just like other sectors, none of the casino operators want to fall behind either, even though the latest security technology is very expensive.

“It is easier to promote IP-based surveillance in Western and Northern Europe, as these are two of the markets that started to go for IP-based products in the very beginning. They want to be able to record high resolution pictures, and easily distinguish the color of the chips; therefore, they are very willing to adopt new technology such as 60fps, etc. in their casinos,” explained Tom Li, Technical Support Manager of Europe at Hikvision Digital Technology.

It does not matter if it is a retrofit project looking for upgrades and migration to IP-based, or a newly-built casino considering adopting full-IP surveillance, all the casinos' operators want to make sure that other than high-resolution images, the investment in network video surveillance can bring them extra values. As a matter of fact, there are some new security technologies, such as video analytics and video-centric integrated systems that are about to be used by some current casinos, along with the adoption of network video surveillance.

ANALYTICS
Since high-resolution pictures are widely available now, casino operators have the option to adopt analytics software into their surveillance systems. “This could involve using license plate recognition to flag when high rollers have arrived at the casino, or point-of-sales analytics to monitor employees and card-monitoring technology to manage tables, dealers, and gamblers, which could greatly reinforce casinos' ability to manage the business,” suggested Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. Similar to license plate recognition, analytics can be used to identify card values and suits with a high degree of accuracy, John Katnic, VP of Global Gaming at Synectics commented.

“A casino operator could use video todetermine pedestrian traffic patterns to see if a particular bank of slot machines were getting played or if there was any pedestrian traffic actually stopping to look at the machines and then move on,” said Scott A. Bartlett, CEO of Southwest Surveillance Systems. “In a customer service role, the operator could use video to detect lines for a cage to ensure the line did not get too long, once the line reached a certain number of patrons, it could trigger an alarm and alert the cage manager to add another cashier.”

INTEGRATED SYSTEMS
Operators in the casino industry are often looking for an efficient way to single out flagged recordings from hundreds or thousands of cameras, because certain kinds of crimes cannot be spotted by human eyes, but can through data analysis.

In fact, there are numerous systems generating data in casinos constantly. If all that data could be integrated with video, it would be much more efficient to spot suspicious events. For example, with all the time attendance, access control, and gaming data available, the operators can set up the systems to send out an alert and trigger nearby video monitors if someone tries to swipe their cards three times in-a-row unsuccessfully.

“Today's surveillance operators want ways to bring enterprise-wide alarm, transactional and video data together, filter out benign activity and then quickly drill into suspicious activities that matter or indicate a true threat,” Katnic stated. “When access control, player, slot-to-time clock data, for example, are directly linked to video in one fully integrated system, operators can observe, analyze, and react more efficiently and appropriately. That saves, time, money, and even lives.”

“Gallagher Security has been working closely with a number of casinos in Macau utilizing the Gallagher central management platform. This platform enables customers to interface and integrate a number of different systems and applications including digital video surveillance. The developments in control centers have become very important to reduce risks and manage information with effective process mechanisms and appropriate training in place. The scale and flexibility of the access control and alarms event management with digital video surveillance enables staff to keep areas secure, monitor key areas, and respond quickly to potential or actual incidents,” according to Peter Francis, Regional Manager for Asia and Middle East in Gallagher Security.

CONCLUSION
Although the casino industry is one of the vertical markets that is more hesitant on migrating to full-IP surveillance systems, they have come to realize that IP-based products can offer numerous added-value functions, making management more efficient. This should help the security industry see a robust increase in network surveillance systems adoption in the casino industry in the coming years.

 

# What they say about surveillance market in casino industry #

How IP Storage Benefits Casinos
“Casinos undertake high volume financial activities that are similar to financial organizations, but in an entertainment context. A lot of criminal interests such as money laundering and cheating are aroused and casinos need to protect themselves from the vulnerabilities and they are more willing to adopt new technologies such as casino chips, casino cheques, currency exchange, employee complicity, high-end surveillance systems, etc. IP SAN best fits into video surveillance application for the perfect balance among cost, manageability, and performance. Due to the increasing need for longer retention time and higher resolutions for video recordings, it's becoming crucial to provide high performance IP SAN with scale-up capacity,” mentioned Daniel Lin, Sales Director of Qsan Technology.

Network Video Surveillance Keeps Improving Latency Time
“In the gaming world the ability to view live video and effectively trace a suspect through a property is a vital product feature set – gaming is primarily about surveillance, rather than security application,” explained Jason Oakley, CEO of North American Video. “It is worth noting that many of the leading technology providers have invested heavily to find a solution that reduces latency time with IP PTZ's. Some manufacturers claim that their latency rate is less than 100 milliseconds, which is noticeable to the untrained eye, this can reduce the demand for analog PTZ's in certain applications.”

 Panoramic and 360-Degree Technologies
“Casinos are looking for more panoramic and 360-degree technologies. Because they can cover more area more efficiently with less staff. Now casinos on the forefront of technology have mixed megapixel panoramic technology and PTZ cameras with instant access to recorded video that cut down on review times and time spent figuring out how someone went from a known location to an unknown location,” said Mitch Fagundes, Director of Global Business Development at Arecont Vision.

Milestone XProtect 2014 reaches new-level integration and user experiences

Milestone XProtect 2014 reaches new-level integration and user experiences

Editor / Provider: Milestone System | Updated: 5/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has just released the Milestone XProtect 2014 VMS product suite for partners and customers.

The XProtect 2014 product suite addresses the entire security market regardless of the size, complexity or location of the installation. The Milestone XProtect clients are also optimized and updated to take advantage of the new XProtect 2014 capabilities.

Bjorn Eilertsen, Vice President of Corporate Products Business Unit at Milestone Systems, says: "I am very excited about this 2014 release and the possibilities it gives both our customers and partners. If you look at the major enhancements we have done to the workflow around evidence handling, you will find that the new Smart Search, combined with Evidence Lock and the new storyboarding capabilities, shorten the time dramatically for producing evidence material. Add the new security capabilities that will make our advanced VMS products even more attractive for large and high-security installations. And this is just half of the story!

We have also taken the open platform to a whole new level, introducing ONVIF-compliant support for metadata and a framework for integrating access control systems with our new XProtect Access Control Module. Both these initiatives empower our ecosystem of partners to develop new solutions and meet our customers' needs."

XProtect 2014 introduces several new advantages for Milestone customers and the Milestone partner ecosystem.

New smart integration abilities
The Milestone add-on product, XProtect Access Control Module 2014, makes it possible to integrate different access control systems within the same customer installation. XProtect Smart Client provides a consolidated interface for operating integrated access control systems with dedicated functions to effectively monitor access events, manually assist passages and conduct investigations of specific access points or cardholders.

Intelligent video handling with metadata
Milestone introduces an ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) compliant framework for handling and storing video-related metadata for its XProtect advanced VMS product range that includes XProtect Corporate 2014 and XProtect Expert 2014. Metadata is any data adding an information layer to video and audio streams. The metadata framework can enable new possibilities for high-level integration: integrators can use metadata to connect with all types of IT systems and Milestone Manufacturer Alliance Partners can use the metadata integration to support cameras with built-in analytics.

More efficient evidence handling workflow
Video handling in XProtect 2014 is enhanced with new features to streamline the user experience:

* The Smart Search function utilizes the motion metadata generated during the motion detection analysis in the recording server. By searching on this generated metadata, sequences with motion in specific areas of a camera view can be found quickly and accurately, reducing the time required to conduct investigations.
* Evidence Lock is a new function in XProtect 2014 VMS that secures the availability of video recordings for investigations by allowing the retention time for selected video sequences to be extended beyond the defined retention policies.
* The Storyboard function turns video into evidence by documenting a sequence of events. Piecing together video sequences from multiple cameras into a structured flow makes object tracking easy for logical, objective and straightforward review.

Extended system security
A new security feature in XProtect is tiered administrator rights where administrative staff can be granted access to functions based on responsibility levels. Dual authentication provides an option for an additional level of system security, where a log-in or access is successful only when a second user approves it.

Ease-of-Use features for partners and end users
New ease-of-use features in XProtect 2014 VMS are centered on both Milestone partners and end users to ensure a simple and optimized experience working with a Milestone solution. For example, the product upgrade processes are enhanced to reduce time spent on maintaining the system.

End users will benefit from a new interactive map functionality in XProtect Essential and XProtect Express that provides a graphical overview of the entire installation. Tooltips and customization possibilities are added to the XProtect Smart Client to lessen the need for end-user training.

Video Push with GPS metadata in Milestone Mobile enables first responders and security personnel to use a smartphone as a mobile camera for video coverage of incidents not viewed by stationary cameras. The GPS coordinates together with the video stream are pushed from the smartphone to the XProtect VMS system.

Also of note is the Milestone Customer Dashboard, an online system monitoring service that enables Milestone resellers to obtain real-time system status of their customers' installations. This enables proactive alerts and service to improve the customer experience.

Janne Jacobsen, Vice President of Professional Products Business Unit at Milestone Systems, says: "The 2014 update of the Milestone XProtect VMS suite reflects our dedication to provide solutions that are optimized for different market segments and customer needs. For small to mid-sized installations, the 2014 edition of the XProtect Professional VMS product suite is focused on simplifying every step in the deployment and use of our products. The goal is to provide solutions that meet our customers' demand for easy-to-use video solutions that are also cost efficient to install and grow."

 

 

 

Brisbane City Hall deploys Genetec VMS for integrated security operations

Brisbane City Hall deploys Genetec VMS for integrated security operations

Editor / Provider: Genetec | Updated: 5/22/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Largest local government organization in Australia depends on powerful Genetec VMS with multiple security systems integrations to improve security operations.

Business Challenge
BRISBANE City Hall, presiding over bustling King George Square with entrances at King George Square and on Ann and Adelaide Streets, is one of Australia's most stately public buildings. While it opened in 1930 and is now listed by the Register of the National Estate, Brisbane City Hall was built on wet ground which over decades led to subsidence, concrete cancer and problems with corrosion in aging wiring.

So the site closed at the end of December 2009 for a ground-up restoration where the City Hall was completely gutted and rebuilt as closely as possible to Hall & Prentice's original specifications. As part of this process, a $3 million integrated electronic security system was installed, which is monitored from an in-house control room.

"First of all, Brisbane City Hall had to be open to the people, it had to be a place for the people," said Paul Rishman, Corporate Security Manager of Brisbane City Council. "This meant that we needed to be able to keep the site open or lock it down to the last door. And finally, we needed to be able to track people throughout the building. That really was the essence of this solution, operationally. From these basic needs we moved on to the systems we should use and how should we integrate them to achieve our goals."

According to Rishman, another key operational element of the site is that it's large, complex and busy, yet it only has 2 security officers 24/7. Running at this level of efficiency, it's vital that these officers be empowered by technology to work as effectively as possible. "This system is very much designed so that the entire building can be managed by this very small team and that meant we needed an intelligent solution with proactive detection and reporting capabilities."

With these requirements in mind, Brisbane City Council worked alongside Genetec-certified integrator, Blake Systems, to find the right solution for the job: Omnicast video surveillance with key integrations to other systems like access control, asset management and video analytics and more.

Maximising Efficiency with Leading-Edge Surveillance
At the heart of the new CCTV solution is the Genetec video management system, Omnicast, which manages 120 channels of AgentVi video analytics in real time. Omnicast also manages a selection of around 200 Axis Communications 720p HD IP cameras. The cameras include fixed domes, mini domes, nine of those teeny people counting cameras and many flexible Axis 5534 720p PTZ domes. Another system handles access control alarms while Rishman says a key proactive capability of the solution involved the installation of Ekahau, an RFID-over-Wi-Fi real time location system that is used in conjunction with tags that can be carried by staff or attached to assets. This provides them the ability to track the movements of key personnel (and assets) across the site.

"Genetec has a Map Manager interface and the next-gen will be 3D so we'll be able to put the Ekahau into it and literally the camera will alert us to an intrusion, show an image and show a 3D representation of the room. We can also do a lot with the access control system," explains Anthony Brown from Blake Systems, the integrator overseeing the project. "Sometimes we use the third-party access control system as the pull and feed it to Genetec; and sometimes we use the Genetec as the pull and feed it to access control system. It just depends whether it's a CCTV-heavy or an access control and alarm-heavy application."

In terms of efficiency, their security operators are reaping the benefits of their new video management system: "We have a monitor pre-loaded with preset tabs so during specific events, our operators can hit the tab and the Genetec system will populate the screen with pre-selected camera views," Rishman says. "And we have another monitor that allows our security operators to select the views they consider most important, depending on events of the day. At the moment, it's set to the entry but it might be any group of camera views our security team decides will help. It's drag and drop - very easy to use."

It's Future Proof: Extending Capabilities across Council Buildings
An interesting aspect of this site is the nature of Brisbane City Council as one of the largest local government organisations on the planet. Because Council is homogeneous, it gives the team a lot of scope for integration of other Council buildings and surveillance systems in the future, as well as allowing redundancy of operations between multiple sites.

Thanks to Genetec's flexibility and a unique feature called Federation which bridges independent systems under one, future plans are being considered. According to Rishman "This control room has the ability to be used as a backup for our operations centre which is 5-6km down the road should this be required. We have a number of control rooms monitoring around 900 cameras at buildings across the city and the plan is to integrate them."

From a visitor's perspective it's impossible not to be impressed with the renovations and the new security solution but does it give Brisbane City Council everything it wanted at City Hall?

"Absolutely," says Rishman. "This system does exactly what we hoped it would do and it's future proof, so we can build on it and integrate multiple sub systems. From here, the challenge is going to be taking this model and expanding it into the rest of our portfolio of sites, while integrating all these sites into our full ITC infrastructure. All in all, everyone is very happy with the outcome. I've done a few big projects in my time. This is one of the bigger ones and from the point of view of system capability, it's definitely the best."

 

Latest HD-over-coax solutions give new life to analog

Latest HD-over-coax solutions give new life to analog

Editor / Provider: Alf Chang,a&s Consultant | Updated: 5/21/2014 | Article type: Tech Corner

While IP-based video surveillance is becoming the dominant way of rendering high-quality video images, analog monitoring systems that transmit signals over good-ol' coaxial cables are not losing their grip, thanks to a series of newly-invented image enhancing HD-over-coax solutions.

Inevitable and unstoppable as the trend of IP surveillance may seem, shipments of analog video surveillance products still account for over 60 percent of the global market. In addition, the need to improve image quality while maintaining existing coaxial cable deployment is also strong. This has led the analog camp to come up with new ideas and solutions in terms of yielding better image quality. The latest HD-over-coax solutions include 960H, HD-SDI, ccHDtv, HD-MDI, HDCVI, and 800TV Lines (TVL) HD analog solutions. Among all solutions available, 800TVL HD analog solution is the most discussed and the most popular one in the analog arena. Chipset suppliers in Taiwan, China and Korea are all joining the fray, vying for a share in a market that is full of opportunities. In the following, we focus on the latest update of some particular solutions, which gained the limelight in 2014.

960H: SENSORS WITH EFFIO DSPS PRODUCE IMAGE QUALITY CLOSE TO HD
Sony has combined its Enhanced Features and Fine Image Processor, Effio DSP, with traditional CCD image sensors and boosting the analog image resolution Solutions to 960H. Images produced by the solution are not only high in definition, but also high in S/N ratio and color rendition.

Effio DSPs are compatible with 480K/570K CCD image sensors of both NTSC/PAL systems. When used in conjunction with WDR CCD sensors, video cameras using the solution can produce crisper and sharper images in the setting of back light and extreme light, compared to traditional analog cameras.

The combination of Effio DSPs and CCD sensors can produce over 650TVL of horizontal resolution, even up to 700TVL sometimes. Video images created by the solution excel in color saturation and in brightness, compared with traditional analog cameras. The built-in 2D and 3D digital noise reduction of Effio DSP decreases dynamic noises of images in low light environments and increases image clarity. The solution also enhances image clarity both in the dark and when objects are moving.

Without having to alter existing deployments of cables, the solution is regarded as the most viable way of reaching high-resolution images for analog cameras. The solution has postponed the demise of analog surveillance systems and has prevented it from being phased out of market too soon.

 Comparison of HD-over-coax Solutions source: a&s

Solutions

960H

HDCVI

ccHDtv

HD-MDI

HD Analog

HD-SDI

Camera components

CCD+DSP

CMOS+ISP

CMOS+ ISP

CCD+DSP

CMOS+DSP

CMOS

Image format

Analog high resolution

Analog high definition

Analog high definition

Analog high definition

Analog high definition

Broadcasting high definition

Resolution

700TVL

720P/1080P

1080P@60FPS

1080P@30 FPS

800 TVL

1000TVL

Compatibility with existing systems

High

High

High

Switch required

High

Low

Technical complexity

Low

Low

Medium

High

Low

Medium

Transmission distance (M) without repeater (5C-2V)

200M

500M

500M

150M(Cat.5)

200M

150M

Transmission media

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable

Twisted pair

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable

Signals

CVBS

CVBS

CVBS

Digital

CVBS

SDI

Compression

None

None

None

None

None

None

Delay

None

None

None

None

None

None

Storage

960H DVR

HDCVI DVR

DVR

DVR

960H DVR

SDI DVR

Maintenance

Low

Low

Medium

Medium

Low

Low

Cost

Low

High

Medium

High

Low

High

Related article: New generation 960H cams: Looks better, works better and less noisy

HDCVI: UPGRADED ANALOG SOLUTIONS WITH THE COMBINATION OF CMOS AND ISP
Dahua Technology has developed a high-resolution composite video interface (HDCVI) by combining CMOS sensors with ISP. Based on the transmission technology of HD images over coaxial cables, the HDCVI technology is a solution that improves analog image resolutions and produces high-definition progressive scan images.

HDCVI released its first white paper, version 0.50, on July 31st, 2012, and its newest version 1.00 on November 15th, 2012. The white paper specified that HDCVI is applicable to two HD video formats: 720P (1280 X 720) and 1080P (1920×1080), which is similar to 700 to 750 TVL.

HDCVI uses point-to-point transmission of coaxial cables to produce uncompressed megapixel analog video images, without delay and without compromising image quality. The solution can transmit HD analog video images up to 500 meters over a SYV-75-5 video coaxial cable, breaking the distance limit of HD analog video image transmission. The HDCVI solution also synchronizes audio signals and demonstrates real-time, by-directional control of signals.

One of the biggest strengths of HDCVI is there is no need to change existing cable deployment where high-definition analog images are made possible. It also overcomes the 100-meter transmission constraint encountered by HD-SDI and IP Camera (IPC). HDCVI's noise resistant feature ensures quality transmission of high-definition images and prevents problems on vertical synchronizing and lost frames.

ccHDtv: UPGRADING VIDEO STREAMING QUALITY OVER A SINGLE CABLE
iTE Tech, a semiconductor manufacturer, has developed a ccHDtv solution based on the concept of digital TV transmissions. The system can transmit high-definition video images over coaxial cables, twisted pairs, and even over-the-air.

The ccHDtv solution allows transmission of multiple 1080P images at 30fps or 1080P at 60fps videos over a single 3C2V/5C2V cable, with a maximum transmission distance of 500 meters, without adding any repeaters.

The solution employs DTV technologies such as DVB-T, ISDB-T, and ATSC standards and solves bandwidth and storage problems faced by traditional analog CCTVs in the past. It has been a worldwide trend for DTV to replace CVBS analog TVs. DTV technologies such as DVB-T, ISDB-T, and ATSC all provide sturdy and ideal structures for transmission of HD video images.

The ccHDtv solution adopts DTV technology that is strong in audio and video transmissions. DTV technology solves the problem of insufficient bandwidth when transmitting multi-channel HD images that plagued traditional CCTV systems before. The technology also eliminates storage problems at the same time. Installation and operation of ccHDtv resemble those of traditional CCTV systems, making it easy for analog surveillance systems to transmit and store HD video images.

For those surveillance system end-users who are skeptical of IP network stability and for those who wish to maintain analog cable systems, ccHDtv has provided a shortcut to achieve high quality images.

HD-MDI: AN UPGRADED ANALOG SOLUTION OVER TWISTED PAIR
Based on twisted pair, HD-MDI transmits high-definition audio and video content using a structure that is similar to that of traditional analog surveillance systems. HD-MDI products include HD-MDI high-definition cameras, HD-MDI repeaters, HD-MDI DVRs, HD-MDI audio video capture cards, HD-MDI Optical, and HD-MDI matrixes.

The solution uses a unshielded twisted pair (UTP), 720P CMOS sensors and ISP, without compressing the images, in order to achieve real-time monitoring without delay. The uncompressed method of transmission also allows HD-MDI to transmit video signals over CAT5 or CAT6 network cables without additional cost on cabling and switches.

HD signals of video cameras can be transmitted hundreds of meters away and directly to the back encoder, which processes dual or multistreaming. Compared to other IP and HD-SDI products, which do all the video processing in cameras, the HD-MDI solution can be cost-saving. In addition, HD-MDI uses point-to-point connection and has a simple structure with no operating system. Therefore, it is easier for the solution to achieve more compact sizes and less power consuming cameras than HD IP-based ones.

800TVL: HD ANALOG SOLUTION, COMBINING CMOS AND DSPS
While traditional analog surveillance cameras are built on CCDs and DSPs, some vendors have combined high-definition CMOS sensors with DSPs and have created image resolutions up to 700~1000 TVLs. This is by far the latest and the most popular analog upgrading solution, as well as the best one. CMOS sensors can be sourced from Aptina, Pixelplus, OmniVision, and SONY. Fullhan Microelectronics, Sonix Technology, and Nextchip, on the other hand, supply DSPs that can be used to achieve this aim.

 

The combination of 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensors and DSPs can increase resolution to at least 800 TVLs. It also improves sense-up function at night. The solution can achieve nearly 100 percent color retention and accuracy without color bias. It also produces 720p progressive scan images at 60 frames per second and can provide images with no motion blur when objects move in a high-temperature environment.

CONCLUSION:
These five solutions are evidence that the need for analog systems to upgrade to high-definition images has created a hotly contested market. And high-definition video images have been made possible while coaxial cables remain unchanged. These solutions have provided users with more options and have added more years to analog surveillance systems.

 

Sustainability in focus for HID new headquarters in Texas

Sustainability in focus for HID new headquarters in Texas

Editor / Provider: ASSA ABLOY | Updated: 5/21/2014 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global's new headquarters is a showcase for sustainability, energy-efficiency and environmental design.

Challenge
During 2012, HID Global began designing its new Headquarters and Genuine HID Operations Center in Austin, Texas. The goal was to substantially exceed standard practice in energy, economic and environmental performance. There would be a commitment to the employee experience, and a showcase for ASSA ABLOY's portfolio of green products. Water usage and waste management would be state-of-the-art, and the building would support growth without a corresponding increase in energy consumption.

Solution
The site selection was based on multiple criteria including proximity to retail amenities and public transportation. To avoid adding to landfills, all concrete and asphalt on the site was reused in the construction process. Water conservation, including waste and irrigation management, was a major focus, with new low-flow fixtures installed reducing potable water consumption an average of 55 percent. There was a significant investment in lighting capabilities including LED bulbs, automated motion detection shutoff, daylight standby sensors and dimmers throughout the facility.

Result
HID Global recycled 86,200 kilograms of metal and 44,600 kilograms of concrete, and re-purposed 12,200 cubic metres of asphalt. Water usage was cut 55 percent, saving 142,000 litres monthly. The ratio of emissions to sales volume is expected to improve by 20 percent using all LED lighting, with a two-year payback. HID Global expects a 30 percent overall energy cost reduction in the future from a reduced North American footprint, Energy Star efficient appliances, LED lighting, and building monitoring systems. Facility design is devoted to minimizing environmental impact with the goal of leadership.

Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

Residential video doorphone goes IP and wireless

Editor / Provider: Editorial Dept. | Updated: 5/20/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The video doorphone, also called the video intercom, is evolved into a multifunctional device in conjunction with network capability and home automation. Video doorphones for smart home are integrated with security, intercommunication and home automation features. With enhanced importance beyond entry management, it is moving from home entryways to the home center.

Integration of security, communication and automation
The video doorphones in the smart home combine intercommunication, access control, alarming and home automation into a single platform. No doubt, users are benefited to have easier and more manageable home security. We conclude four major trends, including wireless connectivity, digitalization, trendy outlook, and integration with home automation.

The video door phone system for the smart home, generally comprises control monitors, and door stations with built-in megapixel cameras. There are models called peephole door viewers supporting wireless connectivity with mobile devices like mobile phones or tablets instead of indoor stations. Popular features consist of remote intercommunication, access control and monitoring. With increasing demand of connected home, home owners want their video door phone systems to be smarter. Therefore, we can see more and more models supporting alarming and home automation features over the next few years.

Easier and more manageable home security
The video doorphones pair up wireless or fixed monitors and built-in or external security cameras for remote control and monitoring. The system connects visitors to the user's smartphones or tablets, used as the mobile control center, when the user is not at home. Users can view and allow access of visitors remotely with mobile phones. Aside from unlocking doors remotely, some of them are accompanied with alarming function like PIR detector and event alerts for enhanced home security. They support motion-activated recording and image capture of approaching visitors in a SD card or built-in DVR. The built-in camera can automatically take photo and record video when motion is detected via the built-in PIR sensor. Like most surveillance cameras, some video door phones with built-in cameras support nighttime and pan-tilt operations. To offer wider viewing angles, fish-eye lens can be integrated at times.

There are another solutions offering extended home security by connection with the door camera, smart door lock and magnetic door sensor. In addition, some complicated systems incorporate security sensors to detect fire, gas leakage and burglar intrusion with alarm notification to the management center.

To cater for smart home users, ease of use is more appealing apart from affordable pricing and trendy outlook. The intuitive interface of control monitor offers easy operation on intercommunication, photo viewing, alarm setup, and home control. Also, easy installation is attractive for the DIY market.

TC P/IP favored over wireless connection
The smart intercoms for home use feature Internet connection. Current offerings consist of wired and wireless solutions. Products provided by Asian suppliers are mostly wired solutions. For home users, the wireless solution, free from wiring problems, is considered to be more appealing in terms of easy installation and interoperability with mobile devices. The wireless indoor units typically come with LCD displays, and some of them are portable models used as mobile phones.

RF2.4GHz and Wi-Fi are two major adoptions for wireless connectivity with mobile control monitors. Wi-Fi connectivity is getting popular due to its high compatibility with smartphones for consumers; however, it has unstable signal transmission when traveling the wall. Regarding RF2.4GHz compliant devices, they support intelligent frequency hopping from 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz to change RF channel automatically in order to avoid interference from other 2.4GHz devices like WLAN router, microwave and cordless phone.

Regarding the wired solution for smart home applications, digital TCP/IP models are major promotions though wireless models could be more attractive for those who prefer DIY systems. For more stable solutions, the systems that adopt internet TCP/IP technology to void complicated wiring installation are highly promoted by suppliers. The digital intercom system is easy to install, manage and upgrade than traditional analog models. Supporting SIP protocol, the video doorphones allow free communication between SIP and mobile phones. It is a cost-saving solution to offer video communication.

Home automation gaining interest
Though integration o f home automation still belongs to the high-end market, we can see more and more new products integrate with simple home control features, such as control over lighting, shading, HVAC, TV, elevator and home appliance controls. The common communication protocols adopted consist of RF433, RS485, ZigBee, Z-Wave, KNX and Wi-Fi. In China, RF433 is a popular and cost-saving adoption for home automation and for connections with alarm sensors.

When it comes to home use, visually appealing becomes a nice-to-have feature. The sleek design and thin form factors are stressed. We can see those trendy products with metal-casing and slim form factor measuring less than 15mm.

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