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MOBOTIX protects data centres and communication rooms in Leeds City Uni

MOBOTIX protects data centres and communication rooms in Leeds City Uni

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 7/29/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX AG, one of the manufacturers of digital high-resolution, network-based video security systems has released details of a project at Leeds City College to secure access to critical data centres and communication rooms across multiple sites.

On 1st April 2009, Leeds City College was formed following the merger of three of the city's renowned colleges; Leeds College of Technology, Leeds Thomas Danby and Park Lane College Leeds & Keighley. Then in 2011, Joseph Priestley College also merged into the expanded new college, serving a community of over 40,000 students and employing in the region of 1,500 staff, making it one of the area's largest employers. In 2012, the College was given an OFSTED rating at “Grade 2, Good, with Outstanding features”, for the overall effectiveness of its provision.

Behind the scenes of the merger, four ICT infrastructures combined for the delivery of services while benefiting from the natural economies of scale created by the new larger entity. Following a tendering process, Leeds City College selected Express Data to lead a project to help design and build an integrated data network. Express Data is a trusted and long serving technical adviser and installation specialist that had previously worked with Leeds Thomas Danby College.

The new network would be built around a highly resilient fibre core to ensure that the loss of any one critical data centre or network link would allow for an active failover and continuation of ICT services. Another consideration was around the physical security of critical data and networking elements spread across Leeds at 15 college sites. “We run approximately 300 application servers and 770 network switches in support of over 40,000 students, 1,500 staff and have committed to a 98 % uptime,” says Dave Newsham, ?Service Delivery Manager for Leeds City College, “We are very proud to have consistently achieved this benchmark and making sure that critical network elements are properly maintained and secured with fully audited access is an essential requirement.”

Although the legacy colleges had previous installations of CCTV, these were predominantly focused on monitoring building access, common areas and car parking. Unfortunately, the notion of CCTV monitoring for ICT assets was supported in only an ad-hoc fashion by a few of them. Following due diligence and after seeking advice from Express Data, a solution based on MOBOTIX CCTV benefiting from distributed technology and built-in local storage was created to fulfil the technical implementation criteria while reducing the need for an expensive CCTV central control room or network upgrade.

“The majority of the locations are darkrooms or places with almost no footfall,” explains Newsham,” this means that most of the cameras show black screens or static images, and as such, there is no requirement to transmit high resolution video over the network all the time. However, if somebody enters these areas we need to be able to see exactly who it is and what they are doing. To meet this requirement, we have set up alerts to only send video back to our MxControlCenter software when there is a scene change such as a door opening or person entering a data centre or comms room.”

Newsham and his team also benefited from the built in temperature sensors in each MOBOTIX camera, “Although we have environmental monitoring at the larger sites, MOBOTIX now provides us with a solution for smaller comms rooms and as a backup to the other sensors,” he adds.

To date, Express Data has installed 20 MOBOTIX cameras across college sites including a number of Q24 and Q25 hemispheric models that cover entire rooms in high definition quality. “The use of hemispheric cameras providing a 360 degree viewpoint means that can monitor larger areas that would normally require several cameras with just a single MOBOTIX unit. This approach makes the deployment easier while reducing cost and complexity,” says Newsham.

“Our plan is to use MOBOTIX across the entire critical ICT infrastructure and the reliability and performance of the implementation has been faultless since the first unit went in during the summer of 2009,” adds Newsham, “We are now looking at some of the ‘bells and whistles' such as out of hours alerting and integrating monitoring into our new NOC (Network Operations Centre) and the MOBOTIX technology is certainly up to the task.”

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Axis and Genetec safeguard Surf City in California with crime investigation

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/29/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Case study: Axis cameras help the City of Huntington Beach, California , which is nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” investigate crimes downtown over a completely wireless network.

Mission
Huntington Beach, California is a booming beach community of 200,000 with a thriving summer tourist scene. With major events like an annual surf competition and dozens of bars and restaurants along Main Street, the city needed a video surveillance system to support its police force during incident investigations. But the police department headquarters was two miles from downtown, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure to support a video system over that distance.

Solution
Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless solution with a mix of fixed and pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) Axis network cameras at key locations along Main Street and the pier, including AXIS Q6034-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P3363-E and AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras. The PTZ cameras are set to guard tour to capture multiple views up and down the street on a rotating basis. Each camera is connected to a wireless RADWIN device that transmits the video back to police headquarters. The video is centrally managed from Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform that merges video surveillance with other security systems in one easy-touse solution. The open API architecture of the Axis cameras let CelPlan assemble the best components for the system.

Result
The Huntington Beach Police Department now has critical video evidence available to aid in the investigation of crimes and other incidents. In one instance, the cameras captured an assault with no witnesses, and the police were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing to make an arrest. The video surveillance solution proved so successful that the city launched a second phase to add an additional 15 Axis cameras at various hot spots around town.

Riding the IP video wave
Huntington Beach, California is a beachside community of 200,000 that swells with an additional 40,000 to 50,000 visitors each day during the summer tourist season. Nicknamed “Surf City, USA,” the city plays host to special events such as an annual surf competition, concerts and movie nights on the Pier Plaza. Its popular Main Street District also boasts dozens of restaurants and bars. With all the visitors, the city needed a video surveillance system downtown to provide additional support for its police force. However, their police headquarters is two miles away from the beach, and the city did not have a fiber infrastructure in place to transmit video over that distance. Reston, Virginia-based systems integrator and Axis partner CelPlan Technologies recommended a completely wireless, IP-based solution using Axis network cameras, RADWIN wireless transmitters and Genetec Security Center for efficient video surveillance management. “A wireless, IP-based system was the most affordable choice for the city. Installing a fiber network would have been simply cost prohibitive,” said Jasper Bruinzeel, vice president Wi4Net, CelPlan Technologies. “Additionally, with IP, you can scale without limit.”

No fiber? No problem. Shaping traffic on an all-wireless solution
For the first phase of the project, the city installed four AXIS Q6034-E PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Dome Network Cameras, two AXIS P3363-E Fixed Dome Network Cameras and one AXIS P3364-E Fixed Dome Network Camera. The cameras' durable construction helped to withstand the salty sea air and ocean-front weather conditions. The city uses the PTZ cameras' guard tour feature to pan up and down streets and capture video over a much larger area. Additionally, the cameras provide the ability to fine tune resolution and compression rates, which are all easily configured from Genetec Security Center. “Features like H.264 compression allow us to shape the network traffic and make things much more predictable,” Bruinzeel said. “Those elements become very important when you try to push megapixels over wireless links.”

The open standards platform on which the cameras are built meant CelPlan could select the best possible system components without worrying about proprietary compatibility issues. “As an integrator, we try to use open architecture concepts as much as possible. This way we aren't tied to a single vendor for all the components, and we can use a ‘best-of-breed' approach to designing systems,” Bruinzeel said. The Axis cameras are connected to RADWIN wireless devices which transmit the signal back to police headquarters where it is stored on Dell PowerEdge R520 servers. Using Genetec Security Center for video surveillance, officers have the ability to monitor live video feeds 24/7, control the PTZ cameras and quickly retrieve and playback video from the archives for investigative purposes.

Case closed
The Huntington Beach Police Department saw results right away. Shortly after the cameras were installed, a man was caught on video stealing an expensive bicycle. A broadcast-quality image still was sent to the local news, and the man was subsequently spotted and arrested. The video evidence has also been used to investigate more serious crimes, including an assault where the victim was knocked unconscious. No witnesses came forward, but the police monitoring the video were able to use a description of the suspect's clothing and the direction he ran to make an arrest. “The evidence the video system provides is a huge plus,” said Lieutenant Kelly Rodriguez, Huntington Beach Police Department. “I am confident the cameras will aid in apprehensions following future criminal activity.”

 

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Bosch MIC IP 7000 HD family goes IP

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security | Updated: 7/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Bosch Security Systems offers the MIC family of ruggedized pan-tilt-zoom cameras for reliable surveillance in the most difficult outdoor locations and other challenging environments, combining high-quality HD imaging with an IP68/NEMA 6P-rated IP architecture. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family delivers the highest quality of IP video surveillance images everywhere, even in areas with extreme conditions like roads or highways, transportation facilities, city surveillance and critical infrastructure sites. The cameras withstand a wide range of harsh conditions – from -60 to +60 degrees Celsius with up to 100 percent humidity, as well as rain and snow, high wind gusts and significant vibration.

The new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD camera delivers HD video images in extreme low light situations and captures moving objects in 720p HD resolution at up to 60 frames per second. It delivers video images where others fail, even down to 0.01 lux. Clear HD images are captured in color down to 0.05 lux – when others switch to monochrome – to reveal accurate color details that support significantly in security event identification. Its ability to capture fast moving objects and excellent performance in extreme low light situations make the MIC IP starlight 7000 HD ideal for securing, for example, areas along highways.

The MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD offers 1080p resolution and captures multiple exposures of the same scene to provide maximum detail in areas with both bright and dark lighting conditions. The wide dynamic range and intelligent backlight compensation ensure that moving objects or specific objects of interest are enhanced and can be easily identified in scenes with simultaneously bright and dark areas, which typically challenge standard cameras.

Both cameras also feature intelligent de-fog technology to dynamically adjust camera contrast settings to deliver the best quality in scenes affected by fog, smog, mist or other low contrast scenes.

Detection of objects of interest in complete darkness is ensured by the optional MIC illuminators. These illuminators consist of both IR and white light LEDs, and operators can switch between the two light sources with a single click. This enables detection of objects up to a distance of 175 meters.

Intelligent Video Analysis
Another differentiating feature of the MIC IP 7000 HD family is built-in Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA). It helps to focus on relevant situations by alerting you when needed, or automatically tracking objects of interest. IVA also adds sense and structure to video data by adding metadata already in the camera. This allows the quick retrieval of the relevant images from hours of stored video. Metadata can also be used to deliver irrefutable forensic evidence or to optimize business processes based on, for example, people counting or crowd density information. By smartly using the camera's ability to simultaneously combine 8 of the 15 available IVA rules, complex tasks are made easy and false alarms are reduced to a minimum.

Among other uses, IVA can assist in monitoring unmanned stations or pipelines where people are not expected during normal operations, and since security guards cannot be everywhere all the time or watch everything at the same time, IVA alerts can also be sent to mobile devices when needed.

In addition, intelligent Tracking (iTracking) automatically tracks moving objects based on predefined alarm rules or a simple click. By intelligently distinguishing between single and multiple reference points, iTracking will provide uninterrupted tracking. Optimal capture of the object of interest is assured by dynamically adjusting the field of view. With intelligent tracking, it becomes easier never to lose track of objects of interest.

24/7 remote access and camera control
Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas Dynamic Transcoding delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material. The new MIC IP 7000 HD family is fully supported by Dynamic Transcoding in combination with either one of the Bosch DIVAR IP recording solutions or a Bosch VIDEOJET transcoder.

Lower storage costs and network strain
To reduce storage costs and network strain the new MIC IP starlight 7000 HD and MIC IP dynamic 7000 HD cameras feature intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction (iDNR). The benefit of this intelligent technology is that it leads to bandwidth only being used when needed. When there is little or no movement in the scene, less bitrates is required. Therefore, iDNR actively analyses the scene distinguishing between relevant information such as moving objects and image noise artefacts. The degree of noise reduction is adjusted accordingly so that important objects are captured and image noise artefacts suppressed, optimizing the camera's bitrates. Thus, iDNR saves up to 50% on bitrates and hence storage and network strain without compromising video quality. Local storage on the camera further enhances network performance by compensating for short network outages, so ensuring that video data is continuously available in VRM systems without breaks.

Dependable operation and easy installation
Using the VIDEOJET connect 7000 with MIC and other Bosch IP cameras provides high Power over Ethernet support and added flexibility in network configuration and remote video access. Its built-in network switch supports connections to multiple IP cameras, which makes it an ideal configuration for installations along perimeters or highways. Smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images within limited bandwidth connections and full access and control of HD video images from anywhere at any time is made possible through its built-in transcoder which supports the Dynamic Transcoding technology.

Bosch IP standard-definition and high-definition cameras, encoders and analytics work seamlessly with a wide range of security software and recording solutions from Bosch and many other industry providers. This is backed by ONVIF conformance (Open Network Video Interface Forum) and the Integration Partner Program (IPP), which gives developers immediate access to software development tools to easily integrate Bosch products with third-party systems.

The cameras will be available in July 2014.

Arecont Vision megapixel cameras pass with flying colors at Texas school district

Arecont Vision megapixel cameras pass with flying colors at Texas school district

Editor / Provider: Arecont Vision | Updated: 7/22/2014 | Article type: Education

Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) is a recognized leader in college and career readiness in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, offering a comprehensive curriculum to meet the needs of every student. The District consists of roughly 41 square miles tucked along the Texas/Mexico border and serves almost 16,000 students in four high schools, four junior high schools, fourteen elementary schools and two special needs schools. Administrative offices and warehouses are also part of the facilities belonging to Mission CISD.

Challenge
For school districts across the country, video surveillance and security systems are no longer an option – they are must-haves. Mission CISD had an analog surveillance system in place, but found that its effectiveness was hampered by many limitations. First, the resolution of the images produced by the analog cameras was too low for identification. Next, after-the-fact forensic investigations were more difficult, if not impossible, to conduct due to the poor quality of the video that was captured. Finally, because the pan/tilt units were often facing the wrong direction at critical times, there was always a strong possibility that they would not capture video of an event that would be helpful in an investigation. For these reasons, the analog system was deemed unable to meet the district's current and future security needs without a significant upgrade. As a result, Mission CISD made the decision to deploy a new digital video system.

Megapixel Solution
After conducting research over the course of five years, school administrators concluded that the best solution for their application was a megapixel video system. Once this had been decided, they set out to find the cameras that would provide the performance necessary to deliver the level of image quality Mission CISD required. Working with the project integrator, American Surveillance Company Inc., located in Brownsville, Texas, the district selected Arecont Vision as their provider based on the company's wide selection of high-quality megapixel cameras that include 180- and 360-degree panoramics and audio-enabled models. The many additional features standard in the company's megapixel cameras, such as motion detection, day/night functionality, vandal-resistant housings, and remote focus/remote zoom, made the decision to use Arecont Vision's products even easier.

American Surveillance Company installed more than 700 Arecont Vision cameras and a storage system in a two-phase implementation across 28 Mission CISD locations, which are connected via fiber optic cable. The cameras transmit video to a central command center for storage and monitoring. The center is equipped with a video wall that allows operators to view live images or archived video of any of the installed cameras.

Megapixel Benefit
It was immediately apparent that the Arecont Vision cameras were able to capture greater detail in higher resolution than from the analog system, making facial recognition a reality. Post-incident investigations had been difficult using the analog system, and the remote zoom feature of the Arecont Vision cameras made that process much more effective and efficient. Operators can zoom in on any area of live or recorded video for better situational awareness and identification of individuals involved, along with the small details of an incident. Since the 180- and 360-degree cameras continuously capture a much wider field than the previous analog cameras, there was no need for pan/tilt cameras and the associated field-of-view challenges.

Another benefit of megapixel cameras from Arecont Vision is that fewer cameras are needed to provide the significantly improved surveillance coverage the new system provides. “Having a complete field of view 100 percent of the time allowed Mission CISD to go back and have an important digital zoom capability for investigation needs. With one Arecont Vision camera, Mission CISD can now cover the same area as six or seven analog cameras,” said Jaime Escobedo, President and CEO of American Surveillance Company Inc. “The resolution of the video is so high that you can easily see all the details that you need to help resolve disputes or handle situations, both live and after the fact.”

Using H.264 compression technology to dramatically reduce bandwidth and storage requirements, the Arecont Vision cameras can capture full motion video at 30 frames per second at full resolution without compromising image quality at any point in the process. Among the Arecont Vision megapixel cameras selected for installation at the Mission CISD were the AV2155DN and AV5155DN MegaDome cameras, the AV1125 MegaView camera and the AV20185DN and AV20365DN SurroundVideo panoramic cameras.

FLIR and Aimetis provide solar plant in Spain with perimeter security solutions

FLIR and Aimetis provide solar plant in Spain with perimeter security solutions

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by FLIR | Updated: 7/22/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Solarpack is a multinational integrated management company focusing on electricity generation projects in the field of solar photovoltaic energy and is specialized in the development, financing, construction, operation and management of these projects. Controlling a large area where high valuable equipment is deployed all over the site, is not an easy task and it usually requires investing a great amount of money to keep the facility well protected.

For one of the most important solar plants in the West of Spain, Solarpack is now protecting its perimeter of 41 acres with an intelligent analytics solution of Valencia based company CCTV CENTER, combining FLIR thermal imaging cameras and Aimetis Symphony powerful analytics software.

Business challenge
Solarpack is continuously investigating new security solutions to have a pragmatic security system to protect its installations, considering the complexity that involves a solar plant. In this project, the challenge was saving investment costs and maintenance costs, as well as improving the security system towards a more effective and reliable solution, offering automatic notification of alerts and events. Quick search and review of video images was also an essential requirement. A number of tests made with other security systems lead Solarpack to determine that thermal imaging cameras were the best solution and, specially, FLIR thermal imaging cameras. It was then when Solar Pack contacted CCTV CENTER, FLIR's official distributor and integrator in Spain.

Solution
CCTV CENTER's presented a solution combining FLIR thermal imaging camera and Aimetis Symphony analytics software. Aimetis Symphony is award-winning intelligent video surveillance software that offers a single, innovative, open IP video platform for video management, video analytics, system integration and alarm management. The superior quality images from the FLIR thermal imaging cameras together with Aimetis Symphony analytics were a really great solution for the whole system. The end user had a previous experience in projects with thermal imaging cameras and a good image quality was always a main requirement.

Due to the high contrast of their images, thermal imaging cameras are specially recommended for analytics and perimeter applications. Thermal imaging cameras can detect a human target at a distance of up to 2,000 m and produce clear and crisp images in total darkness, light fog and rain where color CCTV cameras can't. Thermal imaging cameras provide an ideal solution for 24/7 surveillance, saving costs in IR illuminators or any other additional illumination system.

FLIR F-series--Thermal imaging cameras for Security & Surveillance applications

F-Series thermal security cameras let you see intruders and other threats to your facility clearly in total darkness and in bad weather. Fully enabled for control and operation over digital and analog networks, F-Series thermal imaging cameras are available in 160 × 120 pixels, 320 × 240 pixels, and high-resolution 640 × 480 pixels formats, providing up to sixteen times the image clarity and longer threat detection range performance than lower resolution cameras.

Installation
For the perimeter protection of this solar plant 21 FLIR F-Series thermal imaging cameras with a resolution of 320x240 pixels are installed on 2 to 3 meter high poles, alongside a wired fence. The F-series are fully enabled for control and operation over digital and analog networks. The F-Series provide high contrast imagery optimized to get the most out of video analytics software. Digital Detail Enhancement ensures clear, properly contrasted thermal images in all weather conditions. The thermal imaging cameras are working together with an intruder detection system, both connected to a CSA (Central Station Alarm). All the thermal imaging cameras are integrated with Aimetis Sym+phony software so they can be controlled from a server PC placed at a remote workstation. "Integrating the FLIR F-Series cameras with Aimetis software was a great solution", says Pablo Campos from CCTV CENTER, in charge of this project. "We used FLIR thermal imaging cameras before with Aimetis Symphony and the FLIR F-Series are included in the list of compatible devices. Once calibrated, analytics performance is outstanding."

Target detection
Aimetis Symphony software is configured with a virtual fence, so when an intruder crosses the virtual line, determined by the operator, an alarm is triggered. The alarm is then sent to the CSA, where the operator receives the signal. The operator then connects with Aimetis Symphony client and checks the video stream associated to verify if it's a false alarm or a real threat. The system can make distinction between humans and animals. When the system identifies the target as a human, it will start tracking the target. The software doesn't trigger any alarm unless the target crosses the virtual line configured by the operator. When the system identifies a target as an animal or unknown object, it will not send an alarm at all, even when an animal crosses the virtual fence. This is because “animals” are considered as authorized intruders in the system. The high quality of the thermal imaging cameras and the reliability of the analytics makes it possible to make this distinction, resulting in a drastically drop in the number of false alarms.

Cost savings
Before the new installation 10 to 15 security guards were hired to protect the premises. Now there are no security guards patrolling or controlling the access to the solar park anymore. Everything can now be managed from a remote workstation by only one or two operators. “The new installation is saving a lot of money and is far more effective than having a team of security guards viewing daylight cameras that can't display images at night or in bad weather conditions. Furthermore, the use of thermal imaging technology saves costs of deploying and keeping an illuminating system running. Also not a lot of electricity is consumed, using thermal imaging cameras instead of other solutions, and maintenance costs are low as well”, concludes Pablo Campos.

 

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Top 3 myths of physical access control technology

Editor / Provider: Ola Jonsson, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

It is no exaggeration to say that network video has revolutionized the video surveillance market. Now the access control industry is on the verge of a similar development. Once again, it is the transition from analog to IP-based systems and with it the adoption of open standards which provides new opportunities and stimulates market growth.

Since the introduction of the first network camera in 1996, the market share of IP-based video surveillance systems has increased year by year. Today, network video solutions offer a host of benefits and advanced functionalities that cannot be provided by analog video surveillance technology.

There are a number of common misconceptions as the physical access control industry undergoes a similar transition from analog to IP-based technology. In the following, I will address the top 3 of these myths.

Myth #1 - It's not worth upgrading existing analog systems to IP-based technology
A typical analog access control system is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cable into one central unit or central server. Besides being proprietary systems, which confines the end user to one single provider of hardware and software, these solutions often tend to be very complex and require expert personnel to handle installation and configuration.

Furthermore, when expanding analog systems the process is complicated by the need to consider that a typical central controller is built to accommodate a certain maximum number of doors, normally 4, 8, 16 or 32. Not only does this limitation make the system inflexible but also makes it difficult for the end user to match his requirements with products available, e. g. if there is a need for access control at for example 9 or 17 doors. This lack of flexibility also brings high marginal costs, which can make the addition of one extra door unjustifiably expensive.

Upgrading an analog access control system to IP-based technology therefore allows for more flexibility while lowering costs as the system needs to be expanded to include additional doors. IP networks can be used for more than one application. This way different security systems can use the same infrastructure and can be integrated with each other. Often remote monitoring and management of security systems is a key requirement. This can be easily implemented with IP-based solutions which feature web-based console access.

Myth #2 - Access control systems are only for large installations
Analog access control products and systems are normally designed and optimized for large installations with a lot of doors and maybe thousands of credentials (cardholders). The actual market looks very different. According to the Security Sales & Integrator Gold Book 2013, the average installation consists of 7 doors with less than 130 credentials. Only about 20% of the installations have more than 10 doors.

Without the need for hard wiring to a central control unit or central server, IP-based access control systems enable installations that are very flexible and scalable. This means not only a more versatile solution, but also a more cost efficient one. Freed from the constraints of enlarging the system in certain multiples, a network-based solution can – should it be necessary – be enlarged by one door, and one reader, at a time.

Additionally, IP-based technology enables “edge” solutions. An edge solution has one controller for each door, which is then connected to the existing local Ethernet through a regular network switch without the need for a central server for management. Since IP networks now are ubiquitous in offices, stores, factory plants and similar facilities the cost of adding an IP-based door controller would be minimal, as opposed to multiple serial connections wired back to a central server. Cabling work can be even further facilitated. By employing a PoE (Power over Ethernet) supported controller at each door the need for a separate power cable is eliminated, thereby reducing the total installation cost and time compared to that of an analog access control solution.

Myth #3 - Access control systems are proprietary solutions that can't be integrated with other security systems
Very much like in the video surveillance market the shift from analog to IP-based technology in the access control industry will cause a transition from proprietary systems to open solutions. And these solutions will most likely be based on international industry standards.

Open solutions and standardized interfaces are a prerequisite in any industry that wants to establish its own equivalent of "plug-and-play". There are many gains from such a development also in access control. It will allow end users to freely pick and choose between components – reader, door controller and software – that best satisfy their needs and preferences. This freedom of choice makes the system future-proof and means the end user no longer has to rely on a single brand or supplier. Equally important, it can also enable integration with other security related systems and third party applications, without the need for costly hardware boxes to provide the “bridge” between the different systems. For example, a very common request is to integrate physical access control with video. People entering a building will automatically trigger a camera; the live images can then be used for investigation of incidents or identity control.

In the network security systems market there is already a clear trend to develop open or standardized application platform interfaces (APIs), which can be used by all competing market participants on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Naturally, this will increase supply and promote competition and bring a new level of innovation to the industry, while simultaneously making it even easier for end users, system integrators, consultants and others to take advantage of the different possibilities offered by IP-based solutions.

For example, the Open Network Video Interface Forum (ONVIF), which is a global and open industry standards body with the goal to facilitate the development and use of IP-based security products, announced in 2010 an extension of the organization's scope of standardization to cover physical access control. Ideally, access control devices from manufacturers that comply with the ONVIF standards will in the near future interoperate effortlessly and seamlessly with each other, as well as with other video surveillance products and systems conformant with the standard.

Future outlook
According to a market forecast by analyst firm ARC Advisory Group, IP-based access control systems will comprise more than 35% of the market in terms of shipments by 2016. A key factor will be that new buildings are increasingly being equipped with IP-based building control systems. This provides the basis for integration of previously often separate systems such as access control, intrusion detection, fire alarms or video surveillance.

Open standards and the ability to base different security systems on the same IP network architecture allows installers to build solutions based on products from various manufacturers. This way they can better meet customer demand, price projects more competitively and offer custom solutions to particular installation challenges and requirements. End users benefit from a future-proof and adaptable technology that can easily scale to their growing needs without being locked into any one manufacturer.

Birmingham Airport converted to IP surveillances with IndigoVision

Birmingham Airport converted to IP surveillances with IndigoVision

Editor / Provider: IndigoVision | Updated: 7/21/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

When the Senior Executives at Birmingham Airport were laying out plans to increase passenger numbers and improve operational efficiency, it became clear that the existing system and infrastructure would be unable to meet these demands.

Background
When the Senior Executives at Birmingham Airport were laying out plans to increase passenger numbers and improve operational efficiency, it became clear that the existing system and infrastructure would be unable to meet these demands.

With six separate control rooms spread across the airport already, further growth would make it difficult to co-ordinate security efficiently.

The decision was made to streamline security operations, with a single control room monitoring the entire airport. This would require the deployment of a new security system, with IndigoVision's complete end-to-end solution as its backbone.

Solution
Most of the existing analogue cameras were replaced with IndigoVision Enhanced IP cameras, while the remaining analogue cameras were converted to IP using IndigoVision Encoders. Since all of these devices employ IndigoVision's world class video compression allowing video to be streamed over minimal bandwidth.

The ability to view and control cameras from any point onsite has allowed Birmingham Airport to reduce its number of control rooms from six to one, removing communication barriers and increasing operational efficiency.

In addition, IndigoVision's open integration means that other elements of the system such as access control and alarm management can be managed through IndigoVision's Control Center software.

“We're delighted with the new system, the return on investment was outstanding,” enthused Airport Control Centre Manager Chris Wilson, “After nine months, the IndigoVision system had paid for itself. With IndigoVision's Distributed Network Architecture we can easily increase camera numbers, aligning security with Birmingham Airport's long-term vision.”

Benefits
* World class video compression technology in both cameras and encoders delivers amazing video quality, at exceptionally low bandwidth. Cameras can be viewed and controlled wherever they are installed. 
* IndigoVision's Control Center management software seamlessly integrates with other security systems, such as access control and alarms, allowing management from a single user interface.
* IndigoVision's Distributed Networked Architecture (DNA) removes the need for a management server. Additional cameras are easily added to the system, with minimum configuration and no system downtime. With DNA, the system can manage up to 100,000 cameras.

Synectics supplies security solution for North Sea Clair oilfield

Synectics supplies security solution for North Sea Clair oilfield

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 7/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics has designed and delivered an end-to-end surveillance solution for Clair Ridge – the USD $77bn second phase development project taking place in the North Sea's Clair field.

Located 75km west of the UK's Shetland Islands, Clair Ridge is the most recent high profile project to feature in Synectics' North Sea portfolio, which also includes developments such as Jasmine/Judy, Golden Eagle, Shell Gannet, Shell Clipper, Erskine and Elgin.

The Clair Ridge development, due for full platform topside installation in 2015, will consist of two bridge-linked platforms - a drilling and production platform, and a second for quarters and utilities.

Production is scheduled to commence in 2015 and continue for 40 years. It is estimated that the development will produce around 120,000 barrels of oil per day and will provide a vital ‘hub' for future expansion in the area. It will be the first time that BP's award-winning new LoSal EOR extraction technique for boosting oil yield – achieved by using desalination technology – will be used. This is expected to result in more than 40 million additional barrels being cost effectively recovered over the lifetime of the field.

Working in partnership with IT and telecommunications company Page Europa, Synectics' IP-based system - utilising Synergy integrated security management software - will provide complete surveillance across both platforms for safety and security processes.

Toni Partipilo, Sales Director from Page Europa, said: “As the main telecommunications and security systems integrator on this significant North Sea project, implementing a robust and intuitive end-to-end surveillance solution that would be flexible enough to provide reliable safety and security situational awareness was paramount. Synectics' solution fulfilled the brief perfectly.”

COEX C3000 PTZ hazardous area and safe area dome camera stations will be positioned throughout the development, all of which will be centrally controllable, allowing live, color footage to be viewed, played back and analyzed without any disruption to recording. H.264 encoding technology will also enable high-quality footage to be transmitted and stored with minimal bandwidth requirements.

Amedeo Simonetto from Synectics said: “As well as providing detailed coverage for both hazardous and non-hazardous platform areas, the system we've supplied is centrally controllable and will integrate effectively with multiple third-party systems including the Driller's CCTV system.

“Additionally we factored in remote viewing capabilities, to enable head office monitoring of the platform, and also future capacity. With plans to utilize Clair Ridge as a hub for further expansion and development of the field, the system we've developed is ‘future proof' as it is flexible enough to cope with additional demands.”

Next station is security- centralized surveillance in real time

Next station is security- centralized surveillance in real time

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 7/14/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

A revolution is going on within the security industry – the shift from analog to digital technology. It brings new, valuable possibilities to increase actual and perceived security within public transportation systems. Already today, several station owners and transit authorities benefit from high-resolution surveillance video, automatic security alerts and centralized security systems.

One of the driving forces of the revolution is the Swedish company Axis Communications. In 1996, Axis invented the digital surveillance camera, which more often is referred to as a network camera or an IP camera. Today, Axis is fully focused on network video solutions and has more than 1100 employees. One of them is Patrik Anderson who is responsible for the company's offering for the transportation industry.

“Decades ago, the transportation sector was one of the early adopters of CCTV surveillance as security plays a central role in making public transportation the preferred choice for commuters,” says Patrik Anderson, director business development transportation, Axis Communications. “A key concern of the transit authorities is to keep their systems running with as few interruptions as possible. To achieve this, they need to know what is going on at all times – whether at stations, on board individual trains or along the transit infrastructure. And this is where network video makes a big difference.”

From forensic to real-time security
Stations and transit systems are exposed to a number of security incidents every day, ranging from vandalism and graffiti to robbery and violence. With a traditional, analog surveillance solution, video from the security cameras is mainly used forensically to investigate incidents after they have occurred. In a network-based solution the video plays a much more crucial role, offering new possibilities to efficiently monitor and respond to incidents in real-time.

“One of the overall advantages of network video is the possibility to access and share live video from the security cameras over a computer network, also wirelessly. This enables a transit authority to efficiently monitor all stations, vehicles and infrastructure from one or a few security centers,” explains Anderson. “Even if several incidents happen at the same time, a network video solution provides the real-time video images needed to get a complete view of the situation.”

Efficient incident response
To fully understand the value of access to live surveillance video, one has to consider what happens in a security center when an incident occurs. “Each incident, minor or major, has to be evaluated and followed by an active decision on what action to take – if any at all,” says Anderson. “For many of the incidents, someone also has to decide on appropriate response resources. Taking such decisions based on an emergency call from a passenger in shock or a stressed security guard is often very difficult.”

Authorities that implement network-based video surveillance systems benefit from:
-More efficient evaluation and prioritization of incidents
-Quicker and more accurate decisions on appropriate response resources
-Fewer unnecessary delays and traffic interruptions

“Networked video can also be shared with the response resources via portable computers, PDAs or mobile phones,” says Anderson. “This allows them to get a good understanding of what to expect when they arrive at the scene and prepare their response accordingly.”

HDTV video quality
Another significant improvement that comes with network video is the high image quality. “In our homes we have become used to the sharp and crisp images from high-definition television (HDTV). The very same image quality is now available in many network cameras,” says Anderson.

An HDTV camera can be used in one of two ways; it can enable viewers to see greater details in a higher resolution image, or it can be used to cover a much larger part of a scene than an analog camera. “Video from HDTV network cameras is stored in megapixel resolution. This can be a great help in investigations by facilitating positive identification and providing detailed information of the persons and objects involved,” says Anderson. “When used for overview of larger areas, HDTV cameras are a cost-efficient option as one camera covers a larger area than four analog cameras.”

Intelligent video applications
The last few years, there have been many discussions about intelligent video capabilities that enable a security camera to automatically alert when something suspicious is going on. Anderson is a little careful when discussing this topic. “It is easy to set the expectations too high, making the market believe that capabilities that are a few years away are available today. However, there are several reliable intelligent applications available – and in use – that bring great value to the security staff. Examples of such applications include motion detection, license plate recognition and tampering alarms,” he says.

A camera with a built-in tampering alarm automatically alerts the operator if the camera is covered, redirected or manipulated. Thanks to this capability, a security center can easily ensure that its cameras are up and running as intended. With motion detection, a camera can automatically detect and alert for activity in areas where there is not supposed to be any activity. This makes it easier to detect, for example, graffiti artists at depots, tunnel trespassers or suspect activity along the rail infrastructure.

Successful implementations
Madrid, Moscow, Oslo, Prague, Stockholm and Sydney are some of the cities where Axis network video solutions have been implemented in the transit systems. As the experiences are shared at security and transportation conferences, there is a rapidly growing interest among authorities and operators to learn more about the new possibilities. “More than 50,000 of our cameras have been successfully installed in buses, trains, stations, terminals and depots in different parts of the world,” says Anderson. “Our product portfolio also includes thermal network cameras and cameras with Lightfinder technology, making it possible to detect activity in complete darkness and see colors also in very low-light conditions. Looking at the response from the transportation industry so far, I believe that the network video revolution has only started,” concludes Anderson.

Bosch extends AUTODOME IP 7000 HD family

Bosch extends AUTODOME IP 7000 HD family

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 7/4/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Delivering the highest quality of relevant IP video images in all lighting conditions, Bosch Security Systems brings its proven starlight and dynamic technology to the AUTODOME IP 7000 HD family of high-speed pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) domes. Whether capturing video in harsh sunlight or extreme low light, two new models of cameras provide round-the-clock protection regardless of lighting conditions. They ensure maximum image details are captured for traffic and transportation, industrial, government, city surveillance and many other applications faced with difficult lighting and moving objects indoors or out.

The new AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD cameras deliver HD video images in extreme low light situations and capture moving objects in 720p HD resolution at up to 60 frames per second. The latest sensor technology combined with the sophisticated noise suppression results in a light sensitivity of 0.052 lux in color mode and even 0.0103 lux in monochrome mode.

In comparison, the AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD produces full color images in the dark beyond the point where other cameras have turned to monochrome images. Where others show no image at all, it still delivers detailed monochrome images. Its ability to capture fast moving objects and excellent performance in extreme low light situations make the AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD ideal for securing, for example, parking lots or street corners. The AUTODOME IP dynamic 7000 HD camera features wide dynamic range and intelligent backlight compensation technology to ensure that moving objects or those of interest are enhanced and can be easily identified in scenes with simultaneously bright and dark areas, which typically challenge standard cameras. To further improve the quality and relevancy of IP video images, both cameras also feature intelligent de-fog technology to dynamically adjust camera contrast settings to deliver the best quality in scenes affected by fog, smog, mist or other low contrast scenes.

Intelligent Video Analysis
Another differentiating feature of the AUTODOME IP 7000 HD family is built-in Intelligent Video Analysis (IVA). It helps to focus on relevant situations by alerting you when needed, or automatically track objects of interest. IVA also adds sense and structure to video data by adding metadata already in the camera. This allows the quick retrieval of the relevant images from hours of stored video. Metadata can also be used to deliver irrefutable forensic evidence or to optimize business processes based on, for example, people counting or crowd density information. By smartly using the camera's ability to simultaneously combine 8 of the 15 available IVA rules, complex tasks are made easy and false alarms are reduced to a minimum.

Never lose track of objects of interest
In video surveillance, moving objects are usually the most significant objects of interest. Intelligent Tracking (iTracking) automatically tracks moving objects based on predefined alarm rules or a simple click. By intelligently distinguishing between single and multiple reference points, iTracking will provide uninterrupted tracking. Optimal capture of the object of interest is assured by dynamically adjusting the field of view. In addition, all AUTODOME IP 7000 HD models feature virtual masking technology. Virtual masks hide unwanted motion, such as swaying trees or pulsating lights, to improve the accuracy and performance of the cameras' intelligent features without hiding areas from the video seen by the operator.

24/7 remote access and camera control
Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas Dynamic Transcoding delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material. The new AUTODOME IP 7000 HD models are fully supported by Dynamic Transcoding in combination with either one of the Bosch DIVAR IP recording solutions or a Bosch VIDEOJET transcoder.

Lower storage costs and network strain
To reduce storage costs and network strain the new AUTODOME IP starlight 7000 HD and AUTODOME IP dynamic 7000 HD cameras feature intelligent Dynamic Noise Reduction (iDNR). The benefit of this intelligent technology is that it leads to bandwidth only being used when needed. When there is little or no movement in the scene, less bitrate is required. Therefore, iDNR actively analyses the scene distinguishing between relevant information such as moving objects and image noise artifacts. The degree of noise reduction is adjusted accordingly so that important objects are captured and image noise artifacts suppressed, optimizing the camera's bitrate. Thus, iDNR saves up to 50% on bitrate and hence storage and network strain without compromising video quality. Local storage on the camera further enhances network performance by compensating for short network outages, so ensuring that video data is continuously available in VRM systems without breaks.

Dependable operation and easy installation
The AUTODOME IP 7000 HD family is available in an in-ceiling housing for areas where discrete installation is important or in a pendant version for indoor and outdoor applications. In-ceiling models feature IP54 and plenum ratings for added dust protection and the ability to mount the camera in areas used for air circulation for heating and air conditioning systems. Pendant models feature a tamper-resistant aluminium housing that is rated to IP66 and NEMA4X for uncompromised functionality even in wet environments – ensuring years of reliable performance. In addition, AUTODOME's dual power supply design assures continuous coverage even if one power source fails.

With pre-terminated, color-coded wiring and a quick-connect system between the camera and mount, AUTODOME IP 7000 HD models are faster and simpler to install than other PTZ domes. Support for High Power over Ethernet also provides power directly to the camera without additional cabling.

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