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Milestone certifies BCDVideo Nova Series on XProtect

Milestone certifies BCDVideo Nova Series on XProtect

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/13/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has now tested and reported performance component certification of BCDVideo's Nova Server and Storage Series.

IT infrastructure, server, storage and client platforms are integral parts of networked video management deployments, so any miscalculations of the server or storage requirements impact the success of a system's operation, causing system outages and downtime. To address this, Milestone worked closely with BCDVideo to ensure that their systems can be optimized for the Milestone XProtect software portfolio, helping implementations to be specified, built and delivered as optimal systems for each customer's technical environment.

The Milestone Solution Certification gives verification of the components as interoperable and optimized for performance with XProtect VMS. The certification process delivers documentation of a solution's proven maturity and quality as assurance of system integrity and differentiation from non-certified components.

“Integrators can build solutions with confidence when referencing the tested configuration data from the Milestone certification process. The documented proof describes how these video solutions operate within the parameters of the maximum performance tests," says Christian Bohn, VP Strategic Alliances at Milestone Systems. "We have been doing integration certifications for several years, and these additions continue to build trust in Milestone solutions for both partners and customers."

Each certification project has three phases, starting with two scenarios of a benchmark test and a maximum performance test. Statistics from the Milestone XProtect Recording Servers are gathered to judge the performance as a platform for video recording. The analyzed data and findings are presented in a complete report with details on the configuration of the test system and a summary published on the Milestone website.

These tests identify that the system integrations meet minimum expected performance thresholds based on known benchmarks for best practice. The certification also measures the maximum number of cameras, at a given frame rate, resolution and codec that can be supported by the server and storage system. A summary report from the Solution Certification includes optimal configuration for a surveillance system using the Milestone XProtect VMS with BCDVideo. This contains the solution architecture, the performance results, use-case information, and detailed system configurations for the components of the combined solution.

“The BCDVideo storage solution to date is among the best VRP/NRP that Milestone has tested with the given parameters. With the video profile used for the tests, the system should easily support 150 cameras (storage limited). The system outperformed the given video simulator and testing had to stop with the given parameters: the maximum number of cameras achieved on the system was set at 150 1MP cameras at 10 frames per second and 60% video compression. It is noteworthy that this was achieved with only 32% of the system resource utilization on the BCDVideo server,” says Jeff Burgess, President/CEO of BCDVideo.

Both system integrators and end customers of this best-practice, Milestone-certified system can rest assured that their video will record and archive successfully. BCDVideo's enterprise-grade VRP solution has been designed for maximum performance on a Milestone XProtect platform with long-term value and performance in mind.

New prospects for building management and security system integration

New prospects for building management and security system integration

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Tech Corner

Combining security and building management gives an additional layer of information and operational capabilities. A growing number of network-based solutions will increase the benefits of building management systems and security integration. Even though the synergies between the two seem obvious, nonetheless, ownership issues are an obstacle to this integration.

A silver robot is seen gliding along the corridors of Akershus University Hospital (AHUS) in Oslo, Norway. AHUS is one of Norway's “digital hospitals” and among other cutting edge technologies it also uses automated guided vehicles, small robots that travel the hospital using a virtual “track” that deliver supplies (e.g., linens, food, and medicine) from storage rooms to the wards and clear waste. The robots transport special containers weighing up to several hundred kilograms, free up personnel, and increase the hospital's efficiency. However, unlike human employees, these robots can't swipe an access card or press an elevator button. Technology came up with a solution: “The robots are guided by the hospital's building management system (BMS) which is linked to our access control system. The access control system is in charge of opening the doors when a robot approaches, and operating the elevators to take the robots to the right floor,” described David Ella, CTO of AMAG Technology.

This is an example of how integrating security systems with BMS can add an additional layer of information and management capabilities to answer both security and operational needs. Currently these integrations are popular in large campuses like universities, hospitals, and large corporate headquarters.

The connection between BMS and the security system is two-way. “Our products can see the alerts in the BMS system and trigger an alarm,” explained Ella. For example, when a BMS sensor goes into alert (e.g., a heat sensor overheating), this can be converted to an alarm within the security system, prompting security personnel to check if there is a fire. If a fire is detected, the access control system can open doors to make evacuation faster, or provide a report describing which employees are inside the building and where. In the other direction, a swipe of an access card will instruct the BMS to switch on the lights and heating on the employee's specific floor or switch off the lights when the last employee has left. This way, it is possible to achieve cost efficiency, cutting expenses on lighting, heating, and other expenses as well as delivering an eco-friendly value.

Occupancy sensors, used by BMS to detect occupancy and automatically switch on the lights, can alert security systems that an intruder is in the building. For instance, if the security system detects an intrusion, it can switch on the lights in the area so that detecting the intruder is easier and the recorded video footage is clearer.

Market asks for Integration
The value of integrating an access control system with building management is critical in today's data-driven business environment. “More than ever, today's customers require that the systems they invest in be able to integrate with other network-enabled platforms, such as BMS,” explained Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The ability to change the environmental or power profile of a building based on information gathered in the access control system is highly valuable, and helps users reduce ongoing costs while controlling access points securely.

The main products integrated with BMS include access control systems (including readers, cards, controllers, and software used to create, manage, and use secure identities) and visitor management systems. “Other integrated systems are mobile access control solutions, including mobile IDs and mobile access apps that are used with mobile-enabled readers, door opening solutions, and lock systems,” said Simon Siew, MD of APAC at HID Global.

Access control and video surveillance are the two systems integrated the most. “By far, the integration between access control and video surveillance systems is the integration that customers request most,” Kane said. Video is a valuable tool when combined with access control data, as it provides visual verification of alarms and a variety of access control events. “The correlation of the data from these two systems also allows for an additional level of situational awareness. Video playback can provide security personnel or first responders with a better understanding of a security or life safety event before responding,” he added.

“In the last two years, we noticed that customers want to move from ‘traditional' BMS companies that are big, expensive, and not so flexible in integrating third party auxiliary systems,” said Rick Huang, Business Development Manager of Alstron. “The solution is software houses that provide third-party software that can connect to the energy management module, video surveillance, and access system. The limitation of these systems is that they have to rely on software development kits supplied by the manufacturer,” he added.

Integraing smart functions
Integration of systems is not the only thing that end users are looking for. In fact, the integration of smart functions, such as analytics is also in demand. “There is the growing demand of more intelligent security systems, intelligent electronic locking systems, and security cloud services that fill the gaps that current systems are either too expensive or cumbersome to maintain,” said Patrick Lim, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Ademco Security Group. “The biggest trend is in smart integrated security systems, or what we call human-centric security. The whole idea is to utilize security technologies to make a facility smarter and a lot friendlier to the inhabitants.”

“Currently, most systems are just integrated but not really smart. Using big data analytics, we can use security devices, which collect the data and have daily interaction with people to predict situations and automate intelligent decisions. This is very different from current solutions that are very rigid and mostly ignore human inhabitants for the sole sake of efficiency and energy saving,” Lim added.

Furthermore, through the use of big data analytics and correlating information from different sources, the systems will be able to predict situations and act accordingly. For example, if the system detects a buildup of people in the lobby of a convention center, this can trigger the air conditioning in the convention hall to start cooling the area in advance in a more efficient way. Currently, the systems only detect the people when they are inside the convention hall, forcing the air conditioning system to “blast” the venue to cool it quickly, which is inefficient and energy consuming.

IP IntegratIon and Its Challenges
Most companies and institutions today have installed a variety of generally disparate and isolated systems, ranging from security, access control, and video surveillance to incident response, perimeter detection, and alarm monitoring. “Although these systems typically cannot easily share information, if at all, there are natural synergies between each of them. IP-based solutions make it easier to integrate the information and provide the opportunity for a single new system that can be much greater than the sum of its individual, disparate parts,” Siew explained.

“IP-based access control is particularly important for organizations that want to integrate security and BMS,” he stressed.

Integrating access control with BMS on a single network delivers better facility management. “Today's IP-based access control systems enable facility managers to bring intelligence to each door for streamlined system monitoring, management, and reporting via standard web browsers. Facility managers and venue operators not only have immediate visibility when doors are forced open, but also gain valuable key remote-management, report-generation, and auditing capabilities. Additionally, points of failure in the system are reduced when deploying edge devices, since each device controls a single door,” added Siew.

In addition, there is a preference towards system integration in a single user interface. A single interface allows for centralized control and management and helps put in place standard operating procedures, explained Ken Lee, Director of Operations at KZTech. Lee also highlighted the role of PSIM solutions, “With more PSIM solutions getting cheaper, building security managers are moving into integrated solutions rather than multiple standalone systems.”

While IP integration may be the key to a more efficient system, there are still challenges. “When people say that systems ‘integrate' it is critical to understand what this means,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. “Is it possible to control the other system? Or only get information? For example, the access control and the video might not be completely compatible to each other. Integration should be seamless both-ways, with bi-directional information.”

The use of data communication protocols such as BACnet (building automation and control networks) or XML for buildings and ONVIF or PSIA for cameras greatly increases the potential for integration and the potential for limiting the control of proprietary systems. However, currently there is no open standard widely applied. “The more information we bring using common protocols, the more systems we can integrate,” summarized Ahrens.

Need for Network Savvy Integrators
With the growing role of IP-based systems, the importance of installers who are extremely network and computer savvy and are able to diagnose communication faults and port issues are also growing. “The key in choosing an integrator is having a knowledgeable integrator supported by a robust manufacturer that has quality and awareness to the clients, good warranty, and service, knowledgeable about information technology/programming and fast, accurate support,” explained Ahrens. “Installers nowadays need to understand also the network transmission and distribution levels and not just cameras and should maintain constant touch with manufacturers.”

“As a company, we [Vanderbilt] partner with systems integrators to deploy our systems and we provide them with the training necessary to gain the knowledge needed to best integrate our technologies with other IP-enabled technologies,” said Kane. “We invest in providing strong support and training to our resellers because it is their responsibility to explain the benefits of linking technologies together when possible. There are many instances in which a building's security is managed by a facility manager and a tenant's security is managed by the tenant. This can lead to the installation of multiple systems. If a systems integrator can bring these multiple stakeholders to the table to have a conversation about the integration of systems beforehand, an investment will be much more valuable to all parties moving forward,” he added.

Ownership problems and knowledge gaps hinder integration
The integration of BMS and security seems natural. However, few facilities choose this integration. “We started integrating BMS and security systems about 10 years ago, but this integration opportunity is not so popular. We sell about 2,000 systems a year, but less than 1 percent are integrated with BMS,” said Ella.

The main issue hindering integration is not technological but external. In most environments the systems are owned by different stakeholders; the BMS are owned by the landlords, whereas the tenants own the security systems. In many cases the BMS is already installed in the building and tenants can't change it. In addition, knowledge gaps exist between building and security systems professionals since each system has a different focus.

“End customers themselves are facing a dilemma regarding the integration of the systems and are looking for a system that can bring services together,” added Huang. “For example, installing anti-smoking detection sensors in ‘no-smoking' areas like hospitals, who should be in charge? The facility manager or the security manager?” As the industry is trying to find a balance between the two systems, Huang believes that there will be more integration in the future.

New regulation promotes Integration
The integration of BMS and security systems is easier to plan in advance when designing a new building. For existing buildings, the willingness to change systems is very low. A new environ-mental regulation is changing things in Singapore. The new regulation stipulates that all new and existing buildings needing extension or major retrofitting work, with an area of 2,000 square meters and above, must comply with the Environmental Sustainability regulation as stipulated in the Building Control Act. “As a result, this regulation became the drive for building owners to upgrade to BMS that can comply with the regulation and monitor and reduce their energy consumption. Along with the upgrade they also look for integration opportunities with other systems,” said Huang.

Similar initiatives around the world might prompt similar integrations in other places.

Future trends
Industry players are noting many other trends, in addition to integration, when it comes to BMS. “There is significant interest in mobile applications. Users of all sizes, whether it is an enterprise customer or a small-to-medium-sized business, want to be able to manage their security infrastructure from anywhere in the world. As the industry and technology continues to advance, mobile applications and functionality will become highly adopted,” said Kane.

Siew also expressed a similar view, “the introduction and accelerating adoption of mobile access solutions is one of the most important industry developments of the past few years. We anticipate there will be growing demand for mobile devices that provide a better way to open doors.”

Lim also sees a change in business models: “The industry already sold a lot of integrated systems in the last decade. The growing trend is towards a managed service model where customers do not just purchase hardware but requires integrated 24/7 management services to run and support these systems. There is also an emerging trend of customers procuring systems as services.” Purchasing a service gives clients the option to change providers as their needs change. The industry is moving towards greater integration of systems and sensors. New environmental regulations, the Internet of Things, and different programs for smart building management are all drivers that will increase integration opportunities in the future. Additionally, as the number of sensors that are internet-ready increases, so will the role of cloud applications that will manage these sensors for different platforms. Hopefully as integration becomes easier from a technology point of view it will also help to mitigate the problems associated with system ownership and increase the benefits for both building owners and tenants.

CP PLUS to implement H.265 to break through bandwidth limit

CP PLUS to implement H.265 to break through bandwidth limit

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Adytia | Updated: 2/9/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

CP PLUS Teknologix Labs is set to implement H.265/HEVC standard in its upcoming range of video surveillance devices. An immediate successor standard to H.264, H.265 standard offers various improvements over H.264. H.265 implementation has generated huge optimism given industry's struggle with shortage of bandwidth, spectrum, storage, and imminent need to take growing HD content for multi-platform delivery.

 

With the implementation of H.265 standards, CP PLUS plans to introduce a range of video surveillance devices that support H.265 decoding and deliver its benefits
over 40% lesser bandwidth use.

 

A video coding format is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital video content (such as in a data file or bitstream). Examples of video coding formats include MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), HEVC, etc.

The existing standard H.264 offers 40 to 50 percent bitrate reduction over MPEG-2, yet it has limitation on delivering HD content for broadcast and online. With the 4K/UltraHD cameras being introduced as a video technology revolution, the need for improved H.264 standard was overdue. H.265 meets the Ultra HD rendering requisite over even lesser bandwidth.

H.265 or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) doubles the data compression ratio compared to H.264/MPEG-4 at the same level of video quality. Alternatively, it can provide substantially improved video quality at the same bitrate. It can support 8K Ultra HD or resolutions up to 8192x4320.

With the implementation of H.265 standards, CP PLUS plans to introduce a range of video surveillance devices that support H.265 decoding and deliver its benefits over 40% lesser bandwidth use.

The potential benefits offered by H.265 standards are as below:
* Accelerate demand and sale of 4K/Ultra-HD screens which has been largely limited due to large price difference and absence of UHD content. H.265 can offset the second challenge.
* Huge opportunities from reduced bitrate requirements enabling broadcasters and broadcast & online vendors to bundle more channels/content on existing delivery mediums.
* Extend far greater video quality experience compared to H.264 encoded sequence at the same bitrate.
* Ability to offer higher quality video images under bandwidth-constrained mobile networks.
* Realize differentiated and premium 4K content, multi-view encoding etc.

“H.265 encoding standard is one of the major encoding standard which will allow us to implement 4k solutions while keeping all network bandwidth on the bay. It will be a significant development for the future technological growth in HD surveillance”, said, Yogesh Dutta, COO, CP PLUS.

Samsung delivers video surveillance solution for Russian Post Logistics Centre

Samsung delivers video surveillance solution for Russian Post Logistics Centre

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 2/5/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Russian Post has invested in a Samsung Techwin video surveillance solution for its logistics centre at Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow

Russian Post is the national postal operator for the Russian Federation. It employs 350,000 people and annually delivers over 2.4 billion postal items via air, rail and road across a territory that is in excess of 17 million square kilometres.

The 65,000² metres logistics centre is one of a number of major investments which Russian Post has recently made in its infrastructure as part of an efficiency drive and all mail arriving at any of Moscow's international airports is now processed at the Logistic Centre which has the capacity to handle up to 400,000 items per day.

Moscow based IT and engineering infrastructure specialists, BCC Company, were awarded the contract to design, supply and install a video surveillance system that would provide a valuable tool which managers could use to monitor 24/7 operational efficiency, as well as ensure a safe and secure working environment for all who work within the Logistic Centre.

'Whilst there is not an unlimited budget, the specification for the project was for cameras to be deployed that were able to capture identification grade images. Ease of use was also an important factor as was the ability to record high quality images of any suspicious activity so that they could be used, if necessary, as evidence,' said Sergei Pushkin, Chief Project Engineer, BCC Company.

After an extensive research and evaluation process, BCC Company decided to single source all the components of the video surveillance system from Samsung Techwin.

Phase one of the project has seen a total of 60 cameras installed, 45 of which are SCD-2080P varifocal true Day/Night dome cameras with IR cut filters, and six are SCD-2080Rs, which share the same feature set, but are also are equipped with built-in IR LEDs. Nine ‘all-in-one' SCO-2080RH bullet cameras have also been installed. These have been designed to withstand temperatures as low as -50°C or as high as +50°C, making them suitable for locations which may suffer from extreme weather conditions. Built-in IR LEDs allow the SCO-2080RH to deliver superb quality images of objects up to 50 metres, even in total darkness, and a twin glass front negates the problem suffered by many bullet cameras of light from the IR LEDs reflecting back into the lens as a result of dirt or water settling on the glass front.

The images captured by all the cameras are transmitted to a central control room where they can be viewed live on one of eight Samsung Techwin SMT-2231 high resolution monitors and simultaneously recorded on one of four SRD-1673D DVRs, each of which have a storage capacity of 1TB.

The SRD-1673D utilises innovative 960H technology which allows it to record high resolution 650TV lines in real-time across all of its channels.

This ensures that operators in the control room can view the best possible resolution live and recorded images from the SCD-2080P, SCD-2080R and SCO-2080RH cameras.

Phase 2 of the project will involve the installation of 28 additional cameras to ensure there are no blind spots within the Logistics Centre or surrounding areas.

Sergei Pushkin said: "With the help of Samsung Techwin's technical support team, we were able to complete the installation and of the video surveillance system within seven days to the complete satisfaction of the client. The system has proved to be very easy to operate and the client is confident that with the help of the high quality images captured by the Samsung Techwin cameras, their security personnel will be able to detect any criminal activity"

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

VCA fencing off intruders: Challenges for VCA in perimeter defense

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/2/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Integration of video content analysis (VCA) in perimeter defense is one of the most challenging use cases as it has to cope with many sources of noise and be able to generate an alert without too many false alarms. Technological improvements and competition between vendors have brought prices down and further increased the presence of VCA not only in high security facilities but also in commercial and residential installations.

The origins of video content analysis (VCA) for perimeter defense are in video motion detection (VMD) technology that has been present since the early 2000s. In the beginning, VMD was only used to detect motion. Later, advancements allowed systems to estimate and differentiate size, color, speed, and direction.

The common use of VCA is for preliminary warning of possible suspicious events. “A physical perimeter is preferred as a first form of defense and as a visible deterrence to intruders,” said Pieter van de Looveren, Global Marketing Communication Manager for Video Systems at Bosch Security Systems. “VCA supports perimeter security as an extra set of eyes supporting security personnel in the control room by alerting them when needed and helping them quickly retrieve the correct evidence when something happened.” In other words, video analysis analyzes real-time images continuously to instantly detect suspicious events and alert operators when needed.

“The basic premise of analytics along a perimeter is intrusion detection,” said Matt Bretoi, VP for North America Field Sales at FLIR Systems. “Many VCA solutions provide an extra level of intelligence, such as object classification, which significantly cuts down on false alarms especially when paired with thermal imagers. This is a critical factor for most end users. Another key benefit is the integral capability to visually assess and verify the alarm. Lastly, an analytics solution is not dependent on fencing and even provides detection well beyond, or inside the perimeter if designed correctly,” he added.

In addition, VCA also has an added value of not only complementing the physical barrier but also the abilities of the operators. It helps maintain situational awareness, an important feature that might be lacking in case there are low-level operators guarding the site or a high turnover rate of operators. It also helps keep the operators focused.

“The same way we can't watch several football matches at the same time and keep track, it is also impossible for an operator to focus all the time on all the different screens,” explained Nicholas Grange, Technical Director for South Africa-based C3 Shared Services. “The most common use of VCA in South Africa is as a secondary layer of protection, to allow early detection of a threat before it reaches the boundary, thus creating extra reaction time. This is critical for our installations which usually have a perimeter several kilometers long, such as power stations, big housing estates, mines, and golfing communities.”

TIPS TO ENHANCE VCA ACCURACY IN PERIMETER
The outdoor environment poses many challenges to VCA solutions. Meteorological challenges such as moving clouds, shadows, rain, snow, and lightning, as well as environmental challenges
— lay of land, lights from passing cars, neighboring facilities, and fauna and flora
— all generate many false alarms.
“In some verticals, for example in jails, a reasonable rate of false alarms are not a major concern, as guards can afford to check every alarm whether true or false. However, in other installations, where end users are more sensitive to false alarms, a high false alarm rate may force the users to lower the alarm threshold, compromise sensitivity, and maybe even miss intrusions,” explained Hagai Katz, Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development.

Two factors that greatly increase the success of perimeter VCA are proper illumination and sterile areas near the perimeter. However, these measures are not always easy to create and maintain. In addition, in order to provide comprehensive security, a large number of cameras will have to be deployed at relatively short distances. “Therefore if we want a system that is composed solely of cameras we will need many cameras that will have to be connected to a central control room, with enough storage space for the video feed and constant calibration of the cameras and analytics making this a complex and expensive system to set up and maintain,” added Katz.

To reduce false alarms, users can perform period calibrations of the analytic, choose a VCA that operates based on several alert criteria, or install a thermal camera. “We conduct periodic adjustments due to seasonal changes as well as changes in field of view such as new buildings, roads, and flora,” said Grange.

“If you are looking for an exterior application in an uncontrolled environment, then you will want to have an analytic with multiple levels of criteria before detection. The more levels of criteria will improve the accuracy and drive down false alarms” explained Todd Brodrick, Director of Southwest USA at Pelco by Schneider Electric.

THERMAL CAMERAS REDUCE FALSE ALARMS
The combination of a thermal camera with video analytics is another way to overcome the false alarms problem. Thermal cameras are ideal as they do not require any light and can cover greater distances compared to visible light cameras. As such, they are not influenced by many of the factors that cause false alarms in regular cameras such as moving lights, leaves and trees, shadows, and other sources of noise and clutter the video analytic has to analyze.

Another significant benefit that thermal imagers provide is the consistently higher contrast, especially at night. Thermal imaging provides an optimized and more stable stream of information for the analytics to work with. This allows for fewer cameras to be deployed, lowering costs. In addition, thermal cameras are low-maintenance and require lower inputs to run, thus making them more ‘green' compared to other technologies.

However, thermal cameras are not perfect. They give operators less forensic evidence to identify an intruder (for example, thermal cameras do not provide an intruder's clothes color). Thermal cameras are more expensive, and despite the fact that they can ‘see' through smoke or at night, they are still affected by weather conditions, especially heavy fog or rain. The presence of water droplets in the air diminishes the infrared radiation and with it the range of the thermal camera. Intruders can take advantage of these weather conditions to infiltrate the perimeter.

UNMANNED CAMERAS
A recent edition to perimeter security systems is surveillance robots that travel on a monorail along the fence. “The robot is equipped with cameras and laser sensors to ensure the integrity of the fence and detect any anomalies or movement up to a distance of 20 to 30 meters from the fence,” described Katz. “Short-range cameras and a PTZ camera allow the monitoring of the fence and tracking any intruders.

The laser works as a 3D radar, mapping the fence's surroundings, and analytics are used to detect any changes, for example a hole in the fence or an object placed near the fence. If an intruder is reported, the robot acts as first responder and rushes to the intrusion point, relaying video to the control room to verify the alert.” The benefits of this solution are constant monitoring and patrolling along the perimeter fence, replacing human patrols and freeing up security personnel to take care of only verified alerts.

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
The challenge facing VCA providers is to continue improving the reliability of their solutions, reducing false alarms, and making the setup as simple and short as possible. Fortunately, advances in computing power and algorithms make this a feasible reality. Closer collaboration between vendors, distributors, and systems integrators in defining problems and providing training will also enhance the practicality of VCA use in perimeter defense.

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A new year brings new trends. Many of the trends from 2014 have since turned into industry standards, such as HD resolution and IP surveillance; however, new ones have emerged to keep the security industry on its toes in 2015.

The Market at a Glance
In 2014, video surveillance accounted for approximately 53% of the total market share (US$13.5 billion) in terms of global physical security product sales, according to Memoori Business Intelligence. Double-digit growth has been the norm in the video surveillance market over the last decade, and analysts at IHS forecast similar growth in the new year, predicting more than 10% growth in 2015. Furthermore, Marketsandmarkets has predicted that the global video surveillance market will reach roughly $42.1 billion at a CAGR of 17% for the period 2014 to 2020, with the IP system market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% during the same period. Rising crime rates, an increase in terror attacks, and growing security concerns all are contributing to this growth.

Who Reigns Supreme? IP vs. Analog
The move to IP is no longer so much a trend as it is simple fact: New installations are going IP and many analog users are upgrading to network-based solutions. With that said, does that mean that IP has finally taken over analog in video surveillance? The answer is yes and no. In terms of revenue, IP sales have surpassed analog sales; however, in terms of quantity, analog shipments still outnumber those of IP. This is poised to change, with analysts believing that IP shipments will take over analog by the end of the decade. Evidence of this shift can be seen in markets like Latin America where the overall market — one that is heavily focused on analog — is now leaning toward IP equipment for the first time (by supplier revenue), according to a report by IHS.

Asia Leads the Way
In the world of security, Asia has had a tendency to be a step behind when it comes to the most up-to-date technologies. In the coming years, though, APAC is forecast to be the fasting growing region for IP video surveillance globally at a CAGR of 44.3% during the period 2013 to 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The report also pointed out that North America is expected to experience the highest share in the IP video surveillance market by 2020, predicting that the continent would be the highest revenuegenerating segment with a value of about $19 billion in 2020. However, China is estimated to have been the largest regional market for video surveillance equipment, accounting for a third of global revenues in 2013.

Trends for the Growing Market
Along with growth come trends, trends that help drive growth and keep the market up-to-date with new and exciting technologies. In 2014, we saw IP surveillance become a norm and HD resolution become a standard. In the following, a&s explores a few of what we expect to be the most popular video surveillance trends for 2015.

High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) One of the most important developments for 2015 will be that of high efficiency video coding (HVEC), also known as H.265, which directly relates to another trend: 4K resolution. HVEC will play a significant role in the feasibility of 4K in security applications. According to security experts, about 90% of surveillance products currently use HVEC's predecessor H.264 for compression. However, that is set to change. “Our outlook is that most future advancements in the market will focus on compression, as the megapixel market has evolved extremely quickly and the compression will need to advance nearly as quickly to meet the growing demand for higher resolution images. H.265 may be the answer to this as there is a tremendous amount of computational power required for the compression and decompression of these images that the industry is currently grappling with,” said Stephen Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products.

Pervasive use of H.265 has many implications for the security industry. With the ability to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264 at the same level of video quality, H.265 will greatly improve the usability of 4K in security applications. In fact, both Hisilicon and Ambarella introduced IP camera SoCs based on H.265 at the end of 2014 and widespread use of H.265 is expected within the security industry by the second quarter of 2015. This will in no doubt directly impact the adoption of 4K.

Finding Applications for 4K
The entrance of 4K resolution into the security industry was met with both curiosity and excitement. Similar to how HD was expected to be the new standard for image resolution when it was first introduced into the industry (which it since has become), many believe that 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) will eventually replace HD as the standard, and the availability of H.265 in security will be a catalyst to this; however, this change will not happen overnight. “4K will certainly be a trend to watch, though broad adoption will be problematic for the security industry at this point due to limitations on current camera form factor/lens combination, bandwidth, and storage constraints and the cost of the equipment versus the benefits or necessity of the additional resolution gained with the technology,” Carney said.

Despite the current limitations, many of the obstacles should soon be resolved. Aside from H.265 helping with data compression, the rapid rollout of 4G across the globe should assist in dealing with bandwidth problems, as well as better, improved accompanying hardware (e.g., lenses, monitors, etc.).

Bigger, Better Image Sensors
With the trend of 4K in 2015, along with the fact that HD has become the standard, bigger, better sensors are now needed to support such high-quality images. The trend toward increased value of total image quality will utilize large image sensors, the latest iris system, and high picture quality at near IR, said Koji Maunari, GM of the Industrial Optics Business Unit at Tamron. In fact, the image sensor market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8%  from 2014 to 2020, according to a recent report by Marketsandmarkets. Not only are manufacturers coming out with bigger sensors, they are also adding special technologies to further enhance image quality, specifically designed for video surveillance use. Well-known sensor makers such as Aptina, Omivision, and Pixelplus are now pushing out larger image sensors, while companies such as Sony have come out with new sensor technology specifically addressing the needs of the video surveillance market. The new Starvis technology, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS sensors specifically designed for video surveillance, was released by Sony in mid-2014. The technology extends from the visible light range to include the near-infrared range to support filming at night, which is often a problem area for 24/7 outdoor surveillance in most CMOS cameras. The improved performance at night will help more extensive adoption of CMOS cameras in the near future. Additionally 4K sensors are also being developed. These new sensors can support up to 12 megapixels (4:3) and 4K (17:9), and even support 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Furthermore, with sensors now reaching 1/1.9 inches, even higher resolution and clearer images are possible.

HD-over-Coax Gets More Advanced
HD-over-coaxial solutions are not new to the security industry. In fact, IMS Research, an IHS company, named HD-over-coaxial solutions a trend for 2012; however, at that time the solution in question was more or less limited to HD-SDI, which turned out to be not nearly as cost-effective as the security industry had initially hoped. Yet, like with any technologies a little time has yielded new-and-improved solutions, and 2014 saw just that with the introduction of new HD-over-coaxial solutions. One of the major proponents of HD-over-coax is Dahua Technology, who came out with their HDCVI technology in late 2012. However, it is not until more recently, in the last year, that the industry has really seen HD-over-coaxial solutions take off, with many other companies coming up with their own technologies and solutions as well, such as AHD, ccHDtv, and HDTVI. HD-SDI has also evolved: The new generation has upgraded in long-distance transmission, and more importantly, has become more cost effective.

Despite the fact that the overall market is going digital, many definitely still see plenty of room for HD-over-coaxial solutions, noting acceptance of the technologies particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Renewed Life in Intelligent Video Solutions Intelligent functions have been touted for a while in security, but it isn't until more recently that they have been widely incorporated and desired in video surveillance. In fact, as of recent, a certain degree of analytics on the edge has become a standard feature for most IP cameras. From entry-level to high-end, cameras can now be differentiated by how “smart” they are. As part of this, video surveillance has proved capable of not just recording and reviewing, but preventing and analyzing. “The IP revolution has changed the surveillance cameras from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of proactive intelligence chain. Network video cameras collect valuable data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications.

The idea of actionable intelligence is one reason intelligent video solutions are seeing an up surge in demand. “We [Verint] believe that actionable intelligence presents an opportunity for customer to implement solutions that enhance security and safety, while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

Another reason demand is growing is due to more developed technology. “Advancements in analytics should also not be ignored, as this segment of the market has progressed to where analytics are accepted as reliable, accurate, and part of the day-to-day operations of a large percentage of users. Some analytics, such as facial recognition, will definitely benefit from the higher resolution images and increasing levels of clarity as camera technology continues to progress,” Carney said.

The many benefits that intelligence brings to video surveillance, especially now that the technology is more reliable, are being realized across verticals. Certain verticals like retail have found particular use for intelligent video, where the data is being used for business intelligence. “Especially video content analysis solutions like Bosch's that do not only automatically trigger alarms on the basis of pre-defined alarm rules, but also enable the tracking of objects,” said Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “This kind of intelligence can also be used to obtain information that goes beyond a pure security purpose such as marketing intelligence information on the scenes being under surveillance — for example number of people (people counting), movement of people, registering characteristics like color or crowd density information.”

Furthermore, we will also see a higher adoption of big data for multiple applications, such as smart cities, in 2015, where a smart surveillance camera with advanced VCA could definitely play an important role. We will see how VCA changes a surveillance camera into a content provider for big data.

There is a catch, though: Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program. In the future, Avigilon will replace ObjectVideo as the patent holder to lead the future development of VCA technology, once again reshuffling the intelligence market. The impact this move will have on the security industry as a whole will be massive, and not necessarily in a good way — Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents and 202 US and international patent applications as a result.

Integrated Systems Become a Must
In the past, integration of disparate systems has been a struggle for many users. With newer solutions, the ability to integrate is in high demand, and as such integration has become a focus for many security players.

“Integration has been talked about a long time — but as a user experience it has been less than ideal. You will soon see systems that deliver on that promise of a seamless user experience,” said David Gottlieb, Director of Global Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security. William Ku, VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK echoed confidence in the integration trend: “The full integration of disparate systems, including video surveillance, intrusion systems, perimeter detection, access control, and real-time intelligent analysis on data will be the trend in managing security in every vertical application since the security could be secured seamlessly and enable staff to respond to intrusion or threats in a short time and solve the events on-site in an effective way.”

The trend for more integrated systems is also what will help push IP growth forward, as the IP market has matured and entered into the late growth stage of its product life cycle. Yet, the low-end market still has significant potential for IP growth, as noted by Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

In the middle and high-end markets, however, the trend for more integrated systems will continue to drive IP growth. “In the market for advanced solutions with high camera counts there is a significant opportunity to offer more advanced integrations with access control and other security applications,” he added. “Verint believes in and has realized increased demand for innovative, integrated solutions that combine situation management, communications, and cyber intelligence, and facilitate collaboration across security and law enforcement agencies. We believe that today's government organizations, institutions, and multinational corporations, in connection with safe city, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and other large-scale security initiatives, are interested in and preparing to deploy unified security solutions that fuse data from a wide range of security systems and intelligence sources to enable efficient information correlation and analysis,” Matthews said.

Hope for 2015
A lot of major changes took place in 2014 that has in a way left a question mark hanging over the fate of the security industry — the Canon Europe acquisition of Milestone Systems, Anixter acquisition of Tri-Ed, and most recently the selling of Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Yet, one thing is for certain: there will always be a need for security and video surveillance. This sentiment is what industry players are emphasizing when it comes to future growth of the security/ surveillance market. Development for the overall market may not be as rapid as it once was, but with the above trends helping to drive surveillance growth, as well as the continued growth of things like video surveillance as a service and cloud computing, there is definitely still upward hope for the future of video surveillance.

Dahua enhances video surveillance system for AB DNB Bank

Dahua enhances video surveillance system for AB DNB Bank

Editor / Provider: Dahua | Updated: 1/29/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

AB DNB Bank is part of Norway's largest financial services group that provides financial services to its customers in 19 countries worldwide. DNB stands for long-term relationship that creates value to its customers, employees, shareholders and society. In addition, the bank has one of the biggest branch networks in Lithuania which are 82 branches, and cooperated with SEB VILNIAUS BANKAS bank to operate the largest ATM network in Lithuania. AB DNB Bank is also the third largest bank in the country.

In order to safeguard customers, employees and assets, AB DNB bank decides to level up its security system, including its 26 branches throughout Lithuania. The project selected not only network cameras but also NVRs. Dahua'snetwork camerasfor AB DNB Bank include HD network (motorized) IR-bullet cameras and HD WDR network cameras in order to protect every corner of the bank.

Dahua network camera features high resolution of the camera images. It features better compression performance to transmit image data efficiently and to reduce storage requirements.

Among those IP Cameras, HDBW3300P, full HD vandal-proof network (IR) dome camera is IP66-rated weatherproofing and dust-proof which ensures the cameras can withstand even the harshest weather environments. Furthermore, IK10-rated vandal-proof can effectively prevent violent destruction.

The products are used in 26 branch offices of AB DNB Bank in Lithuania. Mainly upgrades the most important areas of the bank as desk, counter, lobby and ATMs etc.

With the most advanced technology, Dahua DH-NVR4216 Network NVR can provide high-quality video with 1080P real-time live view, so that the staffs can get access to the security status immediately in the surveillance center.

“Security in banking system requires the highest level solution among different verticals,” said Tim Shen, Marketing Director at Dahua Technology.“Dahua's solution provides the specific features that bank requires, such as WDR, HD as well as real-time playback. With Dahua's video surveillance system, AB DNB Bankis capable of enhancing its security to provide a secured environment for the business and the employees,” Shen added.

Samsung Techwin bolsters Russian Post logistics center

Samsung Techwin bolsters Russian Post logistics center

Editor / Provider: Samsung Techwin | Updated: 1/28/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Russian Post has invested in a Samsung Techwin video surveillance solution for its logistics centre at Vnukovo International Airport, Moscow. Russian Post is the national postal operator for the Russian Federation. It employs 350,000 people and annually delivers over 2.4 billion postal items via air, rail and road across a territory that is in excess of 17 million square kilometres.

The 65,000² metres logistics centre is one of a number of major investments which Russian Post has recently made in its infrastructure as part of an efficiency drive and all mail arriving at any of Moscow's international airports is now processed at the Logistic Centre which has the capacity to handle up to 400,000 items per day.

Moscow based IT and engineering infrastructure specialists, BCC Company, were awarded the contract to design, supply and install a video surveillance system that would provide a valuable tool which managers could use to monitor 24/7 operational efficiency, as well as ensure a safe and secure working environment for all who work within the Logistic Centre.

“Whilst there is not an unlimited budget, the specification for the project was for cameras to be deployed that were able to capture identification grade images,” said Sergei Pushkin, Chief Project Engineer, BCC Company. “Ease of use was also an important factor as was the ability to record high quality images of any suspicious activity so that they could be used, if necessary, as evidence.”

After an extensive research and evaluation process, BCC Company decided to single source all the components of the video surveillance system from Samsung Techwin.

Phase one of the project has seen a total of 60 cameras installed, 45 of which are SCD-2080P varifocal true Day/Night dome cameras with IR cut filters, and six are SCD-2080Rs, which share the same feature set, but are also are equipped with built-in IR LEDs. Nine ‘all-in-one' SCO-2080RH bullet cameras have also been installed. These have been designed to withstand temperatures as low as -50°C or as high as +50°C, making them suitable for locations which may suffer from extreme weather conditions. Built-in IR LEDs allow the SCO-2080RH to deliver superb quality images of objects up to 50 metres, even in total darkness, and a twin glass front negates the problem suffered by many bullet cameras of light from the IR LEDs reflecting back into the lens as a result of dirt or water settling on the glass front.

The images captured by all the cameras are transmitted to a central control room where they can be viewed live on one of eight Samsung Techwin SMT-2231 high resolution monitors and simultaneously recorded on one of four SRD-1673D DVRs, each of which have a storage capacity of 1TB. The SRD-1673D utilises innovative 960H technology which allows it to record high resolution 650TV lines in real-time across all of its channels. This ensures that operators in the control room can view the best possible resolution live and recorded images from the SCD-2080P, SCD-2080R and SCO-2080RH cameras.

Phase two of the project will involve the installation of 28 additional cameras to ensure there are no blind spots within the Logistics Centre or surrounding areas.

“With the help of Samsung Techwin's technical support team, we were able to complete the installation and of the video surveillance system within seven days to the complete satisfaction of the client,” said Sergei Pushkin. “The system has proved to be very easy to operate and the client is confident that with the help of the high quality images captured by the Samsung Techwin cameras, their security personnel will be able to detect any criminal activity.”

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Siqura helps Austrian highways upgrade video surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Siqura | Updated: 1/28/2015 | Article type: Infrastructure

Asfinag is a publicly owned Austrian company responsible for a network of highways spanning more than 2,000 kilometers. In recent years, the company felt it was reaching the limits of what it could do with its existing video surveillance system. There was no uniformity in the way the storage system was organized, and crucial parts of the system's architecture no longer complied with modern security standards. Asfinag knew exactly what it wanted: a smart, user-friendly system that would embrace open standards while offering support for legacy protocols.

The solution
In collaboration with systems integrator Siemens, Siqura designed an end-to-end surveillance system based on ONVIF-compliant hardware. Part of Asfinag's 5,500 surveillance cameras were replaced, and new and existing analogue cameras were connected to a mix of Siqura's S-series video encoders. The S-series offers standardized H.264 video streaming and flexibility of wiring (Cat 5, optical fiber or coax). To make the most of AKUT, Asfinag's acoustic tunnel monitoring system, Siqura adapted its S-60 E video encoder. The tunnel sound picked up by AKUT can now be digitized and transferred to the control room for further analysis.

For Asfinag's most strategic locations, Siqura developed a new IP camera: the BC840-AID, a full-HD box camera capable of streaming two independent H.264/MJPEG video streams simultaneously. The BC840-AID continuously analyses the images it captures for unusual occurrences, such as stopped vehicles, pedestrians, lost cargo or smoke. As soon as an incident is detected, it automatically sends out an alert to one of Asfinag's control rooms.

By modifying existing components and complementing them with new technology, Siqura succeeded in delivering an economic solution that prepares Asfinag for future developments.

Mongolian bank fully covers 530 branches with QNAP security surveillance solution

Mongolian bank fully covers 530 branches with QNAP security surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by QNAP | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

With over 530 branches throughout the country, Khan Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Mongolia and provides banking services to an estimated 70% of Mongolian households. The Khan Bank was established in 1991 as the Agricultural Cooperative Bank in connection with the dissolution of the State Bank of Mongolia's monopoly. The Bank assumed most of the assets and businesses of the State Bank in rural Mongolia.

Each of Khan Bank's 530 branches handles large amount of transactions and customer enquiries every day. Khan Bank requires a reliable surveillance solution to safeguard their customers and staff in their branches and ATM areas. However, the existing CCTV system was insufficient for meeting their heavy surveillance recording requirements, and Khan Bank planned to improve the safety of their ATM centers by deploying network cameras to deter robberies and other criminal incidents. In the meantime, for bigger branches, Khan Bank planned to upgrade their storage appliances to networked storage devices.

Khan Bank decided to replace their analog CCTV systems with a digital surveillance solution and install 156 units of the QNAP VioStor VS-2104 Pro+ NVR, 98 units of the VS-2108L NVRs, and 20 units of the TS-469 Pro Turbo NAS in their branches and ATM areas. Khan Bank upgraded their surveillance infrastructure to an all-IP solution featuring network cameras.

“With QNAP VioStor NVR solutions, we can easily fulfill customer requirements through the compatibility between NVRs and selected network cameras” said the local system integrator. “The main purpose of this IP surveillance system is to access high-quality video feeds from megapixel network cameras deployed in banks and ATM areas.”

The three-stages of IP surveillance deployment starts from Khan Bank's central office to all branch banks in the capital city and then to the branches in rural areas. Based on branch scale, Khan Bank implements one VioStor NVR with four to eight network cameras to build up an IP surveillance system. With the Turbo NAS storage expansion solution, the VioStor NVR storage can be extended to meet the mandated data archiving period.

The VS-2104 Pro+ and the VS-2108L NVRs run stably, reliably and with enhanced compatibility & performance with Khan Bank's chosen cameras. After easily deploying and configuring the standalone VioStor NVRs, Khan Bank saved a great deal on system maintenance and technical consultation fees and whenever they have questions or need technical support, QNAP Security's responsive and knowledgeable customer service team is always available to assist them. Additional savings were incurred with the VioStor NVR's smart recording mode that records standard-resolution videos during normal events and high-resolution videos only when notable events occur or alarms are triggered - effectively reducing costs as additional hard drives are unnecessary. In addition to the above benefits, Khan Bank has made plans for the next stage of their surveillance system, where they will install the VioStor CMS turnkey solution and will be able to manage NVRs, cameras and events easily and efficiently.

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