Thirty-three Chinese exhibitors showcased hundreds of products at SecuTech 2008. New faces included Aheadex, Aopvision, CSST, Dahua, Fibridge, Hanbang, Hawell, Obtelecom, Pearmain, Sebury, Siyexing, Sunican and Tungson.
China has long been the world's factor, but many distrusted Chinese products, fearing that they featured low-end technology, bad quality and weak research. Yesterday's dismissive attitude, however, has given way to today's appreciation of Chinese-made products with high-tech features, aesthetic designs and upgradeable systems. Chinese companies are providing products with H.264, dual streaming, software and hardware compression, enhanced networking, fiberoptic transmission and auto-tracking.
One of the highlights of SecuTech 2008 was the Asian Manufacturing Club. This annual summit is Asia's largest meeting of security manufacturers.
Representatives of Zicom Electronic Security Systems, Stanley Security Systems and Paysoft System discussed their expectations regarding workmanship, quality, on-time delivery and distinctive technology. The future, said company representatives, lies in improved research and development, especially for IP. Chinese vendors realize that integrating hardware and software for total solutions has become paramount. Convergence is all the rage.
Because of the shift to IP, hybrid systems have been getting a lot of attention since 2007. While most Chinese solutions are PC-based hybrid systems, Hikvision was the first Chinese manufacturer to launch a hybrid standalone DVR at SecuTech 2008. According to Liu Baolin, Promotion and Advertising Manager at Hikvision, its new-generation hybrid DVR offers many patented technologies such as advanced video encoding and decoding, and an embedded operating system that features storage, network transmission and intelligent functions.
Hikvision's DS-9000 series of hybrid DVRs has H.264, MPEG-4, MJPEG, JPEG and AVS video compression with adjustable playback resolution up to D1 to support analog camera inputs or up to 16 IP camera inputs. This series has eight SATA HDD interfaces, one eSATA external interface and two USB2.0 ports for backup in flash or on CD burners.
The latest two-megapixel network camera from Hikvision, the DS-2CD852/852F, has become popular among international buyers because of its high-performance TI DSP, H.264 compression codec, integrated self-check, PTZ control, alarm I/O, voice talk and web browser. It also supports e-PTZ, resolution up to 1,600 by 1,200 pixels and an SD card for local recording.
To differentiate its products, Wave-P is pursuing numerous research initiatives. Half the staff is R&D engineers. Wave-P's expertise in software compression technology has garnered it a 50-percent market share in China. It is also cooperating closely with Intel.
Mao Zhongbiao, General Manager of Wave-P, emphasized intellectual property. "Counterfeiting is a serious problem when it comes to software compression boards. Suppliers, however, are pushing for stricter punishment to shut pirating operations down." "Besides, buyers of copy products should remember that they cannot avail themselves of service and support once their so-called partners stop doing business," said Mao.
Wave-P's new Windowsembedded standalone DVR combines advantages of both PC-based and standalone DVRs. The front panel has only two buttons for turning the DVR on or off. To reduce improper usage of Windows systems and enhance operating stability, users simply click to lock DVR functions on the OSD menu. The price-to-performance is higher than PC-based DVRs. The future, according to Mao, is high resolution adapted to low-stream bandwidth environments. In addition, he pointed out that Wave-P will launch its own IP cameras in 2008, while IP products and solutions will be showcased at global exhibitions in 2009.
TVT was the only Chinese vendor demonstrating remote monitoring via 3G cellphones at SecuTech 2008. Roads in front of TVT's office in Shenzhen were displayed on a cellphone screen with crystal clarity. The product also provided continuous streaming in nearly real time. Its H.264 standalone DVRs were the main focus. These DVRs support 3G cellphone remote surveillance and triplex functions with enhanced graphic user interfaces to configure and set parameters.
"After checking all the DVRs at the show, we concluded that H.264 images from TVT DVR products are simply the best," said Maria Xiao, Overseas Sales Director at TVT. "H.264 video streaming takes up less bandwidth and is compatible with Media Player software." The standalone DVRs perform quick searches as well.
TVT also unveiled its latest IP cameras with indoor night vision CMOS or CCD sensors and H.264 compression. "We will launch video servers this year, and the company has asked the R&D team to develop mobile DVRs," said Xiao.
Sunell launched its SN-582C/R series box cameras with Sony EX-view CCDs, 540-TVL resolution, OSD menu and minimum illumination of 0.003 lux at F 1.2. It comes with eight privacy masking zone settings, five programmable BLC area settings, DC video auto iris and RS485 for remote control. It is specially suited for road monitoring. The electronic shutter defaults at high speed to avoid image blurring when targeting fast-moving objects. Complete video signal outputs are ensured by controlling the iris and AGC. In low-light condition, shutter speed slows.
Sunell speed domes have full-feature OSD settings and intelligent alarm programming with a 32-bit processor and automatic pan and tilt. "Sunell is planning to develop brand-new standalone DVRs with totally different platforms and selectable codecs with MPEG-4, H.264 and MJPEG to suit network conditions," said Liu Xiangyang, President at Sunell. "Our existing standalone DVRs and mobile DVRs with Vxworks operating system are very stable." Sunell mobile DVRs also have three housing models.
To catch up with IP trends, suppliers are upgrading existing DVR products and developing complete IP product lines like hybrid DVRs, video servers and IP cameras. At SecuTech 2008, vendors like Aopvision, Blue Star, Dahua, Dali, Hanbang and Tungson emphasized enhanced products with better functionality.
Blue Star combined image processing technologies from Philips and Sony to launch its first standalone DVRs in 2001. According to Romeo Kwok, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Blue Star, the main concept is surveillance systems with analog cameras, network video servers and remote management. Blue Star, which has extensive expertise in security applications for the financial sector, is exporting to Russia, Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
"Blue Star products have strengths in multi-site and multi-information management that are suited for crucial requirements of financial applications. We have been exporting standalone DVRs and ATM DVRs for two years," said Kwok.
Dahua demonstrated the enhanced networking capabilities of its standalone DVRs. "We upgraded our products to improve latency, fluency and adaptability to suit bandwidth requirements," explained James Wang, Overseas Product Manager at Dahua. "We have also patented our network processing technology (image quality and multiple protocols)."
The company's new picture-in-picture display puts images from all channels onto one display, enhancing transmission and monitoring efficiency. The user-friendly mouse simplifies image dragging and privacy masking area setting (up to eight zones for each channel). The powerful remote software makes configuration and monitoring easier.
Dahua network video servers have H.264 compression that supports real-time live-network displays. The following multiple-image resolutions are supported: D1, half D1, 2 CIF, CIF and QCIF. Smart-camera settings include privacy masking, camera lock, color setting and title display. With Dahua speed domes, three-dimensional intelligent positioning is supported as is network access for remote live view, recording, playback, setting, system status, event log, e-mail and ftp.
Hanbang has come out with standalone DVRs, video servers and hardware compression boards. According to Mark Liu, Global Business Director at Hanbang, major exports are hardware compression boards. "To enhance life expectancy of our surveillance systems, we plan to add HDD dormancy."
Dali DL series infrared thermal imaging products and DVRs have a good reputation. Its DVRs have an upgraded version for SATA HDD and USB2.0 ports. "The 32-channel standalone DVR has more flexibility with better cost performance in applications requiring more channel monitoring," said Max Ding, Regional Sales Executive of the International Trade Department at Dali.
The company, which was publicly listed in January, aims to raise capital for investments in updating infrared thermal imaging products, and developing uncooled infrared imaging detectors for residential markets and industrialization of intelligent standalone DVRs.
Enhanced Ease of Operation
Several exhibitors touted ease of operation. Such products encompassed standalone DVRs with LCD monitors and USB-type mini DVRs. Aopvision launched a new four-channel H.264 standalone DVR with built-in 5.5-inch LCD monitor. The AOP-3504H is an economical solution that is practical for home surveillance. It features a Linux operating system, H.264 DSP processor and SATA HDD interface. It supports mouse, IR remote and front-panel button control to enhance ease of operation. Real-time recording in four channels with multi-channel playback in maximum D1 resolution make this DVR very cost-effective.
Tungson introduced its latest standalone DVRs with external LCD monitors. These possess mini USB DVRs for easy connection to PCs, ensuring easy operation without the hassle of inserting capture cards. "Our main advantages are added value and functions without additional costs," explained Arly Yang, Sales Manager at Tungson.
Hawell promoted DVR cards specially designed for Linux OSs with simple GUIs to configure and perform functions.
In addition, Chinese camera suppliers like Actiontop, Pearmain, Relong, Siyexing, Yes and Sunican promoted cameras with detailed PCB designs to ensure stability. Siyexing and Yes have self-molding capabilities. Siyexing highlighted its demi domes with pan tilt, while Yes flogged its new YES-8003 IR cameras with housing displays to show off its mature molding skills. Visitors greatly enjoyed Actiontop's auto-tracking speed domes and Relong's explosion-proof cameras.
Pearmain chose to focus on matrix systems to connect hundreds of sites and IP networking products like CMS, digital fiberoptic transceivers, intelligent speed domes and intelligent management platforms.
For lenses, Chinese exhibitors like Aheadex, Avemia, Dongya, Leading, Ricom and SOEST provided multi-layer protection, IR correction, better light penetration for crystalclear images and megapixel products. Ricom, which specializes in lens development, demonstrated a special 400-millimeter lens for astronomy. Aheadex exhibited not only lenses but also cameras and standalone DVRs. Its most famous lenses are those with focal lengths from 3.5 millimeters to eight millimeters. Leading was all about IR correction and megapixel lenses.
RFID exhibitor Landwell, which specializes in guard tour systems, promoted its new handy design for nurses. The all-in-one stainless-steel body with waterproof enclosure and built-in lithium battery can be used 300,000 times. The company also came out with a series of two-in-one guard tour systems; both contact and contactless data transactions are acceptable. Those products feature high resistance against vandalism, shock, vibration, water and dust. Sebury, the only Chinese card reader exhibitor was marketing its elegant, robust F1 and BC-2018M fingerprint readers. "We are ready to launch 10 new products annually to satisfy our customers," said Alick Wang, General Manager at Sebury.