Digital video recorders (DVRs) Comparison: Bosch, Dedicated Micros (4)
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Security for banks can be a real challenge when faced with a multitude of threats including: fraud, theft and physical attacks. One bank which is setting new standards in the Middle East, when it comes to the application of surveillance technology to keep its infrastructure, staff and customers safe and secure, is National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). This is thanks to the roll out of an advanced NetVu Connected CCTV solution from Dedicated Micros part of AD Group which is focused on the centralized monitoring of all of its branches and critical ATM infrastructure.Awarded the Best Bank in the Middle East 2010 accolade by EuroMoney, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), which was incorporated in 1952 as the first indigenous bank in the entire Gulf region, remains the preeminent banking institution in Kuwait as well as being an established banking franchise across the Middle East and supporting a large branch network, spanning 17 countries, including many of the world's financial and business centers.Dedicated Micros connection with National Bank of Kuwait stretches back over four years. The catalyst for the surveillance specialist being brought on board for this ambitious ATM protection project was the bank's dissatisfaction with the CCTV solutions it tested from other providers. A spokesperson for the Engineering Services Division, NBK, takes up the story: "We looked at and tested several brands of DVRs as potential answers to our pressing ATM surveillance needs before deciding to go ultimately with Dedicated Micros. The solutions that fell by the wayside were simply too cumbersome and complicated in terms of all the extra equipment (and software licenses) that would have been required to activate the functionality we wanted. This was in stark contrast to Dedicated Micros which was able to meet our needs based around an effective hardware-based package." Said Salim Idris, General Manager (Middle East), Dedicated Micros: "When contacted by NBK we were delighted to assist Kuwait's foremost banking establishment, not only were we able to demonstrate that we had the solutions available, such as the DV-IP ATM, that could address their specific requirements head-on, without lots of add-ons, but could also point to an unparallelled track record. To put our extensive experience, protecting the banking sector, into some sort of context, across the Gulf Cooperation Council area alone, we can now count 10 major banks - in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - as customers. Significantly, as our CCTV systems are embedded, rather than PC based, they are recognized for their stability - essential in the banking environment - whereas PC dependent solutions have a reputation for crashing without warning."ATM FocusLooking in more detail at the systems from Dedicated Micros which have been put in place at NBK, since 2006, to support the effective monitoring of vital local and overseas ATM related infrastructure. These comprise 28 individual DV-IP ATM units which are used primarily to protect standalone Automated Teller Machines, with numbers expected to rise as part of the ongoing ATM project. There are also 145 NetVu Connected DS2 DVRs, with typically two systems connected at each National Bank of Kuwait branch plus an associated RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) unit giving additional storage capacity to the existing internal hard disk of the DVR.This set-up offers redundancy and resilience to ensure any recorded video images are securely stored. In the case of the larger Dubai branch this combination was doubled up and four (DS2s and RAIDs) were installed at NBK's extensive Bahrain site. To help with the management of the geographically dispersed NetVu Connected CCTV infrastructure, at an early stage, Dedicated Micros was called upon to assist NBK in the setting-up of centralized monitoring from a control room. This was achieved by deploying NetVu Observer video management software to allow operators to seamlessly view distributed images from any NetVu Connected product. DV-IP ATM units from Dedicated Micros have proved useful in making transactions more secure and safe The robust DV-IP ATM units specified for the National Bank of Kuwait project are designed to work, primarily, within the confines of an Automated Teller Machine. Certainly the security challenges with regards to banking are most keenly felt when it comes to the safe operation of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) whose accessibility makes them a convenient target for card skimming, shoulder surfing, and even physical theft from customers. It is CCTV systems, specifically remotely accessible DVRs, that are at the very heart of efforts to deal with these types of threat.Combining Video and Transaction DataThe Dedicated DV-IP ATM, based on NetVu Connected technology which ensures its interoperability with other DM and AD Group systems, is able to process transaction data which is then recorded with video footage. Post event analysis, via a powerful text search engine, provides video imagery of the ATM user plus the associated transaction information. For NBK this allows security staff to deal with any fraudulent activity and ensures that customer services representatives are well placed to quickly resolve any genuine customer withdrawal disputes.Marrying up the DS2 DVRs with RAID units at every NBK branch, also facilitated the effective monitoring of each location including the in-branch ATMs not covered by the DV-IP ATMs. With, in this case, the cameras in the ATMs connected to the DVRs which had been specifically programmed to have the capability to associate transaction data with the appropriate video footage.The ability of both the DV-IP ATM systems and DS2 DVRs, deployed for the NBK project, to apply Dedicated Micros' TransCoding technology to record evidential quality MJPEG locally and simultaneously support low bit rate data streaming in MPEG-4 compression format for remote viewing has proved to be advantageous in keeping bandwidth demands on NBK's network to an absolute minimum. Of course local recording (including the additional capacity provided by the RAID units) has the added benefit that, even in the event of a network failure, recording is not interrupted or vital evidence lost. Adding-Up the Benefits NetVu connected solution from Dedicated Micros has enabled National Bank of Kuwait to monitor all the branches Reflecting on the success of the project to date, a spokesperson for the Engineering Services Division, NBK, commented: "The NetVu Connected solution from Dedicated Micros we have adopted has given us the opportunity, for the first time, to monitor all of our branches remotely 24/7 wherever they might be and to cover a large number of ATMs (181 at the latest count) through the ATM transactions interface. We have been very pleased with the performance of the NetVu Observer viewing software over the past four years - which we are in the process of upgrading to Pick-a-Point Icon - as it has made it extremely easy to retrieve footage and to playback recordings over the network. With numerous cases involving ATMs reported on a daily basis and, with the Dedicated Micros' solution in place, we have been able to provide recorded footage, in a timely manner, to offer proof of what has actually happened. In practice, we have found the speed that video can be delivered across the network to be extremely favourable, for management and archiving, when set against the limited bandwidth provided."The distributed architecture of the solution has also meant that even, when there has been a network issue, critical recording has been able to continue unabated. Testament to this is the fact that since the start of the project no footage has been lost in this way. A major benefit we have also seen, in terms of cost of ownership, is the fact that from an Engineering Services' point of view the DVRs have been much easier to maintain, compared to what was in place before, and we have been very impressed with the stability of the DVRs in operation with zero reported failures. Alongside this the web-based configuration for the Dedicated Micros' systems has proved to be very intuitive."Future Plans Looking ahead, Dedicated Micros is working closely with NBK to expand the capabilities of the surveillance infrastructure. One key development soon to go 'live' is the implementation of the Pick-a-Point Icon multi-site video management solution in the bank's main control room to further enhance the remote monitoring of all of the bank's geographically dispersed locations. The uplift in functionality provided by Pick-a-Point Icon's more extensive features, compared to NetVu Observer, should greatly enhance the ability of the bank's security staff to manage and control their CCTV infrastructure. Dedicated Micros has formed many of the building blocks for the success of today's CCTV industry From the start Pick-A-Point Icon has been designed to be intuitive for operators, simplifying and speeding up image retrieval. In future, operators in the main NBK control room will be able to select cameras using Pick-A-Point Icon's enhanced GUI (Graphical User Interface) via multiple map screens and highly detailed map images, allowing them to pick a camera on-screen without having to know which digital video recorder the camera is linked to. Pick-A-Point Icon is based around a robust standalone hardware based workstation, which eliminates the reliability issues associated with PC based systems - a key consideration in the banking sector.Closed IPTV InvestmentCommented Salim Idris, General Manager (Middle East), Dedicated Micros: "As the surveillance solution moves ahead, we are delighted that National Bank of Kuwait has confirmed that it will also act as a trailblazer for the deployment of our award winning Closed IPTV 'IP Video' solution. This follows on from the successful testing of the Closed IPTV version of the SD Advanced hybrid NVR/DVR, which will now be rolled out gradually across all of the bank's extensive branch network, making NBK one of the first customers in the Middle East region for this new solution."Essentially, adopting Closed IPTV systems such as the SD Advanced - in conjunction with a Layer 3 Enhanced CCTV Switch which provides greater security for less configuration effort than a conventional managed switch - makes deploying an IP Video, CCTV system safe, secure and simple. Combining patent-pending innovation with zeroconf networking technology, Closed IPTV automatically allocates IP addresses to IP cameras by physical port. In this way the system is completely deterministic, creating firewalls and monitoring IP connections by individual network ports so they cannot be hacked or intercepted. This ground breaking solution provides a very simple and secure answer to IP Video, where no prior knowledge of IP networking is required. National Bank of Kuwait is going to adopt Dedicated Micros' HyperSense APNR cameras for its car park management A further enhancement, in the pipeline for NBK, is the adoption of Dedicated Micros' HyperSense ANPR cameras for its car park management, in this case combining an Overview and ANPR camera, with alerts triggered by car park barriers to monitor vehicles entering and leaving a location. The sophisticated HyperSense technology built in to the cameras removes ambient light from the scene leaving only the objects that strongly reflect the IR light emitted by the integrated invisible IR LED flash to be displayed. The ability to eliminate glare from vehicle headlights delivers a more distinct image for evidential purposes and the black and white ANPR camera ensures that details of the numberplate can be seen, whilst the 'overview' camera allows this to be tied-up with other details such as the color of the vehicle.Banking on SecurityUltimately, National Bank of Kuwait, through continuing investment in the latest surveillance infrastructure from Dedicated Micros, has demonstrated a real commitment to not only be a leader in the banking services it provides but also, crucially, to back this up with the best possible levels of security for customers, staff, and physical assets such as the branch network and ATMs making NBK ideally placed to deal expeditiously with any form of criminal attack.
PAK Supermarkets, Europe's largest Asian supermarket chain, and a favorite for ethnic cuisine lovers across the Midlands, is benefiting from the latest NetVu Connected CCTV technology developed by Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - and installed by DM Fusion installer Security Direct. Since opening in April, PAK Supermarkets' new £7 million store, based in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, has been attracting a plethora of shoppers from as far afield as Leicester and Banbury. With a vast 80,000 sq ft of ground to cover across the store - as well as thousands of pounds being exchanged each day - it was imperative to have the very best security system in operation. Combining security and service CCTV expert Dedicated Micros has devised a pioneering Advanced Point Of Sale (APOS) interface system, which not only offers the Washwood Heath store state-of-the-art surveillance, but also acts as a pivotal cog in the store's management decisions. The Dedicated Micros CCTV system at PAK Supermarkets, when integrated with the APOS technology, allows security staff to keep an eye on any suspicious activity while also providing valuable management transaction data by integrating checkout activity with the CCTV images. Purchase information from each till is transmitted to a central control room via a hard wired TCP/IP network, which is combined with video footage from cameras at each checkout to capture the customer in action and ensure stock levels, security and spending habits are carefully monitored. Management has access to the CCTV system via the Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software around the store With the new system, every product that goes through the till can be monitored and analyzed. It gives store management the chance to see exactly what is being bought with both the till transaction and video footage being combined, not just overlaid on the video footage, but being read, and managed as part of our highly sophisticated metadata handling process. Bringing these together gives users the perfect opportunity to keep track of who is buying what and enables stores to better control and plan their own store layouts and help in developing marketing strategies. In addition to integrating point of sale data, the technology also provides a wide spectrum of security benefits beyond the scope of a more traditional installation. With a network of cameras covering inside and outside the store, the system - combined with store detectives - has rapidly become part of the daily routine at the supermarket. The Dedicated Micros system allows users to design a set-up to meet the individual needs of their business. It can be applied; for example, to trigger an alarm if a large number of £50 notes have been exchanged in the store in a short space of time at different tills. Anything from investigating fraud to clearing up customer complaints if they think they have been short-changed can be dealt with at the touch of a button, which provides an extra chance for the supermarket to deliver excellent customer service. A super-sized project West Midlands-based company, Security Direct, a DM Fusion installer, was commissioned to install the system. Surj Dhami, Managing Director of Security Direct, said: "The biggest hurdle to overcome was the sheer amount of equipment required. It is a large supermarket with a correspondingly large and complex installation so it made sense to select Dedicated Micros systems which could be readily integrated together." The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room In total 20 2040 Dennard indoor dome cameras, a 2060 Dennard precision outdoor dome and six Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2(DS2) Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) provide the basis of the installation, including a total of 9Tb of hard disk storage capacity, as part of a sophisticated network system. In addition, 12 APOS interfaces were installed with 30 LCD monitors as part of the four-month project. At the design stage of the project, Security Direct chose to specify Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected products, which allow images to be viewed via a TCP/IP network on any authorized PC, across the installation. 2060 Dennard domes were chosen to cover the exterior of the supermarket partly because of their resistance to vandalism, but also the ability of the cameras to operate in low light conditions. The more compact 2040 domes cover the inside of the store at tills and along the aisles. The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system. At locations around the store, management has access to the CCTV system via Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software, which is installed on PCs and offers very familiar Windows-based drag and drop functionality to get the end users up to speed as quickly as possible with the new technology. In section on the shop floor Khalid Hussain, Managing Director of PAK Supermarkets, said: "This is a fantastic system that has given us exactly what we required. We wanted a solution, which not only delivers a high-spec surveillance operation, but can also be incorporated into the ongoing commercial development of our stores. It really delivers everything the retail environment needs - the perfect tool for security and customer service. We also have more control over each transaction, which we are obviously very happy with." The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system The APOS system has already proved a hit at several other retail chains including Selfridges, Marks and Spencer and KFC. Khalid believes the market-leading system will become a hit with many other retailers: "It is all a matter of budget for security, but I am sure given our positive experience that more and more of the bigger retailers would be very much attracted to this system." The Dedicated Micros technology has proven so successful in helping to manage and plan stock requirements that the supermarket is now considering the introduction of loyalty cards which link directly in with the APOS interface. PAK Supermarkets has commissioned Security Direct to redevelop its surveillance - using the Dedicated Micros system - across its seven stores nationwide and a further four currently under development. Khalid said: "The idea is to ultimately have all of our supermarket CCTV systems linked up to the control room here. It will help to keep our operation centralized and much easier to maintain. "This whole set-up has made life much easier for us to keep a track of everything happening in the store and this will eventually be rolled out to our entire operation, which will no doubt ensure our security and customer service is up there with the best in the business."
Bosch products chosen for security at London Southend Airport An entire portfolio of technologies from Bosch Security Systems - including the PLENA range of Public Address/Voice Alarm (PA/VA) technology - is being installed at the new Stobart Rail operated railway station at Stobart Group’s London Southend Airport to protect the safety and security of passengers and staff. The station and airport, which was acquired by the famous transport and logistics group in 2008, features the Bosch range of Projection Speakers and Metal Cabinet Speakers to ensure effective communications with passengers, whose numbers are expected to rise to more than two million by 2020. The site is also benefitting from a surveillance system which includes the first installation of its new digital hybrid recorder (DHR). Project Managers Birse Rail appointed DACS Rail as Electrical Engineers on the project who in turn appointed Max Electronic Systems to design and install a safety and security system that was fit for purpose today, but that could be relied upon to still be operating efficiently in the future. For that reason, Bill Anderson, Managing Director of MAX turned to Bosch: “When Stobart first purchased the site, it was obvious that security would be paramount,” he says. “This major new gateway for the South East now has a security and communications solution that is at the cutting edge and will be further upgraded as technology advances. “Bosch products are at the centre of everything we have done; the proven reliability and quality of its technology is exceptional,” he adds. The railway station has been expanded as a direct result of plans to upgrade London Southend to handle larger aircraft, and therefore more passengers, requiring the highest specification CCTV. At the heart of the CCTV system are 20 Dinion XF Colour cameras, 15 Dinion 2xDay/Night cameras, three video interconnect portals and three LCD TFT monitors. It is also the first site in the UK to use the new DHR technology. In terms of delivering the messages and audio throughout the station, Bill opted for the flexible but entirely scalable Plena Controller which forms part of the PLENA communication family, including a remote control panel and zonal microphones. The railway station is also covered by Bosch Speakers, with Projection speakers located upon the platforms and Cabinet speakers within the waiting areas. The Bosch 700 Series (formerly Divar XF) is a highly scalable system recorder for medium to large applications. It is a realtime 4-CIF embedded recorder, available in hybrid (analog/IP) and IP-only versions and utilizes state-of-the-art H.264 compression to deliver bit rates that are up to 30% lower than conventional MPEG-4 based recorders.
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