Digital video recorders (DVRs) - Expert commentary

ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression
ONVIF Profile T And H.265: The Evolution Of Video Compression

In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video Compression Technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF Physical Security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardization organizations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 Compression Formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognizes the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.

HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade
HD Over Coax Provides Cost-effective Video Surveillance Upgrade

According to IHS Market, it is estimated that there are over 60 million security cameras in the United States, and other reports say these cameras capture more than four billion hours of footage per week. Over the last decade, IP camera technology has dominated the conversation as it has provided users with a broad offering of enhanced image quality and features. With a large percentage of existing security systems relying on analog, many end users looking for high definition (HD) video quality have been forced to take on a complete system overhaul. Infrastructure Overhaul For HD Video To make the switch, customers would need to change everything, from cameras to hardware to wiring– not to mention the lengthy installation process that would ensue. IP cameras also require higher Internet speeds and more cloud space. Whether constrained by budget, bandwidth or storage, many end users have been unable to adopt this new video surveillance method.Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike Thanks to technological advancements within the security industry, HD over Coax offers a viable solution for integrators and end users alike. By utilising the current Coaxial cables, this offering yields high definition video, while requiring minimal infrastructure changes and is an optimal surveillance choice for security customers. Plus, with new advancements and updates being made frequently to this technology, there is a solution for every security need. The enhanced alternative of HD over Coax has been warmly welcomed in the security industry, thanks to its simple solutions and ever-evolving features. Many new analog HD cameras are “plug and play,” able to connect directly to existing Coaxial cables. This eliminates the need for a complete system change, creating cost-savings for the end user and an enhanced video quality offering. Easy Solutions For HD Video As a result, integrators can cost-effectively upgrade their customer’s surveillance solution while using their legacy infrastructure, making it an attractive option for end users and an easy sell for dealers. Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems, where even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response HD over Coax cameras themselves are always expanding and evolving to meet a wide array of security needs. With the introduction of fisheye and multi-sensor cameras, users now have a multitude of coverage options, not to mention the introduction of 4K bringing resolution options to the same level as IP. Some newer technologies are even touting 4K cameras paired with 4K digital video recorders (DVRs) made specifically for analog systems. Longer cables grant transmission for up to 1600 feet, double the distance of standard analog solutions, and triple that of IP systems. This single cable is able to transmit both HD video and audio. Recently, broadcast quality audio over Coax has become available in limited models, a substantial improvement over older analog technology, which was unable to transmit audio. Stopping Video Delay Latency in video is another common issue with network-based camera systems. Even the slightest delay in video surveillance can hinder security response. IP cameras are forced to compress and packetize their video for transmission. The outcome of this is a reduced number of images per video, which in turn causes delay. HD over Coax on the other hand, delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity. Additionally, the point-to-point transmission delivers uncompressed video free of lag. Another touted benefit is that, unlike IP networked cameras, analog systems provide a more secure video transmission. With so much sensitive information housed on a businesses’ network, adding another point of network access through an IP camera can create concerns for cyber security risks. HD over Coax delivers an unlimited amount of HD images in real time, with smooth motion and impressive clarity Preventing Network Hacking With HD over Coax, the physical connections between the camera and DVR prevent network hacking. By keeping the video surveillance system offline, security professionals are able to direct their attention to the physical threats at hand, rather than having to focus on deterring cyber security risks. One of the primary difficulties of deploying HD video solutions is the fact that many older systems utilize a wide variety of HD standards and platforms. To make matters more complicated, after HD over Coax was brought to market, manufacturers raced to create their own version of this technology. Today, the most popular proprietary standards are HD-CVI, HD-TVI and AHD. However, integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible.Integrators and customers found that attempting to manage multiple HD technologies proved to be near impossible Diversifying Surveillance Through One DVR To combat these issues, manufacturers have introduced products with more flexibility to their portfolios. One example of this is the penta-brid DVR which grants the ability to seamlessly integrate multiple technologies deployed across one application. This means that systems with diverse camera brands and technologies, such as a mix of HD-CVI, HD-TVI, AHD, analog or IP, can be connected through one DVR. For many end users with legacy analog systems, penta-brid DVRs give them greater freedom to choose between a variety of solutions, rather than being limited to one option. With video resolution increasing, the space needed to store the footage is similarly rising. Penta-brid technology has been able to adapt to these evolving needs, giving users ample storage space to house the HD and 4K surveillance video with some of the newest models including H.265 compression.  HD Casino Surveillance Made Simple For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff While HD over Coax is beneficial to many end users and integrators, those in the casino and hospitality markets find it crucial. With a combination of high profile guests, large amounts of cash on hand, constant crowds and strict industry regulations, reliable video surveillance is a must. Deploying new IP systems comes at a stiff price. When looking to upgrade their video surveillance, casinos must also be mindful of the installation process. When moving to an IP-based system, ripping out old wires and replacing them with new is the standard practice. This practice can be both disruptive and costly, not to mention gaming regulations require casino activities be monitored at all times so a complete system shutdown would result in revenue loss. This cost can be hard to justify, especially when the current legacy analog system remains in working condition with only the lower image resolution to date it. For these scenarios, the most cost-effective option is to leverage the legacy infrastructure, replace the existing cameras with new devices, and reap the benefits that HD video has to offer without any lapse in security. For casinos, HD images are critical for identifying unauthorized personnel and unlawful behaviours to create a safe environment for guests and staff. HD over Coax cameras now offer the same resolution as IP cameras with a plug and play approach, that cuts down on expense without sacrificing quality. For businesses and applications that are unable to adopt IP technology, whether it be cost or time prohibitive, HD over Coax now features most of the same benefits IP has to offer without breaking the bank. By providing clear images in real time, maximizing existing infrastructure, and affording cyber security benefits, HD over Coax provides an attractive solution for many end users and integrators.

Video Surveillance Must Modernize In Storage, Recording And On-Demand Access
Video Surveillance Must Modernize In Storage, Recording And On-Demand Access

Dollars spent by video surveillance customers must go towards ensuring high-availability capture, storage and on-demand access to live and archived video. Reaching this goal mandates high-availability of independent components – camera, network, storage (edge, external), internet connectivity, display, all Video Management Software (VMS) components and an architecture that can take advantage of this. In this note, we focus on seeing our way through to a video surveillance architecture, that provides high availability storage, access to live and stored video content. Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure Edge Recording Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure. This makes edge storage a must-have. But, this has some limitations at present: Edge storage capacity is limited. Edge media has a short lifetime, rated only for thousands of hours of continuous recording. Most cameras are not secure and physical damage to the camera could lead to catastrophic loss of edge stored content. As storage and compression technology evolve, the constraints imposed by (1) and (2) could go away. However, securing cameras will continue to be a barrier for most installations. Secure External Storage It is thus imperative to also store video in secure external storage. Such an architecture uses edge storage to fill in content gaps created by network, external storage outages. As edge storage technology improves, larger gaps can be filled in, but one will always need external storage. By our definition, ‘external storage’ is a solution stack that includes storage media and all software (including VMS) that provide access to this storage. Access To Live And Archived Video Access to live video can either be met by external storage or directly by the camera Every surveillance solution needs to provide access to live and archived video. Access to live video can either be met by external storage or (and) directly by the camera. All things being equal, having the camera directly provide live video access, is a higher-availability solution. There is dependence on fewer components in the chain. Solutions in the market use one of the above two approaches for access to live video. Due to limited capacity and low physical security of edge storage, it makes sense at present, to have external storage meet all requests for archive video. Thus, we are led to an architecture that has heavy dependence on external storage. Dual-Recording For high-availability, external storage must be architected with redundancy. Ideally, independent components that make up external storage – storage media, associated hardware and software (including VMS components), should be individually redundant and have smart interconnectivity. However, solutions in the market rigidly tie these components together. Failure of a single component causes failure of external storage. For e.g. hardware failure of a server causes VMS component failure AND storage failure. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage For these solutions in the market, high-availability is achieved by having additional external storage units that step-in during outages of primary units. If these additional units continuously duplicate primary units, access gaps are minimized, and archive access is un-affected during primary unit outages. This is the idea behind Dual-Recording (DR).  To meet cost budgets, these additional units can be configured to store subsampled (framerate, resolution) video content. A small number of additional units can support concurrent outages of all primary units. A few-to-many redundancy. Rising Need For Dual-Recording Most cameras cannot be physically secured, and video content produced by a camera must be stored externally. Many VMS solutions use external storage to service live video access requests. Edge storage limitations impose restrictions on edge archive access at present. So, external storage is used to service requests for archive access too. Thus, a surveillance system ends up being over-dependent on external storage. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage. As edge storage improves, it will be able to service archive access requests. VMS software will need to evolve, to use this capability smartly.

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Dahua Technology Installs HD CCTV Cameras With Smart Analytics Using AI To Secure Iconic Battle Of Britain Bunker
Dahua Technology Installs HD CCTV Cameras With Smart Analytics Using AI To Secure Iconic Battle Of Britain Bunker

An important heritage site which played a key role in protecting the UK during World War II is itself being made safe and secure with the installation of a comprehensive and fully integrated security system, including more than 75 Dahua HD CCTV cameras. Battle of Britain Bunker The Battle of Britain Bunker is an underground operations room in Uxbridge, formerly used by No. 11 Group Fighter Command during the Second World War, most notably in the Battle of Britain and on D-Day. The operations room was one of the key parts of the world’s first integrated defense system, which linked Fighter Command with Anti-Aircraft Command, Barrage Balloon Command, the Observer Corps, radar, and the intelligence services. The site is run by Hillingdon Council as a heritage attraction with a museum and a visitor center. Fully integrated security solution DSSL Group installed more than 75 Dahua HD CCTV cameras linked to a Genetec Security Center VMS DSSL Group completed a full analysis of the existing CCTV and intruder alarm systems, with the aim of creating a fully integrated security solution, to enhance the security around the site, reduce manned security costs, and speed up remote security and police response times. Using the existing wireless network also designed by them across the borough, DSSL Group installed more than 75 Dahua HD CCTV cameras linked to a Genetec Security Center video management system (VMS), as well as Axis IP PA speakers externally. All cameras are viewable by management and the security team on site, and also from Hillingdon Council’s main CCTV control room. Surveillance cameras with smart analytics using AI External cameras are equipped with smart analytics using AI, to help secure the perimeter of the site. In 2018, a state-of-the-art wireless CCTV system consisting of more than 1,000 Dahua HD cameras, along with Dahua NVRs, XVRs and control and viewing equipment, was installed across the borough by DSSL Group. More recently, an additional 1,000 Dahua HD cameras have been added to the council's network making it 2,000 in total. In addition to the cameras, DSSL Group installed a Honeywell Galaxy 62-zone intruder alarm system which feeds back to a central monitoring station and is also integrated with the VMS. Dahua CCTV system installed Cllr Richard Lewis, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, Culture and Heritage, said “The Battle of Britain Bunker is one of Hillingdon’s treasured heritage sites. It played a pivotal role in the Second World War, and it’s important that we keep it protected. Dahua CCTV system will help us to do that with their state-of-the-art system and high performing cameras.”

Quanika Tech Available Through NIT Makes Security And Corporate Systems Integration Easier For Middle East And Africa Projects
Quanika Tech Available Through NIT Makes Security And Corporate Systems Integration Easier For Middle East And Africa Projects

IT and security systems integrators across the Middle East and Africa can now deliver more efficient, off-the-shelf integration of complete corporate systems - including access control, visitor management, security and building management - following a distribution agreement between Quanika and NIT, an Ingram Micro Company. Quanika’s modular, ready-made approach is designed to make integration straightforward, even for the most complex, multi-site projects, enabling organizations to adapt their on-site operations quickly to meet rapidly changing circumstances, and run them efficiently from a single interface. A1001 and A1601 controllers The company works with systems integrators, consultants, and end-user enterprises globally to leverage seamless integration with Axis Communications’ A1001 and A1601 controllers for unlimited doors and users, network cameras and audio devices. Quanika also allows integrators to scale up AXIS Camera Station VMS to encompass more cameras and cover multiple sites as well as giving them the extensibility choice of Milestone’s powerful XProtect for video management. Quanika’s portfolio of solutions is designed to eliminate the inefficiencies of siloed solutions Quanika’s portfolio of solutions is designed to eliminate the inefficiencies of siloed solutions to enable more productive connections between people, physical infrastructure, and corporate systems. Quanika Compact is a practical and affordable choice for small-to-medium applications in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, logistics and similar locations, giving users the ability to tie together and flexibly manage multiple sites. Visitor management solution Quanika Enterprise is designed for larger scale facilities and corporate enterprises, including multi-purpose buildings, hotels, transportation hubs, hospitals, and universities, giving organizations complete control and situational awareness across their entire estates globally. The Quanika VisitorPoint visitor management solution streamlines and automates operations. Delivering a frictionless and contactless experience, Quanika VisitorPoint is becoming essential during the COVID-era to minimize interaction and risks to frontline staff and reduce contact with doors and surfaces, while acting as a force multiplier for the efficient management, control and tracking of visitors and contractors access and movements throughout facilities. Building management systems As well as providing new technology application routes for security systems integrators, the distribution agreement opens up extensive project options for NIT’s customer base of IT systems integrators, allowing them to deliver modular, commerical off-the-shelf (COTS) security and safety solutions with an extensive choice of third-party systems - everything from intruder alarms, fire, and building management systems to individual, operations-specific business management databases, systems, or devices. Welcoming the deal, Bassel Al Fakir, Managing Director NIT, an Ingram Micro Company, said that Quanika’s solutions are expected to make it easier for NIT customers to deliver solutions with a single, intuitive, security and safety management interface. Integrators and consultants Our customers will be able to use Quanika’s off-the-shelf solutions and 24/7 support to integrate best-in-class technologies" “NIT’s distribution agreement with Quanika will provide major opportunities for ICT integrators and consultants across the Middle East and Africa,”  he said. “Our customers will be able to use Quanika’s off-the-shelf solutions and 24/7 support to integrate best-in-class technologies and deliver new levels of insight and control.” Quanika Managing Director, Leo Cook, said the agreement would also help integrators and their customers improve operational efficiency and meet the unprecedented challenges now facing them. Seamless operational efficiency “It’s never been more important for organizations to be able to manage their operations efficiently, and to let their people to work safely, flexibly and securely,” he said. “Quanika is already helping customers globally to meet today’s rapidly evolving challenges." "We are helping organizations to pivot their operations, including managing their people and networks more efficiently, and improving the way they use their buildings. We now look forward to working with NIT customers across the region to deliver seamless, advanced solutions here.”

Security Industry Association Discloses The Winners Of The 2020 SIA Women In Security Forum Scholarship
Security Industry Association Discloses The Winners Of The 2020 SIA Women In Security Forum Scholarship

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has selected 12 recipients for the inaugural SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship – a program developed by the SIA Women in Security Forum designed to further educational opportunities and promote advancement for a diverse security workforce. Through this new scholarship – open to SIA members and student members – each awardee will receive $6,650 to use toward continuing education and professional development courses, conferences or webinars, SIA program offerings, repayment of student loan debt and/or other academic or education programs. “The SIA Women in Security Forum continues to break new ground, inspire me and many others and provide unique opportunities for the widest spectrum of people possible to thrive in this field through initiatives like this new scholarship offering,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson. “We congratulate this talented and historic first class of SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship winners and look forward to celebrating their many accomplishments to come.” 2020 Scholarship winners The winners for the 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship are: Ryane Burke, Partner Marketing and Events Manager, Identiv Margurie Evans, SIA student member; Event Security Lead, Phoenix Suns Antoinette King, Key Account Manager – end-user, Axis Communications Kavya Madhusudhan, Senior Project Engineer, Allegion Erin Mann, Customer Experience and Strategy Marketing Manager, Multifamily, Allegion Canada Inc. Daphne Navarro, SIA student member Sheethal Rao, Mechanical Engineer, Allegion Jenna Rolfe, SIA student member; Junior Readiness and Security Policy Officer, Global Affairs Canada Joneka Russell, Security Offer, Allied Universal Holly Sanson, Marketing Manager, ADT Commercial Kerri Sutherland, Human Resources Business Partner, Axis Communications Rachel Wyatt-Swanson, Director of Business Development, Cherokee Nation Security & Defense These honorees were selected with the help of SIA’s Scholarship Selection Committee – a group comprised of volunteers from the SIA Women in Security Forum and SIA’s Human Resources Committee. SIA thanks the scholarship committee and its chairs for their work in evaluating the 2020 scholarship applications. The leadership of women SIA’s Women in Security Forum works to engage all security professionals to promote the leadership of women SIA’s Women in Security Forum works to engage all security professionals to promote, recruit and cultivate the leadership of women for a more inclusive and diversified industry. The forum’s key efforts and activities – in addition to the scholarship – include the SIA Progress Award, which celebrates individuals who advance opportunities and pave the way to success for women in the security industry. Activities also include a quarterly virtual education series; collaborative projects with other organizations that seek to empower women in the security and technology fields; sponsorship of the Women in Biometrics Awards. Biometric identity and security industry The initiative recognizes distinguished females in the biometric identity and security industry; thought leadership opportunities; and engaging networking and professional growth events. The SIA Women in Security Forum is open to all employees of SIA member companies. The 2020 SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship is generously supported by Diamond Level donor Axis Communications; Emerald Level donors Alarm.com, Allegion, Altronix and BCD International; Ruby Level donors Integrated Security Technologies, Brivo and Securitas. Donors Also, Sapphire Level donors Maureen Carlo, director of strategic alliances at BCD International, Ted Curtin, president of Repworks, Martha Entwistle, Women in Security Forum member, SIA CEO Don Erickson, John Gallagher, vice president of marketing at Viakoo, John Nemerofsky, chief operating officer at SAGE Integration, GSA Schedules Inc. Additionally, also supported by SAGE Integration, Security Specifiers, SoundSecure and Imperial Capital; and scholarship program affiliates SDM, SecurityInfoWatch, Security Matters, Security Sales & Integration and Security Systems News.

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