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August 2013

Devil’s Advocate: Alarm standards and police response Comment: Reaction to industry bifurcation Wireless: What about the commercial sector? Under the Skin: Latest Technologies Examined


A Smart Approach? Is VCA a credible solution for trigger event-based surveillance?

TESTED: Detection devices for video triggering SOLUTIONS: Refuge facilities communications

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Picture Perfect Wireless Security

Control your security Be Appsolutely connected

The Agility™3 wireless security system combines state-of-theart visual verification capabilities with a powerful Smartphone app. This enables users and monitoring stations to control the security system remotely and verify whether there is a crime in progress, or if it is a false alarm.

To learn more about Agility™3 call: App Store

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0161 655-5500 | RISCO Group UK | Tel: 0161 655-5500 | Fax: 0161 655-5501 | e-mail: |

about_jul13_000_Benchmark_may10 12/06/2013 11:02 Page 1

About Benchmark

BENCHMARK The leading source of independent performance-based technical information for those specifying, designing and purchasing advanced security solutions t Benchmark, we passionately believe that the future growth and development of the security sector depends upon the creation of flexible, scalable and effective solutions. As technology delivers ever increasing levels of functionality, so the ability to integrate elements such as business intelligence and smart management create a more valued proposition for all concerned. This brings together enhanced security with truly beneficial solutions.


BENCHMARK INDEPENDENT TESTING THE STATUS AWARDS Benchmark Recommended Status is awarded to products that undergo the independent testing process and receive an overall rating of 80% or higher. Products which receive this status are then permitted to use the Recommended logo, which illustrates they have passed application-specific testing and have reached a very high standard. Benchmark Outstanding Status is awarded to products that undergo the independent testing process and receive an overall rating of 90% or higher. Products which receive this status are then permitted to use the Outstanding logo, which illustrates they have passed application-specific testing and have reached the very highest standards. Because products and systems in the electronic security industry are varied, there are inevitable price differences between products designed to do the same job. It may be that one device offers a credible level of performance equivalent to its peers, but has more competitive price. Alternatively, the device may have a similar price to its peers, but delivers additional features and functions. In such cases, these products are recognised by the award of Benchmark Best Buy status.

We believe that by embracing the new and emerging technologies, and by adopting a more holistic approach to encompass the inherent flexibility they offer, credible solutions that deliver enhanced protection, security and business benefits can be realised. Any solution which includes a degree of compromise, no matter how small, will always be flawed. Given the depth of options now available, the use of limited or outdated technologies, or formulaic design which does not specifically address the needs of a customer, is unacceptable. Through independent testing, system and technology assessments, field-based analysis, educational articles and informed debate, Benchmark provides vital information to those seeking to create best-in-class solutions. The editorial materials included in the magazine and its on-line initiatives ensure that those who offer bespoke advanced solutions have access to honest, independent and relevant reporting that aids and supports them in their work. Benchmark delivers its content via a monthly print-based publication, as well as a number of interactive electronic initiatives. By realising the potential that new technologies offer, enhanced solutions that deliver security and business benefits can be realised. IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN THE SPECIFICATION AND/OR PURCHASE OF SECURITY SOLUTIONS, BENCHMARK INCLUDES VITAL INFORMATION THAT CANNOT BE SOURCED ELSEWHERE!


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Commercial grade wireless security for residential applications The Premier Elite 24-W contains a winning combination of Premier Elite control panel architecture and Ricochet mesh network technology. Ideal for residential applications, the Premier Elite 24-W can accept up to 16 Ricochet-enabled wireless devices and is expandable up to 24 zones in total. Sharing the same programming and peripheral devices as Texecom’s acclaimed Premier Elite Series of control panels, the Premier Elite 24-W brings commercial grade security into the residential marketplace. Outstanding features include: t Expandable to 24 zones t 2 Areas t 25 User Codes t Accepts up to 16 Ricochet Enabled Wireless Devices t 500 Event Log Time & Date Stamped t Plug-on Digimodems t Also available as part of the Premier Elite 24-W Complete Kit

Designed & made in the UK by Texecom

Sales: 01706 220460 Visit:

contaug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 10/07/2013 16:33 Page 1

August 2013

Contents 7 Editorial The industry is going through a process of bifurcation; which side will you end up on?

9 Under the Skin Benchmark gets under the skin of some new product releases.

18 Group Test: Sensor-based triggers Benchmark looks at the performance of detection devices which can be used to trigger surveillance systems, with units from Optex, Takex and Risco.

26 Group Test: Sensor-based triggers A look at video analytics-based devices which can be Editor Pete Conway Tel: 020 8295 8303 E-mail: Production Matt Jarvis Tel: 020 8295 8300 E-mail:

used for switching surveillance systems, with products from DVTel and Bosch.

34 Softly Softly Here we go again! Benchmark’s Dave casts a jaundiced eye over the ‘security doughnut’.

Advertisement Manager Wendy Thomas Tel: 020 8295 8305 E-mail:

36 The Devil’s Advocate

Administration Director Margaret Holden Tel: 020 8295 8301 Fax: 01322 551869 E-mail:

added functionality with Jim Ludwig, MD of

Benchmark examines the arguments for strict intruder alarm standards, police response and Texecom.

43 Commercially Acceptable? Should wireless intruder alarm systems be more

ISSN: 1750-1040 Editorial and Advertisement Office PO Box 332 Dartford DA1 9FF © Pro-Activ Publications Ltd 2013

widely used in commercial and industrial applications?

46 Test Update Benchmark reconsiders the ratings for the Siqura encoder from TKH Security following the

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Benchmark reserves the right to alter, abridge or edit any submissions prior to publication. The views published in Benchmark are not necessarily those of the publisher. While every care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of material included in Benchmark, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information contained herein, or any consequence arising from it. In the case of all product reviews, tests and assessments, judgements have been made in the context of the equipment supplied at the time of the review. Any judgements are based upon situations relevant at the time of writing, and comments relating to cost are based upon published prices available from major distributors. Comments are based upon products and systems currently available in the UK market-place.

manufacturer’s action to address our concerns.

47 Field Notes: Emergency Refuges Refuge facilities are required in many sites; integrators and installers should be offering appropriate communications systems.

51 Bulletin A round-up of new product releases of interest to those seeking advanced security and life-safety solutions.

58 Next Issue A look ahead to the September 2013 issue of Benchmark.


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BM_comment_aug13_000_Benchmark_nov10 10/07/2013 14:30 Page 1

Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment... Pete Conway, Editor, Benchmark t Benchmark, we passionately believe that the future growth and development of the electronic security sector depends upon the creation of flexible, scalable and effective solutions; solutions that fit around the needs of the end user’s business, and not systems that the user must adapt to in order to minimise compromise. As new and emerging technologies deliver ever increasing levels of functionality, so the ability to integrate additional elements such as business intelligence and smart management will create a more valued proposition. Integration and interoperability brings together enhanced security with added benefits. These are the solutions that end users are demanding, and will invest in. We believe that by embracing the new and emerging technologies, and by adopting a more holistic approach to ensure that the inherent flexibility these technologies offer is realised, credible solutions can be delivered. For anyone involved in installation, integration, system design and specification – and for those investing in modern flexible solutions – the delivery of enhanced protection, security and business benefits is the only way forwards. Any solution which includes even the smallest degree of compromise will always be flawed. Given the depth of options now available, the use of limited or outdated technologies, or formulaic design which does not specifically address the needs of a customer, has to be viewed as unacceptable. The electronic security market is starting to show clear signs of bifurcation. There are those who seem intent on always doing what they have always done, using the languishing technologies to deliver formulaic systems where the only differentiator is price! Sadly, this approach creates a spiral where margins


There is a saying that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got! Never has this been truer of security system design. If what you’ve got is decreasing margins and a need to work harder just to stand still, then it’s time to change your approach! are driven down, and to meet ever tighter pricing levels quality will inevitably suffer. Those who are staying firmly entrenched in what they’ve always done are now working ever harder to stand still, and will inevitably see revenues decline. The other side of the split is made up of those who have embraced the opportunities offered by the newer technologies, and the additional benefits they bring. Yes, they’ve had to undergo a change in working practices, and a rethink of how their businesses operate. However, by designing bespoke solutions that not only deliver the right levels of security and protection, but also deliver tangible everyday benefits to the customer, they are finding that end users understand the benefits, are demanding bespoke solutions that work for their businesses, and are ready to invest in them. It’s not just about security any more! Those integrators and installers who have made the decision to focus on delivering genuine solutions rather than formulaic systems deserve the support of the greater industry. Benchmark shares their belief in the future, and as a result will be developing its editorial content to offer support, guidance, analysis and testing to keep them informed. The future for our industry is exciting; don’t exclude yourself from it!


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Are you tired of...

...pulling lli back b k carpets? t ?

...carrying tools?

...running cable?

...wiring detectors/ sounders?

...crawling in lofts?

...lifting lifting oorboards? o oorboa ardss?

Then your answer is the Pyronix Enforcer... We are delighted to announce that the Enforcer is now available with GSM signalling! Now with even less wiring, this panel has GSM communication built in at a very competitive price compared with similar GSM panels!

uts_aug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/07/2013 10:17 Page 1

Under the Skin

Under the Skin

Xtralis – IntrusionTrace IntrusionTrace is a downloadable intrusion detection system which can be applied to the Xtralis FastTrace 2 and 2X solutions. The analytics package has recently been recognised as a primary detection system under the iLIDS initiative.

Salto – Clay Whilst the industry is split over the viability of the Cloud as a surveillance tool in all but DIY applications, access control – with its minimal bandwidth requirements – could see some benefits. Salto Systems thinks so, as is shown by its Clay solution.

Panasonic – Door Entry Solutions Access control works very well whilst it is dealing with enrolled persons, but every site has a need to handle visitors, contractors and unexpected arrivals! Door entry systems should boast quality and ease of use; something Panasonic claims to deliver!

Christie – FHD551-XG Christie claims that its latest touch-screen multimedia video wall solution ‘pushes the envelope’ when it comes to quality and performance; is the claim justified, or is it just marketing hype?

Mobotix – MxActivitySensor If you remember the days when video motion detection used discriminations to deliver reliable and effective detection and tracking – before it became a low-cost contrast switch with few if any benefits – then this added functionality might be of interest!


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Under the Skin

Xtralis – Intrusion Trace So, it’s iLIDS approved?

What is it? Increasingly, those managing advanced video surveillance systems are looking towards the benefits of video analytics, whether for security, business intelligence, site management or a combination of all three. As experience with the use of analytics grows, so those deploying the technology are gaining a better understanding of the pros and cons of what the systems can offer. IntrusionTrace is a downloadable analytics package from Xtralis. It is compatible with the company’s FastTrace 2 and 2X, and the latest version v1.14 - has been approved as a primary detection system for operational use in sterile zone environments by the UK Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB). The software offers up to 16 channels of protection, and up to 16 zones of trigger lines can be applied per channel. Advanced algorithms allow maximised target detection and tracking, according to the manufacturer. The analytics can detect running, crawling, rolling and very slow movement. Camera tamper detection is also included. The software uses 3D calibration, allowing set-up using recorded images, and is claimed to need no learning time to acclimatise the analytics engine to the monitored scene. Xtralis offers a flexible licensing plan with differing options to meet most sites’ needs.

Indeed it is! In fact, this is the third Xtralis product to receive this certification. The Presidium was approved in 2008. The Imagery Library for Intelligent Detection Systems – or iLIDS - is a Government-based tool for video analytics systems. It is made up of a number of data-sets – essentially video footage containing Government-required scenarios. Systems are tested using the scenarios, and those which meet the prescribed criteria receive approval. IntrusionTrace has been recognised for operation in sterile zone applications. When analytics are used for security purposes, an established sterile zone ensures higher levels of performance, as potential false alarm causes are minimised. This allows the analytics engine to concentrate on core functions. Sterile zone alarm events are created by the presence of people in a pre-defined area. This can be between two fences, or other demarcations which make it clear that people should not be in the area. Therefore, any person in the zone is classed as a violation and detection should occur.

Anything else? Not every application will want– or be able – to create a sterile zone. So, does that mean that IntrusionTrace has a limited appeal in these sites? It doesn’t, because the performance of the analytics can be enhanced with the addition of intelligent detection devices. FastTrace 2 or 2x video storage and transmission devices which have IntrusionTrace loaded can be combined with intelligent external PIRs. This allows a ‘double knock’ configuration to be created. For example, an alarm condition will only be raised, with video transmitted, if a detector activation coincides with a video analytics trigger. This ensures a higher degree of catch performance, reduction of nuisance alarms, and will allow enhanced security when the system is set (i.e. the site is closed). During working hours, with the system unset, the detectors will not report. As a result, the analytics can be used for other purposes such as site management or business intelligence, without the risk of generating nuisance alarm activations.


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Salto – Clay What is it? It doesn’t matter what you do nowadays; someone, somewhere will want to sell you a cloud version. Most of us use the mythical Cloud in some way. It’s great for syncing files and pictures between PCs, tablets and smartphones. It allows diaries to be shared, data to be backed up, and occasionally it allows access to certain programs or functions without a need to install or manage the various services. Like anything that hits the consumer and business markets, it isn’t long until it washes up on the shores of the security sector. Much emphasis has been placed upon cloud services by the surveillance sector. However, for higher end solutions, it just doesn’t make sense. Multiple high quality video streams, constantly being uploaded, isn’t what the Cloud is all about. A single stream of VGA video, uploaded when an event occurs, can be done, but that places the technology more into the DIY market. So does that make it a dead duck for serious security? Maybe; maybe not! Now consider access control. The data transfer for access control is significantly smaller that video, and where a low door count is used, the bandwidth requirements are minimal. Therefore, access control in the Cloud could be argued to make more sense. This is what Salto thinks, as shown by its latest system, Clay.

Who will want it? The Clay solution is designed to deliver modern electronic access control solutions to small- and medium-sized enterprises. The system will provide better functionality and performance than can be achieved with a traditional mechanical locking solution, and also includes a flexible management system. Whilst it could be argued that many electronic access control systems offer such benefits over mechanical locking solutions, the difference is that Clay does not require any software installation, nor does it need to be fully wired. The latter point removes disruption during the installation, and reduces on-site time and making good. For the customer, delivery of an access solution is both quick and stressfree, plus software does not have to be loaded onto a workstation, nor do software upgrades need to be managed. For the installer, the wiring is simplified, as is configuration, and upgrades are relatively painless.

How does it work? Clay combines a Cloud-based software platform with hardware to provide the same features as an equivalent wired system at less than 70 per cent of the cost, according to the manufacturer. It incorporates wireless hardware, and the key element is the Clay IQ which serves as the hub between the wireless lock and the Cloud. The hub is simply connected to a power source. Neither router configuration, nor any other cabling, is required. The user can manage the system via the Cloud interface, and can change and cancel access rights by person, place or time. All changes occur in real-time.


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Under the Skin

Panasonic – Video Intercom A bit more detail?

What is it? Access control is a marvellous tool, and the basics of systems need no explanation. However, unless those seeking entry to a site are registered and authorised on the system, then an alternative needs to be put in place. Whilst businesses with a manned reception or concierge service can rely on these to handle visitors, contractors, deliveries and other unplanned callers, for many enterprises it’s an unnecessary expense! Over the years, door entry systems have become the weapon of choice when dealing with visitors. Whilst audio systems were prominent due to their low cost, today video solutions have become the mainstay of visitor control. Whilst Panasonic prefer to call their systems Video Intercoms, they are indeed video door entry systems! There are a number of options which can support various numbers of call points, thus ensuring that there is a solution for most applications.

Anything else? As well as delivering flexibility whilst users are on site, this system also delivers benefits whilst the site is unoccupied. This is because the system includes an integral SD memory card slot, which permits the storage of up to 3,000 images. This allows the pictures to be saved onto a standard PC and viewed if necessary.


The system features a 5 inch LCD main monitor display, together with a secondary wireless 2.2 inch monitor offering on-the-move visitor communications. The metallic door station with LED illumination houses a wide-angle camera, with a view of 170° (horizontal) by 110° (vertical). There is also the option to utilise a zoom view with just the touch of a monitor. The user simply selects the point of the monitor where they would like to see more detail, and the relevant part of the view is increased by up to 2x the original size. In addition to the door station, the main monitor unit can also support up to four wireless surveillance cameras. The views of these wireless surveillance cameras may be monitored either on the main or secondary wireless monitor, or can be recorded with footage sequences of up to 30 seconds. It is therefore possible to monitor the movement of individuals as they move away from the door station, using continuous stills from the wireless surveillance cameras.

The benefits include being able to assess any incidents, as well as seeing which visitors have been missed, or seeing whether deliveries occurred on time. The main monitor unit also has an internal memory drive and can save the footage for up to 50 visitors. We’ve already mentioned the option to connect up to four wireless cameras to the main monitor unit, but it will also support up to six wireless monitors. This makes it ideal for small- and medium-sized businesses, meaning the system can fit into the working environment, rather than the business having to adapt to the system.

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The Yarra Honda four-story dealership in Melbourne, Australia focuses on customer service with help from Milestone XProtect®ÄÊ»ÈÆÈ¿É»ƔÊ·ŮËÉ»ʾ»Ì¿º»ÅÉËÈÌ»¿Â·Ĺ» software to identify showroom customers who need help and receptionists monitor if employees are at their desks before transferring incoming calls. Proving again Milestone can solve problems that are more than security.

Milestone XProtect® is the world’s leading IP video surveillance management software and is reliable, future proof and easy to use. It supports the widest choice in cameras and seamlessly integrates with business and security solutions such as video analytics. Which means your possibilities are unlimited and you can keep your security options open. See our new products and the new ways to use XProtect at:

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uts_aug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/07/2013 10:01 Page 5

Under the Skin

Christie – FHD551-XG It pushes the envelope?

What is it? When you think back to the control rooms of a decade ago, the good ones were impressive. They featured banks of monitors replaying various video feeds, and every desk had a workstation with data scrolling merrily away. Once the surprise at the scale of the operation faded, you often wondered how much of the information was worthwhile, and how much worthwhile information was missed! Today, the video wall is king. By bringing together various video and data streams, and focusing on the information that is worthwhile, the video wall delivers functionality in a usable format. Christie claims that its latest video wall product – the FHD551-XG – delivers enhanced performance, an improved design, and a host of benefits that add value to modern control rooms. Indeed, in a fit of marketing speak, they claim that it ‘pushes the envelope’!

That’s what they say. So, let’s look a little closer at what they’re claiming. For Christie, this is the company’s first turnkey multi-touch video wall solution. They claim it has the smallest image-to-image gap of any bonded LCD panel. It is made up of four bonded 55 inch LCD panels mounted in portrait orientation. The display can be wall-mounted or used as a freestanding display. Resolution is claimed to be increased by 50 per cent – they don’t state what it’s a 50 per cent increase over! However, it delivers a 15 megapixel display. It also features six outputs. The content management system supports highbandwidth video, graphics, Microsoft Windows applications, Bluray and DVD outputs and text. Featuring a 3.6GHz processor, 16GB memory and 64-bit server, operators can send serial over IP commands to external devices by scheduling them via the system.

But will it last? Control rooms might not be the easiest environments, especially for touch screens, but given that Christie has identified the product as suitable for public spaces, it will face tougher tasks than control room personnel! The unit uses Corning Gorilla glass, making it scratch- and damage-resistant. The optical clarity of Gorilla glass ensures that images do not lose brightness or detail when compared with some LCD or LED displays. It’s also lightweight, which makes installation easier. This durability, combined with the delivery of interactive quad Full-HD resolution, high pixel density, LED backlighting and a very small bezel does indicate that as a touch-operated bonded video wall, it might be ideal for those with command and control application.


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AXIS M2014-E Network Camera

World’s smallest HDTV bullet-style network camera. > Stylish and functional design > HDTV 720p > Edge storages > AXIS Camera Companion support > Axis’ Corridor Format > IP66-rated camera unit To learn more, visit

uts_aug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/07/2013 10:02 Page 6

Under the Skin

Mobotix – MxActivitySensor What is it? Many years ago, before video motion detection was built into cameras and DVRs as a basic feature, the technology was pretty good if you selected the right system. Where the technology enabled discriminations for perspective, direction, distance, global changes, continuity, etc., it was reliable and credible. These discriminations allowed the elimination of false alarms caused by wind-blown debris, global scene changes, swaying motion such as bushes and trees, flashing or switching or lights, etc.. Indeed, video motion detection was akin to today’s analytics, albeit without the ability to layer events with AND/OR logic to deliver complex scenarios. The chase to make VMD available to all through even the lowest cost devices meant many dropped the more complex algorithms, and we ended up with an oversimplified function that triggered an alarm often based upon little more than contrast changes in the video image. Whilst many will tag any advanced processing trigger as analytics, MxActivitySensor from Mobotix is billed as intelligent video motion detection. Although the company states that it is ‘revolutionary’, what it does do is add the degree of additional discriminations that can make motion detection more reliable.


Is it complex? It goes without saying that any motion detection algorithm – well, any algorithm that is both reliable and effective – will be complex. That said, the complexity is in the processing engine. For those delivering the solution, the set-up is claimed to minimal. The manufacturer even goes as far as to state that used straight from the box, the functionality will be an improvement over many VMD options. We’ve seen a lot of integral VMD over the years, and we’d have no reason to doubt that claim! Any discrimination-based video motion detection will require some degree of configuration, although Mobotix does claim that a minimal amount is required to eradicate 90 per cent of traditional false alarm issues. Processing for the intelligent motion detection is carried out in the camera. The Mobotix range uses a decentralised approach, and the MxActivitySensor engine is directly integrated. Only triggered events are then transmitted over the network. Alarm actions can include recording, initiating a telephone call, email or SMS transmission, etc.. Global scene changes such as snow, rain, wind, light level changes, moving clouds and trees are ignored.

Is it going to be expensive? We thought you’d ask that! The S15, D15 and V15 camera models are equipped with the MxActivitySensor functionality as standard. If you have an existing Q24M, M24M, D24M, T24M, D14Di, S14 or V14 (secure models), then MxActivitySensor is included within the camera software updates from 4.1.6 onwards. These are available as a free download. So, no; it’s not going to be expensive!

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Faithful analogue and high resolution IP video performance, side by side. Migrate to IP at your own pace - Siemens art of video surveillance.

A hybrid CCTV system from Siemens Security Products truly means having the best of both worlds. Functionality in our Vectis HX breathes new life into your existing investment, bringing your analogue cameras up to date with the latest technology, including the ability to add in analytics using our comprehensive software. The Vectis HX Hybrid with 5TB of storage and HD monitor hardware, combined with the latest ONVIF 2 standard in Siemens

IP cameras (from VGA to full HD), provides unrivalled performance. That, coupled with Siemens ongoing research, our pedigree and worldwide support network makes us a natural choice for end users and installers who need to offer their customers a clear migration path from an analogue CCTV solution. Get the best out of both breeds, visit our website and discover Vectis HX, our IP portfolio, and the clearest, most natural migration path from analogue to IP.

Answers for infrastructure.

trigger test jul13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/07/2013 16:06 Page 2

Optex AX100TF

Risco Watchout 315DT

Takex PB20TE





















Video Triggers – Sensors Over the years, one of the more significant benefits to come out of the switch to digital recording has been the ability to implement cost-effective event-based surveillance actions. What was once an expensive and complex task has become simpler as a virtue of how the systems work and the data is stored. Benchmark considers the triggers for such switching; the first part of the test looks at the role of activity sensors. hen digital video recording first became a reality in the surveillance sector, the marketeers came up with a whole series of arguments as to why it should be adopted. Amongst the most commonly heard were an end to the tiresome process of rewinding tapes, and the elimination of tape jams! Whilst today we can look back at the whole tape rewinding process and consider it something of a time-waster, it certainly wasn’t a big enough issue to turn businesses away from surveillance. It also must be said that tape jams were not a significant problem.



Interestingly, one of the benefits of digital recording – event-based video – went somewhat under the radar. This is surprising when you consider that manufacturers invested a lot of R&D resources into trying to solve the problem, and during the analogue years it became something of a ‘holy grail’ for surveillance users and system designers. Event-triggered surveillance made a lot of sense. That many of today’s systems are recording high quality video around-the-clock, filling drives with countless hours of footage in which nothing really happens, is a hangover from the past. Back then, most people recorded all their cameras all of the time because there simply wasn’t another option; well, there wasn’t a cost-effective option. For starters, because magnetic tape used a linear recording format, there wasn’t any way to temporarily save a few minutes of video in a buffer, overwriting it as it fell outside a prescribed time window. This meant that prealarm footage couldn’t be gathered. Some tried using frame grabber technology, but at the time it was too costly and stored very small amounts of video.

trigger test jul13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/07/2013 16:07 Page 3

Video Triggers – Sensors

This meant that only post-alarm footage could be captured. However, even when a VCR had inputs to allow triggering, the time it took to load the tape onto the heads prior to commencing recording meant that incidents were often over before recording even started! Whilst many expected the introduction of digital recording to see a significant shift towards event-based archiving, it didn’t happen. Some went down that route, but many retained the ‘record around the clock’ mentality. Often they had experienced difficulties with trigger devices, or system design had meant that some events were missed. Manufacturers have increasingly realised that event-based recording can be much more than simply only recording when an event occurs. Functionality in modern DVRs, NVRs and VMS suites offers an ever-more flexible range of actions which can be triggered. These include initiating recording or streaming to other devices, increases in resolution, quality or frame rate, switching of additional systems such as illumination, etc.. These actions can also be worked into scenarios which allow a complex series of actions to be initiated in response to specific events. The increased use of ‘AND/OR’ logic means that often, the establishment of a series of actions to create relatively extensive triggered actions is a very simple process. Triggering makes surveillance a vastly more flexible tool. Those that still claim video surveillance is a passive tool simply haven’t spent time considering how triggering and event actions can be utilised. The aim of the Benchmark test is not to consider the depth of options that triggering delivers. This is carried out by the VMS, NVR or DVR, and is a test for another issue. Instead we wanted to consider the options for generating the initial trigger. This was split into two parts: sensors and intelligent video. The test site used a gateway which admits all vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a protected area. The goal was quite simply to ensure that all traffic of any type through that gateway generated a trigger event. Manufacturers were then allowed to put forward products which they would recommend for such a purpose.

Optex AX100TF The AX1000TF detectors from Optex are active infrared twin beam sensors. Activations are signalled following the beams being broken or obscured. As a result, any object – pedestrian

or vehicular – will trigger an event when passing between the units. The detectors work in pairs (transmitter and receiver) and have a range of 30 metres in external applications. The detectors have four selectable frequencies. This ensures that in applications with either long perimeter runs, or where beams are stacked to create a wall-type detection pattern, cross-talk between adjacent units can be eliminated with ease. A simple selector switch is mounted on the side of each detector head. The beams are pulsed to ensure that extraneous sources of infrared light cannot be introduced to ‘spoof’ the receiver unit. Light which is not pulsed at the right frequency is rejected. The beam interruption time required for an alarm event can be configured dependent upon the site’s needs, with 4 selectable options: 50, 100, 250 and 500 milliseconds. Alarm period is 2 seconds. The unit requires both beams to be interrupted to trigger an alarm condition, reducing nuisance activations created by animals, birds or wind-borne objects. Power to the unit is 10.5-28V DC, and current draw is 44mA maximum. The cover is tamper protected, and the main alarm output can be configured as NO or NC via an on-board switch. The sensors are sealed to IP65, and feature an internal rubber gasket which ensures a tight seal when the casing is fitted.


trigger test jul13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/07/2013 16:08 Page 4

Video Triggers – Sensors

Optex AF100TF + Beam strength monitoring and alarm memory add benefits - The viewfinder without an attachment isn’t great

Risco Watchout 315DT + A good quality external detector, but not for this application - Not the best product for surveillance triggering

Takex PB20TE + A good basic IR active beam for triggering - A little light on functions, and no viewfinder attachment

The cover design incorporates anti-frost protection. Operating temperature is -35 to 60°C. The AX beams feature an environmental disqualification circuit. This is designed to generate a ‘trouble’ alarm if the beam strength falls below an acceptable level. The fault condition remains until the beam strength returns to an acceptable level. The detectors can be wall or pole mounted, and are supplied with pole mount brackets, wall plates and fixing screws. In the past, the alignment of IR beams was a slow and frustrating process. However, recent advances in product design have ensured that the alignment can be carried out, quickly and easily, by one person. Indeed, Optex were one of the early adopters of techniques designed to simplify alignment. The manual discusses a four stage alignment. These are rough visual alignment using the detector’s integral viewfinder, fine alignment using the LEDs, final adjustments with a voltmeter and walk-testing.

The detector head can be aligned through ±90° horizontally, and ±5° vertically. Once mounted, ensure the transmitter and receiver pair are set to the same frequency, and set the output type and beam interruption time. The first stage of alignment uses the simple viewfinder for initial optical alignment. These viewfinders have been on IR beam detectors for many years now and generally work well. There is usually a small device that fits over the viewing hole to make the task simpler. By extending the overall length, you can use any eye on any viewfinder without blocking the view with your head! Optex did not include this with our test units. Checking the manual shows no reference to them, so we can only assume that they are no longer supplied. This makes the alignment task more difficult, with the result that you can (and we did) obscure the view with your head if the mounting position makes it difficult to access the unit from a certain side. There are adjustment screws to aid with the positioning of the detector head. Fine adjustments are made at the receiver unit, and a series of LEDs indicate alignment accuracy. Once this process is complete then the set-up can be checked using a voltmeter; a jack is included for this purpose. The final stage is to walk test the device. Once installed, the AX100TF behaved as expected. General stability was very good, and there were no nuisance activations. During the test period, weather conditions were unseasonably good! Temperatures ranged from 14 to 29 degrees centigrade, and the worst that occurred was a light breeze! However, we have tested products from the range previously in worse conditions, and have no concerns over their ability to cope. All genuine traffic was detected, including attempts to defeat the unit with high-speed breaches.

Risco Watchout 315DT The Watchout DT Extreme from Risco is a dual technology space detector which makes use of two passive infrared sensing elements and two channels of microwave sensing. It is worth noting that the Benchmark specification circulated to manufacturers stated that both pedestrian and vehicular traffic needed to be detected. Whilst all bodies emit infrared radiation, which is used by PIRs to identify motion, sensors are typically optimised for the detection of humans. Indeed, many 20

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Video Triggers – Sensors

manufacturers will not recommend PIR units for vehicular detection. Whilst most PIRs will detect vehicles, many feel that they cannot guarantee the reliable and efficient detection required. Risco does not state that the 315DT can be used for this purpose, but the fact it was submitted does seem to indicate the company would supply it for such use. The detector can be used in relay or bus mode; the latter is compatible with the manufacturer’s Prosys system. Standard range is 15 x 15 metres. The detector is supplied with three additional fresnel lenses – barrier, long range and pet immune options. We opted for the barrier lens, which gives a 15 metre barrier with a 5 degree field of view. This was better suited for the nature of the application, and also ensured that all motion would be across the detection zones. Other features include digital correlation technology, whereby the two pyroelectric sensors, which have different fields of view, need to identify an object with a similar signal profile in order for an alarm to be generated. The two microwave channels work together to deliver sway recognition, which eliminates nuisance alarms caused by trees or bushes. The unit also features anti-masking and dirty lens detection. The latter is a good addition for an external unit. Power is 9-16V DC; consumption is 45mA typical, 70mA maximum. The unit is supplied with a mounting bracket. Installation is straightforward, and the detector is relatively similar to an oversized internal detector. PIR range is adjusted by sliding the PCB, and microwave trimming is carried out via a potentiometer.


Other configurations are carried out via a bank of DIP switches on the PCB. These are for LED enable/disable, sensitivity (there are four settings, and when maximum sensitivity is selected the sway recognition technology is disabled), anti-masking sensitivity (high or low), optics (this needs to be enabled if the long range or barrier lenses are used, as was the case in the test), red LED (uses red LED instead of three colours), anti-masking enable/disable and proximity AM. The latter is designed to generate an alarm when a masking attempt is made, but prior to the unit being attacked. It uses the microwave elements, whilst the traditional anti-masking uses active infrared technology. A point worth noting is that the manufacturer cautions against nuisance proximity AM signals if the unit is exposed to rain. There is a separate switch on the PCB to select relay or bus mode; relay is the default setting. Once settled, the 315DT behaved well. Stability was not an issue, and the test period did see any nuisance alerts being generated. As mentioned previously, weather was good and relatively calm, although hot. Whilst much of the performance testing went without a hitch, with the unit delivering what was required, one incident was missed. This was when a HGV reversed slowly through the gate. It did not fully pass through the gate, nor were any people involved on the secure side of the portal. However, it did fail to meet the specifications of the test criteria.

Takex PB-20TE The PB-20TE detectors from Takex are active infrared twin beam sensors. Activations are signalled following the beams being interrupted. As a result, any object – pedestrian or vehicle – will trigger an event when passing between the units. The detectors work in pairs (transmitter and receiver) and have a range of 20 metres in external applications. The detectors feature four selectable frequencies to eliminate cross-talk where multiple beams are employed to either cover longer distances, or are stacked to deliver a larger area of detection. The beams are double modulated to enhance performance, and pulsed to reject infrared light from other sources, thereby ensuring that genuine interruptions cannot be concealed.

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Video Triggers – Sensors

The beam interruption time can be adjusted to suit conditions at an application. The range of adjustment is 50 to 700 milliseconds. This is made via a potentiometer, and as such you’ll be judging the actual time period by eye! Alarm time is 1.5 seconds. Both beams need to be interrupted to generate a trigger; this ensures that nuisance alarms aren’t created by low-flying birds or wind-blown debris. Alarm time is 1.5 seconds. The detectors are rated to IP54. The covers include integral anti-frost and anti-dew protection. Operating temperature for the units is -25 to +60°C. Power input is 12-30V DC; consumption is 55mA. As with the Optex units, alignment is via a four-stage process. Before this is done, the units are mounted – they can be wall or pole mounted, with brackets and fixing screws included. Once the transmitter and receiver are set to the same frequency, with the beam interruption time set, the initial optical alignment can be carried out. The detector head can be aligned through ±90° horizontally, and ±10° vertically. Like the Optex units, Takex uses an integral viewfinder for initial alignment. This method is used across their range. In the past the Takex products we’ve used have included an attachment to make the task simpler. The PB20TE, however, doesn’t include one. There is no mention of it in the manual either, so we don’t feel it was just missing. 24

It could be argued that if this was the first time you’d used the beams (and we’re talking about both beam manufacturers here), you might just think the system is a little awkward. However, if you’ve used the attachment before, you do find yourself questioning whether the companies really needed to shave a bit off their costs that badly! It might be that they simply don’t offer the attachments with the lower priced units. It might be that they’ve stopped including them altogether. Either way, it’s a step in the wrong direction, in our opinion! Once the initial alignment is carried out, fine tuning can be done using the integral LEDs. An attenuation card is supplied to allow adjustment of each element. Final tests should be made with a voltmeter, before walk testing. The PB-20TE delivered performance as expected during the test period. Stability was high, and once correctly configured we did not experience any nuisance activations. Whilst the weather was good, we have no concerns over the range’s performance to withstand harsher conditions, having tested other models in the past. All genuine intrusions were detected, and the trigger events occurred as per our specification. Both vehicular- and pedestrianbased events were captured, and the beams were consistent and effective.

Verdict The AX100TF beams from Optex offer a good degree of performance. Every genuine traffic movement through the protected gate led to a trigger event, and there were no issues with spurious activations. The units are well built, with good functionality. The Watchout 315DT from Risco did surprise us a little when it was submitted, given the criteria for detecting vehicles. It might have only missed one event, and it is fair to say it was not a high risk event. However, we have to rate it accordingly. That said, in many applications it would be a good choice; in this application, it wasn’t the best option. The PB-20TE beams from Takex are a good active IR beam choice. They do lack a few of the newer features which grace the Optex beams, but they matched them for performance, delivering both stability and accurate catch performance throughout the entire test period.

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Bosch NBN-733V-IP

















Video Triggers – IVA The preceeding test in this issue of Benchmark looked at the use of detection devices to trigger actions in a surveillance system. Whilst this role has traditionally been performed by sensors, the reality is that with the development of reliable video analytics, there is no reason why video cameras or codecs cannot perform the same task. This could be viewed as a more sensible approach, because it uses a device that can both trigger events and capture the video that caused the trigger! Does this change the design basics? ideo content analysis represents a valuable tool in a wide range of applications. In situations where exceptions can be clearly defined, the technology is far more potent than when used for general analysis of a busy scene. This is because the exceptions that the technology is looking for are simplified, and extremely specific rules can therefore be created. By way of an example, consider the differences between monitoring for exceptions on a road and a gateway. If you are looking for problems on a road, there are a diverse number of factors to be



considered. If a vehicle is stopped for a predetermined time window, that could be a risk which needs further investigation. However, if the system flags up an event every time congestion causes traffic to stop, or when a large vehicle appears in the scene, or when someone attempts to turn a vehicle around, the operator will soon start to ignore any alerts. Also, if the road is being monitored, what happens if a vehicle pulls off the roadway? It must be accepted that attempts will be made to make suspicious activity appear to be innocent. It must also be expected that events which are unexpected may occur, and these may be of great importance. Monitoring people or vehicles travelling through a gateway is simpler, because the exceptions are easier to define. If a person or vehicle enters, or if they obstruct the gateway, then a trigger can be generated. These are simpler to define, and the analytics software will therefore be more efficient. By reducing the number of exceptions, the resulting simplicity makes video analytics more efficient, more reliable, and certainly more cost-effective as a result. The aim of the Benchmark test is not to consider the depth of options that triggering delivers. This is carried out by the VMS, NVR or DVR, and is a test for another issue. Instead we

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wanted to consider the options for generating the initial trigger. This was split into two parts: sensors and intelligent video. The test site used a gateway which admits all vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a protected area. The goal was quite simply to ensure that traffic of any type through that gateway generated a trigger. Manufacturers were then allowed to put forward products which they would recommend for such a purpose. Cameras had to feature on-board processing that would allow events to trigger a relay output on the camera. The processing used for this task had to be included without any additional licence costs.

Bosch NBN-733V-IP The NBN-733V-IP is a part of the Bosch Dinion range of cameras. The series has been around for many years, and has undergone constant development. This has ensured that its reputation for performance has been retained, and whenever Benchmark encounters a Dinion product we do expect good things! The camera is a HD720p box-type unit with on-board video analytics. It uses a 1/3 inch CMOS HD sensor to deliver HD720p streams at frame rates of up to 50ips. This higher frame rate is designed to deliver clearer images, eradicating motion blur in scenes with fast moving objects. The camera also supports a host of other standard definition resolutions with various aspect ratios, including a corridor format. The main stream processing algorithm is H.264, as you’d expect. Motion-JPEG is also supported. The camera can handle multiple streams, which are independently configurable for resolution, frame rate and image quality. The unit carries a ‘Starlight’ designation, which Bosch claims combines advanced sensor technology with sophisticated noise reduction algorithms to deliver colour performance in minimal light levels. The specification quotes a sensitivity of 0.017 lux for a 30IRE image. It is also claimed that the noise reduction can reduce storage requirements by up to 30 per cent; of course, that would only apply when the video stream contains noise! Day/night operation is achieved using an infrared cut filter. Switching can be activated manually, by integral light sensing technology, or via a contact. As usual, we’d recommend the latter approach.

Other video-based features of the NBN733V-IP include adjustable white balance, intelligent backlight compensation, contrast enhancement, a dynamic range of 84dB and privacy masking, with up to four zones being programmable. Regions of interest (RoI) are also supported. These are established as separate streams, and the IVA engine allows tracking within RoIs. The unit is compatible with ONVIF Profile S, and also allows remote monitoring via a mobile device using a Bosch App. Given that the aim of the test is to create trigger events, it will be off little surprise that the camera features video content analysis (VCA). This can be configured in a number of different ways. There is a ‘Silent Motion+’ setting, which generates metadata to assist when searches are being made. It cannot be tweaked, and whilst it offers some interest it isn’t relevant to our test criteria. There is also an ‘Event Triggered’ option. This can deliver verified VCA performance, as the analysis engine remains in the Silent Motion+ mode until an event is signalled. This allows sensor-based activations, for example, to trigger a VCA profile which can then be used to verify the initial event, and either generate an alarm condition or ignore superfluous or innocuous activity. For those looking to use the camera as a trigger device, the profiles are the important element. The NBN-733V-IP allows two VCA profiles to be established. These can be manually implemented, or scheduled. There are three options for VCA. The first, Motion +, is included as standard. This is advanced motion detection with a few additional configurations. These are detection sensitivity, minimum object size and debounce time (this specifies a 1 second duration, and any alarm event must occur for this period to generate an activation). Motion+ also has a selectable aggregation time to ensure that several repeat activations are not triggered by a single event. This can be set from 0 to 20 seconds. The other two VCA options do deliver more discriminations with regard to direction, size, etc.. However, these do require additional licensing, and as such fall outside of the remit of this test. This does reduce the impact of defined triggering. The NBN-733V-IP supports two-way audio, data communications and local recording.


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Video Triggers – IVA

Making Connections The NBN-733V-IP from Bosch features a standard RJ45 connection for network connectivity and PoE input. Should a low power 12V DC/24V AC power supply be preferred, there is a modular two-pin socket – an appropriate connector is included. There are also sockets for the audio input and output, and these use 3.5mm stereo jacks. Another push-fit connector handles data connections (RS485, 422 and 232) and alarm inputs (two) and relay output (one). Again, a connector is included. Concealed beneath a rubberised flap is a MicroSD card slot for local recording. This can support MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC cards. A service video output is included; this allows connectivity via a standard monitor when the Installation Wizard is used. Finally, there is a camera reset button. The SC1DN-A from DVTel features a standard RJ45 connection for network streaming. Power input is from a 12V DC/24V AC power supply, and the camera features a screwtype terminal for this. Removeable push-fit connectors are used for an alarm input and relay output. The camera also features a standard BNC output for composite video. Finally, there is a recessed camera reset button.

Power is PoE; 12v DC/24V AC inputs are also supported.

DVTel SC1DN-A The SC1DN-A is a part of the Ioimage range of cameras from DVTel. For those unaware of Ioimage, the company was one of the first to package analytics into devices such as cameras and encoders. It could be argued that it was before its time, because networked solutions and analytics were very much in their infancy. DVTel acquired Ioimage in 2010 28

and brought the products into its video business. The camera is a box-type unit with – inevitably – on-board video analytics. It uses a 1/4 inch CMOS sensor to deliver both composite and digital video. Composite video resolution is 540 TVL, whilst networked streamed video is VGA with a frame rate of up to 18fps when H.264 compression is used. This level of performance might be seen by some as an indication that the SC1DN-A is not a higher end device. However, it is important to realise that the purpose of the unit is not to capture high quality real-time video. We’ll come back to this in a moment! The main stream processing algorithm is H.264, as mentioned. Motion-JPEG and MPEG-4 are also supported, and will deliver real-time streams. Streams can be variable or constant bit rate. However, as we’ve said, the purpose of the SC1DN-A has more to do with its alarm handling functionality than its streaming. The unit is a true day/night camera using an infrared cut filter, which can be switched manually or via integral light sensing functionality. The camera is also claimed to deliver a low level of noise. Other video-based features of the SC1DN-A include automatic gain control and autoexposure, backlight compensation and a dynamic range of 82dB. It would be fair to say that the camera offers a basic set of functionality with regard to video handling, and it could be argued that updating some of the processing would result in a more performance-based product. It’s hard not to look at a camera aimed at higher risk applications and expect a lot more. The real strength of the unit, however, does go some way towards making you understand what you are buying! At the heart of the SC1DN-A lies its video content analysis (VCA) engine. This is selfcontained, and requires no additional hardware of software to deliver its functionality. That the camera is at home in a legacy analogue environment or a networked solution does go some way towards illustrating that the visual performance isn’t what is key. The analytics use an automated sensitivity adaption function to deliver optimum performance without a need for lengthy set-up or regular maintenance. The analytics operate in a real-time mode.

Project1_Layout 1 11/07/2013 09:50 Page 1

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Video Triggers – IVA

Analytics rules can be created for a wide range of scenarios. These include people or vehicles entering a defined zone. Discriminations can be applied to this including direction, travelled distance, timescale, etc.. This allows, for example, identification of vehicles passing through a gateway, or more specifically passing through a gateway and proceeding to a nearby building. People are detected if walking, running, crawling, crouching, etc.. Rules can also be established to detect people loitering within a defined area. Virtual tripwires can be implemented, and activations can be created if a person or vehicle crosses these, either wholly or in part. Directional discriminations can be applied, and multi-segment tripwires allow complex boundaries to be followed, or certain areas where activity is expected to be avoided without compromising on protection. Because the SC1DN-A can be configured for advanced depth, the device can also detect

attempts to scale a fence. The creation of a 3D shape for the fence means that allowances can be made for perspective. Other rules allow alarms to be created for abandoned objects, stationary vehicles and object removal. The latter can be applied with a timescale, so if objects are replaced within a defined time window an event is not created. For added flexibility, the detection zones can be created from polygons or drawn in freehand mode. Configuring the analytics does require some time to be spent ensuring that perspective and depth are configured, but the rewards for this are enhanced overall performance.

Next Issue... Benchmark reports on the performance of the Bosch NBN-733V-IP and the DVTel SC1DN-A, and delivers the final ratings for the devices, as well as considering the pros and cons of using sensors or analytics as a video surveillance triggering method.

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FINAL bm web house_001_Benchmark_jul11 08/08/2011 16:20 Page 1


Benchmark – dedicated to independent tests, assessments and reviews of security products and solutions

The Benchmark website is a PRODUCT TESTS All tests are fully independent, and manufacturers supplement to the monthly have no involvement in the process. Additionally, Benchmark makes no charge, financially or of any magazine, and includes a variety other kind, for inclusion in tests. All products are selected by an independent team. In short, it’s the of tests and assessments of the only way you can ascertain the truth about product latest products, as well as guides performance! to product selection, technology Tests are carried out by an independent team of experts, telling you the truth about the performance challenges and information about of a wide range of security equipment, warts and all. influential technologies in the CHECK PREVIOUS ISSUES Benchmark back issues are available on-line, in a security sector. All content fully interactive format, and can be accessed free of is taken from the published charge. If Benchmark has tested the product, then you can establish the level of performance expected editions of Benchmark, so you in the field! will not find drafts by GUIDES AND CHALLENGES The Benchmark website includes product guides, manufacturers marketing their highlighting products that have been tested, or that wares or marketing hype that is have been recommended by security installers, system integrators, specifiers and security regurgitated via so many other consultants. There are also Technology Challenges, debunking the hype by reporting real-world channels. The content is written experiences of the various technologies. in plain English, free from technobabble, and reflects STAY UP TO DATE genuine experiences with the Benchmark is always testing and assessing products and technologies. Keep up to date equipment, whether that be with the latest reports by following Benchmark on Twitter. good, bad or indifferent. The website is free to view.

dave_aug13_000_Benchmark_nov10 10/07/2013 14:35 Page 2

Softly Softly

Softly softly... Should we fear the issue of industry regulation? Well, maybe we should; it depends who is in control of the regulation... he other night I was chatting to a friend who works with the ‘Great and Good’ of the security industry. Let’s just call where he works the Ivory Towers! After a while, the thorny issue of industry regulation came up. Since it was decided to phase out the Government body which currently regulates the industry – the SIA – and replace it with a new regulatory regime, he told me that there has been some degree of debate across a number of the organisations associated with the security industry, and that some parties had more to debate than others. Now, it is only be expected that the various organisations will be wanting to have their say. After all, we’ll end up with a regulatory framework that someone will have to implement. A brief look over the various bodies involved illustrates one thing: most of them have a more significant investment in the services sectors or other areas of security than they do in the electronic industry. Those few bodies which had some significance to the electronic industry have expanded their horizons to a degree where electronic systems are no longer their sole focus. This is only be expected, really, because the regulation of the industry doesn’t currently cover the installation and maintenance of systems. There’s a good reason for that. When the Private Security Industry Act was in its infancy, many in the industry – including a few of the team at Benchmark – worked long and hard to get the point across that licensing installers based solely upon vetting wouldn’t work. It would give the user the impression that the licence holder was qualified to install


I call it the security doughnut – not because it goes around and around and has nothing at the centre, but because there’s a tiny bit of jam, and that’s what everyone is after! 34

and maintain systems, rather than having just cleared vetting. That is still the case, so we have to hope that the systems sector won’t be shoe-horned into the regulatory structure. There are those that tell us that any kind of regulation is better than no regulation. Every time I hear that, I smell a whole bunch of something, and it ain’t bananas! Technology moves faster than any regulatory machine can. That’s a fact. Imagine a scenario where you can’t design the best solution for a problem, because the Men in the Suits haven’t got around to understanding what it does and why it does it. Imagine what would happen if those participants in regulation had vested interests that didn’t reflect user demands for technology? Let me say one thing. I don’t fear regulation. I do fear bad regulation. Like the core of the systems industry, I have no reason to cut corners or sell poor systems. I might be an ape, but I’m no monkey! Whilst systems are not currently being debated as a part of the regulatory debate, if they are added it would need to be very different to what currently exists. The fact that the debate excludes our sector is worrying, to a degree. Issues with regard to response services and operators do affect us, after all. Still, the debates continue. I call it the security doughnut – not because it goes around and around and has nothing at the centre, but because there’s a tiny bit of jam, and that’s what everyone is after! Many years ago a so-called technology expert at one of the organisations told me we should draw a line in the sand at JPEG to standardise digital recording. That’s enough to scare anyone half to death!

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devil aug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/07/2013 10:24 Page 1

The Devil’s Advocate The Devil’s Advocate meets Jim Ludwig, Texecom MD to any alarm calls, regardless of the quality of the systems involved, and they had adequate resources to do so. With regards to communications, very few users had mobile telephones or internet connectivity, and businesses and organisations relied on postal services for data exchanges!


The Devil’s Advocate: Someone who, given a certain argument, takes a contrary position – not necessarily agreed with – for the sake of debate. The Devil's Advocate seeks to engage others in a discussion designed to test the quality of their argument.


The intruder detection and alarm market is the longest established sector in the electronic security field. Despite such maturity, it is often considered too conservative, overburdened with red tape, and slow to react to end users’ needs. However, are these claims warranted? The Devils’s Advocate spoke with Jim Ludwig, MD of Texecom, to seek some clarification. he intruder alarm sector in the UK currently has a suite of standards that are unfinished. The creation of these documents commenced in what seems to be a different era. Back then, the police responded


Given changes since they were started, surely the ENs are always going to be out of sync with the real world? Yes. The standards creation consensus process cannot move as fast and technology, and so they’re always going to be out of sync. The objective of the standards isn’t to be in sync with the real world; it’s to attempt to prescribe a level of system performance and expectation of what a system will do. We’re talking about a system that is ostensibly serving a life-safety role. There is a responsibility for the people making it, the people installing it, the people using it to have equipment that does what it’s supposed to do. If a user expects to receive a modern and advanced solution, the fact that it’s based upon standards that are lagging behind the technology might not be what they expect. Isn’t that a concern? The customer is buying a system based on the standards that exist. The fact that the technology has moved on doesn’t mean that the intrusion system isn’t capable of doing what it’s supposed to do, namely identify the presence of someone who’s not supposed to be in the space. All the changes in technology aren’t going to alter the fact that most systems identify the infrared signature of movement through a space and signal that. You can do what you want with the signal; the core is to have architecture that is going to work. It’s often said – and experience seems to back this up – that the standards stifle innovation. Is this the case? One thing that stifles innovation is the amount of money and resources and time manufacturers put into keeping up with standards, testing and third party

devil aug13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/07/2013 10:25 Page 2

The Devil’s Advocate

certification. That is all money and resources that can’t be put into researching new technologies and new product development. All development has to happen within a set of boundaries. PD6662, for example, doesn’t limit the technology you can apply to the problem, but because of the way the standard is written and things you have to do to meet it, it’s just a huge resource-drain. This is because, to a degree, manufacturers had to reengineer what they’d already achieved. Because of the timescales involved and the magnitude of the changes – and the hesitancy of people in the industry regarding change – it turned out to be a massive drain on innovation.

Fit for purpose? In recent years, various versions of the standards have included requirements that were unworkable, technical demands that went beyond what was practical at the time, and even requirements – such as the opening of an entry/exit door disabling verified alarms – that defied security-based logic. Do some of the oddities that have cropped up indicate that those creating the standards are divorced from the market’s needs? Probably. We have someone who is very well qualified to sit on standards committees, who can bring some realism to the table because he has real-world experience. A lot of standards are written by people who haven’t been in the field for so long that they can’t remember what it’s like! There are people who don’t have experience in designing, installing or maintaining the systems they are trying to write standards for. There’s a big problem with that.

inspectorate makes a decision on what a product is or isn’t supposed to do, that kind of becomes the law, regardless of anyone else’s interpretation of the standard. Surely that must be damaging for the installation sector? It adds confusion and complexity to the market. Manufacturers are genuinely trying to develop products that meet the requirements. If an inspectorate sits outside of the manufacturer-certification relationship, and has a different opinion to those within it, there’s an opportunity for confusion for the installer. So, is there pressure on manufacturers to comply with inspectorates’ thinking rather than the written word of the standards? You have to try and keep an open dialogue, but I know in the past few years we’ve had instances where we don’t agree with inspectorates. The challenge has been having a debate with inspectors who base their opinions solely on their reading of standard and not on the real world, or the science and engineering behind the system. There is a necessity for a level of knowledge about how you apply standards in the real world that should influence any interpretation. Does that lack of experience with regard to application mean that they’re out of touch? I don’t think I’m qualified to comment on that! I’m not avoiding the subject. I don’t see the inspectorates as a day-to-day hindrance to our business or our customers’ business.

There have been issues where the inspectorates have placed their own interpretation on standards. Isn’t this outside of their remit? Who watches the watchers? Obviously they think it’s within their remit. There have been instances where we’ve placed a question-mark over how they’ve interpreted application standards. It’s always an uncomfortable position to be in. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t listen, and then they make their decision. I recognise that they have to be independent, but who polices them? If an


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The Devil’s Advocate

Occasionally it comes up, but I don’t see it regularly.

The resilience issue Great emphasis is placed on the resilience of all elements of intruder detection systems. Manufacturers have to build it into products, installers have to engineer it into their systems, signalling paths must include it, but police first response – by ACPO’s own definition – is not resilient. Does the fact that a police response is not guaranteed make a mockery of Type A Systems? The human resources for response are always going to be more limited and more expensive than the equipment you can put in place. The resilience of a system should be a given, and the ability or inability of the police to respond can’t be used as an excuse for the system not delivering that resilience. Surely a customer has the right to expect all elements of a Type A system – including the response, which is usually the reason for such a specification – to share tha resilience? That should be factored into the risk assessment of the site. If the viability of a user’s entire security solution is based upon a response from the police, and they’re willing to accept that as a risk, then they get what they get. There are other options to police response. If it is necessary to have a human on site five minutes after an alarm activation, then there are other response choices. If that’s the case, then why is the message from across the intruder alarm industry usually about police response? Part of it is cultural. There is an expectation that the people who can help you if something bad happens are the police. The standards are written with certain requirements to achieve a police response. That resiliency should be there whether the alarms are going to the police or a third party contractor. If you consider the informed commercial sector – those users with sizeable properties and higher risks – I don’t think they’re so ignorant that they’re not going to be 38

questioning the response issue themselves. The installers have a trusted expert role to fulfil to help educate the customer, but the customers also have a responsibility to educate themselves. I don’t think there is a pervasive expectation that the police will arrive if there’s an alarm event. If police response is the cornerstone of a security plan, and you don’t realise that there is a big risk element in that, then you have a problem. If the reality of police response isn’t getting through, who does the onus fall upon to ensure the situation is understood? Does it lie with the end user to understand what they’re buying, or does it lie with the installer to explain all the options? The ultimate responsibility lies with the person paying the money. They have to understand what they’re getting. In my opinion, the installers and manufacturers have a responsibility to supply as much information as they can, as transparently as they can, so the customer can make an informed decision. If you’re the person buying the system, it’s your responsibility to ensure you know what you’re getting and how to use it.

A private affair? If it is accepted that police response cannot be guaranteed, and that there has been a sea change in connectivity and communications, it could be argued that the time is right for the police to concentrate on the residential sector and very high risk sites such as banks and governmental departments only. Wouldn’t private response offer better value? It’s a cultural thing, because you’re talking about commercial sites with tenants who pay taxes which fund the police. There’s a certain level of expectation that they will enjoy the benefits of that. They might ask why they should pay a private contractor to do a job they’re already paying the police to do. That argument doesn’t seem an issue in countries that have only have private response. They enjoy a more effective and efficient response service, with the power to buy the appropriate level of security for their needs. Surely that’s the way forwards? I’ve been to a number of those countries, and it is absolutely more effective. The private responders have a vested interest in ensuring

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The Devil’s Advocate

That’s not the case for commercial applications.

they deliver a quality service, because they can get fired! You can’t fire the police for not turning up; they have a public responsibility, but they don’t have a fiscal responsibility and that tends to focus the mind. Private response is, in the main, going to give a better service.

Adding flexibility The video and access control sectors – which exist in a relatively standards-free environment – show that by embracing new technologies, manufacturers can provide not just security, but also additional functionality such as smart management, business intelligence, etc.. Shouldn’t the intruder detection market learn some lessons from the video and access markets? Many of the technologies and the systems are already geared towards delivering that extra functionality. An access control system, using the most simplistic terminology, is a really clever database management tool. That’s the genius of access control. The video systems of today – particularly as you move towards IP connectivity – are sitting on the infrastructure that’s connected to every system in the building. Because these types of systems exist outside of the standards, what they can and cannot do, and what they can and cannot connect to, doesn’t have the same limitations as an intruder detection system. An intruder alarm system is, to a degree, always going to be isolated. It can send information out to tell an access or video system that something has happened, and where it happened. However, the architecture of an alarm system isn’t going to be able to replace those other things. If you look at the residential market, using alarm systems to drive home automation is completely within the realms of possibility. 40

Control panels are designed to receive inputs and create outputs, so they should be able to handle automation tasks. Are the standards what restricts additional functionality? The intruder alarm control panel is not designed to do that job. The architecture is designed to comply with the standards, and by nature of the design it’s not the best tool to do the job. There are easier and more straightforward ways of doing it. If you look at the range of life safety systems, the highest level is fire alarm systems. They’re required by law, and the standards and certification outstrips anything in the intruder market. Their architecture has the same limitations as intruder alarm systems. It’s a dedicated self-enclosed system. If the rest of the building falls over, it must be able to survive and still operate. Just a little down from these are intruder alarm systems. They’re not a legal requirement, but you have standards, grading for insurance, the police response elements, and all of these specifics impact on the architecture and system design. After intruder you move down again to video and access control. These aren’t really life safety systems. If an intruder alarm fails, you just don’t know what might happen. There’s a responsibility that goes along with that. It’s not the same as if a camera fails or a door fob doesn’t work.

And finally... Given everything that’s been discussed, are intruder detection systems today still fit for purpose? Absolutely, for the job they are designed to do. Every security solution is like an onion. You have to have layers of technology applied the correct way to achieve the expected outcome. Intruder detection is an important part of it. Any of the other systems – without the intruder element – could be argued to be virtually useless. The baseline system requirement is an ability to tell you that something is happening and you need to take action. Intruder alarms are still the most reliable and economical of all the options. If something bad has happened, it can tell you about it as quickly as possible. There’s nothing else that can do it!

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wireless aug13_000_Benchmark_jul13 10/07/2013 15:48 Page 2

Wireless Alarms

Commercially acceptable? n recent years, the electronic security sector has seen wireless solutions undergoing something of a renaissance, and with good reason. Long gone are the days of frustratingly intermittent stability, poor product performance and questionable quality. With advances in modern wireless technology, coupled with enhanced system design, the security sector now has all the tools needed to deliver stable, robust and effective wireless products. Wire-free security systems offer obvious advantages over their hard-wired counterparts. With speed of installation dramatically improved, greater freedom with regard to device positioning, avoidance of damage to a site resulting in less time ‘making good’ after an installation, reduced requirements for wiring and advantages when upgrading or refurbishing a system, it is clear why wireless technology has started to find favour with engineers and users alike. Many in the security industry may have memories of unreliable wireless products causing problems in the past. However, developments in other sectors mean that end users nowadays expect wireless products to perform. With the exponential rise of advanced communications connectivity, users are increasingly technology-savvy and – given the relative reliability of wireless in other solutions, including some life safety systems – few have qualms over acquiring a wireless security system. Embracing the technology makes sense on a number of levels.


Historical issues It is fair to say that over the lifespan of wireless technology in the security sector, the quality of systems has varied enormously. In the past, RF-savvy design engineers were few and far between, and that, coupled with the cost of creating resilient wireless solutions, was reflected in the performance of early wireless systems. Whilst wireless solutions are typically more expensive than hard-wired options, radiobased security systems were predominantly developed for residential applications. Even today, many engineers and system designers still see wireless solutions as a choice for residential applications. The quality

Across a range of commercial sectors, wireless technology has become a mainstay. End users enjoy the flexibility, the benefits to installers and integrators are obvious, and R&D continues to improve performance. Should the security sector move towards greater use of the technology in commercial applications? of modern systems means that robust, reliable wireless products are now commonplace. Despite these advances, the technology is not an automatic choice when considering commercial applications.

The downsides With commercial sites, the demands with regard to performance placed on electronic


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Wireless Alarms

security equipment is far greater than in residential installations. The environments are typically harsher, the number of devices and size of the system are greater, and the risk (and potential cost) of a security incident is significantly higher. In such conditions, challenges need to be faced to ensure continuity of performance. Battery life can be an issue for commercial wireless devices, which in turn leads to a need to conserve power. In order to minimise power usage, wireless devices typically spend the majority of time in a dormant state. This can create issues if the system is not specifically designed to handle a large number of devices. Commercial premises can be large in size and can be constructed from materials that are not ideal for the free transmission of radio signals. Also, a commercial application might require a high number of devices to deliver full coverage. These factors will create issues for a wireless solution which has not been specifically developed for commercial applications. Basic systems typically use point-to-point communications. With a single signalling path available, devices are susceptible to being ‘lost’ if there are changes to the building infrastructure. Even something as simple as the addition of a metal filing cabinet could cause disruption. Finally, for the engineer, commercial wireless solutions can lead to more complex site surveys. In order to verify the positioning and reliability of wireless communications, a site survey is essential. With larger and more complex applications, it is vital that systems deliver a good degree of diagnostic support. For all the benefits of wireless technology, these issues may seem to tilt the balance towards hard-wired systems. In the past that was the case, but recent developments make such thinking obsolete!

The right solution Today it is possible to deliver reliable wireless systems in commercial applications. Whilst a combination of intelligent system design and higher-grade products is required, manufacturers have addressed many of the traditional issues, and even built in a number of additional benefits. With careful system selection and consideration of basic design criteria, wireless systems are providing significant benefits, even in harsher environments. 44

Two-way radio-based signalling is a must for commercial environments. It simply cannot be considered wise to implement a basic point-to-point solution with one-way transmission. If the control panel can’t identify the loss of a device from the system, or a device identify that it must retransmit alarm data when the signal does not get through to the panel, performance can only be flawed. Many manufacturers offer hybrid systems which combine wire-free functionality with established hard-wired products to create a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ solution. Where cabling is difficult to deploy, or where a hard-wired approach might result in compromise, wireless technology can be used. However, the core of the system can be retained in a hard-wired format. Hybrid systems can often utilise powered hubs to overcome any range limitations of wireless communications. These are powered devices that receive wireless communications from devices and repeat the information to the control panel across the wired part of the system. Multiple powered hubs (or nodes, expanders, portals or whatever terminology a given manufacturer tends to use) can expand both coverage and the overall number of wireless devices. Mesh-network technology is a more recent technological advancement for wireless security systems. With a mesh-network system, each device is capable of acting as a repeater, receiving and repeating wireless transmissions from other devices. In this scenario, the size, scalability and range of the entire wireless security system are extended, as the signals can hop from device to device. This enhances reliability, as diagnostics constantly assess the connected devices to identify the best routes for signals to the panel. If an obstruction exists, the system simply reroutes the data traffic! Additionally, two parts of a site can linked via a single device, delivering wireless protection to areas that traditional systems simply cannot support!

In summary The world of wireless alarm systems has changed significantly in recent years, and with the right system the benefits can be applied to commercial applications without any performance compromise. The wireless renaissance has arrived; the benefits are too good to ignore!

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tkh_aug13_000_Benchmark_nov10 10/07/2013 14:40 Page 2

Test Update

Test Update


TKH Security - Siqura S64 E/SA BENCHMARK RATINGS Product Design: Ease of Installation: Features & Functions: Performance:

80% 76% 84% 84%

n a recent issue of Benchmark, a Group Test was carried out looking at video encoders. During the test, we had several issues with a product from TKH Security’s Siqura brand. A series of small issues snowballed, which resulted in a rating of 65% for Ease of Installation. The published default log-ins for the unit were incorrect. When we contacted the technical help-line, the published number was incorrect. A call to the UK sales team also drew a blank, and we finally only discovered the cause – a change to comply with ONVIF’s need for a different password format – when we contacted a technical engineer in Holland. Few integrators would have access to his contact details.


Since then, TKH Security has addressed the issues. It has rewritten the manual to reflect the changes. It has also added the default password information to the splashscreen which appears when you first log in. In the original Benchmark rating, the encoder scored 65% for Ease of Installation; this low rating also reflected the fact that the encoder uses a proprietary VLC plug-in, which we weren’t too keen on! To reflect the changes make by the manufacturer, the Ease of Installation rating has been upgraded to 76%, which means the product has a total rating of 81% and Recommended Status. TKH Security has also confirmed to Benchmark that its next generation of products will not use the VLC plug-in!

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Field Notes

FIELD NOTES: Emergency Evacuation Refuges n a recent study, the use of refuges in modern buildings was one of the more often misunderstood elements of Building Regulations. Despite what many think, the provision of a refuge is not covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, those designing such facilities should remember that the DDA is an important piece of legislation, and whilst not specifying the requirements of refuges, the Act must be adhered to to ensure that, where practical, disabled persons are not subject to discrimination on account of their condition. The thinking behind a refuge is simple, and easy to understand. In the event of a need to evacuate a site – fire, bomb threat, etc. – it is important that people leave swiftly, but in an ordered and structured manner. Whilst for many users of a site this will not be an issue, for those who have problems using stairs unaided, it presents a challenge that can be quite frightening. Whilst it is vital that a degree of protection extends to all users of a site, regardless of their mobility, it is equally as important that obstructions or delays are not caused for others evacuating the site. It is also important to ensure that any persons with mobility issues are not endangered by others who do not fully understand the best and safest ways to assist. Enthusiastic but untrained ‘helpers’ could create more problems than they solve. The purpose of a refuge is not to create a space in which to leave those with mobility issues whilst a fire is tackled, or until the emergency services arrive! It should be a short-term safe area which allows the user to put their evacuation plan into place. There are design requirements which cover the locations of refuges, the materials that should be used, even the sizes of the spaces. For security installers and systems integrators, such considerations will be outside of their remit when creating solutions. However, where it is possible to add benefits is through the installation, and potential integration, of an effective communications system.


When implementing a solution in non-domestic applications, it is important to understand the need for the provision of a refuge area for those who might be unable to evacuate a site. Designing such a facility into systems can only enhance the benefits on offer to users.


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Field Notes

Refuges are required to have in place some form of communications system that allows those using them to remain in contact with those co-ordinating any evacuation procedures. These systems are vital to ensure that any persons in refuges can alert others to the fact that they require assistance, and can also then receive reassurance that help is being provided.

In contact It is important that communications systems for refuge areas are simple to use, clearly printed with instructions, and effective. Bear in mind that users might well be in a state of anxiety or fear when using them, and appreciate that any complication in operation will be a negative. When considering the needs for a communications system, there are a number of issues to consider. Many buildings may have a requirement to have a refuge facility on every floor near to a staircase. The need to

handle multiple calls means that care should be taken to ensure that any communications system has the capacity – or expansion capabilities – to cope. Also, whilst the receiving stations typically use handsets, this will not practical for the call stations at the refuges. Because of the nature of the system, these should also allow hands-free two-way communication, and be equipped with status lights to ensure anyone using them is aware of the system status. Call stations must be rugged, and should have IP ratings to ensure they can continue to operate if, for example, sprinkler systems are activated. They should also be able to operate effectively and deliver clear communications with high ambient noise levels without any need for interaction from users. It is also advisable to seek solutions that include an induction loop amplifier for the hard of hearing, and are compliant with BS5839 part 9: the code of practice for emergency voice communication systems.

Project1_Layout 1 11/07/2013 10:40 Page 1

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Idis – DirectIP dis established a European headquarters near London last year, signalling dedication and commitment to European customers. At the 2013 IFSEC event in May, the company debuted its DirectIP surveillance solution. An optimised HD surveillance solution using a closed IP framework, the range includes IP cameras, NVRs, network equipment and client software as a single source solution. As the proliferation of IP and HD systems has grown, installers and end-users increasingly report frustration with the many challenges presented by an overly fragmented and unnecessarily complex surveillance marketplace. DirectIP is a ‘onestop-shop’ HD surveillance solution from a single source provider. The DirectIP framework and integrated Video Management System, bundled at no additional cost, allows simple, low cost installation and ease of use previously associated with analogue systems.



DirectIP is plug and play, offering easy installation and an intuitive user interface, reducing - and in many cases eliminating the need for costly installation and integration support. It offers real-time live monitoring and recording with HD resolution and Pentaplex operation. DirectIP is interoperable with ONVIF and compatible with the most popular third party IP camera protocols, legacy systems and external devices. The system offers NVR quality without additional costs, while it lowers installation time, brings down training needs and requires less maintenance. An additional benefit is the solution’s scalability, making it appropriate and affordable for small businesses and large enterprises alike. It includes technology and functionality which was previously only accessible to large organisations with significant budgets.

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A look at the latest launches for those seeking advanced solutions

An integrated approach to perimeter security Gallagher Security has announced the launch of version 7.10 of its Command Centre integrated security solution. The system, which resides on an organisation’s IT network, integrates electronic access control, intruder alarm management, perimeter security and compliance management in a single scalable platform, providing command and control. New features include cardholder and activity reporting. Re-usable reports can be created using filters that are claimed to be simple to configure. A touch-screen enabled Visitor Management Kiosk allows visitors to undertake self-registration, eliminating the need for front-line staff. The Kiosk feature is integrated with Command Centre and can be configured to accommodate a variety of requirements. The system includes the facility for visitors to access and update visit details and issue their own visitor badge. On completion of sign-in, the visitor’s host is notified of a guest’s arrival via email or SMS. Another feature is Tag Board, which allows the operator to monitor cardholders within a zone in real time as they enter or leave an area, while a URL tile enables the operator to access information via the internet, intranet or LAN. The operator can call up a centralised view of external information.

Increased capacity Yuasa Battery Sales has added a further model to its SWL family of industrial valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries with a high capacity 12V model, the SWL3800. Ideal for use in uninterruptable power supply (UPS) and other high discharge rate applications, the SWL3800 delivers claimed increased performance with up to 40 per cent extra high-rate discharge capacity when compared with standard NPL series batteries. Features include va nominal 10 hour rate capacity of 124Ah to 10.8V at 20°C. Standby life expectancy is up to 10 years (at 20°C). The battery features an ABS case as standard, with a flame retardant (FR) option available for UL94V0 applications. The battery can be installed and operated in any orientation except permanently inverted. The new battery complies with IEC61056 and IEC60896-21/22. Case dimensions are 350 x 173 x 272mm high with a typical mass of 48kg. Operating temperature ranges are -15 to +50°C (charging) and -20 to +60°C (discharging). Optimum storage temperature in fully charged condition is from -20 to +50°C.

A higher category Datwyler has developed CU-8203-4P, a compact S/FTP AWG23 cable which complies fully with the anticipated requirements of the new Category 8.2 as specified in the ISO/IEC draft. The standards for Category 8 copper cable and balanced cabling systems for 40Gbps transfer are currently being developed. Whilst the foreseen use of Cat8 is in data centres, the specification will be of interest to those delivering high bandwidth video on larger sites. Other new developments with S/FTP and F/FTP, as well as appropriate patch cables, will follow. The manufacturer places particular emphasis on the fact that with regard to attenuation, the new cables provide a large amount of spare capacity.


bulletin aug13_000_Benchmark_jul13 11/07/2013 09:56 Page 4


Moving targets? Aritech has introduced advances to its detector technology including ‘Gliding Focus’ mirror optics. These are claimed to provide smooth, continuous and automatic target focus over the entire detection range. This is backed by the utilisation of vector algorithms, using pattern recognition to eliminate nuisance signals. The manufacturer states that the algorithms can determine the direction of motion of an intruder. Another development is gated radar technology with a selectable range to define the detection border. Finally, the anti-masking technology uses both active infrared and radar elements to deliver enhanced protection.

Firmware enhances bandwidth management Samsung Techwin has introduced a firmware upgrade that has reduced the bandwidth and video storage requirements of the company’s network cameras, domes and encoders. The software engineering team has devised improvements to Samsung’s version of H.264. The company stated that previously its Full HD models, required a bit-rate of 10Mbps, but now only require 3Mbps to ensure that there are no latency issues or artefacts. The upgraded firmware, which applies to almost all network models, can be downloaded free-of-charge from the manufacturer’s website. The firmware upgrade also allows devices to dynamically adjust the transmission bitrate and compression settings depending on the level of activity that may be occurring within a camera’s field of view. This allows bandwidth allocation to be increased when there is activity in a viewed scene.


Additional access functionality Spica International has launched an access control platform, Zone Access. The platform consists of two key elements – Zone Wing and Zone Door. These combine to make a network of access controllers that can be configured to be real-time registration points, or auxiliary terminals can be added to provide time and attendance functionality. Zone Wing controls all communications with the host system over Ethernet. It stores access profiles and offline events for the points it supervises and communicates with connected Zone Door units over a subnetwork. Zone Door manages the inputs and outputs for access control. Each Zone Door has two card (or biometric) reader inputs, RS485 connection and the required digital I/Os. Each Zone Wing can have up to 32 Zone Door units connected to it, enabling a single controller to support between 1 and 64 doors.

Real-time delivery Hikvision has announced the release of a HD-SDI DVR series, comprised of the DS7204/08HFHI-ST and the DS-7204/08HFHISE DVRs. Both offer low-latency transmission and real-time recording at certain resolutions. The series includes 4 and 8 channel models which deliver simultaneous realtime recording and playback in 4CIF resolution on all channels. There is also an option for 720P or 1080P recording. Available with a range of storage capacities, the recorders utilise H.264 compression. Claimed to be easy to set up and use, the features include smart search, simultaneously viewing of live and playback footage, flexible alarm handling, camera control and remote management capabilities. Remote monitoring enables management via a LAN, WAN or the internet. Streaming to smartphones is also supported. Audio can be recorded on all channels.

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Purchasing Dept, we need new, greener PSUs now! We need energy-efficient PSUs. We don’t want to be at the mercy of Far East delivery schedules so please look for a hi-tech UK manufacturer. Can you find a single source for all our needs, Intruder, Fire, CCTV, Access and PoE!

Each Dycon PSU saves at least £20 electricity p.a. compared to old conventional linear PSUs.


It’s a no brainer then!

call DYCO N today

01443 471060


They even have spec circuits that can


extend battery life

by up to 12 months,

how much will that

save us each year service calls??


bulletin aug13_000_Benchmark_jul13 11/07/2013 09:57 Page 6


Tagging range unveiled

A wider range Perco offers a wide range of turnstiles, including compact and box tripods, full-height and waist high rotors and gates for indoor and outdoor use. The range includes automatic anti-panic systems, turn-key IP-based and webbased access control solutions and the glass Pgate. All products are available from stock. The manufacturer’s IP-based access control systems include turnstiles which are equipped with software and provide a turnkey solution for access control in offices, industrial and commercial facilities. The manufacturer has a multilevel quality management system to ensure quality control through all production stages and pre-sales service. Products are subject to endurance and environmental testing, as well as tests for electrical and fire safety, and electromagnetic compatibility.

A miniaturised approach Vivotek has launched a compact wireless day/night network camera for outdoor applications. The IP8336W features a 1megapixel CMOS sensor to deliver a 1280 x 800 resolution video at 30fps. It includes integral IR illuminators to allow coverage of up to 5 metres in low-light situations. The IP8336W supports real-time H.264, MPEG-4 and MJPEG encoding. The camera uses an IP66-rated housing, and includes integrated 802.11b/g/n wireless. With a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature, configuration over a wireless network connection is claimed to be simple. 54

Stanley Security Solutions has launched an EAS (electronic article surveillance) range aimed at the retail, leisure and visitor attraction markets. The range features radio frequency (RF) mono and dual pedestal systems, and acoustic magnetic (AM) mono, dual and triple systems. Slimline mono versions are available for locations where space is at a premium. The pedestals are claimed to be robust, and features an aluminium-framed aerial with a plexiglas body which can accommodate advertising panels. The pedestals can be used in standalone mode or with multiple units deployed. The models include both a visual and audible alarm, with selectable sounder pattern and adjustable volume. The RF pedestals incorporate both swept and single frequency operation and use an intelligent transmitter to prevent label or tag deactivation. The AM models use digital signal processing to continually check the environment, resulting in minimal false alarms whilst retaining detection rates, according to the manufacturer. The dual model allows a detection range of up to two metres between the pedestals. The Stanley EAS pedestals are available with a wide range of hard tags and adhesive labels, including fresh and frozen food labels. Stanley also offers compatible detachers for the removal of tags and deactivators for labels. The EAS range is compatible with Stanley’s bi-directional people counters. The system uses a horizontal infrared beam. The standard option allows for single direction counting, whilst the web-based people counter controller set enables counting in both directions. The latter can be configured to receive data from up to 10 sources.

Project2_Layout 1 09/07/2012 20:16 Page 1

LED CCTV monitor New high performance, energy efficient widescreen monitors deliver full 1080P resolution whilst reducing your running costs by 40%.

™ 21.5” & 23.6” versions ™ 1080P resolution ™ Richer, more realistic colours ™ Low power consumption ™ Environmentally friendly ™ Immediate delivery

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Vigilant Vision, Unit 12, Vale Industrial Estate, 170 Rowan Road, Streatham, London, SW16 5BN Tel: 0208 765 9626 Email: Web:

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Reduced profile switchlocks

GSM alarm kit launched Pyronix has announced that it is now offering an Enforcer GSM kit. The Enforcer is claimed to allow reduced installation time. The GSM kit removes the issues associated with connecting to telephone lines as it has GSM communication built in. The kit contains an Enforcer panel complete with GSM module, a Deltabell-WE module, two KF4-WE four button keyfobs, two KX10DP-WE wireless pet immune detectors (which can be converted to KX12DQ-WEs by removing the pet mask in the lens) and an MC1MINI-WE miniature magnetic contact. It should be noted that the kit only includes the Deltabell wireless module. The baseplate and cover must be purchased separately.

Camlock Systems has launched a range of miniature switchlocks, including single pole and double pole types, with options regarding head profile and key combinations. The switchlocks have been tested to in excess of 20,000 cycles. The switchlocks are fire resistant, and are able to operate in a temperature of -20째C to +65째C. They are rated for currents up to 5A at 115V AC. The locks offer full functionality, but have an overall body length of just over 30mm and a 16 x 13mm mounting hole size. They can be specified keyed alike or keyed to differ, and up to 200 different key combinations are available. They are available with the key either trapped or free in the locked position. The range features a five disc tumbler mechanism, and the key has a double-sided design for user convenience. The single and double pole lock have a conventional conical head. Additionally, a parallel head type that is ideal for recessed apertures is available.

Pro-Vision adds bullet range Pro-Vision has added the latest IP bullet camera from Dallmeier to it20 s product portfolio. The DF4920HD is a threemegapixel bullet camera which is suitable for external applications. It includes three semicovert 850nm highpowered LEDs to provide images in low-light conditions. It delivers HD1080p/30 streams via the H.264 codec, and uses a motor-driven P-Iris lens. P-Iris technology is designed for precise and 56

automatic adjustment of the iris position to ensure optimum aperture, delivering enhanced contrast, clarity and resolution together with an increased depth of field under a range of lighting conditions.

everfocus_Layout 1 12/06/2013 14:27 Page 1

EverFocus UK Unit 12 Spitfire Business Park, Hawker Road, Croydon CR0 4WD Tel: 020 8649 9757 Email:

FINAL next issue aug13_000_Benchmark_nov10 11/07/2013 10:51 Page 2

Next Month

Next Month in Benchmark... A Singular Approach Inherent intelligence in access control solutions has led to the systems delivering ever more capabilites beyond simply controlling who enters and exits a site. Benchmark considers the case for single credential systems to see what they offer installers and integrators.

Alarm Signalling With a growing number of options relating to alarm signalling, which solutions can deliver the right degree of protection for those seeking security at higher risk sites? Benchmark weighs up the choices available to installers and integrators.

NVRs There is no doubt that networked video has well and truly arrived in the video surveillance market, and whilst much emphasis is placed upon video management tools, a core requirement is still the recording and playback of captured video. Benchmark looks at some of the leading options available to those developing advanced solutions.

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Let’s siqure your world!

Tel. : +31 (0)182 592 333

Benchmark August 2013  

Is VCA a credible solution for trigger event-based surveillance?