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December 2013

Technology: Intruder Alarm Developments Innovation: Benchmark Awards Announced Field Notes: Surveillance for Smaller Sites Under the Skin: Latest Technologies Examined

BENCHMARK

Think Heat! Thermal imagers for security applications

TESTED: Idis Direct IP

BUYER’S GUIDE: Low Light Cameras


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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.

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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!

www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Maintex™

Professional Remote Maintenance Software

Remote maintenance for every installation Your customers trust you to protect their lives and livelihoods. Don’t leave it to chance. With Texecom’s Maintex software you can remotely diagnose and monitor any Premier Elite security system with compatible remote signalling capabilities. Fully compliant with PD6662, Maintex reduces unnecessary site visits and prevents problems before they occur; saving you time and money whilst providing your customers with peace of mind.

Automatic remote maintenance Let Maintex manage your maintenance schedule for you, automatically scheduling and receiving maintenance data from all your sites. Maintenance schedules can be created providing control over specific maintenance dates and times. Companies often specify overnight maintenance for commercial installations and daytime maintenance for domestic properties.

Multiple connection options Maintex supports a wide range of connection options to Premier Elite control panels. PSTN: Premier Elite Com300 or Premier Elite Com2400 digital communicators. IP or GPRS: Premier Elite ComIP or Premier Elite ComGSM. Maintex also supports IP connection via WebWayOne, Chiron and Emizon. Dial Capture: CSL DualCom and BT RedCARE products that support dial capture connection.

Personalised maintenance reports Maintex enables you to create personalised maintenance reports with the option to add company letterhead or logo information.

PD6662 Grade 2 and Grade 3 systems require two site visits per year, or one site visit and one remote system check. Maintex exceeds the requirements of the remote system check, reducing the need for unnecessary site visits.

Designed & made in the UK by Texecom

Visit: www.texe.com Sales: +44 (0)1706 220460


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December 2013

Contents 7 Editorial No solution can ignore the price/performance ratio if it is to succeed in the real world!

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

16 Praising Innovation Benchmark announces its awards scheme to recognise innovation in the security sector.

19 Professional Test: Idis Direct IP platform Benchmark considers the performance of the Direct IP platform from Idis to see if it offers all it claims.

26 Group Test: Thermal Imagers Benchmark looks at the performance of thermal imagers from Bosch, Axis Communications and DRS Technologies to see whether they enhance security applications.

33 Technology Assessment: Intruder Alarms Editor Pete Conway Tel: 020 8295 8303 E-mail: pete.conway@benchmarkmagazine.com Advertisement Manager Wendy Thomas Tel: 020 8295 8305 E-mail: wendy.thomas@proactivpubs.co.uk Production Matt Jarvis Tel: 020 8295 8300 E-mail: matt.jarvis@proactivpubs.co.uk Administration Tracey Beale Tel: 020 8295 8301 E-mail: tracey.beale@proactivpubs.co.uk

Many claim that the intruder alarm sector isn’t advancing; Benchmark looks at how developments in communications are changing the possibilities from systems.

38 Softly Softly Here we go again! Benchmark’s Dave casts a jaundiced eye over compliance-based businesses and their tactics.

40 Buyers Guide: Low Light Cameras Benchmark looks at the important specifications when selecting Low Light cameras.

45 Distributor News The latest news for installers and integrators from the distribution market.

46 Field Notes Benchmark considers the use of network-based solutions for smaller sites.

51 Bulletin The latest product releases of interest to installers and integrators.

58 Next Issue A look ahead to the January 2014 issue of Benchmark. ISSN: 1750-1040 Editorial and Advertisement Office PO Box 332 Dartford DA1 9FF © Pro-Activ Publications Ltd 2013 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.

www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment... Pete Conway, Editor, Benchmark enchmark celebrates technological innovation. We recognise its importance in the future of the security systems sector. We also understand that whilst the conservative nature of the security industry means that change is sometimes resisted, it is a dangerous step to dismiss change simply because it presents challenges. To this end, in 2014 Benchmark will launch its Innovation Awards scheme (see page 16). This is designed to award innovations which enhance the systems on offer, which promote higher levels of security, and which advance the possibilities for installers and integrators. If you are able to create better solutions for you customers – the end users – then what’s not to applaud? Innovation is very different to commercial success. Innovations push the capabilities of established technologies, they address issues that previously have been problematic, they deliver a better solution, or improve in areas that have limitations. Innovation doesn’t have to be total. In truth, it is very rare for any manufacturer to deliver a concept which is 100 per cent original and new. The reality is that much innovation is delivered in small doses. It can be a single feature on an otherwise standard product. It can be a function, or it can be a performance enhancement. It matters not; innovation is progression, and progression is important in a technology-based industry. Often, innovation doesn’t automatically mean commercial success. There are cases where innovation will swing market share, but its not an automatic result. Some manufacturers innovate, develop and invest time and resources getting something right. However, it is only when the concept is picked up by a company with marketing clout and the resources to bring it to the fore in a big way

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Technical innovation is the lifeblood of our industry. However, any innovations that cannot be commercially justified simply will not enhance the security on offer to the end user, or make the task of the installer or integrator any better. Innovations can only have true value if they’re realistic! that commercial success is realised. All too often, it is the latter company that takes the accolades. However, the commercial aspect of innovation is important too. A manufacturer could produce a feature, function or product which offers something new to the market. Economical factors usually means such products carry a price premium. However, for an innovation to be successful (not necessarily commercially successful, but just to be accepted by the market) it must be reasonably priced. An innovation which has a cost of ownership far beyond that of its mainstream alternatives will always struggle, simply because no business or organisation will knowingly pay through the nose for features and functions which can be delivered in another way. Also, no installer or integrator is going to offer a product or system which makes their solution unfeasibly expensive when compared to other choices. Decent innovations are typically worth a price premium, but that premium must be realistic in relation to the benefits being added! Innovation for innovation’s sake simply doesn’t help anyone.

www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Under the Skin

Sony – SNC-CX600W What is it? One of the main benefits of networked video is flexibility. It’s not just a case of network infrastructure breaking free of the constraints that typically define the limitations of point-to-point coaxial analogue cabling, but also the ability to use a variety of transmission media in a single solution, often without additional expense and specialist hardware. The typical demands of consumers and businesses using IT networks and advanced communications has delivered – and continues to deliver – real additional benefits to the security sector as it moves increasingly towards a networked future. As market demands create ever more stable, secure and capable wireless connections, so the security sector is able to deliver streamed video over wireless links in certain applications with compromising on overall quality. The Sony SNC-CX600W is a miniaturised camera which delivers wireless connectivity, and features integral detection, edge recording, alarm handling and twoway audio. Designed to deliver a different approach for video surveillance needs, it is ideal for smaller sites or for remote areas.

A few more specs? As already mentioned that camera delivers HD720p30 streams; other lower resolutions can be specified. It can use H.264 or JPEG compression. Bit-rate is adjustable up to 8Mbps, and that should be more than enough to deliver decent HD720p images; if the two-way audio is deployed this might have a slight effect. Sensitivity is quoted as 1 lux for a 50IRE image with AGC set to maximum. The unit does feature white light illuminator LEDs. These have a quoted range of 3 metres. 8

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Is it a gimmick? It’s fair to say that if you dip into the murky waters of all-in-one wireless cameras, you will come across a wide range of devices which simply cannot be taken seriously for security applications. The devices vary from unbranded units sourced via auction websites, through camera and software packages aimed at on-line communications, through to some which do deliver a decent degree of performance. The trick when faced with such products is to establish what you expect from such a unit, and then ensure that the specification delivers each and every requirement. Often, if you delve into the figures, there will be clear clues as to what degree of performance you’ll receive. The SNC-CX600W delivers HD video. It’s actually HD720p video, but for most target applications for this device it will be enough. There are a number of wireless camera options that claim to deliver HD1080p, but they don’t. Often they stream video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but at frame rates of 10 or 15fps. Of course, that isn’t HD. The Sony unit delivers video at 30fps, so it is standard HD720p. The processing is carried out via the Ipela Engine, which is used in many of the manufacturer’s high end devices, so there is no reason to suspect that the performance will be below par. It also ensures that the camera includes ‘typical’ surveillance configurations such as AGC, variable shutter speed, noise reduction, constant or variable bit rate, multi-streaming, etc.. They’re unlikely to turn night into day, but they might help in some conditions. Edge recording is achieved via an integral MicroSDHC card slot. Up to 500 clips can be archived (dependent upon capacity). The recording can be initiated via an integral PIR sensor. The manufacturer doesn’t give any performance specs for this. The device also supports Sony’s basic video analytics. Other features include two-way audio, an integral wireless adapter (a LAN connection is also supported) and 5V DC power input. Obviously, streaming to mobile devices is also supported.


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Fermax – Smile Monitor What is it? Door entry systems come in two main flavours. The first are used for commercial applications, and typically encompass multiple door stations, a central concierge suite, and remote monitors. The second are simpler solutions used for small office and residential applications. In the past, it would be fair to say that many door entry solutions didn’t offer the best in the way of aesthetics. Although much was made of their visual appeal, this was often in comparison to other door entry systems, which meant that often a user was

left to select the best of a bad lot! This was more relevant with the monitor units, which we located in areas that the customer had often invested in with regards to décor. Over the years aesthetics have come to the fore, and modern manufacturing economies of scale mean that the door entry market is no longer dependent upon moulded white plastic elements. Also, user expectations have changed as touchscreens, elegant materials and simple iconic controls have become the norm. Fermax claims to have delivered a modern, sleek and functional option with its new range of Smile monitors.

Is it all about aesthetics? Yes ... and no! It would be fairer to say that aesthetics and user interaction form a significant part of the monitor’s focus. The manufacturer is quick to point out that the Smile makes ‘the complex simple’ and claims this is its greatest virtue. The Smile concept was designed in conjunction with Ramón Benedito, a National Design prize winner in 1992 and Fermax’s worldwide design partner. The monitor range has been highlighted as one of the best designed products of 2013 by ADI-FAD, the Association of Industrial Design in Catalonia and Spain. The stand-out elements are cited as an ultra-slimline profile, rounded corners and the conveyance of an impression of elegance. However, Fermax also points out that the design goes deeper than the surface. The touch-screen operation is carried out via ‘intuitive gestures’, which are the type of swipe and pinch motions carried out smart mobile devices. Because of this, the manufacturer claims that operation is simple and intuitive, allowing the user to program any of the functions without any need for instructions. Also, the keypad only appears when required, again in line with typical design traits of smart devices.

A few more specs The Smile monitors are equipped with a TFT colour screen. There are two different formats: models can be supplied with either 7 or 3.5 inch displays. Both sizes can be supplied for surface- or flush-mounting. Standard features include selectable ringtones, a do-not-disturb option, panic call button and elevator control. The unit supports five different ringtones, and these can be selected for different actions if required. Tones can sound once, or be repeated for up to 30 seconds. Volume is adjustable. An additional video camera can be linked to the monitor, and this can be viewed via the device. Also, there are two auxiliary switches which can be connected to other devices such as lights, secondary doors, etc.. www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Under the Skin

Ricoh Imaging – H63ZME-F-HD-PR01 What is it?

So it’s just a lens?

In recent years, HD quality video has become something of a de facto standard in the world of video surveillance. The fact that it is standardised is a benefit, because everyone – manufacturers, installers and integrators, specifiers and end users – are aware of the quality and performance which can be achieved. There are higher resolution options, into the tens of megapixels, but often such cameras struggle to deliver smooth real-time footage, or demand huge bandwidth and storage requirements. For many applications, the ramifications mean that such solutions may not be practical. Many will point out that HD video does allow a small degree of digital zoom, but every magnification reduces resolution. If an end user has specified HD quality, then they probably want HD quality, and digital zoom doesn’t give them that. The answer lies in megapixel optical zoom lenses. Ricoh Imaging – formerly known in the security market as Pentax - believes that it offers a credible solution to retain image quality over long distances, in its H63ZME-FHD-PR01 lens.

Well, yes, it is a lens, but it’s not any runof-the-mill lens! The H63ZME-F-HD-PR01 is an HD resolution ultra-long range motorised zoom lens with PAIR01 technology. The lens is a 1/2 inch format Cmount unit, and offers a zoom ratio of 63x. The zoom range is 20-1250mm. However, the unit also includes an internal 2x extender. When this is utilised, the focal length is increased to 40-2500mm. With 2500mm focal length at a distance of 1km, the field of view is 2.5m by 1.9m. This high magnification, used in combination with full HD resolution, means that a person can be identified at distances in excess of 1km, according to the manufacturer. This makes the lens ideal for surveillance in applications with a need for flexible long range identification and tracking.

So, what’s PAIR01? PAIR01 is the first generation of the Pentax Atmospheric Interference Reduction technology, which brings together image stabilisation, fog reduction, auto-focus and night vision enhancement. Image stabilisation allows the reduction of interference due to levels of vibration at the camera. It is an electrical control method which is claimed to be more effective than optical or mechanical methods.

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Fog reduction – which also works with rain, smoke and dust - is automatically adjusted and optimised, and includes backlight and white balance compensation. The auto focus function is activated by a mouse click, and average focusing time is 4.5 seconds. Finally, the night vision enhancements offer add-on features which boost the quality of images captured during low light and night-time conditions.


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Star performers in low-light conditions

Be wise and choose the most light-sensitive HD cameras on the market. The new DINION starlight HD 720P and FLEXIDOME starlight HD 720p RD/VR are the next real breakthrough in HD security. In poor light these amazing HD cameras deliver a clear color image where others show only black and white. And in extreme low-light they deliver a black and white image where others show no image at all! Add the Bosch Video Security app and overcome the bandwidth barrier so you can view HD images from anywhere. See video security in a new light at www.boschsecurity.com/hdsecurity


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Under the Skin

Assa Abloy – Aperio AS100 What is it?

So, no wiring?

Wireless door locking solutions have gained a higher profile in recent years, and the benefits of such solutions are well understood. The systems offer the ability to easily and cost-effectively upgrade mechanical doors on a site to allow them to deliver controlled access and to link with an established access control solution. Typically, such systems are used for internal doors on a site, where access management is the goal, rather than a pure security requirement. Obviously, such solutions enhance security, but also allow ease of use whilst minimising the negative aspects of physical key management. The benefits of such an approach are obvious. There is no need to run power to the door, nor does it need hardwiring. Door-mounted hardware can be a pain to hard-wire, which is why most access solutions use frame mounted devices! A simple wireless hub can manage multiple doors, and this then links back to the access control solution. There can be an issue, however, if door monitoring is required. This typically needs a dedicated sensor wired back to the access control system. Now Assa Abloy offers an alternative, via its AS100 sensor device.

That’s right! The new Aperio AS100 door sensor is a wireless device, which delivers the ability to transmit door status information in real-time. This allows a greater degree of security to be applied, thus elevating an upgraded door from one which can be managed to one which is monitored. It uses the same communications hub as the Aperio locking hardware, which can be used in online or offline modes. The sensor carries on with the ethos of the locks, allowing minimal modifications to doors when they are upgraded from mechanical locks to an electronic locking solution. The AS100 detects and transmits real time status of door opening and closures, and notifies the access control system of door violations wirelessly via the communication hub. The hubs can support up to eight Aperio devices, and have a range of coverage of up to 25 metres, dependent upon site characteristics. The AS100 doesn’t have to be used in conjunction with an appropriate lock. It can also be used as a standalone device where door monitoring is required, even if the door uses a mechanical lock. The AS100 can also be linked with other sensors alongside the supplied contact switch.

Why would I want it? Typically, the addition of wireless connectivity between doors and hubs works well if access is required. It can allow personnel to book meeting rooms, with all participants being granted access during the scheduled time. It can be even simpler, simply upgrading mechanically locked doors to be part of an access solution, thus providing single-credential systems, and audit trails for site management. Whilst such solutions are now commonplace, they can sometimes lean more towards the management needs of a site, and unlike many of the other controlled

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doors in an access system don’t fully deliver the expected levels of security. This has led to the devices often being seen as a tool of convenience. By adding door monitoring, these devices can include portals where security is more important than mere convenience. The fact that they can be used alone, without Aperio locks, also allows a greater degree of flexibility when considering which doors or areas require protection. In short, the AS100 adds the level of security expected from an access control solution, whilst retaining the cost efficiencies of the Aperio approach.


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FUTURE PROOF YOUR BUSINESS

...AND SAVE MONEY WITH OUR WISENETIII IP SOLUTION At Samsung we understand that the decision for when and how you migrate to an IP security solution is a complex one, influenced by many factors. Our new range of WiseNetIII network cameras have both an analogue and IP output, as well as onboard SD card recording. This gives you complete control and flexibility to make the right decision to suit your business. Integrate WiseNetIII onto an existing analogue system, whilst recording Full HD onto the SD card, or take advantage of the dual output and record locally to your analogue recorder whilst simultaneously viewing remotely utilising the IP output. You don’t have to throw away the investment you made in your existing equipment – helping to improve Total Cost of Ownership!

Contact us for further information

E stesecurity@samsung.com

W www.samsungsecurity.co.uk/WiseNetIII


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Under the Skin

Axis Communications – Axis Entry Manager What can we expect?

What is it? Access control over network infrastructure is nothing new. If anything, it could be claimed that the access control market was using networked solutions long before the video and intruder alarm sectors. Indeed, the access control market uses many differing forms of networking, and has done so without making a big noise about it. The topology of access control solutions automatically lends itself to networking, and this ensures that solutions are flexible, scalable and able to interoperate with a range of other systems and devices. Also, because access control systems tend to hold a depth of database information centrally, the amount of data transmitted is minimal, so bandwidth management isn’t a problem. In recent years, Axis Communications has established itself as a major player in the IP video capture sector, and the company has a network-based product portfolio that delivers both breadth and variety. Whilst the company’s focus has predominantly been on cameras and supplementary devices, a recent announcement signalled its intention to enter the access control market with the AXIS Entry Manager.

The AXIS A1001 network door controller will feature open architecture that allows integration of video, intrusion detection and other systems. Power over Ethernet will be supported. Cardholder data and system configurations are stored and synchronised between controllers, and the system can be managed from any computer on the network. Distributed data will allow ‘edge’ access control, and each door will have a separate controller, allowing scalability without the redundancy often found with traditional multidoor controllers. The system will support most existing reader protocols and reader types, as well as standard equipment such as door locks and door position sensors. Installation will be aided via wizards and colour-coded connectors. The API is compliant with ONVIF Profile C.

Is it a whole system? No; not in the traditional sense of a complete access control system. Axis has taken a slightly different approach, which includes taking a dual approach to ensure the highest degree of flexibility. The product is a network door controller with built-in web-based software. The AXIS A1001 controller offers two integration possibilities. The hardware is non-proprietary and operates on an open IP-based platform. This allows the unit to be utilised in different ways. It will be supplied as AXIS Entry Manager, which is the A1001 hardware with management software loaded. In this format it will be a ready-made solution for small- to medium-sized businesses, typically supporting up to 10 doors with basic access control requirements. For larger enterprise-type systems, the A1001’s open application programming interface will allow Application Development Partners (ADP) to meet specific requirements by customising the system. Initially, Aimetis, Genetec, IMRON, Milestone Systems, Next Level Security Systems and OnSSI will be involved in the development of solutions. These are likely to include video integration and access control functionality. The A1001 door controller is scheduled to be released initially to the US market by the end of the year, with a UK launch scheduled for 2014.

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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 www.axis.com/products/cam_m2014e/

www.axis.com


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Rewarding Innovation he security industry has never before enjoyed the sheer breadth of technological options that it does today. Gone are the times when manufacturers waited for older technologies to reach a low price point before they became commercially worth implementing. We are no longer reliant upon olderm technologies from other sectors. Today’s security systems market is advancing on a daily basis, and we can enjoy developments from the IT, communications, AV and consumer sectors, as and when they happen. In short, innovation has become our watchword. As advances in technology deliver ever greater levels of functionality, so the ability to integrate security elements increases. This is further added to by interoperability with other functions such as business intelligence and smart management. The result is that security systems can offer a more valued proposition for all concerned, bringing together enhanced security with truly beneficial solutions. Through on-going innovation, and by embracing the new and emerging technologies, manufacturers can assist installers and integrators who wish to adopt a more holistic approach to system design. This allows the subsequent solutions to encompass the inherent flexibility that new technologies offer, ensuring that credible solutions which deliver enhanced protection, security and business benefits can be realised.

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At Benchmark, we passionately believe that the future of the electronic security sector lies in the creation of innovative and flexible solutions which deliver real benefits to end users. In order to allow installers and integrators to create such solutions, it is vital that manufacturers deliver innovation that both enhances the technological capabilities of their products, and allows those developments to be implemented in a realistic fashion. In order to highlight such advances, Benchmark is launching it’s Innovation Awards scheme. 16 www.benchmarkmagazine.com

Defining innovation The Benchmark Innovation Awards scheme has been devised to recognise and reward innovations which solve problems faced when designing and implementing a security solution, which add to the degree of security offered, or which increase the range of realworld benefits on offer. Innovations must bring true value; it is not enough to add features for the sake of expanding a list of functions, nor to claim a ‘first’. If there is no real benefit for installers and integrators, or for their customers, then the developments will not be considered!


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Benchmark Innovation Awards

To be worthy of nomination, devices or systems must include a specific feature or function which ranks as innovative. Totally new concepts are, of course, also valid, but we all must accept that they don’t come along too often! Also, devices or software which add functionality and bring together other established systems will be considered. Benchmark will not consider commercial success as a factor when judging entries. Innovation cannot be assessed by the number of units sold! That said, if a solution is not realistic due to price, complexity or suitability for use in security applications, then it is not truly innovative. Innovations which cannot be used are not going to benefit the industry or the end user!

Making nominations Nominations can be made for any products, software, systems or services that are currently available to installers and integrators in the UK. Nominations can be made via the Benchmark website at: www.benchmarkmagazine.com Once the nomination period closes, all of the entries will be considered, and a shortlist will be created for each sector. Remember; innovation is the lifeblood of the security systems sector, and it is vital for a credible and profitable future. Ensure that those who strive to deliver advanced developments and better solutions are recognised for their efforts!

Innovation Awards Categories The Benchmark Innovation Awards are judged across five technology areas, with two categories covering each sector. These differentiate between hardware devices and software or service offerings. The five technology areas are Video Surveillance, Access Control, Intruder Detection, Perimeter Protection and Infrastructure. Video Surveillance covers video capture, management, archiving, transmission and processing (including analytics, ANPR, business intelligence and other technology-based automated video handling tools). The use of IVA specifically for perimeter protection is not included. Access Control includes devices or systems designed to manage the flow of people, vehicles or assets into or out of specified areas. It also includes any devices or software products designed to supplement or enhance the performance of such systems, including (but not limited to) credentials, data storage and management, communications, monitoring, etc.. Intruder Detection covers devices and systems designed to detect, and/or signal intrusion attempts into protected areas, as well as the management of alarm information, and the transmission and monitoring of alarm data. Both internal and external devices are included, as are services involved with monitoring, signalling, etc.. Detection devices aimed specifically at the detection of perimeter breaches are not included. Perimeter Protection includes devices, software or systems designed specifically to detect perimeter breaches, or to prevent and deter such acts. Along with a variety of sensors (long range, fence-mounted, buried, etc.) this category also covers video analytics when used specifically for perimeter protection, thermal imaging, radar-based systems, etc.. Infrastructure is made up of the physical and organisational devices and software used for the operation of a security solution, or the services and facilities necessary for its day-to-day management. This includes cabling and transmission devices, routing and switching hardware, servers, data handling devices, and total management software used to integrate and interoperate distinct security elements of a complete solution.

www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Memories. iFly Singapore, the world’s largest indoor skydiving simulator,

uses Milestone XProtect® Enterprise surveillance software to monitor park grounds and give visitors a lasting memory. Flying at speeds of up to 186 miles per hour, the software records each skydiver’s Ų¿½¾Ê·Äº¿Ä¼ÅÈ÷ʿÅÄËɿĽ·º¿Å È»Ç˻ĹÏ º»ÄÊ¿Ű¹·Ê¿ÅÄ ƺ ƻƔ¼Ê»Èʾ»¿ÈŲ¿½¾ÊƑ·Ì¿º»ÅÉÅË̻ĿȾ»ÂÆÉ visitors relive all of the adrenaline-fueled moments. Proving again that XProtect is more than security.

Milestone XProtect® is the world’s leading IP video surveillance management software and ¿ÉȻ¿·¸Â»Ƒ¼ËÊËÈ»ÆÈÅż·Äº»·ÉÏÊÅËÉ»Ɣ ÊÉËÆÆÅÈÊÉʾ»Í¿º»Éʹ¾Å¿¹» in cameras and seamlessly integrates with business and security solutions such as  Ɣ¾¿¹¾û·ÄÉÏÅËÈÆÅÉÉ¿¸¿Â¿Ê¿»É·È»ËÄ¿ÿʻº·ÄºÏÅ˹·ÄÁ»»ÆÏÅËÈÉ»¹ËÈ¿ÊÏ options open. See our new products and the new ways to use XProtect at: www.milestonesys.com

Milestone Systems UK ȧɎÂƓ̊ʻʻƺʷƻʸʺʺʹʿʽˀʺʿʷ


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Professional Test

Simplified Solutions? IDIS – Direct IP Platform

The benefits of a networked solution are manifold, and have been highlighted now for a good few years. The ability to create systems which deliver greater flexibility for both the installer and the end user figures highly when assessing the solutions, as do higher resolutions, enhanced communications and richer interoperability. It is true that to deploy such systems requires a change in working practices, but many manufacturers are looking to simplify the process to ensure the benefits are enjoyed by a wider audience. Idis offers Direct IP to address such issues. etwork technology delivers so many benefits to security, and video surveillance is one of the areas where these benefits can be exploited to add value to systems. The capabilities of modern surveillance systems mean that their functionality extends far beyond the basic capture, archiving and replaying of footage. The additional features can not only significantly enhance the level of security on offer, but can also expand into many other areas of operations for a business. It is the high degree of interoperability inherent in networked solutions which makes such enhancements a reality. Integration with communications devices, the ability to securely share video and other relevant data, the flexibility associated with expansions, upgrades and the addition of other functions are all made possible because of network infrastructure. Obviously, working with networked technology does raise some challenges. That said, when considering the more mature technologies – some of which are approaching the latter stages of their lifecycles – they do

85% BENCHMARK RATINGS IDIS – Direct IP Platform

Platform Design: Ease of Installation: Features & Functions: Image Quality: Overall Performance:

83% 90% 84% 84% 83%

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introduce compromises when designing a system. The main challenges for networked solutions are a requirement for new skills sets, and the question of interoperability with products from different vendors. To address the second issue first, installers, integrators and specifiers have three main choices. The first is to use an open platform solution, whereby video inputs are licensed. Many VMS solutions have a huge depth of supported products, and this ensures that full functionality from devices is retained. The second choice is to rely upon a common specification such as ONVIF. In recent times there have been issues where many products are not fully compliant, and often this can result in limited functionality from some devices. The third choice is to select a single brand solution. In such cases, the manufacturer will www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Professional Test

warrant that the specified devices will work together seamlessly. With regard to the skills required, several manufacturers are seeking ways to address issues, and are implementing security-biased working practices to ensure that systems remain robust. Such an approach, coupled with training, is ensuring that systems are both secure and flexible. Idis has launched its Direct IP platform into the UK. The approach taken is a combination of a one-brand solution, coupled with the use of a unified platform for connectivity and operations. It is worth noting what Benchmark is testing here. As it is the first time we’ve looked at Direct IP, the test addresses installation, operation and performance of a system based upon the platform. Our test system comprised a 16 channel NVR, a PoE switch and a selection of cameras. Obviously, to report on each and every element and device included in the system would require more space than is available for the report. Therefore, the intention is to report on the platform itself, which can then be used as a base for any future tests on specific devices.

Specification The concept of Direct IP is a simple one. Systems basically replicate the topology of a standard video solution. The company offers a selection of NVRs with different performance characteristics, PoE enabled switches, a range of accessories such as codecs and keyboards, a variety of cameras and a range of software. Auto-detection of devices and simple configurations underpin the Direct IP platform. 20

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Our NVR was the DR-6116P. This is a 16 channel unit which records resolutions up to HD1080p in real-time across all channels. It is worth noting that whilst many of the Idis NVRs share this specification, some do not. Data throughput is 160Mbps, which allows an average of 10Mbps per channel. This is a decent level for HD1080p streams. The NVR supports video inputs from Direct IP cameras, as well as certain Axis or Panasonic models. ONVIF devices can also be used. Compression is H.264. Video output is either via HDMI or VGA. The unit can support up to six internal HDDs and four additional eSATA-connected devices. The NVR has four alarm inputs with one output, but some of the cameras can also supply alarm data. The NVR includes 10 RJ45 connections. Eight of these are part of an internal PoE switch, and each supports a direct connection to a single camera. There is also an external video input port. This is used to connect an additional 12 port PoE switch, which is required if all 16 inputs are used. Finally, there is a Gigabit Ethernet port to allow network connection. There are also USB ports for mouse connection and other devices such as an external DVD rewriter. The NVR uses the FEN network configurator, which allows simplified ‘one click’ configuration for remote connectivity. The NVR is supplied with the Idis Center software package to deliver remote connectivity and system control. The DR-6116P was supplemented by the DH2212PF, a 12 port PoE switch. This features 8 PoE ports for camera connectivity, two standard Gigabit Ethernet connections, and two SFP connections to allow the use of fibre-


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Professional Test

based connections. The switch is a necessity if you want to utilise the full connectivity of the DR-6116P. Finally, our test system included a number of cameras, all of which deliver HD1080p streams and were PoE enabled. As mentioned earlier, the goal of this test is to assess the Direct IP platform, and so a full listing of the cameras and their specifications is outside of the remit. However, we received devices which included box cameras, static domes, fully functioned domes, zoom-enabled units and bullet cameras. Idis offers a variety of configurations for most types of camera.

Performance Simplicity of installation and full interoperability are the two of the main selling points of the Direct IP range. To be honest, when a single manufacturer produces all elements in the system (excluding cables and the monitor) you have every right to expect a simple installation and full interoperability. For the Benchmark team, experience has shown that this isn’t always the case! The NVR is supplied with a quick start guide, which is very brief. It totals 11 A5 pages, and includes set-up information for the recorder, Idis Center, Idis Mobile and Idis Web software. There is also a quick start guide for the PoE switch, which comprises 23 A5 pages! The cameras are supplied with a connection guide for a variety of models. All of the devices include CDs with more detailed documentation. Connections are straightforward. If you are using more than eight cameras, the secondary switch needs to be linked to the NVR. Each camera is then linked to either the NVR or the attached secondary PoE switch via a 22

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dedicated Cat5e or 6 cable. This does remove one of the benefits of a networked topology, in that devices can usually share cabling. It is possible to use a standard network switch instead of the Direct IP model, but some functionality is lost. A simple HDMI connection to the monitor is made from the NVR, and if remote connection is desired, the unit should also be connected to a router. Once any additional devices such as alarm inputs and outputs, eSATA drives, keyboards, etc. are connected, the system can be powered up. Once the system has run through its initialisation, which takes a few minutes, you are presented with two Wizard options. The Quick Wizard allows rudimentary set-up of the main system parameters. Once these are established, further configurations can be carried out via the menu structure. The second option is for the Network Wizard. This sets up the FEN networking options which are designed to simplify and secure remote connectivity. Rather than using an IP address and varied network settings, FEN securely routes data via servers controlled by Idis if the connected switch supports UPnP. You simply apply a unique name to the device, register it from the NVR, and FEN is activated. From the various remote software options, all that is required is to select FEN as the connectivity type. Then you enter the name of the device, its FEN identifier, and the user name and password associated with the device. You enter that information on any network, on any device running the Idis software, and the remote connection is made. It is simple and fast (we initially had a slight


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securing your future

Honeywell IP solutions deliver unlimited possibilities for all your video needs Solutions for today and into the future, our IP systems are designed with open standards, including ONVIF S, for seamless integration with third party systems, as well as native integrations with the leading open platform Video Management Software. This provides endless opportunities for upgrades and expansion as business needs evolve. With exceptional image quality, our expanded range of IP cameras and latest MAXPRO® NVRs provide a flexible suite of solutions that meet all your video needs, allowing you to make the right decision every time. Secure your IP future by trusting Honeywell as your IP partner.

To secure your future with Honeywell’s IP solutions call 08448 000 235 or visit www.honeywellipsolutions.com © 2013 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.


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Professional Test

delay as the Mobile app data to be entered isn’t immediately clear). However, if your switch doesn’t support UPnP, it won’t work! Whilst many of the basic settings are achieved via the two wizards, there are additional configurations which can be made via the general menu structure. Some of the more specific configurations do tend to be automated, and at times this will limit the degree of flexibility which you have over the system. That said, Direct IP isn’t designed to offer the in-depth under-the-bonnet tweaks that some solutions offer. However, for ease of installation and speed of set-up – especially with regard to remote connectivity – the Direct IP model does tick the right boxes. Image quality is good, and the majority of the cameras deliver what are clearly HD images when streamed at the highest bitrates. Some of the cameras were clearly superior to others – as already mentioned there were far too many components to attempt to report on all of their strengths and weaknesses; a more detailed appraisal may be carried out at another time. The concept – which is what we have focused on – does deliver the degree of quality which you’d expect from an HD-based system. Given how many recorders claim to archive HD footage but can’t achieve the necessary frame rates across all channels, many models from Idis – including our test NVR – do deliver. When using the highest quality and CBR, we did see the occasional dropped frame, but it was never to a degree where the video was compromised. Given that the NVR has sufficient power to cope, it will only be if storage or remote

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connectivity issues arise that most installers would reduce the quality. While much of what is core to the Direct IP platform sets it apart, typical surveillance functionality is as expected for this type of system. Motion detection is basic but functional, and the alarm actions include the usual suspects. Manipulating archived video is straightforward. Search options make finding footage relatively fast, and events deliver a pop-up window with a video clip which allows events to be found more quickly. All in all, operation of the system – which can be carried out via a mouse or remote control (both included) – is simple. After a small amount of use, the interface is intuitive, and menus seem to follow a logical structure.

In summary The Direct IP concept achieves simplicity of installation and configuration, and delivers good quality video too. The points that many will like are the FEN configuration and the ability to cope with real time HD1080p video across all channels. There are few things that need to be accepted if you want that ease. Some of the cabling flexibility enjoyed by more traditional networked solutions cannot be realised. At times you do feel there could be a touch more depth to the system configurations, and standard switches cannot be used with the system if full functionality is required. Considering the types of application it is likely to be used in, the Direct IP platform receives Recommended status.


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Conventional Low Light Camera

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thermal dec13_000_Benchmark_jun13 12/11/2013 16:41 Page 2

Axis Communications Axis Q1922-E

Bosch Security VOT-320V013L

DRS Technologies Watchmaster IP Elite

PRODUCT DESIGN

84%

82%

78%

FEATURES & FUNCTIONS

82%

85%

82%

EASE OF INSTALLATION

83%

82%

60%

PERFORMANCE

82%

85%

80%

OVERALL RATING

83%

83%

75%

Thermal Imagers Thermal imaging isn’t a new technology, but it has yet to become well established in the security marketplace. There are a few reasons for this. The first has to be with perceptions of what the product will do, and the second has to do with perceptions about price. Increasingly, thermal imagers are becoming more affordable. Benchmark looks at the performance on offer to see if it is a viable option. hen considering thermal imaging, the best place to start is by accepting that everything you know about it is probably wrong! When the technology first appeared in the security industry, those selling it didn’t seem to know the best way of explaining its potential. It was typically demonstrated in trade shows, delivering close-up images of individuals walking by. It was likened to a surveillance camera which could see in the dark, despite delivering images which could

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not be used for positive identification. Once the prices of the devices were revealed, people generally walked away. The other approach was to pitch the technology as a detection device. To be fair, neither scenario really promotes thermal imaging in its best light. However, the perceptions formed of the technology in those days are still all pervasive. As in many similar cases, the first task is to remove those perceptions if you are to understand the benefits on offer. To really dig into the benefits of thermal imaging, it is important to think about heat. A living being will typically generate more heat than an ambient location. A vehicle that has recently been driven will generate more heat than one which has been parked for some time. Even events which have occurred previously can leave a thermal imprint. Thermal imagers aimed at the security market work best when there is a differential in temperatures. This makes them suitable for the protection of perimeters and large open sites. They can also be used for long range


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Thermal Imagers

protection and for areas bordering open countryside. When you start to consider large or open sites, protecting the perimeter with thermal imagers does make sense. If an intruder conceals themselves in bushes or undergrowth, or if environmental conditions obscure a scene, thermal imaging still works. Whilst the outputted images from a thermal imager are not high quality, and cannot be used for identification, heat differentials can deliver information and detail that would otherwise be missed. With regards to prices, many totally overestimate the cost of the imagers. Prices have fallen in recent years due to economies of scale, and when considered for perimeter use they are actually very cost-effective. One thermal imager can cover an area that might typically require three or four cameras. When you factor in the costs of running power, installing poles and the actual video hardware, modern thermal imagers are a significantly more cost effective solution!

Axis Communications Q1922-E The Axis Q1922-E is an external thermal imager. The device is available with a wide range of lens options; our test unit was a 60mm model. The imager uses an uncooled microbolometer with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels. The thermal image stream is compressed using the H.264 algorithm; there is also an option to support M-JPEG. Customised stream profiles can be created, with variable bandwidth and refresh rates. Refresh rate is up to 30Hz. The streams can be configured to use a number of thermal palettes, but all streams must share the selected palette. The palettes are different colour schemes used to show the differentials in temperature, and whilst there are some with clearer contrast than others, most users will flick through them before settling on either of the more common thermal palettes. These are ‘White Hot’, where sources of heat are shown white against the lower temperature grey and black backgrounds, or ‘Black Hot’, which is the reversed version. Configurations for the streams are limited to compression levels, bit rate (maximum is around 50Mbps) and a few image manipulation tools such as image rotate, brightness and contrast, etc.. Whilst this might seem a tad simplistic, it has to be remembered that the device isn’t dealing with a visual image, so many of the traditional

Axis Communications Axis Q1922-E + Simple to install and configure - A smaller housing would be a bonus

Bosch Security VOT-320V013L + The addition of optimised IVA is a bonus - The introduction of PoE would be welcomed

DRS Technologies Watchmaster IP Elite + A basic and cost-effective imager - The VLC plug-in is problematic, and the GUI isn’t fully implemented

surveillance settings aren’t necessary to combat light-based issues. Additional features include two way audio with audio detection, video motion detection, privacy masking, sabotage detection, an alarm input and output, support for edge recording via an SDHC card slot and remote alarm notification via email or upload to an FTP server. The unit also includes a buffer to allow prealarm footage capture. Power is via PoE; a 24V AC power input is also supported. The unit is supplied with a quick start guide; the full manual is included on a CD, along with the Axis IP Utility which is used to set the IP address, and other software. Quoted ranges are 1,800 metres for detection of a human, 440 metres for recognition and 220 metres for identification. Care needs to be exercised when considering these figures as they are based on the Johnson Criteria. For example, detection tells you that there is something there, but it could almost be anything! Recognition means that you might be able to establish that it’s a human, and identification implies that you will be able to see it’s a human. The ranges also require ‘ideal conditions’. The Q1922-E is supplied in an aluminium housing and looks very much like a typical surveillance camera. It is IP-66 rated, with a Germanium window and an integrated dehumidifying membrane. The housing features a cable-managed bracket. It also has a heater powered from the camera. One minor point is that housing could be slightly smaller, as it dwarves the camera! Installation is simple. Connections are for the LAN/PoE, audio in and out, 24V AC power if required, RS485 and alarm I/O connectivity. The SDHC slot is on the rear of the unit. www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Thermal Imagers

Axis cameras use the standard IP Utility, and the Q1922-E is no exception. It works very well, is simple to utilise, and can be used directly from the CD with no requirement for installation. It finds connected units, and allows the network settings to be re-configured. Once up and running, the camera loads the ActiveX element and a H.264 codec. The menus are well structured, and configuring the camera is a simple task. The only real difference between the two compression algorithms is bandwidth usage. There’s not a noticeable difference in the generated images. Motion is smooth, even with reduced bandwidths. The stream also displays minimal latency. Within the expectations of a thermal image, detail is high, and even over longer ranges it is easy to assess what is happening during events. Motion detection is very similar to the functionality used on surveillance cameras. Zones can be configured for sensitivity and target size, and a simple histogram makes fine adjustments easy. There are a variety of actions that can be linked with events. It is basic, but can offer a benefit if correctly implemented.

Bosch Security VOT-320V013L The VOT-320V013L is an external thermal imager. Bosch can supply the unit with a wide range of lens options; our test unit was a 13mm model. The imager uses an uncooled microbolometer with a 320 x 240 resolution. The thermal imager supports three streams: the two main streams utilise the H.264 algorithm, while the third is an M- JPEG stream.

Caution advised There are a number of specifications relating to thermal imaging that must be treated with caution. One is figures quoted for range. These include claims for ‘detection’ and ‘identification’, and can cover kilometres rather than metres! These figures are based upon the Johnson Criteria, which was written for military needs in the 1950s. The military definitions of detection and identification are different to the security industry! In the Johnson Criteria, the requirement for detection is just two pixels. All you need to know is that something, whatever it might be, is within a certain distance, so you can direct an ordnance strike. However, in a security application, you don’t want to be generating an alarm event for a fox or rabbit! Whilst manufacturers might claim detection at two kilometres, for security purposes our assessments show that a target would need to be no more than 200 metres away if you were to be able to positively identify it as a human. If the target was crawling or moving in a unusual way, the distance would be reduced. 28

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There is the ability to create customised profiles, with variable bandwidth and refresh rates. Refresh rate is up to 8.33Hz. The Bosch device offers the two standard thermal palettes: ‘White Hot’, where heat sources are white against the lower temperature grey and black backgrounds, and the reversed ‘Black Hot’. These can have false colour applied if you really want something less monochrome. Configurations for the streams are limited to resolution, bit rate (maximum is around 6Mbps) and refresh rate. There is also the ability to adjust the GOP. Image gain can also be tweaked. Additional features include video motion detection and IVA. The imager offers an edge recording capability via an integral SD card slot. Power is 24V AC; a PSU is required but is not supplied. The unit doesn’t support PoE, which we felt was something of a missed trick. The unit is supplied with a quick start guide; the full manual is included on a CD, along with the Bosch Video Client and the Configuration Manager. The imager has quoted ranges of 300 metres for detection of a human, and 74 metres for recognition. These are probably more realistic than some quoted figures! The VOT-320V013L is supplied in a grey aluminium IP-66 rated housing with a Germanium window. The housing includes a heater powered from the main connector block. The installation is simple, thanks to a hinged lid on the housing. The connections are for LAN, 24V AC power, RS485 and alarm I/O connectivity. The SD slot is on the side of the main board and is encapsulated. The Bosch configuration tool is simple, and a wizard guides you through initial set-up. You are then prompted to install the video codec, so ensure you have pop-ups allowed! Once this is complete, you can either carry out further configurations via the Manager, or switch to the unit’s integral web-page. The menus are clean and well laid out, which makes the configuration simple. Adjusting the profiles is very straightforward, and the only obvious difference between the compression algorithms is that the M-JPEG stream doesn’t fully scale, and has a tad more latency. That said, latency was generally very low. Motion was smooth, and despite the lower refresh rate it was simple to assess what was happening in the scene. There was a good level of detail, and the image did show up a high degree of visual information.


Project1_Layout 1 12/08/2013 11:38 Page 1

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It includes a complete surveillance software package that enables you to view, manage, store, record and search through footage from up to eight cameras without the need of a computer. It has eight built-in 802.3at compliant PoE+ ports that simplify camera installation by providing both power and network connectivity.

Visit www.dlink.com/uk or e-mail uki-surveillance@dlink.com for an information pack. IP SURVEILLANCEt STORAGEt SWITCHINGt WIRELESS


thermal dec13_000_Benchmark_jun13 12/11/2013 16:42 Page 6

Thermal Imagers

It must be said that the VOT-320V013L carries something of a price premium over the other units. However, it does include the Bosch IVA functionality. This is standard and does not require licensing. Set-up is simple, and is carried out via the configuration manager. Options include detect objects, object in field, line crossing, loiter detection, condition change, route following, entering or leaving field, similarity and people counting. Each set of rules includes a set of dedicated configurations, and these include automated settings to allow objects within the viewed scene to set base parameters, which can then be further refined. Bosch claims that the IVA in the VOT320V013L has been optimised for thermal imaging. It certainly is worth spending the short amount of time to set it up properly, and our unit performed very well.

DRS Watchmaster IP Elite The Watchmaster IP Elite is an external thermal imager. The device is available with a range of lens options; our test unit featured a 40 degree lens. The imager uses an uncooled microbolometer with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. The thermal image stream can either be output via a network connection or an analogue output. This ensures that where composite systems use the imager, any future upgrades won’t result in the device becoming redundant. As the test was looking at network connected imagers, we did not utilise the analogue option. The generated stream is in H.264 format; there is also an option to support M-JPEG. Refresh rate is up to 30Hz. The streams can be configured to use the two most common thermal palettes: ‘White Hot’ and the reversed ‘Black Hot’. Configurations are limited to bit rate and frame rate. There is a separate menu for motion detection, and another for integral storage. The configuration options are basic, but the unit is designed to be as cost-effective as possible. Additional features include automatic gain control, video motion detection and edge recording via an integral 2GB memory chip. Power is via PoE; a 12V DC/24V AC power input is also supported. The unit is supplied with a quick start guide; the full manual is included on a CD. There are no software utlities. Installation is either via DHCP or a static address. We used the latter, 30

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and once connected you are prompted to load a VLC plug-in. VLC is an open source freeware video codec, and in the past we’ve always encountered problems with it. There are numerous builds, some of which are very unstable, and often downloads from the internet contain malware. However, DRS has loaded a valid plug-in on the camera, which means it should work. However, for us the installation failed, even on different PCs! We upgraded the firmware – in itself a slow and frustrating process – and still the install failed. We finally located a copy on the internet that worked with Firefox but not IE. It also needed to be reinstalled if we disconnected from the imager. It is our opinion that the use of VLC is a negative. The Watchmaster IP Elite is supplied in an polymer housing. It is IP-66 rated, with a heater. Connections are for the LAN/PoE, 12V DC/24V AC power if required, and composite video out. Once up and running, the menus are basic, although we had a few – such as those for resetting the IP address – which didn’t function. The core configurations are not associated with the plug-in, so this is due to poor GUI coding. The thermal image is good, with smooth motion and enough detail to ascertain what is occurring in any conditions, even with reduced bandwidths. The stream also displayed minimal latency. Motion detection is basic, with settings for sensitivity, object size, and appearance in consecutive frames.

Verdict In terms of thermal image quality, there wasn’t much to separate the three units. The resolution and frame rates had obvious impacts, but all delivered usable information that allowed awareness of events. The Q1922-E from Axis is ideal for security applications. It is simple to use, delivers good quality streams, and is a cost-effective external thermal imager. The VOT-320V013L from Bosch has a reduced frame rate (a 30fps version is available), but despite this the thermal image is still more than usable. The real stand-out feature with this unit is the IVA. The Watchmaster IP Elite is a decent unit, the plus point being the integral storage. However, the use of VLC is a negative, as were the few non-operational menus. If DRS sort those out, we’ll let you know.


Project3_Benchmark_Nov12 04/10/2012 17:42 Page 1

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

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BENCHMARK

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 www.twitter.com/benchmarkmag website is free to view.

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intruder nov13_000_Benchmark_jul13 12/11/2013 10:01 Page 2

Intruder Alarms

he intruder alarm industry is the most heavily regulated of all the electronic systems sectors, and over the years has invested much time and R&D effort into meeting an ever-changing suite of standards. It is fair to say that at times such a focus has resulted in manufacturers being forced to put less emphasis on developing new and varied technologies. This, plus the need for a huge investment in meeting different standards in various geographical locations, has undoubtedly hamstrung the depth of innovation. However, it would be very wrong to think that the intruder alarm sector has been standing still. Despite the restraints imposed by a rigid standards-based regulatory regime and the investment in retesting the same products numerous times, those manufacturers producing credible systems have still advanced their product and system offerings. If you consider many of the core elements of an intruder alarm system, the technologies employed are well established, and do the job they have been designed to do. Whilst it could be argued that some groups within the electronic sector have spent time reinventing the wheel for no other purpose than for commercial advancement, the intruder alarm industry has worked to enhance what it offers. This continuity is one of the positives that are created by strict standards. The credible intruder alarm manufacturers find themselves in a position where their technologies are robust, reliable and effective. Because of this, advances predominantly consist of small changes that add to the degree of performance. There are few major steps forward, and those which do occur, such as the use of laser technology in detection devices, are aimed at more specialised applications. Because of this, it might seem as if little is happening, but the products are constantly improving. For installers and integrators, many manufacturers are also paying more attention to the installation and maintenance processes. In a sector where margins are often squeezed by forces outside of the industry, wasted time on site equates to lost earnings. The intruder manufacturers recognise this, and again it is high on their R&D agendas! Where the intruder alarm industry is taking significant steps is with regard to the transport and management of alarm data,

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A Developing Sector? In recent years the technological landscape of the electronic security sector has changed dramatically. New and emerging technologies, predominantly driven by the IT, telecommunications and consumer sectors, have impacted upon the way systems are designed and used. At first glance the intruder alarm industry appears to have not joined in the progress. That impression, however, is wrong.

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Intruder Alarms

both on-site and to remote locations. Whether that takes the form of device-to-device connectivity, remote monitoring, remote maintenance or integration, the degree of flexibility on offer is increasing. Unlike some other sectors, the intruder alarm industry isn’t making a big deal of the fact it is constantly developing!

Handling alarm data Increasingly, end users are becoming aware that whilst a police first response remains desirable, it isn’t always possible. As a result, there have been changes with regard to alarm communications and the associated service offerings. These changes are inevitable, and are driven by developments outside of the security industry. Historically, end users had two options with alarm systems. The preferred offering was a monitored system with police first response. This may well be the choice of insurers, but there are now arguments that a police response alone isn’t enough. Cuts in budgets and resources mean that in some areas police response times are problematic. The alternative offering was a bells-only system. Whilst local alarms do certainly have 34

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some merit, the fact is that over the years they have lost their impact value. They do deliver a deterrent, and also can be beneficial in bringing an intrusion to a swift end. Today’s commercial world enjoys a high level of advanced communications options. Data handling and management has become a mobile and flexible task. Smartphones carry personal and business data, and offer interoperability with a wide range of systems and devices. They can receive and send messages, receive video and audio, and manage data. For some businesses, they are the central element in performing everyday functions. Add to smartphones the ever evolving number of tablets, and the impact of mobile data streaming, processing and connectivity over a range of communications media does seem to offer a multitude of opportunities. Away from mobile devices, most businesses are connected to the wider world via an ever growing variety of infrastructures. These businesses, who today demand more from the communications and mobile data handling tools they employ, are the same people that the intruder alarm industry is targeting! These customers are driving change with communications providers, and the intruder alarm manufacturers are preparing for this demand to be reflected in security solutions. Secure signalling is no longer purely concerned with transmitting alarm data from the protected premises to an ARC or other monitoring operation. It now allows installers and integrators to remotely manage alarm systems and associated services, and to deliver a more robust degree of diagnostics, remote servicing and system configurations. By way of an example, a major installation company recently infuriated a high street retail chain because its branches were faxed instructions addressing how to change user details for the alarm systems. The instructions were poorly written for the average site manager, and the result was a peak of false alarms. The reasoning behind this move was to avoid the expense of sending out engineers to make the changes. If the company had adopted better communications, the changes could have been made remotely. The end user would have been happier, and would see more value in the maintenance fees! With regard to on-site connectivity, demand for wireless technology is growing. Many


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Celebrating 30 years in the Security Industry ry Awards Indust IFSEC 2006 Security Industry Awards, with GJD being nominated in the Best Intruder Alarm product category IFSEC 2011 Security Industry Awards, with the GJD NAS being nominated in the CCTV System of the Year category HSBC Global Connections Area Finalist MEN Business of the Year Finalist 2012

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Intruder Alarms

the delivery of a hybrid solution has never been more effective. This allows the wireless options to tackle circumstances where a hardwired expansion might not be financially viable. Often, wire-free expansions are actually wire-free performance upgrades, because site security can be enhanced in a very costeffective way. Some of the typical limitations with older systems – line of sight between detectors and the control panel – are no longer issues as new approaches make connectivity more robust and reliable.

installers and integrators retain the ‘traditional’ view of such systems as being associated with poor reliability, less-thanrobust security and functionality aimed at the residential (and DIY) markets. It is true that such wireless systems still exist, but they are predominantly sold in the DIY or low-end alarm sectors. Modern wireless systems offer the type of performance typical of systems aimed at commercial applications. Reliability is as high as hard-wired systems, security can often be enhanced by the depth of signalling flexibility, and the credibility of the newer solutions is without question. The traditional benefits of wireless technology – reduced installation time, elimination of ‘making good’ in certain applications, ease of system expansion, etc. – are all retained. Some of the better systems do carry a very slight price premium, but when the reduction of the previously mentioned expenses are factored in, they remain costeffective alongside hard-wired alternatives. It is also important to remember that many of the more advanced wireless systems are built on the same platform as the manufacturer’s hard-wired systems, and so

In summary Changes are happening in the intruder alarm sector, and are delivering very real benefits for installers and integrators. However, because these changes also introduce real benefits for the end user too, it becomes an easier task to ‘up-sell’ the services and solutions. The intruder alarm sector might appear to be standing still while other systems-based industries drive forwards with regard to functionality. However, if you believe that, then you might be missing out on some of the more credible benefits on offer.

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Softly Softly

Softly softly... There’s nothing like a scare tactic to get your point across, but what if the scare element raises more disagreements than agreements? If you set yourself up for the grand impact, you probably damage your reputation if the end result misses the mark... know that winter is on the way. The other night I headed home from work, and on the way I listened to a weather forecaster on the radio saying that despite the rain and wind, we were experiencing milder temperatures than normal for this time of year. The cold weather is coming, apparently, but for the time being the cloud cover would ensure that we don’t have early frosts. I wasn’t sure if I was just tired, hungry or glad to get back to the warm bosom of the family, but as I pulled into the drive I was sure the house was glowing. Walking in, I was hit by a wall of heat. It was so hot indoors that my eyeballs instantly dried up. The central heating was on full blast, so I headed into the kitchen and turned off the boiler. This led to a rather unsavoury reaction from Mrs Dave and our Kylie, who screamed about how cold they were. Well, the blokes at British Gas will be rubbing their hands together, and I doubt the heating will be off now until May. The other way that I know winter is on its way is the darker days. It’s dark when I get up, dark when I get home, and its gloomy most of the time. I don’t get Seasonal Affective Disorder, but one thing does depress me every time they turn the clocks back. In fact, it depresses me every time they turn them forward as well! The occurrence is almost as regular as the transitions between GMT and BST. It’s predictable and it’s over the top, and I don’t think it does the security industry any favours with regards to how we are viewed by the commercial and industrial sectors, nor – for that matter – the general public.

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Change the clocks, and companies offering compliance checks come out of the woodwork to warn that surveillance systems are probably ‘illegal’. Every time I hear that, I smell a bunch of something, and it ain’t bananas! Now, these various compliance companies are deliberately marketed to come across as independent experts in their fields. They need to do that to persuade end users to partake of the services, checks and assessments on offer. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as their statements about the greater industry are accurate, honest and backed up with genuine and credible information. Any security application worth its salt is going to use professional systems. Most of these will offer an option to link the management element to an NTP service. If this option isn’t used, then the system will automatically adjust for daylight saving changes. Where manual changes are required on legacy systems, installers and integrators will be well aware of the situation. After all, it’s not like it has never happened before. Let’s be honest, a few people won’t care, and their video surveillance system will be out by an hour for half the year. It might create issues with evidential video, but equally it might not if continuity can be proven. Some people might not follow best practice, but the bulk of the professional industry does, and the scare tactics used by some compliance firms is irresponsible. In fact, once the facts are understood and the scre tactics shown to be just that, it makes their case seem less credible!


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buyersguide_dec13_000_Benchmark_aug13 11/11/2013 18:30 Page 1

Buyer’s Guide: Low Light Image Capture

Over the years, one of the main bugbears with video surveillance has been low light performance. Advanced as it is, the human eye struggles in low light, and so it’s no surprise that video capture – which relies upon a light sensing chipset – can find such conditions challenging. However, with a need to deliver around-the-clock surveillance, what’s the best approach to boost low light performance? he issue of low light video capture has been a challenge for the video surveillance sector ever since CCTV became a credible security tool. Poor light levels offer cover for criminals, and can also be a contributing factor to other incidents such as accidents or safety-related events. During the hours of darkness, many sites may

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be closed or have reduced staffing levels. Typical non-security deterrents – passers by spotting intruders, or incidents being visible to the outside world – are minimised. In short, darkness increases the range of risks faced, and that is when surveillance is arguably a more urgent requirement. It is fair to say that capturing video during hours of low light or darkness is simpler and more cost-effective today than it has been in the past. However, it must also be added that the dramatic improvements in the specifications aren’t always matched by realworld improvements. Low light performance has always been the subject of ‘specsmanship’. Unfortunately, this means that even the most credible manufacturers have to measure low light performance in unrealistic ways. This is predominantly due to a ‘cut and paste’ approach to specifications and tenders. For example, if Manufacturer X decides to measure low light performance in a certain way, they might publicise their sensitivity figure as 0.001 lux. This could be for a 20IRE image, with AGC turned up full, and slow shutter utilised. In truth, such an image won’t be usable for any surveillance needs. If a specifier or consultant then quotes that figure as a requirement, any manufacturers – including those whose products will outperform products from Manufacturer X – simply will not get a look in if they don’t quote equivalent figures. The result is that sensitivity, which was once a useful specification to indicate low light performance, becomes a nonsense, and means nothing to the installer and integrator!

The sensitivity issue Camera sensitivity has always been a thorny issue. Traditionally the specification indicated the light level required to deliver a real-time 1 volt peak-to-peak signal with all camera processing turned off, with light levels measured at the viewed scene. It wasn’t long


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Buyer’s Guide

before some manufacturers started measuring at the camera faceplate, or quoting figures for ‘useable video’. This introduced a very subjective element to the specification. One person’s view on what was useable was often very different to anothers, and when it came to sensitivity specifications, ‘useable’ was applied with little discrimination! Today sensitivity specifications have, sadly, become something of a joke, and the various methods used to quote the figures make judging performance a minefield. Figures are quoted for 50IRE, 30IRE and even 20IRE video amplitude. Often, processing is optimised to deliver a stronger signal rather than good quality video, and some manufacturers even quote figures in slow shutter modes! Lens aperture can also impact on performance. Often there is no information supplied as to how the claimed sensitivity is achieved. Bearing this in mind, it doesn’t automatically mean that sensitivity isn’t a specification to look at! Some manufacturers will give details about how the sensitivity has been tested, and a few will give a number of different figures for varied settings. If such information isn’t included, then you really are shooting in the dark (no pun intended)!

Other specifications Most cameras designed for use in low light applications will feature day/night switching. Today, the majority of those cameras will use an IR-cut filter. However, when looking at low cost cameras it is not unusual to find software-based switching, which effectively uses processing to replicate true switching. This can have an adverse impact on image quality in certain scenes, and tests by Benchmark ihave shown that the use of an IR cut filter is preferable. When looking at switching, it is worth considering whether this can be activated via a camera input. The degree of adjustability is also worth investigating, as some cameras offer limited levels of customisation. Because some manufacturers like to quote very low sensitivity specifications, they tend to base the scope of adjustability for switching around those figures. This means that some cameras will switch at very low light levels. Benchmark tests have shown that with most good quality composite video cameras, the best switching point to ensure noise-free images and detailed footage is around 4-8 lux, which is typical of twilight.

BENCHMARK RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS Panasonic WV-SP306E The WV-SP306E is a day/night camera that offers HD720p video streams. The camera features WDR performance, and delivered a clean image down to around 2-3 lux during Benchmark testing. Samsung SNB6004P The SNB6004P is a day/night HD camera. It features WDR functionality, and delivered a clean image down to around 4-5 lux during Benchmark testing. Bosch NDN932V03-IP The NDN932V03-IP is a ruggedised day/night static dome camera delivering HD1080p or HD720p streams. It delivered a clean image down to around 3-4 lux during Benchmark testing. D-Link DCS3716 The DCS3716 is a day/night camera which delivers resolutions of up HD1080P. The camera features WDR, and delivered a clean image down to around 4-5 lux during Benchmark testing. Vicon V922D-N39-IP-P The V922D-N39-IP-P is a static dome day/night camera. It offers resolutions of HD1080p or HD720p. During Benchmark testing the unit switched early enough to ensure images remained clean. IQinvision IQ863NE The IQ863NE is a day/night camera which delivers HD1080p and HD720p streams. The unit switches before low light can create high levels of noise, thus providing good quality footage. TKH Security Siqura BC620WDR The BC620WDR is a networked WDR camera using H.264 to deliver D1 streams. During Benchmark testing, the camera delivered clean and noise-free images until light levels were around 4-5 lux. Honeywell HD4USX The HD4USX is a WDR camera utilising Pixim’s chipset, which delivers D1 streams. During Benchmark testing, the camera delivered noise-free images until light levels fell to around 3-4 lux. Siemens CCMS2025 The CCMS2025 is an HD720P camera. During Benchmark testing, the camera delivered noise-free images until light levels fell to around 5-6 lux.

Because of the higher pixel density on chipsets used for megapixel and high definition cameras, the amount of light falling onto each pixel is obviously reduced. This does have something of an impact on overall low light performance. These cameras www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Buyer’s Guide

BENCHMARK RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS Tamron M13VG288IR The M13VG288IR is a three megapixel 1/3 inch 2.8–8mm varifocal lens. It is a DC auto-iris model with an aperture of F1.2. The lens is an aspherical model, and includes IR coating to prevent focus-shift when used with infrared illumination. Fujinon YV2.8x2.8SR4A-SA2 The YV2.8x2.8SR4A-SA2 is a three megapixel lens, with a focal length of 2.8-8mm and a maximum aperture of F1.3. It is a DC autoiris varifocal lens designed for use with 1/2.7 inch format cameras. It is an aspherical model, and also features IR correction. GJD Clarius IL8100 The IL8100 is a semi-covert 850 nanometre model, with a specified range of up to 48 metres and a coverage of 100 degrees. The unit has an integral photocell (adjustable from 30 to 70 lux) and power output is also adjustable. Connections for the telemetry input and photocell following are included in the 3m flylead which also handles power. Iluminar IR312-A100-24 The IR312-A100-24 is a semi-covert 850 nanometre model with a specified range of up to 24 metres and a coverage of 100 degrees. The unit has an integral photocell (adjustable from 30 to 70 lux), and output power is adjustable too. It also includes a telemetry input and photocell following connection; an additional connector is required for this. Raytec Vario i8 The Vario features interchangeable lenses which allow the installer to set the coverage of the illuminator. Many of the Vario’s settings are configured via a common remote control, which is an optional extra. The unit has an integral photocell (adjustable with three levels of sensitivity) and power output can be adjusted. Connections for the telemetry input and photocell following are included in the flylead which also handles power.

generally need to switch at slightly higher light levels, such as 5-12 lux. AGC is a useful tool when seeking to maximise low light performance. However, at times it can be applied too heavily! Gain effectively amplifies a weak signal caused due to low light. However, it equally amplifies noise within the signal, with the result that an over-reliance on AGC can lead to very noisy images. It should be remembered that when gain is applied, a strong signal doesn’t always equate to a clean image! Many manufacturers offer noise reduction functions, and whilst some of these work well, again a note of caution must be observed. Where AGC is used at a high level, with a hefty 42

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wack of noise reduction to counter its side effects, the results can be detrimental to image quality. During Benchmark testing, often the best results were obtained by reducing the levels of gain and DNR to lessen the overall processing load. WDR isn’t designed specifically to enhance low light performance. However, Benchmark tests have shown that judicious use of the functionality can help to enhance images during periods of low light. Whilst decent low light performance isn’t reliant upon WDR, the technology can be beneficial when well implemented.

Other devices Two other elements can significantly affect the low light performance of cameras. The first is the lens, and the second is additional illumination. Video chipsets work by converting the light that falls onto the sensor into a signal. The more light that falls onto the sensor, the better the quality of the signal. If a lens can maximise that degree of light, then the low light performance will improve. Aspherical lenses have an advanced profile which ensures that the light from the very edges of the lens converges at the same focal point as those from the centre of the lens. This is not the case with spherical lenses. Whilst it may seem that such a change won’t greatly impact upon low light performance, the reality is that Benchmark tests have shown increases in performance which, when considered on a pound-for-pound basis against other options, are significant. Where additional infrared illumination is being used, it is also necessary to ensure that the lenses selected are IR corrected. These lenses eradicate focus shift which can occur because of the difference in the wavelengths of infrared and white light. Advances in manufacturing processes have made additional illumination for video surveillance affordable for most applications. Best practice is to use separate illuminators. Benchmark tests have shown varied results with cameras that use integral illumination; if you are unsure carry out a field test! Infrared illumination is popular for surveillance requirements. However, don’t automatically assume that white light cannot be used. Many fear restrictions associated with light pollution, but a number of sites will be able to use it, and retain colour images.


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dist news nov13_000_Benchmark_nov13 11/11/2013 18:33 Page 2

Distributor News

SmartR adds to portfolio Access control distributor Smart R Distribution has been appointed as the sole UK distributor for Vanderbilt Industries access control and video management systems. Originally developed as the Geoffrey system, and more recently known as Schlage SMS, the Vanderbilt SMS system has been installed in thousands of locations and has been particularly well accepted by banking and financial institutions in the City of London. SMS (Security Management System) is a single source solution for integrating access-control technologies, digital video and alarm monitoring systems. Designed to be fully scalable, the solution is ideal for large, multi-site or global organisations. It supports an unlimited number of cardholders and readers. Features include alarm management, photo ID badging, visitor management, elevator control, offline and online locks, advanced reporting, etc.. The system can be supplemented with expandable hardware including reader controllers, reader interfaces, wireless readers, I/O modules, power supplies, custom enclosures, readers and credentials. Its capabilities include the management of both networked and standalone portals, with anti-passback capabilities. Rules can be established relating to occupancy levels. Users can be supplemented with timelimited temporary credentials for visitors and/or contractors. SmartR offers a full UK sales and technical support service, and holds local stock of everything an installer needs for the implementation of access control solutions, including credentials and readers from the major brand names.

Dynamic adds brand Dynamic CCTV has announced a new distribution partnership with Hikvision. The distributor will offer a range of the manufacturer’s cost effective IP equipment. Tony Yang, Hikvision’s UK General Manager, stated, ‘We are glad to announce Dynamic CCTV as a new authorised distribution partner. With Dynamic CCTV in the Hikvision family, we believe it will bring our company up to another level in the competitive UK and Ireland markets.’

Distributor News The latest news for integrators and installers from the security system suppliers Samsung promotion announced Dynamic CCTV is currently running a promotion for those purchasing Samsung DVRs. Until 20 December 2013, every purchase of an 8 or 16 channel DVR will qualify for a free Samsung SCB-2004 day/night body camera. The SCB-2004 is an analogue box camera suitable for a wide range of applications. It incorporates the 6th generation Winner processing engine which features a claimed 700 TV line resolution, sharp mode and other functionalities such as SSNR III, software day/night operation and defog. Motion detection and privacy masking are also supported. The camera has a claimed sensitivity of 0.1 lux for a 50IRE image, which can be boosted using frame integration, with a sens-up range of 2x-512x. The camera also supports SSDR, backlight compensation and highlight compensation.

New courses address networked systems Mayflex has developed two new IP-based security courses which will be available for installers and integrators to attend during early 2014. The first course is entitled ‘Implementing IP Security Surveillance Systems’. This is an indepth two-day course which will give delegates a good understanding of the fundamentals required to deploy an IP-based video surveillance network. The course will offer a mixture of classroom tutorials and practical sessions which will give delegates the chance to acquire the necessary skills to successfully install, configure and adapt an IP-based surveillance installation. The second course, ‘IP CCTV Made Easy’, has been developed in conjunction with Razberi, Milestone, Axis and Excel. This half-day training session will provide delegates with the know-how to get additional revenue from their existing customer base by expanding on their expertise and knowledge levels. www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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FIELD NOTES: Small and Distributed Sites When designing surveillance systems for smaller sites, many feel that the most cost-effective approach is to adhere to established thinking and analogue technology. In some cases, this may well be the case. However, despite what some might have you believe, networked solutions can offer a more cost-effective option, whilst also delivering enhanced benefits to the customer.

However, it could be argued that such an approach isn’t cost-effective, because it’s not delivering the best return on the investment being made. Taking a different approach could result in better quality and greater flexibility for the customer, whilst also delivering a simpler installation and an eradication of redundant devices for the installer. When making such decisions there are commercial pressures from both sides. As analogue systems approach the end of their technology lifecycle, those who produce them are keen to keep up sales levels for as long as possible. The customer, however, wants a solution that fits into the business being protected, and which can interface with the way they work.

The IP myths

t is a commonly held belief that networked video systems are too expensive for smaller sites with basic needs. Too often, the feeling of many installers and integrators – plus some end users – is that an investment in IP-based systems simply cannot be justified. If a DVR and a few cameras can cover the needs of the application, then analogue technology delivers all that is needed, at a very reasonable cost. This is all well and good where the customer simply wants to record standard definition video, maybe looking back over it once an incident has occurred. They also need to ensure that they have somewhere suitable to house the devices used for recording and viewing. These typically get sandwiched into a back office space, or put under a retail counter.

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There are suppliers out there who like to view networked solutions as something exclusively for new build sites or large campus-type projects. Indeed, it is true that in such applications the use of networked solutions does make a lot of sense. However, the devices used in such projects are typically costly. This must be considered alongside the fact that if you’re installing analogue systems into such sites, the equipment is still costly, because of the capabilities required! There are networked solutions which are ideal for large integrated and high risk applications. There are also networked solutions which are suitable for smaller sites, for distributed sites and for lower risk needs. These aren’t simply scaled down versions of the high end products, or cheaply manufactured items. There are network systems which have been specifically developed with the needs of such applications in mind. Whilst some like to confuse the difference between the needs of the two ends of the market to paint networked solutions as too expensive, the reality is very different. Judging networked solutions as a whole is a pointless task. There is not – nor does there have to be – a ‘one size fits all’ system. Selecting the


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Field Notes

appropriate solution for any given application is what is important. If you look at the IT sector, it gives an idea of the diversity of networked solutions. At the high end of commercial network applications, you have virtualised servers with federated architecture, often using secure off-site processing operations for continuity and failover protection. At the everyday end of the consumer market you have families sharing photographs from their mobile phones via social media. At their very core, both of these propositions are similar, and use the same basic technologies. Despite the underlying similarities, they are different by design. Sticking with the consumer market, consider mobile phones and tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, media servers, smart TVs, etc.. They all have a similar technological basis, but are developed for specific tasks. This same flexibility can increasingly be realised in networked video solutions, including those for the smaller sites.

Opportunity or threat? There can be a tendency amongst some to dismiss these smaller site systems as gimmicks. However, because they record on

Recommended Alternative Topologies There are some robust alternatives to the traditional analogue video surveillance model for smaller sites. Whilst these have similarities in the ethos of their design, they work in different ways. This illustrates the flexibility of networked devices, and underlines how systems can be selected to specifically suit the needs of a site. Benchmark has tested some of these solutions, and they have rated well, achieving Recommended Status when used in the right applications. Axis Camera Companion is a free-of-charge software package which supports up to 16 video inputs. It does not require a DVR or NVR, server or PC to operate – a laptop is required for initial set, and video is viewed via a PC or mobile device running an appropriate viewing App. Video is recorded on SD cards located in the cameras. Network attached storage (NAS) can also be supported. Recording can be scheduled, continuous or event-based. The DNR-326 from D-Link takes a different approach. The hardware element is a simple two-bay HDD management device, which is bundled with VMS software. The recorder supports up to 9 video inputs and records streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and MJPEG compression. It can record at a variety of resolutions including HD1080p and HD720p. Recording can be event-based or scheduled. Bit-rate is 90Mbps for H.264 at both HD resolutions. This equates to an average of 10Mbps per camera, and allows high quality to be achieved. Vicon’s HDXPRES-4 does things differently to many NVRs! The HDXPRES-4 network video recorder supports up to 4 compatible Vicon cameras. You connect the cameras and a monitor, power up, and you’re recording HD footage. The NVR features an integral four-way switch with PoE. The NVR uses H.264, and records HD1080p video in real-time as standard. Any additional configurations are optional! memory cards at the edge, feature integral PoE switches that are pre-configured, use software interfaces with HDD bays, simplify port forwarding by using a secure dedicated off-site server or any of the other benefits they offer does not make them less suitable. If anything, these systems exploit the inherent flexibility of networked solutions to make them more suitable for smaller sites. A great example is that one major DVR manufacturer told us that SD cards were not ideal for security because of limited recording capacities. He also added that his 16 channel 1TB DVR sold well, because of the recording capacity it offered. Currently, SDXC cards offer capacities of 128GB. That equates to twice www.benchmarkmagazine.com

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Field Notes

as much capacity as each channel receives on the 1TB DVR! Using SD cards increases performance, and the fact that a DVR or NVR isn’t needed saves money. Many of the systems feature simple streaming to standard mobile devices. Because a customer can use a laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone to view footage, receive alarm messages and control the system, this reduces costs and desk space. It also put the security system into the palm of their hand! Many of these systems offer PoE, in some cases as a standard element of the product. This eliminates the cost of having fused spurs installed at each camera, and the cost of PSUs to regulate the power. Additionally, if a camera is moved to a new location, that doesn’t require yet another fused spur. This is a significant cost saving. Are such systems an opportunity or a threat? For installers and integrators who want to deliver a system that is designed for a smaller site, reduces the need for desk space, offers enhanced capacities and performance, which interacts with devices that the customer already owns and uses as a part of their business, and which protects them, they represent significant opportunities. However, if you restrict your offering to basic CCTV systems which are claimed to be cost-effective by those selling them, which require a longer installation, more hardware and require products that the customer might rarely need, then they’re very much a threat!

Verdict There are a number of important considerations when looking at smaller sites. The first is to ascertain the level of risk. It 48

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doesn’t always hold true that a smaller site is a low risk application. Where risks are high, it is vital that appropriate systems are specified. That said, many smaller sites will have low to medium risk levels, and addressing the threats they face can be achieved simply with many of the networked solutions available. Which solution you pick really will depend upon the circumstances and the requirements of the site owner. The inherent flexibility in networked solutions for smaller sites and lower camera counts does mean that whilst these systems are different to traditional CCTV, there are also differences between the approaches used. What is ideal for one site might not be usable for the next. This is why installers and integrators should ensure they are familiar with the various options on offer. The most important element of these systems is how they are sold. Traditional CCTV systems generally introduce some form of compromise, due to restricted topologies and technological limitations. These networked solutions eliminate those restrictions, allowing the creation of a system that works with the end user and their business. Interestingly, one of the major marketing messages designed to push installers towards analogue solutions is ease of installation. It is interesting to note that the network solutions designed for smaller sites and low camera counts are also very easy to install. In fact, they typify plug and play. If you consider all of the costs of a system, including time on site, the elimination of certain hardware elements, the flexibility offered to customers and elimination of the need to install bulky recording and management devices, the networked options redefine the term ‘cost-effective’.


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Benchmark looks at new product launches of interest to installers and integrators of security solutions

Dashboard control Milestone Systems has announced the next version of XProtect Professional 2013. It provides security operators with a graphical overview of the entire installation from a single interface, allowing them to react quickly to incidents and efficiently manage alarms. The Alarm Manager ensures users are notified when events occur. Users can quickly identify incidents by accessing video from various locations, including mobile devices. The deployment process is guided by setup wizards that make it easy to install, even for those with limited IT skills. A camera discovery feature automatically detects and configures new cameras. This enables integrators to expand the installation with a single mouse click. XProtect Professional 2013 allows the addition of an unlimited number of Recording Servers. This means that integrators can now provide a cost-effective and easy way to scale up a solution. The new product versions are further optimised through 64-bit Recording Servers, allowing the connection of more cameras to the same unit. The Customer Dashboard is an online system monitoring service that gives realtime updates on the status of the installation. This enables the engineer to proactively take action in case of a technical incident with a system. This new service helps system integrators add value to their service agreements because they are supported with a tool that provides constant visibility on the status of installations. Some common errors that are detected in the Customer Dashboard include camera malfunction, disk capacity reached, failed archive operation, error deleting archive and camera not recording. Errors are displayed as alarms, and once detected, it can be marked as ‘in progress’. The Customer Dashboard works automatically once the functionality is enabled in the XProtect Management Application and when the system is online.

Wider compatibility Vivotek has announced the launch of a rack mountable 16-channel Linux embedded network video recorder (NVR). The NR8401 operates as a standalone solution, but can also be linked with other system elements via a LAN, WAN or the internet. It can also directly connect with central management software and is compatible with a viewer application which delivers remote access on handheld devices. Real-time monitoring, recording and data management can be performed simultaneously via the web browser interface, and the unit is equipped with dewarp functionality for fisheye cameras. Other features include two gigabit ethernet RJ45 ports, as well as modes to avoid the risk of recording loss, including standalone mode, failover mode and load balance mode. Onetouch backup is included, and the storage capacity of the NVR can be expanded up to 12TB. The unit supports RAID 0/1/5 applications for video data protection and mirroring. External sensors or alarms can also be added.

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Multi-shutter option JVC Professional has launched the Pixstar WDR TKWD9602E analogue camera. It offers a solution for optimising image quality in difficult back-lit areas. Pixstar technology is based on a multi-shutter CMOS sensor, and benefits from 17-bit DSP technology. The camera offers resolutions of 540TVL with more than 120dB wide dynamic range. Installers can select between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. Quoted sensitivity is 0.25 lux in colour, with 52dB signal to noise ratio and 3D dynamic noise reduction. Power consumption is 190mA and, and the manufacturer claims an MTBF figure of 150,000 hours.

Battery powered Revader’s redeployable cameras are designed to be installed in minutes, are vandal or ballistics resistant and are suited for locations where no power source exists, as the Totem and Transit models can be powered by a 12V battery. The video solutions combine image capture, recording, storage and transmission technology in one product. Revader offers five vandal resistant redeployable models which provide the choice of D1 resolution via a 36x zoom PTZ camera or HD images with a 360 degree camera. All models offer the potential for 2TB storage, with most being able to offer transmission through WIFI, Ethernet and 3G connectivity.

In the cloud Stanley Security Solutions has launched the Stanley eVideo Cloud solution across Europe. The eVideo solution provides a secure and reliable security and monitoring system without the cost of local recording equipment, according to the manufacturer. The solution, which requires little installation or maintenance, can be viewed from anywhere with a network connection, via a PC, tablet or smartphone. The eVideo Cloud solution is built on technology from Axis Communications, using AVHS server software and IP video surveillance cameras. It is a subscriptionbased video surveillance solution, allowing users to extend their video surveillance through hosted architecture without compromising on video quality.

Wireless integration Aras & RBH Security Group is the latest access control manufacturer to integrate with Assa Abloy’s Aperio wireless locking solutions. This allows Aras & RBH integrators to upgrade mechanically locked doors and wirelessly connect them online and offline to new or existing access control systems. Upgrades are cost effective and simple as the need to local cabling is eliminated. The company has utilised the wireless lock range with its Axiom V building management and security system, which is designed to offer solutions for large multi-site and multitenant applications. The range of locks integrated with Axion V communicate via an RS485 interface, and support 125kHz, Mifare, Desfire and iClass credentials.

Lenel certification achieved Schneider Electric has announced that its Pelco Endura Enterprise 2.0 video management system has been recertified with the Lenel OnGuard access control system 6.5 and 6.6. In addition, new certifications of the Digital Sentry VMS and the DX4700/4800 HD video recorders are now supported via the OnGuard access control platform. The integration of these Pelco IP video solutions allows integrators to control, monitor and respond to potential security threats. Operators can view and control video from the OnGuard user interface. Operators are presented with video in response to events. Single and multi-camera views can be displayed manually or automatically and direct control of a camera’s telemetry capabilities allows incident handling.

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All-round vision Samsung Techwin has introduced a 360 degree high definition camera. The SNF-7010 three megapixel camera provides users with the option of selecting from a number of displays including 360 degree fisheye, single and double panorama, quad or user selectable region. The SNF-7010 features digital PTZ, progressive scan technology, and supports up to six streams using H.264 and MJPEG compression. A number of different authorised users can be supported. An integral SDXC slot enables edge recording. Other features include four motion detection zones, privacy masking, tamper alert and bi-directional audio. When combined with on-board analytics, the microphone provides an audio detection capability.

Tough enough? D-Link has extended its range of full HD surveillance cameras with the introduction of the DCS-6314, a WDR –enabled varifocal day/night unit. The camera features a built-in heater and waterresistant casing to protect against vandalism and harsh weather conditions. Other features include infrared LED illuminators with a range of 15 metres, and free video management software enables digital zoom. Power-overEthernet is supported, as is motion detection and two-way audio. A MicroSDHC card slot allows edge recording to be initiated. 54

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Aver has released the E5016 NVR, a network video recorder that features a range of smart tools and remote management capabilities. The Linux device delivers a throughput of 120Mbps over 16 channels, with resolutions of up to 5MP at 30fps per channel. Features include regions of interest, smart streaming, motion detection and privacy zones. Four removable HDDs and RAID support enhance storage capacity, with further capacity available via an e-SATA interface. The unit also boasts tri-codec compression. The NVR supports point of sale (POS) integration to allow up to five POS systems to be connected without the need for additional data processing devices. Live transaction data is overlaid onto camera images, allowing quick analysis of items sold through the use of keyword filtering. Claimed to be easy to set up and use, the GUI offers click-and-drag preview selection and a range of smart tools to reduce training needs. Also included are a range of remote access and management applications, including central management software to offer remote configuration, including initiation of recording and playback.

Virtual storage Pivot3 has released the vSTAC Watch Edge R2 appliance, designed for distributed sites requiring high-performance shared storage with virtual servers. The appliance range is certified to operate with Genetec Security Center v.5.2, and delivers 4-8TB of RAID storage while supporting up to 100 cameras. Up to four appliances can be configured together, delivering up to 32TB and four virtual servers. The self-healing storage platforms deliver iSCSI SAN with RAID 5e to protect lost data on one disc or stored video surveillance footage across a multi-appliance array. They include integrated application failover for back-up servers without the need for complex cabling, additional hardware or software. The Edge R2 eliminates the need for physical servers, thus saving up to 40 per cent in terms of power, cooling and rack space. Storage is dynamically expandable, allowing increases in capacity as surveillance requirements expand. The appliances run on purpose-built standard x86 hardware, eliminating many complexities associated with legacy storage systems.


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Advanced display Christie offers the QuadHD84 flat panel display, a high definition LCD flat panel that provides an interface for 60Hz performance at a 3840 x 2160 resolution, with compatibility for video sources. The display has twice the update rate of consumer ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs, according to the manufacturer. The 84 inch size allows flexibility with regard to screen layouts. The native resolution of the panel is driven by four frame-locked HDMI or DVI sources at 60Hz. The panel has three additional single channel HDMI inputs capable of full quad HD resolution (3840 x 2160) and each of those inputs are HD compatible.

Power back-up Eaton has added three-phase models to its 9PX range of uninterruptable power supplies (UPSs). The new models are aimed at applications where a threephase power source is available, and energy efficiency is a prime requirement. The three-phase in, single-phase out (3:1) models in the 9PX range are offered with power ratings of 6, 8 and 11kVA, with all versions incorporating a maintenance bypass for easy replacement of the UPS without powering down critical systems. They complement the existing 9PX singlephase (1:1) models, which are available with ratings from 5 to 11kVA. A key feature of the 9PX range is energy efficiency. When operating in double conversion mode, the UPSs achieve an efficiency of up to 95 per cent and, when mains power quality is good, this increases to 98 per cent in high-efficiency mode. The 9PX UPSs feature a large graphical LCD screen that provides real-time information about operating status and offers access to analytics and configuration capabilities. The units also incorporate a control system that can continually monitor power conditions and regulate the operation for optimised capacity management.

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Wide area surveillance HGH Infrared Systems offers a high resolution system for wide area surveillance. The Spynel-U is an uncooled long-wave infrared camera system, which can detect a human over distances of up to 2.5km. It can operate in total darkness, or through smoke or inclement weather conditions. The uncooled sensor requires no maintenance. The Spynel thermal cameras acquire high-resolution 360-degree images, with automatic and real time detection of simultaneous and unlimited targets within the panoramic image. The continuouslymonitored panoramic field of view ensures that no event is missed, according to the manufacturer.

A clearer view? UTC has launched a range of monitors designed for dependable round-the-clock performance. With the clarity of images a priority for video system users, the performance and durability of monitors is critical. The HDMI-compatible models are designed to deliver 50,000 hours monitor lamp life, backed with a three-year warranty. The range includes 17 and 19 inch TruVision monitors and 26, 32 and 42 inch UltraView LCD monitors (UVM). The monitors are ideal for displaying high resolution images captured by the latest generation cameras. All new models feature built-in speakers, VGA for standard PC/recorder connection and BNC loop-through functionality. The monitors are VESA wall mount enabled and are designed with a choice of black housings (TVM models) and industrial metal housings (UVM models).

HD either way Euresys has launched the Picolo.net HD8R, an 8 channel HD-SDI video encoder in a 19-inch 1U chassis. This allows streaming video from up to 8 HD1080p30 or HD720p60 HD-SDI cameras over an IP network. HD-SDI video uses appropriate coaxial cables. The Picolo.net is claimed to be as secure as analogue video, as hacking into a network from a HD-SDI cable is unlikely. The HD8R is compatible with ONVIF Profile S, and so provides interoperability with many Video Management Software (VMS) applications. It features a high-quality H.264 encoder that can deliver up to three encoded streams per camera.


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FINAL next issue dec13_000_Benchmark_nov10 12/11/2013 16:34 Page 2

Next Month

Next Month in Benchmark... Edge Recording No matter what the size of the system, does edge recording and distributed archiving make more sense than a centralised model? Benchmark considers the options for delivering a more flexible recording solution, with differing levels of backup according to needs.

Event Handling

Best of 2013 A new year is upon us, and before we plunge headfirst into the technologies and innovations that will unfold for installers and integrators in 2014, we take a look back at some of the more interesting products tested during 2013.

Software-based VMS (video management systems) are growing in popularity, due to their open platform approach. Whilst interoperability and ease of video management are often cited as reasons to select such solutions, there is another reason why those who make the transition are glad they have. Often VMS packages can offer advanced alarm and event handling options, delivering increased levels of flexibility when it comes to system design. Benchmark looks at some of the options.

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Benchmark December 2013  

Think Heat! Thermal Imagers for security applications

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