cover oct13_001_Benchmark_may13 12/09/2013 14:38 Page 4
The Devilâ€™s Advocate: System Integration Tested: IVA-based Video Triggers Softly Softly: Protecting Legacy Investments Under the Skin: Latest Technologies Examined
Shining Bright? Performance testing of surveillance illuminators
TESTED: Network Video Recorders
MASTERCLASS: ANPR Set-up
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about_jul13_000_Benchmark_may10 12/06/2013 11:02 Page 1
BENCHMARK The leading source of independent performance-based technical information for those specifying, designing and purchasing advanced security solutions t Benchmark, we passionately believe that the future growth and development of the security sector depends upon the creation of flexible, scalable and effective solutions. As technology delivers ever increasing levels of functionality, so the ability to integrate elements such as business intelligence and smart management create a more valued proposition for all concerned. This brings together enhanced security with truly beneficial solutions.
BENCHMARK INDEPENDENT TESTING THE STATUS AWARDS Benchmark Recommended Status is awarded to products that undergo the independent testing process and receive an overall rating of 80% or higher. Products which receive this status are then permitted to use the Recommended logo, which illustrates they have passed application-specific testing and have reached a very high standard. Benchmark Outstanding Status is awarded to products that undergo the independent testing process and receive an overall rating of 90% or higher. Products which receive this status are then permitted to use the Outstanding logo, which illustrates they have passed application-specific testing and have reached the very highest standards. Because products and systems in the electronic security industry are varied, there are inevitable price differences between products designed to do the same job. It may be that one device offers a credible level of performance equivalent to its peers, but has more competitive price. Alternatively, the device may have a similar price to its peers, but delivers additional features and functions. In such cases, these products are recognised by the award of Benchmark Best Buy status.
We believe that by embracing the new and emerging technologies, and by adopting a more holistic approach to encompass the inherent flexibility they offer, credible solutions that deliver enhanced protection, security and business benefits can be realised. Any solution which includes a degree of compromise, no matter how small, will always be flawed. Given the depth of options now available, the use of limited or outdated technologies, or formulaic design which does not specifically address the needs of a customer, is unacceptable. Through independent testing, system and technology assessments, field-based analysis, educational articles and informed debate, Benchmark provides vital information to those seeking to create best-in-class solutions. The editorial materials included in the magazine and its on-line initiatives ensure that those who offer bespoke advanced solutions have access to honest, independent and relevant reporting that aids and supports them in their work. Benchmark delivers its content via a monthly print-based publication, as well as a number of interactive electronic initiatives. By realising the potential that new technologies offer, enhanced solutions that deliver security and business benefits can be realised. IF YOU ARE INVOLVED IN THE SPECIFICATION AND/OR PURCHASE OF SECURITY SOLUTIONS, BENCHMARK INCLUDES VITAL INFORMATION THAT CANNOT BE SOURCED ELSEWHERE!
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Premier Compact-W Series
Residential wireless detectors with Ricochet® mesh technology The Premier Compact-W Series takes residential wireless detection to the next level. By combining commercial-grade motion detection with Ricochet mesh technology in a range of cost-effective devices, the Premier Compact-W Series offers unprecedented performance for mass-market applications.
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• EN50131-2-2, EN50131-5-3 & PD6662:2010 Grade 2
Residential Wireless Solutions Increasingly available to a wider audience, Ricochet mesh technology brings commercial grade wireless signalling to residential applications.
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contoct13_000_Benchmark_oct13 12/09/2013 16:56 Page 1
Contents 7 Editorial Disruptive innovation brings change, but do you see it as a threat or an opportunity?
8 Under the Skin Benchmark gets under the skin of some new product releases.
16 Group Test: Network Video Recorders Benchmark looks at the performance of NVRs, with units from D-Link, Hikvision, Abus and Aver.
25 NVR Alternatives A look at some alternative NVRs tested in the last issue of Benchmark, including units from Panasonic, Samsung and Vicon.
28 The Devil’s Advocate Integration, interoperability and skills for the future; Benchmark talks to Tim Northwood of Inner Range Europe.
34 Softly Softly Editor Pete Conway Tel: 020 8295 8303 E-mail: email@example.com
Here we go again! Benchmark’s Dave casts a jaundiced eye over ‘enhanced’ analogue video solutions.
36 Group Test: Video Triggers Benchmark takes a look at event-based video cameras from Bosch and DV Tel.
Advertisement Manager Wendy Thomas Tel: 020 8295 8305 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
41 Group Test: Video Illumination
Production Matt Jarvis Tel: 020 8295 8300 E-mail: email@example.com
47 Masterclass: ANPR Performance
Administration Tracey Beale Tel: 020 8295 1414 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional illumination is key to modern around-the-clock surveillance. Benchmark tests white light and infrared options from Raytec, Iluminar and GJD. Considerations when setting up a camera for ANPR video capture.
51 Bulletin A round-up of new product releases of interest to those seeking advanced security and life-safety solutions.
58 Next Issue A look ahead to the November 2013 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.
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 email@example.com for an information pack. IP SURVEILLANCEt STORAGEt SWITCHINGt WIRELESS
BM_comment_oct13_000_Benchmark_nov10 12/09/2013 15:23 Page 1
Editorial Comment... Pete Conway, Editor, Benchmark n recent weeks I seem to have had numerous conversations about the state of the security market. Some have been with those who see the market as depressed, as stagnant, as struggling to lift itself out of the mire. Conversely, many have been with those who see the changes starting to creep in; changes that they identify as affecting the entire electronic security industry ... for the better. When push comes to shove, I find myself siding with the latter camp. Yes, it’s true that recent years have been hard, and despite reports about the start of economic recovery it’s still difficult in the market. However, when wasn’t it? There are two significant issues that need to be considered. The first is that whenever there is a recession, people come out of it with a different way of working. These new approaches aren’t negative. Inevitably they are borne out of innovation and a small degree of necessity. They’re not sea changes based upon the revelation of the fragility of modern economics, but more the results of taking a long hard look at efficiency. Many businesses are stronger, leaner and more proactive. It is equally true that whenever a technology-based sector undergoes disruptive innovation, it also changes. Those with the displaced technologies work harder and harder to push it to its limits, usually (inadvertently) ending up accelerating its demise. Those who embrace the disruptive innovation also take a long hard look at efficiency. After all, there is never any point in adopting a new technology if it doesn’t enhance efficiency! What is interesting is that although both sets of circumstances are very different, the outcome can often be the same. Those who
As with any disruptive technology, the migration to network-based topology will see the way the security industry – and its customers – works undergo something of a change. It’s how that change is embraced that could make a lot of difference to the future... succeed embrace change and use it to create a new set of values, new expectations, and to deliver increased levels of efficiency. This isn’t to say that this change is a simple process. It requires some not inconsiderable amount of effort, and maybe even some initial pain. However, it is a necessity if the outcome is to be positive. In recent years, the security sector has not been alone in facing a global recession. As the dust settles and things start to pick up, we are seeing the first signs of change. These aren’t just within our industry. We now have an end customer who has also focused on efficiency, and has more precise and reasoned expectations. The security sector is also seeing the impact of disruptive innovation. Whilst some of the changes are coming from within the industry, others are emerging from businesses that are new to our sector. For some, these changes could be seen as a threat. However, many are realising that they represent a significant opportunity. The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, change is happening. It encompasses the customers, other technological sectors, communications, manufacturing, etc.. It is breathing new life into the security market, and that must be a good thing!
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Under the Skin
TKH Security – Siqura S-64E/32G What is it? Video servers provide a means to allow legacy analogue cameras to be retained and utilised where the benefits of a networked video solution are being realised. Essentially, this can soften the financial impact of a system being upgraded to enjoy the flexibility and management benefits inherent in modern solutions. Whilst the primary purpose of such a device is to encode the output of the composite video camera, thereby allowing its transmission across a network, manufacturers have added features and benefits to the devices to enable a degree of differentiation. The Siqura S-64E/32G is a four channel video server that delivers dual streaming. The server also includes support for telemetry control and edge recording. Other features include video motion detection and regions of interest.
A few more specs The S-64E/32G video encoder handles four composite inputs and one network output. Each video stream can be dual streamed using H.264 or M-JPEG compression. Resolutions of up to D1 are supported, and frame rates can be up to 25fps. The unit uses Open Streaming Architecture (OSA) based on an HTTP API. It is also claimed to be compliant with the ONVIF Profile S protocol. Telemetry control and two-way RS-422/485 communications are enabled via a serial data port. TKH claims that most leading manufacturers’ PTZ protocols are supported, including Pelco D. The server supports video motion detection, which can be enabled in customisable regions of interest. The feature can also be used to perform basic camera ‘health checks’. This ensures that alerts can be generated for changes in video image contrast, exposure, sharpness and noise. The function compares the camera video images with pre-defined reference images, warning users if camera tampering, video blocking, cloaking, spraying, camera position change or video loss have occurred. The server also enables edge recording, using an integral 32GB micro-SDHC card. Video streams can either be simultaneously or individually recorded. This not only adds flexibility with regard to system design, but also acts as a fail-safe should the network continuity be affected. Recordings can also be accessed remotely, either via the unit’s webserver, or via a compatible VMS. A version is also available using the SFP connection.
What’s SFP? TKH Security introduced its SFP (Small Form Factor Pluggable) connectors to ensure that devices can be used over any network infrastructure. The integral adaptor allows a simple connector to be used to interface with fibre optics, twisted pair or ethernet over coax. This allows devices to be used with various infrastructure, simply by switching over the connector! The connector inserts directly into the server. It effectively adds the relevant connector to the device. The integrated adaptor doesn’t require any other hardware, and because it attaches to the unit it enables the device rather than converting signals once they’ve been outputted. There’s no need to open the enclosure to change the connector. It simply slides into a socket, leaving just the relevant connection protruding. 8
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Concept Smoke Screen – Guardian ATM and Predator What is it? The concept of security ‘smoke screens’ has been around for a few years now, and they work on the principle of preventing crime by ensuring that perpetrators cannot see, thereby preventing them from locating assets or moving through the premises. The systems are fast-acting, filling a space with a non-toxic cloud within seconds. The ‘smoke’ is a vapour cloud, which does not damage materials or leave any odours or
Adding DNA Commonly referred to as DNA tagging, these systems use a registered liquid material containing unique encoding, typically in the form of microdots. Each cylinder of material is allocated to specific users, and when an incident occurs, the liquid is released, spraying the perpetrator. Following an arrest, the material can be collected by the police, and the registration of the unique encoding allows them to categorically link an individual with a premises, along with the date and time of the system activation. Predator combines smoke generation with DNA tagging. This reduces losses whilst also ensuring that criminals are tagged. The dispersing system can be used with almost all of the DNA markers currently on the market. The DNA/dye material is independently released to ensure that the encoded material is not damaged or destroyed by passing through the smoke machine’s heat exchanger system. The system is triggered in response to a verified intruder alarm activation. This reduces any risks associated with false alarms, and ensures that incidents are not missed. It also delivers a degree of flexibility with regard to the total system operation.
residues. It can effectively ‘push’ intruders out of a building, and often the speed with which the systems deploy makes the effect disorientating for any intruder. Concept Smoke Screen has been adding developments to its product range, and has launched two new products. One is a portable version of the smoke screen systems, while the other links smoke screen performance with ‘DNA’ secure identification.
A portable option? One limitation with traditional smoke screen systems is that they need to be linked to an intruder alarm system. This ensures that they don’t activate while the premises is open, unless a deliberately operated device is used. Whilst linking a smoke screen device to an intruder alarm system does offer a degree of flexibility as to how the system is triggered, it’s not ideal for every application. The Guardian ATM is claimed to be small enough to be carried by hand. It was designed in collaboration with a leading cash-in-transit company, originally as protection for staff travelling between vehicles and an ATM. It features what Concept Smoke Screen call an ‘anti-raid’ nozzle, which quickly emits a smoke barrier when activated. This serves to protect the personnel and the money they are carrying, and also creates a diversion, allowing them to get to a safe place. The portable unit has been used in an extended trial in the UK, and has been deployed during a number of attacks. The manufacturer states that the ATM and personnel were successfully protected on each occasion.
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Under the Skin
Dallmeier – Picodome What is it?
So it’s not composite?
The trend for miniaturisation has always been around in the video surveillance sector, and as optical manufacturing has advanced, so the move towards ever smaller cameras is one that a few companies have pursued. Those with good memories will remember the Picodome from Dallmeier. When it was launched the WDR-enabled unit was the manufacturer’s entry into the world of miniaturised cameras. Despite being 93mm in diameter, the unit delivered quality images. It used 17 bit digital processing and boasted Dallmeier’s Cam_inPix technology. Its basic specifications were what was called high resolution back then – 540 TVL – and sensitivity was 1 lux. The camera boasted a full range of adjustability, allowing it to be configured for a range of diverse applications. Ease of installation was covered via the use of a simple positioning mechanism, and aesthetics were also considered, with a range of different finishes available for the camera bezel. Well, the Picodome is back, and its performance has moved on to exploit the additional functionality available from today’s technology.
No. Well yes. It’s hybrid, actually. The camera can be used in legacy analogue systems or networked applications. In truth, most people will use the composite output for set-up. The new version of the camera – the Picodome DDF4220HDV – delivers HD720p video in real-time, as well as a range of resolutions up to 1.3 megapixel. The camera can stream H.264 or M-JPEG video, and dual or triple streams are supported. The composite output allows for video of up to 4CIF resolution. Other features include wide dynamic range (up to 115dB) and low-light performance is quoted as 0.3 lux. It supports video motion detection with remote notification on event, privacy masking, plus configurable settings for AES, AGC, DNR, etc.. The lens is a fixed focal 2.8mm item. The camera uses a 1/3 inch CMOS chipset, and includes digital image shift to allow for alignment by 120 pixels upwards or downwards. It also features three different exposure metering modes: average, centreweighted and spot metering. Finally, power can be traditional 12V DC or PoE.
Is it all about looks? Sometimes, when manufacturers opt for an aesthetically pleasing design, there can be a worry that the device has been built to a style, rather than with the practicalities of everyday performance in mind. However, the Picodome has been designed to stand up to the rigours of the real world. The housing is vandal resistant, and is rated to IK10. The dome is sealed to IP66 making it suitable for a range of
environments. It is available as both a flushmount and surface-mount item. Ease of installation has also been supplemented by the inclusion of a PPL (push, point, lock) ball-joint type bracket for the camera module positioning. It uses push, point and lock operation to make the final set-up swift and simple. That said, for many the real attraction of the Picodome will be for aesthetical reasons!
Project1__BM_Sept13 12/08/2013 11:41 Page 1
High resolution IP video performance and faithful analogue reliability, side by side. Migrate to IP at your own pace - Siemens art of video surveillance. www.ssp-cctv.com
Security Products from Siemensâ€™ hybrid CCTV system truly means having the best of both worlds. Functionality in our Vectis HX breathes new life into your existing investment, bringing your analogue cameras up to date with the latest technology, including the ability to add in analytics using our comprehensive Vectis HX NVS software. The Vectis HX Hybrid with up to 12TB, 5 HDD of storage and HD monitor hardware, combined with the latest ONVIF 2 standard in Siemens IP cameras (from
VGA to full HD), provides optimised performance. That, coupled with Siemens ongoing research, our pedigree and worldwide support network makes us a natural choice for end users and installers who need to offer their customers a clear migration path from an analogue CCTV solution. Get the best out of both breeds, visit our website and discover Vectis HX, our IP portfolio, and the clearest, most natural migration path from analogue to IP.
Answers for infrastructure.
uts_oct13_000_Benchmark_oct13 12/09/2013 17:06 Page 5
Under the Skin
Ingersoll Rand – Briton 9260 and 9360 What is it? At the heart of most security systems will be a locking solution. Typically it’s the first thing that is addressed, it’s a part of the system that is regularly used, and it needs to stand up to frequent use and high traffic demands. Often locking solutions can be overlooked, probably because they may be one of the lowest cost elements. However, if they fail, the rest of the system will be compromised. Locking solutions need to balance ease of use with resilience. Any solution which complicates the process of access or egress will pretty soon become unpopular. It is vital that the devices also offer a high degree of credibility when it comes to overall security. Ingersoll Rand offers a wide variety of locking solutions, ranging from high technology down to basic codelocks. The Briton range is made up of door hardware, and includes the 9260 and 9360 codelocks. The 9260 is an Outside Access Device (OAD) with mechanical digital code lock, and has been designed to work with panic exit hardware. It provides a means of accessing doors from the outside, and can be used in conjunction with the Briton 376, 560 or 570 series panic hardware. The 9360 is an electronic digital code lock. The design means that it has the same fixing holes as the majority of mechanical digital locks, enabling access control systems to be upgraded simply and quickly.
Don’t panic! Where exit hardware is fitted for emergency egress, the 9260 offers a method of outside entry. The lock can offer up to 8,000 non-sequential code choices, and is operated by a single PIN. This allows all users to utilise the same code. Setting the code is done manually, and does require the removal of the lock from the door. Then it is a simple matter of switching tumblers to the relevant numbers. These are colour coded to simplify the process. The lever is fitted with a shear pin. This is designed to fail if the device is subjected to heavy abuse, thereby preventing damage to the lock itself. The lock is suitable for both single and double doors between 40mm and 70mm.
The electronic option The 9360 electronic digital code lock can support up to 80 user codes of four to six digits in length. Unlike the 9260, the unit doesn’t need to be removed to change, add or delete access codes. In addition, for situations where visitors or contractors may need access, the lock can be programmed with up to ten ‘one time’ user codes. It also features a key override as standard.
The lock is battery-powered, and uses two AA cells. These are claimed to be good for 80,000 operations. However, should there be an issue, the lock has external battery contacts which will allow the lock to be powered to open the door. Codes are set via a series of button presses, and these assign the user ID and PIN code. The lock can be set for free entry. There is also an option to set the unlock time. Default is 4 seconds, although this can be adjusted from 2 to 9 seconds.
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uts_oct13_000_Benchmark_oct13 12/09/2013 17:07 Page 6
Under the Skin
Idis â€“ Idis Mobile What is it? Earlier this year, Idis entered the video surveillance market in the UK. Prior to that, the manufacturer had been active in the surveillance sector, but was predominantly involved in other regions and OEM work. The concept that Idis has adopted is a single-brand end-to-end networked solution: Direct IP. By supplying the cameras, recorders, switches and other peripherals, Direct IP offers a framework that integrates seamlessly. Itâ€™s a plug and play solution, and the manufacturer offers its own switching hubs and accessories, meaning that there are no implementation and integration issues. However, should you want to utilise existing devices, the Idis devices are also compatible with Axis and Panasonic equipment, as well as being ONVIF compatible. Idis Mobile is, unsurprisingly, a free-of-charge surveillance app which enables viewing, control and management of any Direct IP solution via a mobile device running on the iOS or Android platforms.
Will it be complicated? Users can either use a static IP address to connect to the system, or FEN (For Every Network) can be employed. FEN is a dynamic DNS technology designed to deliver plug and play connection. Users create a custom name and register it on the NVR of the system. They then activate the service on the Idis Mobile app. With the FEN service, users can connect to NVRs in remote locations without knowing router settings and port forwarding configurations by simply entering the custom name. Also, where a user only requires certain features when remotely connected to the Direct IP system, they can save their settings as a favourite view. This ensures that only those functions are shown in the controls. This simplifies operation, and keeps the GUI clean and tidy.
What about functionality? The Idis Mobile software client can be used to provide live video viewing, PTZ control of network cameras, search and playback operation and a wide range of other accessible functionality from mobile devices. This allows users to exploit the full potential of Direct IP systems through the most popular mobile devices. The app works over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections, and allows connectivity and control surveillance for any remote sites with an internet connection. Some of the management features include push notifications, event and calendar search, twoway audio and live image capture. Push notifications allow users to be made aware of events, even when the app is not running on the device. Live streaming video can be viewed on mobile devices on 1/4/9/16 split screens. It also enables event list search from remote locations and offers single-screen playback with varied search options. Video is HD quality, using H.264 or M-JPEG streams. Video can be saved to the mobile device. This can then be flagged with event notifications to make finding video a simpler task.
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nvr test oct13_000_Benchmark_jun13 12/09/2013 11:35 Page 2
Abus-SC HDVR 30042
Aver IWH5416 Touch II
Hikvision DS9632-NI ST
FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Network Video Recorders (Part 2) Networked video surveillance systems are coming of age, and many of the negative aspects of the past have either been eliminated, or have become minimised. The balance of positive benefits versus negative shortcomings has swung very much towards the positives. Costs have been reduced, flexibility has been enhanced, and performance has been increased to a point where realistic solutions can be created with ease. Benchmark puts some of the leading network video recording options through their paces. ith recent advances in performance and flexibility, coupled with economies of scale that make products realistically priced, networked video surveillance offers too many benefits to be ignored. As such, it is unarguably set to become the technology of choice when considering advanced video-based security. For many years, video surveillance has been a cornerstone of modern security solutions.
The technology used in these systems has developed, and today’s performance is streets ahead of what was on offer a few years ago. The introduction of networked video initially failed to have a significant impact on the market, because – in truth – the price/performance ratio was well off what it needed to be. However, constant advances mean that the time when networked video surveillance becomes increasingly difficult to dismiss is well and truly at hand. The true benefits of networked video are not totally dependent upon technology. Much of it has to do with delivering the ability for installers and integrators to create bespoke solutions which fit in with – and work for – the end user’s business. This adds value to the proposition, and enables the creation of true solutions, rather than systems with a degree of compromise or limitations that the customer is forced to work around. Networked video creates flexibility, and this allows installers and integrators to move away from formulaic system designs which are inescapable with analogue systems. The problem with a formulaic system is that
nvr test oct13_000_Benchmark_jun13 12/09/2013 11:36 Page 3
everyone offers the same thing, albeit with different branding. Therefore, the only differentiation is price, and in an industry where margins are low, that often means a greater degree of compromise. By creating a bespoke solution that delivers added functionality to the end user, you are creating a proposition that has a greater value, but which still offers cost efficiencies and day-to-day benefits for the customer’s business. It is indicative of the flexibility of networked video that the machines on test, both in this test and in the previous one last month, vary greatly. Unlike DVRs, where it is a case of pick a general specification and then decide who you buy it from, NVRs offer a choice of operational methods and a wider variety of performance options. The main issues relating to NVRs are image quality, ease of recording and review, and flexibility with regard to how captured video is managed. Networked units do also have a few additional requirements. Firstly, they must allow a ‘mix and match’ approach when it comes to supported devices such as cameras and codecs. Secondly, they should offer flexibility with regard to video resolutions and aspect ratios. It is no longer acceptable to force those investing in video surveillance to suffer limited frame rates or restricted resolution, simply because the manufacturer hasn’t built in suitable processing power! Finally, they should include the functionality to allow them to support many of the additional elements that users are coming to expect from networked video, such as streaming to mobile devices, remote access and other appropriate features.
Abus SC – HDVR 30042 The HDVR 30042 from Abus is a hybrid recorder which has a variety of possible configurations. Our test unit was configured solely for network camera connections, supporting 16 channels. Essentially, the machine – which is the bulkiest unit on test – is a heavy-duty Windows PC equipped with video capture cards. This is an approach which was popular a few years back, but has declined as demand for reduced-footprint devices increased. Specification is for recording of up to 25fps on each channel. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and
Abus-SC HDVR 30042 + Decent image quality; a few interesting options - Considering it’s a PC, many tasks are slow and clumsy
Aver IWH5416 Touch II + Easiest unit to use with generic ONVIF devices - It’s essentially a PC ... with a somewhat fragmented GUI
D-Link DNR-326 + Includes some features that high end units lack - Operation aimed at those who want reactive systems
MJPEG compression, and can record at a variety of resolutions dependent upon the specifications of the supported cameras. Dual streaming is supported. The HDVR can support up to four HDDs. The HDVR runs the Abus VMS; this is also available as a software-based system. The documentation is somewhat haphazard as it covers the software, PC specifications, various capture cards and multiple HDVR configurations. If you want to ensure that the specification is right, you will probably need to sit down with someone from the company and go through things in detail. Supported devices include a number of cameras from Abus, along with a few models from Panasonic, Sony, Vivotek, Acti, Axis, Mobotix, JVC, IQinVision and Arecont Vision. It might seem like an impressive list, but some brands only have a few models supported. On initial power-up, our unit displayed a Windows message which intimated that a system upgrade or change had been made at the factory, but that the process hadn’t been properly completed. After a restart and allowing it time to finalise its configurations, we started adding cameras. The process is clumsy, and some settings need to be carried out via the camera’s webpage. However, the version of Explorer on the HDVR kept crashing, and there’s nothing as frustrating as having to deal with an errant PC via the Abus interface! We needed to use an additional standard PC to complete the configurations, which is ironic given that the HDVR is actually a Windows PC! In truth, the HDVR interface simply serves to make any PC operations slow and clumsy, and the GUI isn’t immediately intuitive. Working with supported cameras isn’t always plain sailing, and even Abus cameras can be problematic. However, once the
Scan this code to download the D-Link DNR-326 specsheet www.benchmarkmagazine.com
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cameras are added, you need to delve deeper into the configurations to set the NVR up. The process isn’t the easiest, and you start to realise why so many manufacturers moved away from using PC-based systems. There are some positives. Screen displays can be easily customised, and can combine live and playback video. Activity detection allows the creation of alarm zones which can initiate differing alarm responses. In general, alarm handling gives a good degree of functionality. That said, accessing the various features is, at times, a chore if you are more used to machines with more modern and intuitive embedded systems. Recording quality can be configured for resolution, frame-rate and bandwidth. At full HD resolution in real time, using the highest bandwidth (16Mbps) the quality was good, motion was smooth, and colour rendition was as expected. There was the odd flicker in busy scenes, but nothing that created issues. Bringing bandwidth down to a more realistic level of 8Mbps does introduce the first signs of compression, with edges softening and a general degree of sharpness starting to decline. At around 6Mbps the image, whilst usable, is obviously compressed. General connectivity is decent, and on a par with most similar machines.
Aver – IWH5416 Touch II The IWH5416 Touch II network video recorder from Aver supports up to 16 video inputs. These can be Aver cameras; ONVIF conformant models are also supported. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and 18
MJPEG compression, and can record at a variety of resolutions up to 5 megapixels per channel, with an overall capacity for streams of up to 80 megapixels across all inputs. It’s an odd way of specifying performance, but that’s how they do it. Recording can be event-based or scheduled. There are a number of event options including motion and object detection, face detection, scene change, etc.. These can be associated with various actions initiated via an alarm management function. Video inputs are via two RJ45 network ports: these can be independently configured, and both support gigabit ethernet. Video output is via HDMI and VGA connections. Alarm inputs (16) and outputs (4) are included, as are audio inputs (16) and a single output. Other connections include an e-SATA port, 6 USB ports, plus RS485 and RS232 connections. Up to six internal HDDs can be fitted. These are mounted on the front of the machine and are hot swappable. The NVR is basically a Windows 7 PC in an NVR housing. It will support composite video, via a rather clumsy interface with DVI inputs and flyleads. Whilst the unit is predominantly billed as an NVR, once you delve into the operating system you soon realise that some of the configurations aren’t operable with IP cameras! Instead you have to configure the cameras themselves, even with Aver models. There is an ability to set the main camera parameters through a Details window. However, this has limited options when used with ONVIF-compliant models. One downside is that Aver don’t give you any documentation, even a quick start guide. If you’re trying to optimise the recorder and an Aver camera, then be prepared to juggle CDs. It does make you feel as if the penny-pinching has gone too far. There is one upside: the Touch II was probably the most accepting recorder on test for ONVIF devices. There was a slight limitation on which parameters could be adjusted via the NVR’s GUI, but connectivity was generally good. The NVR feels like something of a halfway house. On one hand you have a fairly fragmented GUI, plus haphazard instructions on PDF only. On the other, the unit includes object counting, where objects moving from one defined zone to another are logged. Whilst this might have some appeal, it dramatically reduces the number of supported
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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¿Ä¼ÅÈÃ·Ê¿ÅÄËÉ¿Ä½·º¿Å È»ÇË»Ä¹Ï º»ÄÊ¿Ű¹·Ê¿ÅÄ ƺ ƻƔ¼Ê»ÈÊ¾»¿ÈŲ¿½¾ÊƑ·Ì¿º»ÅÉÅËÌ»Ä¿È¾»ÂÆÉ visitors relive all of the adrenaline-fueled moments. Proving again that XProtect is more than security.
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video channels. We would have preferred it if the NVR basics were further developed before any advanced bells and whistles were added. Once you get the Aver unit in its stride, it does start to take your focus off the interface issues. If you want motion detection, you can either use it from the camera or the NVR. The unit also includes face detection; it can be a touch hit and miss, unless you set the system up specifically to optimise the function. On a more general level, video quality is good, with high levels of detail, smooth motion and good colour accuracy. You will see the odd dropped frame, but it’s not to detriment of the video quality. If anything, you’ll have to be looking for it! There is a good amount of flexibility within the NVR’s processing, and unless you’re using high megapixel video on every channel at highest quality, there’s more than enough grunt to handle the video, both with regard to live viewing and footage replay! With regard to playback, the unit does offer search by motion, as well as other methods.
D-Link – DNR-326 The DNR-326 network video recorder from D-Link takes a different approach to the issue of video recording. The hardware element is a simple two-bay HDD management device, which is supplied bundled with VMS software. The recorder supports up to 9 video inputs. These can be D-Link cameras; models from Acti, Arecont Vision, Sony, Panasonic, Axis, Cisco, IQinVision and Mobotix are also supported. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and MJPEG compression, and can record at a variety of resolutions including HD1080p and HD720p. The cameras’ configurations, such as frame rate, resolution and quality, can all be adjusted for recording. Recording can be event-based or scheduled. Recording capacity is quoted as 90Mbps for H.264 at both HD resolutions. This equates to an average of 10Mbps per camera, and should allow decent quality to be achieved without over-stretching the processing. With MJPEG streams, HD1080p can be captured at 90fps, and HD720p at 192fps across all inputs. Connections to the HDD bay are an RJ45 network port which supports gigabit Ethernet, and a power input for 12V DC power; a PSU is included. There is also a front-mounted USB port. 20
Configuration of the system is via a network connected workstation. Once the set-up is complete normal operation does not require a PC. It is, however, required to search and playback any captured footage. The first task is to add HDDs to the hardware unit; it is supplied as an empty unit. The connections are simple, and a supplied CD is then run on the workstation. This has a utility to auto-discover any connected NVRs. This immediately found the attached hardware, both when used with a static IP address and DHCP! The installation wizard then guides you through the set-up and format of the HDDs. Once this is completed, it automatically searches for attached cameras. Interestingly, the NVR did find all attached third party cameras, but didn’t discover the D-Link models! The reason is because when used with static IP addresses, all the cameras use the same default settings. Once the addresses are changed, the cameras are automatically added. If a device shows no image, the only adjustment required is to set the right Log-in details. If you want to tweak camera settings, you can open the camera’s webpage from within the NVR application, and unlike some products that offer this function, it actually works on the D-Link software. With regard to the software, the GUI is clean and intuitive. Admittedly it lacks the depth that some high end NVRs deliver, but the DNR-326 is what it is. Quality is good, with clear detail. Motion is relatively smooth – there is the odd dropped frame, but no real jerkiness – and colour rendition is high. The video quality has 100 levels. At the highest setting (0) using H.264, there are slight signs of compression, but nothing that affects the potential use of the video. Degradation starts to become more obvious at Level 30, and by Level 40 you might want to consider what the video will be used for. General performance is aimed at those who want a video system running in the background. That said, it does have some nice touches such as event handling, alarm recording, search by motion, etc..
Hikvision – DS9632-NI ST The DS9632-NI ST network video recorder supports up to 32 video inputs. These can be Hikvision cameras, although the manufacturer
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claims support for Axis, Panasonic and Samsung devices; ONVIF and PSIA conformant models are also supported. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264 compression, and can record at a variety of resolutions including 5 megapixel, 3 megapixel, HD1080p, HD720p, 4CIF, VGA and CIF. Recording can be event-based or scheduled, with pre- and post-alarm footage supported. Video quality, resolution and frame-rate can be set for each camera stream. Throughput can be up to 160Mbps; this equates to an average of 5Mbps per channel, and so if a number of HD or megapixel streams are used, this might be restrictive. Video inputs are via two RJ45 network ports: these can be independently configured, and both support gigabit ethernet. Video output is via HDMI; secondary outputs use VGA and BNC connections. Alarm inputs (16) and outputs (4) are handled via simple push-fit connectors, and the unit also supports two audio outputs. Other connections include USB port e-SATA ports. The NVR also features two frontmounted USB ports. On initial power-up, we were greeted by an installation wizard. This guides you through the initial steps of configuration, and seems relatively straightforward. We set the IP details for the LAN ports, assigned the storage and searched for connected cameras. It found our ONVIF units, which shared the IP subnet, and also identified some Hikvision cameras on differing network segments. The menu allows the configurations for these to be changed, but when we did so the cameras did not appear. We carried out a restart, via the unit’s Reboot menu option. On restart the NVR displayed screens that were fractured and rolling. Figuring this was a glitch, we then 22
rebooted again. The only way to achieve this was by cutting power, waiting a while, and then repowering the unit. The same problem resurfaced. Either the screen rolled, or rapidly tracked across itself, and the commands were unusable and unreadable. On one occasion they slowed enough for us to enter the password, only to be greeted by another fragmented screen. The unit was unusable. Because connection to the unit was impossible, and the front panel controls did not allow access to the menus, the only option was to once more cut the power and leave the NVR for 15 minutes unpowered with all connections removed. When we again applied power, the start-up splash screens appeared normally. However, once started the unit returned to rolling fragmented screens. It was the unanimous decision of the test team that the unit had failed during testing.
Verdict The HDVR 30042 from Abus is effectively a PC in a heavy duty casing. However, it lacks the flexibility of a PC, and the GUI feels oldfashioned and unintuitive. There are some good functions, but overall performance is average. A few years ago, this might have been Recommended, but in today’s market, it feels clumsy. The IWH5416 Touch II from Aver has a GUI that is crying out for a rework, and which does make the PC-based unit feel old-fashioned. That and the quality of the documentation (PDF files only) does give something of a bad first impression. However, if you persevere with the unit you will find a rather capable performer hidden away! The NVR has some extra functionality, but we’d forgo that for a better interface and installation/operation experience. It was the unit which was happiest with ONVIF generic devices! The DNR-326 from D-Link takes a different approach to video recording; it shows the variety of options that networked video delivers. At first glance it might seem a bit basic, but it does have features that so-called high end NVRs struggle to deliver. It won’t be ideal for every application, but for some it presents a credible and effective choice! The DS9632-NI ST from Hikvision cannot be rated due to its software glitch; we will report back on performance following assessment of a second unit. It’s final rating will be published in the next issue.
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Double Vari-Focal The Simple Choice 2.8mm
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nvr alts_oct13_000_Benchmark_oct13 12/09/2013 13:29 Page 3
Alternatives... Panasonic WJ-NV200 The WJ-NV200 network video recorder from Panasonic supports up to 16 video inputs. These can be i-Pro range cameras from the manufacturer; ONVIF conformant models are also supported. The WJ-NV200 handles input video streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and MJPEG compression, and can record at both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. Resolutions for the former include 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720, 640 x 360 and 320 x 180 pixels. The latter aspect ratio includes 1280 x 960, 800 x 600, 640 x 480 and 320 x 240 pixel resolutions. Recording is up to realtime, obviously dependent upon the camera’s output and overall configurations. Recording can be triggered or scheduled, and up to 15 seconds of pre-alarm footage can be supported (this drops to 10 seconds if full HD video is used). Frame rate, video quality and resolution can be set for each individual camera. Up to two internal HDDs are supported. Video inputs are via an RJ45 network port: this supports gigabit ethernet. Maximum bandwidth is quoted as 80Mbps; this averages at 5Mbps per channel, so you’ll need to exercise caution if you are looking to use a number of HD or megapixel units. Video output is via HDMI; a spot monitor output is available, using a composite BNC connection. Alarms are handled via a 25 pin D-Sub socket, and the unit also supports an audio output. Other connections include a front-mounted USB port for mouse control and an SD/SDHC card slot. One feature that the manufacturer concentrates on is face-matching. This feature – which is only available with a compatible camera designated as Channel 1 and set to a specific configuration – detects faces within prescribed areas of the scene, and the resulting images can then be registered for facial recognition. Alarm events can be associated with a number of actions. These include alarm recording, event notification, telemetry actions, output switching, email generation, integral buzzer and on-screen 82% indication.
Benchmark looks at some alternative network video recorders. The units included here were tested in the previous issue of Benchmark. Samsung SRN-1670DP The SRN-1670DP network video recorder supports up to 16 video inputs. These can be Samsung cameras; ONVIF and RSTP conformant models are also supported. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264, MPEG-4 and MJPEG compression, and can record at a variety of resolutions including 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 1024, 4CIF and VGA. Other settings, such as frame rate, need to be configured at the camera. Recording can be event-based or scheduled, and up to 15 seconds of pre-alarm footage can be supported, along with six hours of postalarm footage. Video quality can be set for every camera stream that is recorded. A few camera configurations can be adjusted from the NVR, but you don’t have full control, even over Samsung devices. Video inputs are via two RJ45 network ports: these can be independently configured, and both support gigabit ethernet. Maximum bandwidth is quoted as 64Mbps; this gives an average of 4Mbps per channel. It is worth noting that if the intention is to use a number of HD or megapixel streams, this bandwidth limit could be a limitation. Video output is via HDMI; a second output uses a VGA connection. Alarm inputs (16) and outputs (4) are handled via simple push-fit connectors, and the unit also supports an audio output. Other connections include a rear-mounted USB port and two e-SATA ports. The NVR also features two front-mounted USB ports and a DVD rewriter. Up to five internal HDDs can be fitted. Alarm handling is fairly basic. The unit’s inputs and outputs can be associated with events, and email notifications are available. Additional alarm handling, such as motion detection and IVA, are configured at the camera, and the NVR receives and processes any notified events. However, the camera configurations cannot be carried out from the NVR’s GUI.
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The HDXPRES-4 network video recorder supports up to 4 video inputs; 8 and 16 channel variants are also available. What makes this NVR different is that it has been designed with a structure to deliver real-time full HD recording as simply as possible. The concept of HDXPRES is that you connect the cameras and monitor, power up, and you’re recording HD footage. The NVR features an integral four-way switch with PoE. All you need to do is connect a camera to each of the designated RJ45 ports, and this powers the cameras and handles the data. The NVR supports input video streams using H.264, and records HD1080p video in real-time as standard. The documentation states that altering configurations is ‘optional’. With regard to recording, resolutions are 1920 x 1080 or 640 x 360. Frame rates can be set as 1, 2, 3, 6, 12 or 25fps. Image quality has five settings. These can all be configured on a per-camera basis, and each channel can also have different settings configured by schedule. Compression is H.264. Up to two internal HDDs are supported. Audio on each channel can be activated or deactivated.
Recording can be event-based or scheduled. Differing parameters can be set for continuous recording and event-based recording. Within the latter, settings can be defined for motion events, alarm events or panic events. Whilst motion detection is carried out from the camera, the configurations can be adjusted from the NVR, as can a number of other settings. Video inputs are via dedicated RJ45 network ports on the integral PoE switch. There are also uplink and downlink ports for LAN and WAN connections. Video output is via HDMI. Alarm inputs and output are handled via simple pushfit connectors, as are RS485 and RS232 connections. The unit also supports an audio input and output. Other connections include a rear-mounted e-SATA port and two frontmounted USB ports. Alarm handling is fairly comprehensive. The unit’s inputs and outputs can be associated with a camera, and email notifications or FTP transfers can be configured. Alarms can also be scheduled to allow for open and closed periods, and motion detection can have different criteria set for day and night.
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The Devil’s Advocate The Devil’s Advocate meets Tim Northwood, Inner Range Europe’s General Manager
asked one hundred people what ‘integrated’ means, in terms of security solutions, you’d probably receive one hundred different answers! Considering the potential benefits of integrated systems, the solutions still attract minority interest. Why is that? There are two main reasons. The first is concept of price. People have an ill-conceived perception that an integrated system encompassing more than one discipline is going to cost more. From an installers point of view, they tend to think that it will be too difficult to install an integrated system, too complex and that they won’t have the skills required to do it.
The Devil’s Advocate: Someone who, given a certain argument, takes a contrary position – not necessarily agreed with – for the sake of debate. The Devil's Advocate seeks to engage others in a discussion designed to test the quality of their argument. Participants in The Devil’s Advocate have no prior knowledge of the questions to be asked or topics debated, and cannot not alter, abridge or approve the final editorial content!
System integration and interoperability are over-used terms in the electronic security solutions market; does the technology offer anything of use, or is it all just sales hype? The Devils’s Advocate spoke with Tim Northwood, General Manager of Inner Range Europe, to seek some clarification. he concept of integrated solutions is not new. Indeed, for many years manufacturers have been pushing the term ‘integrated’ onto every possible product or system, as if it in some way confers a great degree of technical ability. If anything, the use of the term has become so diluted that if you
Aren’t concerns about price and complexity partly due to the way manufacturers hype integration as some futuristic option? Possibly. I do think that some manufacturers try to over-egg the capabilities of their systems. Sales people like to talk up figures; support for billions of users and millions of doors. That could have some impact on installers and end users. They’ll think that they don’t have hundreds of sites and huge network resources so an integrated solution isn’t for them; that’s often far from the truth. A good integrated system can start with 16 zones of intruder detection and access control for a few doors, maybe some building management to run heating and lighting in a small office environment. Probably the fault lies with the way that people try to oversell what the system does rather than to identify what the user actually requires. Is it driven by ego? You do find cases when someone will declare, ‘Our system does X’, and the comeback will be ‘Ours does X times ten’, but they don’t explain why the system has that capability. A system might be able to support millions of doors and billions of users when pushed to its limits, but the reason it can do that is because of the processing power that is built into it. Of course, this means the systems also do
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The Devil’s Advocate
simple tasks much quicker, which is to everyone’s benefit.
Fragmented? Integrated systems make use of a diverse range of technologies, some of which have very rigid standards, while others have a number of looser standards and some have no standards at all! Do fragmented standards hold back acceptance of integrated systems? In the wider market, yes. Whenever you have an intruder alarm element integrated with anything else, you have to comply with regulations for a graded system, and there aren’t many manufacturers who can achieve that. There aren’t really standards for access control and some wooly ones for CCTV and building management. It’s only intruder that has held back the wider market from more general integration. The intruder standards certainly set up stumbling blocks for integration. There’s a hell of a lot of work that has to be done. Putting products through the test houses is exorbitantly costly, and because the standards are constantly updated, you are forever changing the part of the integrated system that has the lowest commercial value. Maybe more manufacturers would be inclined to produce integrated systems if they knew there wouldn’t be a lot of changes coming from the standards which necessitate retesting and rejigging of products. To change one small part of the intruder element of an integrated system can have knock-on effects for how the other technologies integrate. As the market moves towards the European approach, where police response is a ‘no’ in general, will Graded response be required? Will end users be happy to forgo police response in exchange for the other benefits that integration offers? I think everyone would like police response but the reality is you can’t guarantee it, so is it worth having? Realistically, in the medium to long term, people aren’t going to get it. I’m not an installer, but knowing the hoops we have to jump through I’d imagine the intruder element of any system introduces a lot of red tape. Installers we deal with would rather fit an integrated solution which delivers a good profit margin without being bogged down with paperwork.
End users are getting a lot smarter about integration. They understand it at a hardware and software level as opposed to a box of relays talking to another box of relays. Where they often fail to understand integration is on the benefits level, regarding cost-savings. It’s not until they sit down and use the system that they understand that. They understand it immediately on a technical level, and we see more of them actually dictating what system they have.
Technical advances Because the security market moves forwards as technical resources are developed, it’s not always easy to develop products in line with market demands. Other sectors have shown that a balance needs to be achieved between adding functions because the R&D team think they’re ‘clever’, and delivering functionality that the customer believes is ‘necessary’. Do manufacturers add levels of integration simply because they can? I’d like to think that most of the credible manufacturers of integrated solutions tend to listen to their customers. From our point of view, the things we have in development are not features that the engineers thought, ‘wouldn’t that be nice’. Maybe at the outset of a new system there’s some element of that, but the current queue of things in our R&D department are all customer-driven. Does that approach contrast with the industry as a whole? I think that often you have to look where the manufacturer hails from. A manufacturer from China will have a different perception of what customers in the UK might want. At the ‘churn it out’ level, manufacturers often go for what is easiest to make. They won’t invest in making a better product as the segment of the market they’re aimed at is ‘bargain basement’. Looking at the business benefits of integration, is there a danger that these systems might become more oriented towards building management, with security a secondary part of the solution? Fifteen years down the line, I couldn’t tell you, but from a security point of view they will always encompass intruder detection and access control as a first consideration. Integration to CCTV will always be there, but www.benchmarkmagazine.com
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The Devil’s Advocate
the systems will be open to more building management protocols. I don’t think it will ever become a building management system. From our point of view we want to pass information on to the building management system to get it to do things, and vice versa. With a drive towards ‘ease of installation’ and ‘ease of use’, is there a risk that systems might be dumbed down to compensate for a lack of skills? I don’t think the industry has a wide enough skills base to carry out complex integrations, and that has forced manufacturers to think about different ways in which their systems can be installed and configured. Things have pretty much followed the route that IT has taken. Most modules which connect to an integrated system’s network will be plug-and-play. One of the benefits of us manufacturing such a system to sell to installers is that they can reduce their installation and commissioning time. Therefore they’ll want to buy a system because they know their installation time is reduced. It’s not dumbing down the system; it’s adding more sophistication to achieve that, but we’re also making it simpler to install. Hopefully, that also means that the end user gets a better job, and isn’t waiting days or weeks for the system to be commissioned. Wouldn’t it be better to raise skills levels? The skills levels required to program and setup the network will increase dramatically in the next five years, because that is the way that all systems are going. Installing and commissioning an integrated system will require an understanding of software and networks, in advance of what many current systems demand. At the other end, we’re taking away the process of going around setting DIP switches and putting links on boards. In Europe we see a split in skills levels. The guys who put the boxes on the walls and wire them up are more like skilled electricians. The wiring is beautiful, there are no bad joints, everything is installed properly. Then the guys who do the commissioning are more the IT-skilled people. It creates a dual role; that’s how it has gone in Europe. 30
Has the electronic security industry suffered from a lack of credible training and qualifications? Yes. I think that any industry which fails to train staff will suffer. There are some very good courses run by manufacturers, but there’s not enough of them. There are also commercial pressures on companies who cannot afford to release their engineers for four days to go on a course. The margins are so tight they have to be making money every day from those guys. There are installation companies who will find ways to get their staff properly trained, but they are few and far between. So whilst installing integrated systems will earn installation companies higher profits, they can’t afford to send the staff for training that will allow them to make more money? It’s a bit of a vicious circle! I know we’re not here to talk about Inner Range, but you can’t buy our system unless you go on the training course, so the end user knows whoever fits it has been trained, and the circle is broken. What will happen is that you’ll get a division of the market. Good companies will drop residential and small commercial work and realise that they have to do the training, offer integrated solutions, and earn higher profits. They’ll deliver far higher benefits to the end user, and the end user will be less tempted to look for a cheaper option when the maintenance contract is up for renewal. The onus is on manufacturers to do more. What about the various bodies and associations? I don’t think they’re in touch with this level of technology. I don’t see how they can provide training for the breadth of integrated options. It falls to manufacturers ... and the installers have to want the training; it has to be a partnership. Does the industry need a change of attitude? Are people too quick to think the end user always wants the cheapest option? Sometimes the end user does want that. It’s all down to how systems are sold; it’s all down to perception. The end user wants a bargain, but he won’t admit it if he makes a bad decision. Unfortunately, people will always try to sell – and to buy – based solely on price. I’ve seen it where people will fight on price
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devil oct13_000_Benchmark_aug13 12/09/2013 17:14 Page 4
The Devil’s Advocate
have a network connector on board so the customer has a choice of how they run it. This gives flexibility. Do installers have the knowledge to implement complex TCP/IP solutions over managed switches? A few do. against an alternative system that simply cannot do what is required, rather than pointing out the superiority of what they’re selling. Training has to cover how to sell systems as well as how to install and commission them, and installers must appreciate the value of what they’re offering! Is the security industry in general overly fascinated with IP? I think some people tend to get over-excited by it. They want an ‘IP solution’, but do they really understand what an IP solution is? If it’s a case of the software talking to field controllers over IP, well it has been doing that for years. There’s a direct ethernet connection between the servers and controllers on any integrated system, and there will be a direct ethernet connection to any VMS it’s talking to. That’s how it works. When you connect out to field modules, depending upon the installation, there might be some problems there with regard to length of cable runs. There are limitations regarding power over ethernet and back-up power. If you want to do that job with Cat6 cable, there are limitations. As a result you have to put in switches, and those switches have to be backed up with power. They’re probably going to be managed switches so you need a topnotch integrator to understand the IT side of the system. If you link from your system controller out field modules with RS485, one line can reach 1.5 kilometres, and there are products to extend that to 6 or 7 kilometres. Fibre is another option. We’ve realised that people want to use different communications links between devices, so there are a wide range of data convertors. Consider if you need a wireless link between buildings, using TCP/IP. Most manufacturers supply convertors to change their LAN protocols to TCP/IP, and you can just whizz the data across. The industry will move towards giving the installer field modules – whether they are for intruder detection, access control or integration – which work across a proprietary network, probably RS485, but they will also 32
And finally... The main choice seems to either be to opt for a single provider end-to-end integrated solution, or to integrate various elements from more specialised providers. Surely the latter approach is the best? Yes; if you want a disaster! Carrying out integration in that manner – buying five of six different products and trying to integrate them together – in most cases just won’t work. We spend millions of pounds in understanding the protocols within certain products, and being able to make them talk seamlessly to our systems. The only people who can really do that are manufacturers of integrated systems. Installers are not going to be able to buy two disparate products and make them communicate properly unless they have an enormous amount of luck; it just doesn’t work like that! There are no common protocols in the integrated security industry. Most manufacturers use their own encryption, they want to protect their source code. Integration only happens when manufacturers talk together and agree on a joint venture, exchange data and allow their products to interoperate. There is a benefit because you end up with a secure product, but one which talks to the other system elements properly. Certain manufacturers will constantly change their SDK, so when disparate devices are upgraded, they can suddenly stop communicating with the other products. An integrated manufacturer will have addressed these issues before releasing updates. What about ONVIF and PSIA? If I could work out what ONVIF was for, I might have some useful comment! People talk about open protocols for the industry, but manufacturers are going to protect their own source code, their own intellectual property. While manufacturers will share data with others on a commercial level, I don’t ever see there being a truly open protocol for the security industry.
FINAL bm web house_001_Benchmark_jul11 08/08/2011 16:20 Page 1
Benchmark â€“ 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, itâ€™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.
dave_oct13_000_Benchmark_nov10 10/09/2013 15:13 Page 2
Softly softly... Nothing makes a day feel better than saving a few quid. However, I just don’t understand where the savings come from when stringing out the lifespan of old technologies! he other day, Mrs Dave nipped out for a pint of milk. She was gone for hours. It got my hopes up! I thought she might have run off with the milkman. When she eventually arrived home, she was ladden down with shopping bags. Sadly, they weren’t from the supermarket. It seems she’d nipped to the shopping centre, and before you could say Gok Wan she had blown the budget on a new outfit. Now, I don’t begrudge her some new clothes, but she’d gone a bit over the top. She’d bought a dress, a coat, shoes, a handbag, a watch and assorted accessories! I asked how much the whole lot had come to, and she explained that it didn’t really matter what it cost ... because she’d saved money on the whole deal. After I picked myself off the floor (and had a steadying nip of Brandy), I asked her to explain how the whole ‘saving money’ thing had worked out. She held out her hand, bright red nails shining against her black hair, and started to detail her thought process. ‘Well, I had this nail varnish on, and when I saw the dress I realised that the collar was the same shade of red. Then I spotted the coat, and it went with the dress, and the shoes and handbag complemented it. The watch and other accessories went really well with the shoes and handbag.’ With that she smiled and walked out of the room. I followed her, trying not to drag my jaw along the floor, and asked her to get to the bit where the money was saved. She looked at
Is the move towards ‘enhanced’ analogue video the quickest way to ensure that the customer’s expectations are missed by a country mile? I think it could be! 34
me like I was an idiot, and declared, ‘Well, I already had the nail varnish, and now I get too keep it.’ It might sound odd, but it reminded me of the push towards ‘enhanced’ analogue video solutions. With so-called new developments and the manipulation of specifications, many hail these moves as a way of protecting the legacy investment in CCTV. Every time I hear that I smell a bunch of something, and it ain’t bananas! Okay, here’s the thing. To enjoy ‘enhanced’ analogue I have to replace the cameras. Because standard resolution lenses are typically ground to a quality acceptable for 4CIF video, it would be best practice to replace them too. Obviously, to enjoy the allegedly enhanced video, a compatible DVR will be needed. If there is any change in aspect ratio, then I’ll need new monitors too. Therefore, in order to enjoy this ‘enhanced’ analogue video sensation, I’ll need to tear out the cameras, lenses, recorder and monitors. Which part of the ‘legacy investment’ am I protecting then? The cables and brackets! So the customer gets to pay for a whole new system, and in return gets video which is marginally better (and in some cases of ‘enhanced’ analogue video that margin is almost negligible) than before! Now, I might be an ape, but I’m no monkey! To me that seems the quickest way to ensure that the customer’s expectations are missed by a country mile. I’ll have an unhappy user, I’ll probably lose any future work, and any upgrades will need all the equipment I’ve replaced the legacy system with to be dumped. Still, at least the suppliers will have made another sale!
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video trigger test oct13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/09/2013 15:14 Page 2
FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Video Triggers â€“ IVA (Part 2) Video triggering has traditionally been performed by sensors, but with the development of reliable video analytics, there is no reason why cameras or codecs cannot perform the same task. This could be viewed as a sensible approach, because a single device can both trigger events and capture the video! Benchmark considers the options. ideo content analysis represents a valuable tool in a wide range of applications. In situations where exceptions can be clearly defined, the technology is far more potent than when used for general analysis of a busy scene. This is because the events that the technology is looking for are simplified, and very specific rules can therefore be created. By way of an example, consider the differences between monitoring for exceptions on a road and a gateway. If you are looking for problems on a road, there are a diverse
number of factors to be considered. If a vehicle is stopped for a predetermined time window, that could be a risk. However, if the system flags up an event every time congestion causes traffic to stop, or when a large vehicle appears in the scene, the operator will soon ignore alerts. Also, if the road is being monitored, what happens if a vehicle pulls off the roadway? Attempts will be made to make suspicious activity appear to be innocent. Also, events which are unexpected may occur, and these may be of great importance. Monitoring people or vehicles travelling through a gateway is simpler, because the exceptions are easier to define. If a person or vehicle enters, or if they obstruct the gateway, then a trigger can be generated. These are simpler to define, and the analytics software will therefore be more efficient. The aim of this Benchmark test is not to consider the depth of options that triggering delivers. This is carried out by the VMS, NVR or DVR, and is a test for another issue. Instead we wanted to consider the options for generating
video trigger test oct13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/09/2013 15:14 Page 3
Video Triggers – IVA
the initial trigger. The test site used a gateway which admits all vehicular and pedestrian traffic to a protected area. The goal was quite simply to ensure that traffic of any type generated a trigger. Manufacturers were then allowed to put forward products which they would recommend for such a purpose. Cameras had to feature on-board processing that would allow events to trigger a relay output on the camera. The processing used for this task had to be included without any additional licence costs.
Bosch NBN-733V-IP The NBN-733V-IP is a part of the Bosch Dinion range of cameras. The camera is a HD720p box-type unit with on-board video analytics. It uses a 1/3 inch CMOS HD sensor to deliver HD720p streams at frame rates of up to 50ips. The main stream processing algorithm is H.264, as you’d expect. Motion-JPEG is also supported. The camera can handle multiple streams, which are independently configurable for resolution, frame rate and image quality. Day/night operation is achieved using an infrared cut filter. Switching can be activated manually, by integral light sensing technology, or via a contact. Other video-based features of the NBN733V-IP include adjustable white balance, intelligent backlight compensation, contrast enhancement, a dynamic range of 84dB and privacy masking, with up to four zones being programmable. With regard to VCA, there is a ‘Silent Motion+’ setting, which generates metadata to assist when searches are being made. It cannot be tweaked, and whilst it offers some interest it isn’t relevant to our test criteria. There is also an ‘Event Triggered’ option. This can deliver verified VCA performance, as the analysis engine remains in the Silent Motion+ mode until an event is signalled. This allows sensor-based activations, for example, to trigger a VCA profile which can then be used to verify the initial event. For those looking to use the camera as a trigger device, the profiles are the important element. The NBN-733V-IP allows two VCA profiles to be established. These can be manually implemented, or scheduled. There are three options for VCA. The first, Motion +, is included as standard. Motion + is advanced motion detection with a few additional configurations. These are
Bosch NBN-733V-IP + A decent quality HD720p camera with good motion detection - The Motion+ standard setting doesn’t offer any basic discriminations
DVTel SC1DN-A + Very good range of analytics options and configurations - VGA quality, slightly under-powered, no PoE
detection sensitivity, minimum object size and debounce time (this specifies a 1 second duration, and any alarm event must occur for this period to generate an activation). Motion+ also has a selectable aggregation time to ensure that several repeat activations are not triggered by a single event. This can be set from 0 to 20 seconds. Unfortunately, once a detection zone is set, any motion (or change) within that zone creates an alaert, so long as size crieteria is met. There is no directional discrimination, so motion both ways through the gate – plus any activity in the marked zone – generated an event. Whilst Motion+ does offer a little more than bog-standard motion detection, it certainly doesn’t include the ability to filter events to any great degree. It must be said that it’s not as hair-triggered as some VMD otpions, which react to anything as slight as a mere contrast change, but the lack of defined rules does make the process more frustrating than satisfying! If you are set on using this camera – which is a capable and otherwise very decent unit – and wish to use any kind of discriminations, you will need to pay the licence fee to enable one of the more advanced IVA options. That, however, falls outside of the scope of this test.
DVTel SC1DN-A The SC1DN-A is a part of the Ioimage range of cameras from DVTel. The camera is a box-type unit with on-board video analytics. It uses a 1/4 inch CMOS sensor to deliver both composite and digital video. Composite video resolution is 540 TVL, whilst networked streamed video is VGA with a frame rate of up to 18fps when H.264 compression is used. This level of performance might be seen as an indication that the SC1DN-A is not a high end device. However, this unit is more focused on analytics than video. The main stream processing algorithm is H.264. Motion-JPEG and MPEG-4 are also www.benchmarkmagazine.com
video trigger test oct13_000_Benchmark_jun13 10/09/2013 15:14 Page 4
Video Triggers – IVA
supported, and will deliver real-time streams. Streams can be variable or constant bit rate. The unit is a day/night model using an IR cut filter. Our test camera had the filter jammed in the midway position; gentle pressure with a screwdriver, followed by operating the filter repetitively cured the problem, which was probably caused during shipping. At the heart of the SC1DN-A lies its video content analysis (VCA) engine. This is selfcontained, and requires no additional hardware of software to deliver its functionality. The analytics use an automated sensitivity adaption function to deliver optimum performance without a need for lengthy set-up or regular maintenance. The analytics operate in a real-time mode. The first stage of setting up the analytics is to define perspective (the Ioimage unit refers to this as Depth). This is critical for most IVA systems, and can be completed with two integrators (one setting the criteria and the other walking the site), or by a single person. The latter option allows a video to be created of the protected area, which can then be used to define the settings. During the Depth set-up, the integrator can also identify the horizon line, contours which might affect the perspective view, fences and obstructions, etc.. As you carry out each stage of the process, basic notes pop up on the screen to offer guidance. Once the Depth setting are finalised and verified, the next stage is to establish the analytics Rules. The menus for doing this don’t have the degree of guidance offered for the Depth settings, and whilst the manual is fairly comprehensive you do find yourself trying to get used to the way the GUI works. However, once you become accustomed to the drag and drop approach, it is fairly simple. 38
Rules are varied and include many of the typical scenarios: human, vehicle or both entering a region; human loitering; human, vehicle or both crossing a single of multisegment tripwire; human, vehicle or both crossing a single or multi-segment fence; object left or removed from a region; vehicle stops in a region. Once set, you can then add discriminations where applicable, before setting responses to alarms. Again, there are a variety of options that can be enabled. With the Rules and Responses set, you might be surprised if nothing triggers. Going into the set-up menu disarms the IVA, and you’ll need to arm it again manually when you return to normal operation. During the set-up, we did notice the odd glitch with the processing, almost as if the camera was suffering from limited power. Often coming out of a menu and going back in was enough to sort it out! It happened a couple of times, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t too bad. It must be said that when operating, we didn’t experience any glitches at all. As with most analytics, if you put the time into configurations, you get good results. A few false activations were easily removed by tweaking the settings, and once the unit was configured it didn’t miss any genuine events.
Verdict It could be argued that both cameras introduce a degree of compromise. The NBN-733V-IP from Bosch has limited IVA functionality unless an additional licence fee is paid. It’s a good performer for video, but lacks the flexibility needed for accurate triggering. The SC1DN-A from DV-Tel has the right level of IVA functionality, but video quality falls short, and some applications will need to supplement it with another camera if high quality video is important! Of the two units, the SC1DN-A delivers the best level of IVA trigger management. If only DVTel would raise the video performance and add PoE, then it would be a serious contender as an all-in-one solution. That would require some more processing power, but given the leaps forward that have occurred in this area since this camera was first launched, we don’t see that as being an issue. As it stands, the SC1DN-A is good; if it had a boost in the performance stakes, it would be significantly better!
Project3_Layout 1 12/09/2013 12:46 Page 1
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illum oct13_000_Benchmark_jul13 12/09/2013 15:26 Page 2
GJD Clarius IL-8100
Raytec Vario I8-1
FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
Shining Bright? hat is there not to like about modern bullet cameras? Okay, very few of them have ‘bullet’ proportions; many are more akin to mortar shells! However, they typically offer a reasonable camera, lens, housing, bracket and more often than not infrared illumination in one package. For this assessment we wanted to see how well dedicated illuminators stacked up against bullet type cameras with integral illumination. Were the devices an over-priced addition that simply wasn’t needed, or did they add a higher level of quality to the captured images? One negative of cameras with integral illumination arranged around the lens (typical with most of these type of devices) is that they cannot be used in a BS8418-compliant system, so if you want police response, then bullet-type cameras are out! In previous Benchmark tests, bullet-style cameras have regularly shown hot spots and light pooling, and some have struggled to achieve their stated range. However – and it’s a big however – would a genuine end user care? Would the performance difference
In today’s security market, true around-the-clock performance can be realised in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Where low light is addressed by adding illuminators, installers have two choices: purchase a camera with integral illuminators, or supplement cameras with illumination devices. matter, given the additional expense? Interestingly we knew of one site where the end user was fed up with noisy blurry night images, and wanted to add illumination. He was already considering switching existing cameras for bullet models with integral IR, so it seemed to good an opportunity to miss. The protected area was a yard with a depth of 45 metres, and the cameras needed an 80 degree field of view. The test also includes white light models. Although many like to caution about light pollution, regulations do allow many sites to use white light; it just requires thoughtful installation design! www.benchmarkmagazine.com
illum oct13_000_Benchmark_jul13 12/09/2013 15:27 Page 3
GJD – Clarius IL-8100 The IL-8100 is a semi-covert 850 nanometre model, and so emits a faint red glow when in use. It has a specified range of up to 48 metres and a coverage of 100 degrees. The illuminator is constructed from black anodised aluminium, and includes an integral mounting bracket; it’s rudimentary, but does the job. The front lens is high transmittance polycarbonate. It is coated with a protective coating – ClearLite – which is claimed to be self-cleaning. It is also claimed to be ‘vandal-proof’. The unit has an integral photocell (adjustable from 30 to 70 lux) and power output is also adjustable. One nice touch is that connections for the telemetry input and photocell following are included in the 3m flylead which also handles power (12-32V DC or 24V AC). Light delivery is very good. Coverage of our test area was complete, with no fading or hotspots. Transmitted infrared light was consistent to the boundary edge, and the quality achieved from the end user’s existing cameras was very high. Compared to the user’s field-tested bullet cameras, quality was vastly superior. The end user felt that an investment in this illuminator to supplement his existing cameras, rather than replacing them with bullet units that delivered inferior illumination performance, was preferable!
Iluminar – IR312-A100-24 The IR312-A100-24 is a semi-covert 850 nanometre model. It has a specified range of up to 24 metres (despite the specification stating that coverage would need to be up to 50 metres) and a coverage of 100 degrees. Constructed from black anodised aluminium, with an integral mounting bracket, the illuminator also has a high transmittance polycarbonate lens. 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. The unit has a 3m power flylead (12-32V DC or 24V AC). One benefit of the Iluminar unit’s design is a bottom-mounted photocell. The others don’t. This might not seem significant, but if the unit is mounted under an eave, the photocell could be activated prematurely. Light delivery is very good within specified ranges. Coverage of our test area did push the range too far, and fading was evident in some areas. The IR312-A100-24 is a very good unit, but the supplied unit’s specification did not meet the test criteria. In a previous test the unit was Recommended; it’s just not right for this application.
Raytec – Vario I8-1 Raytec’s Vario range is so-called because it features interchangeable lenses which allow the installer to set the coverage of the illuminator. As standard, the unit is supplied with two lenses. To achieve our specification an optional 80 degree lens will need to purchased. This gives a range of 45 metres. Many of the Vario’s settings are configured via a common remote control. Again it’s an option and needs to be purchased. Whilst these functions are aimed at installers, the end user didn’t see any benefits for himself! 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 (12V DC or 24V AC). Light delivery is good, and despite being up against the range and coverage specifications, illumination of the test area was consistent, with no fading or hotspots up to the boundary edge. Again, the end user felt that this illuminator, combined with his existing cameras, delivered better quality than the bullet options! His only concern was that a remote controller common to all devices could be a risk in the wrong hands!
Project1_Layout 1 10/09/2013 15:00 Page 1
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illum oct13_000_Benchmark_jul13 12/09/2013 15:28 Page 4
GJD – VL2CW100 The VL2CW100 is a white light illuminator comprised of two heads mounted on a manually manipulated bracket. Coverage can be varied from 100 degrees to 180 degrees. Our test specification used the unit at its narrowest configuration, and range is up to 65 metres with that configuration. The illuminator is supplied with a dedicated switch mode PSU. This provides power to the illuminator heads and also allows power output to be adjusted. The PSU needs to be mounted externally if the photocell (adjustable for level) is used, as it is fitted to the housing! The PSU also includes connections for telemetry and photocell following. Light quality was high, and with a small amount of tweaking the coverage was consistent, without being invasive to areas outside of the protected yard. There were no deviations in light quality, and no signs of fade or glare. The end user was impressed with the quality of colour images under illumination, and prefered colour images around the clock, rather than monochrome images during hours of darkness. Of the three options available to him, he dismissed replacing his existing cameras with bullet units featuring integral illumination out of hand, but wasn’t sure whether to implement infrared or white light illumination.
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Iluminar – WL220-A100-24 The WL220-A100-24 is a white light illuminator with a coverage angle of 100 degrees. Unfortunately, as with the infrared unit from Iluminar, the range of the unit did not meet our test specification. For this unit it is 17 metres. The illuminator includes an integral photocell which is adjustable, as is output power. There is a telemetry input and photocell following contact too, but a special connector is used for these; one isn’t supplied. The light quality from the unit is, within its specified range, very good. Unfortunately, given our test specification the unit showed fading towards the edges of the protected area, and whilst it certainly worked beyond its designated range, it didn’t have enough in reserve to more than double that figure!
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anpr oct13_000_Benchmark_jul13 10/09/2013 15:07 Page 2
ANPR Performance hen considering ANPR, most people think about law enforcement agencies – the police, the Border Agency, Home Office, etc. – using a system linked to the DVLA database to identify wanted individuals, suspicious vehicles and other known miscreants. Of course, this is a role that automatic numberplate recognition is ideal for, and it has been proven to be very effective in such a role. It could be argued that the success of ANPR, when utilised in this manner, has led to a somewhat blinkered consideration of its potential for other applications. The technology can be deployed in commercial and industrial applications for a variety of purposes, including security, safety and site management. In theory, ANPR is akin to access control, and is often used to automate gates and barriers. Approaching vehicles have numberplate details checked against a watchlist. Where a vehicle is known and access is permitted, gates or barriers can automatically be opened. Of course, there are a number of variations. Certain vehicles can be directed to relevant areas, deliveries or collections can be scheduled out of hours, known visitors can be granted access whilst their host is notified of their arrival, or vehicle details can simply be archived to create an access log. The benefits are impressive, so long as the system performance is credible.
Image capture Image capture for ANPR systems is a pivotal part of ensuring that system performance is acceptable. The first step is to consider the ramifications of incorrect or failed capture. If these are too great, then it might be prudent to reconsider the options. ANPR relies upon capturing the numberplate – typically the front facing one – of a vehicle. Whilst UK numberplates are standardised with regards to font size and shape, it is not unusual for variations to exist. Also, whilst most vehicles will have the numberplate located centrally on the lower part of the front of the vehicle, there will be some exceptions.
ANPR is a beneficial technology which is too often overlooked for commercial and industrial sites. Often considered the exclusive preserve of law enforcement, the technology actually adds value to many sites with vehicular access control.
ANPR systems use character recognition algorithms, using captured video data to identify and ‘read’ a numberplate. It is therefore important that every effort is made to capture clean, sharp and contrasting images. Whilst many camera manufacturers emphasis the processing they employ is to deliver high quality images, with ANPR cameras you should seek out a device with as little processing as possible. Everyday video processing – compression, automatic gain control, digital noise reduction, image enhancement – can all make video images appear to be better quality. The important word is ‘appear’! Because the ANPR algorithm is analysing the data, such effects can actually detract from the overall reliability. Therefore, you will require a camera which is capable of delivering high quality images whilst using the minimum level of video processing. It is also unwise to use cameras with interlace capture. This can either create blur with faster moving vehicles, due to changes in the two interlaced fields, or the ANPR system must rely upon a lower resolution single field image. Cameras with progressive scan chipsets should therefore be the choice. Shutter speed is another important element when considering ANPR. Many typical CCTV cameras use an average shutter speed of 1/50 second. At such a setting, a camera might be www.benchmarkmagazine.com
anpr oct13_000_Benchmark_jul13 10/09/2013 15:07 Page 3
nothing wrong with this approach – or indeed with using conventional cameras for ANPR capture – but a number of caveats exist with regard to the specifications of the cameras, and how they can be applied. A general rule of thumb is that where processing or settings are automatic, often the parameters for self-adjustment will be created with typical wide area surveillance in mind, rather than specialised use such as ANPR. Beware!
The right angles
unable to capture suitable images of any vehicle travelling at speeds in excess of a few miles per hour. Often, ANPR will be used at points where traffic slows or temporarily halts. However, this does not mean that shutter speed can be ignored. The philosophy of expecting the unexpected holds true. It is recommended by Dacolian, an ANPR supplier, that minimum shutter speeds of 1/600 for 30mph traffic, 1/750 for 40mph traffic, 1/900 for 50mph traffic and 1/1300 for 70mph traffic are used. Obviously, the figures need to be rounded upwards to meet the camera settings. Note that the settings should be fixed; automatic shutter speed with a high maximum figure cannot be guaranteed to deliver the right results. Obviously, as shutter speed increases, so illumination levels need to increase too! The preferred option is to use infrared illumination (along with an IR corrected lens to prevent focus shift). Infrared lighting works well with retroreflective plates, and many dedicated ANPR cameras also include light filters or pulsed illumination to eradicate or compensate for headlight glare which can obscure numberplates. Also, infrared lighting will not dazzle drivers! There is a fine line when it comes to defining what an ANPR camera is and isn’t! There are some units which have been specifically designed to address many of the issues associated with numberplate recognition. However, there are also a growing number of conventional cameras which have been packaged as ‘ANPR’ units, often by simply including IR illumination. There is 48
Once you have a camera capable to delivering the right level of performance, the next task is to ensure that it is mounted correctly. Also, the right lens must be specified. Typically, ANPR system recommendations are that the numberplate should fill 20 per cent of the image width at full resolution. Cameras should be positioned with a vertical angle of no more than 30 degrees, and a horizontal angle of up to 20 degrees, although this should allow for deviations in vehicle approach. The plate should preferably be in the centre of the screen, and its angle should be such that if a horizontal line was drawn it would pass through both sides of the numberplate. Most UK numberplates are retroreflective, which means light is reflected directly back towards the source.
The final part The final part of the ANPR solution is an appropriate software package. Mirasys recommends making several considerations about the choice of software. If you have a preferred VMS, it probably has an ANPR plug-in. Solicit feedback from colleagues and peers. Asking for reference site details is not always easy – manufacturers often cannot disclose that information. Consider the supplier’s support. Will they assist with the installation? Do they offer training? How detailed is the documentation? Also what is the total cost of installation, maintenance and ownership? Expect there to be a few days (and nights) of configuration and testing. ANPR has to be set up to meet the site’s requirements. Configuring ANPR for reliability does take time. Remember that no matter how good the software itself, poor image capture can only result in errors!
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Bosch Security Flexidome HD VR
hile todayâ€™s video surveillance solutions need to meet a growing number of technical requirements, design considerations are equally important. Over the past few years, Bosch has introduced a series of HD cameras that fulfil both these requirements. This range is now complete with the launch of the Flexidome HD VR camera. The VR suffix stands for vandal resistant, and the camera is characterised by a robust, compact dome housing, allowing for different imaging platforms in one unified design. The Flexidome HD VR camera offers a choice of imaging modules: HD720p60 for low light performance, HD1080p for full HD resolution, and HD1080p HDR for challenging wide dynamic range scenes. All three modules make use of the same design. In addition, the cameras feature content based imaging technology (CBIT), which provides intelligent dynamic image optimisation. The CBIT-enabled units feature two modes: intelligent auto exposure (iAE), which results in optimal details for objects of interest, plus intelligent dynamic noise reduction (iDNR) that lowers bandwidth requirements by up to 30 per cent. For ease of use, an automatic varifocal (AVF) lens is used. This simplifies the
installation as several cameras can be focused and zoomed remotely from the control room. Furthermore, the AVF lens fully exploits the high sensor resolutions available with Bosch lenses. The camera is housed in a vandal-resistant design, supporting 90 degree horizontal viewing and the full range of mounting options. The camera is ideal for hybrid systems, supporting connections to existing analogue devices including spot monitors. It allows for a gradual conversion from analogue to hightech IP solutions. The Flexidome HD VR works seamlessly with the transcoding technology implemented in the Video Management System, the Video Client as well as in the storage solutions from Bosch. Video streams can be viewed from iPad, browser or the free Viewing Client. Boschâ€™s IP standard- and high-definition cameras, encoders and analytics are ONVIF conformant and compatible with software and storage solutions of third-party integrators. This is supported by the Integration Partner Program, which gives partners immediate access to online tools for easy integration of management and recording software, video analytics, monitor wall systems and cloud monitoring.
Tel: 01895 878095 Web: www.boschsecurity.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
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The latest product launches of interest to those involved in the design, specification and installation of security solutions
Enhanced depth of field Pyser-SGI offers the new Fujinon three and five megapixel resolution, day/night varifocal lenses which employ P-iris (Precise iris) technology. The P-iris system offers automatic adjustment of the lens iris in response to light level changes, providing accurate software control of the aperture to enhance all aspects of image quality. A stepper motor in the lens determines the optimum iris position in all lighting conditions to reduce unwanted effects such as blurring due to diffraction (small iris opening) and spherical aberration (large iris opening). This results in a sharper centre-toedge image and more stable depth of field. The five new lenses are the YV2.8x2.8SR4AJA2L and YV3.3x15SR4A-JA2L for 1/2.7 inch sensor size cameras with three megapixel resolution, and the three and five megapixel DV3.8x4SR4A-JA1L and DV4x12.5SR4A-JA1L for 1/1.8 inch sensor size cameras. Finally, the DV10x8SR4A-JA1L is designed for 1/2 inch sensor cameras. The YV2.8x2.8 lens has a focal length from 2.8 to 8mm with a maximum relative aperture of F1.3; the YV3.3x15 has a focal length from 15 to 50mm with a maximum relative aperture of F1.5 for poor lighting conditions; the DV3.8x4 has a focal length from 4 to 15mm also with a maximum relative aperture of F1.5; the DV4x12.5 has a focal length from 12.5 to 50mm with a maximum relative aperture of F1.6; the DV10x8 has a focal length from 8 to 80mm with a maximum relative aperture of F1.6.
Agent Video Intelligence achieves Milestone solution certification Agent Video Intelligence and Milestone Systems have announced the certification of their integrated products. The certification verifies the joint product offering. Agent Viâ€™s range of video analytics solutions offers seamless integration with a variety of XProtect VMS offerings. This enables XProtect to receive, display and manage real-time analytics events as well as archive video for forensic and statistical analysis from within the Smart Client.
Intelligence built in Vivotek has announced the launch of FD8163 (internal) and FD8363 (external) two-megapixel fixed dome network cameras. Both feature 1080p full HD resolution with streaming of up to 30 fps. The domes are equipped with removable IR-cut filter, and deliver a claimed 15 metre range using integral IR illuminators with smart IR technology to avoid overexposure of objects close to the camera. Other features include WDR enhancement for increased visibility in environments with contrasting light levels in the same scene. The FD8363 is equipped with an IP66-rated housing which is claimed to be vandal-proof. The domes benefit from smart focus system, including easy focus and remote focus, making image adjustment more efficient. Utilising a 3-9mm motorised DC-iris lens, focal length adjustment can be performed remotely.
Grundig and Teleste announce integration Grundig Security has announced its SDK integration with open platform IP video management system supplier Teleste Corporation. The Teleste video management systems are used for controlling, processing, viewing, allocating and recording multiple IP video channels on distributed architecture. The integration means that all Grundig cameras will be supported by the Teleste VMS software. The two companies will also be working together on site application projects to deliver enhanced solutions.
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Master keyed guidance Abloy UK has launched a master key system design guide that offers advice and guidance about the different key security levels, and the services for large key system or key management requirements across one or multiple sites. Key control is extremely important and a master key system is often the simplest solution to complex requirements. The system is based around a master key that can operate all of the locks in a building or buildings, alongside the required amount of keys to access individual locks. Abloy UK can create the coding for all master key systems within its range, and each master key has a unique profile that is made up from one of 1.97 billion differs. There are three different levels of security available depending on the degree of key control required. Level 1 features keys that are not stamped with identifying system numbers, with additional keys available when a key registration card is presented. With Level 2, only the Abloy centre that originally supplied the locks and keys can make replacements. Keys are stamped with an identifying system number, and additional keys can be supplied when a key registration card or signed orders by previously submitted authorised signatories are presented. Level 3 is the highest level of security, and each key has a unique shape with replacements only available from Abloy UK. Keys are stamped with a unique system number and key reference, and orders for additional keys on this level must be on a signed written order.
Honeywell extends ONVIF capabilities Honeywell has announced a range of cameras which comply with ONVIF specifications. The cameras are additions to the Equip and Performance series. The true day/night cameras are available in 1080p and 720p versions. The new cameras deliver progressive scan video, and include digital noise reduction (DNR). Wide dynamic range functionality is also supported. 52
Endura Enterprise integrated with AMAG Symmetry Schneider Electric has announced that its Endura Enterprise VMS is integrated with the AMAG Symmetry security management software. This integration allows users access to live video, playback video, PTZ and alarms, including analytic alarms from Sarix cameras. The integration provides customers with an advanced IP VMS option for mission-critical surveillance applications with a requirement to scale up to thousands of cameras. Symmetry security management system provides access control, video management and intrusion detection.
AMG adds radio, GPRS and analogue video wireless modems AMG Systems has released a set of radio and GPRS products to enhance its existing transmission range. The AMG RM6000 Series includes a GPRS modem/router, while the AMG RM9600 Series includes radio modems. The AMG VideoWave 5800 Series includes analogue video wireless modems supporting up to 7 video and 64 telemetry, alarm and audio channels. The new products will be subject to vigorous quality testing and quality assurance. The manufacturer claims they will deliver plug and play functionality.
Reviving barcode access control Traditional slot barcode readers used for access control require strict positioning of the card in order for the reader to function correctly. As most barcode applications are for use with legacy cards, this limitation can pose a significant problem which can limit the effective use of barcode systems. Progeny has launched the 2030-SC Crystal barcode reader, which has the reader optics facing downwards at an angle away from the wall. The reader is therefore able to read the barcode wherever it is positioned on the card. The readers are suitable for use in interior and exterior applications, and are weather resistant. When the ambient temperature inside the reader drops to below 3 degrees, an internal heater is automatically switched on.
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IP Door Controllers
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Protocol translation Version 5.40 of Wavestore’s video recording and management software includes Wavestar, a multi-purpose translation capability that facilitates the integration of any third party’s equipment protocols, according to the manufacturer. This enables countless protocols to trigger responses in a Wavestore system, including controlling recordings, directing PTZ cameras, switching display contents for all or specified users and emailing images and other information. Wavestar delivers sensing, translation, action and response, and is intended to unlock the capability to accept alarm or message inputs from third party equipment and to enable the appropriate action or response to be determined. A wide range of data inputs are supported including UDP messages, TCP messages (binary and textual lines), HTTP messages and serial port data. Wavestar can facilitate integration with a wide range of equipment and systems including access control, intruder detection, biometrics, automatic number plate recognition, facial recognition, perimeter intrusion detection, people counting and video analytics.
Miniaturised HD performance Tyco Security Products has announced the release of the Illustra Compact Mini-Dome HD IP camera under its American Dynamics brand. Delivering 720p and 1080p resolutions, the dome’s features include motion detection, low-light performance with soft Day/Night and DSS, digital wide dynamic range, 2D noise reduction and a three-axis gimbal. The housing is IK10-rated for impact protection. The camera provides a 123° wide horizontal viewing angle. The cameras support the complete feature set of the ONVIF Profile S specification. Claimed to be both easy and fast to install, the domes are supported by the Illustra Connect camera configuration software. This allows batch set-up of multiple cameras. Also, Compact MiniDomes lenses are factory-focused.
Ultra-low profile domes Arecont Vision is now shipping its small form MicroDome product line. The low profile multi-megapixel cameras are designed for applications where both high-resolution and a small footprint are required. Available in resolutions of 1.3-megapixel, 1080p, 3 megapixel and 5 megapixel, with wide dynamic range (WDR) of up to 100dB at full resolution available for the 1080p and 3MP versions, the range will be available initially as indoor models with an in-ceiling mount. These will be followed by indoor/outdoor surface mount models. The in-ceiling configurations have three spring arms at the top of the camera that fit through the installation hole and then expand and lock to secure the camera into place. The installer only needs to slide the camera through the hole and secure the magnetized mounting ring with a single screw. Standard features include a dual H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) and JPEG encoder, fast frame rates, on-camera privacy masking and 1024-zone motion detection. 54
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Riva adds motorised lenses Setting the focus of a megapixel or HD camera can be a challenge. Latency can make the task time consuming, and often the results are not ideal. During installation, it can even require two people to set the focus of a network camera. This is why an increasing number of manufacturers offer an automated focus feature, using a motorised unit. As a result, Riva network cameras from Vidicore are now available in MFZ versions, enabling remotely controlled focus adjustment via a couple of mouse clicks. This saves time on site, and therefore reduces costs. The purchase price of MFZ-enabled models is slightly higher compared to the regular cameras. The manufacturer states that both the installation and subsequent re-adjustments to the focus is simplified.
Distance calculations made simpler Network Video Technologies (NVT) has released a new IP design tool designed to simplify wire distance calculations for network video solutions. By entering the required camera power, cable/transmission length and type, along with camera data rate, the calculator displays the maximum recommended distance. The design tool is available as a free download. Microsoft Excel is required to use the calculator.
A safe option? The new Euro Grade high quality cash safe range from Securikey offers an aesthetically pleasing, robust security option for small businesses. It is the entry level option in the Euro Grade range and is available in six sizes. Solid steel square locking bolts are situated on three sides of the door, ensuring the safe remains securely closed when secured, and extra protection is provided with continuous hinge protection and a fire resistant door seal. Every safe is certified to meet European Security standard EN1143-1 after being subjected to stringent independent testing, proving that the range is suited for use within a diverse range of environments. After testing, each Euro Grade model is issued with the appropriate VdS badge. The safes have been specifically designed with ease of installation in mind due to their lightweight construction and rear fixing option included as standard. A range of locking options are available.
HD range expanded The IPR7722ESX and LR7722EX varifocal cameras have been added to Lilinâ€™s iMegapro range. Units are available with a focal length range of 3.3-12mm, and can be powered by either PoE or 12V DC. Supplied with a cable managed bracket, the cameras include integral infrared illuminators with a claimed range of 35 metres. The IPR7722ESX and LR7722EX deliver 1920 x 1080 pixel resolutions, and incorporate sens-up for low light conditions. Used with image signal processing, AGC control and 3D noise reduction, the combination is claimed to deliver low light images without motion blur. The IPR7722ESX delivers four independent video streams at a rate of up to 30fps, and the LR7722EX producing three independent video streams at a rate of up to 15fps. The streams can be set for different applications, depending on the individual user requirements. Other features include region of interest (ROI), e-tour, two-way audio, weighted mode, digital PTZ and alarm activation by motion, tamper, face and audio detection. Featuring wide dynamic technology, the cameras capture highlights and shadows simultaneously.)
Mifare DESFireEV1 and Plus supported Gallagher Security has announced the T20, an addition to its T series range of smartcard and multi-technology readers. Designed to deliver performance in high traffic applications, the T20 card and PIN reader supports new and more secure variants of smart card technology, including Mifare DESFire EV1, Plus and Classic. A multi-tech version of T20 also supports 125KHz technology. The reader is backwards-compatible with installed Gallagher Controller and GBUS URI hardware, with the multi-tech version enabling managed transition to higher level security without interruption to system operations. An intuitive user interface with a 3.5 inch colour TFT LED screen and large backlit keys provides a rapid means of performing key functions whilst minimising disruption to traffic flow. Icons guide users to present their card, enter their PIN if required, and pass through the door when appropriate. Door and alarm zone status can be established prior to any interaction with the terminal.
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FINAL next issue oct13_000_Benchmark_nov10 12/09/2013 15:31 Page 2
Next Month in Benchmark... Evacuation Sounders and sirens are commonly used across a wide range of applications. However, with advances in voice-based systems, should evacuation-based solutions be designed for optimum impact, especially where visitors or members of the public are in a managed area?
Connectivity Benchmark considers the best approach to ensuring that modern security surveillance solutions can be utilised with appropriate devices. Does the future lie with common protocols, or is it time to take a licensed approach to product support?
Biometric Technology For many years, biometric technology has remained on the periphery of the access control market. However, economies of scale and increased performance has seen the number of options for the mainstream market increase. Benchmark assesses whether the technology can claim to be a genuine contender for everyday solutions.
DOOR ENTRY elegant, modern and efﬁcient This is TAB
Clean lines, fully representing the best in modern design trends, the new TAB video door entry monitor blends perfectly into any residential setting with its ultra-thin proﬁle and touch functionality. The 3.5” LCD colour display not only ensures excellent and clear image quality but also simpliﬁes programming for both users and installers. The capacitive keypad provides user-friendly operation - simply touch the keys to enable the main video door entry functions including: door opening with status display, stair lighting and automatic outside cameras, as well as the intercom function with other indoor stations.
TAB - available in “glass effect” black or white
Raytel Security Systems Limited helping to keep communities safer 58
The TAB handset also has a special internal coil to assist hearing aid wearers.
Southern Office: 01268 749310 Northern Office: 0141 332 4232 email: email@example.com Internet: www.raytelsecurity.co.uk
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AXIS P3384-V Network Camera Vandal-resistant indoor HDTV fixed dome with outstanding video quality in demanding light conditions. > Superb video in 1MP or HDTV 720p quality > WDR-dynamic capture and Lightfinder technology > H.264 main profile and multiple H.264 streams > Easy installation with remote focus and zoom > Vandal-resistant design To learn more, visit www.axis.com/products/cam_p3384v/