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HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade
HD over Coax provides cost-effective video surveillance upgrade

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

Saving lives with effective security control centre design
Saving lives with effective security control centre design

When people think of control rooms, images from James Bond movies or intense action stories come to mind. What they fail to realise is the incredible level of ergonomics, technology, precision and craftsmanship required to create a top-notch command and control room. “These are rooms of complex functionalities, where hundreds of elements must be integrated and function in sync,” says Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Professional teams from several different industries must coordinate every single detail in order to ensure that functionality occurs each and every time. Reconfigurable furniture for control rooms AFC Industries is one company that specialises in equipping control rooms for security and other applications. AFC Industries was established in 1994 as a family-owned business that focuses on the design and construction of ergonomic products. Their height-adjustable units guarantee the right height for standing desks as well as traditional sitting levels. The company produces an array of Command and Control ergonomic security consoles and mounting solutions. Modular racking systems facilitate efficient storage of electronic and audio-visual equipment. As technology changes, older traditional consoles are no longer a necessity. Many organisations instead are choosing to use lighter, less costly, reconfigurable furniture that allows more flexibility. Command Centres need to be able to reconfigure the space at will. Because most systems are housed in secure data centres, users should be able to quickly move their positions by relocating their workstations, utilising different network connections. Simple control room features, like those addressing lighting or operator comfort, can make the difference in a correct or incorrect decision during a crisis Emergency operations centres A positive trend driving the market for control rooms is an increase in emergency operations centres (EOCs), says Randy Smith, President of Winsted. “Everybody is concerned about what happens in an emergency,” says Smith, and the centres are popping up as a tool for emergency preparedness. It’s another environment where sit-stand work stations are the rule. Winsted’s product lines include stock modular and customised elements in good-better-best categories – from basic to lots of “bells and whistles;” jobs can be configured from modular elements or customised as needed. Customised control rooms for seamless operation There is a lot at stake in control room design: Lives can depend on how effectively a control room functions in an emergency. Control rooms should seamlessly accommodate both everyday occurrences and crisis situations, says Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles. Better-operating control rooms can increase efficiency and reduce and/or mitigate risk. Simple control room features, like those addressing lighting or operator comfort, can make the difference in a correct or incorrect decision during a crisis. Addressing operator comfort can reduce the possibility of workers’ compensation claims. End users are seeing multiple benefits of creating a better operating environment, better sightlines, more comfort and attention to ergonomics. As a fully integrated control room solutions provider, Evans Consoles approaches the needs of a control room environment beginning in the conceptual/operational planning stage. They consider broad issues such as how information will be processed, the interface between technology and operators, and the cognitive and physical interactions of operators – understanding that these factors drive the layout and function of control rooms. After analysing tasks to be performed in the environment, Evans lays out the consoles to meet those needs. Rather than a predesigned solution, each installation is tailored around a specific application. Read part 2 of our Control Rooms series here

HD surveillance: Secrets to producing the best possible image quality
HD surveillance: Secrets to producing the best possible image quality

Many end-users shell out the cash to acquire the newest high-end devices, plug in, and expect to be wowed A well-developed surveillance system can give a single security guard the power to see what otherwise might take a hundred pairs of eyes to see. But what happens when all the components are all connected and powered up, and the resulting image on the screen is, well, indiscernible, or, at the very least, terribly pixelated? Many end-users shell out the cash to acquire the newest high-end devices, plug in, and expect to be wowed. Often enough, however, what they see on the screen is not what they were expecting – and they wonder what they just paid for. In a good high-definition system, what factors actually create the best image quality? With so many variables involved, from the camera’s lens to the imaging algorithms to the monitor resolution – just to name the obvious ones – how do system integrators achieve the best on-screen images?   The lens The first component to handle light from an object, this may be the one most taken for granted in cameras of any sort. (Just try scratching or cracking one and you’ll agree.) In the days of analogue cameras, it seemed that any old lens would do just fine. However, as the technology inside cameras evolved and more powerful sensors (more pixels) became available, engineers and programmers demanded more from lenses. Moreover, intelligent video content analyses would be impossible without high-accuracy lenses.In what way do lenses impact the image quality? The key factor here is light transmission. The quality of light passing through the lens itself will forever be critical to the quality of image reproduced. A lens made using ultra-precision molding aspherical technology achieves more accurate colour, better light, and clearer images. Multilayer broadband anti-reflection coating further maximises a lens's light transmission while minimising the residual reflection of light on the surface of each optical lens. Variables involved include the camera’s lens, the imaging algorithms and the monitor resolution When it comes to fabricating a megapixel lens that hits the mark, the materials used and the processes by which lenses are produced are the two most critical criteria. The materials most often used to create lenses are glass and specialised plastics. An HD lens made of ultra-low-dispersion optical glass – which, by using dispersion characteristics that are different from those of conventional optical glass – will deliver better HD performance. Machine-automated lens production using specialised plastics results in high output for camera producers, and the lenses produced are more uniform in design and quality. For an HD vari-focal lens, its image quality depends largely on the precision of the cam. The cam rotates to drive the zoom and focus lens groups forward and backward for a smooth continuity of focal length and adjustment of the focal point. A lack of precision with the cam inevitably causes an offset or tilt of the lens' optical axis during zooming and focusing, leading to a serious loss of image quality. Lens production is a delicate balancing act. The slightest errors or imperfections will be very noticeable when tested Lens production is a delicate balancing act. The slightest errors or imperfections will be very noticeable when tested. The features of a lens that affect image resolution, clarity, and contrast must be perfect. Achieving uniformity of image resolution at the centre and the edges of a lens requires high-precision machinery. And once a lens has been properly crafted, the assembly of the camera, the lens housing materials, and the alignment of the optical axis demand utmost accuracy. To put it mildly, quality control must be rigorous. Image signal processing As light passes through the lens, the sensor captures it and converts it to data. Raw RGB data is transmitted by the camera sensor and undergoes Image Signal Processing (ISP) such as noise reduction, white balance, WDR, curve correction and colour correction, etc. The data is then transformed to true colours for each pixel point, for people to see images that look “normal” to the human eye. It is the Image Signal Processing that defines the final image quality on the screen. Collecting data in different conditions is vital, for instance, outdoor data should be analysed with natural light on days with sun, overcast, rain, and fog, at dawn, at dusk, and so on. Similarly, when using cameras equipped with infrared sensors, testing the IR light signals in various conditions is necessary as well.  Actual image performance depends upon variables such as low light illumination, signal to noise ratio, dynamic range of light, and more. ISP algorithms aim at increasing the signal data and decreasing noise. Cameras with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) will yield improved video imaging with both background and foreground objects in high contrast or high-backlight environments, maximising the amount of detail in brighter and darker areas in one field-of-view. In scenes with low contrast and low light, the sensors deliver digital image signals and at the same time send some amount of digital noise that directly hinders image clarity. Three-dimensional digital noise reduction (3D DNR) removes unwanted artifacts from an image, reducing graininess. Where cloudy weather poses a challenge, auto-defogging technology helps to identify the density of fog or rain with gray-white colour ratio analysis, and imbues images with true colour reproduction. Ramping up the megapixels and frame rates yields great video, but also results in more bandwidth used and more storage occupied Matching megapixels to image quality When the factors mentioned above line up well, correlating cameras and monitors creates the best viewing experience. When a high definition camera is in place, a monitor with a high resolution will display images much more clearly. But if the monitor’s resolution is low, it will not deliver the high-quality images expected – or possible – from that HD camera. For an 8 MP camera, for instance, users do best to apply monitors with 4K × 2K resolution. Though common sense, this deserves to be mentioned because users might decide to upgrade their systems with 4K monitors, but with perhaps 1.3 MP cameras installed. In such a scenario, there’s no guarantee the on-screen image quality will automatically improve. Managing data and bandwidth In terms of a complete, high definition surveillance system, when the right factors come together and the calibrations are set, image quality – even in a standard HD 1080p setup – can be extremely good. The final piece of the puzzle is managing the data. Ramping up the megapixels and frame rates yields great video, but also results in more bandwidth used and more storage occupied. Squeezing bandwidth threatens image quality and clarity, but keeping ample room for signal transmission and storage will eventually increase the overall cost for customers. Is it possible for integrators to optimise their customer’s system and, at the same time, stay within budget constraints? Luckily, it can be done. Squeezing bandwidth threatens image quality and clarity, but keeping ample room for signal transmission and storage increases the overall cost for customers To do this, a more efficient video encoding solution would allow an improvement in compression efficiency of 40–50% over H.264. Improvements to algorithms that are adaptive to a particular scene give users control over bitrate. Another option would be to start recording video only when an event triggers an alarm, since most security guards are primarily concerned with moving objects rather than a scene’s generally stagnant background. This intelligently helps optimise bandwidth and storage consumption. Another method is to use a single panoramic or fisheye camera in place of several HD cameras for coverage – the reduced number of security devices will reduce bandwidth demands and the rate of storage consumption as well. Getting the best image quality Now let’s put this all together. Naturally, integrators and users will refer to their product specs to understand features and functions, fine-tuning each component for best results. Also, as suggested above, users should select an HD camera comprehensively in terms of lens performance, pixels, image quality, and overall system compatibility and performance. Next, matching the backend device and management platform should be carefully considered in a complete security system. Installing equipment that has been engineered for a given scene is a must, along with strategising how to get the most coverage out of the lowest number of cameras. Finally, product quality, warranty, price, and on-going customer service are all important factors that customers should take into account as well.

Latest MOBOTIX AG news

Alha Group integrates MOBOTIX thermal technology for enhanced security at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy
Alha Group integrates MOBOTIX thermal technology for enhanced security at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy

On an average, approximately 400,000 tons of cargo passes through Malpensa Airport every year, located in Milan, Italy. The Alha Group is the major cargo handling agent at the 25,000-square-meter site, which houses 32 airlines, with 34 large cargo aircrafts. Handling cargo at Malpensa Airport In 2012, Malpensa Cargo became a certified competence and administration centre for air cargo and road transport, especially for premium-quality small goods, such as smartphones, tablets, designer clothing and accessories. The Alha Group chose a system from MOBOTIX AG, a renowned manufacturer of cameras in Germany Since then, passenger transport in Malpensa has increased exponentially, which has driven the Alha Group to procure a video surveillance system that offers the very highest level of protection. The Alha Group chose a system from MOBOTIX AG, which has been manufacturing cameras in Germany for over 20 years. MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras "We have installed nine MOBOTIX thermal imaging cameras at our sites in Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Segrate, Pioltello, Verona and Prato to strategically cover the key traffic areas," said Marco Alesi, Security Manager at the Alha Group. The MOBOTIX thermal systems were installed by Alha's business partner, Trium at the beginning of March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alha can now reliably control access to its offices and warehouses. Virtual security cage The project also saw the construction of a ‘Virtual security cage’ that Alha uses to protect the valuable goods of its customers that are being transshipped against theft. An infrared alarm system delineates a defined area and the video-based system triggers an alarm, as soon as an intruder enters this area. With the help of live images from the camera, the uninvited guest can be identified and stopped immediately. The Alha Group has consequently replaced an expensive conventional locking system with an advanced digital video solution and sped up routine work processes at the same time. The MOBOTIX cameras are integrated into the burglar alarm system, which is controlled using security badges. A detailed log is kept to track when the system is deactivated. Integrated thermal imaging solution "We were, and still are, extremely satisfied with the MOBOTIX cameras we installed previously," emphasizes Marco Alesi, adding "Not only because of their high quality and durability, but also because of the numerous integration and development options we've been able to make use of over time. This is a huge advantage, and one that applies to our most recent installation too." The timesheet system has an integrated thermal imaging camera that is activated, every time an employee signs in The timesheet system has an integrated thermal imaging camera that is activated, every time an employee in the warehouse and office access area signs in. A recorded message asks the employee to look into the camera and remove any glasses or head coverings that they may be wearing for proper identification. If the camera measures their body temperature as being 37.5 degrees Celsius or less, a green LED on the camera flashes to allow access to the cargo bay. If the temperature measured is higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius, a flashing red light and another recorded message informs the employee to wait for a specialist member of staff to take their temperature using a clinical thermometer. VoIP intercom system At the same time, the system sends an email with a dated camera screenshot, stored personnel data and the measured temperature. The VoIP intercom system integrated into the camera enables Alha security staff to immediately communicate with employees who were temporarily stopped when entering the company building. "The extra checks are making us all safer during this crisis. We see the ability to contact someone immediately after they receive negative results for a preliminary test as an intrinsic part of our duty of care toward our employees," explains Alesi.

MOBOTIX M73 video camera receives security certificate from SySS IT
MOBOTIX M73 video camera receives security certificate from SySS IT

The M73, MOBOTIX’s new high-performance camera based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), is the latest in MOBOTIX’s lineup to have received the SySS IT security certificate. After completing multiple tests, SySS GmbH now attests that the entire MOBOTIX IoT camera series has a particularly high level of cyber security. In addition to the M73, the M16, representing the entire Mx6 series, also has earned the SySS certificate. This is a continuation of the MOBOTIX Cactus Concept which stands for a reliable, end-to-end video system protection against hacker attacks. In several scenarios, the hardware and software components of the M73 were subjected to simulated state-of-the-art hacker attacks. The penetration testers at SySS GmbH are very familiar with attack methods on IT systems and are researching new ways and means of preventing intrusion into digital infrastructures. With this extensive know-how, SySS GmbH is the penetration test provider in Germany as they test IT landscapes, looking for both common and unique weaknesses and other security vulnerabilities. Enhanced cyber security for cameras "With the SySS certification of our new M73 video system, we are proving that MOBOTIX continuously strives for the best possible cyber security for all of our camera series," emphasises MOBOTIX CEO, Thomas Lausten. "Our Mx6 range is one of the market-leading systems for classic security camera applications and is the first choice for many of our customers. The robustness and durability of the power-saving system is in line with the classic MOBOTIX DNA and is ONVIF-compliant despite the decentralised approach." "The SySS certification of the new, open MOBOTIX 7 platform and the M73 proves that we have achieved the goal of highest data and cyber security even with our most powerful camera series," says Lausten. "This also applies to the Certified Apps that are integrated in the firmware, which comprehensively extend the modularity of our systems. “ The MOBOTIX Apps based on Deep Learning and solutions from renowned partners are explicitly verified and certified by MOBOTIX. Users can use exactly the apps in their video systems that they need for their requirements.

MOBOTIX supports its customers with intelligent video technology on their way "back to the new normal"
MOBOTIX supports its customers with intelligent video technology on their way "back to the new normal"

The world has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many new challenges and regulations. MOBOTIX’s intelligent video technology can support companies, institutions, public as well as private facilities during the crisis and in the restart after the lockdown. MOBOTIX has bundled the available "back-on-track video technology solutions" for its partners and customers to help get them up and running quickly and effectively. This makes it easier for industries and sectors such as retail, restaurants, airports, train stations, municipalities, industrial, service companies and educational institutions to "get back on track." MOBOTIX automates the "back-to-business restart" with professional analysis and thermal imaging technology, with an array of optional apps in the latest MOBOTIX 7 generation cameras and specially-developed add-on solutions from MOBOTIX’s global Partner Community. Highest cyber security Only the consistent adherence to rules and regulations will drive further improvements in this pandemic" The hardware and software of MOBOTIX can be adapted and converted at any time for numerous alternative industry-specific tasks, always with the highest cyber security. "Only the consistent adherence to rules and regulations will drive further improvements in this pandemic. By doing so we will hopefully move together successfully towards ‘normal life and work.’ It is a good feeling when we can support and accelerate this with our technology," says MOBOTIX CEO, Thomas Lausten. Entrance control system In many shops, schools and public buildings there are updated capacity limits for the number of visitors, customers or employees. To determine the current numbers, all entrances and exits must be checked. MOBOTIX video technology can do this reliably, automatically, and effectively - without the need for additional personnel. An entrance control system can be installed indoors or outdoors, for example, using a traffic light system or an automatic door control system. The MOBOTIX video analysis technology also allows the cumulative recording of the current number of people in complex and multi-story buildings using all cameras installed at the entrances and exits. Supporting Social Distancing "Social Distancing" is a widely used term. It describes the observance of minimum distances and is intended to reduce the risk of infection. MOBOTIX technology can also provide support here. Face mask detection In addition, sensitive zones, such as sterile zones in hospitals and nursing homes, can be better monitored and protected It does not monitor whether the minimum distance is maintained in all areas, but rather checks whether it could be maintained in general within heavily frequented areas. For example, video technology can detect overcrowding - e.g. in waiting areas or at checkouts - and resolve it by means of visual and acoustic warnings. The capacity and crowding of people are not the only concerns, of course. In many public areas, face masks are also required. It must be ensured that proper protection is worn. Partner solutions that rely on MOBOTIX technology can detect when face masks are worn and trigger alarms or warnings if violations occur. In addition, sensitive zones, such as sterile zones in hospitals and nursing homes, can be better monitored and protected. Recognising temperature abnormalities MOBOTIX TR (Thermal Radiometry) technology makes it possible to measure thermal radiation - even from people. Although MOBOTIX thermal technology does not replace medical devices, they can help analyse critical situations in order to escalate to further measures. It allows anomalies to be detected and reported. Identified persons can then be subjected to further examination and referred to medical personnel. "Our technology helps customers not only in times of crisis. MOBOTIX video security systems are valuable to our customers well beyond the crisis," says Lausten. “The high-end video systems can be used, adapted or converted at any time for numerous additional and new industry specific tasks. Our intelligent solutions cover much more than just security applications. For example, they offer outstanding potential in process optimisation or improving a service organisation. The investment in MOBOTIX video technology is and remains future-proof," says the MOBOTIX CEO.