- Company Certifications
- CMMI, ISO9001, ISO14001 & IMS
- Semiconductor chips
- Core image processing
The growing sales of IP-based solutions in the surveillance market is a well-discussed topic. Security companies are rushing to grab a slice of this lucrative pie. However, at the same time, analogue surveillance systems have continued to retain their appeal for many end users. Aware of this demand, some companies have continued to develop technology for analogue solutions despite the IP trend. One company driving this force is Nextchip, the company behind AHD™. Up until recently, the Korean company has mostly played behind the scenes, supplying its high-quality chipsets to manufacturers worldwide. The company has been changing the face of analogue solutions with its latest technology for high definition analogue solutions - AHD™. Sizable analogue market welcomes HD analogue solutions Accounting for up to 70 percent of Nextchip’s total sales, the AHD™ adoption rate is gaining momentum, and the company recently announced that the adoption rate has reached 100 million channels. One of the reasons for the growth, according to Julie Kim, General Manager of Strategic Marketing Department at Nextchip, is that the majority of analogue manufacturers have continued to focus on the analogue market. While new installations usually opt for IP-based solutions from the get-go, there is still a sizeable number of analogue systems in place. These end users welcome the ability to upgrade their existing analogue systems with high-definition solutions that security companies are offering, as upgrading is faster, more cost-effective and causes the least amount of disruption compared to overhauling and replacing an entire system. Nextchip has been changing the face of analogue solutions with its latesttechnology for HD analogue solutions - AHD Traditionally, one argument for switching to IP-based systems is the high-quality images that analogue systems cannot deliver, but that is no longer the case. High definition analogue solutions that incorporate the likes of HD-SDI, HDCVI, HDTVI and HD-AHD technologies retain the simplicity of installation that system integrators, installers and end users are used to in analogue systems, but provide high definition images that rival those achieved by IP-based solutions. Cost-effective upgrade of existing surveillance systems Kim explains that upgrading image resolution from D1 to HD/FHD (720p/1080p) has previously involved higher costs. Nextchip decided to invest in developing high-definition analogue solutions because it saw a need to overcome transmission and cost issues associated with higher image quality transmission. D1(760H/960H) was the standard within the surveillance market for a long time, but as image levels reached higher resolutions (HD/FHD), CMOS HD and FHD were introduced (megapixel CCD was not applied for cost reasons). CMOS and ISP were ready but required a transmission solution to transmit the megapixel resolution, which led to the development of HD-SDI. However, the cost of these was too high. In addition, HD-SDI transmission is limited to 100 metres, after which a repeater is necessary, thereby increasing costs. The technology behind AHD™ enables high definition video and audio transmission over coaxial cable up to a distance of 500 metres without any latencies or quality losses that can sometimes be seen in IP-based solutions. An upgrade of the existing analogue system can now be achieved with the simple replacement of the cameras and DVRs. AHD™ applications beyond surveillance The technology behind AHD™ enables high definition video and audio transmission over coaxial cable up to a distance of 500 metres without any latencies or quality losses that can sometimes be seen in IP-based solutions Nevertheless, Nextchip is well aware that the switch to IP-based systems is inevitable and will affect its existing analogue business. Hence, the company has developed AHD™ with universality in mind and is already branching out the technology beyond the security market into the automotive industry. AHD™ is cable-independent technology. Its applications can expand beyond surveillance to include others that can benefit from high-resolution images, such as the automotive industry. In addition to its home market, Nextchip is focusing on the European market, where the majority of automotive manufacturers are located and is already in talks with them on incorporating Nextchip’s solutions into their vehicles. Nextchip 2016 roadmap revealed After years of playing behind the scenes, Nextchip is now working to increase its brand awareness beyond manufacturers. To this end, the company has strategically revamped its website for the first time in a decade. It is also working on increasing its presence in its end user markets and making its brand known to installers and system integrators, with plans to establish international branch offices in the pipeline. In terms of sales, Kim sees demand for 1080p chipsets growing in 2016 as the technology commercialises. Up until last year, the 720p chipsets generated the most sales, accounting for up to 65 percent of the company’s total sales.
Coming into ISC West, many in the industry had expected a renewed push toward use of mobile credentials (contained on smartphones, for example) instead of cards for access control. HID Global didn’t disappoint. A highlight of the second day of the show was a press conference in which HID Global announced new elements of its initiative to lead the industry into use of mobile credentials. Uses of smart phone credentials for identity management HID already provides SEOS mobile credentials, and the company foresees continuing movement into areas such as use of smart phones to store secure citizen IDs, cloud-based user authentication, and involvement in the coming Internet of Things (IoT). HID wants to lead the next phase of the mobility journey, while educating the market on the convenience and value of mobile credentialing. Key to the success of mobile credentials is to balance the need for convenience and the need for security, and to provide a smooth upgrade path. The company wants to build on innovation, to expand applications and use cases for mobile, to leverage and expand partnerships, and to develop and implement a solution with connected products and complemented by services. In short, they seek to deliver end-to-end trust. HID Mobile Access Solution The HID Mobile Access Solution provides security with the convenience of using a smartphone as an access credential, with cloud-based management services powered by SEOS. Announced at the press conference were support for Android Wear and Apple Watch devices, and software development kits (SDKs) for third party integration. Also announced was a new strategic partnership between HID Global and NXP’s SmartMX-based secure element devices. Through the collaboration, NXP and HID Global aim to enable the use of wearable devices to open electronic locks at commercial buildings, hotels and workplaces in the future. Additionally, NXP and HID Global are cooperating on a broad range of opportunities to expand the adoption of secure access to more applications and use cases. HID’s goID platform enables secure IDs to be loaded directly over-the-air onto a smartphone. Government IDs around the world will be transitioning to smart phones in some cases. Mobile security system management and data access There are other roles for smartphones highlighted at ISC West, too. More and more manufacturers are introducing mobile apps that provide end users access to the data from their various systems - whether video, access control, intrusion or whatever - using a smartphone. For example, access control company Galaxy Control introduced two apps at ISC West, each available for Apple iOS or Android formats. One app, called PersonPoint, allows authorised users to activate and de-activate cardholders remotely, with the added benefit of viewing e-mail activity reports. DoorPoint is the other app, which allows users to remotely lock, unlock and pulse doors, view door status and view activity report data. In an emergency situation, the app also allows security personnel to activate and reset crisis modes if necessary and to view current crisis mode status. Hands-free identification Galaxy Control also announced a new integration with SRI Identity; an iris recognition biometrics provides dependable, hands-free and touchless identification at a low price point. The biometric system interfaces with Galaxy like any other reader, while providing higher security. SRI Identity’s IOM (Identity on the Move) Access Control Tablet is a viable option to replace card readers in new or existing access systems, and provides advantages over traditional readers. Arecont Vision announced it MegaVideo Flex tethered camera line, providinga variety of resolution options, including 1.2MP, 1080p, 3MP, or 5MP Growing popularity of analogue HD There was video to see on the second day of the show, too, and not all of it was IP. More cameras with analogue HD are now being used, and, as of ISC West, the various analogue HD (1080p) formats - AHD, HD-CVI, HD-TVI - can now be combined into a single system. Advantages of analogue HD include lower costs, no compression or latency and the ability to use existing infrastructures of coax cabling - just replace the cameras and the DVRs. The technology is already popular around the world, and manufacturers expect it to increase in the United States. Korean company Nextchip is at ISC West to help spread the word about AHD and to educate the market on the technology’s capabilities. Nextchip has been coming to ISC for eight years; they make the chips that go into cameras that use AHD technology - they say it is the defacto standard based on their having the largest market share. Nextchip sells to various camera manufacturers; a combination image processor and transmission chip inside the camera interfaces of a matching receiver chip installed in an analogue HD DVR. More than 60 percent of the company’s business is in China - they have a branch in Shenzhen. The overall message: IP video may be popular, but there are alternatives (including AHD) that might be ideal for some systems. On the IP video side, Arecont Vision announced its MegaVideo Flex tethered camera line, providing a variety of resolution options, including 1.2MP, 1080p, 3MP, or 5MP. The H.264 remote focus true day/night indoor/outdoor cameras consist of a low-profile camera sensor attached to the main unit using a USB cable up to 40 feet long. There are also optional IR LEDs available for night viewing. Applications include ATMs; there are many new uses for the versatile cameras. IDIS’s proactive exhibiting approach to ISC West Booth traffic held up well on the second day of the show, but at least one exhibitor vowed not to depend on the show being busy in order for his booth to be busy. Keith Drummond, Senior Director of Sales of IP video manufacturer IDIS, says his sales team focused on setting up appointments, including some with end users, in advance of the show. The result is that the IDIS booth had more traffic on the first day of the show this year than for the entire show last year; and the second day appeared to be about 50 percent higher than that, Drummond commented. Since IDIS’ Direct IP technology was introduced to the U.S. market a year ago, the company has made a lot of progress - there are now repeat customers (in addition to future customers). IDIS facilitated introductions between their dealer channel and end users at their booth during ISC West. IDIS has implemented H.265 throughout its systems; they’re ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the industry that has not embraced the new standard as fast. “End-to-end can embrace technology and get it to market faster, and less costly,” says Drummond. Components “know” each other, and performance and functionality are native throughout, which reduces the burden on integrators. IDIS also has a new 64-channel NVR, and is featuring new pan-tilt-zoom capabilities called “rubber band control” and “slingshot control.” With the former, left-clicking on a mouse makes it easy to follow a target, accurately and rapidly, with the target remaining centred in the frame. The “slingshot” control involves clicking and magnifying a spot on a video screen to automatically direct the PTZ to view that location. In general, the features provide smoother and more effective control of PTZs.
Starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels Starlight cameras are the latest products security companies are adding to their product line-ups, each camera boasting the most comprehensive ability to make darkness visible. While low-light surveillance capabilities have been around on the market for some time, starlight camera technology is redefining low-light surveillance to new levels. Sourcesecurity.com spoke to manufacturers to discuss this technology and its applications in the security industry. Stronger sensors, higher image quality In the second half of last year, Sony unveiled its Starvis sensor technology designed for industrial applications, including security surveillance. The sensors make high-quality images possible in very challenging light conditions by increasing light sensitivity up to 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2. Many security companies have wasted no time incorporating this technology into their starlight range. China-based security camera manufacturer Qihan is one such company. According to Ten Wu, CIS and European Regional Manager at Qihan, the company has worked closely with Sony, in addition to investing in research toward the development of its starlight range. Qihan is by no means the only Asian manufacturer with a starlight range. Tiandy and Korea-based CNB Technology also carry a comprehensive range of starlight cameras for customers to select from, while Nextchip has plans to incorporate starlight technology into its WDR range. During challenging lightingconditions, Starlight cameras areequipped with the technology toslow down the cameras’ electronicshutter to capture more light Core to starlight camera technology is excellent light sensitivity, resulting in the ability to capture quality images under conditions with very little available light. Bosch’s starlight range, for example, includes a camera that promises to capture highly detailed 1080p monochrome images in low light levels of 0.000275 lux, and the ability to capture moving objects in high resolution with its high frame rate of 30 frames per second. Starlight cameras are equipped with the technology to slow down the cameras’ electronic shutter, when lighting conditions become challenging, to capture more light in order for the cameras to continue recording in colour. Hardware and software enhance camera performance According to Niko Xie, Overseas Sales Director at Tiandy, performance is based on both hardware and software, requiring “special sensor and special algorithms” to capture images in challenging light conditions. A qualified starlight camera should be able to provide clearer image with more colour detail than normal cameras. Cameras are capable of maintaining colour images for longer and provide better night vision when settings are switched to black and white. “Our starlight products not only use starlight sensors, but also our algorithm to enhance image quality,” said Xie on Tiandy’s starlight range. As security companies raise the bar on security camera performance, they did not forget to apply the latest technology to their starlight range. Hence, starlight cameras from most manufacturers promise simple installation procedures and are further equipped with video analytics to enhance performance and data management, such as noise reduction, intelligent video analysis and remote access. Bosch’s starlight range, for example, provides high definition colour images in the dark through the combination of starlight technology and intelligent auto exposure, which enables the camera to automatically adapt to changing light conditions. Starlight cameras’ clearer images and colour detail make them ideal for low-lightenvironments such as bars and clubs Starlight camera applications for low light and no light environments Starlight cameras can be applied in a wide range of situations and environments. Several environments stand to benefit from the increased security starlight cameras could achieve. Places with low light or no light, for example, in a bar or club can benefit from starlight technology. The illumination is weak and under such conditions, normal cameras would have already switched to black-and-white image capturing, but starlight cameras would continue to capture clear colour images, explains Xie. In addition, Wu adds that current surveillance systems could also be updated with starlight cameras to tremendously improve image quality at a similar cost compared to conventional cameras. The security industry can definitely expect more to come on starlight cameras and their associated technology.