Digital video recorders (DVRs) Comparison: ATV, Dedicated Micros  (4)

 
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1V pk-pk
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POS Interface Module
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Dedicated Micros provides National Bank of Kuwait with ATM surveillance solution
Dedicated Micros provides National Bank of Kuwait with ATM surveillance solution

Security for banks can be a real challenge when faced with a multitude of threats including: fraud, theft and physical attacks. One bank which is setting new standards in the Middle East, when it comes to the application of surveillance technology to keep its infrastructure, staff and customers safe and secure, is National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). This is thanks to the roll out of an advanced NetVu Connected CCTV solution from Dedicated Micros part of AD Group which is focused on the centralised monitoring of all of its branches and critical ATM infrastructure.Awarded the Best Bank in the Middle East 2010 accolade by EuroMoney, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), which was incorporated in 1952 as the first indigenous bank in the entire Gulf region, remains the preeminent banking institution in Kuwait as well as being an established banking franchise across the Middle East and supporting a large branch network, spanning 17 countries, including many of the world's financial and business centres.Dedicated Micros connection with National Bank of Kuwait stretches back over four years. The catalyst for the surveillance specialist being brought on board for this ambitious ATM protection project was the bank's dissatisfaction with the CCTV solutions it tested from other providers. A spokesperson for the Engineering Services Division, NBK, takes up the story: "We looked at and tested several brands of DVRs as potential answers to our pressing ATM surveillance needs before deciding to go ultimately with Dedicated Micros. The solutions that fell by the wayside were simply too cumbersome and complicated in terms of all the extra equipment (and software licenses) that would have been required to activate the functionality we wanted. This was in stark contrast to Dedicated Micros which was able to meet our needs based around an effective hardware-based package." Said Salim Idris, General Manager (Middle East), Dedicated Micros: "When contacted by NBK we were delighted to assist Kuwait's foremost banking establishment, not only were we able to demonstrate that we had the solutions available, such as the DV-IP ATM, that could address their specific requirements head-on, without lots of add-ons, but could also point to an unparallelled track record. To put our extensive experience, protecting the banking sector, into some sort of context, across the Gulf Cooperation Council area alone, we can now count 10 major banks - in Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - as customers. Significantly, as our CCTV systems are embedded, rather than PC based, they are recognised for their stability - essential in the banking environment - whereas PC dependent solutions have a reputation for crashing without warning."ATM FocusLooking in more detail at the systems from Dedicated Micros which have been put in place at NBK, since 2006, to support the effective monitoring of vital local and overseas ATM related infrastructure. These comprise 28 individual DV-IP ATM units which are used primarily to protect standalone Automated Teller Machines, with numbers expected to rise as part of the ongoing ATM project. There are also 145 NetVu Connected DS2 DVRs, with typically two systems connected at each National Bank of Kuwait branch plus an associated RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) unit giving additional storage capacity to the existing internal hard disk of the DVR.This set-up offers redundancy and resilience to ensure any recorded video images are securely stored. In the case of the larger Dubai branch this combination was doubled up and four (DS2s and RAIDs) were installed at NBK's extensive Bahrain site. To help with the management of the geographically dispersed NetVu Connected CCTV infrastructure, at an early stage, Dedicated Micros was called upon to assist NBK in the setting-up of centralised monitoring from a control room. This was achieved by deploying NetVu Observer video management software to allow operators to seamlessly view distributed images from any NetVu Connected product.     DV-IP ATM units from Dedicated Micros have proved useful in making transactions more secure and safe  The robust DV-IP ATM units specified for the National Bank of Kuwait project are designed to work, primarily, within the confines of an Automated Teller Machine. Certainly the security challenges with regards to banking are most keenly felt when it comes to the safe operation of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) whose accessibility makes them a convenient target for card skimming, shoulder surfing, and even physical theft from customers. It is CCTV systems, specifically remotely accessible DVRs, that are at the very heart of efforts to deal with these types of threat.Combining Video and Transaction DataThe Dedicated DV-IP ATM, based on NetVu Connected technology which ensures its interoperability with other DM and AD Group systems, is able to process transaction data which is then recorded with video footage. Post event analysis, via a powerful text search engine, provides video imagery of the ATM user plus the associated transaction information. For NBK this allows security staff to deal with any fraudulent activity and ensures that customer services representatives are well placed to quickly resolve any genuine customer withdrawal disputes.Marrying up the DS2 DVRs with RAID units at every NBK branch, also facilitated the effective monitoring of each location including the in-branch ATMs not covered by the DV-IP ATMs. With, in this case, the cameras in the ATMs connected to the DVRs which had been specifically programmed to have the capability to associate transaction data with the appropriate video footage.The ability of both the DV-IP ATM systems and DS2 DVRs, deployed for the NBK project, to apply Dedicated Micros' TransCoding technology to record evidential quality MJPEG locally and simultaneously support low bit rate data streaming in MPEG-4 compression format for remote viewing has proved to be advantageous in keeping bandwidth demands on NBK's network to an absolute minimum. Of course local recording (including the additional capacity provided by the RAID units) has the added benefit that, even in the event of a network failure, recording is not interrupted or vital evidence lost. Adding-Up the Benefits  NetVu connected solution from Dedicated Micros has enabled National Bank of Kuwait to monitor all the branches Reflecting on the success of the project to date, a spokesperson for the Engineering Services Division, NBK, commented: "The NetVu Connected solution from Dedicated Micros we have adopted has given us the opportunity, for the first time, to monitor all of our branches remotely 24/7 wherever they might be and to cover a large number of ATMs (181 at the latest count) through the ATM transactions interface. We have been very pleased with the performance of the NetVu Observer viewing software over the past four years - which we are in the process of upgrading to Pick-a-Point Icon - as it has made it extremely easy to retrieve footage and to playback recordings over the network. With numerous cases involving ATMs reported on a daily basis and, with the Dedicated Micros' solution in place, we have been able to provide recorded footage, in a timely manner, to offer proof of what has actually happened. In practice, we have found the speed that video can be delivered across the network to be extremely favourable, for management and archiving, when set against the limited bandwidth provided."The distributed architecture of the solution has also meant that even, when there has been a network issue, critical recording has been able to continue unabated. Testament to this is the fact that since the start of the project no footage has been lost in this way. A major benefit we have also seen, in terms of cost of ownership, is the fact that from an Engineering Services' point of view the DVRs have been much easier to maintain, compared to what was in place before, and we have been very impressed with the stability of the DVRs in operation with zero reported failures. Alongside this the web-based configuration for the Dedicated Micros' systems has proved to be very intuitive."Future Plans Looking ahead, Dedicated Micros is working closely with NBK to expand the capabilities of the surveillance infrastructure. One key development soon to go 'live' is the implementation of the Pick-a-Point Icon multi-site video management solution in the bank's main control room to further enhance the remote monitoring of all of the bank's geographically dispersed locations. The uplift in functionality provided by Pick-a-Point Icon's more extensive features, compared to NetVu Observer, should greatly enhance the ability of the bank's security staff to manage and control their CCTV infrastructure.     Dedicated Micros has formed many of the building blocks for the success of today's CCTV industry From the start Pick-A-Point Icon has been designed to be intuitive for operators, simplifying and speeding up image retrieval. In future, operators in the main NBK control room will be able to select cameras using Pick-A-Point Icon's enhanced GUI (Graphical User Interface) via multiple map screens and highly detailed map images, allowing them to pick a camera on-screen without having to know which digital video recorder the camera is linked to. Pick-A-Point Icon is based around a robust standalone hardware based workstation, which eliminates the reliability issues associated with PC based systems - a key consideration in the banking sector.Closed IPTV InvestmentCommented Salim Idris, General Manager (Middle East), Dedicated Micros: "As the surveillance solution moves ahead, we are delighted that National Bank of Kuwait has confirmed that it will also act as a trailblazer for the deployment of our award winning Closed IPTV 'IP Video' solution. This follows on from the successful testing of the Closed IPTV version of the SD Advanced hybrid NVR/DVR, which will now be rolled out gradually across all of the bank's extensive branch network, making NBK one of the first customers in the Middle East region for this new solution."Essentially, adopting Closed IPTV systems such as the SD Advanced - in conjunction with a Layer 3 Enhanced CCTV Switch which provides greater security for less configuration effort than a conventional managed switch - makes deploying an IP Video, CCTV system safe, secure and simple. Combining patent-pending innovation with zeroconf networking technology, Closed IPTV automatically allocates IP addresses to IP cameras by physical port. In this way the system is completely deterministic, creating firewalls and monitoring IP connections by individual network ports so they cannot be hacked or intercepted. This ground breaking solution provides a very simple and secure answer to IP Video, where no prior knowledge of IP networking is required. National Bank of Kuwait is going to adopt Dedicated Micros' HyperSense APNR cameras for its car park management A further enhancement, in the pipeline for NBK, is the adoption of Dedicated Micros' HyperSense ANPR cameras for its car park management, in this case combining an Overview and ANPR camera, with alerts triggered by car park barriers to monitor vehicles entering and leaving a location. The sophisticated HyperSense technology built in to the cameras removes ambient light from the scene leaving only the objects that strongly reflect the IR light emitted by the integrated invisible IR LED flash to be displayed. The ability to eliminate glare from vehicle headlights delivers a more distinct image for evidential purposes and the black and white ANPR camera ensures that details of the numberplate can be seen, whilst the 'overview' camera allows this to be tied-up with other details such as the colour of the vehicle.Banking on SecurityUltimately, National Bank of Kuwait, through continuing investment in the latest surveillance infrastructure from Dedicated Micros, has demonstrated a real commitment to not only be a leader in the banking services it provides but also, crucially, to back this up with the best possible levels of security for customers, staff, and physical assets such as the branch network and ATMs making NBK ideally placed to deal expeditiously with any form of criminal attack.

PAK Supermarkets welcome Dedicated Micros' CCTV of the future
PAK Supermarkets welcome Dedicated Micros' CCTV of the future

PAK Supermarkets, Europe's largest Asian supermarket chain, and a favourite for ethnic cuisine lovers across the Midlands, is benefiting from the latest NetVu Connected CCTV technology developed by Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - and installed by DM Fusion installer Security Direct. Since opening in April, PAK Supermarkets' new £7 million store, based in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, has been attracting a plethora of shoppers from as far afield as Leicester and Banbury. With a vast 80,000 sq ft of ground to cover across the store - as well as thousands of pounds being exchanged each day - it was imperative to have the very best security system in operation. Combining security and service CCTV expert Dedicated Micros has devised a pioneering Advanced Point Of Sale (APOS) interface system, which not only offers the Washwood Heath store state-of-the-art surveillance, but also acts as a pivotal cog in the store's management decisions. The Dedicated Micros CCTV system at PAK Supermarkets, when integrated with the APOS technology, allows security staff to keep an eye on any suspicious activity while also providing valuable management transaction data by integrating checkout activity with the CCTV images. Purchase information from each till is transmitted to a central control room via a hard wired TCP/IP network, which is combined with video footage from cameras at each checkout to capture the customer in action and ensure stock levels, security and spending habits are carefully monitored.   Management has access to the CCTV system via the Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software around the store With the new system, every product that goes through the till can be monitored and analysed. It gives store management the chance to see exactly what is being bought with both the till transaction and video footage being combined, not just overlaid on the video footage, but being read, and managed as part of our highly sophisticated metadata handling process. Bringing these together gives users the perfect opportunity to keep track of who is buying what and enables stores to better control and plan their own store layouts and help in developing marketing strategies. In addition to integrating point of sale data, the technology also provides a wide spectrum of security benefits beyond the scope of a more traditional installation. With a network of cameras covering inside and outside the store, the system - combined with store detectives - has rapidly become part of the daily routine at the supermarket. The Dedicated Micros system allows users to design a set-up to meet the individual needs of their business. It can be applied; for example, to trigger an alarm if a large number of £50 notes have been exchanged in the store in a short space of time at different tills. Anything from investigating fraud to clearing up customer complaints if they think they have been short-changed can be dealt with at the touch of a button, which provides an extra chance for the supermarket to deliver excellent customer service. A super-sized project West Midlands-based company, Security Direct, a DM Fusion installer, was commissioned to install the system. Surj Dhami, Managing Director of Security Direct, said: "The biggest hurdle to overcome was the sheer amount of equipment required. It is a large supermarket with a correspondingly large and complex installation so it made sense to select Dedicated Micros systems which could be readily integrated together."     The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room In total 20 2040 Dennard indoor dome cameras, a 2060 Dennard precision outdoor dome and six Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2(DS2) Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) provide the basis of the installation, including a total of 9Tb of hard disk storage capacity, as part of a sophisticated network system. In addition, 12 APOS interfaces were installed with 30 LCD monitors as part of the four-month project.   At the design stage of the project, Security Direct chose to specify Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected products, which allow images to be viewed via a TCP/IP network on any authorised PC, across the installation. 2060 Dennard domes were chosen to cover the exterior of the supermarket partly because of their resistance to vandalism, but also the ability of the cameras to operate in low light conditions. The more compact 2040 domes cover the inside of the store at tills and along the aisles. The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system. At locations around the store, management has access to the CCTV system via Dedicated Micros NetVu ObserVer software, which is installed on PCs and offers very familiar Windows-based drag and drop functionality to get the end users up to speed as quickly as possible with the new technology. In section on the shop floor Khalid Hussain, Managing Director of PAK Supermarkets, said: "This is a fantastic system that has given us exactly what we required. We wanted a solution, which not only delivers a high-spec surveillance operation, but can also be incorporated into the ongoing commercial development of our stores. It really delivers everything the retail environment needs - the perfect tool for security and customer service. We also have more control over each transaction, which we are obviously very happy with." The network of CCTV cameras capture images and transmit them back to a 24/7 manned control room. Images are viewed on dedicated monitors, with traditional joystick control of the system  The APOS system has already proved a hit at several other retail chains including Selfridges, Marks and Spencer and KFC. Khalid believes the market-leading system will become a hit with many other retailers: "It is all a matter of budget for security, but I am sure given our positive experience that more and more of the bigger retailers would be very much attracted to this system." The Dedicated Micros technology has proven so successful in helping to manage and plan stock requirements that the supermarket is now considering the introduction of loyalty cards which link directly in with the APOS interface. PAK Supermarkets has commissioned Security Direct to redevelop its surveillance - using the Dedicated Micros system - across its seven stores nationwide and a further four currently under development. Khalid said: "The idea is to ultimately have all of our supermarket CCTV systems linked up to the control room here. It will help to keep our operation centralised and much easier to maintain. "This whole set-up has made life much easier for us to keep a track of everything happening in the store and this will eventually be rolled out to our entire operation, which will no doubt ensure our security and customer service is up there with the best in the business."

Dedicated Micros CCTV surveillance solution helps to protect Canadian capital's pools, parks and historic structures
Dedicated Micros CCTV surveillance solution helps to protect Canadian capital's pools, parks and historic structures

CCTV solutions from Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - including DVRs and the latest TransVu mobile technology, are at the heart of a Proactive Audio-Video (PAV) surveillance system helping to protect the public parks, swimming pools and other areas of the Canadian capital city, Ottawa, from the safety and security issues caused by vandalism, drug use, drinking, graffiti and other inappropriate activities. Logistical challenges In Ottawa, more than 700 parks and outdoor recreation facilities are spread over an area of 2,760 square kilometres, making it difficult to patrol each location around the clock. Bob Gauvreau, Manager of Corporate Security in the Business Transformation Services Department of the City of Ottawa, was given a mandate to reduce the risk to the city. The corporate security team decided to accomplish this by establishing a cost-effective surveillance system. "We decided to start with the city's outdoor public pools," says Bob Gauvreau, Manager of the Corporate Security Division, City of Ottawa. "Swimming pools are particularly vulnerable to misbehaviour. The glass from just one broken beer bottle can shut down a pool for a day. All pool water must be drained and replaced if any harmful substance gets into it. Over the years, people have thrown everything from paint to transmission fluid into the pools. There is also a serious liability and public safety issue wherever people can hop a fence and lose their life by drowning." Proactive audio-video Gauvreau oversees a division of seven staffers who administer an integrated security management system for the city. Working cooperatively with the city's systems integrator, Sunotech Canada, Inc., Gauvreau's team developed a Proactive Audio-Video (PAV) system using motion-sensitive day/night dome cameras programmed to activate when an area is closed to the public. Any movement within a defined area triggers the motion detector, sending an alarm to the 24-hour Security Operations Centre, activating a loudspeaker, and starting a DVR recording. A real-time video feed to the city's 24-hour operations centre enables security operators to assess the situation and verify the alarm before diverting first response personnel to take action. A loudspeaker system allows security to call the site and direct the person(s) to leave the area, informing them that they are under surveillance. "Some have called this system the `Voice of God,' and you can just imagine the surprise when we tell perpetrators that they are under observation and describe their actions to them," says Gauvreau. "We say the magic words, `the police have been called,' and they quickly flee the area." PAV systems were installed at all 16 outdoor swimming pools and reduced vandalism costs by $700,000 in one year. The program was so successful at eliminating graffiti and other problems that the city decided to install PAV systems in a handful of parks and national historic sites that were the scenes of illegal or undesirable night-time activities. "The TransVu DVR permits us to receive and evaluate alarms and speak directly to perpetrators," says Bob Gauvreau, Manager of the Corporate Security Division, City of Ottawa The key challenge was how to get a real-time video feed from a DVR in a remote park location back to the 24-hour centre. This would also allow security to review recorded video images remotely, instead of travelling onsite as they did with a few pools that lacked high-speed network connections. But none of the parks locations had broadband network connections, so a creative solution was required. The system needed to be able to store locally high quality images but have the ability to transmit live or recorded data in lower bandwidth version. Dedicated Micros CCTV solution The Digital Video Recorder platforms from Dedicated Micros - including the DS2 - provided the answer. The professional, connected CCTV solutions support low-bandwidth remote network links over dial-up modems. The first property to get a Dedicated Micros' DVR unit was a period village located in a remote park at the edge of the city. A major tourist attraction during the day, the historic site had become a popular night-time hangout for youths, who engaged in illegal and dangerous activities. "Using a regular POTS phone line and a DS2 DVR, we set up a PAV system capable of sending real-time images back to headquarters," says Frank Marschall, Directeur/Director, Sunotech Canada. "Over the next six months, a total of eight Dedicated Micros' DVR units were deployed at various outdoor park facilities in the same manner." Mobile surveillance with TransVu But Gauvreau wanted to take this new Parks Protection Program even further. He envisioned a mobile unit that could be transported and placed temporarily in areas identified as potential "hotspots" for criminal activity. The key challenge in this project was the need for a rugged mobile DVR that could communicate wirelessly with the operations centre. A real-time video feed to the city's 24-hour operations centre enables security operators to assess the situation and verify the alarm Once again, Dedicated Micros delivered a solution - the TransVu Mobile DVR specifically designed for public transport applications. Fully network capable and using the TCP/IP protocol, the reliable TransVu can be accessed via wireless LAN or cellular (GSM/GPRS/CDPD) interfaces. It is capable of multiplexing and recording eight video cameras while handling two channels of audio. Operating by batteries, the mobile Proactive audio-video system includes a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera, TransVu DVR, motion detectors, audio speakers, and cellular transmission all contained in a self-sufficient trailer that can be quickly moved to a required area. The program consists of coordinating incident reports, identifying repeat or high-risk areas, and then placing the mobile unit in the park for a defined period of time. "Thanks to the TransVu DVR, the mobile unit functions just like the permanent PAV systems and permits us to receive and evaluate alarms and speak directly to perpetrators," says Gauvreau. Now that the corporate security team has had time to work with the Dedicated Micros' DVRs and TransVu units, the technical benefits have become evident. These include instant GOTO access to any time/date recording; TransCoding real-time conversion of data for efficient transmission of video; and MultiMode advanced recording technology for dynamically switchable resolution, record-rate, and compression. Dedicated Micros TransVu can be accessed via wireless LAN or cellular interfaces  Best practice benefits The success of the Parks Protection Program has attracted national and international attention. According to Gauvreau, several U.S. and Canadian cities have contacted his department to learn more about the program. Security Magazine awarded the city a Best Practice award in 2004; Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) also recognised the program with a 2007 Award of Excellence for Municipal Administration. The ability to leverage low-bandwidth connectivity via dial-up modems and wireless connectivity via cellular transmission saved the government from spending tax dollars on installing broadband lines in remote areas of the city. Fostering community Gauvreau concludes that the program has been highly successful at: "taking back our parks, by fostering a sense of security on the part of the community and encouraging their participation and presence in our parks system."