Understanding the security needs of small shops
Understanding the security needs of small shops

Complete solutions for small businesses using Advantage Line products from BoschFollowing on from our last article on security for small shops, we look at how Advantage Line products from Bosch fulfill all the surveillance needs of small offices. Choose between familiar analogue solutions or increasingly popular network IP solutioncs. A secure small office.For small offices, it's important for staff to feel safe and to keep a watch out for people pretending to be genuine visitors. Security starts in the parking area of the office. This can be guarded by one or two infrared dome cameras or IP 200 Series infrared bullet cameras, ideal for helping spot any suspicious activity. Here, cameras with Day/Night capability ensure the best quality, round-the-clock surveillance. An additional infrared dome camera can be fitted outside the entrance door to observe visitors, with a monitor at the reception desk to identify guests.Inside the office at the reception area, a discreet dome color camera keeps an unobtrusive eye on the comings and goings of visitors. Alternatively, a fixed-body camera can be used as more of a deterrent, making it more obvious that surveillance is installed on the premises. To heighten the deterrent factor further, a 19" confrontational monitor adds an obvious statement.Enhancing overall securitySmall offices often have an area between entrance and reception that is open to the public, where people can sit or stand while waiting for an appointment. Here, one or more ceiling-mounted overview cameras greatly enhance overall security. Again dome or fixed-body color cameras can be used depending on personal choice.A video recorder, such as the Bosch 600 Series makes the perfect system manager for an analog system. It displays playback and recorded video from up to 16 cameras at a single location, and can even stream live video over the internet to a device such as a smartphone. If the system uses IP cameras, video recording can be made to central storage on a network attached storage (NAS) device. Recordings can also be safeguarded by taking advantage of the IP cameras' internal SD-card capability, capturing video directly on the camera. Cameras can also be linked to a PC using Bosch Video Client, which is supplied free for systems with up to 16 cameras.Optimal security on a limited budgetAdvantage Line is ideal for businesses looking for optimal security on a limited budget. Delivering professional performance at an affordable price, the products offer the trusted Bosch quality and reliability. And they also deliver outstanding image quality. They are designed to satisfy the demands of both installers and customers of smaller security installations, combining ease-of-installation and ease-of-use with just the right amount of features.

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Bosch recording Station Appliance
Bosch recording Station Appliance

It combines network video recorder (NVR) server, storage array, client workstation and integrated video management software in a ready-to-go ‘system in a box’. Installation, set-up and operation are so simple that no certification or special training is required. High performance, minimal storage costs With real-time recording of SD (Standard Definition), HD (High Definition) and Megapixel video sources at resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 (3 MP), the BRS Appliance delivers superb image clarity and detail. It supports a variety of compression technologies including H.264 Main Profile, ensuring high performance while keeping storage costs low. Centralised system management The BRS Appliance interfaces with a variety of your security and building management systems including fire and access panels, ATM and POS terminals, and number plate capture and video content analysis solutions. It provides quick and easy access to information from anywhere in the network, even over remote, low bandwidth WAN connections. A convenient, scalable and user-friendly interface allows various locations to be monitored simultaneously. Secure connections For high security installations, the BRS Appliance has several features that make it ideal. They include an automatic log-off, with a configurable time interval of inactivity, to increase protection against unauthorized access. Also, two different pre- and post-alarm recording times can be set for each camera, while audio can be configured by event. Extending potential The BRS Appliance is fully compatible with our DiBos recording solution, enabling you to easily extend existing systems to support Bosch H.264 SD and HD IP cameras – providing a future-proof migration path. To ensure you find a solution that fits your needs several models are available, including both stand-alone ‘all-in-one’ and rack-mounted server units. Key applications Banks Retail Schools Fuelling stations

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Affordable video solutions for popular applications
Affordable video solutions for popular applications

From the Bosch small business portfolio of professional CCTV productsMany small applications - such as shops and retail stores, pharmacies, gas stations, schools and small offices - often lack CCTV systems of sufficient quality for reliable surveillance. Not so with Bosch small business products. Covering analogue, IP network and HD (High Definition) systems, they offer great value for money, with professional performance and great imaging quality at very competitive prices.Typical small analogue video solutionProviding extensive flexibility, an analogue solution could combine WZ Series integrated infrared (IR) dome and bullet cameras, Indoor MiniDomes and our Video Recorder 400 Series. Making perfect standalone, non-networked systems, our analogue products ensure excellent image quality in difficult lighting, and are great for new installations or when complementing existing analogue components.Typical small IP video solutionFor anyone wanting to go digital with small network systems, the Bosch IP 200 Series cameras are an obvious choice, with lots of different models to cover a wide range of applications / locations. Options include indoor fixed-body, dome and IR dome models and outdoor IR bullet camera. Bosch network video systems offer superior convenience, cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency. Using local area networks or even the Internet, they provide extra control over CCTV systems with improved ease of operation and centralised management.Typical small HD video solutionIdeal for new installations, an example small HD video solution could comprise fixed-body and dome high definition cameras from the Bosch IP 200 Series. These cameras are perfect for applications requiring fine detail and for people preferring the coverage offered by the widescreen image format. To ensure true HD imaging, each component is specifically designed for HD technology - HD-optimised from scene to screen.Now everyone can afford the bestBosch small business solutions carry the same high quality and reliability as any product in the Bosch portfolio, as the standard 3-year warranty guarantees. Installation, set-up and operation are all easy and, with minimal servicing, time and costs are kept to a minimum. Also, as they are available at local distributors, choosing the right-fit solution has never been easier.With such a comprehensive offering of cameras, video management options and accessories, there's a Bosch small business solution to fit virtually any application - at an affordable price.  

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Digital video recorders (DVRs) - Expert commentary

ONVIF Profile T and H.265: the evolution of video compression
ONVIF Profile T and H.265: the evolution of video compression

In today’s market, efficient use of bandwidth and storage is an essential part of maintaining an effective video surveillance system. A video management system’s ability to provide analysis, real time event notifications and crucial image detail is only as a good as the speed and bandwidth of a surveillance network. In the physical security industry, H.264 is the video compression format used by most companies. Some companies also employ H.264 enhancements to compress areas of an image that are irrelevant to the user at a higher ratio within a video stream in order to preserve image quality for more important details like faces, license plates or buildings. The H.265, H.264’s successor, will be increasingly used for compression in the future. Some companies are already using H.265 in their cameras and video management systems, while a host of other manufacturers are certainly preparing for its broader adoption in the years to come. Video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies Reduced bandwidth and storage requirements are the primary benefits of video compression technologies. In some cases, H.265 can double the data compression ratio of H.264, while retaining the same quality. Increased compression rate translates into decreased storage requirements on hard drives, less bandwidth usage and fewer switches – all of which reduce overall costs of system ownership. H.265 compression delivers a lower bitrate than H.264, which is relevant to end users and integrators because the lower bitrate reduces strain on hardware and can reduce playback issues. It’s very important that the compression format that is used is supported in all of the different components of a system: cameras, desktop computers on which the VMS is running and the VMS itself. It is also good for end users and integrators to understand the basics of video compression. Having a basic understanding of compression allows users to tweak settings to reduce bandwidth usage even more. Many cameras come with default settings that can be changed to ultimately reduce costs. ONVIF physical security In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 but is not directly involved in developing the compression standards themselves. With Profile T, the new ONVIF video profile released will employ a new media service that is compression agnostic. This means that it can support new video compression formats, including H.265, as well as new audio compression formats, with the ability to include new video and audio codecs as needed in the future without having to redesign its media service. In the physical security industry, ONVIF is working to incorporate into its specifications the use of new formats such as H.265 Standardisation organisations that are directly addressing new compression standards include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and a joint commission of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is addressing the coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information. Other compression formats on par with H.264 and H.265 are being developed by companies such as Google. H.265 compression formats Using products that employ H.265 compression will reduce costs through bandwidth reduction, as will changing default settings on cameras, which are often conservative. Having a basic understanding of compression formats and how to tweak camera factory default settings also gives integrators the ability to further reduce bandwidth for added costs savings and increased system performance. These enhancements will analyse which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly It is also worth noting that H.265 enhancements will likely be developed by camera manufacturers to further reduce bandwidth, as was the case with H.264. These enhancements will analyze which parts of an image are most important and adjust local levels of compressions accordingly. While H.265 itself is ready for prime time, its value as a tool for IP-based surveillance systems is dependent on support for the codec in all parts of the system – the VMS, server hardware, graphics cards and camera. Though widespread H.265 adoption is predicted, providers of these components are jumping on the H.265 bandwagon at different rates of speed. ONVIF is including support for H.265 in its new video profile, Profile T, because it believes it will become the most widely used compression format and ONVIF recognises the need to anticipate that migration as a future need of the industry. The new media service, which will be implemented with Profile T, will be future-proof in that when new compression formats are released in the future, ONVIF can adopt them very quickly. That flexibility will definitely help integrators.

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.

Video surveillance must modernise in storage, recording and on-demand access
Video surveillance must modernise in storage, recording and on-demand access

Dollars spent by video surveillance customers must go towards ensuring high-availability capture, storage and on-demand access to live and archived video. Reaching this goal mandates high-availability of independent components – camera, network, storage (edge, external), internet connectivity, display, all Video Management Software (VMS) components and an architecture that can take advantage of this. In this note, we focus on seeing our way through to a video surveillance architecture, that provides high availability storage, access to live and stored video content. Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure Edge recording Of all options available to store recorded video, edge recording is the only one that is unaffected by network failure. This makes edge storage a must-have. But, this has some limitations at present: Edge storage capacity is limited. Edge media has a short lifetime, rated only for thousands of hours of continuous recording. Most cameras are not secure and physical damage to the camera could lead to catastrophic loss of edge stored content. As storage and compression technology evolve, the constraints imposed by (1) and (2) could go away. However, securing cameras will continue to be a barrier for most installations. Secure external storage It is thus imperative to also store video in secure external storage. Such an architecture uses edge storage to fill in content gaps created by network, external storage outages. As edge storage technology improves, larger gaps can be filled in, but one will always need external storage. By our definition, ‘external storage’ is a solution stack that includes storage media and all software (including VMS) that provide access to this storage. Access to live and archived video Access to live video can either be met by external storage or directly by the camera Every surveillance solution needs to provide access to live and archived video. Access to live video can either be met by external storage or (and) directly by the camera. All things being equal, having the camera directly provide live video access, is a higher-availability solution. There is dependence on fewer components in the chain. Solutions in the market use one of the above two approaches for access to live video. Due to limited capacity and low physical security of edge storage, it makes sense at present, to have external storage meet all requests for archive video. Thus, we are led to an architecture that has heavy dependence on external storage. Dual-recording For high-availability, external storage must be architected with redundancy. Ideally, independent components that make up external storage – storage media, associated hardware and software (including VMS components), should be individually redundant and have smart interconnectivity. However, solutions in the market rigidly tie these components together. Failure of a single component causes failure of external storage. For e.g. hardware failure of a server causes VMS component failure AND storage failure. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage For these solutions in the market, high-availability is achieved by having additional external storage units that step-in during outages of primary units. If these additional units continuously duplicate primary units, access gaps are minimised, and archive access is un-affected during primary unit outages. This is the idea behind Dual-Recording (DR).  To meet cost budgets, these additional units can be configured to store subsampled (framerate, resolution) video content. A small number of additional units can support concurrent outages of all primary units. A few-to-many redundancy. Rising need for dual-recording Most cameras cannot be physically secured, and video content produced by a camera must be stored externally. Many VMS solutions use external storage to service live video access requests. Edge storage limitations impose restrictions on edge archive access at present. So, external storage is used to service requests for archive access too. Thus, a surveillance system ends up being over-dependent on external storage. DR provides a smart way to provide high-availability for external storage. As edge storage improves, it will be able to service archive access requests. VMS software will need to evolve, to use this capability smartly.