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Fibre optics, telemetry receivers, transmitters, transceivers - Expert commentary

Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action
Live-streaming mobile surveillance takes cameras to the action

Video surveillance across the world is growing exponentially and its major application is in both public safety and law enforcement. Traditionally, it has been fixed surveillance where cameras provide live streams from fixed cameras situated in what is considered strategic locations. But they are limited in what they can see given by their very definition of being "fixed." The future of video surveillance includes the deployment of more mobile video surveillance with the benefits it offers. Instead of fixed cameras, this is the ability to live stream from mobile devices on the move such as body-worn cams, drones, motorbikes, cars, helicopters and in some cases, even dogs!Sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters Advantages of mobile surveillance The advantage of mobile surveillance is that the camera can go to where the action is, rather than relying on the action going to where the camera is. Also, sending drones into the air, for example for missing people or rescue missions, is much more cost-effective than deploying helicopters. The ability to live stream video from cars and helicopters in high-speed pursuits can be used to take some of the operational issues from the first responders on the ground and share that “life and death” responsibility with the operational team leaders back in the command centre. This allows the first responders in the pursuit vehicle to focus on minimising risk while staying in close proximity of the fleeing vehicle, with direction from a higher authority who can see for themselves in real time the issues that are being experienced, and direct accordingly. In addition to showing video live stream from a pursuit car or motorcycle, by using inbuilt GPS tracking, the video can be displayed on a map in real time, allowing a command chief to better utilise additional resource and where to deploy them, through the use of displaying mapping information with real time video feed. It allows police chiefs to make better informed decisions in highly-charged environments. The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively Application in emergency situations The same is true of first responders in many different emergency situations. Mobile surveillance opens up a new area of efficiencies that previously was impossible to achieve. For example, special operations can wear action body-worn cameras when doing raids, fire departments can live stream from emergency situations with both thermal and daylight cameras, and paramedics can send video streams back to hospitals allowing doctors to remotely diagnose and prepare themselves for when patients arrive at the hospital. How can special operations and emergency first responders live stream video from a mobile camera with the issues of weight, reliability and picture-quality being considered? H265 mobile video compression Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain The 4G phone network can now be used with compressed video to live stream cost effectively. The issue of course is that 4G is not always reliable. Soliton Systems has mitigated this risk of low mobile quality in certain areas, by building an H265 mobile video compression device that can use multiple SIM cards from different cellular providers simultaneously. H265 is the latest compression technique for video, that is 50% more effective than conventional H264, and coupling this with using multiple “bonded” SIM cards provides a highly reliable connection for live-streaming high-quality HD video. The 400-gram device with an internal battery can be connected to a small action cam, and can live-stream simultaneously over at least three different cellular providers, back to a command centre. Latency is typically less than a second, and new advance improvements are looking to reduce that latency further. Encrypted video transmission What about security? Law enforcement insists on secure transmissions, and it is possible to encrypt video to the highest level of security available in the public domain, i.e. AES256.What about integration into existing video infrastructure at the command centre? It is not untypical for a police force to have an existing video management system (VMS) at their command centre such as Milestone System’s Xprotect. The Soliton range of products are ONVIF-compliant, a standard used by video surveillance cameras for interoperability, allowing cameras and video devices that are ONVIF-compliant to simply “plug&play” into existing video management systems. These mobile transmitters are deployed with law enforcement and first responders across the globe. Their ability to provide secure, full HD quality and highly-reliable video streaming within a small unit, and to enable it to be integrated into the current eco-system that is already installed at the receiving end, has made them a favourite choice with many companies and government agencies.

Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities
Why live video streaming is critical for safer and smarter cities

The term “smart city” gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but as different technologies that strive to be defined in this way are adopted by different countries globally, the meaning of this phrase gets lost in translation. The simplest way to define a “smart city” is that it is an urban area that uses different types of data collecting sensors to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the most obvious types of “data collecting sensor” is the video camera, whether that camera is part of a city’s existing CCTV infrastructure, a camera in a shopping centre or even a police car’s dash camera. The information gathered by video cameras can be used with two purposes in mind, firstly: making people’s lives more efficient, for example by managing traffic, and secondly (and arguably more importantly): making people’s lives safer. Live streaming video all the time, everywhere In the smart and safe city, traditional record-only video cameras are of limited use. Yes, they can be used to collect video which can be used for evidence after a crime has taken place, but there is no way that this technology could help divert cars away from an accident to avoid traffic building up, or prevent a crime from taking place in the first place. However, streaming live video from a camera that isn’t connected to an infrastructure via costly fibre optic cabling has proven challenging for security professionals, law enforcement and city planners alike. This is because it isn’t viable to transmit video reliably over cellular networks, in contrast to simply receiving it. Video transmission challenges Transmitting video normally results in freezing and buffering issues which can hinder efforts to fight crime and enable flow within a city, as these services require real-time, zero latency video without delays. Therefore, special technology is required that copes with poor and varying bandwidths to allow a real-time view of any scene where cameras are present to support immediate decision making and smart city processes. The information gatheredby video cameras can beused to make people’s lives more efficient, and to make people’s lives safer There are many approaches to transmitting video over cellular. We’ve developed a specialist codec (encoding and decoding algorithm) that can provide secure and reliable video over ultra-low bandwidths and can therefore cope when networks become constrained. Another technique, which is particularly useful if streaming video from police body worn cameras or dash cams that move around, is to create a local wireless “bubble” at the scene, using Wi-Fi or mesh radio systems to provide local high-bandwidth communications that can communicate with a central location via cellular or even satellite communications. Enhanced city surveillance Live video streaming within the smart and safe city’s infrastructure means that video’s capabilities can go beyond simple evidence recording and evolve into a tool that allows operations teams to monitor and remediate against incidents as they are happening. This can be taken one step further with the deployment of facial recognition via live streaming video. Facial recognition technology can be added on to any video surveillance camera that is recording at a high enough quality to identify faces. The technology works by capturing video, streaming the live video back to a control centre and matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns. Importantly, the data of people who aren’t on watch lists is not stored by the technology. Identifying known criminals This technology can work to make the city safer in a number of ways. For example, facial recognition could spot a known drug dealer in a city centre where they weren’t supposed to be, or facial recognition could identify if a group of known terror suspects were visiting the same location at the same time, and this would send an alert to the police. Facial recognition technology captures and streams live back to a control centre, matching faces against any watch lists that the control centre owns In an ideal world where the police had an automated, electronic workflow, the police officer nearest to the location of the incident would be identified by GPS and would be told by the control room where to go and what to do. Most police forces aren’t quite at this technological level yet, and would probably rely on communicating via radio in order to send the nearest response team to the scene. As well as this, shopping centres could create a database from analogue records of known shoplifters to identify criminals as soon as they entered the building. This would be even more effective if run co-operatively between all shopping centres and local businesses in an area, and would not only catch any known shoplifters acting suspiciously, but would act as a deterrent from shoplifting in the first place. Live streaming for police As mentioned above, live streaming video from CCTV cameras can help the police fight crime more proactively rather than reactively. This can be enhanced even further if combined with live streaming video from police car dash cams and police body worn cameras. If video was streamed from all of these sources to a central HQ, such as a police operations centre, the force would be able to have full situational awareness throughout an incident. This would mean that, if need be, officers could be advised on the best course of action, and additional police or other emergency services could be deployed instantly if needed. Incorporated with facial recognition, this would also mean that police could instantly identify if they were dealing with known criminals or terrorists. Whilst they would still have to confirm the identity of the person with questioning or by checking their identification, this is still more streamlined than describing what a person looks like over a radio and then ops trying to manually identify if the person is on a watch list. The smart, safe city is possible today – for one, if live video streaming capabilities are deployed they can enable new levels of flow in the city. With the addition of facial recognition, cities will be safer than ever before and law enforcement and security teams will be able to proactively stop crime before it happens by deterring criminal activity from taking place at all.

Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment
Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment

In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive approach to risk mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 and beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond.  Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating security integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.

Latest IDIS news

IDIS brings Solution Suite (ISS) version 3.5 with increased situational awareness and response
IDIS brings Solution Suite (ISS) version 3.5 with increased situational awareness and response

IDIS has released IDIS Solution Suite (ISS) version 3.5, its most powerful enterprise-class VMS yet. New features and service modules are designed around increased situational awareness, efficient response coordination, and sped-up investigations. A new Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) service enables seamless and stable video and voice relay to third-party devices and software without an SDK or API, increasing system flexibility and helping security teams coordinate responses to threats and incidents. Real-time monitoring Improving real-time monitoring, text-to-speech allows operators to pre-set verbal multi-lingual notifications to pre-determined events. Operatives can now also benefit from real-time pop-ups based on the GPS location of a triggered alarm, providing enhanced wide-area awareness from cameras ranging from a 10 to 100 kilometre radius. ISS v3.5 also includes instant synchronised playback, which presents operators with precisely time-synched screen views of video streams across single or multiple sites, removing the need for manual configuration, and reducing stress and complexity for operators, particularly during time-critical investigations. And the new Event Notification Center enables centralised control of multiple audio devices, giving security teams mass-and targeted-communications capabilities, which can help them to pre-empt security or safety breaches, or to issue warnings in the event of an emergency. Enterprise-class streaming IDIS person match speeds up investigations by extracting a person’s characteristics from multiple stream IDIS person match speeds up investigations by extracting a person’s characteristics from multiple streams to present a clear timeline of events and last known locations. All the new features work in harmony with enterprise-class streaming, recording, and administration functionality, and come with a fair pricing structure - no annual licence fees or OPEX burden - to make ISS significantly more affordable than traditional enterprise video management software. As a result, IDIS Solution Suite continues to cut annual costs for customers, making advanced video management available to more users, including medium-sized organisations and those with single sites. A modular solution, it allows users to choose the right service modules to meet their unique security, operational and compliance needs, meaning customers never pay for functionality they don’t use. Multi-layered failover The choice of modules includes federated architecture to manage an unlimited number of devices and sites using centralised and local command and control; multi-layered failover and redundancy offering protection against a range of fault conditions; video wall multi-stream management, and highly accurate IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA). “With our latest version of IDIS Solution Suite, we are making it easier than ever for users to manage an unlimited number of devices and sites, giving them enterprise-performance without the usual associated price tag or ongoing lifecycle costs,” says Andrew Myung, President, IDIS America.

IDIS provides dome cameras and network video records to enhance security at Canterbury Cathedral
IDIS provides dome cameras and network video records to enhance security at Canterbury Cathedral

IDIS end-to-end video is protecting a new, purpose-built visitor centre at Canterbury Cathedral, part of a $34 million renovation project transforming one of the UK’s most important UNESCO Heritage sites. The seven-year program, preserving and safeguarding the fifteen-centuries-old masterpiece of English Gothic architecture – and mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion - includes the addition of a new, purpose-built welcome centre for visitors. The centre, housing retail facilities, a viewing gallery, and community studio exhibition space, is protected with a best-in-class video solution which combines discrete monitoring with high-performance image capture. Real time monitoring Specialist systems integrator Hall & Kay Security Engineering was tasked with delivering a solution that would be affordable, easy-to-use, and allow for comprehensive real time monitoring, while ensuring reliable recording without data loss. And because this was part of a much wider project, the video technology also had to be fast and easy to install – essential for avoiding project overruns in this complex, multidisciplinary construction environment, and preventing any delays to the new welcome centre’s opening. This IDIS Korean-made tech also gives Canterbury assurance of trusted manufacturing origin Based on previous experience, Hall & Kay had no hesitation recommending IDIS end-to-end tech, incorporating cameras, recorders VMS, and essential peripherals. This IDIS Korean-made tech also gives Canterbury assurance of trusted manufacturing origin and high-level cybersecurity protection, with its inherent, multi-layered encryptions and proprietary protocols to safeguard sensitive video data. Variable lighting conditions To give high-definition video coverage of the Welcome Centre’s entrances, retail area and exhibition spaces, Hall & Kay installed IDIS Full HD DC-4223WRX IR dome cameras. These vandal-resistant models come equipped with varifocal lenses, true WDR and IR LED to deliver crisp, clear images even in challenging and variable lighting conditions. They connect to three 16-channel DD-1216 NVRs to handle recording and deliver 480ips live view with no visible latency. Easy plug-and-play allowed for seamless and rapid connectivity and mutual two-factor authentication of devices streamlined cybersecurity measures, the cornerstone of IDIS DirectIP® solutions. Specific user permissions The IDIS cameras, NVRs and VMS discretely blend with the centre’s architecture The licence-free IDIS Centre VMS gives the cathedral Constable and his security team complete visual awareness and easy control tools for efficient management, plus the ability to configure specific user permissions to give senior staff and system administrators timely access to video footage. The IDIS cameras, NVRs and VMS discretely blend with the centre’s architecture without detracting from the visitor experience, while providing effective real-time monitoring. “The solution is now protecting property, enhancing safety for visitors and staff, and providing a complete record of events at one of the UK’s busiest and most important heritage sites,” says David Stokes, Divisional Director, Hall & Kay Security Engineering. Compelling business case “The IDIS end-to-end solution allowed us to present this important customer with a compelling business case, with no up-front or ongoing licencing fees, extended warranties and a low total cost of ownership. The solution is also highly flexible and scalable, thanks to long-term hardware support and forward- and backward-compatibility, which future-proofs the cathedra’s investment.” “The choice of IDIS video for this most sensitive of sites is testament to the reliability, quality and cybersecurity of our Korean-made tech,” adds Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director, IDIS Europe. “This is just one of many projects we are working on with Hall & Kay in-line with the IDIS philosophy of building sustainable strategic partnerships with integrators and end user customers.”

IDIS extends choice of NDAA-compliant cameras with high-definition launches
IDIS extends choice of NDAA-compliant cameras with high-definition launches

An extended range of HD and UHD video cameras from IDIS gives systems integrators and their end-user customer's affordable alternatives for NDAA-compliant video. The NDAA line-up now includes a range of 2MP, 5MP, and 8MP camera models, which are ideal for applications of any size from small to medium sites such as retail outlets, hotels, local government facilities, and offices through to enterprise users such as utilities, school, and university campuses, logistics, and large commercial buildings. Those sites needing ultra-high-definition (UHD) coverage will benefit especially from the 8MP models which deliver sharp image capture even in low light conditions. Plug-and-play connection The new lineup gives the benefits of IDIS’s signature DirectIP® plug-and-play connection to a choice of NVRs or servers and comes with IR, True WDR, IDIS Smart Failover, and alarm in/out, with options for two-way audio and vandal resistance. IDIS’s Korean-made cameras assure fast, seamless installation and low maintenance IDIS’s Korean-made cameras also assure fast, seamless installation and low maintenance, extended warranties, and a choice of license-free IDIS Centre for up to 1024 devices or the modular and scalable IDIS Solution Suite, which combine to give users a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). NDAA compliant technology For the growing number of projects which now require compliance with section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorisation Act, IDIS offers a safe choice and an alternative project route. The stringent requirements of the NDAA together with growing concerns about the manufacturing origin of video equipment are already starting to influence applications more widely, not just in the U.S. but in developed markets including Europe, the Middle East, Australasia, and parts of Asia. As Korea’s largest in-country video manufacturer with a track record of installations globally – from mission-critical sites to small businesses – IDIS promises to provide one of the most proven, dependable tech migration routes. IDIS video technology is a safe choice IDIS gives the assurance of Korean design and manufacturing, multi-layered cyber security protection “We are still seeing the problem of ghost-branding and hidden supply chains making it confusing for systems integrators who are trying to locate the best NDAA-compliant tech,” says James Min, Managing Director, IDIS Europe. “Leading manufacturers are still using OEM products or components from prohibited suppliers, and this is not always obvious.” He added that IDIS gives the assurance of Korean design and manufacturing, industry-leading warranties, multi-layered cyber security protection, inherent failover, and respect for international licenses and regulations. “This means that for many video projects such as those deployed at multi-national companies, and increasingly medium-sized companies with US connections or those with plans to expand into the U.S. market - IDIS video technology is now among the safest choices.”