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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 suggests users to use their fingerprint algorithm to protect the integrity of the recorded video
IDIS suggests users to use their fingerprint algorithm to protect the integrity of the recorded video

Growing concern about deep-fake videos will make it increasingly important to be able to demonstrate the integrity of video evidence, warns South Korea’s largest in-country video tech manufacturer IDIS. Rapid advances in digital video manipulation techniques, and a rise in alleged deep-fake celebrity videos being reported in the news, will put pressure on both video tech users and on prosecutors to demonstrate the integrity of any footage they use. Internal disciplinary proceedings “As we look ahead, wherever video is presented for use as legal evidence, or as part of internal disciplinary proceedings, we will see more attempts to assert that footage is not genuine. Courts will dismiss evidence where tampering cannot be ruled out,” says Dr. Peter Kim, Global Technical Consultant, IDIS. It will be vital that users can demonstrate beyond doubt that their footage has not been tampered" “Any challenge to the integrity of video evidence, if not countered, risks undermining the value of the entire video solution. This is particularly true in applications where investigating and prosecuting wrongdoing is a key function of the camera system. So, it will be vital that users can demonstrate beyond doubt that their footage has not been tampered with in any way.” IDIS, which supplies complete, end-to-end video solutions for applications ranging from high-risk critical infrastructure to commercial settings, has created protection of video footage integrity through its patented Chained Fingerprint™ algorithm. Exported video data IDIS recorders use Chained Fingerprint to ensure the integrity of the recorded and exported video data. Each frame is assigned a unique numerical ‘fingerprint’, calculated by relating its own pixel value to the fingerprint of the previous frame. This means that every single image frame of the video is linked by an encryption ‘chain’ with its neighbouring image frames. The encrypted chain is stored as part of the video data when the video is recorded or exported as a video clip using the IDIS ClipPlayer. Before playback, the ClipPlayer scans video and recalculates the fingerprint chains of the video data. If any part of the image frame is tampered with, the fingerprint chain will be broken and will not match the chain value calculated at the time of video export, prompting a flag. “As organisations look to upgrade or invest in new video solutions, protecting themselves against claims of video evidence tampering should be high on their priority list,” Kim adds.

IDIS contributes to major customer achievements in a hotly contested year for awards
IDIS contributes to major customer achievements in a hotly contested year for awards

IDIS features twice in the 2021 OSPA security awards, with shortlisting in two key categories: Outstanding Security Equipment Manufacturer and Outstanding In House M anager. Following a highly competitive selection round, the finalists have been praised by the organisers for making a significant impact at the highest level within the industry. “The OSPAs are growing year on year and really have become the ultimate accolade for everyone working in security, whether a buyer or supplier,” says founder of the OSPAs, Professor Martin Gill, describing the 2021 awards as a bumper year. “With such stiff competition, I can honestly say that every finalist is a winner.” High performance surveillance IDIS’s shortlisting as manufacturer of the year recognises the company’s commitment to delivering affordable, end-to-end video solutions that give end-users and systems integrators everything they need for trouble-free, high performance surveillance. Judges noted that IDIS continues to innovate, developing advanced deep learning analytics, powerful mobile tools, and practical solutions to help customers face emerging challenges, including operating during pandemic conditions, and preparing for the future beyond. And pioneering use of IDIS video tech is recognised in a second award category, with Tracey Edwards of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust being shortlisted as manager of the year. Her work, and her use of IDIS video tech, has helped improve care outcomes for children and young people with complex mental health needs. Improve clinical standards IDIS has been partnering with several leading systems integrators to deliver these projects An ambitious programme of video infrastructure upgrades across the Trust’s facilities, using end-to-end solutions from IDIS, began in 2018. The series of projects included both new builds and refurbishments. By ensuring that a complete, high-definition video record of events could be reliably stored and easily searchable, incident investigations were made easier, and that has helped to improve clinical standards. IDIS has been partnering with several leading systems integrators to deliver these projects, companies including Galeco, ISD Tech, and Triple Star Fire & Security. The completed end-to-end solutions have included 12MP fisheye cameras, full HD IR domes, and failover-protected, cyber secure storage. As a result, comprehensive area recording has transformed surveillance - with no events missed and no blind-spots - without the cost of 24/7 live monitoring. Best surveillance solutions Tracey Edwards’ OSPA nomination comes hot on the heels of her being named as Security Manager of the Year in the Security & Fire Excellence Awards. Both accolades also recognise her voluntary contributions to the wider field of mental healthcare security, and her efforts to improve understanding of mental healthcare issues with various police forces. Jamie Barnfield, Sales Director, IDIS Europe, welcomed the latest OSPAs recognition: “IDIS and our integration partners are working hard to deliver the most effective and best value surveillance solutions to our customers. And we are committed to the long-term success of all our projects and to providing the highest standards of ongoing support.”

IDIS to extend secure mobile communication and IoT capability with the acquisition of KT Powertel
IDIS to extend secure mobile communication and IoT capability with the acquisition of KT Powertel

IDIS, South Korea’s largest in-country video security technology manufacturer, has acquired a controlling (44.84%) stake in KT Powertel, the radio communications subsidiary of telecoms giant KT Corp. The move will strengthen IDIS’s offering in the security and safety sectors, with customers to benefit from powerful push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) communications solutions, and an emerging generation of advanced safety and security systems encompassing a range of IoT devices. KT Powertel has been leading the development of LTE broadband wireless radio technologies in Korea’s renowned domestic market. The acquisition will now enable IDIS to capitalise on this expertise in South East Asia and expand its capabilities globally. The move will strengthen the company’s position as a provider of complete, end-to-end video solutions that are easier to install and that offer true flexibility and ease-of-use, and deliver on the promise of low total cost of ownership. Advanced video applications  “In Korea’s highly competitive and advanced home market KT Powertel has been a mobile communications leader for over 35 years, with more subscribers nationally than any other provider, delivering consistently strong sales and profits,” says IDIS, Chief Executive Officer, Y.D. Kim. KT Powertel developed one the world’s first blind spot-free LTE radio services, Power Talk, and PoC communications solutions. PoC radios support advanced functions including instant group calling, messaging, GPS location tracking, and emergency notifications. This, combined with LTE cellular networks, provides the bandwidth necessary for advanced video and data applications. Video surveillance solutions The move will further boost IDIS’s R&D capabilities in crucial growth areas including IoT KT Powertel’s depth of expertise in communications technology aligns well with IDIS’s focus on video surveillance and analytics solutions operated through a choice of video management systems and controlled via authorised access to client software or mobile applications. The acquisition, from KT Corp, will strengthen IDIS’s position in key markets including critical infrastructure applications, and both government and commercial sectors. The move will further boost IDIS’s R&D capabilities in crucial growth areas including IoT. Recent analysis estimates that the number of businesses using IoT technologies has risen from 13% in 2014 to around 25% today, with rapid acceleration now expected. Growth will be driven by the introduction of new and more capable sensors, more computing power, and more reliable mobile connectivity. IoT and wireless technology As sensor technology becomes more powerful and affordable, it will become easier to expand and adapt security systems with a growing toolkit of remote add-on devices. “As we look forward, video solutions will need to be increasingly convenient for customers to use on the move, and they’ll need to be more flexible to install and extend with IoT and wireless technology. In all these specialisms, IDIS’s acquisition of KT Powertel will extend its expertise as it develops leading-edge solutions to increase security and safety in a range of applications,” added Mr. Kim.