Round table contributions
Video systems today offer more capabilities than ever. Consequently, the systems can be used in new ways. For a variety of reasons, however, many customers don’t take full advantage of the capabilities of their video systems and therefore are leaving value on the table. Education and training are tools to alleviate the situation, but the first step is to identify the new ways that video can be used. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How do customers under-utilise their video systems, and what should they do differently?
Some Expert Panel Roundtable topics are more challenging than others. Occasionally a question will “stump” the panel – i.e., no one will choose to answer it. Other times, only one or two panellists will step forward to answer a question. One comment does not a “panel” make. Taken together, however, these varied comments offer their own range of insights into the evolving physical security market. Let’s look at some of these assorted Expert Panel comments over the last several months. Better to post them here than have them lost to posterity!
A clear image is the desired end-result of video systems – or is it? In a growing number of applications, it’s not the image itself, but rather what information can be gained from the image, that is most important. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable to comment on some of the ways information from video is valuable to end users. Specifically, we asked: In what applications does information derived from video images provide more value than the images themselves?
Higher pixel count is better. It’s a basic tenet of the video surveillance market, or at least it is the implication as manufacturers continue to tout their latest products offering ever-higher pixel counts. But the reality is more nuanced, as our Expert Panel Roundtable panelists explain this week. Pixel count shouldn’t be seen as an end unto itself, but rather as a factor in determining what camera is applicable to which application. Pixel count is just one factor of several to consider, and the needs of the application must rule all decisions. We asked this week’s panel: How many megapixels are enough? At what point does additional resolution not matter, or not make economic sense?
We have all heard the sales pitch: Use of megapixel cameras lowers the camera count needed to provide adequate video coverage, thus making the overall system less expensive. Use of fewer cameras equates to less infrastructure, bandwidth and storage, according to the claims, and megapixel cameras provide enough detail that you don’t miss anything using fewer cameras. It’s a compelling pitch, but one that has sometimes been questioned in the market. To look beyond the marketing hype, we asked our Expert Panel: How effectively can megapixel cameras take the place of multiple standard-resolution cameras? Has the ability of megapixel technology to lower the required camera count been overstated (or oversold) in the market? Some of the answers may surprise you.
The crystal clear images provided by new 4K cameras have attracted a lot of attention at recent industry trade shows in the security market. But the improved video resolution comes at a price. The cameras are more expensive, and the systems to support them – more bandwidth, more storage – portend even more expense. There have been higher-resolution cameras on the market for years, of course, but an advantage of 4K security cameras is that they represent a standard that could be applied industry-wide, much as HD has recently led a transition from standard (VGA) resolution. We asked our Expert Panellists: Is HD still the standard of resolution in the video market? For how much longer?
The evolution of IP video has placed a lot of attention on the resolution of video, as measured in the growing number of pixels in a frame. But another variable, receiving less attention, is the number of frames captured per minute (fps). We inherited the idea of “full-frame-rate” video from the analogue world, but increasing numbers of pixels (and more data!) have sometimes led to use of slower frame rates. We asked our Expert Panel: What is the value of “full-frame-rate” video? Absent specific compliance requirements, what might suffice as an acceptable frame rate (i.e., less than 30 frames per second [NTSC] or 25 frames per second [PAL])?
Information overload. That's how tradeshows can seem. You're being fed lots of information by several different people in a short amount of time. It can all be very overwhelming. So what do you do? It's relatively easy to create a plan for smaller shows. But with larger events such as Security Essen, IFSEC and ASIS, it's far easier to become overwhelmed by the amount of choices and options. With Essen and ASIS just behind us, we asked some of our panellists to reflect on these and previous tradeshows and share their tips and advice on how to get the most out of such large-scale events.
How often have you been caught in the midst of animated chatter and swept up in the anticipation of "the next big thing in X", only to look back and think it was all overhyped? It happens everywhere and with everything, from pop culture films and new budding artists, to aspects in professional industries such as new consumer products and technology. The security industry certainly has its share of overhyped technology. We asked some of our Panellists on their thoughts on what security technologies they think have been the most overhyped in the last five years. Let's take a look at what some of them had to say.
AMAG Technology, a provider of unified solutions that help organisations mitigate risk, releases Symmetry Control Room V4.5. Symmetry Control Room V4.5 is an open architecture command and control platform that unifies security. It brings together multiple, disparate systems into a single, personalised user interface which improves response time and security management. “The newest version of Symmetry Control Room offers many feature enhancements to simplify the security process while delivering more value to the user,” said AMAG Technology, Senior Product Manager, Jim Murray. “Control Room brings security together.” Controlling door access Symmetry Control Room V4.5 features a new Video Overlay to control and navigate the system directly Symmetry Control Room V4.5 features a new Video Overlay to control and navigate the system directly from within a camera view. The new Video Overlay option allows for symbols or objects to be placed directly onto the foreground layer of a camera video stream. For example, add Video Overlay objects as user selectable buttons to a camera’s view to connect to a nearby intercom, control door access, and switch to an adjacent camera while tracking an individual. The operator is able to monitor, control and track directly from within the camera view while keeping focus on the object of interest. Creating customised dropdown The Camera Lasso tool is a new feature that now allows for a quick display and/or control of devices within a selected area on a graphic or map, improving efficiency and response time. Users can quickly lasso or select a group of cameras, doors or intercoms, for example, and control those devices. Localise devices or objects with the ability to add GPS coordinates to any high resolution map as a background layer, allowing users to quickly locate or position devices within the map by geolocation. With Control Room V4.5, users now have the added flexibility to create customised dropdown menus and submenus to support desired actions. For example, create a ‘video replay’ command menu with submenu to go back one, two, or five minutes. Customise the time based on a company’s needs. To provide ease of use, Control Room V4.5 configuration updates with graphics or scripts are now reflected dynamically, eliminating the need to restart the client software to see the updates.
AMAG Technology, global provider of unified solutions that help organisations mitigate risk, introduces its Symmetry GUEST visitor management family of interactive touch screen kiosks. Symmetry GUEST kiosks Symmetry GUEST improves the visitor experience by automating all processes associated with the lifecycle of a visitor, streamlining the journey through the reception area, enforcing compliance and reducing operating costs. Eliminate paper logbooks and create an audit trail to properly manage visitors. Kiosk setup is fast and easy as the software and hardware come pre-installed. “End users will find Symmetry GUEST Kiosks improve visitor traffic flow and are a sleek and innovative addition to their lobbies, improving first impressions while mitigating risk,” said AMAG Technology, Sr. Product Manager, Jim Murray. Visitor management system Countertop style kiosks provide options for either unfixed or fixed mounting The Symmetry GUEST Kiosks come in three main designs (Countertop, Slim Wall Mount and Freestanding) and two colors (white or black) with custom branding options to best meet your visitor check-in requirements and lobby décor. Countertop style kiosks provide options for either unfixed (portable) or fixed (secure) mounting to a receptionist desk or check-in counter for easy access. Slim Wall Mount kiosks mount flush to the wall or glass and are perfect for small lobbies or large, such as busy areas where multiple units are needed to efficiently check-in a high volume of visitors. Freestanding kiosks come with or without cabinet and printer. Custom branding options are available for all Symmetry GUEST Kiosks enabling organisations to place their visitor check-in messaging and logo on the kiosk for increased visitor engagement. AMAG Technology’s Symmetry security management solutions are deployed across a wide variety of market segments from commercial to government, education, healthcare, banking, transportation, utilities, plus many more.
AMAG Technology announces the release of Symmetry CompleteView 20/20, a video management software solution designed to operate as a stand-alone system or integrate with the Symmetry platform that includes intrusion management, access control, identity management, visitor management, incident and case management, command and control software and mobile technology to deliver a complete end-to-end security solution. Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 VMS Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 provides users with a robust video management software solution that is simple, scalable and secure" “Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 provides users with a robust video management software solution that is simple, scalable and secure,” said Jim Murray, senior product manager-video, AMAG Technology. “The dynamic feature set combined with Symmetry Access Control and Control Room, deliver an integrated solution unmatched anywhere in the industry.” With a newly designed intuitive user interface, Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 uses Dynamic Resolution Scaling (DRS) to automatically scale video transmission for both live and recorded playback streams based on viewing window size in the client for faster transmission. Operators can download and search remote video quickly, aiding in investigations. Integration with Symmetry Access Control system Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 integrates with the Symmetry Access Control system and Symmetry Control Room Command and Control software to deliver a unified security platform. The integrated solution delivers many benefits to users: Fast integration setup with bulk camera import Display live and recorded video events from Symmetry and Control Room clients Quickly search tagged video recordings Bi-directional integration No cost for camera integration licenses Search by text Graphical maps support Custom tabs provide quick navigation Supports analog, digital IP and hybrid designs Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 supports analog, digital IP and hybrid designs, and provides a seamless transition from legacy analog to IP camera support. The software integrates with leading IP camera and analytics manufacturers, transforming video into actionable intelligence to aid in the proactive detection of critical or unusual events. Users can choose from an almost limitless number of camera manufacturers to deploy in their environment. A full range of Symmetry PowerProtect NVRs come pre-installed with the Symmetry CompleteView 20/20 software.
AMAG Symmetry Security Appliance provides access control and video management in one Access control provider AMAG Technology, announces the release of a new security appliance designed specifically for smaller businesses that need security management. Introducing the Symmetry Security Appliance, a powerful all in one security device that delivers access control and video management together. Symmetry Security Appliance Designed for fast and simple deployments, the appliance supports up to 8 cameras and 16 card readers. It comes pre-installed with Symmetry Business Access Control software, Symmetry CompleteView ONE video, and Symmetry CompleteView video integration software. Measuring only four inches’ square, the appliance is quick and easy to install, and an affordable choice for organisations that require access control and video. It includes a dedicated Solid State Disk (SSD), which provides extremely fast load times for its Operating System and Applications, along with a high capacity, 2TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for reliable video recording. It also provides support for multiple High Definition displays to fully leverage the latest video display technology. “The Symmetry Security Appliance provides an easy, out of the box, complete security management solution for organisations whose requirements do not warrant a larger enterprise solution. This includes those who are looking to install their first security system or upgrade to an integrated solution,” said AMAG Technology, Senior Product Manager-Video, Jim Murray. “The appliance delivers robust unified access control and video management in a small footprint.” Easy customisation Symmetry Business Access Control manages card administration, badging, reporting and alarm monitoring. Its graphical user interface minimises training and lets you easily see an entire area or building at a glance. The ability to customise the system ensures that operator training is easy, and the flexibility of its design ensures it performs to an organisation’s exact requirements. The user friendly, intuitive Symmetry CompleteView video management software provides a comprehensive set of integrated video control features including per-camera configuration of all video streaming and recording parameters, advanced PTZ control on event, live / recorded video, and simultaneous support for multiple video formats. AMAG Technology is a security solution manufacturer specialising in access control, intrusion detection, video management, policy-based identity solutions and visitor management.
AMAG Technology announces the release of Symmetry CompleteView Video Management System version 4.5 and four new Symmetry PowerProtect NVRs. Earlier this year AMAG announced a deepened partnership with Salient Systems, Inc. where AMAG now offers Salient’s CompleteView VMS, PowerProtect NVRs and TouchView Mobile App video solutions as part of the Symmetry product line. This is the first software upgrade and NVR addition since the initial announcement in March. Symmetry CompleteView 4.5 “Symmetry CompleteView 4.5 delivers advanced capabilities such as dynamic video management tools to support and streamline complex enterprise deployments, yet remains affordable to provide a powerful standalone system for any size organisation,” said AMAG Technology, Senior Product Manager-Video, Jim Murray. Symmetry CompleteView VMS 4.5 includes a suite of software tools called Dynamic Video Management. Designed to increase efficiency and enhance the end user’s experience, the suite offers: Dynamic Resolution Scaling - DRS sizes the video stream to match the display size of the viewing client, (monitor, tablet or phone) reducing bandwidth consumption. Dynamic Video Decoding - DVD saves CPU usage by controlling server processing for camera streams based on live viewing or server motion detection settings. Dynamic Frame Throttling - DFT allows the server to monitor camera video queues balancing load and latency without affecting recorded video. Symmetry CompleteView 4.5 also offers a new Web Client that is HTTP/HTTPS capable with native H.264 live and playback support with enhanced viewing features for the ultra-fast display of video feeds. Users can view multiple cameras simultaneously from multiple Symmetry PowerProtect NVRs located throughout the globe via a single web client video matrix. The Web Client also provides cross browser support, including: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari; increasing access to the video management software from virtually anywhere on any device. It will also support multiple languages including: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Symmetry TouchView Mobile app Symmetry TouchView Mobile app’s new cross platform capability allows users to create configurations in the app and transfer them to the Web Client for use, providing flexible configuration compatibility. Users can export the web client configuration, which could contain saved video server connections, camera layouts, and video matrix window setup and quickly import it into a mobile iOS or Android mobile device. When you combine Dynamic Resolution Scaling with Symmetry TouchView Mobile apps, Symmetry CompleteView delivers the fastest call up of megapixel resolution video over remote internet connections in the industry today. Symmetry CompleteView 4.5 also supports: Http/Https capability Fisheye cameras and dewarping feature set Mac devices, including Safari browser Camera based motion detection with Symmetry, Arecont, Axis, Bosch, HikVision, Samsung, Sightlogix and VideoIQ (Avigilon) New Symmetry PowerProtect NVRs Introducing the new Symmetry PowerMicro NVR with ultra-compact chassis. The Symmetry PowerMicro NVR is powered by an Intel Core i3 series CPU with 4GB memory and a 1TB hard drive. It is the smallest form factor in the Symmetry PowerProtect platform line, and is designed to address space constrained deployments. It is perfect for desktop use, mounting under a counter or securing to a video monitor. Symmetry PowerPro-R, Symmetry Power Plus, and Symmetry PowerUltra NVRs, all two unit rack mounts, offer faster performance and more storage capacity at a reduced cost. Each NVR contains 40% - 47% higher storage capacity with up to 66TB of RAID 5 video storage. Quad NICs allow users to isolate office networks from IP camera networks for added security, setup dual NICs in tandem to boost transfer speed or set up multiple IP camera networks. Also, the Symmetry PowerPro-R’s chassis size was decreased from a 4 unit to 2 unit rack mount, increasing efficiency in installation and real-estate. AMAG Technology, a G4S company, delivers access control and video management solutions to companies of all industries and sizes. G4S provides a wide array of products and services to solve any security need.
AMAG Technology, a worldwide provider of complete end-to-end security management solutions for access control and video management, has integrated its Symmetry™ access control system with Milestone Systems’ XProtect® IP video surveillance system. The plug-in is compatible for Symmetry V7.0.1 and V8 for Business, Professional and Enterprise versions, and for Milestone XProtect® Corporate and XProtect® Enterprise 2014 versions. “In continuing our commitment to our customers, AMAG selects best-in-industry partners to align and integrate technologies to offer the best options to our end users,” said AMAG Technology, Senior Product Manager-Video, Jim Murray. “The Symmetry integration to Milestone’s XProtect video surveillance system offers end users the best of both worlds - Symmetry’s robust access control with XProtect’s powerful video surveillance. Customers demanding an advanced feature set for optimum security performance and functionality will find the integration surpasses security requirements for most markets.” “Milestone is pleased that AMAG continues to be part of the Milestone Solution Partner Program to support the AMAG Symmetry 8 integration with our XProtect 2014 release. Customers increasingly request video verification in conjunction with access control events for greater efficiency and visual documentation. When combined with other video enabled applications like analytics for loitering and people counting, or RFID asset tracking or intrusion detection, our open platform provides even broader security coverage for customers,” said Reinier Tuinzing, Strategic Alliance Manager, Americas, at Milestone Systems. The Symmetry / XProtect Corporate and Enterprise v2014 integration delivers many benefits: Ease of installation and configuration Support for Milestone XProtect status updates and events from Symmetry Support for Milestone XProtect analytic events from Symmetry View live or recorded video from Symmetry Virtual Matrix and Symmetry interactive Graphics / Mapping feature Video tagging via commands sent from the Symmetry Command Center, Trigger Commands and Scheduled Commands Video tagging for pre and post-alarms and events Video search and full playback of tagged video PTZ control of cameras using physical or virtual joystick Support for PTZ presets The Symmetry Security Management System is a solution that provides intelligent networked solutions scaled to manage access control and security management challenges from small, remote facilities to multi-national organisations around the world. Symmetry offers users the next generation of security solutions, bringing the core aspects of building security to intelligent, unified solutions. The cutting edge technology within every Symmetry installation ensures ‘tight integration’ where there is seamless multi-way communication between the various technologies all on one single platform.
The Symmetry V8 software supports the new Symmetry EN-2DBC NetworkAccess Controller AMAG Technology, a market leader in integrated access control, IP video and intrusion, recently at ASIS International announces the release of its Symmetry V8 access control software. Symmetry™ V8 software answers the customer’s need for a complete end to end security management solution. The unified security solution offers integrators and end users a solution to manage all their security functions seamlessly in one system through an intuitive user interface. Symmetry is the lowest cost, most feature rich access control and integrated security management software on the market today. Packed with standard features that other manufacturers charge for, Symmetry offers visitor management, identity management and video management free in all Symmetry software versions. “Symmetry V8 allows end users to easily manage visitors through automatic disabling of visitor cards via a designated reader, manage vacation access and offers enhanced database security. These new features put the power in the user’s hands, giving them more control over their environment,” said AMAG Technology, Product Manager, Andy Goodwin. Symmetry V8 supports the new Symmetry EN-2DBC Network Access Controller. The flexible, PoE edge controller operates two doors and can use PoE to power the controller, card reader and door lock therefore reducing labor and costs for installations. The intelligent controller is IT friendly with network monitoring and is truly a scalable solution allowing the customer to expand their security system easily, anywhere they need it. The flexibility of the two door controller lowers cost, reduces labor and provides for easy system expansion. New Symmetry V8 software expands access control capability with added features for temporary card holders, automatic card expiration, vacation tracker and expanded card holder filters. These added features make managing card holder data and controlling access even easier. New Symmetry V8 now alsosupports the ONVIF Profile Scamera plug-in, the leadingglobal open standard for theinterface of IP-based physicalsecurity products Remote monitoring with SymmetryWEB allows users access to their security system anytime, anywhere. With new Symmetry V8 you can instantly access, monitor and review card holders, and manage visitors and alarms from any location through a web browser. Symmetry V8 offers a new and improved Network Video Recorder that provides standalone operation and stability, web browser set up, continuous or scheduled recording and integrations to leading third party Video Management Systems and NVR/DVRs. AMAG’s Symmetry Extended Business Solution program proudly supports integrations with Bosch Security Systems, Milestone, Salient Systems, Pelco, and Verint, to name a few. New Symmetry V8 now also supports the ONVIF Profile S camera plug-in, the leading global open standard for the interface of IP-based physical security products, greatly expanding the number of IP cameras that can be integrated with Symmetry. Extensive partner integrations allow customers open choice to the industry’s leading IP camera providers, such as: Axis, Bosch, Panasonic, Sony, Hikvision, and other ONVIF Profile S supported cameras including the complete line of Symmetry HD network cameras. “Symmetry V8’s video enhancements provide a base for which future VMS and ONVIF camera integrations will be further built upon in the form of plug-in extensions, enabling open integrations with all ONVIF cameras and more video management technology,” said AMAG Technology, Senior Product Manager-Video, Jim Murray. “AMAG will continue to listen to our customers and improve our software to meet access control and video demands.”
AMAG Technology, part of G4S the world’s leading security solutions provider, has announced the release of Symmetry™ V8 Access Control software. Symmetry V8 is available in Business, Professional and Enterprise versions, and adds support for Microsoft Windows Version 8.1, Server 2012 R2 and SQL 2012. Symmetry V8 delivers upgraded video and access control capabilities that improve performance and functionality, and supports current industry technologies and newly released Symmetry products. “Symmetry V8 offers many new and enhanced video surveillance and management features to streamline video recording, viewing and improve overall functionality,” said Symmetry Video Product Manager, Jim Murray. “The powerful software remains easy to use, yet adds more flexibility to the Symmetry video offering.” Enhanced video support Symmetry V8 supports the ONVIF Profile S camera plug-in, greatly expanding camera support for Symmetry and the latest ONVIF compliant cameras. ONVIF camera support for AXIS, Bosch, Panasonic and other manufacturers included in Symmetry’s certified camera product matrix allow dual streaming, providing customers with the ability to use a high resolution stream for video recording and a lower resolution stream for live remote viewing of their ONVIF cameras. With Symmetry V8, users can view video from unlimited video locations and record simultaneously. When used with Symmetry Video Management, the improved Identity Verification software supports up to three cameras per location with integrated intercom support, making it ideal for areas that need increased video surveillance such as vehicle entrances. Live video verification of card holders allows security officers to make fast, accurate decisions based on real-time feed, increasing security performance and providing enhanced security. Symmetry V8 supports the new Symmetry NVR, which offers quick and easy setup of continuous, scheduled or camera event trigger recordings for all cameras. Integration with Genetic Omnicast 4.8 plug-in is also available with Symmetry 8, providing end users with more choices for their video solutions. Improved access control Built on the flexible .NET architecture, Symmetry now allows the option to install Symmetry application services on a different server from the Microsoft SQL Server. This best practice application provides more scalability and makes Symmetry easier to manage. The software supports AMAG’s new Symmetry EN-2DBC two door controller. The Power over Ethernet controller provides additional power for devices and locks, supports 90,000 card holders and has four inputs and two outputs in addition to the door input/output. Mobile users can utilise SymmetryWEB with Symmetry V8 to manage access remotely. Easily manage card holders, visitor management and alarms from any location. This added capability gives customers flexibility and ease of use for their access control system through any web browser. Symmetry V8 offers new card holder features to more easily manage vacations and temporary cards. The new card holder vacation calendar tracks employee vacations and prevents unauthorised access. The temporary card feature automatically disables the standard card when a temporary one is issued to a cardholder, preventing unauthorised use. Symmetry V8 offers: ONVIF support for Symmetry certified cameras Dual stream capability that allows users to view and record different video streams Support for Symmetry EN-2DBC two door Power over Ethernet controller Integrated two-way IP intercom support for Identity Verification Enhanced live video verification of card holders Temporary card issuance with automatic inactivation / reactivation of standard card Card expiry linked to one or more user definable date fields New vacation-based access control authorisation feature Support for new Symmetry Network Video Recorder. Integration with Genetec Omnicast IP video management system Separation of Symmetry application services on a different server from the Microsoft SQL Server New Vacation calendar tracks employee vacations and prevents unauthorised access