Browse CCTV Transmitters & Controllers

Telemetry transmitters and controllers - Expert commentary

Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices
Integrated security systems for medium and large-sized offices

If you’re responsible for a medium or large-sized office, it’s more important than ever that you have access to a means of ensuring people’s safety, managing risks and fraud, and protecting property. Any security system that you employ must therefore meet the most demanding commercial requirements of today’s offices, and tomorrow’s. This means thinking beyond a basic intrusion system and specifying a comprehensive solution that integrates smart features like access control, video management and intelligent video analytics. Because only then will you have security you can trust, and detection you can depend on. Reliable entry management Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors Access control is becoming increasingly important for ensuring the security of office buildings, but as the modern workplace evolves you’re unlikely to find a one-size-fits-all solution. Today, it’s commonplace to control entry to individual rooms or restricted areas and cater to more flexible working hours that extend beyond 9 to 5, so a modern and reliable access control system that exceeds the limitations of standard mechanical locks is indispensable. Access control systems have been developed that guarantee reliable entry management for indoors and outdoors. They use state-of-the-art readers and controllers to restrict access to certain areas, ensuring only authorised individuals can get in. With video cameras located within close proximity you can then monitor and record any unauthorised access attempts. The system can also undertake a people-count to ensure only one person has entered using a single pass. Scalable hardware components As previously mentioned, there is no one-size-fits-all system, but thanks to the scalability of the hardware components, systems can adapt to changing security requirements. For example, you can install Bosch’s Access Professional Edition (APE) software for small to medium-sized offices, then switch to the more comprehensive Access Engine (ACE) of the Building Integration System (BIS) when your security requirements grow. And, because the hardware stays the same, any adaptations are simple. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently The APE software administers up to 512 readers, 10,000 cardholders and 128 cameras, making it suitable for small to medium-sized buildings. With functions like badge enrollment, entrance control monitoring and alarm management with video verification it provides a high level of security and ensures only authorised employees and visitors are able to enter certain rooms and areas. Of course, there will always be situations when, for convenience, you need certain doors to be permanently open, such as events and open days. APE’s ‘permanent open’ functionality allows employees and guests to enter designated areas easily and conveniently. Growing security needs You switch to the Bosch Building Integration System (BIS), without having to switch hardware (it stays the same, remember?). This is a software solution that manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform. It is designed for offices with multiple sites and for large companies with a global presence. Bosch Building Integration System (BIS) manages subsystems like access control, video surveillance, fire alarm, public address or intrusion systems, all on a single platform The BIS Access Engine (ACE) administers up to 10,000 readers and 80 concurrent workplace clients per server, and 200,000 cardholders per AMC. An additional benefit to security officers is the ability to oversee cardholders and authorisations through the central cardholder management functionality and monitor all access events and alarms from every connected site. For consistency, multi-site cardholder information and access authorisations can be created on a central server and replicated across all connected site servers, which means the cardholder information is always up to date and available in every location. Intrusion alarm systems Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email Securing all perimeter doors is vital when protecting employees, visitors and intellectual property. Doors are opened and closed countless times during business hours, and when intentionally left open, your office is vulnerable to theft, and the safety of your employees is compromised. For this reason, intrusion control panels have been developed with advanced features to ensure all perimeter doors are properly closed, even when the system is not armed. If a door remains open for a period of time (you can specify anything from one second to 60 minutes), the system can be programmed to automatically take action. For example, it can activate an audible alert at the keypad to give employees time to close the door. Then, if it is still not closed, it will send a report to a monitoring center or a text directly to the office manager, and when integrated with video it can even send an image of the incident to a mobile device. Customised intrusion systems What about people who need to access your building outside of working hours, like cleaning crews? Your intruder system allows you to customise the way it operates with a press of a button or swipe of a card. This level of control enables you to disarm specific areas, bypass points and unlock doors for cleaning crews or after-hours staff, whilst keeping server rooms, stock rooms and executive offices safe and secure. Bosch B Series and G Series intrusion control panels can also send personal notifications via text or email. You can program the panel to send you opening, closing, and other event alerts, which means you don’t have to be on-site to keep track of movements in and around your facility. Video management system A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system Every office building has different video security requirements depending on the location, size and nature of the business. Some offices may only need basic functions such as recording and playback, whereas others may need full alarm functionalities and access to different sites. A video management system will add a next level of security to your access control system. For example, the video system can provide seamless management of digital video, audio and data across IP networks for small to large office buildings. It is fully integrated and can be scaled according to your specific requirements. The entry-level BVMS Viewer is suitable for small offices that need to access live and archived video from their recording solutions. With forensic search it enables you to access a huge recording database and scan quickly for a specific security event. For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management Full alarm and event management For larger offices, embellished security functions for the BVMS Professional version can manage up to 2,000 cameras and offers full alarm and event management. It’s also resilient enough to remain operative should both Management and Recording Servers fail. Large multi-national companies often need access to video surveillance systems at numerous sites, which is why BVMS Professional allows you to access live and archived video from over 10,000 sites across multiple time zones from a single BVMS server. When integrated with the BVMS Enterprise version multiple BVMS Professional systems can be connected so every office in the network can be viewed from one security center, which provides the opportunity to monitor up to 200,000 cameras, regardless of their location. Essential Video Analytics Video analytics acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture If your strategy is to significantly improve levels of security, video analytics is an essential part of the plan. It acts as the brain of your security system, using metadata to add sense and structure to any video footage you capture. In effect, each video camera in your network becomes smart to the degree that it can understand and interpret what it is seeing. You simply set certain alarm rules, such as when someone approaches a perimeter fence, and video analytics alerts security personnel the moment a rule is breached. Smart analytics have been developed in two formats. Essential Video Analytics is ideal for small and medium-sized commercial buildings and can be used for advanced intrusion detection, such as loitering alarms, and identifying a person or object entering a pre-defined field. It also enables you to instantly retrieve the right footage from hours of stored video, so you can deal with potential threats the moment they happen. Essential Video Analytics also goes beyond security to help you enforce health and safety regulations such as enforcing no parking zones, detecting blocked emergency exits or ensuring no one enters or leaves a building via an emergency exit; all measures that can increase the safety of employees and visitors inside the building. Intelligent Video Analytics Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances Intelligent Video Analytics have the unique capability of analysing video content over large distances, which makes it ideally suited to more expansive office grounds or securing a perimeter fence. It can also differentiate between genuine security events and known false triggers such as snow, rain, hail and moving tree branches that can make video data far more difficult to interpret. The final piece in your security jigsaw is an intelligent camera. The latest range of Bosch ’i’ cameras have the image quality, data security measures, and bitrate reduction of <80%. And, video analytics is standard. Be prepared for what can’t be predicted. Although no-one can fully predict what kind of security-related event is around the corner, experience and expertise will help make sure you’re always fully prepared.

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.

Drone terror: How to protect facilities and people
Drone terror: How to protect facilities and people

The use of drones has increased dramatically in the last few years. Indeed, by 2021, the FAA says the number of small hobbyist drones in the U.S. will triple to about 3.55 million. With that growth, drone capabilities have increased while costs have decreased. For example, the DJI Phantom 4 can deliver a 2-pound payload to a target with 1.5m accuracy from 20 miles away for the less than $1000.00. This is an unprecedented capability accessible to anyone. This new technology has created an entirely new security risk for businesses and governments. Drone security risks Already, rogue groups such as ISIS have used low cost drones to carry explosives in targeted attacks. Using this same method, targeting high profile locations within our borders to create terror and panic is very possible. Security professionals and technologists are working furiously to address the gaps in drone defence. Currently, the most common technologies in use for drone detection are video, acoustic sensors, radio, and air surveillance radar. Each of these has advantages, but they also have flaws that make it difficult to detect drones in all conditions. Both optical and thermal cameras, as well as acoustic sensors, do not operate in severe weather such as fog and snow. And while radio and air surveillance radar cover a wide area of detection, they suffer from high installation costs and limiting technical challenges, such as being unable to detect low flying drones on autopilot. Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) Compact Surveillance Radar (CSR) is a security technology addressing the problems with other types of detection. CSR, like traditional radar, has the benefit of being able to detect and track foreign objects in all weather conditions, but at a fraction of the size and cost. The compact size allows the radar to be mounted on existing structures or even trees, providing extensive perimeter defence almost anywhere that you can imagine. CSR can also filter out clutter such as birds by using an advanced algorithm reducing the number of false alarms. While the use of CSR and the other detection technologies are legal in the US and in most locations throughout the world, the response mechanisms are generally not. Current regulations in the US prohibit the use of jamming or GPS spoofing in all cases except for a few federal agencies Regulations limiting drones Current regulations in the US prohibit the use of jamming or GPS spoofing in all cases except for a few federal agencies. This makes it difficult to stop the damage that drones can cause. The FAA has put into place new regulations that limit some uses of drones. However, in most cases it is still illegal for even state or local governments to stop or interfere with drones other than to locate the operator and have them land the drone. In 2016 the first law to neutralise a drone in the United States was passed in Utah to respond to drones in wildfire areas because of their interference with airborne firefighting. This law may very well provide a model for other states dealing with drones in situations where people’s lives are being put at risk by drones. At the federal level, much effort is being put into evaluating the regulations and technology surrounding the misuse of drones. In the 2016 reauthorisation bill for the FAA, Section 2135 included a pilot program for the investigation of methods to mitigate the threat of unmanned aircraft around airports and other critical infrastructure. There are many federal agencies that are evaluating the use of a variety of technologies to respond to this threat. Both optical and thermal cameras, as well as acoustic sensors, do not operate in severe weather such as fog and snow   Effective countermeasure technologies The most effective countermeasure for drones is jamming, currently off-limits to the private sector. This includes stadiums, convention centres, and other large gathering areas. A number of companies are developing new response technologies that do not require the use of jammers or hacking. Several companies have developed net guns that shoot a net at an approaching drone. These are only effective at less than 100m and frequently miss the target, especially when the drone is approaching at high speed. Several other companies have taken this method a step further, with drones that capture other drones. Once a radar detects a drone, another defence drone is launched and flies to the point of detection. Then, using video analytics it homes in on the drone and fires a net to disable the drone and take it to a safe location. While this drone capturing technique is still in its infancy, it shows a great deal of promise and will not be restricted in the same fashion as jamming. However, even this solution is difficult under current regulations, as all commercial drones in the US must be under direct control of a human operator within their line of sight. This effectively means that a drone operator is required to be on-site at all times to protect a facility, event, or persons. One thing is for certain, technology will continue to adapt and security companies will continue to invent new methods to protect their facilities and the people they are sworn to protect.

Latest BBV Ltd news

Dedicated Micros and AD Network  showcase their best at IFSEC 2011
Dedicated Micros and AD Network showcase their best at IFSEC 2011

 New products on show include additions to the CamVu IP camera range including the CamVu 720 dome cameras Dedicated Micros and AD Network Video - both part of the AD Group of Companies - are taking an innovative approach to exhibiting at IFSEC this year with the main feature of the stand being their new state of the art, articulated demonstration vehicle. The Company made the decision to invest in the new vehicle after the success of it's Closed IPTV road shows which ran throughout the Winter. Closed IPTV, IP video products are installed on the vehicle together with the latest innovations from the AD Group, and are now at the fingertips of integrators, installers, specifiers and end users in the UK all year round.New products on show include additions to the CamVu IP camera range including the CamVu 720 dome and box cameras which feature exceptional low light performance, high definition resolution with up to two megapixels of on-board recording to micro SD card, transmission on alarm and multiple video streams in MPEG4, JPEG and H.264 simultaneously at different, transcoded resolution and bit rate to meet bandwidth requirements, while maintaining a differentiated high quality record rate for use as evidence.Complementing the new HD IP camera products, is a new CamVu IP camera with in-camera de warping, which leverages the inherent de-warping capability of the Group's ChipWrights ViSP, combined with the benefit of a five megapixel sensor. Multiple independent streams are managed seamlessly, with no need for special software, within the NetVu ObserVer viewing application offering electronic zoom of each view. The NV8 joins the DV-IP, enterprise server/decoder range, boasting an impressive 300Mbits of video streaming bandwidthAs part of the NetVu Connected family of seamless video products, images from the camera are recorded and viewed alongside the images of both analogue and IP cameras deployed within the same system.The new CamVu IP cameras add to Dedicated Micros growing range of easy to use IP video products including the IFSEC Awards finalist, the SD Excel Closed IPTV, the hybrid DVR/NVR capable of recording, streaming and displaying multiple HD IP cameras seamlessly alongside a mix of analogue cameras. The IFSEC Awards finalist, the high definition NetVu Console is at work displaying multi-media video content around the stand while providing demonstration points which illustrate the seamless integration of IP and analogue cameras within a single, embedded user interface - a key capability which has been inherent in NetVu Connected products for many years.Offering high definition recording and powerful re-display performance, the NV8 joins the DV-IP, enterprise server/decoder range, boasting an impressive 300Mbits of video streaming bandwidth, delivering a flexible configuration solution operating as either a real-time HD/hybrid multi-screen decoder for high performance video wall deployment or as a dedicated real time encoder for recording and transmission or both analogue and HD IP cameras.Pick-a-Point provides seamless management of hybrid systems incorporating crucial security features such as alarm handling, video downloadStrategic partner, BBV's Pick-a-Point video management system forms part of the AD Group's enterprise video management system, which offers a user friendly, map based touch screen workstation, scalable to large enterprise solutions. Compatible with NetVu Connected video products, Pick-a-Point provides seamless management of hybrid systems incorporating crucial security features such as alarm handling, video download and evidence burning, integration with 3rd parties such as GDX, Protec, Commend and AD Group's patented Emergency Messaging System. New to Pick-a-Point at IFSEC, is the integration of Dedicated Micros Point and Go, PTZ capability which allows the operator to select the area of interest on screen with a simple click of the mouse, a perfect solution to PTZ control over IP networks.Continuing it's focus on vertical markets, AD Network Video strengthens it's Fire and Transport market solutions with new products on show which meet specific demands of each sector. The new FireVu Dome, borne out of the AD Group's D-Tec division and marketed within the AD Network Video portfolio, features video smoke detection and video transmission capability and when combined with the new FV1 annunciator, provides a solution to the growing problem to commercial property owners, of non-emergency response from the Fire Service. FireVu enables RVRCs such as AD Group's Remguard division and other ARCs with the capability to provide visually verified smoke and fire alarms which fully integrate with the existing fire alarms and building management systems, satisfying the need of fire authorities which require visually verified alarms from commercial premises.The TransVu mobile video recorder takes centre stage in an innovative motor racing displayTaking a look at the value added video solutions to the transport sector, the AD Group's TSS division is showing the mobile CCTV unit developed for Gloucestershire Constabulary, which features the award winning TransVu, mobile video recorder in the form of PatrolVu and Dedicated Micros Infiniti, ruggedised, PTZ camera with integrated IR illumination. Visitors are invited to see how a real Mobile Police unit operates in practice.The TransVu mobile video recorder takes centre stage in an innovative motor racing display, showing off it's performance in extreme conditions. Testing TransVu on AD Group's Le Mans Sportscar has played a significant part in making the product robust and reliable to meet the demands of the transport sector, and when combined with vehicle telemetry and telematics data, offers a significant return on investment to the transport operator."Our investment into a new demonstration vehicle underlines our commitment to training and education at all levels in the professional video security channel. AD Group's, hybrid and pure IP video solution..."Footage from the TransVu is on show, which was recorded during the crash which occurred at Spa Francorchamps this month. During the crash, the TransVu, which sustained an impact in excess of 40G at 180km/h, carried on recording throughout, as true testament to the suitability of the product for harsh environments.Pauline Norstrom, Marketing Director and Board Director for Dedicated Micros and AD Group, comments, "Our investment into a new demonstration vehicle underlines our commitment to training and education at all levels in the professional video security channel. AD Group's, hybrid and pure IP video solution Closed IPTV is best seen in a live deployment and the vehicle allows us to to do just that by bringing the solution, together with those of the Group to the installer and user.""Products and solutions from Dedicated Micros and AD Network Video, broadly sit in three distinct groups; video recording and management solutions for public and commercial property installations, video smoke and fire detection and visual verification solutions for the Fire market and robust, integrated solutions for the Transport market. The diversity and differentiation of our products set the AD Group apart from other manufacturers as our solutions are truly seamless."The new demonstration vehicle can be seen on Stand E10 at the entrance to Hall 4. Training and demonstrations of Dedicated Micros and AD Network Video products are available throughout the show.

Dedicated Micros cost effective digital video security solution saves Sun Microsystems millions of dollars
Dedicated Micros cost effective digital video security solution saves Sun Microsystems millions of dollars

 Sun Microsystems deploys Dedicated Micros digital video security solution Digital, networked, CCTV solutions from Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - including its high performance DV-IP Servers, are playing a key role in allowing Sun Microsystems, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, to not only enhance the security of its offices worldwide but also, crucially, to realise an impressive return on investment which, to date, has resulted in savings which run into millions of dollars.The customer challengeWith 34,440 employees spread across more than 300 offices in over 100 countries worldwide, Sun Microsystems has a massive security challenge. For more than 15 years, Sun's security organisation relied on analog CCTV systems using VCRs to capture and store video. The disadvantages of this approach were numerous, starting with the high maintenance and support costs, in addition to the labour required to change tapes, review tapes, and replace broken tapes.Steve Kruschke, Sun's Manager of New Security Technologies and Applications, led the effort to find a digital solution in 2005: "We wanted leading edge digital technology to leverage our IP network infrastructure, and we needed a matrix solution to control multiple video servers from centralised regional control rooms," said Kruschke. "Additionally, we were looking for a solution that was not reliant on Windows-based personal computers."Dedicated Micros solutionSun Microsystems chose to build its new video surveillance system around the Dedicated Micros DV-IP Server, a high-performance network Digital Video Recorder and Server developed to meet the demands of professional surveillance applications."Dedicated Micros is one the very few digital video surveillance companies that doesn't require the installation of client software on a PC," stated Kruschke. "The DV-IP Server has no problem handling our network-based, Solaris-FireFox architecture." Sun Microsystems chose to build its new video surveillance system around the Dedicated Micros DV-IP ServerWorking with global distributor and systems integration partner Siemens Security, Sun has deployed approximately 1500 plus channels of video through the DV-IP Servers worldwide to date. Sun also installed multiple DV-IP Codec units.In encoder mode the DV-IP Codec enables existing and new analog cameras to be added to an IP network, allowing Sun's legacy video surveillance systems to expand and adapt to digital without the cost and trouble of completely replacing and redesigning the installation.Pick-a-Point Digital Matrix for Regional Control Centres In late 2007, Sun's operations group began looking for ways to bring large-scale digital video surveillance to its five regional control centres, located Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. In the past, analog video was brought into the regional control centres using local A/D switches."We wanted to bring live and recorded digital video from local offices into the regional centres, and at the same time make the control interface more user friendly for operators," recalled Kruschke. "After gaining approval from our IT department to bring video across network, we decided to make the North American regional control centre in Broomfield, Colorado our first test site."At the heart of the large-scale video surveillance system is the Pick-a-Point centralised command and control workstation offered by Dedicated Micros and developed by integrator and strategic partner BBV."The unique embedded Pick-a-Point control system is ideal for Sun's computing environment because it is a dedicated standalone hardware based workstation, which eliminates reliability and training issues associated with PC based client software systems," said Kruschke.Another exciting new application is live monitoring of ongoing events. For example, Sun has about a dozen offices in the area of the southeastern United States that was affected by hurricane Gustav. Using Pick-a-Point and DV-IP Servers, operators in Colorado were able to help manage personnel during the event by checking live video feeds of office locations. Multiple DV-IP Codec units are also installed at SunReturn on investmentSun Microsystems has achieved a substantial return on its investment from Dedicated Micros' DV-IP Servers. Kruschke estimates that eliminating approximately 400 VCRs and the number of tapes required for 14-day backups saves the company $99,000 per year in maintenance globally. Even more significant is the $1.8 million in global yearly labour costs that Kruschke calculates is saved by Dedicated Micros DV-IP Servers.Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "The experience of Sun Microsystems in this case demonstrates the positive impact that, specifying and installing, an effective surveillance solution can have for a business." View full Dedicated Micros case study

Dedicated Micros cost effective digital video security solution saves Sun Microsystems millions of dollars
Dedicated Micros cost effective digital video security solution saves Sun Microsystems millions of dollars

Digital, networked, CCTV solutions from Dedicated Micros - part of AD Group - including its high performance DV-IP Servers, are playing a key role in allowing Sun Microsystems, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, to not only enhance the security of its offices worldwide but also, crucially, to realise an impressive return on investment which, to date, has resulted in savings which run into millions of dollars. The customer challenge Sun Microsystems provides network computing infrastructure solutions that include: computer systems, software, storage, and services. Its core brands range from the Java technology platform to the Solaris operating system. With 34,440 employees spread across more than 300 offices in over 100 countries worldwide, Sun Microsystems has a massive security challenge. The company needs to make sure employees feel secure, while at the same time protecting valuable assets and limiting liability. Most security cameras are placed at building entrances and exits, providing a facial view of people as they enter and leave the facility. Video footage is most often reviewed for after-the-fact investigations of personal property thefts, which may occur more than a dozen times a month around the globe. For more than 15 years, Sun's security organisation relied on analogue CCTV systems using VCRs to capture and store video. The disadvantages of this approach were numerous, starting with the high maintenance and support costs, in addition to the labour required to change tapes, review tapes, and replace broken tapes.  When security needed to find a particular event on the videotapes, they often had to review hours of footage to locate the exact time and date. Steve Kruschke, Sun's Manager of New Security Technologies and Applications, led the effort to find a digital solution in 2005: "We wanted leading edge digital technology to leverage our IP network infrastructure, and we needed a matrix solution to control multiple video servers from centralised regional control rooms," said Kruschke. "Additionally, we were looking for a solution that was not reliant on Windows-based personal computers." At Sun, all employees use ultra-thin clients called Sun Rays, which have no local operating system to manage and administer. Sun Rays process only keyboard input and screen output, leaving all of the application processing and storage to the server. Employees walk up to a Sun Ray, insert a smart card, and their desktop session appears just as they last left it. Common business applications, like word processing, email, and spreadsheets are web-based and delivered through the FireFox browser. The vast majority of digital video surveillance systems, however, are built around the Microsoft Windows platform and require users to install a client software application on the computer that will be used to view and control video. This was unacceptable for Sun. Dedicated Micros surveillance solution   Sun Microsystems has achieved a substantial return on its investment from Dedicated Micros' DV-IP Servers Sun Microsystems chose to build its new video surveillance system around the Dedicated Micros DV-IP Server, a high-performance network Digital Video Recorder and Server developed to meet the demands of professional surveillance applications. Available in 8, 12, or 16 camera input models, the DV-IP Server supports advanced MultiMode Recording to dynamically switch resolution, record rate, and compression, in either JPEG or MPEG format, from a wide range of analogue or IP cameras. Most importantly for Sun, the DV-IP interface capabilities can be accessed locally and remotely via a web browser. "Dedicated Micros is one the very few digital video surveillance companies that doesn't require the installation of client software on a PC," stated Kruschke. "The DV-IP Server has no problem handling our network-based, Solaris-FireFox architecture." Working with global distributor and systems integration partner Siemens Security, Sun has deployed approximately 1500 plus channels of video through the DV-IP Servers worldwide to date. Sun also installed multiple DV-IP Codec units. These single channel selectable encoder and decoder combination units are designed to increase the flexibility of surveillance networks. In encoder mode the DV-IP Codec enables existing and new analogue cameras to be added to an IP network, allowing Sun's legacy video surveillance systems to expand and adapt to digital without the cost and trouble of completely replacing and redesigning the installation. Siemens Security maintains a staff on Sun campuses to handle installation and service, while a global purchasing contract streamlines the process of acquiring the Dedicated Micros equipment at the regional level. Pick-a-Point Digital Matrix for regional control centres In late 2007, Sun's operations group began looking for ways to bring large-scale digital video surveillance to its five regional control centres, located Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. In the past, analogue video was brought into the regional control centres using local A/D switches. "We wanted to bring live and recorded digital video from local offices into the regional centres, and at the same time make the control interface more user friendly for operators," recalled Kruschke. "After gaining approval from our IT department to bring video across network, we decided to make the North American regional control centre in Broomfield, Colorado our first test site." At the heart of the large-scale video surveillance system is the Pick-a-Point centralised command and control workstation offered by Dedicated Micros and developed by integrator and strategic partner BBV. This digital matrix solution provides an intuitive environment, allowing the display of cameras from a number of monitored sites and delivering control over any servers, DVRs, domes, and cameras in the system, while retaining all important keyboard and joystick functionality. The Pick-a-Point viewing station is a dedicated IP keyboard solution with traditional joystick control, which provides either additional control points on a Pick-a-Point system, or operates standalone to provide composite viewing and control of any Dedicated Micros NetVu Connected Server, DVR or IP camera. "The unique embedded Pick-a-Point control system is ideal for Sun's computing environment because it is a dedicated standalone hardware based workstation, which eliminates reliability and training issues associated with PC based client software systems," said Kruschke. Several Pick-a-Point features contribute to ease of use. Site maps provide a graphical representation of camera positions, allowing the operator to easily track events from camera to camera throughout the system. Using Pick-a-Point's graphical user interface, operators can simply pick and click cameras from a site's database to view images - without having to know which DVR the camera is linked to. And the unique Pick-a-Point keyboard provides intuitive easy to use camera selection and joystick telemetry control without the need for a PC "qwerty" keyboard.   Sun Microsystems also installed multiple Dedicated Micros' DV-IP Codec units Operators at the Broomfield control centre use the Pick-a-Point workstation for three primary activities. Guard tour is conducted around the clock, as live individual camera feeds are brought up together on a composite screen. Several times weekly, the system is used to check cameras remotely and review video quality. Finally, recorded video is reviewed on Pick-a-Point systems on an "as needed" basis for investigations of personal property theft and other incidents. Another exciting new application is live monitoring of ongoing events. For example, Sun has about a dozen offices in the area of the south-eastern United States that was affected by hurricane Gustav. Using Pick-a-Point and DV-IP Servers, operators in Colorado were able to help manage personnel during the event by checking live video feeds of office locations. Exceptional customer service According to Kruschke, Dedicated Micros has provided not only great customer service, but also a willingness to listen to customer requests and use customer input in product development. "Whenever we've had difficulties, Dedicated Micros has been there to help us work though the issues," said Kruschke. "When we saturated the network bandwidth sending video to the control centre, Dedicated Micros worked side-by-side with us to adjust video resolution and other settings." Return on Investment Sun Microsystems has achieved a substantial return on its investment from Dedicated Micros' DV-IP Servers. Kruschke estimates that eliminating approximately 400 VCRs and the number of tapes required for 14-day backups saves the company $99,000 per year in maintenance globally. Even more significant is the $1.8 million in global yearly labour costs that Kruschke calculates is saved by Dedicated Micros DV-IP Servers. Said Pauline Norstrom, Director of Worldwide Marketing at Dedicated Micros: "The experience of Sun Microsystems in this case demonstrates the positive impact that, specifying and installing, an effective surveillance solution can have for a business. This is especially true in terms of enhanced security and, crucially, through a more efficient use of resources to deliver concrete benefits for their bottom line. The fact that we were able to offer a robust embedded approach to CCTV, which was not reliant on a Windows PC-based platform, was also a key factor in our favour for this ambitious project."