by January 4, 2011 0 comments



Gone are the days when grainy, black and whiteCCTV cameras attached in discreet corners wouldfix themselves on immovable paths. IP surveil-lance is a need now. It is now monitored by security ex-perts switching channels from their laptop in another partof the city, analysing various aspects and behaviour. As in-stitutions and popular campuses turn into soft targets, sur-veillance has been shifted from the admin to the ITdepartment.

The IP surveillance system needs an initial investmentbut it transfers the entire load on the network making itmore mobile and easier to guard. An Axis communicationstudy said that with if there were more than 32 camerason a network, IP surveillance would be cheaper to own incomparison to the traditional analog option. The costs canfurther decrease when cameras are configured to a routerand can operate wirelessly hence reduce the sizable, hid-den wiring hassle. Cameras now come equipped with theability to acquire power over the Ethernet. The HD qual-ity allows for clearer quality and smarter identification.

The cameras are usually connected to a network videorecorder to handle recording, video and alarm manage-ment. These cameras are better high-quality Web Camsand can thus be routed to be viewed on remote screens aswell. The software, that comes along, allows users to mapmovements and suspicious objects on the camera’s range.An alarm can then be triggered and the alert can be sentin the form on an automatically generated phone call, textmessage and even email to certain set of people or the con-trol centre. “IIT Mumbai has implemented IP surveillanceto observe the entrances and exits,” said NavinderChauhan, D-Link.

Chauhan explained that after the IT department tookover, a company would be able to handle it better sincestreams can then be diverted to tablets or even smart-phones. This helps in keeping a constant watch, and with-out someone monitoring movements, while sitting allnight in front of a television screen.

The cameras not only help in identification of regularoffences, the software given with them can link imageswith a database of the undesirables provided by the policeor by an internal authority and can raise an alarm.

Challenges

The biggest challenge is not the implementation but thetrigger software. The cutting edge technology that givesthe system its teeth is available at a premium. “Leadingdeveloper, Visual Defence Inc, have priced the productstoo steep for people to afford,” said a communications ex-pert. Situational Awareness, one of the more popularproducts, judges the movements, through a series of al-gorithms, to determine the level of threat if any. “Butcompanies have been traditionally using surveillance forfact finding rather than prevention. It has been more reac-tive than preventive.” said Chauhan. The other significantand slightly unnerving challenge is the hackers. Puttingthe system on the Internet rather than an internal pro-tected system makes for more vulnerable unwanted inter-ference. Since the circuit hasn’t closed like the analogversion hackers can access the camera feeds through theinternet and manipulate movement and trigger configura-tions.

Video Surveillance products

There are a lot of IP surveillance products and solutionsavailable today. We picked a few offered by SmartGuard togive you a quick preview about some features to look in forin a video surveillance solution. The quality of a product andsolution deployed is of utmost importance, simply becausethe slightest malfunction of the device or the video manage-ment software for even a second can result in securitybreaches. We look at some of the products below:

1. Smart Hawk SHC100M /
SHC100MW
Category: Cube Camera

Smart Guard Systems’ IPmegapixel low-light performance cam-era SHC100M / SHC100MW includes1.3 megapixel progressive scan whichassures great image quality for videowith 30 frames per second being cap-tured through repeated scans. With 6built-in IR low light LED illuminators,the camera also boasts of dual codecsand dual streaming of MPEG/ MPEG4format. Due to the IR illuminator andmechanical IR cut filter, the SHC100M/ SHC100MW exhibits great low-lightperformance, presenting black-and-white images. With features like ‘videomotion detection’ offered by SmartHawk, moving images are easy to trackwith precision. There is an in-builtscheduled and triggered event func-tionality with preset actions which al-lows sending notifications throughe-mail. The images can then be up-loaded via protocols like TCP, HTTP,etc. The USP of the product is its wire-less functionality.

2. Smart Micro NVR
Category:
Network Video Recorder

Smart Micro NVR is light andportable, and features a 1.2 GHz CPUwith 512 MB of flash memory and 512MB of DDR2 memory. Smart MicroNVR also provides just enough pro-cessing power and resources to runembedded computing applications.Smart Micro NVR can be connected toa network via Gigabit Ethernet, andalso external peripherals such as an ex-ternal HDD, can be connected using aUSB 2.0 port.

Smart Micro NVR when bundledwith Smart Hawk SCH100M/SCH100MW makes for a useful sur-veillance solution. This solution can beused in Banks/ATMS, schools, malls,hospitals, theatres, metro stations, air-ports, etc.

3. Smart Monitor Nova
Category: Video Management Software

Smart Guard’s Smart MonitorNova, a Windows based video manage-ment software, supports multiplecodecs like MJPEG, MPEG4 andH.264. It accepts HD and megapixelvideo streams from network. The sys-tem allows users to build hybrid & scal-able solutions in client-serverarchitecture. A user can start from asingle IP camera or encoder and go upto unlimited number of IP cameras orencoders. The software also supportsPTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) control of thecamera. One of the salient features ismanagement of network devicesthrough maps, it also features Google Map navigation.

Besides Smart Guard’s own IP de-vices, Smart Monitor Nova supportsvarious products from other vendors,including Bosch, D-Link, Etrovision,Eyeview, Flexwatch, Ganz, Infinova,JVC, Mobotix, Panasonic, Samsung,Sanyo, Sony and Toshiba.

VSaaS: Emerging Trendsin Video Surveillance

With SaaS and ‘cloud’ having swept theIT world, it is no surprise that it gets as-sociated with Video Surveillance.VSaaS (Video Surveillance-as-a-Serv-ice) are being offered by VMS (videomanagement software) companies andfew others in the video analytics space.One of these is Axis Communications.

In the VSaaS model, cameras areinstalled at the desired site and thevideo is streamed to systems of theVSaaS provider over the cloud. Thus,there is no need to install VMS overyour local systems to perform video an-alytics. However, we are still skepticalabout the VSaaS model impacting In-dian organizations in a big way.

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