Video Management Software: Sized to fit

Posted by Chuck Vion on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 @ 03:31 PM

skechers logoThere are many factors that can make a security project particularly challenging—the size, the timeline, the special needs of the client, just to name a few. When lifestyle and fitness shoe giant Skechersunveiled plans for its new 1.8-million-square-foot distribution warehouse in Rancho Belago, Calif., size was certainly an issue to be dealt with. The new facility was replacing five smaller, existing warehouses and was being built with long-term usage and future expansion in mind.

But the distribution warehouse also bears the designation as a foreign trade zone (FTZ), and that in and of itself required some creative planning from a security standpoint. Without a doubt, operating as a foreign trade zone requires additional security functionality since it is subject to U.S. Customs Service supervision and security requirements. Product in an FTZ requires continuous tracking as it comes and goes, for the purpose of determining delayed or reduced duty payments, as well as for logistical and tax benefits.

With so much activity both inside and outside the warehouse requiring the supervision of security staff, Skechers’ loss prevention team needed a solution that  provided an intuitive, user friendly interface along with the ability to instantly replay recorded video in the event of an incident.

Greg Drivas, Director of Loss Prevention for Skechers USA, and his integrator, Select Systems Technology, selected the American Dynamics’ victor video management system as the backbone of the distribution center’s digital video recording solution. Through victor, Drivas and his staff can view, manage and control recorded video from the five VideoEdge network video recorders that capture video from more than 100 cameras both inside and outside of the facility. victor is also tied in with the building’s access control system, so if someone exits through the wrong door, a video of the mishap is instantly brought up on the screen.

Employing a highly responsive, highly functional video management software platform, at the level victor provides, keeps Skechers in synch with its Compliance Department to meet specific foreign trade zone security requirements. But it also has provided side benefits by allowing Skechers’ management to tap into the video for internal studies on productivity and product movement.

Video management has proven to be a powerful tool to help handle large volumes of live, streaming video. At the same time, it’s imperative for a video management system to still be easy enough to use for even the least technical security officer to set up views and archive video.

Security practitioners have recognized the many security and operational benefits made possible by video management systems. Regardless of whether the project is large-scale, such as Skechers’ 1.8-million square foot facility, or a local grocery store with a handful of cameras, today’s video management systems provide end users with scalable, customizable solutions that are easy to use and can meet current as well as future needs.

Find out more about how Skechers secured its massive new distribution facility and derived operational benefits out of its video surveillance system by reading the complete Sketchers case study.

What features of a VMS do you find most useful, let us know in the comments section below.

Security Basics: Making the most of the security you have

Security basics checklistAs security professionals, our goal is to make sure our clients are up-to-date on not only the latest technology, but also have the tools to understand what supporting systems they can use to make everything work.

In a recent webinar, “The key security features you aren’t using but should be to keep your business safe and secure,”Steve Lewis, senior product manager for Software House, focused on getting back to basics, taking participants through the various best practices for making sure safety and security are at their highest levels and operating properly.

If you’re interested in reviewing some security basics, especially in the context of our evolving world and changing security threats, watch Steve’s archived webinar.

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What underutilized security task do you perform that others may overlook? Let us know in the comments area.20

Don’t ignore the monitors! Key drivers in monitor technology, CCFL vs. LED


With all the talk of IP vs. analog, video analytics, biometrics and other exciting technology, monitors have maintained their quiet presence in security systems. However, there have been significant transitions in display monitor technology that security professionals should not discount as they develop the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly systems. The current transition in display monitor technology is the move from cold cathode fluorescent light (CCFL) tubes to LED (light emitting diode) technology, as backlighting in support of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. Historically, LCD backlighting has been through the use of CCFL tubes, similar to the overhead lighting used in office and retail buildings. However, as knowledge about the potential damaging effects of CCFLs has increased, many regions have banned their use. LED technology, which doesn’t contain mercury like CCFL, has risen to offer an alternative to backlighting with valuable benefits.

There are two primary methods of incorporating LEDs as LCD backlighting: edge-lit and behind-the-screen local dimming. Edge-lit LCDs utilize LEDs around the edge of the pane while local dimming features banks of LED lights behind the LCD panel.

LED-backlit panels, behind-the-screen and edge-lit, can result in up to a 50 percent reduction in power consumption over CCFL. The resulting power savings of LED backlighting is amplified in high usage LCD applications, such as physical security (i.e. multi-camera video wall LCDs in control rooms) and loss prevention (i.e. public view LCDs in retail spaces). In addition, LED-backlit panels generate less heat over CCFLs. In control room applications, electronic equipment that generates less heat results in reduced cooling costs required to maintain proper space temperatures.

Today, the initial purchase price of LED-backlit LCDs does tend to be more expensive than CCFL. However, over time the cost in operating LED-backlit displays can be much less than CCFLdue to the substantial power savings, coupled with the high usage requirements of physical security and loss prevention applications.

In addition to low power consumption, LED-backlit displays offer other cost saving advantages over CCFL such as increased durability. LEDs are solid state devices whereas CCFLs are not. CCFLs, as a light bulb, are susceptible to breaking under heavy shock or loads. Increased durability normally translates into lower maintenance costs.

Slimmer and lighter LED backlit panels, as compared to those with CCFL, are less costly for security integrators to ship, easier for field technicians to handle and install and consume less physical space.

Durable, solid state, LED backlighting has enabled manufacturers to create slimmer, lighter, more environmentally-friendly LCDs that require less power and cost to operate as compared to CCFL.


Have you been using LED backlit LCD Displays? If so, what has been your experience with these types of monitors?