Tag Archives: VideoEdge

Iowa casino ups its game with Tyco Security Products Video Surveillance Solution

As one of Iowa’s most successful casino resorts, WinnaVegas Casino and Resort knows how to help guests relax in style. With a 24-hour casino, arcade, fitness center, pool, fine dining and event center, guests have all they could want at their fingertips. It’s no wonder that WinnaVegas is one of the most popular casino resorts in the region.

WinnaVegas Casino

Challenge

In the gaming business, speed and efficiency are everything, including surveillance and security. After recent expansion of its casino, hotel and parking areas, WinnaVegas Casino Resort needed to update its surveillance system with a cost-effective way to migrate from analog to fast, high-performing IP video technology. With some video monitoring systems and IP cameras, there is latency, or delay, between the operator’s joystick command and the camera’s movement. WinnaVegas surveillance operators wanted to be able to quickly track a patron moving across the casino floor or zoom in for a closer look at a player’s hand of cards, so low latency cameras were required.

Solution

Illustra ProThe Illustra Pro PTZ and mini-dome cameras in combination with the victor/VideoEdge Video Monitoring System from Tyco Security Products give the casino resort the high-resolution video and low latency needed for its growing and complex operations. The Illustra PTZ cameras allow WinnaVegas surveillance staff to actively monitor happenings on gaming floors with exceptional situational awareness and reliable control to easily identify clear details.

The cameras’ bandwidth usages are low, using H.264 compression to reduce bandwidth to a fraction of that used by most 1080p HD PTZ cameras. Lower bandwidth provided by Illustra cameras reduces network traffic, saves on storage costs and keeps communications between devices and servers nimble and efficient.

Victor and VideoEdge provided the casino with a bridge between its existing analog system and new IP system. victor/VideoEdge ties in the casino’s Illustra IP cameras and VideoEdge network video recorders and hybrid recorders with its existing analog infrastructure, allowing operators to manage live and recorded video through a single interface. Real-time alarms and events also can be leveraged with video, audio, motion and other advanced features to provide the immediate birds-eye view needed by the casino resort.

VideoEdge network video recorders were added to provide the speed and power desired by WinnaVegas Casino Resort and its operations. VideoEdge enables multiple video streams for live, record, alarm bump and meta-data collection and features Smart Search for fast searches that staff can export event findings when needed. The NVRs’ multicast video streaming technology and victor’s built-in intelligence further reduce bandwidth requirements.

The Tyco Security Products solution delivered the simplified management, seamless integration into one, unified security system and high quality images.  As WinnaVegas contemplates its next expansion, it won’t need to roll the dice with an entirely new proprietary system or transition completely to IP technology—WinnaVegas can build upon its existing victor, VideoEdge, Illustra solution and grow its security system as needed, one chip at a time.

Read the full case study.

Learn more about migrating from analog to IP.

American Dynamics Introduces victor and VideoEdge 4.8

The latest version of American Dynamics victor and VideoEdge reduces case investigation time. Version 4.8 includes the following new features:

Download now.

Incident Management Clip Builder

Clip builder allows users to quickly edit video clips and more efficiently manage incident reporting. Users can organize video clips for investigations fasters. With clip builder, users have a single, complete, convenient location to store and view all relevant clips for each investigation.

  • Drag and drop clips into the clip builder
  • Use the intuitive red playhead line and toolbar to crop, cut, split
  • Add the edited video clip to an incident or quickly export for use with an incident report

Watch a video on how to configure the clip builder.

Incident Management Image Editor

The new image editor gives users the ability to better illustrate and call out the actions happening in a particular incident. As part of the incident management tools, users can right click on image clips to open the image and begin adding content to the clip. The toolbar at the top allows users to:

  • Crop the image
  • Add text of any size or color
  • Add shapes such as an ellipse or square
  • Save both the original and enhanced image

victor and VideoEdge 4.8

Surveillance Window Recording

Simultaneously records all streaming video in your selected layout into a single clip file. Easily create a clip Click the red button to begin and select the red button to end. Once the recording has been ended, it can be saved, saved to an incident or exported. The clip will play back exactly as it was in the surveillance window.

Watch a video on how to configure this feature.

victor and VideoEdge 4.8

Schedule Clip Downloads

The new schedule clip download tool enables operators to schedule the automatic retrieval of reoccurring video clips they need to review daily, saving on bandwidth usage and operator time spent manually queuing videos for download. Queuing regular video footage downloads such as locking a cash drawer up at the close of business, automates routine processes and increases operator productivity. Schedule clip download allows users to customize the length of the clip, saving location and clip expiration.

Custom Layouts

Users can create their own custom video layouts tailored to their own needs. By navigating to system values and video layout preferences, you can define your new layout.

  • Name your unique layout
  • Define the number of columns and rows
  • Select aspect ratio: standard, widescreen or portrait
  • Merge multiple cells together
  • Split images further horizontally or vertically
  • Add images to deactivated cells
  • Save layouts, export and easily import into other victor systems within a few clicks

4.8-Custom-Layout

VideoEdge Storage Management

Users will also be able to specify minimum and maximum camera recording rates and receive notifications in the event log on their specified levels through the VideoEdge NVR and VideoEdge Hybrid NVR Client or through victor. The new storage management feature ensures improved health monitoring and optimal storage capacity.

Enhanced exacqVision Support

victor offers enhanced camera management capabilities, including 360 fisheye camera client-side dewarping for exacqVision NVRs in live and recorded mode. Client-side dewarping records one video stream and eliminates the possibility of redundant recording, allowing users to zoom in and navigate within the image for greater detail.

victor-exacqVision-Fisheye-dewarp

Third-Party Integrations

victor is now supported by the following integrations:

  • 3VR video recorders
  • Bosch video recorders
  • Thyssen Krupp Elevators
  • Kone Elevators
  • Otis Elevators
  • Galaxy Intrusion panels

Transcoding Optimizes Video Bandwidth

Whether it’s the casino operator who needs high resolution video from more than 100 cameras or the security director who needs access to a live event from his/her iPhone and requires a real-time high quality image stream from multiple cameras, American Dynamics advanced stream management brings video transcoding to the next level.

Network Bandwidth, CPU Resources and Memory Usage Reduced

While IP video and mobile devices offer greater surveillance capabilities, these come at a price. Increased CPU bandwidth associated with today’s high resolution and full featured cameras adds overhead costs and network resource constraints.

lower bandwidth

During critical situations, users may need to access video remotely from a device that is readily available, oftentimes a smartphone or a tablet. However, when transmitting video from IP cameras to these devices, latency can occur, which delays the time between the alarm and the transmission of a usable image.

VideoEdge and victor streams are managed to provide users with video tailored to fit their physical viewing conditions. By managing the stream, network bandwidth is greatly reduced with no visible difference to the user, and CPU resources are conserved while using less client memory than possible before.

VideoEdge Transcoding Requires No Additional Server or Configuration

VideoEdge users can achieve greater efficiency and higher definition image quality while using their existing cameras through transcoding — a video stream method that reduces the scale of video, converting it to one best suited for the available network connection, such as MPEG-4 to H.264. While transcoding is not a new tool, what is different is that the optimal results now are even easier to realize with an NVR and a video management system, without the need for an extra server, new workstations or expensive super computers to run the video management system (VMS) software.

no server requiredThe automatic stream management in VideoEdge requires no additional configuration. VMS systems can automatically determine the optimal image quality required to view video from multiple, different resolution megapixel cameras on a 1080-pixel monitor.

And when end users need to access multiple views during an active security event in progress like a building alarm going off or a hostage situation unfolding, the VMS can enable access to up to four live video feeds on a smartphone — up to six on a tablet — in a format that is sufficient for viewing on mobile devices without overcompensating.

iPhone/iPad transcoding

Improves User Experience and Reduces Total Cost of Ownership

Just by leveraging the components already required for a video surveillance setup, end users can get the video quality they want in the format that works best for their requirements, when and where needed. For example, users can respond to alarms and other events on the system without being hindered by a slow client. The overall user experience with American Dynamics stream management improves usability for live and recorded video.

And that’s important these days because video systems are diverse. Users are combining multi-megapixel cameras with different bandwidth needs and viewing all of them on a single monitor.

Together, transcoding and the other aspects of optimal stream management help to balance systems, allowing the most challenging situations regarding image quality and delivery to be handled seamlessly from within the VideoEdge system. This ensures that users only have to be concerned with addressing an event as it unfolds before them.

Download our Resource Management whitepaper to learn more about stream management technology and transcoding.

VMS on the edge: an all in one video solution

Given the choice between complexity and simplicity, most of us choose the easy path. If there is a way to take difficulty out of any day-to-day activity, we’re all for it.

Today’s technology is increasingly reflecting our need for a pared down, but still high-quality approach. Think about some of the appliances residing in your own home. Instead of a separate blender, food processor, ice crusher and mixer, many kitchens now have a single machine — a super blender, if you will — that handles all of these chores.

edgecamIn the security space, cameras with edge-based video recording capabilities are filling a similar niche. Especially for small businesses that don’t have the luxury of a large security staff, space to house multiple servers or the infrastructure to support multiple recording devices, opting instead for cameras with embedded VMS software and onboard video storage can prove to be a capable and affordable alternative.

Having a type of all-in-one solution makes high-tech security more accessible to users who only need a handful of IP cameras for their installation. However, these businesses — both large and small — still require a robust array of valuable features and they want them delivered in a user-friendly manner.

Just being able to record video clips to an SD card will cover the most basic security needs in an edge-based video system, but this is just a simple folder of video clips. Like the multi-featured super blender, end users are often looking for something more.

SD cardFortunately, advancements in SD cards and camera processor technology provide enough horsepower to deliver not only onboard storage but video management system capabilities. This means that beyond just recording and organizing clips, business owners or security personnel can take advantage of features such as synchronized search and retrieval of the recorded video across all or specific cameras in their system. These video management tasks can be performed on a desktop or on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones with live view or playback.

And while edge-based VMS software provides myriad benefits to smaller locations with a handful of cameras, larger organizations are also leveraging this technology. This includes the large retailer wanting a few cameras at its stores that are independent from the onsite, locally monitored surveillance network.  Or, this approach can also benefit other large enterprise installations looking for freedom from managing a central server architecture for small branch locations or remote locations in the field, where a few cameras are needed but server installation is impractical.

Small or large, end users looking to employ this technology are also benefitting from new high reliability SD cards, some of which are designed specifically for the recording of HD video. Various cameras on the market, such as our new Illustra Edge series, can also provide redundancy protection for network outages, providing a backup of the recorded video that can be retrieved and storedback to a central server.

And with each camera having its own embedded VMS capability, businesses have the added assurance that even if one camera in the system fails, the others in their installation will continue to perform the critical video surveillance system duties.

This newest generation of edge-based video adds a higher level of value for end users who want storage and recording capabilities but without the investment of time, space and maintenance associated with traditional server set ups.

It is the perfect melding of simplicity with effective, cutting-edge technology — ice crusher not included.

To hear more about edge based video management as well as tips on how to calculate bandwidth and storage requirements and how to take advantage of other vendor supplied tools for easier installations, please register for the upcoming free webinar from SDM Magazine: “Making the Right Choices in IP Video,” at 2pm EDT on June 16, 2015, sponsored by Illustra from Tyco Security Products.

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Expansion Provides Opportunity to Upgrade

Posted by Phil Dashey on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 02:55 PM

The decision to move to an IP-based security platform can be triggered by a variety of things, but one of the driving factors can be a major renovation or expansion to a facility.

Having to make such a significant change in systems or surroundings gives an organization the opportunity to explore the latest technology and make investments in hardware and systems that will serve them well into the future.

man in front of cctvWhen Uniphar, a leader in Ireland’s healthcare and pharmacy sector, constructed a new 180,000 square foot distribution facility, it prompted the company to review its security strategy and replace its analog-based camera system with a new IP solution.

Going hand in hand with Uniphar’s need for a more up-to-date video system was also the desire to get more out of the surveillance platform from both a physical security and a logistics standpoint.

The same cameras and NVRs that ensure the basic security of pharmaceuticals could now be deployed to record and monitor the entire ordering process — something that was important to many of Uniphar’s customers who wanted to ensure the integrity of the order fulfillment system.

Working with its integrator, Pioneer Security, Uniphar selected a suite of Illustra cameras that included mini domes, PTZ domes, bullet cameras, IR domes and fisheyes. When completed, the new installation included more than 250 IP cameras.

Along with the cameras, Uniphar adopted the VideoEdge video management system to allow managers to monitor the order process within the warehouse from the time an order was placed and entered into the system all the way through the picking of the order.

Customers concerned about the handling of certain items, such as drugs that require temperature-controlled conditions, also can be shown how items are handled because the video management solution can easily capture and show that data — either recorded or, if customers were at the warehouse, in real time via dozens of monitors.

For Uniphar, the decision to update their system during a facility expansion showed returns far beyond just more and better cameras. The company now has the ability to review and improve its overall logistics and work with customers on addressing their needs and requirements.

And because the system is forward compatible, Uniphar can be ready for its next expansion opportunity and can easily add in cameras, recorders or monitors as required.

A little planning goes a long way toward achieving analytics success

The odd impulse purchase aside, most people go into a buying decision with a good idea of what they want from their investment.

A couple that is expecting triplets, for instance, knows they can bypass the two-seater sports car or the pickup and look in the SUV or minivan category for a vehicle that will adequately and safely serve their family.

Similarly, a company that is putting in a new video analytics system should outline what it wants it to achieve before selecting, installing and operating it. Or at least that is what best practices would dictate.

Yet, too often the opposite happens. Eager customers and their systems integrators determine the number and styles of cameras camera, ip camera, securitythey want, maybe based on the newest technology or the best deals available, without first exploring exactly what they want to achieve in terms of analytics. So the end result is a system that is inadequate for the application and one that poorly reflects on the quality of the video analytics because it couldn’t perform the necessary functions properly.

Where and how cameras are placed is critical to achieving the most effective outcome with analytics. From camera mounts to the number and type of cameras, many factors can impact the success of video analytics.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to planning. Working in conjunction with your systems integrator, or a manufacturer’s representative, take a hard look at what your expectations are for your analytics system: Are you looking to count people coming into your store, or is your goal to read license plates in a parking lot? If you want to count customers, do you also want to measure how long they look at a display? Every activity requires careful consideration regarding the type of camera used and where it is placed.

People counting is best done on a two-dimensional scale, so a camera mounted overhead works well here. If the camera were placed at eye level, and a crowd came into the store, you might not be able to see each person because some people likely would be blocked by those in front of them.

If the goal is to determine who is lingering in a particular spot, however, then a wide-angle camera is the proper choice. And if you want to do both of these things in the same space, you’ll need multiple cameras mounted appropriately.

Lighting is another key consideration when deploying analytics. If a scene goes in and out of shadows frequently, it will affect the accuracy of the information received. Trying to read license plates? Think about how headlights could play havoc with a camera if positioned incorrectly.

Before going ahead with an analytics program, it’s important to consider all of the factors that will impact video quality. From illumination to separating assets and people to dealing with obstructions and movement, all of these can make a great analytics system an ineffective one if not handled properly.

So sit down at that computer — or if you’re old school, get out that pen and paper — and list what you want your system to do. Then go through all the factors that could influence your outcome before making a final selection with the help of an integrator or supplier on cameras and mounts.

The success of your analytics system depends on it. Watch our videos below on victor and VideoEdge video intelligence and analytics.

 

Keeping Eyes on Home with Video Surveillance System

Busy professionals are always trying to keep up with activities at home. As one of the U.K.’s premier broadcasters, Gabby Logan’s job has taken her to Poland, Ukraine, South Africa and back again.

The former gymnast turned sports presenter began her broadcast career in 1992 as a radio personality, and then quickly expanded into television with Sky Sports, ITV and BBC. Gabby has covered the London Olympics for BBC and England’s football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. Gabby also served a short stint in Brazil covering England’s football team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, making a quick return to the UK to present from the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland beginning in late July.

To balance full time careers and life at home, Gabby and her husband Kenny, an ex Scotland International Rugby star, realized that they needed to implement some type of system that would allow her to keep an eye on things at home while she took care of business on road. Whether gone for the day, or away on a trip thousands of miles from England, a home security system that incorporated video surveillance was the solution Gabby needed to stay connected to her family when Kenny was back at home in charge of the family and property.

Working with Vindex Systems in West Sussex, a specialist integrator of CCTV, access control and automatic number plate recognition solutions that works with both public and private sector clients, the Logans selected a system from Tyco Security Products’ American Dynamics range that incorporated the VideoEdge Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Illustra 600 indoor/outdoor IP Mini-Dome cameras.

Using a monitor at home, Gabby and Kenny can actively watch the video from the cameras on the grounds, or view recorded video with the VideoEdge NVR. The system even allows the Logans to save snapshots of specific video images.

Video Surveillance SystemBut the real selling point of the system was the ability, through an iPhone application, to watch live and recorded video from her home surveillance system from anywhere she may be. Now, Gabby has the ability while on the road to check on her home, her family, and any situations that may occur through the VideoEdge Go app.

VideoEdge Go is a full-featured video surveillance viewer that delivers added value to the system and enhances the day-to-day experience by facilitating remote monitoring and forensic investigating from anywhere.

The free, downloadable app works with Logan’s iPhone or other Apple iOS device. And because the video is streamed via a wifi, 3G or 4G connection in H.264 rather than MJPEG, it takes up less space on whatever device she is using.

While England was competing in the World Cup in June, Gabby was onsite with the team, but also in touch with home through her surveillance system and the VideoEdge Go app.

Download the Gabby Logan case study for more details.

Security Analytics Thwart Retail Theft, But Tell Us So Much More

For one department store, it seemed like business as usual as shoppers perused the racks of merchandise, picking out the latest fashions. But in the security office, the person on duty was alerted to an anomaly — on a merchandising display, an entire section of high-priced jeans had been removed quickly. Was this an overzealous shopper looking to try on multiple pairs, or someone from an organized retail theft ring sweeping up inventory?

In this specific scenario, an officer was made aware of this potential incident through the deployment of video analytics as part of the company’s overall surveillance plan and was able to respond quickly. The retailer had established a set of rules within the system’s software so an alert would be issued if more than half the inventory on that rack was removed in less than one minute —  a common scenario known as “shelf sweep” when shoplifters are at work.

The same analytics that are deployed for high-risk security settings, such as airports and government buildings, are equally at home in a retail setting. Security Analytics Retail: Tyco Security ProductsLike the shelf-sweep rule, similar guidelines can be created so a security officer can be alerted when someone enters a storeroom after hours or when an object, like a package, is left in one place for too long.

But what is equally exciting is that, because of the nature of analytics and its information-gathering abilities, its applications can go well beyond the security realm and become a boon to other store personnel.

Retailers who have included analytics in their security systems to both detect incidents as they happen and aid in forensic investigations of thefts, slip and falls and other activities, are expanding the reach of this investment and applying it to merchandising, marketing and operations.

After all, these cameras are operating 24/7 so why not take this database of information and look at it in the aggregate?

Let’s go back to that department store and see how analytics can help sell some handbags. Data supplied by the point-of-sale system will tell the store operator how many designer purses have sold, but not how many potential sales of those handbags there were on a given day.

By using the video system, the store can track how many people came through the doors (the total pool of potential buyers), and then break it down even further, using rules within the analytics to narrow down how many people walked down the aisle where the handbags were merchandised and then how many of those shoppers lingered for more than five minutes at the display. This information, teamed with the POS data, can now give that store’s manager a conversion rate on the sale of her designer handbags.

Armed with the knowledge of how many bags were sold vs. how many people stopped to look at them, it may mean that the purses are in a great spot or, if the conversion rate is poor, this is an indicator that the bags need to be displayed elsewhere or the signage improved or the price reduced. Analytics won’t read the minds of the shoppers, but the data can provide a good snapshot of what occurred within the store. Using analytics to determine traffic numbers and patterns can aid in where to locate merchandise and even help set the number of checkouts needed on a given day.

From a security standpoint, analytics in video surveillance is a necessary part of doing business, but by expanding the potential of its use, the entire retail operation can benefit — deploying the same equipment, but just tweaking the data to fit each users’ needs.  It can be win-win for both security and operations, and who doesn’t like that?

For more on the role of video analytics as part of a retail security solution, download our recent white paper on Video Analytics in Retail.


Download The Video Analytics White Paper

Multicast video transmission vs. Unicast video transmission methods

describe the imageMulticast video transmissionWhen looking for the most effective way to manage video in a security system, there are two often-discussed video transmission methods: Multicast and Unicast. Both have their benefits, but which is best for security applications?

Multicast is a method of one-to-many transmissionwhich is often deployed in IP applications of streaming media. Multiple viewers can simultaneously tap into a single transmission from one source.

Television programming is a perfect analogy. When you want to watch HBO you tap into the HBO feed on the cable network, not to a dedicated signal of HBO. If your cable box is authorized, you get access to the existing stream of HBO on the cable network.

To benefit from Multicast, multiple simultaneous views of the same stream are required. For customers who have multiple operators viewing the same live cameras, Multicast may be a benefit.

However, in most security applications, Network Video Management Systems (NVMS) are used toview recorded video much more than live video, like reviewing video from a specific date and time, around an alarm event, or reviewing video as part of an investigation. Since all recorders, including the most advanced multicast-based recorders, are based on Unicast video streaming for playback, there really is no gain on operation performance by utilizing Multicast network.

To realize significant benefits from Multicast transmissions, a multicast-enabled network must be constructed to enable single stream replication on the IP network, making it available for every user looking to view it.

Multicast stream can only be used on the Local Area Network. Operators communicating over a wireless connection or over the corporate WAN will communicate using Unicast stream by default, and will not gain from the Multicast capability. In addition, IT departments are wary about enabling Multicast on their network due to security reasons, not to mention the cost associated with it.

Is Unicast a better option?

With Unicast transmission, every user in the network who would like to view video will receive adedicated video stream from the Video Management System (VMS). Compared to Multicast transmission, Unicast does utilize more bandwidth; however, these streams are only required between the source and the “viewer”, and do not affect the entire network (as a Multicast transmission would.)

With VMS implementation of advanced video compression technology and the ability to maintain symmetric bandwidth management of video, users can manage multiple high-quality video streams on a Unicast network without the deployment of Multicast transmission.

To summarize, Multicast transmissions do offer the benefit of lower bandwidth consumption, but comes with higher network construction cost.  Unicast provide cost-savings on the construction of Multicast-enabled networks while maintaining real-time, low latency, high-quality video with adequate bandwidth management for all users on the network.

At American Dynamics, we believe in empowering customers to invest in enhancing their security systems rather than investing in the construction of new IT equipment. VideoEdge is a Unicast-based network video recorder. Unlike Multicast-based digital video recorders that are dependent on the network to manage the video streaming (the Multicast network managing video transmission), VideoEdge utilizes advanced network management techniques that provide higher operational performance.

Note: Most recorders that are dependent on the multicast network to manage the streaming have different performance levels (e.g. 200 or 300Mbps write to disk, while operating on a multicast network compared to 100 or 150Mbps write to disk, while utilizing Unicast network.) The main reason is that these recorders are now tasked with the video management and are not capable of symmetric bandwidth management.

VideoEdge’s advanced networking architecture manages the video in real time. When a user requests video, live or instant playback, VideoEdge responds with no latency. This advanced architecture does not strain the system resources and, as a result, the rack-mount VideoEdge Network Video Recorder maintains full performance of 400Mbps write to disk, 400Mbps video streaming to client, with the Desktop maintainng 50/50Mbps, while providing metadata generation on all cameras. This is accomplished with no video quality degradation or frame-rate loss, all the time on all cameras.

 

Have any questions about Multicast or Unicast video transmissions; post them in the comments section below.