The video surveillance market is growing and there is nothing stopping the locksmith from participating. Schools, factories, healthcare facilities, municipalities and even residences are potential clients for video surveillance system installs, upgrades or servicing.
Changes are happening in the video supply side as well as to the technologies available. Locksmiths have the option of choosing the combination of products and technologies that suit the application, or with which he is most comfortable working. However, learning about new technologies and products is essential, so that you are offering products consistent with those being offered by your competition.
Residential has thus far proven to be somewhat disappointing. Homeowners tend to be bargain hunters, and their perceptions have been distorted by DIY equipment sold in the big box stores or over the Internet. Many do not seem to respect the expertise of a professional locksmith. I can generally identify one of these types of individuals when they call, and try to be courteous and to offer sound advice, without wasting an inordinate amount of time or effort with them. We may simply start keeping demo camera systems in our showroom, and invite these callers to come in so we can discuss their requirements.
Although the video surveillance market is like most other markets price driven, I recommend you sell yourself and your systems on the basis of value rather than price. Value means the system provides the image quality and views the client wanted; the equipment is installed in a professional and workmanlike fashion; the system is warrantied for proper operation; and you can obtain technical and factory support. Of course you should make a reasonable profit for your efforts.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by cutting corners or selecting the wrong vendors. To a certain extent, everyone has to learn the hard way.
We’ve learned a few lessons the hard way. For example, by not selecting cameras of adequate quality, we’ve been stuck with product that was bad out of the box, and no telephone tech support (unless you speak Chinese and call in the middle of the night when it daytime in Beijing). Most video equipment is imported; however, the products’ quality and the stateside tech support are the differentiators you must consider before picking a partner.
By not properly evaluating the feature set of recorders, we’ve used equipment that was unable to record images of a high enough quality for forensic purposes. We’ve used recorders with baffling operating instructions which angered and frustrated the end-user, and disappointed us too.
By letting the client call some of the shots in a system design, you often wind up with an unhappy customer because he was trying to view too large an area with too few cameras to save money.
Our video sales include some bid work, and some consulting sales. For the bid work, often a product or group of products will be specified. Sometimes performance specifications will be outlined and it left to us to select and quote a product which we think fulfills the specs. Sometimes no substitutions are allowed.
When we get requests for quotes or estimates on new systems, the sales engineering process usually involves a site survey, interviews with the client, and the submittal and resubmittal of estimates. The interview with the client is to determine the client’s objective for the system, and determine what preconceptions and technical expertise the client is bringing to the process. The sales engineering process typically involves a learning process for both me and the client as I research products specifications, and pass along information to the client to educate them and make them an informed consumer.
Headquartered in Englewood, N.J., NUVICO is a leading brand for value-driven video surveillance products in the professional security industry. The company offers a full line of DVRs and security cameras that incorporate their own DSP technology, the Super Image Enhancer (S.I.E.). (Web site is www.nuvico.com)
NUVICO’s products have a reputation of being a “dependable and reliable source,” and have enjoyed continuing success expanding rapidly around the world as well as North America. They pride themselves as having the most reliable security solutions and dependable service with their partners (dealers) with their customer service team approach.
Last year we participated in a bid for a regional university (which we won, by the way) and the bid spec mandated a NUVICO DVR.
Why NUVICO? I asked the Security Director. He answered: Because they liked them! The software was easy for their staff to use; the connectivity (over the LAN and WAN) worked great, the images were clear and they were able to retrieve archived video without having to call a technician.
The NUVICO CI-Z30N ZOOM-MATIC is a unique surveillance product that combines zoom and IR illuminated night vision into a single device. We featured the smaller CI-Z10n ZOOM-MATIC last year. Both cameras offer the zoom and the IR; only difference is their physical size and operating range.
The NUVICO AP-F3200 DVR is their top of the line recorder. Key features include:
• 32- channels
• Quadruplex Functions with Mouse GUI
• Internal Storage Up to 4TB HDD
• Mirror Recording
• Expandable Storage Up to 32TB HDD
• Free DDNS Service
• 960pps Recording @ Half D1
• Multi-Layer Streaming over Network
• POS Support
The multi-level streaming compression technique allows users to store video at full D1 DVD-quality crystal-clear resolution, with the ability to stream the same video across a network or internet connection at a variable rate.
Multi-Layering allows the Apex DVR to selectively tune its IP/megapixel and analog video streams based on available network bandwidth and remote PC resources, providing excellent remote digital video monitoring performance.
Network features include:
• EasyNet WebViewer (IE 6.0 and 7.0)
• EasyNet VMS Lite (Multi-site Client Software)
• 10 Simultaneous users
• 2-Way audio over network
• Smart Search over Network
• Free Dynamic DNS Service for Plug-n-Play Remote Connection
NUVICO also offers the SD-Z18 & Z26 large PTZ cameras. The NUVICO MS Z10 is their mini-PTZ.
Q & A: LUKE LEE
Locksmith Ledger contacted Luke Lee, business manager for NUVICO, and asked him some product and technology questions. Following are Ledger’s questions and Lee’s answers.
I notice that the AP-F3200 has five video outputs. What are some of the possible configurations for the four main monitor outputs?
This function is mostly for the high-end guard application such as bank or supermarket applications which did not have any other choice but buy expensive video matrix system to display different display configuration on different monitors.
For example, with APEX D-1600 in a guard application for a bank, they can have one monitor displaying all 16 cameras for general security on guard station, second monitor to display only those cameras that are important (such as entrance or safe-deposit box entrances) on guard station, third monitor for public display for the customers to see that they are on guard and fourth monitor for event pop-up monitor (so it will display cameras with an event in full screen)
A customer can save up to $5000 - $20,000 in product cost and configuration by using built-in video matrix system of APEX DVR instead of buying expensive video matrix system. This is a niche market for the installation companies where it never been easy or cost effective enough to work with.
Is a remote included with the DVR? is it the same remote as is supplied with the Zoom-matic?
APEX DVRs comes with a remote controller; it also supports mouse for easy operation. However, it is not the same remote as Zoom-matic. Each remote are specially designed for each application.
What are the internal/external memory capacities for the APEX? Is externally archived video as readily available as the internal HDDs?
APEX DVR supports up to four SATA HDDs which can store up to 4TB. Regular APEX series also works with an external storage unit AP-ES. Each AP-ES supports up to 4TB with 4 removable SATA bays and it can be cascaded up to eight units to make total of 36TB HDD storage space including HDDs in the DVR. The miniplayer which also burned in to the backup DVD/CD or USB thumb drive plays back the video instantly right off the backup medium.
What are maximums for internal and external storage?
Internal: 4bays, 4TB, External (AP-ES): 8 units, 36TB
How is configuration/setup performed?
APEX DVR is another easy to install and easy to use DVR from NUVICO. The DVR configuration is separated in to three levels. ‘Record Wizard’ would let the users configure the DVR based on how many days that they want to keep the recording. ‘Quick Global Record’ would let the installer can setup the DVR in simple recording mode in no time. Finally the ‘Advanced Recording Mode’ would help SI companies to configure the DVR for complicated situation to fulfill a customer’s needs in any application.
The Remote configuration is the same structure as the DVR. The seamless interrelationship between the two would save time on internal training and on-site customer training.
What software is supplied with the DVR?
APEX DVR comes with Multisite NUVICO EasyNet VMS Lite which would let the user to connect up to 500 DVRs and view up to 64 cameras in one screen. It also comes with EasyNet WebViewer and miniplayer.
What would the practical difference be between the system management of a single APEX 32 channel DVR as opposed to a system utilizing 2 16 channel DVRs?
By using two 16 channel DVRs, the site is backed up by two fail points for 32 cameras. If a DVR fails for any reason, a mission critical channel still can be kept recording on the 2nd DVR.
However, if 32 channel DVR is implemented, the site only has single point of failure. If the DVR fails, the whole site is down. Nevertheless, the customer can still save up to 35 percent by using a 32-channel DVR with a good backup plan.
How would the storage capacities compare between these two configurations assuming all channels are used?
The 32-channel unit will use double the space compared to 16 channel unit.
What features of the APEX differentiate it from competitor’s products?
APEX uses advanced dual MPEG4 and MJPEG compression for various network transmission options. The quality of true D1 with the real-time image recording on APEX DVR is second to none in the market. The reliability of the APEX DVR is proven by the Gaming industries and AP-D1600 complies with various state gaming standards.
Most importantly, NUVICO’s latest technology ‘Multi-Layer Streaming over Network’ dramatically enhances high quality video transmission over the network.
What factors determine if a small or a large PTZ is used?
Most of the residential or office complex application favors MINI PTZ over full size PTZ because of the size. The size of NUVICO MS-Z10 looks the same size as the regular minidome camera if it is ceiling mounted. 10X optical plus 10X digital zoom power should cover most of the application on residential and small business installation.
However, those applications which require powerful zoom capability such as large parking lot, scrap yard, warehouse or transportation facilities should use full size PTZ.